Hat tip: ARRA News Service
Representative John Boozman, Arkansas’ only Republican lawmaker released the following statement yesterday.
Boozman Statement on White House Internet Monitoring
Washington, Aug 7 -
U.S. Representative John Boozman (R-AR) today issued the following statement regarding White House Internet Monitoring efforts:
“The Obama Administration has requested that e-mails and internet materials produced by private citizens that are critical of the President’s policies be reported to an e-mail address at the White House.
The White House website states: “If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com.”
American citizens should be free to criticize the policies of the President or any other elected official, including me, without fearing that the criticism will be policed and monitored by the government.
The First Amendment specifically protects speech, and our Constitutional rights must be protected when we use the internet.
I call on President Obama to disable this e-mail address and I ask that he stop soliciting this kind of surveillance on private citizens.”
No such press release was issued by Arkansas’ three Democratic Representatives or two Democratic Senators. I guess Marion Berry, Vic Snyder, Mike Ross, Blanche Lincoln, and Mark Pryor have no problem with our President soliciting American citizens to spy on their neighbors and inform government officials of any dissent to official White House policy.
Finally! It looks like the Arkansas Republican Party has decided to use its new website for more than a fancy newsletter. Yesterday the state party announced its Health Care Action Center which places weapons in the hands of voters to war against Democratic attempts to impose a government run health care system on the American people.
You’ll find phone numbers to every Congressmen’s and both Senators’ offices along with pdf files containing suggested scripts for phone calls. Another pdf file on that page lists “Health Care Talking Points” to combat the non-stop rhetoric spewed from the White House and their Democratic allies.
Another page linked to the Action Center is a file containing 5 sample letters to the editor. You can take one of these word for word, use it as a starting point to write your own, write some combination of the 5, or start from scratch, but please take the time to communicate your desire to stop the government takeover of our health care system to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a letter to the editor today.
You can also find email links to every member of Arkansas’ congressional delegation in the Action Center. We need to overload their email systems and make them understand we don’t want a government run health care system. The party has included a link to suggested text to include in your emails, tailored to each Representative and Senator. (I just spoke with Congressman Ross’ office in Pine Bluff and was told there is no truth to the internet rumors that Ross has sold out to the Obama administration.)
The President and his Socialist allies are pushing this power grab hard. Obama was rumored to have told one Democratic Senator who opposes Obamacare, “You’re going to ruin my presidency.” Look for full-scale Chicago style politics on Pennsylvania Avenue over the next few weeks. To combat the sure to come mob style strongarm tactics they’ll employ, we need everyone to do their part. Make Arkansas Democrats afraid to sell out to Socialism by letting them know they’ll be out of a job in 2010 if they do!
Oh, I’m pressuring them alright!
Here‘s the email I received from Obama’s permanent campaign website:
Take a look around Arkansas, and you’ll see small business owners struggling, overwhelmed by skyrocketing health care costs. They’re not the only ones — but as the backbone of our economy, they’re a key constituency with the ear of our elected representatives. And their voices are absolutely critical to our campaign.
Every day, special interest lobbyists in Washington spend millions to pressure your senators, Senator Blanche Lincoln and Senator Mark Pryor, to oppose reform. But we can counter their influence by demonstrating that the folks who drive our economic growth are depending on them to deliver reform in 2009.
I’m a small business owner, and I’d like to add my name to a letter declaring my support for health care reform.
Not a small business owner? Chances are, you know one. It could be a family member, friend, or neighbor — or the person who cuts your hair, or owns the local hardware store. Forward them this email, or reach out personally. Talking to someone you know has more power to persuade than any television ad.
In recent years, small businesses in Arkansas have been paying more and more for insurance that covers less and less. Small businesses are essential to the nation’s economic recovery, but they can’t grow and create jobs if they’re bearing the weight of skyrocketing premiums.
Getting more signatures on our small business letter will have a tremendous impact. We’ll bring the signatures to public events and show the letter to members of the press — and believe me, your senators will pay attention.
Small business owners have a crucial role to play in this debate — can you spare a minute to help enlist them in our campaign? And if you own your own business, add your voice today.
Thank you for your continued support,
Organizing for America
P.S. — Not a small business owner? In addition to passing this message along to any you know, sign your name in support of the President’s health care principles today.
Perhaps the President should think about putting together a workable health care reform package instead of remaining committed to cramming a government run program down our throats. It’s a certainty that if Lincoln and Pryor’s constituents supported Obama’s health care takeover, the Senators would already be lined up to support it as well.
The President needs to remember he works for us.
UPDATE 3:16 PM CST (7/24/09)–1 more Republican signed (87 so far), ALL Democrats still refuse to sign the pledge!
UPDATE 8:09 PM CST (7/23/09)–3 more Republicans signed (86 so far), NO Democrats have signed the pledge!
UPDATE 7:23 PM CST (7/22/09)–2 more Republicans signed (83 so far), still no Democrats taking the pledge.
UPDATE 12:18 PM CST (7/22/09)–3 more Republicans signed today, still no Democrats taking the pledge.
UPDATE 3:39 PM CST–78 Republicans have now signed, still not a single Democrat
UPDATE 1:17 PM CST–Statement from Senator Blanche Lincoln (see below)
As of 12:16 pm CST, only 76 of the 535 members of Congress have signed The Responsible Health Care Reform Pledge being promoted by Let Freedom Ring, Inc. Here’s the pledge:
It’s simple and straightforward. Read and understand the yoke you are placing around our necks and give us ample time to examine it for ourselves before you limit our choices and place our health care system at the mercy of federal bureaucrats.
Not a single Democrat has signed the pledge! Ask yourself why?
We also need to ask why every Republican hasn’t signed yet. Call your Congressmen and Senators and ask what’s keeping them from taking this pledge.
Early this morning, I contacted the offices of both my Senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, and my Representative, Marion Berry. I identified myself as a constituent and a blogger and was referred to their press secretaries. None of the three were available so I left a detailed message on their voice mail asking for a statement as to whether they intend to sign the pledge and, if not, why not. Three hours later, I have yet to receive statements from any of the three.
I’ll update this post if I hear from any of the three.
Statement from Senator Lincoln’s office
“Senator Lincoln shares the concerns of most Americans about the outcome of the current health care debate. As a Member of the Senate Finance Committee, she is working on a daily basis to write a health care reform proposal that will stabilize health care costs, quality, and coverage for all Arkansans and all Americans. This process will leave her well-versed on any proposal put forward by the Senate Finance Committee. This committee is charged with the responsibility of paying for health care reform and Senator Lincoln has made clear that she will support a plan that does not add to the deficit and does not raise taxes on hardworking Arkansas families.”
*Thanks to Senator Lincoln’s Press Secretary Katie Laning Niebaum for responding!
Still no pledge to sign, and no explanation why not but at least the Senator’s office makes an effort to her constituents.
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?
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.
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.”
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
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 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., or Card Check. I’m against denying anyone the right to a
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) 225-5602 FAX
Senator Blanche Lincoln
355 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510-0404
Senator Mark Pryor
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2353
Fax: (202) 228-0908
John Allison III
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President Obama’s silence on the senseless murder of 23-year-old Pvt William Long and shooting of Pvt Quinton Ezeagwula outside a Little Rock recruiting center has been well documented. ARRA News Service, Michelle Malkin, and The Conservative Pup have all written great articles wondering why Obama would immediately express his outrage at the murder of an abortion doctor one day, but completely ignore the murder of a young soldier just out of boot camp by an American citizen who recently converted to radical Islam. Well, he finally acknowledged the slaying of this young soldier today. He’s “deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence.” That’s it, deeply saddened. The killing of Dr. Tiller, who was well-known for performing late-term abortions, made him “shocked and outraged.” But the murder of a young soldier simply saddens him.
Not that I condone the killing of Dr. Tiller, because I certainly don’t. But how is it that the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces assigns such greater weight to his murder than that of a young man who signed over a portion his life to the service of these United States? The only plausible explanation is that the President holds the prior in much higher regard than the latter.
Yesterday we learned the organization, Secure Arkansas, was putting together a rally to show support for our troops at the scene of the heinous crime against the two soldiers. I spent this morning calling Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and 2nd District Congressman Vic Snyder’s offices to inquire as to whether they wished to issue a public statement on the terrorist attack and if they planned on having someone from their offices attend the rally.
Stunningly, none of these elected officials knew anything of the upcoming rally. Even more stunning were the responses I received from Senator Pryor’s and Representative Snyder’s offices. Pryor’s spokesman told me the Senator was still examining the information and would issue a statement once all the facts were known. I was unable to reach Kelly Neal, to whom I was directed to find out if anyone from the Senator’s office would be attending the rally. Snyder’s press secretary, Betsy Barrett said the Congressman had not yet issued a statement on the matter, but asked for more information on the rally. I emailed her the requested information, but received no further response from his office.
Senator Lincoln’s press secretary, Katie Niebaum, seemed much more concerned and far more helpful. She assured me the Senator had the soldiers’ and their families in her thoughts and prayers and was praying for a speedy recovery for Pvt. Ezeagwula. When I pressed further and asked if Senator Lincoln considered this a hate crime as defined in HR 1913, which was passed by the House and now is before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she promised to get back with me. I also asked her to find out if the Senator thought an amendment should be added to name veterans as a protected class under the bill, such as that Congressman Rooney attempted while the bill was still in committee in the House. Ms. Niebaum promptly responded with the following:
Thank you for your call this morning. Senator Lincoln takes seriously our country’s commitment to ensuring the physical safety of all Americans, and she has voted for the hate crimes bill (which has taken various forms) in past Congresses. The bill introduced this Congress is currently pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Lincoln is not a member. Senator Lincoln will thoughtfully consider all amendments to the bill if and when that debate moves to the Senate floor.
Senator Lincoln is grateful for all of our military service members and the sacrifices they and their families make to keep our nation free. Earlier today, she discussed the senseless tragedy in Little Rock with Arkansas news reporters, and said that her prayers were with the family and loved ones of Private Long and that she prayed for a full and speedy recovery for Private Ezeagwula.
Senator Lincoln has consistently supported initiatives that expand the benefits for our military service members and veterans and their families, and I encourage you to check out her website for her work as recent as last month: