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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Abolishing the IRS starts here

Interesting email:


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Monday, September 14, 2009

Senate votes 83-7 to strip ACORN of Federal Funding

Or as MSNBC reported, "GA Congressman compares Obama to Hitler". Via Hot Air:

Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) introduced an amendment to the HUD and Transportation appropriation bill to strip ACORN of all federal funding. A week ago, Johanns wouldn’t have gotten the amendment to the floor. Today, however, after three straight days of BigGovernment.com’s video exposés of ACORN offices in Washington DC, New York City, and Baltimore offering assistance to pimping, tax evasion, and trafficking in underage Salvadorean girls, Johanns not only got his vote — but he got an impressive bipartisan showing. The Senate passed the Johanns amendment 83-7.


The nay votes:

Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Roland Burris (D-IL)
Robert Casey (D-PA)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Well, it appears that there are at least seven selfish sleazebags that didn’t care that federal money was going to a corrupt organization. I mean, look at that list. Not very impressive accomplishments from any of them, with the possible exception of Leahy’s ability to get into Batman movies or Durbin's frequent appearances in that annoying "Cookie Jar" Weight Loss Commercial.

Your thoughts.

Democrats lack votes to pass Health Care

The House Republicans have been passing around the information below. I got a copy of it and wanted to post it for y'all.

The Democrats lack enough moderates to pass H.R. 3200 with the government option and if they ditch the government option, the Democrats would lack enough liberals to pass it. Sucks to be them.

Here is what the GOP is circulating:

At least 44 more moderate Members of the Democrat Caucus have gone on the record in opposition to the current health care bill in the House. Likewise, at least 57 liberal Members of the Democrat Caucus have gone on the record saying they will vote against a health care bill without a strong public option. In other words, unless multiple Democrats flip on their stated position on health care, Speaker Pelosi lacks the votes to pass a bill through the House on the strength of Democrat votes alone. How will the President address this intra-party squabbling during his speech tonight?

WHIP COUNT

44 Democrats Opposed

1. Rep. Altmire
2. Rep. Adler
3. Rep. Barrow
4. Rep. Boren
5. Rep. Boucher
6. Rep. Boyd
7. Rep. Bright
8. Rep. Carney
9. Rep. Childers
11. Rep. Cleaver
12. Rep. Cooper
13. Rep. Costello
14. Rep. Cuellar
15. Rep. Dahlkamper
16. Rep. Davis
17. Rep. Driehaus
18. Rep. Ellsworth
19. Rep. Gordon
20. Rep. Griffith
21. Rep. Halvorson
22. Rep. Hill
23. Rep. Holden
24. Rep. Kanjorski
25. Rep. Kaptur
26. Rep. F Kratovil
27. Rep. Marshall
28. Rep. Massa
29. Rep. Melancon
30. Rep. McIntyre
31. Rep. Minnick
32. Rep. Murtha
33. Rep. Oberstar
34. Rep. Ortiz
35. Rep. Perriello
36. Rep. Peterson
37. Rep. Polis
38. Rep. Pomeroy
39. Rep. Ross
40. Rep. Shuler
41. Rep. Stupak
42. Rep. Tanner
43. Rep. Taylor
44. Rep. Titus

57 Liberal Democrats to vote no on a bill without a strong public option

On July 31, 2009, the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi expressing their opposition to a weakening of the public option. The letter on behalf of 57 Progressive Democrats concludes, “In short, this agreement will result in the public, both as insurance purchasers and as taxpayers, paying ever higher rates to insurance companies. We simply cannot vote for such a proposal.”

1) Rep. Woolsey
2) Rep. Grijalva
3) Rep. Kilpatrick
4) Rep. Nadler
5) Rep. Hare
6) Rep. Roybal-Allard
7) Rep. Ellison
8. Rep. Blumenauer
9) Rep. Watts
10) Rep. Edwards
11) Rep. Olver
12) Rep. Kucinich
13) Rep. Richardson
14) Rep. Waters
15) Rep. Conyers
16) Rep. Chu
17) Rep. Hinchey
18) Rep. Johnson
19) Rep. Watson
20) Rep. Spier
21) Rep. Pascrell
22) Rep. Doggett
23) Rep. Kaptur
24) Rep. Hirono
25) Rep. Filner
26) Rep. Sanchez
27) Rep. Fudge
28) Rep. Lee
29) Rep. Carson
30) Rep. Jackson Lee
31) Rep. Honda
32) Rep. McDermott
33) Rep. Clay
34) Rep. McGovern
35) Rep. Clarke
36) Rep. Massa
37) Rep. Pingree
38) Rep. Jackson, Jr.
39) Rep. Cummings
40) Rep. Thompson
41) Rep. Moore
42) Rep. Payne
43) Rep. Stark
44) Rep. Towns
45) Rep. Brown
46) Rep. Hastings
47) Rep. Valezquez
48) Rep. Gutierrez
49) Rep. Napolitano
50) Rep. Sires
51) Rep. Tierney
52) Rep. Capuano
53) Rep. Fattah
54) Rep. Serrano
55) Rep. Farr
56) Rep. Delahunt
57) Rep. Johnson

BACKGROUND:

Rep. John Adler (D-NJ): “Isn’t good for America.” But dissatisfaction extends beyond Blue Dogs. Rep. Rick Boucher (Va.), a conservative Democrat but not a Blue Dog, says he doesn’t like the public option. Rep. John Adler (D-N.J.) told an audience, “The bill that’s coming through the House, with or without the public option, isn’t good for America.” (Mike Soraghan and A.B. Stoddard, “Dem Split On The Public Option Casts Doubt On Reform Of Healthcare,” The Hill, 8/31/09)

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA): Voted Against The Health Care Bill In The Education And Labor Committee. “Two key House committees moved along Democratic healthcare legislation on Friday, only days after the bill was introduced. … The Education and Labor Committee approved their portion of the bill by a 26-22 vote. Democratic Reps. Jared Polis (Colo.), Dina Titus (Nev.) and Jason Altimire (Pa.) voted against the bill.” (Michael O’Brien, “House Committees Advance Healthcare Overhaul,” The Hill, 7/17/09)

Rep. John Barrow (D-GA): “I still voted against the bill.” Barrow said he does not believe that the changes they made are permanent or adequate.“I still voted against the bill, even after we had gotten these amendments passed, not because I didn’t think they made it better, but because I didn’t think they made the bill good enough,” he said. (Sandi Van Orden, “Barrow Offers Why He Voted Against Health Care Bill,” The Effingham Herald, 9/3/09)

Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK): “The House Bill That’s Out There, I Can’t Support.” “Second District Congressman Dan Boren said Monday that health care reform rests largely on President Barack Obama’s willingness to accept bipartisan compromise on the issue. ‘If health care reform is going to happen it will have to happen in a bipartisan way,’ Boren told the Tulsa Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. ‘It’s really up to the president.’ Boren, a Democrat, said he is trying to keep an open mind but said, ‘The House bill that’s out there, I can’t support.’” (Tom Gilbert, “Boren: Bipartisanship Key To Health Care,” Tulsa World, 7/20/09)

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): I have a problem with this government option plan,” Boucher said. “I’m troubled that the government option plan could become very popular and if it became sufficiently popular it could begin to crowd out the other” private insurance companies. Furthermore, he said, the public option could “financially destabilize” rural hospitals. (Sarah Bruyn Jones, “Boucher Unconvinced On ‘Government Option’ For Health Care,” The Roanoke Times, 8/19/09)

Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), who belongs to the moderate Blue Dogs group, said at a town hall meeting yesterday that “the public option is off the table.” When asked whether it would be a good idea to “scrap everything” and start the process of reforming health care over, Boyd reportedly said, “I think that is an excellent idea … we may end up there.”

Rep. Bobby Bright (D-AL): U.S. Congressman Bobby Bright announced recently he opposes the current draft of United States House of Representatives health care legislation. “I am hopeful that when Congress returns in September, the process will be more bipartisan and we will be able to produce something that works for the American people,” Bright said. “I continue to believe that the current direction of health care reform relies too heavily on taxes on individuals and small businesses, and the overall cost of health care legislation remains too high. Moreover, though changes have been made to how the public option will work, the overall bill does not represent my belief in a free-market approach to health care reform.”
(“Bright Questions Health Care Reform,” The Southeast Sun, 8/26/09)

Rep. Chris Carney (D-PA): “I Would Not Vote In Favor Of It At This Point.” “Carney said he could not support a plan crafted by House Democrats because of the way the plan would impact small- to medium-sized businesses, rural areas and small hospitals. ‘There is a 1,000-page template out of the House, but it’s very fluid and being negotiated as we speak,’ Carney said. ‘There is not unanimous agreement on the initial version. Guys like me - the blue dog Democrats - are firm on our disagreement with certain aspects of the bill.’ ‘As it is now, and realizing it is extremely fluid and changes daily, I would not vote in favor of it at this point,’ he said.” (David Thompson, “Carney: More Time Needed For Proper Health Care Reform,” Sun Gazette, 7/24/09)

Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS): Would Not Vote for a House Health Care Reform Bill. During a town hall teleconference Tuesday night, Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss., said “he would not vote for a House health care reform bill in its current form,” a Memphis TV station reports. http://www.wreg.com/sns-ap-ms–childers-townhall,0,6705422.story

Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO): “I’m willing to Push the Reset Button.” “Cleaver willing to start over on health care bill. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver told reporters this morning he’s willing to start from scratch on a health care reform bill, as many Republicans have suggested. “I’m willing to push the reset button,” Cleaver said, although he appeared skeptical about the prospects for any new legislation from a restart of the process. The Missouri Democrat also said health care reform is “too important” to be passed with only Democratic votes, as White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has recently suggested. Cleaver also said if health reform isn’t passed by year’s end, it won’t happen. That, he agreed, effectively gives the GOP veto power over any legislation for the next 90 days or so, once Congress returns after Labor Day. (Dave Helling, “Cleaver Willing To Start Over On Health Care Bill,” The Kansas City Star, 8/19/09)

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN): “Is Not Good Enough to Earn the Support of Nashville-Area Voters.” I want to vote for health-care reform. Every American deserves comprehensive health care. It is a moral imperative. But the House bill, at least as I have closely reviewed the June 19th and later drafts, is not good enough to earn the support of Nashville-area voters. http://www.cooper.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=278&Itemid=73

Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX): “Am I In Favor Of This Bill As It Is Written? I Am Not.” “‘We have the more conservative folks and the more liberal folks pushing me both ways,’ Cuellar noted. ‘Do I believe in health care reform? Yes I do. But I also believe in insurance reform. Am I in favor of this bill as it is written? I am not.’” (Ron Maloney, “Somewhat Rowdy Crowd For Cuellar Visit,” The Gazette-Enterprise, 7/26/09)

Rep. Kathleen Dahlkamper (D-PA): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN): “I Was Not Prepared, Nor Would I Have Voted For, the Proposed Bill on August 6th.” “I’m really glad we were able to postpone the legislation,” Ellsworth said. “I was not prepared, nor would I have voted for, the proposed bill on August 6th” when the summer recess began, he said.
http://www.tribstar.com/news/local_story_247222034.html

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN): “I Cannot Support The Bill.” “On Thursday, Gordon and the other six Blue Dogs on the committee demonstrated their concerns about the bill by reading nearly identical opening statements. ‘I am thoroughly reviewing the bill. However, as currently written, I cannot support the bill,’ Gordon said after the hearing.” (Bill Theobald, “Health Bill Faces Fight From Tennessee Blue Dogs,” Tennessean, 7/19/09)

Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Al): Rep. Parker Griffith, D-Al., who opposes the public health care option, says he needs more details before he can sign off on the co-op notion being floated by the Senate. “It depends on how it’s worded and how it’s structured,” Griffith said Monday, according to the Huntsville Times. http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/08/back-in-home-districts-muchwooed-blue-dogs-not-barking-for-health-care-reform-legislation.html

Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-IL) “My message right now is we don’t have a bill”: While health care proposals are changing by the minute, Halvorson said her primary concern is cost. If the final draft increases the federal deficit, she’ll vote against it, even though President Barack Obama’s administration repeatedly has said he is “not open to deficit spending. Health reform will be paid for and it will be deficit neutral over 10 years,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote in submitted testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “My message right now is we don’t have a bill,” Halvorson said. “In fact, the moderate Democrats are the ones holding off so we wouldn’t have to vote on this before we left. Health care is a big issue, but just because I ran on health care doesn’t mean I’m going to vote for a bill that doesn’t work and costs too much money. True reform brings costs down. True reform is not what this bill is yet.” (Kristen McQueary, “Dodge In, Halvorson On The Defensive,” The Southtown Star, 8/20/09)

Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN): “Said This Morning He Would Not Vote For The Health Care Reform Bill In Its Present Form.” “Congressman Baron Hill said this morning he would not vote for the health care reform bill in its present form, primarily because he believes it lacks effective health care cost controls. … ‘There are seven of us blue dogs on the committee opposed to the bill in its present form,’ Hill said. ‘We met the last two days drafting amendments to the bill that address the issue of accountability and cost controls.’ Hill said he wants the bill to control costs by shifting the system away from the fee-for-service model, which he says financially rewards doctors and hospitals in direct proportion to the number of procedures they perform. ‘We need to create a medical system that makes sure the patient comes first instead of a system that rewards doctors for overutilizing services,’ he said. ‘That means getting rid of fee-for-service.’” (Dann Denny, “Baron Hill Wants Health Care Bill Modifications,” Herald-Times, 7/16/09)

Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Frank Kratovil Jr. (D-MD): Opposes current legislation in the House, but remains open to public option. He opposes the measure currently under consideration in the House and will vote against it unless there are significant changes. Among his objections: the price, which would add $239 billion to the deficit over 10 years, according to a preliminary estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. He’s also concerned, he says, that the measure is too generous to the poor, at the expense of the middle class, and potentially harmful to rural areas of Maryland, like the Eastern Shore, which already have trouble attracting and keeping doctors. At the same time, Kratovil speaks with evident passion about the need for change. He said in an interview that he “absolutely” would support a more “reasonable” plan, though he acknowledges that he doesn’t know how to close the cost gap. Unlike many of his fellow Blue Dogs, he’s not against including a public insurance option. He said he would favor one that creates an “equal playing field” and legitimate competition with private insurance companies. “I don’t follow the fear that having a public option means the beginning of a single-payer system,” he said, sitting in a windowless conference room at his Salisbury district office. (Paul West, “A Blue Dog Democrat’s View From The Middle,” The Baltimore Sun, 8/23/09)

Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA): “As the Bill Stands Right Now, I Would Have to Vote ‘No.’” “As the bill stands right now, I would have to vote ‘no’ until we get a better handle on the costs. I am adamantly opposed to throwing more money at the current system.” http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/main.asp?SectionID=17&SubSectionID=116&ArticleID=63041&TM=231.214

Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY): “But I Will Not Vote For A Bill That Gets It Wrong, And If I Had To Vote Today For The Current Piece Of Legislation In Front Of Congress, I Would Not Be Able To Support It.” “U.S. Rep. Eric Massa said if he had to vote today on America’s Affordable Health Care Choices Act, he would probably vote against it. ‘We all know that one in six don’t have health insurance. We all know that we pay more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world. These things need to be addressed, and doing nothing, which is what so many want to do, is simply not an option,’ said Massa, D-Corning. ‘But I will not vote for a bill that gets it wrong, and if I had to vote today for the current piece of legislation in front of Congress, I would not be able to support it,’ he said Tuesday during his weekly teleconference with the media.” (Ray Finger, “Massa Wary Of Health Care Reform Bill,” Star-Gazette, 7/22/09)

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC): I am not convinced that we should have the public option. I know there’s been a lot of debate about that, but I’m not convinced that we should do that, so as it stands now, I would be a no on the public option. With regard to the coops, I think there’s room for debate there on how that’s done, and I’m not in favor of just dumping federal money into it, I think that’s the essence of his question. http://www.wwaytv3.com/node/17942

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)
Rep. Walt Minnick (D-ID): Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Id., is described in the Idaho Mountain Express as flatly opposing the Democrats’ health care reform bill. “The government should set the rules of the road and then let private business do the work,” he said. http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005127388

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Salomon Ortiz (D-TX): “We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA): Perriello said he does not currently support any of the three proposals in congress. He said he won’t support a program that funds abortions, but he said it’s starting to sink in with people that the feds aren’t trying to do away with private insurance. “You still hear concerns about it being a public mandate rather than a public option. People are going to be given a wide range of choice between private insurance and maybe, or maybe not, a public option. I think people are starting to understand that,” Perriello said. (Brian Damewood, “Locals Sound Off Over Health Care,” wset.com, 8/18/09)

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN): I have not found a bill I can support yet. “I’m not here to sell you anything,” he said. “I have not found a bill yet that I can support” — interrupted by applause — “I am here to listen and to learn. I believe we have problems in our health care system. We are not spending our money wisely, so I believe we have to do something.” (Bob von Sternberg, A Kinder, Gentler Town Hall Meeting. The Minnesota Star Tribune 8/15/09)

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO): Voted Against The Health Care Bill In The Education And Labor Committee. “Two key House committees moved along Democratic healthcare legislation on Friday, only days after the bill was introduced. … The Education and Labor Committee approved their portion of the bill by a 26-22 vote. Democratic Reps. Jared Polis (Colo.), Dina Titus (Nev.) and Jason Altimire (Pa.) voted against the bill.” (Michael O’Brien, “House Committees Advance Healthcare Overhaul,” The Hill, 7/17/09)

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND): Voted Against The Health Care Bill In The House Ways And Means Committee. “The House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation early Friday to overhaul the health care system and expand insurance coverage after a marathon session in which Democrats easily turned back Republican efforts to amend the bill. … In the Ways and Means vote, three Democrats — Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota and John Tanner of Tennessee — joined Republicans in voting against the bill.” (Robert Pear, “House Committee Approves Health Care Bill,” The New York Times, 7/17/09)

Rep. Mike Ross (D-AL): “I have been skeptical about the public health insurance option from the beginning and used August to get feedback from you, my constituents,” he wrote in a statement his office released publicly. “An overwhelming number of you oppose a government-run health insurance option, and it is your feedback that has led me to oppose the public option as well.” http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/09/blue_dog_ross_comes_out_agains.html

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC): In the Tarheel State, Rep. Heath Shuler, D-NC, said during a telephone town hall meeting, per the Citizen-Times, “that he opposes the House health care reform legislation because it would increase the deficit, doesn’t reduce the overall cost of health care and doesn’t do enough to promote people living healthier lives… ‘I do not support HR3200 at the present time,’ Shuler said…emphasizing that the current legislation does not do enough to promote wellness, prevention and disease management. Nor is enough being done to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid, he said.” http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090814/NEWS01/908140330/1200

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI): “I Cannot Support This Bill In Its Current Form.” “‘I cannot support this bill in its current form,’ Democrat Bart Stupak said, adding it did not provide real competition for the insurance industry and could hike costs for consumers.” (Kim Dixon, “Obama Looks For Republican Healthcare Backing,” Reuters, 7/16/09)

Rep. Stupak (D-MI): “You’ve Got A Broken System. We Are Perpetuating A Broken System.” “Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) cast himself as one of eight opponents of the bill as written on Energy and Commerce. ‘You’ve got a broken system. We are perpetuating a broken system,’ Stupak said. ‘They’ve got to address our concerns, or the other option is a “no” vote.’ He also said opponents might try to block a bill by defeating the House rule on the floor.” (Jeffrey Young, “House Leaders Cheer Healthcare Progress Amid Infighting,” The Hill, 7/17/09)

Rep. Stupak (D-MI): “Why Would We Give You More Money For A System That’s Broken?” “Stupak’s concerns are varied, but they include his desire for a prohibition on federal funding for abortions as part of the public insurance option under consideration, as well as a demand for deeper cost cuts and dealing with regional disparities under Medicare. Fundamentally, the bill does not fix the broken health care system, he said. ‘Why would we give you more money for a system that’s broken?’ he asked.” (Steven T. Dennis, “Stupak Warns Of Democratic Defections On Health Bill,” Roll Call, 7/17/09)

Rep. John Tanner (D-TN): Said Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn., according to the Commercial Appeal, “most reasonable, sensible people realize that we’ve got some holes in the current delivery system that are resulting in inefficiency, duplication, nonproductive … provider-to-patient expenditures, and what I’ve been telling people is we need to figure that out before we start overturning the entire system…I think we need to take a deep breath and go at this thing incrementally.” http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/aug/19/tanner-listens-to-care-concern/

Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS): Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., at a town hall meeting in Moss Point Monday night, said, per the Associated Press, “I would hope that everyone in this room knows by now that I am not going to vote for the health care plan.” http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20090819/NEWS/908190330/1002/news01/Taylor-rejects-Obama-plan

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV): Voted Against The Health Care Bill In The Education And Labor Committee. “Two key House committees moved along Democratic healthcare legislation on Friday, only days after the bill was introduced. … The Education and Labor Committee approved their portion of the bill by a 26-22 vote. Democratic Reps. Jared Polis (Colo.), Dina Titus (Nev.) and Jason Altimire (Pa.) voted against the bill.” (Michael O’Brien, “House Committees Advance Healthcare Overhaul,” The Hill, 7/17/09)

Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO): Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, is among the unwavering on the public option. In a statement to Political Fix, Clay asserted today that a public insurance plan “is the only way to force insurance companies to control costs, treat their customers fairly and spur competition. (Bill Lambrecht, “Clay: Public Option “Only Way” To Control Costs, Spur Competition,” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/18/09)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): It is clear that real reform means injecting real competition into the insurance market to improve affordability and drive down health-care costs. “The centerpiece of this reform is a robust Medicare-like public health insurance plan tied to the Medicare provider system. Like many of my colleagues in both the House and Senate, I will oppose any health-care reform bill that lacks such a plan. (Rep. John Conyers, “Conyers: Public Option Is A Necessary Component Of Health-Care Reform,” Press Release 9/9/09)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN): Sixty members of the Progressive Caucus have “drawn a line in the sand,” saying they will NOT support anything short of reform that includes a public-option health insurance program. The concept of co-ops supplanting the public option plan is not good enough, those signing the letter have said. Ellison, a passionate Obama supporter, admitted following the news conference that he believes it’s necessary for the president to again make it clear that the public option plan is the only acceptable solution. “There are a lot of people who think that Obama and [Secretary of Health Kathleen] Sebelius made a tactical mistake by seeming to back off. … He can’t hand it [the public option] away without a political price to pay. That’s not a bad thing. He might think he can walk away and say, ‘I brought more reform than we’ve had in 60 years.’ But we [in the progressive caucus] are saying, ‘That’s not enough.’ ” (Doug Grow, “Congressional Progressive Caucus ‘Pep Rally’ Is Still Pushing Public-Option Health Care Reform,” Minnpost.Com 8/20/09)

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY): “I’d have to think long and hard, I’d have to see if it moved health care forward,” New York Rep. Eliot Engel told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “…I think it would be a terrible miscalculation if we didn’t have a public option.” Engel called nonprofit health cooperatives, or “co-ops” — which are being proposed as an alternative — “untested,” and said that he needs proof that they would help to lower costs. (Lauren Kornreich, “House Democrat: ‘Terrible Miscalculation’ To Skip Public Option,” CNN.com, 8/18/09)

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA): “There is no option when it comes to reforming America’s ailing healthcare system. We must do it. And there is no option for inclusion of a public plan. We must have it. Real reform requires real choice. A public option provides consumers a critical alternative to private plan. (Rep. Chaka Fattah, “Healthcare: Public Option Mirrors Other Government Insurance Plans,” Press Release, 8/21/09)

Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL): “….in recent days there have been some reports that the President may reconsider requiring a strong, robust public option that competes directly with private insurance companies. That would be a mistake. Health care reform without a public option is a like a car without a motor. It may look nice, but it isn’t going anywhere.” (Ed Tibbetts, “Hare To Biden: Don’t Drop Public Option,” The Quad City Times, 8/20/09)

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL): Jackson held a town hall meeting last night - with CNN cameras present - that he described to King as civil before laying down a marker for his friend, the president. “A hundred and sixty members of Congress have already signed a letter indicating that without a strong public option, from their perspective, including my signature, that this bill is a non-starter,” Jackson said. (Steve Rhodes, “Prescription For Debate,” NBC Chicago.com, 8/20/09)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA): Liberal Democrats are terrified that he will jettison their Holy Grail, while conservatives fear that a vote for a public option - characterized by opponents as leading to government-run health care - could doom them in tough re-election fights. “This is not a sliver of health care reform, this is essential,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, an Oakland Democrat, one of 60-plus House liberals who vow to vote against any plan without a public option. Lee said she hopes Obama will clearly state his support. “This is really a moral imperative,” she said. “This is a huge issue.” (Carolyn Lochhead, “Dems Pin Health Reform Hopes On Obama’s Speech, The San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/09)

Rep. Jerrod Nadler (D-NY): “We are making clear to the leadership that we insist on a robust public option and our votes won’t be there if there isn’t a public option,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), a senior member of the House Progressive Caucus. Whether they would actually vote no is unclear. Some working to pass the measure find the threat unpersuasive. The Progressive Caucus has 82 members, enough to defeat a health bill, since virtually all 178 House Republicans are likely to vote no. (Laura Meckler and Naftali Bendavid, “Liberals Fear Losing Public-Plan Option,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/29/09)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): Meanwhile, Jan Schakowsky, a leading progressive Democratic lawmaker, said liberals were not prepared to climb down. “I will support nothing short of a robust public health insurance plan upon implementation – no triggers,” she said. “I believe Congress will pass and the president will sign such a bill.” (Edward Luce, “Obama Seeks To Quell Healthcare Revolt,” The Financial Times, 9/3/09)

Rep. Peter Stark (D-CA): “Well, the only co-op I know about is when I used to milk cows and we sold the milk to Golden Guernsey. And I think there’s only one co-op left,” said Stark, who considers the co-op idea a non-starter. “There aren’t many of you listening who remember the co-ops of the ’30s, which was a - just kind of a Roosevelt outgrowth of rural electric co-ops, phone co-ops.” (David Lightman and William Douglas, “Health Care Debate Exposes Regional Rift For Democrats,” McClatchy Newspapers, 9/3/09)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA): Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) agreed with Conyers’s ominous analysis and warned that House liberals will not settle for the kind of compromise that might be necessary in the Senate. “You’re asking whether or not we will support some other alterative to public option, and I want to be very, very clear,” she told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz. “We’ve got to have a public option. I will not vote for anything that doesn’t have a public option.” (Eric Zimmermann, ”Black Caucus Members: It’s Public Option Or Nothing,” The Hill 9/9/09)

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY): Reform proponents like Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) say he won’t have the votes for one that doesn’t. “Having a plan that doesn’t have a public option is worse than having doing nothing at all,” he said. “Leaving the insurance companies in charge of this is kind of like leaving a pyromaniac in charge of the fire department. (Don Dahler, “No Public Option Is A Mistake,” wcbstv.com, 8/17/09)

Rep. Lynn Woosley (D-CA): Woolsey said she will vote against any measure that lacks a “robust public option” based on the Medicare model and intended to compete with private insurance. Without it, health care remains “business as usual,” Woolsey said by phone from an education conference in Banff, Alberta. “It’s not reform without the public option.” (Mike Coit, “Woolsey, House Liberals Demand ‘Public Option’ Health Plan,” The Press Democrat, 8/18/09)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

GRAVES OUTLINES FREE-MARKET RECORD AND VISION AT DALTON FORUM

(DALTON, GA) – 9th District congressional candidate and State Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger) stood head and shoulders above the rest of the field at a candidate forum today at the North West Georgia Trade and Conference Center in Dalton. More than 100 individuals attended the forum, which was sponsored by the Carpet and Rug Institute. Graves demonstrated command of the issues facing business owners and outlined a vision less government and free market solutions.

This was the first political forum of the election for Graves and the other candidates in the race.

Graves said Washington is falling into the habit of bailing something out when it isn’t working. He is against the stimulus and the power grab coming out of Washington of the private sector and said it’s easy to blame the Democrats and oppose their agenda. “It’s easy to be the candidate of ‘NO.’ What I’ve heard all across the 9th District is we need leadership to take on the difficult issues and put forth common sense solution that bring results. We need a leader willing to step forward to restore and reclaim liberty and free market principles that have made this country great,” said Graves.

“I’ve done just that in the Georgia legislature. My JOBS Act was a common sense proposal that empowered the private sector to create jobs. Your industry will benefit from the elimination of the inventory tax that was part of this proposal. Growing the private sector is what will get us through these challenging days not growing the government. Congress must focus on empowering the taxpayer instead of taking over car companies, banks and nationalizing our health care system,” continued Graves.

The Jobs Opportunity and Business Success Act, HB 481 and 482 which Graves received national attention and was awarded the “2009 Legislator of the Year from the American Legislative Exchange Council,” was a common sense proposal that empowered the taxpayer instead of empowering government. The JOBS Act was focused on helping small businesses and creating, expanding and attracting jobs through a series of tax credits, cuts, and incentives for businesses to hire Georgians.

Graves is supportive of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions “Jobs Here, Jobs Now, Jobs First” as an example to create jobs through private industry. Graves said the proposal would generate jobs by cutting the payroll taxes in half for two years, abolish the capitol gains and death tax and reduce the corporate income tax, instead of using taxpayer dollars to stimulate the economy.

Graves said Patient Centered Patient Driven reforms are needed in health care and we must find ways to insure those who can not afford health insurance, but he opposes the Democrats takeover of our health care system. “We need to focus America on reforms that make health care more affordable, portable and accessible.” He said reforms and savings could be achieved by increasing competition through allowing health plans to be purchased across state lines, allowing consumers to own their own policy and the reduction of insurance mandates.

He also believes the doctor patient relationship must be preserved and any reforms must include liability reform.

Graves said he is opposed to the $846 billion Cap and Trade energy tax that passed Congress earlier this year and signed the Americans for Prosperity’s “No Climate Tax” pledge last month.

He also pointed out that the secret ballot must be preserved and opposes attempts by labor unions to enact “card check” legislation, which would make it easier for labor to organize.

Graves’ campaign seems to be on a roll following this weekend’s successful corn roast in Tate, which was the largest political event for a 9th District congressional candidate and one of the largest events in the district this election cycle, an indicator that he has the conservative support throughout the district.

Graves announced earlier this year he would seek the 9th District Congressional seat, which is currently held by Congressman Nathan Deal who is running for Governor.

From Gerry Purcell, GOP candidate for GA Insurance Commissioner

Dear Facebook Friends:

Georgia has a bloated bureaucracy. It is costing taxpayers, both our citizens and businesses, millions of dollars annually. Part of the problem is that we have outdated laws, some of which are over 100 years old and have never gone through a structured audit and review process.

Conservative columnist, Kyle Wingfield, nailed the problem in yesterday's AJC. He pointed out that Georgia has 133 state agencies, offices, departments and commissions compared to Texas, which has around 150. Considering that the population of Texas is two and a half times larger than Georgia, we have some opportunities to streamline Georgia's government, eliminating both outdated laws and un-needed layers of bureaucracy.

Some areas of government like the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner's offices have already gone through streamlining processes with good results. We need a global mechanism, though, to identify overlap between all of the 133 offices. We need a flatter, leaner government and the first step is to require that every state office and every state law be substantiated and re-justified minimally every ten to twenty years.

Over the last six months on the campaign trail, I have been pointing out the need for sunset laws and an audit of the Georgia Code. Texas is a good model to look at, having saved as much as $700 million through these efforts.

We can start by asking our legislators to support the Georgia Government Accountability Act (H.B. 236) introduced by Rep Charlice Byrd.

With tax revenues down by as much as 20%, we will have some hard choices over the next few years. Let's make these decisions in a business like fashion with a structured process to guide our efforts.

Join me in calling for smarter, more streamlined and more efficient government.

Your servant,

Gerry Purcell

2009 Governors Races

We have just about moved into the fall of 2009 and with that, Election day 2009 is coming closer and closer. So far, Republicans have a reason to be optimistic about making two Gubernatorial pickups in states that Obama won. Here are my race ratings:

NJ-GOV:

This race was over once NJ Democrats couldn't get any strong primary challengers to take out embattled incumbent Governor Jon Corzine (D) in the Democratic primary earlier this year. Corzine is in the same position here that former KY Governor Ernie Fletcher was in in 2007. Corzine is deeply unpopular, NJ is facing the reality of a bad economy. Former US Attorney Chris Christie (R) has a good chance of getting somewhere around 27-35 percent of the African American vote, and maybe even 43 percent of Latinos, therefore cutting into the NJ Democratic base of minority voters. It will be an uphill fight. I say Christie wins 59-41.

September Rating-Likely Republican

VA-GOV:

Deeds is in the same position here that McCain was in in October of last year. Deeds is running against a bad economy and anger against his party. It will be an uphill fight. National Democrats and the White House are definitely concerned though. Former Virginia Governor and Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder recently talked about how he was approached by a White House official to come out publicly in favor of the Democrat Deeds. According to Wilder, the White House said it would be devastating if the party lost the Governorships of both New Jersey and Virginia. Wilder has indicated that he is none too pleased with the standard bearer of his party and has even had some kind words to say about McDonnell. A meeting between McDonnell and Wilder is said to be in the works, and if the former Democrat Governor were to actually endorse him, it would probably seal Deeds's fate. Recently, Republicans received a huge boost when McDonnell was endorsed by Sheila Johnson, who, along with her ex-husband, founded Black Entertainment Television, and who claims to be the nation's first ever black female billionaire. Johnson has typically supported Democrats, so many people like myself feel that this endorsement will be significant in helping McDonnell make inroads in Northern Virginia and among African-Americans. I say McDonnell wins 55-45.

September rating-Likely Republican

Your thoughts.