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AR: Democrats Sitting on Fence, Republicans Standing on Principle

Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR-01)

Rep Marion Berry (D-AR)

As the President and his super majority in both houses of Congress lead us farther and farther down the perilous path toward Socialism, the American voters are beginning to arise from their slumber and realize this isn’t the change they thought they’d get when they voted last November.  Recent polls show Obama’s approval numbers plumetting, Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats, and a majority of voters willing to vote the Republican ticket for Congress in 2010 in a generic ballot.

The shift in the American mood has caught many Democrats from conservative states flat-footed.  Following Obama’s January inauguration, these politicians bought the party line that the election gave them a mandate to completely reorganize the United States into something more closely resembling Venezuela, Cuba, or the old Soviet Union.  Self-proclaimed Blue Dog Democrats marched in solidarity with the left-wing radicals of their party as they quadrupled the federal deficit and helped enslave future generations to mountains of new US debt.  As you might imagine, the public’s evaporating approval of Obama is rubbing off on those Democrats who want their constituents to believe they’re fiscal conservatives.  So what’s a Blue Dog Dem to do?

Sen Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

Sen Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

Judging from my Congressman and Senators, they’re sitting on the fence until the last possible moment.  Yesterday I called the offices of Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR-01), Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR).  I asked for each of their positions on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA aka “Card Check”) and the Health Care Reform legislation currently making their way through Congress.  Their responses were noncommittal and vague, worthless really.  Pryor’s office informed me the Senator was waiting to see what came out of committee before making any statement.  The young lady I spoke with in Lincoln’s office informed me the Senator had not made a public statement on either of these pieces of legislation.  Congressman Berry’s aide with whom I spoke told me Berry was waiting to see what happened with “Card Check” legislation in the Senate before taking a position.  The best news I received from any of the three was Berry’s office’s response on the House Democrats’ health care bill.  I was told they were reading the “chronically long” bill and wouldn’t be able to take a position until they’d sorted through the 1,018 pages to see what’s inside.

Sen Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Sen Mark Pryor (D-AR)

At least Berry’s reading the bill.  That’s the best I could get from both my Senators and my Representative, all Democrats, on two key pieces of legislation.  Even when asked what conditions would need to be met to earn or lose their support, none of the three would step up and give specifics.  Best I can tell…they’re not taking a stand, at all.  Their sitting on the fence as long as they can in the hopes of correctly judging the dominant political winds at the last possible moment.

To me, such a political strategy demonstrates a lack of conviction.  I want elected officials who will stand on principles rather than sit on fences.  So I thought I’d ask some of the potential Republican candidates who will challenge Lincoln and Berry next year to see if they’re standing up for their principles or polishing the top rail of this fence as well.  I emailed Rick Crawford, Curtis Coleman, and Tom Cox and asked the same questions.  Crawford has announced his intent to run for Berry’s seat next year, while Coleman and Cox are interested in unseating Lincoln.  Though I haven’t heard back from Cox, Crawford and Coleman quickly responded.  Read on and you’ll see these two Republicans who wish to represent you in Washington aren’t fence-sitters.  They’re willing to take a stand based on principle.  To avoid redundancy and for brevity, I’ll cover Coleman’s response to the Health Care legislation and Crawford’s response to “Card Check.”

Curtis Coleman

Curtis Coleman

I knew Coleman had posted on Obama’s desire for a government health insurance earlier on his website, but that post dealt primarily with the inevitable end of private insurance if Obamacare becomes reality.  Today Coleman informed me of a new, more comprehensive post he released on the subject.   Here, he blasts Senator Lincoln for cosponsoring the original bill with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in the Senate during the 109th Congress.  He goes on to state the government “will completely control your health care.”  Coleman also notes something in his paper that inexplicably escapes virtually every Democratic politician.  Though the Dems like to try and sell their Socialized medicine saying the government will pay for everyone’s health care, Coleman emphatically states “Of course the government won’t be paying for your health care–you will be.  The government only has the money it takes from you.”

Health care needs to be reformed, not destroyed. And destruction of the finest health care in the world is exactly what this seemingly harmless little “public health insurance option” will do.–Curtis Coleman

Rick Crawford

Rick Crawford

That doesn’t sound like Coleman has any doubts where he stands, unlike his Democratic rival and her Democratic colleague.  Now let’s take a look at what Rick Crawford has to say about the inappropriately named Employee Free Choice Act (aka “Card Check”).

In Crawford’s reply to my questions, there was no hesitation, no equivocation.  “I do not support the Employee Free Choice Act, or Card Check. I’m against denying anyone the right to a secret ballot – a critical element of a representative republic such as ours. That’s the fundamental issue – a secret ballot,” he states.  This one statement displays a glaring contrast between Rick and his opponent, Marion Berry.  While Berry sits on the sidelines, waiting for the battle to be nearly over, waiting to make up his mind, the left-wing zealots pushing this legislation are gaining strength in their efforts to force virtually all American workers to pay extortionists in the form of union organizers.  Vocal, steadfast opposition from Berry would show courage and conviction in standing up for his constituents.  The worst part is that Berry isn’t hesitating in order to make the right decision, but to make the decision that involves the least amount of political risk.  That’s not leadership, it’s self-serving political preservation devoid of the hindrance of any principles or moral base.  Crawford, on the other hand, stands tall and clearly states his position based on his belief in what is best for the country and his would-be constituents.

The Republican candidate for Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District described the adverse economic impact Card Check will impose also–especially on low-income Americans.  The suffering Americans will endure will come in the form of higher prices and higher unemployment when American companies are forced to 1) raise prices for their products, 2) move their operations offshore, or  3) both.  If we force companies and jobs overseas through this legislation, the federal government will see a net decrease in tax revenues as a result.  Then where do you think they’ll come to make up their shortfall?  That’s right, us!  So even though Card Check won’t directly charge us a tax, in the end it will cause tax rates to increase to cover the cash crunch created by the Democratic geniuses who pushed this through.

Crawford closed his response to my questions with the following statement that addresses the history of union thuggery that will almost certainly be encouraged if this bill becomes law.

If pro-union groups are so convinced that a union shop is the best choice for American workers, it ought to be an easy sell. Rather than implement strongarm tactics, let workers enjoy the sanctity of the secret ballot without fear of reprisal. If unions are such a great deal, pro-union groups should have no doubt what the outcome would be. –Rick Crawford

I think we can safely infer from Crawford’s response that he’s not sitting on the fence either.

Unlike their Democratic incumbents, Crawford and Coleman know where they stand on these important issues and they’re not afraid to let the people know.  We need real leaders in the Senate and House, real leaders who will stand for what’s right, not just what’s politically expedient.  Our Democratic Senators and Representatives are showing themselves to be anything but leaders.  They’ve voted too many times as lap dogs for Pelosi and Obama, instead of conservative Blue Dogs.  It’s time we had real conservative leaders representing Arkansans’ conservative values.

Contact Berry, Lincoln, and Pryor and let them know if they won’t stand up for Arkansans, there are folks who are willing to send them home when their terms are up.  Next year for Berry and Lincoln, 2014 for Pryor.

Congressman Marion Berry
2305 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4076
(202) 225-5602 FAX

Senator Blanche Lincoln
355 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510-0404
Phone: (202)224-4843
Fax: (202)228-1371

Senator Mark Pryor
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2353
Fax: (202) 228-0908

John Allison III
Cabot, AR
US
Visit MyBlogLog and get a signature like this!

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July 16, 2009 Posted by | Democrats, GOP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Curtis Coleman: I Salute You, America!

by Curtis Coleman on www.CurtisColeman.com

More than 400 people gathered outdoors in 97° heat in Bella Vista, AR last week because they were concerned about disturbing changes being proposed for America’s healthcare system.

Earlier this year, a surprising crowd of more than a thousand people gathered on April 15 in Mountain Home, AR (pop. 11,012) to participate in a TEA Party organized by Richard Caster, then a 17 year-old high school senior. Richard and his co-workers are expecting as many as 3,000 to gather in the town’s high school football stadium this Saturday to celebrate and renew their commitment to the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

These scenes are being repeated all over Arkansas this weekend; indeed, all over America.

I’ve been told in recent weeks that “America is lost – that people who do not believe in the principles on which America was founded have taken too much ground for us to ever recover.” I’ve also been told that “a tyranny by bureaucracy rather than a government of democracy is now strangling the life out of America – and that that bureaucracy has grown too powerful to reverse.”

I don’t buy that! America is not lost.

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July 3, 2009 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curtis Coleman’s Campaign Launch Party

Last week I had the pleasure of attending one of Curtis Coleman‘s “Campaign Launch Parties” at the home of his daughter and son-in-law.  This wasn’t a huge gala with party big-wigs, lobbyists, and press, but an opportunity for concerned cititzens to get to know, personally and politically, the man who plans to defeat Blanche Lincoln in November 2010.  In fact, it was a simple reception with cheese cake and soft drinks held in the living room of his daughter’s home.   Other than Mr. Coleman, his wife, daughter and son-in-law, there were 10 others who attended to learn more about the man who may be the next Senator from Arkansas.   Coleman gave a presentation introducing himself and his political positions on key issues.  The presentation was followed by a question and answer session that was more open than I thought possible from dialogue with a politician.  But then again, Coleman isn’t a typical politician, he’s a businessman seeking political office.

I came away with the impression that Mr. Coleman is a true conservative who will stand firm against liberal Democrats and even his own party when its leadership goes against his conservative ideology.

His presentation began reminding everyone in attendance that he’s still “exploring” the feasibility of a Senate run for strategic reasons, but that he’s serious about running.  He explained that a formal announcement would place him in a completely different status with the Federal Elections Commission.  When asked if he knew approximately when a formal announcement would come, he said he had two prior commitments he planned to follow through on–one project at his company, Safe Foods, and his commitment to serve as chairman of the Central Arkansas Cityfest with Luis Palau–before officially throwing his hat in the ring.   Originally he thought his commitment to these projects would be wrapped up by October, but informed us that things were progressing and other events occurring that might push that timeline up to sometime this summer.

So what motivated Coleman to run?  He told us he spoke to the Republican Party of Arkansas soon after last year’s November election and asked them, “Who do we have to run against Blanche in 2010?”  At the time, their response was, “No one, why don’t you run?”  He returned home upset.  He didn’t want to run and it didn’t appear anyone else would take up the conservative colors and lead the charge either.  When he realized that he was upset with others for not doing what he wasn’t willing to do, he changed his mind and began to seriously consider stepping up to the plate.  Ultimately, his concern for the country his children and grandchildren will inherit pushed him over the edge and into the race.

On the issues, Coleman took on the Obama administration’s tax and spend policies.  Coleman equates paying taxes with sacrificing personal liberty.  “Your paycheck represents your personal liberty as much as any one thing you have.”  While recognizing some taxes are necessary to fund defense, maintain civil order, and fund basic government services, he believes we’re taxed enough.  Though the President often claims he won’t increase taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year, Coleman recognizes the administration’s out-of-control-spending will mandate tax increases at some point in the future. To evidence his commitment to not increasing taxes on Americans, the prospective Senator has signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge which Lincoln refuses to sign.

He believes TARP, Obama’s stimulus, auto industry bailouts, mortgage relief, and Cap and Trade are more about ideology than the economy and environment–all are part of a strategy Coleman dubs “The March to Mediocrity,” intended to bring the highest wage earners down and the lowest wage earners up to meet somewhere in the middle.  He sees these supposed “stimuli,” imposed on the American people by Obama and Congressional Democrats, as components of Obama’s scheme to “redistribute the wealth” and understands such efforts are more likely to bring everyone down to the level of those at the lower end of the scale.

Citing Congressional Budget Office figures, he pointed out that a 20-year-old will pay $114,000 in interest–just on the debt arising from the 2010 budget–over his/her working life.  This, Coleman says, “is why we’re suffering the most egregious erosion of our personal liberties in history…turning our dreams into our children’s nightmare.”

Coleman lays the bulk of the blame for the nation’s current economic woes directly at the feet of the US Congress for passing legislation that forced banks to make bad loans.  He lays out the case for pinning the housing implosion on the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.  This law required banks’ loan portfolios to represent the demographics of their lending area or face losing their FDIC insurance.  He points out that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae became involved during the Clinton administration, and began to insure these subprime mortgages.  “It didn’t come from Wall Street, it came from Congress,” Coleman says of the US mortgage crisis.

Curtis Coleman appears the quintessential conservative.  He supports tax cuts and responsible spending–government living within its means.  He recognizes government policy that creates onerous demands on business and industry force prices up and our standard of living down, effectively restricting our personal liberty.  He’s unapologetic about his pro-life stance.  And, he’s confident enough with his positions that he’ll stand before his constituents and answer their questions without subterfuge.

It was heartening to see a potential candidate for the Senate sit down and discuss the issues with ordinary Arkansans and Coleman promised that, if elected, he’ll be sure to have at least one event like this in each county in Arkansas every year he’s in office.

Early in his presentation he explained he wanted us to participate–to ask questions and give our opinions.  His words–“I don’t learn anything when I do all the talking.”  He also informed us he’s willing to host five of these Campaign Launch Parties each week until he officially declares his candidacy.  If you’re interested in hosting one in your home, contact Coleman at scheduling@CurtisColeman.com.

You can read Curtis Coleman’s blog and also follow him on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.

John Allison III
Cabot, AR
US
Visit MyBlogLog and get a signature like this!

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Curtis Coleman to attend AR Tea Party’s “Rally on the River”

Following up on this post from the other day, I’ve learned a little more about Curtis Coleman, who’s considering a run for Senate against Blanche Lincoln in 2010.

Coleman now has a Facebook group, Coleman for U. S. Senate, where he briefly lays out his platform.  After joining the group, I received a message thanking me and informing me that he will be attending Arkansas Tea Party, Inc.‘s Rally on the River Monday, June 15.  If you hope to meet him, he’ll be wearing a white sports jacket over a black shirt.

I’ve also had the opportunity to learn more details of Mr. Coleman’s biography, which he graciously offered in our personal correspondence.  He and his wife are active members of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock.  Coleman teaches a Bible study class that provides meals for residents of Our House, a shelter for the working homeless in Little Rock.  He also serves as chair of the Counseling Committee for this year’s Central Arkansas Cityfest with Luis Palau, a festival to celebrate a “season of service.”  He has three children, six grandchildren, and another on the way.  “They are a large part of the reason I’m seriously considering this run for the U. S. Senate,” Coleman said.

He received an associate’s degree in religion from Central Baptist College, his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Arkansas University, and studied Pastoral Ministry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX.   He then served as a Baptist preacher in churches in Arkansas and Texas before he began a stint as a speaker/teacher at conferences and in local churches.

In 1992, he ran Mike Huckabee’s first campaign for public office, an unsuccessful Senate race against the powerful Arkansas politician Dale Bumpers.  He left the ministry at age 45, then later, in 1999, founded Safe Foods Corporation where he continues to serve as CEO.  Coleman states, “My leadership in our company is built on Jesus’ model of servant leadership, which means that my goal for the people in our company is for them to be successful in their work and in their personal lives…this kind of leadership requires me to be their servant as well as their leader, which is the kind of leadership I plan to offer in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the people of Arkansas.”

Though the fact that he worked so long as a preacher will undoubtedly trouble those liberals who seem to want all evidence of God and religion removed from our society, this would normally play well with the same conservative Arkansans who re-elected the well known Governor Mike Huckabee–former preacher, former presidential candidate, and current Fox News host of Huckabee.

The Coleman campaign is sure to hit some turbulence though, over his divorce in 1993.  David Kincade, at The Arkansas Project, says “This probably wouldn’t be a big deal for most people, as it’s kinda common these days, but at the time Coleman was a Baptist minister.”  Sixteen years is a long time, but Kincade reports Coleman’s parishioners from way back then are still upset and angry in their emails and comments to his posts.  The Tolbert Report refers to the divorce as a possible Hutchinson problem, referring to Arkansas’ former Senator Tim Hutchinson who lost his seat to Mark Pryor in 2002, just three years after he divorced his wife and two years after he married a former aide.

When his divorce was brought up by a caller on the Dave Elswick’s talk radio show,  Coleman explained that his ex-wife was one of the first people he notified when he decided to run for office and she told him, “I think you will make a great Senator. I will support you and vote for you.”  Even the ultra-liberal Arkansas columnist Max Brantley says the divorce shouldn’t  be an issue.  He claims he’s examined all the divorce papers and sums the situation up with “… it looked like a regrettably familiar story to me. A marriage ended. New lives were begun.”  Coleman told me, “It [the divorce] clearly marks a dramatic change in my life.  It was an almost devastating experience for me – but one from which God has taught me so much about His mercy and grace!”

Will conservative Arkansans be willing to forgive and forget when they get to the ballot box?  Only time and the campaign will tell.

If Jason Tolbert’s hunch is correct, Coleman will face a challenger in the Republican primary.  Jason reports sources close to Tom Cox, founder of Arkansas Tea Party, Inc., say he is also exploring a run for Lincoln’s Senate seat and may use that group’s Rally at the River to formally announce.  Hopefully, if that’s the case, the primary won’t become a mud-slinging contest of airing opponents’ dirty laundry.  Kincade reports Lincoln already has $2.3 million in the bank for the general election campaign, and it’s almost a certainty she’ll run unopposed in the primary.

If Cox does announce at tomorrow’s event, it should be interesting having two Republican candidates introducing themselves to the public at the same event.  So if you’re interested in meeting the candidate(s) who will challenge Lincoln next year, be at Riverfront Ampitheatre in Little Rock tomorrow at 5:30 pm.

June 14, 2009 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AR Senate: Coleman vs Lincoln 2010

Several have asked me recently, who can we get to run against Lincoln in ’10. Yesterday I found the website for Mr. Curtis Coleman’s exploratory committee for a run against Blanche. Coleman graduated in 1966 from Conway High School and is currently CEO of Safe Foods. According to the calender on his website, he plans to officially launch his campaign in Little Rock on June 16. He also has a campaign launch party set for June 25 at Ward, AR that I plan on attending. If you’re wondering whether or not Coleman is a true conservative, visit his website and I believe the answer will be clear.

Mr. Coleman has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which Senator Lincoln has refused to sign. Senator Lincoln has a 0% rating by Americans for Tax Reform for her votes in the 110th Congress.

Coleman believes the 2nd Amendment protects a fundamental right of the American people to keep and bear arms.

“Whether Arkansans choose to have guns for sport or because they hunt, or if they choose to bear arms for the protection of their persons, families, or property, this constitutional right must never be abridged.”

Unlike Lincoln, Coleman opposes the use of our tax dollars to fund abortion here or abroad. Further, he would support a Constitutional amendment to protect the lives of unborn children.

“Until we can outlaw the heinous act of killing unborn children, we must guarantee a woman’s right to know, ensuring (a)her consent to an abortion is an informed one, (b) mandating that parents be informed and provide consent before the serious surgical procedure of an abortion can be performed on a minor, and (c) requiring doctors to inform the mother that the unborn child will feel pain.”

Furthermore, I added Mr. Coleman as a friend on Facebook and asked specifically if he would pledge to support our Mission Statement at Arkansas Tea Party, Inc. He promptly replied with the following:

John, Thank you for your encouraging note. I fully support the mission statement of the Arkansas Tea Party. I’ll be adding more of my position and policy statements to my website over the next few weeks. Please check those as you have opportunity.

Please let me know how I can be of service to you. I look forward to making your acquaintance.

Best regards,
Curtis

You can also read Mr. Coleman’s blog and follow him on Twitter.

He may be just who conservatives have been waiting for in Arkansas. Like I said, I plan on attending his campaign launch party on the 25th and learning more.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment