Archive for April, 2010


GOP can win a Dem Congressional seat on May 18

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

For the past thirty-six years, Democrat John Murtha represented Pennsylvania in Congress. Now his seat in Pennsylvania 12 is the site of a contested special election with Republican Tim Burns leading in some polls. Murtha was a storied legend among Democrats and a powerful appropriator facing numerous federal investigations for directing tax payer funds to his friends. Now his Democratic chief-of-staff is running to replace him and continue the same old politics. Its time to turn the page.

Interestingly, this district is the only congressional district in the country that George W. Bush lost in 2004 but that John McCain won in 2008. The district leans Democratic, but this is a real opportunity for the Republican first step in taking back Congress in 2010.

The special election is May 18.

I would encourage you to visit TimBurnsForCongress.com to learn more about him and the race. I hope you will make a $25 or $50 (or more) contribution to his campaign.


RR: Southern Republicans and the Tea Party

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

When GOP activists met in New Orleans for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, many of the delegates were also active Tea Party members. That doesn’t make the Tea Party “Republican” - in fact at the Tea Party event last Saturday at the Mississippi Fair Grounds in Jackson, there were Democrats and independents as well as Republicans present, including some of the speakers. It also doesn’t make the GOP part of the “Tea Party” - many Republicans in New Orleans were not active in that grassroots organization. But the overlap comes from the conservative coalition that embraces both, something Governor Haley Barbour mentioned when speaking.

Barbour continued, “How do we win in 2010? We stick together. We work. We organize. We campaign. We give. Some of you will even run for public office and we welcome every single one of you. Conservative unity has to be part of that conservative energy. The Democrats’ fondest hope is to see Tea Party or other conservatives split off and form a third party. Barack Obama has worn out three sets of kneepads down on his knees praying for the conservative vote to be split in 2010, and we can’t let that happen.”

Praising the Tea Party in Mississippi, Barbour told delegates they should welcome the Tea Party, independents, former Republicans, and even Democrats who “think like us; believe like us.” He said it is fine if someone who has never been involved defeats a Republican incumbent for Congress in the primary: “that person becomes our guy, our candidate.”

“We cannot let ourselves be torn apart by the idea of purity. In a two party system, both parties are necessarily coalitions,” said Barbour who quoted his “old boss Ronald Reagan” as saying, “someone who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and ally, not some kind of 20 percent traitor.”

I wrote about the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in my column last week and took a look at the first year of the Tea Party movement in my column this week. You can read both at the Madison County Journal online: Perry / Barbour calls GOP to unity and Perry / Tea Partiers celebrate year


RR: Republicans eye Taylor

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Steven Palazzo and Joe Tegerdine will face-off in the Republican Primary on June 1 to decide which one will carry the GOP banner against incumbent Democrat Congressman Gene Taylor in Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District. The key to victory for the GOP is to get Republican voters to vote Republican. The district goes overwhelmingly Republican except for when it comes to Taylor, who over the past twenty years has built a record of lop-sided wins. I review all three candidates’ political backgrounds this week and you can read about them in the Madison County Journal online: Perry / Republicans eye Taylor


Obamacare: Viagra for Sex Offenders?

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Last week in my column on whether or not Attorney General Jim Hood would file suit on behalf of Mississippi against Obamacare, I noted a specific problem Texas faced with the new federal health care regime.

While Texas has filed along with Florida, it too - like Virginia - finds itself in specific conflict with the federal law. Texas law prohibits taxpayer dollars from funding sexual enhancement drugs for convicted child sex offenders. A U.S. Senate amendment to the health care bill to strip such funding failed. Texas could challenge the federal health care law’s use of taxpayer dollars to provide Viagra to convicted pedophiles.

Roll Call (subscription required) now reports that the Congressional Research Service - which is the professional, nonpartisan, policy research staff of Congress housed in the Library of Congress - claims Obamacare indeed does have that provision.

The Congressional Research Service confirmed in a memo Wednesday that rapists and sex offenders may get federally subsidized Viagra and other sexual performance enhancing drugs under the recently passed health care reform law — information that Republicans charge will haunt Democrats in upcoming elections.


RR: Will Hood fight Obamacare?

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Attorney General Jim Hood has a decision to make. Does he believe it is Constitutional for the federal government to require Mississippians to buy a product? If he does, then he will have to defend that belief to the vast number of Mississippians who disagree with the coming Obamacare. If he does not, then he should follow the request of Governor Haley Barbour to file suit against the legislation. Certainly there are many other issues involved and specific pieces of Obamacare that also can be challenged in Court, but the initial decisions seems fairly simple to me. You can read my thoughts on it online in the Madison County Journal: Perry / Will Hood challenge Obamacare?

More than a dozen states have filed suit with Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum leading the way on challenges based on the Tenth Amendment and the Commerce Clause. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is challenging the law in a more specific way as they have a state law that says no citizen of Virginia can be required to purchase health care insurance or be fined for not doing so. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has joined with Florida, but also has his own narrow concerns. Texas has a law that prohibits taxpayer dollars from going to drugs like Viagra to convicted child molesters. The Republican amendment in the US Senate to put a similar restriction on Obamacare failed.

A legislator in Georgia is considering impeachment if their Attorney General continues his refusal to sue. I heard the Georgia AG on television the other night defending his position. He said that Massachusetts has a similar law, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld that law as Constitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution. Therefore, it is also Constitutional under the U.S. Constitution to impose it on other states. I felt bad for Georgia. Meanwhile the Kansas legislature may compel its Democratic Attorney General to file suit.

Politico has an article about Democratic Attorneys General around the country facing political pressure over Obamacare and how it is affecting their campaigns: Politico / Democrats squeezed by health care lawsuit

And National Journal has a fair read on whether Obamacare truly is Constitutional or not: Stuart Taylor / Is A Health Care Mandate Constitutional?

Republicans have another option to block Obamacare.  It doesn’t require a veto-proof majority to “repeal and replace” after 2010 or a Republican president after 2012. Both of those would make it easy.  But it the GOP garnered a majority in the House and Senate after 2010 (which is a long and hard row to hoe) the GOP could use the power of the purse in Congress to put a stop to the legislation by refusing to appropriate any funds to go toward its enactment and enforcement. Democrats have chided Republican critics of reconciliation by noting that Republicans too had used that technique, so it should be noted that blocking enactment and enforcement of legislation by explicitly depriving it of funding is not a mechanism foreign to Democratic controlled congresses.


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