Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hillary was for drivers licenses for illegals before she was against it

In what was the highlight in an otherwise lackluster Democratic debate in the "city of brotherly love," Tim Russert asked Hillary whether she supported NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer's proposal to give drivers licenses to all illegal aliens in the state. Hillary responded:
"Spitzer is trying to make up for the failure of the Bush Administration to address illegal immigration. He's filling a vaccuum... We need to get back
to comprehensive immigration reform."
Literally seconds later, Russert asked the Democrats for a show of hands of anyone who opposed licenses for illegals. ONLY Chris Dodd raised his hand, and then he proceeded to clearly and effectively articulate his opposition. As soon as Dodd finishes, Hillary speaks up to contend that she did not endorse Spitzer's plan personally but she thinks he has the right idea (whatever that means...more doublespeak). Dodd seizes on Hillary's flip-flopping and a verbal spat ensues and ends with Hillary pathetically accusing Russert of asking a "gotcha" question in one last, final act of desparation.

The best lines of the night came from Hillary's Democratic opponents.

Edwards: “Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago.”

Obama: he couldn’t tell if she is “for it or against it.”

Here's a simple question: if Hillary is "personally" opposed to licenses for illegals but "publicly" understanding of the position (as her convoluted answer seemed to suggest) why didn't she just raise her hand with Dodd when Russert asked the question?

Here's what Hillary said about the issue just weeks ago to the New York Times:

"I know exactly what Governor Spitzer’s trying to do and it makes a lot of
sense, because he’s trying to get people out of the shadows. He’s trying to say,
“O.K., come forward and we will give you this license.”
I think it's very clear where she stands--against the vast majority of New Yorkers, 72% of whom oppose the proposal according to a recent poll, and against 72% of all Americans, according to a 2006 poll.

Hillary continues to give ammunition to her critics and has now provided a signature issue for the Republicans in her public association with Spitzer's disasterous plan.

And with her convoluted answers, flip floping, and unease at tonight's debate, it is clear that Sen. Clinton is not driving her own policy--she has taken the backseat and handed the license to the liberal fringe of her party--just as she is willing to hand over our national security with Spitzer's wildly unpopular license plan.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jindal the new Governor of Louisiana!

In Lousiana's statewide gubernatorial election Saturday, GOP congressman Bobby Jindal soundly surpassed the 50% threshold needed to avoide a runoff, winning the race with 54% of the vote (In Lousiana's unique runoff system, modeled after France, there are no primaries--instead, all candidates run on a single ballot and if no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters face off in a November runoff election). In this case, The GOP managed to keep other Republicans out of the race: Jindal faced off against 5 Democrats and Independent among a group of 12 candidates in all).

Unhappiness with former Governor Blanco (who beat Jindal in 2003, 52 to 48 percent) and her lack of leadership during Hurricane Katrina, contributed to the Democratic rout. However, it is unusual for ANY candidate to surpass the 50 percent threshold--David Vitter, LA's first Republican senator since Reconstruction (electeed in '04) only received 51 percent in his round, so Jindal's 54 percent victory is even more remarkable.

At 36 years old, the young Catholic, Indian-American congressman becomes the youngest governor in the country and the first minority governor in Louisiana, where former Klu Klux Klan member David Duke lost in a runoff election in 1991. This significant victory follows the impressive, above-average showing by Jim Ognowski in his bid for a Republican house seat in Massachusett's congressional district, coming within 6 points of defeating Democrat Nikki Tsongas.

Both off-year races show momentum for Republicans who lead and inspire by running independent campaigns that emphasize core conservative values. Tonight's results, combined with the results from Massachusetts last week, show that American voters have not bought into the Democratic agenda. They wanted change in '04, but they do not want a radical restructuring of our nation and economy--sensible Republicans with core values, independent streaks, and a knack for acknowledging the failures of their own party and president while highlighting the dangers of a Democratic majority AND articulating a comprehensive, detailed, and positive vision for the future will be successful. Democrats get ready---Republicans are ready and willing to compete in all parts of the country.

Voter Values Summit

All Republican candidates appeared at the "Voter Values" Summit today in Washington, D.C. The Family Research Council, a reputable D.C. think tank and organization representing people of faith, sponsored the premier event for social conservatives and evangelicals.

Rudy Giuliani did well, receiving polite applause, and he was immediately followed by Mike Huckabee, who received rousing applause. Romney came out on top in the group's straw poll vote, followed by Huckabee, relegating Thompson to 3rd place--which shows that Thompson has not been as effective in consolidating the support of social conservatives behind his candidacy.

Interestingly enough, all of the Democratic candidates were invited, but all declined the invitation. One would think that with the recent attempts by Democrats to reach out to religious voters, some in their ranks would have seized this opportunity.

Of course, this is just one example of many contradictions. It's also interesting how Democrats classify a 70-80K earner as "wealthy" for tax purposes, but yet this same person would be labeled as "poor" and eligible for free health care under a taxpayer-subsidized health insurance program. The inconsistency is appalling.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Massachusetts provides a strategy for GOP in '08

Yesterday, residents of Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District voted in a special election to replace Marty Meehan, who stepped down to become president of Univ. of Mass.--Lowell. Nikki Tsongas, wife of former Massachusetts congressman Paul Tsongas, claimed the Democratic banner, running as a Washington insider and bringing Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and other Washington Democrats to stump for her. Her Republican opponent, Jim Ogonowski, a local farmer, is the brother of United flight 93 airline pilot John Ogonowski, whose plane was hijacked on 9/11 and crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Ogonowski ran a grassroots campaign, thumbing his nose to the Republican establishment and running to retain the 2003 tax cuts and end illegal immigration. Ogonowski was the quintessential, anti-establishment, outsider candidate with no previous political experience: his entire campaign was focused on running against congress and against the status quo: everything a former congressman's wife represented.

Ogonowski didn't win but he did shockingly well--coming within 6 points of Tsongas (45 percent to 51 percent) in a district that gave John Kerry a 16 point margin of victory in 2004 and in a state that hasn't sent a Republican to congress in over 20 years.
The fact that a Republican could do so well in the bluest of blue states at a time when voters are angry at the president and frustrated with the pace of the war gives Republicans an opening for 2008. They should follow Ogonowski's lead and embrace this three-tier strategy.

1. Run against Hillary Clinton. With a 48 percent disapproval rating, Hillary will drive Republican turnout in '08 and turnout among Independents and new voters cringing at the prospect of continuing a 20-year revolving reign between the Bush and Clinton dynasties. Republicans should seize on this, as Hillary's polarizing persona will hurt Democratic incumbents and challengers alike in down-ballot races, especially in the south and midwest (A recent internal Democratic poll leaked to the press confirmed this effect: Rudy Giuliani leads Hillary in 31 swing congressional districts won by Democrats in '06).

2. Run against Congress. Only one person/entity has lower approval ratings than President Bush and that is the Democratic-controlled congress. With congress at record low approval ratings (currently at 23 percent, far lower than the ratings of the GOP-controlled congress before the '06 midterms), Americans are apathetic and ready for change. Run as an outsider, challenge the establishment, hammer away that Congress is not working and failes to represent its constituents and that we need independent, honest leadership not beholden to party politics and special interests. From politically-motivated hearings to an impasse on Iraq and passing meaningless resolutions upsetting allies like Turkey in the Mideast, Nancy Pelosi has not led. Run against Pelosi and run against congress--we can do better. Tie your opponent (most likely an incumbent) to the unpopular congress and Washington establishment.

3. Illegal Immigration. Relegated to 4th or 5th in importance in previous elections, immigration is now a top-tier issue if not the #1 issue not only for residents of the southwest border states but also for farmers in the heartland. The economic and social impact affects the entire country, and voters are tired of the rhetoric and want action. Republicans must run to the right of Bush on this issue--and not hesitate to criticize him for it--while promising to seal the border, punish employers who hire illegals, and deport all criminal illegals back their countries of origin. This issue was central to Ogonowski's campaign and enabled him to gain 45 percent of the vote in a district where Republicans only comprise 14 percent of the electorate. Illegal immigration is now the third rail of politics--seize it and propose bold, reformation-like solutions.

Many say the 2005 special election in Ohio where Democratic challenger Paul Hackett came within 4 points of beating Republican Jean Schmidt in a GOP-leaning district was a bellwhether for the Democratic rout in '06. Maybe the GOP's close margin this year in one of the bluest districts in the county could signal a change in '08--the Democrats cannot take anything for granted.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Don't criticize Islam at K-State, where censorship is alive and thriving

Chuck Armstrong, a columnist for Kansas State University's newspaper The Collegian, reported that his recent column refuting comparisons between Islam and Christianity and condemning Islam as a violent religion will not be published. Also, as of yesterday, he was fired from his position on the newspaper and is appealing.

You can decide for yourself--Read his column on his blog: http://www.trtksu.blogspot.com/

Whether or not his column is appropriate, this continues a general pattern of intolerance when it comes to criticism or satirism of Islam, although every other religion is fair game.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Poster Child of Democratic Radio Address not so poor after all...

How would you like to qualify for SCHIP and attend this exclusive private school?

Graeme Frost, the 12-year old chosen by congressional Democrats to give their radio address and rebuke Bush for not expanding the SCHIP child health care program does not fit the profile of a child in need.
In fact, The Free Republic investigated the story and discovered that the boy and his brother attend an exlusive private school in Baltimore that costs $20,000 per pupil a year in tuition. The photos of the school's athletic center and performing arts center above demonstrate the exclusivity of this highly-selective school.
The Frost family also claim that they are raising their children on a combined income of $45,000 a year, but neglect to mention that in addition to Mr. Frost's carpentry job and Mrs. Frost's work for a medical publishing firm, Mr. Frost also runs his own business and owns a substantial piece of commercial property in Baltimore. Incidentally, the Frosts themselves live in a 3,000 sq. ft. home in a neighborhood where the average home is valued at between $400,000 and $500,000 dollars.

Between paying $40,000 to send their children to an exclusive private school, working two jobs, owning a business, driving a gas-guzzling GMC Suburban, owning a 3,000 sq. ft home, and owning commercial real estate in Baltimore and possibly earning income from renting out property, one would think the Frosts could cut back somewhere to provide health insurance for their children. Could they consciously be choosing not to provide their children with health insurance?

Democratic efforts to re-package SCHIP as a safety net for the working poor and not an expansion of government-run healthcare to the middle class seem to have backfired. Do they want to make it that easy for opponents to say "Democrats want to use your tax dollars to fund health care for middle-class families who don't want to spend their own income on their own children"?

Friday, October 05, 2007

KS 10th District State Senate Race Update

Well, 17 votes does not make an official poll but the results so far from the Konnection's online poll for Nick Jordan's 10th district state senate seat:

Mary Pilcher Cook 53%
Sue Gamble 24%
Bob Bibb 6%
Patrick Regan 18%

Only Pilcher Cook and Regan have publicly indicated they are running. The Konnection's sources indicate that Gamble is on the verge of making a commitment to enter the race. It will be interesting to see if Bibb goes ahead with a bid or decides that the field is already croweded enough. One thing's for sure: the 10th district primary will be the most exciting in JoCO.

Mary Pilcher Cook is already hard at work. Her website,
http://www.pilchercook.com/ has been updated to reflect her announced run at the senate seat and includes her new slogan "I'm with Mary: Experience. Integrity. Reason."

This now opens an interesting question: with all the Republicans scrambling for Nick's seat, who will challenge Cindy Neighbor for Mary's old state rep seat in the 18th District? The Republicans would be foolish to give this up without a fight. In fact, the Konnection is surprised that Bibb hasn't turned his attention to the 18th district, instead of trying to throw his hat into the state senate primary. Neighbor is a first-termer who barely won by a few hundred votes. With the right Republican (translation: almost any Republican!) she could be beaten, especially in an election year with Hillary on the ballot.