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1st District GOP Candidates to speak in Cabot, AR Monday

from the Tea Party of Lonoke County, AR


The Lonoke County Republican Committee has announced both GOP candidates for Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District will speak at the committee’s regular monthly meeting on Monday. Rick Crawford and Princella Smith will address the committee and take questions.

Though the Tea Party of Lonoke County is non-partisan, the course charted by the Democrats who now run our country makes this election cycle unique. The first vote new members make will be to elect the Speaker of the House. In 2010, sending any Democrat to Washington to represent the 1st District will be equivalent to voting for Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for Speaker.

We simply cannot afford another two years suffering under this left-wing zealot who has been a rubber stamp for every part of President Obama’s Socialist agenda.

For that reason, the 2010 Republican primary is crucial. Conservatives in Arkansas MUST participate in the May elections to decide the GOP nominee so we send the very best candidate to the general election in November. We need a GOP candidate who represents Arkansas’ conservative values and understands the concerns of Arkansas’ conservative majority.

We need as many as possible to attend these events to get to know the candidates. For years, we have allowed state GOP party loyalists and even the national infrastructure of the Republican party to choose the nominee who would oppose the Democrats who have failed to represent us in DC. In 2004, only 8484 of the 54000 who participated in the GOP Senate primary were 1st District voters.

We MUST motivate more 1st District voters to participate in the Republican primary this year if we hope to deliver a conservative candidate who will be palatable to a majority of those who vote in November. One way to do that is by getting to know these candidates. Meet them, speak with them, listen to them, and then choose who you think will best represent us in Washington. Then tell your friends. Spread the word. Let people know you’re excited about this candidate, or that one and tell them why!

If we can accomplish that mission, we can choose a conservative candidate who can win in November. It will be an historic accomplishment because the last time the 1st District was represented by a Republican was in 1875.

But we need an historic election to undo the historic damage to our country inflicted by the Obama administration.

Crawford entered the race and has been campaigning since last April, long before anyone suspected Marion Berry would choose not to run. In fact, many believe Crawford’s long-running campaign may have dealt the death blow to Berry’s chances to win re-election. The veteran from Jonesboro embraced the Tea Party early in his campaign and promises to support its platform of 1) Limited Government, 2) Fiscal Responsibility, and 3) Accountable Elected Officials. Before Smith announced she would challenge him in the GOP primary, Crawford committed to make himself available to Lonoke County voters at the upcoming Meet & Greet in Cabot later this week.

A Google search for any relationship between Princella Smith and the Tea Party movement turns up empty. In fact, it’s difficult to even find an article that mentions both her and the protest movement that swept the nation last year and turned the 2010 election cycle into a boiling cauldron for many Democrats across the country.

Smith touts her knowledge of “how things work” on Capitol Hill as one of her qualifications to represent Arkansas’ 1st District, but that may not play well with Tea Party activists who are generally disenchanted with Republicans and Democrats in Washington. On the issues, she and Crawford apparently agree with and support the planks in the national GOP platform.

Her youth may become an issue as well. Most of the four years since she graduated college have been spent in DC working with establishment Republicans like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and most recently with Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-LA) who was the only GOP House member to vote for Obama’s government takeover of health care.

So both candidates espouse conservative ideals. But the most important thing in this election cycle will be to nominate candidates who can capitalize on the energy of the Tea Party movement, a person who will be a friend to the movement even after he or she has an office in DC.

Here’s the opportunity to meet your next Congressman Lonoke County!

One of these two will replace Marion Berry next year, if we get involved and work to choose the best one in May.

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March 6, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Good and Bad of Halter vs. Lincoln in 2010 (Part I)

Bad: Halter’s Challenge Could Actually Benefit Lincoln

On Monday, Arkansas’ Democrat Lt. Governor Bill Halter announced he will run against incumbent Democrat Senator Blanche Lincoln. Many are writing that conservative GOP candidates will reap big rewards from Halter’s challenge, and it will certainly help them in some areas. But the primary competition could actually help Lincoln with Arkansas conservatives who historically vote Democrat.

It’s been widely reported that Lincoln has over $5 million in the bank while the crowded field of Republican candidates have struggled to raise campaign cash in the midst of the current recession. But, in only two days, left-wing special interest groups including Moveon.org, Act Blue, and powerful labor unions have filled Halter’s campaign coffers with $4.75 million. This puts the two Democrats on an essentially even playing field for the primary and will prevent either from hoarding funds for the general election.

The far left fringe of the Democrat party is declaring an all out war on Lincoln. The powerful left-wing labor union AFL-CIO alone has agreed to funnel $4 million to Halter’s campaign. These left-wing forces are upset because Blanche has spent her political career trying to play both ends against the middle. She supported nearly every plank in President Obama’s platform last year, but the start of the campaign has her courting the conservative majority of Arkansans. Her votes for the Wall Street bailouts, auto industry bailouts, record budget deficits, record federal debt, and Obamacare weren’t enough to satisfy the left-wing loons’ demands for more government interference in Americans’ lives.

Since returning from the Senate’s Christmas recess, Lincoln has been slinking slightly to the right. The Democrat Senator who so angered Arkansas’ conservative majority the past year by voting for the President’s Socialist policies even fired a shot across Obama’s bow last month in an effort to win back the support of her conservative constituency. In addition to asking the President to “push back against people at the extremes” of their party, she directly attacked him for his lack of administrative experience when she relayed the concerns of a constituent who worried that no one in the White House “understands what it means to go to work on Monday and make a payroll on Friday.“ Her actions since the beginning of this election year make clear the Senator believes the key to her success lies in recapturing the support of Arkansas conservatives.

But Leon H. Wolf at Redstate predicts that “Halter’s very presence in the Democratic Primary will effectively force both candidates to tack left for the Democratic primary vote.” And while a primary challenge by a left-wing Democrat in most states would do just that, several factors in Arkansas may mean Blanche’s veer to the right may be the key to a primary victory in May. Arkansas’ open primary, conservative electorate, and historical unwillingness to send Republicans to the US Capitol could benefit Lincoln more if she DOESN’T follow Halter to the left.

Arkansas’ open primary permits registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, to vote in either the Democrat or Republican primary. In the 2004 primary, 278,000 Arkansans voted in the Democrat primary vs. only 54,000 in the Republican primary. According to the Arkansas Times, in January of 2008 there were only 57,851 registered Democrats and 44,437 registered Republicans in the state. So, registered independent voters outnumbered registered Democrats participating in the 2004 Democrat primary.

These numbers indicate a Democrat primary victory in the state may be possible without the support of the far left. And it could happen that, if Halter comes across as an extreme left-wing liberal, many more conservative voters may be motivated to participate in the Democrat primary for no other reason than to vote against him. If that occurs, these voters will likely find it much easier to support Lincoln in November.

So Halter’s entry in the race will certainly benefit real conservative candidates by forcing Blanche to spend some of her hoarded campaign stash, but it may also strengthen her with those conservative Arkansans who still remain reluctant to pull the Republican lever in the voting booth.

Conservatives who want Blanche gone need to work together to exploit a Halter vs. Lincoln primary. The goal is to maximize the damage done to Lincoln’s campaign and minimize the benefits. Look for Part II of this article later this week for ideas on how to do just that.

March 3, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bipartisanship? Obama’s not even listening to the other side!

Look at him, bored to death and not paying the least bit of attention at his “health care summit.” He never intended to compromise, or even listen to GOP alternatives.

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rick Crawford Campaign HQ Open House Saturday

from the Tea Party of Lonoke County, AR

The following invitation was distributed by the Crawford for Congress Campaign.

Greetings!

You Are Invited!

The Crawford for Congress Campaign would like to cordially invite you to attend the grand opening of the Crawford for Congress Campaign Headquarters this Saturday starting at 10am!

This grand opening is yet another chapter in the Crawford for Congress Campaign to take traditional American values back to Washington in a candidate that has the experience, insight, and ability to make a difference in Washington! Rick Crawford is the Statesman that we need to make a difference for the people of the First District!

WHEN: Saturday, February 13th

WHERE: 1920 South Church Street, Jonesboro

WHAT TIME: Begins at 10am, Press Conference by Rick at 1030am, and will go until Noon.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Parking will be available in the adjacent parking lot in front of Gracy’s Cafe & Wells-Fargo Mortgage. Parking will also be available next door at NAPA Auto Parts.

DIRECTIONS: The Crawford for Congress H.Q. is located directly across Church Street from Walgreens on Highland and Union and is also across Highland Avenue from McDonalds in Jonesboro.

We look forward to you coming out on Saturday to visit with Rick about his campaign! We will also have free campaign materials that you can take with you including new Crawford for Congress bumper stickers.

This will be a great opportunity for you to visit with other campaign supporters as together we work to send an experienced leader to Washington who will be a trusted voice for his constituents!

For more information or directions please call the campaign headquarters at 870-203-0540.

February 12, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And Then There Were None

By Debra J. Saunders at Townhall.com

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell announced Thursday that he is dropping out of the California GOP gubernatorial primary and instead will run against Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Last year, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom bowed out of the Democratic gubernatorial primary, leaving former governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown as the only Democrat in the race — and he has yet to announce that he is running.

Come to think of it, former Lt. Gov. John Garamendi also dropped out of the Democratic gubernatorial primary to run for (and win) Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s vacated seat. The governor’s race is starting to look like an Agatha Christie story, where all the characters get bumped off one by one. Call it: “And Then There Were None.”

Campbell knows that some supporters are disappointed that he won’t remain in the governor’s race. Some had this fantasy that he would best the two moneybags in the race, much as Gray Davis beat Democrat richies Al Checchi and Jane Harman in 1998.

Sorry, Campbell explained, he was “not within hailing distance” of winning because he raised only about $1 million last year. By contrast, the two gazillionaires each tossed $19 million into their campaign coffers as if it were tip money.

As Democratic political guru Darry Sragow noted, people forget “in the telling of the story, Gray did have enough money to make his presence felt.” Campbell wasn’t in Davis’ fundraising league.

There is also a nostalgia element to the switch. In 1992, Campbell lost the GOP primary to Bruce Herschensohn, who then lost the general election to Boxer. According to conventional lore, if the more moderate Campbell had won the primary, Boxer never would have won her Senate seat.

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January 17, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rick Crawford Announces Official Bid for Congress; Outlines Legislative Priorities

This evening Rick Crawford formally announced his candidacy for a 2010 run for Arkansas’ First District as United States House of Representatives. At present, he will be running against the Democrat incumbent Congressman Marion Berry. Crawford’s announcement was made at a public event held at the farm of David Hodges in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Crawford was literally born in the service of his country on a military base while his father served. After graduating from high school, Rick enlisted in the United States Army where he served as a bomb disposal technician. He served four years and advanced to the rank of Sergeant and earned numerous medals for service in the U.S. and Southwest Asia. He also had the privilege of serving on numerous U.S. Secret Service security details supporting presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush among other U.S. and foreign dignitaries. He understands his “oath” to preserve and to protect the United States of America and the need to support our military.

After serving in the Army, Rick attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and earned a B.A. in Agriculture Business and Economics. Since graduating, Rick’s career has been primarily focused on agriculture in both agri-communications and general agri-business. He has been a news anchor and agri-reporter on KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Farm Director on KFIN-FM in Jonesboro and producer/anchor of the syndicated Delta Farm Roundup TV show airing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Greenville, Mississippi. Rick has also been a featured agri-columnist in the Northeast Arkansas Business Today publication. He now owns and operates the AgWatch Network – a farm news network heard on 39 radio stations in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky as well as TV stations in Little Rock and Jonesboro.

In 2006, Rick also helped shape agriculture and agriculture policy for former Republican Congressman and Undersecretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchison in his bid to be Arkansas Governor. Rick is a broadcast council member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. Rick is also a member of the 4-H Foundation Board of Arkansas. Rick currently serves as first vice-chairman of the Craighead County GOP Committee. Rick and his wife Stacy – also an ASU Alumnus – live in Jonesboro. They have two children – four-year-old Will and 22-month-old Delaney.

Crawford outlined his legislative priorities for the many in attendance.

“Today marks a new day in the First District”, Crawford said. “I am a small businessman, I own an agri-business and understand the challenges farmers face, and I am a military veteran who is better qualified to represent the First District of Arkansas than the incumbent”. Crawford went on to outline his priorities for Congress; “We need to grow the economy, create jobs, and rein in federal spending.”

Crawford emphasized his conservative philosophy on the role of the federal government. “It is time we take conservative principles, Arkansas values, and tested leadership back to Washington and get our nation back on track”.

Crawford also outlined key initiatives that will benefit the lives of the everyday Arkansans:

The Economy

  • Cut taxes across the board for every taxpayer
  • More incentives for businesses to mitigate risks and create jobs

Federal Spending & The National Debt

  • Cut wasteful spending and start paying off our national debt
  • Reduce the size of our government so businesses can grow again and prosperity can be realized by every American

Healthcare Reform

  • No government run health care
  • No public option
  • No government funded abortions, end of life counseling programs, or euthanasia initiatives
  • Free market principles to help bring costs down and increase access to quality care

Agriculture

  • Create programs where farmers can mitigate risk through tax credits and tax cuts so farmers are not leveraged every year
  • Allow farmers to have group insurance coverage like other businesses

“Today starts a new day in which the voices of everyday Arkansans will be heard in Washington”, Crawford said. “As your next Representative, you can be assured I will stand for your values in Congress.”


August 27, 2009 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NRCC declares Arkansas a 2010 battleground

Many seem to think the GOP and conservatism are dead in the water after their dismal showing in last year’s elections, but Arkansas Democrats better prepare for a fight in 2010. Today, The Tolbert Report released the latest in a series of ads by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) letting voters in the conservative Southern state know their Democratic representatives in Congress aren’t really representative of their constituency.

The ad takes on Rep. Vic Snyder from Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District for his vote to send $800,000 to what is practically a private airport for Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). The airport serves a mere 20 passengers a day, with flights serving only one airport–Dulles in Washington, DC. It seems difficult to imagine Arkansas voters would voluntarily offer so much of their hard-earned money to serve the radical Murtha, but Vic Snyder thought this a wise investment for his constituents.

That’s not all the NRCC points out. Most would agree that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-AR) would never stand a chance of being elected if she were running in Arkansas. Though the embattled Pelosi has a 39% approval rating according to the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll, the ad notes Snyder votes with the forgetful lying congresswoman 97% of the time.

It’s hard to believe a majority of Arkansans would have knowingly elected Snyder had they known he was determined to be a Pelosi puppet.

Some may not consider it surprising the NRCC is challenging Arkansas Democrats, but the state didn’t really seem to matter to the GOP in 2008. Not one of the three Democratic representatives and one Senator who were up for re-election last year ran against a Republican challenger, not one. This was a terrible oversight on the GOP’s part, because every one of those four Democrats were challenged by third party candidates who all made decent showings in their respective races. Snyder’s Green Party challenger took more than 23% of the vote. There’s little doubt a Republican challenger would have had a far greater showing, and might have even defeated Congressman Snyder.

The NRCC seems destined not to repeat the mistake of 2008. It previously released an ad against Arkansas’ 1st District Congressman, Marion Berry, challenging his “Blue Dog” status by pointing out his recent votes on the Obama-Pelosi “Stimulus” plan and budget.

Arkansas may not have been on the GOP’s radar in recent years, but it is now. The Dems better be ready for a fight in 2010.


See more NRCC ads

May 18, 2009 Posted by | GOP | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sen. Demint (R-SC) Seeks Transparency in Senate Votes

Press Release from Sen. Demint–5/1/09

DeMint Leads Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate Votes More Transparent

Democrats and Republicans urge modernizing Senate website with easily searchable XML vote database

May 1, 2009 – WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, sent a bipartisan letter to the Senate Rules Committee asking it to modernize the way it publishes Senate roll call votes on the internet. Specifically, the letter requests that the Secretary of the Senate make votes available to the public using the XML format, which would allow citizens, government watchdog groups, and the press to immediately access and analyze Senate roll call votes. Senator DeMint was joined in signing the letter by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Ensign (R-Nevada), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and David Vitter (R-Louisiana).

“As Americans increasingly turn to the internet for information, it’s important that the United States Senate continue to modernize the way it provides the public with information,” said Senator DeMint. “Voting is the most basic and the most important Senate action, yet we’re making it unnecessarily difficult for the public to access this information. What we’re asking for here is a simple change that will have a profound impact on the Senate’s transparency and accountability.”

On Monday, POLITICO reported on how the Senate has fallen behind the House of Representatives in terms of vote transparency:

When it comes to roll call votes, transparency advocates of the technological bent say the House is worlds better than the Senate because the House clerk provides the XML files behind the votes — language that looks like a database to a computer and allows developers to easily reuse the data on their own websites.

The Senate clerk’s office has resisted providing that information, despite being pressed by open government advocates, said Wonderlich.

The reason they’ve been given: “The secretary of the Senate has cited a general standing policy … that they’re not supposed to present votes in a comparative format, that senators have the right to present their votes however they want to,” Wonderlich said. “It’s pretty bad.”

When POLITICO sought to confirm this reasoning, the secretary’s office directed inquiries to the Senate Rules Committee. A spokeswoman at the Rules Committee said she was unable to find someone who could answer the question.

J.H. Snider, president of iSolon.org, a think tank dedicated to using information technology to further democracy, said there’s a qualitative difference between making information public and making it “meaningfully” public — that is, in the easiest, most logical and most timely way.

The full text of the letter is below:

April 30, 2009

Senator Charles Schumer, Chairman Senator Bob Bennett, Ranking Member
Committee on Rules and Administration Committee on Rules and Administration
305 Russell Senate Office Building 305 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Schumer and Bennett:

We are writing today to ask you to change the Senate’s policy on the publishing of roll call votes so they are made available to the public in an XML format, in addition to what is provided on the Senate website today.

As Americans increasingly turn to the Internet to stay informed, the Senate as a body has a duty to promote timely and accurate reporting of our actions through the most current and effective technologies. Voting is the most basic Senate action and is of crucial importance to the public. Yet the Secretary of the Senate is constrained by an antiquated policy on how roll call votes can be published on the Senate website.

The Secretary of the Senate and the Sergeant at Arms have made strides in the development of the Senate website and the lobbying disclosure database. However, it is our understanding that the Secretary feels constrained not to use “XML” for online voting records.

It is crucial that the Senate add XML. XML is more than merely a data format; it promotes the ability of citizens, watchdog groups, and the press to access and analyze Senate roll call votes. The addition of XML will allow the public to use computers to search, sort, and visualize voting records in new ways. While the costs associated with this transition would be negligible, the impact on transparency and accountability would be profound.

It is troubling that the current policy makes it more difficult for the public to access and disseminate information about Senate roll call votes. This policy has created a situation where outside groups are forced to create databases that are more likely to contain errors and omissions. The public should not have to resort to subscription-based or mistake-ridden databases to easily obtain this information.

It has been suggested that the policy may have been implemented originally because “Senators want to provide their voting records to their constituents themselves.” The suggestion that the Senate would intentionally hamstring the distribution of roll call votes so Senators could put a better spin on them is concerning. The public is capable of interpreting our votes on its own.

The House of Representatives has been using XML for approximately five years with no adverse effects. It is time for the Senate to change its policy on sharing XML data and make roll call vote information easily available to the public. Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you improve the Senate’s legislative transparency in this way.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint
U.S. Senator David Vitter
U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman
U.S. Senator James Risch
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin
U.S. Senator John Cornyn
U.S. Senator John Ensign

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Senate | , , , , | 2 Comments

Conservatives Springing to Life

Though many would have you believe the Republican Party is shuffling along to the sound of a funeral march after the blow dealt in last month’s elections, the GOP may actually rebound quicker than anyone anticipates. 

My father always told me you never lose a fight until you quit getting up after being knocked down.  Though many of the party leaders are still shaking their heads in disbelief, pointing fingers, and wondering just what in the Hell happened, small groups of passionate conservatives are springing into action in an effort to rejuvenate the party through a return to its conservative roots.

Organizations like Rebuild the Party (RTP) and Top Conservatives on Twitter (TCOT) are using social networking sites on the web to join forces, discuss strategy, and organize grassroots efforts.  Still in their infancy, these groups have quickly grown their numbers into the 1000’s. 

They’re not just trying to recruit new GOP voters though, they’re also working to have a say in the direction of the RNC.  Blogs and websites are springing up daily to carry the message that can counteract the liberal mainstream media’s domination of the supply chain for news and information.

Already, well-known politicians and activists like Mike Huckabee and Michelle Malkin have joined TCOT, and several of the candidates for RNC chairman have endorsed the RTP plan!

If you’re longing for a truly conservative Republican Party again, join us today and help make it happen!

December 11, 2008 Posted by | GOP | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment