Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

For Our Liberal Friends: Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to observe religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2011, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures.

For Our Republican Friends: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and may God bless you and yours in 2011.

This time of the year is about change; it's about the future. We look at the New Years celebration as a change of the year and look forward to all of the exciting things to come that year. But Christmas is also about a change - it's about a change in the World for the rest of the future, not just a year. When Jesus Christ was born in a manger, it signified a change; it was the start of a beautiful future full of possibilities that last much longer than a year, but an eternity. So, this holiday season, don't just look to 2011, but look to the future. And the future is bright. In this Christmas and Holiday Season, let's work to change the future and change the World. And we as Republicans, can do just that if we stay focused, stay energized, stay loyal, and remain the best party on Campus. Look to the future, my friends. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

(Jeffrey Isbell, a pentecostal minister, is a former UIS College Republican and field representative for the College Republican National Committee.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mayor Tim Davlin

Mayor of Springfield, Illinois - Timothy Davlin

Mayor Tim Davlin


Though I missed a friend's call this morning (which I'm assuming was regarding this same news), I woke up today (after sleeping in too late, once again!), as a couple of service workers were at home, one of whom asked the other if he'd heard the news today, regarding Mayor Tim Davlin; he said he'd been getting messages about that, all day. "That's crazy," they remarked.

I thought that the news may be regarding some policy or personal-based development (several such items had recently been in the news). When doing a web search on my Blackberry however, I was shocked at what it actually was.


Our Mayor, here in the (Illinois) capital city, was found dead today, of an apparent suicide (though the cause of death is uncertain, at this point). The Illinois State Police, from what I've read/heard, called a press conference, but didn't reveal any information.


I have been a critic of the Mayor (and our successful (College Republicans!!) actions in the last Municipal elections probably didn't make him too happy!), but he was a decent guy, who had tough decisions to make, and faced a lot of heat, from his fellow Democrats, in addition to Republicans. The Mayor was also respected by people, across the board.

====> Mayor Davlin's activities were being nationally-watched, on two major occasions during the 2007-2008 election season; Both Barack Obama's presidential announcement, and his VP (Biden) announcement, were done from the Old State Capitol. (I don't think the Obama campaign ever fully reimbursed our City, for this; That bill is probably still due... Which seems to be a prominent type of problem, for this administration!)

I will post more on this, as the situation develops...

For now, please keep the Davlin family in your prayers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 2010

It's been awhile since I've done a Thanksgiving blog entry. In my prior posts, I'd featured a moving prayer, from the great(!) columnist Michelle Malkin:

Thanksgiving Prayer 2002 (Link annotations were added by me; Here's another version)

Michelle often writes poignant pieces; Here are her columns, for this occasion, from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (great advice; Was thinking of this, this morning!), 2008, last year... and this time: "Giving thanks for American ingenuity"


from Thanksgiving 2010...

Giving Thanks for Liberty and Freedom, U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

Private Property and the First Thanksgiving, The Show-Me Daily

Video: A Thanksgiving Tribute to Property Rights, Reason TV

From our old friend Dan Flynn: Socialism Didn't Work at Plymouth Plantation, Either

And Rush Limbaugh's classic commentary

NRO Symposium: Giving Thanks

‘Where Do We Get
These People?’
, Rich Lowry
The First Thanksgiving, Frank Miniter
Thanksgiving for the Bill of Rights, John Hayward
A Grateful Nation, Newt & Callista Gingrich
A Tale of Two Colonies, Gary Galles, Ludvig von Mises Institute

- For which we give thanks
- God returns to Obama's Thanksgiving proclamation

A Thanksgiving Sacrifice
While we celebrate our national holiday in the warmth and comfort of homes, the men and women of our armed forces serve at grave peril in faraway places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The History of Thanksgiving
TH Radio: Thanksgiving is the least corrupted of the major holidays. It seems to have retained its essential spirit untainted, or at least not completely distorted by the forces of commercialization and secularization.

This Thanksgiving, Serve Gratitude, Rebecca Hagelin
Pro Patria: America, 'Tis of Thee We Sing, Ross Mackenzie
Still Thankful, Cal Thomas
Thanksgiving for Leaders, Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Thankful for a Bygone Era & New Dawn, Armstrong Williams

Remember Whom to thank, Joe Farah
Thanksgiving: The Inoculation Against Fear and Worry, Jane Chastain
Be thankful for technological bounty, Phil Elmore
Thanksgiving wishes from Avenal State Prison, Jack Cashill
Happy "Starvation Day" (A lost Thanksgiving lesson), John Stossel (H/T: Bill Hobbs, Phil Kerpen)

Vote for the Turkey, Skyla Freeman
Happy Thanksgiving, Erick Erickson, Red State


Giving thanks to Whom thanks is due, Illinois Family Institute
A Special Thanksgiving Message, Traditional Values Coalition
Lame Ducks Talk Turkey, Family Research Council

(Note: The above 3 pieces were included, in defiance of the liberal, money-grubbing Southern "Poverty" Law Center.)


a few selections, from Thanksgivings past:
Don't wait to be thankful, Cassandra Walker
In Defense of Traditional Thanksgiving History, Josh Claybourn
America Rocks! The Greatest Country the world has ever known, Ted Nugent
See Ted Nugent's piece, for this year!
The Truth about Thanksgiving and Free Markets, Richard J. Maybury
The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving, Joseph Farah

What Thanksgiving Means to America, from the late Rev. Jerry Falwell

Immigrant Religious Extremist Group Signs Manifesto (1620)


And last (for Thanksgiving 2010), but not least:
A Thanksgiving Message to all 57 States, Sarah Palin (H/T: Jimmie, via Dean in Waukesha)

Obama: Let's have a bipartisan Thanksgiving

Top 10 reasons for conservatives to be thankful, Kenneth Hanner

Both parties have reason to give thanks, Politico (H/T: Saul Anuzis)

One year ago, we were involved in the major GOP wins in Virgnia and New Jersey, which were viewed as key, towards this year's bellwether elections. This month's elections were similarly-thrilling to those across the country - though for those conservatives in my state, it was a mixed bag.

But nonetheless...
Whether for 2010, 2009, 2008/2006, or any other year - The message remains the same:

No matter what happens, with these types of issues and events, it cannot be denied that we all have a GREAT DEAL to be thankful for!

During recent months, and in prior years--within our local, national, and international politics, within our "Web2.0" networks, and within the public arena--there has been a great deal of arguing, attacking, flaming, antagonism, and ill will that has been expressed by many individuals and groups. We have also celebrated many major election victories, even while facing policy-related setbacks, and destructive policies, at the national (and statewide) levels... not to mention the current socio-economic times. [And for those who are students, there are of course the usual (upcoming) concerns, but also, things we need to be doing, over "Fall Break."]

But now is not the time for angst, or for worry, or overwhelming frustration with others, or with the contemporary issues facing our country, our community, or our lives. Nor is it even the time for fiercly-positive dialectics, regarding these issues (or other matters, that may cause disputes, like when at today's family gatherings :-).

Now is the time to give thanks - To give thanks that we live in a society in which we can have these debates and discussions legally and freely, and in which we can praise or protest the policies and policy-makers that affect our society and our lives today. And it is a time to give thanks to our brave current and former soldiers - those who sacrifice their time, services, livelihoods, and sometimes, a great deal more - to defend our country and our citizenry. And above all, it is time to give thanks to our Lord and Creator - for all that he has done - for us, for our nation, and for the world in which we live.

Have a great Thanksgiving - and may your holiday be cheerful and pleasant. Best wishes to you and yours for an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend as well.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

(And don't eat too much turkey... ;-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Most Ridiculous Attack Yet

In politics, seeing unfair & unfounded attacks against elected officials & candidates is all-to-common, and (despite myths to the contrary) has been so, since our nation began.

One paradigm shift that has definitely taken place, of late however, is the hostility towards religion - especially Christianity - in the public arena.

Still, I have been extremely-surprised, seeing the nature of the attacks, against U.S. Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL).



The Congressman has been one of the [increasing!!] number of GOP elected officials who use Twitter, and the related "Web2.0" networking services. On his Twitter page, you will frequently see Bible verses.

So far, nothing unusual, right?

Note: I know Congressman Shimkus, and I also know longtime reporter for the State Journal-Register, Bernie Schoenburg. And I have been fans of both. I was quite disappointed therefore, to find, in Mr. Schoenburg's column from a few months ago, that he was criticizing the Congressman, for Tweeting Bible verses.


The Post-Election [intra-party] elections

This seemingly-noncontroversial matter has arisen again this month, because the Congressman is notably seeking the Chairmanship of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Check out this "news" article, from the prominent national Hill newspaper.
(Fortunately, the comments section there appears unanimously on the side of common sense!)


I was alarmed, after doing a quick web search the other night, and seeing that this silliness seemed to have spread, throughout the web. In looking back, I saw that a lot of the criticism is regarding Congressman Shimkus' opposition to the global warming alarmism. That attack is also wrong, though not as absurd as the aforementioned one!


**Best of luck to U.S. Congressman John Shimkus, in his bid to become Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Commerce and Energy!!


Note: As said in the sidebar here, all blog entries reflect only the views of their author.

Giving Thanks

I am so very thankful for our great United States Military. Without which, we would never be able to enjoy the freedoms we have today. Because of the United States Military, I can, if I so desire, go at 4:17 in the morning to a 7-11 and get a Slurpee. No other country in the world can say they have those freedoms and liberties. I know it doesn't seem like much, but when you really look at it, it is a lot.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mike Pence for 2012?

Mike Pence headshot

In 2006 after the Republicans lost the House of Representatives in a blood bath of an election, Mike Pence was sounding the rally call, putting front and center what the Republicans had done wrong.

"Our opponents will say that the American people rejected our Republican vision," he remarked during his run for the House Minority Leadership position. "I say the American people didn't quit on the Contract with America, we did. And in so doing, we severed the bonds of trust between our party and millions of our most ardent supporters."

On November 17 of that year, John Boehner won the election by a sweeping margin and has been House Minority Leader ever since. Between Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Pence, the House Republicans have a rising new crop of leadership ready to take the reins in the event that control is handed back to the Party. Pence himself has an election on his hands for 2010, a serial de-ja-vu type of affair against a familiar opponent in Barry Welsh, who also ran against Mike in 2008 and 2006 and lost both times. According to Welsh, 3 times is a charm but it appears that in this year of political conservative ascendancy, Pence's seat has been proclaimed totally safe for another go-round (D.C's Political Report).

This term in Pence's District should be his 6th, but it nearly was a Senate battle that Mike was involved in. Earlier this year, Pence was running against Democrat freshman incumbent Evan Bayh for the Senate seat that he captured in 2004. A Rasmussen telephone poll
on January 25th showed him leading Bayh by 3 points but Mike declined soon afterward, deciding to pursue instead the grand probability that the House would regain Republican majority and he'd have a new go at leadership possibilities.

Born in Columbus, Indiana, (WIKIPEDIA) Mike is one of six children, attending Columbus North High School, graduating from Hanover College with a Bachelor of Arts and the Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis with a Juris Doctorate. He was an attorney and became a radio host of The Mike Pence Show based out of WRCR-FM in Rushville, Indiana. He actually made his first attempts to run for congress in 1988 and 1990, against Phil Sharp and lost both, even with the blessing of Ronald Reagan. It was a decade before he ran again, this time in 2000, when Republican David McIntosh vacated the 6th congressional seat and ran for governor. The decade has gone to Pence ever since. He formerly was leader of the Republican Study Committee and now chairs the House Republican Conference, which officially is the 3rd highest leadership ranking in the House. A winner of numerous conservative awards and honors, Pence has brought his conservative ideals to the forefront of a new generation of Republican leadership.

Mike and his wife Karen have three children, Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. They live in Columbus, Indiana.

I interviewed Mike at a recent fundraiser for Wisconsin candidate Dan Kapanke, who ran against Ron Kind in the 3rd District. At the time, Pence was crisscrossing the country, lending his hand to every possible race, both big and small, to help turn tide in the November 2 election.


1. YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A CHRISTIAN FIRST, A CONSERVATIVE SECOND, AND A REPUBLICAN THIRD. HOW DOES THIS PHILOSOPHY GUIDE YOUR BELIEF AS A REPRESENTATIVE FROM INDIANA?

Well, back when I was talk radio show host in the 1990s, people used to call my show and say, "I've been listening to you for a while, are you a conservative, a libertarian, or are you a neoconservative?" And I would say "I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican in that order" and the way I tried to build a career over the past 10 years is on the basis of that foundation, where my faith instructs me in the conduct of my office, my family, or in policies effecting our values, that's what leads. But I'm a deeply committed conservative and that comes before party affiliation and at times I've had to do battle with leaders of my own party or a President of my own party on spending issues where I thought Republicans were walking away from the principles of limited Government. But beyond my core values and ideals, I'm proud to be a Republican, particularly these days when I see the Republican Party coming back to the principles that minted our national Governing majority and I think that's why the American People are giving us a second look.

Mike Pence

No matter where Mike leads, it's a win for the Republican Party!

2. HAS IT BEEN INTIMIDATING FOR YOU BATTLE AGAINST THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUR OWN PARTY?

Well, I will say that when I arrived in Washington in 2001, Scott, I never imagined that my toughest battles would be against members of my own party but, you know, when the Bush Administration came to power and their first priority was a massive expansion of the Federal Government, the Department of Education with No Child Left Behind and then there was a massive expansion of entitlements with the Medicare prescription drug bill, we saw a doubling of the national debt, an earmarking culture, and the Wall Street bailout. I just knew, my first obligation was to stand on the conservative principles that I'd run on, to stand on the conservative principles that I'd run on, the conservative principles that I'd been advancing for so long in my life. So in one sense it was easy, because it was just about letting my "yes" be yes and my "no" be no. In another sense it was at times difficult because it's hard to look your friends in the eye and it's hard to look a President you admire in the eye and say, "I can't go with ya."

3. YOUR'S, PAUL RYAN'S, AND JOHN BOENHER'S NAMES HAVE COME UP REPEATEDLY AS CANDIDATES TO BECOME POTENTIAL SPEAKERS OF THE HOUSE IN JANUARY. CAN YOU TELL ME WHO YOU BELIEVE IS THE MOST QUALIFIED AND WHY?

I think John Boehner will be one of the most conservative and most effective speakers in modern Congressional history and I strongly support John as speaker. Let me say as I stand here in Wisconsin that we have no brighter light in Congress than Paul Ryan. He's been a visionary on budget issues and I consider him a cherished friend.

Mike Pence with Dan Kapanke


Mike with Dan Kapanke(WI 3rd District Congressional Candidate, left) and guest


4. AS CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE WHAT GOALS WOULD YOU HAVE IN IN MIND TO PROMOTE CONSERVATIVE IDEALS IN THE EVENT THAT REPUBLICANS REGAIN THE MAJORITY?

If Republicans are given a second chance to lead the Congress, jobs have to be job one. We have to take immediate and decisive action to make sure that no American sees a tax increase in January of next year. Immediately after that we have to take strong steps to put our fiscal house in order. We have to confront this era of deficits, debt, and bailouts and end it once and for all and then at the end of the day we have to do those things that Congress is charged to do. We have to stand with our troops, we have to defend our values in the way that we that we appropriate the People's money. But jobs clearly, and spending are, clearly, are the most urgent issues facing America today and that is where Congress, under a Republican leadership, will focus if we're given the opportunity to lead.

5. TO HAVE BEEN IN CONGRESS FOR 10 YEARS AND TO HAVE WON MANY AWARDS, HOW HONORED ARE YOU TO HAVE SERVED IN THIS CAPACITY FOR SO LONG?

Well, it's been the greatest privilege in my life to represent my hometown in Washington DC. I had the dream of becoming a congressman when I was a little boy growing up on 31st street with a cornfield in my back yard. It's really, not too much time goes by that I find myself walking up the steps of those Capitals and find myself glancing at the dome and I just thank God that my family and I have had the privilege to serve in such a time as this and to be able to be here in Wisconsin standing with people of character like Dan Kapanke and to be on the cusp of what could be a great victory for conservative values is not only a great privilege, but a great joy.

----------
Update: It has been reported from news outlets on November 3 that Mike has resigned his post as chairman of the House Republican Conference, possibly to give himself more time to prepare for presidential run in 2012.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MONEYBOMB: Bill Brady 4 Governor (Let's win back Blago's seat!)

Pat Quinn and Rod Blagojevich

Send a message to Barack Obama (and the party of Rod Blagojevich + the "Chicago Way")!!

Give anything you can, to help us across the finish line, to VICTORY!!

Bill Brady for Governor!
Contribute to victory!


It's now only ONE WEEK till the big day!

Of all the State Governors in the country, none has been more infamous, within the past couple years, as the now-impeached (and indicted!) Governor of Illinois. The "Chicago Way" has clearly crippled our state, through the years - and is doing the same, at the national level, as well!

Now, we have a rare - and perhaps unprecedented - opportunity to throw out the bums who caused this mess, and replace them all with an outside-the-Establishment, CONSERVATIVE Republican alternative!

This chance may NEVER come again.

Contribute to victory!




*** Both BILL BRADY and JASON PLUMMER are conservative GOP leaders hailing from the heartlands of central Illinois (the same area that actually sparked the conservative revolution led by Ronald Reagan)!

So: Whereever you may be... This race is being WIDELY-WATCHED, with serious consequences, nationwide.

Help us show that traditional Republican values (and "tea party" values) are a pathway to success, and victory...
Contribute to victory!


HELP US TAKE BACK this state (which produced Chicago politicians like Rod Blagojevich, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Dan Rostenkowski, Barack Obama, and a long line of others).

JUST as this movement helped spark the Reagan Revolution, the results of this race, seven days from today, could have great implications, nationwide!!

PLEASE GIVE ANYTHING YOU CAN, to help us WIN - one week from today!!

Contribute to victory!




- Bill Brady's new direction
- Newspapers from every corner of Illinois endorse Bill!‏
- Brady rips Quinn over Morton College [kickback] check
- Desperation Sets In: Democrat Claims Republican Gov Candidate Wants to Shoot Gays; End Women’s Suffrage: Things are...
- 'Twas the week before E-Day, and all through the state...
- Quinn's ad misleads; 9 more convicted murderers released this month
- Illinois Dems force Pat Quinn to abandon tike hike plan
- GOP Lt. Gov. nominee Plummer visits for Homecoming

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MONEYBOMB: Rev. Isaac Hayes for Congress!! - As done before, we CAN pick up this Dem seat!

Like the "Massachusetts Miracle" earlier this year... We have a RARE opportunity to pick up Democrat seat!!


10/13 "Moneybomb" for Rev. Isaac Hayes


This is the year for GOP pick-ups in [what were once] "safe" Democrat seats! In the last comparable year (1994), Chicago powerhouse Dan Rostenkowski was [shockingly!!] defeated for re-election, by his Republican opponent. [LA Times: GOP 'David' knocks off 'Goliath']

We now have another situation, in which a scandal-plagued Democrat Congressman can be ousted.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. has a 72% UNFAVORABLE rating!

Leading pollster & analyst Dick Morris said that IL's 2nd Congressional district is now in play due to the amazing effort of GOP nominee Rev. Isaac C. Hayes, and the sex and dirty money scandals of incumbent Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.


Rev. Hayes needs your help to defeat this dirty pol -- go to www.isaac4honesty.com to make a donation or volunteer now!!





Listen in the video above to this wonderful riff by Hayes at the Cook County GOP Convention:

"President Ronald Reagan once said, 'there is sin and evil in the world, and we are enjoined by Scripture to fight it.' Reagan was talking about the Soviet Union. But he may has well been speaking about the South Side of Chicago."

And

"Senate Candidate #5 has the wrong idea of what it means to be a Congressman. He should go back to his cronies in Chicago and tell them Chicago's sons and daughters are his no more -- they are free. We must fight for every neighborhood, every precinct and every block in this district and we will win."

Hayes is a modern-day Braveheart -- slaying the dirty, sexy, money grubber Jackson. He's the long sought conservative solution to the corruption of Junior Jackson and the Chicago Democrats, and is endorsed by the American Conservative Union (ACU), the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC), and the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA). Volunteer or DONATE NOW online!!




Let's throw everything we have @ Junior Jackson NOW -- www.isaac4honesty.com



Related news:

NBC Chicago: Overnight change: Isaac Hayes' phone now ringing!
NewsMax: "Hayes could be poised to score a major upset."
Black Voice News: Will the Real Congressman Jackson Stand Up?
Hill News: Race of the Day: IL-02
Medill Reports: IL-02 race now on GOP radar
Windy Citizen: Challengers: Jackson's More Vulnerable After New Allegations
Chicago Now: Hayes offers Jackson free lessons in Hindi language
RedState.com: "When you're given a free shot, you should take it."

Washington Post: GOP gains traction in Jesse Jackson Jr.'s district

Chicago Tribune: Somebody brought it on
("He has a safe seat. You would think." ;-)


Sunday, October 10, 2010

MARY FALLIN - LADY OF FIRSTS FOR OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin


Mary Fallin's next success could be the election victory this fall that would make her the State of Oklahoma's first female governor but as a public servant, she has already accomplished a series of "firsts" in her own right.

She was the first woman Lieutenant Governor for the State of Oklahoma, initially elected in 1995 and serving until January 4, 2007 when she was officially sworn in as the first woman from Oklahoma to serve in the US Congress since Alice Mary Robertson broke the gender barrier in 1921. But if victory in her campaign is just about a series of "firsts" it is lost on Mary.

"I am thrilled to be back in Oklahoma," she was quoted as saying at a civic luncheon in the February 17, 2010 edition of the Urban Tulsa Weekly. "I had to go back to Washington, D.C. to vote very quickly this week but any time I can hurry right back to Oklahoma it's a good day. Our people here in Oklahoma are a little bit different than those folks up in D.C. . ."

"The American people are mad. They're very concerned. They don't like deficit spending. They don't want more taxes. They need a job. They want to make their own decisions about health care. They don't want some federal bureaucrat in D.C. making that decision. They're fighting mad."

Since winning her June 18 primary in Oklahoma, ousting her strongest primary challenger in State Senator Randy Brogdon, and capturing the prized endorsement of Sarah Palin, Mary's campaign has been rolling on into the late summer, focusing it's efforts squarely on her Democratic challenger, Jari Askins; another woman who, ironically, serves almost as Mary's alter-ego, having been appointed to take her place as Lt Governor in 2007 by current Democratic Governor Brad Henry.

Born in Tecumseh, Oklahoma on December 9, 1954, (WIKIPEDIA), Mary's political rearing started early in her life as both her mother and father served terms as mayor of Tecumseh as conservative Democrats. Mary was first registered as Democrat, but transitioned to the Republican Party while she was a student at Oklahoma State University. After starting her life out working as a state employee for the Oklahoma Department of Securities and in hotel management in Oklahoma City, Mary was alarmed by the Democratic-dominated Legislature's anti-business climate. She first hit the political scene when she was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1990. She served 2 terms from 1990 to 1994 where she was recognized by the American Legislative Exchange Council as Legislator of the Year and named Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business. She ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1994 and rode into office along with Frank Keating's Republican Administration in 1995.

In her 12 years as Lieutenant Governor, Mary served as president of the Senate and on 10 boards and commissions. As a small business advocate in the Keating cabinet she was also instrumental in initiating several economic development events including the first-ever Oklahoma Aerospace Summit and Expo; and Small Business Day and Telecommunications Day at the Capitol. She also hosted the Lieutenant Governor’s Invitational Turkey Hunt. After the Oklahoma City bombing, she formed a task force to rebuild the childcare center lost in the destruction. Additionally, she also initiated Project Homesafe, a gun safety program that has distributed more than 80,000 free cable gun locks to Oklahomans. She then ascended to the aforementioned position of congresswoman when elected in 2006, campaigning for Ernest Istook's 5th District seat after Istook embarked on his ill-fated run for governor against Brad Henry. For her work on behalf of the people of Oklahoma and her conservative values, Mary has been named a “Hero of the Taxpayer,” a “Friend of the Wildcatter” and been recognized by Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council with the “True Blue” award. She has a lifelong score of 96 from the American Conservative Union, the highest of any Congressman in the Oklahoma delegation.

Mary joined me this week to answer my questions about her accomplishment, her campaign, and the issues facing Oklahoma in this historic election cycle.

1. WHAT ARE THE ISSUES SPECIFICALLY FACING THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA TODAY AND WHAT ARE THE CORE VALUES OF YOUR CAMPAIGN?

I’m going to have two issues that I will treat as priorities on Day One of my administration. The first is jobs. We need more and better jobs in this state if we are going to move forward, generate tax revenue for essential services, and increase the quality of life for our citizens. There are a lot of things we can do to get there. One is to create a governor’s task force to look into Oklahoma’s tax code, our rules, our regulations and our government bureaucracy, to find out how we can be friendlier to small business growth and development. We can’t expect the businesses here to thrive or to attract new ones when we are tripping them up with unnecessary regulations, government red tape and punitive taxes. We’ll also need to look at the rising cost of worker’s compensation costs and revisit lawsuit reform. Finally, we’ll need to continue to improve our education system, so that we can produce the kind of highly skilled, educated workforce that attracts good jobs.

Secondly, we’ll need to balance the budget, and we’ll need to do it without raising taxes (which would drive jobs and investments out of Oklahoma).To do that, we need to be committed to fiscal restraint. We’ll need to make tough choices. And equally important, we’ll need a modern, efficient and effective state government. Our state agencies operate like 8-track players in an iPod age. They are out of date and inefficient. When I’m governor, we will immediately move to modernize our agencies, consolidate resources where we can, and trim our operating costs.

Mary Fallin sitting in a chair

Mary has the perfect combination of executive and life experience for the governorship!

2. YOU ARE RUNNING AGAINST CURRENT LT GOVERNOR JARI ASKINS. CONTRAST YOURSELF WITH JARI AND TELL ME WHAT IT IS THAT SHE HAS DONE ALONG WITH GOVERNOR BRAD HENRY THAT HAS BEEN BAD FOR THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA?

I plan on running a positive campaign focused on my vision for the state and my plan to move Oklahoma forward and help our families and our small businesses. That means creating jobs, balancing our budget and, lastly, standing up to Washington’s painfully misguided agenda.

I think on that last point, the lack of leadership in this state has been particularly troubling. When President Obama was passing an unconstitutional, job-killing health care bill, I was the only candidate in this race standing up to the president and his agenda. When the president was trying to tax and spend his way to prosperity and economic recovery, I was the only candidate in this race saying “that won’t work.” I think the choice in this election is pretty clear: if you don’t like Washington’s ‘tax and spend,’ liberal agenda and want a leader who is going to stand up to it, I’m your gal.

3. REGARDING QUESTION 1, BRAD HENRY HAS PROVEN TO BE A POPULAR GOVERNOR FOR OKLAHOMA. HAS THIS PRESENTED EXTRA CHALLENGES FOR YOU IN THE RACE AGAINST JARI ASKINS?

No. This race is going to be about who the voters think will create jobs and restore fiscal discipline to the capitol, and it’s going to be about who can offer something different from what President Obama and Washington have been pushing on us. I have the experience to run this state, the vision to make a more prosperous Oklahoma and I am the only candidate who can credibly say they offer something different than the failed policies being pursued by the national Democratic Party. As lieutenant governor, I served under Brad Henry and I have a great deal of respect for him. But voters are looking for something different in 2010, and I am offering them a chance to change course and to get this state back on track.

Mary talking to kids in a parade

Mary is the next leader of Rebublican for a new generation.


4. YOU HAVE SERVED AS A CONGRESSWOMAN FOR OKLAHOMA DISTRICT 5 FOR THE PAST 4 YEARS AND BEFORE THAT LT GOVERNOR OF OKLAHOMA FOR 12 YEARS. WHAT HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED IN YOUR TENURE IN THE CONGRESS THAT HAS HELPED PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR RUN FOR GOVERNOR?

Unfortunately, what I experienced in Washington was the sense that our nation’s capitol has become too partisan, too overrun with special interests and too willing to waste taxpayer dollars to help people in Oklahoma.

That’s why I’m coming home. Washington is not going to solve our problems; we are going to have to do it ourselves on the state level. I’m ready to lead Oklahoma forward and, when Washington pushes Oklahoma in the wrong direction or tramples our rights, to very forcefully say “no.”

5. YOU WERE RAISED IN TECUMSEH, HAVE BEEN REGIONAL MANAGER OF A HOTEL CHAIN, AND HAVE SEVERAL CHILDREN. WHAT KIND OF VALUES HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO TAKE INTO EACH OF THESE SITUATIONS AND HOW WILL THEY SERVE YOU WELL AS GOVERNOR OF OKLAHOMA?

I think the values my mother instilled in me – hard work, self reliance, civic duty and my faith in God have always guided me as a public servant. Those are the values I have tried to pass onto my children.

As far as my life experiences, I think I’ll be able to represent the people of Oklahoma well because I’m one of them. I grew up in a small town and I loved it. I went to school here. I worked in the private sector and I understand how things like rising health care costs can crush a small business. I’m a mother, and I know what it takes to raise a family – the hard work, the sacrifice and the joy that comes with helping your children grow up and become adults.

I’ve had the honor of serving the people of Oklahoma as their lieutenant governor and as a United States Congresswoman, and I’ve worked every day to earn their trust and to give back to this state. I can guarantee the people of Oklahoma that, if I have the great privilege of serving as governor, no one will work harder for them or care more about this state than I will.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

JB VAN HOLLEN CHIEF LAW ENFORCER FOR WISCONSIN



Since 2006, Attorney General JB Van Hollen has been a one-man crime-fighting force in the State of Wisconsin and after 2010, he's hoping he will no longer have to fight alone. The long time District and US Attorney is not only running for reelection himself but is also looking forward to the distinct possibility of having a Republican Governor, a Republican Legislature, and a Republican Senate. After all, after having to fight the Doyle administration and the Wisconsin legislature for 4 years, the job can only get easier.

Born John Byron Van Hollen on February 19, 1966 (WIKIPEDIA) in the town of Chetek John C and Rosella Van Hollen. John C., a realtor and Korean War Veteran, also served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1966 to 1970. J.B. grew up in Chetek and later in the Town of Delta in Bayfield County. A graduate of St Olaf's University (Northfield, Minnesota) in 1988 with an undergraduate degree in political science, he went on to obtain his law degree at the University of Wisconsin Law School 2 years later. According to his Website (biography) although he was courted by several law firms, J.B. actually began his career as an Assistant State Public Defender in Spooner, Wisconsin. In 1991 Van Hollen became a federal prosecutor as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. In 1993 Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Van Hollen to the position of District Attorney in Ashland County. He stepped down 6 years later to pursue other life interests, but a short time later Governor Thompson appointed him to serve as Bayfield County District Attorney. He was reelected with bipartisan support. He became well-known when President George W Bush appointed him US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin in 2002 and his reputation as a star law enforcement official climbed to new heights. As the US Attorney for 44 counties in Wisconsin, JB coordinated a massive sting operation in Hayward, using 100 members of law enforcement to crack down on gangs, drugs, and guns. Through multiple levels of agencies, dozens of search warrants were executed simultaneously and dozens were arrested with the average federal prosecution resulting in a several-year federal prison sentence. In turn, the evidence collected helped to solve a homicide case. He under-spent his budget during all three of his years as U.S. Attorney. The number of criminal cases filed by his office increased by 15% in 2002, 7% in 2003, and 23% in 2004 totaling a 53% increase during his tenure. He initiated Project Safe Neighborhoods, a federal effort to reduce violent gun crime by enforcing the numerous laws already on the books. In its first year, Van Hollen worked in Rock County to prosecute individuals for gun crimes ranging from being a felon in possession of firearms or ammo to use of firearms during violent felonies, resulting in an average prison sentence of more than five years. Van Hollen later expanded the effort to Dane County and several multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement groups in rural Wisconsin. Firearms prosecutions nearly tripled during his tenure.

In 2006, he decided to run for State Attorney General. He overtook Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher and won the nomination. In the worst of circumstances for Republicans, he won the Attorney General election by beating Democrat Kathleen Falk was the only Republican in the nation that year to win a statewide seat held by a Democrat.

When not involved with the rigors of running the Attorney General's office, JB enjoys running, biking, hunting swimming, skiing, basketball and golf. He has run two marathons and completed the 2003 Ironman Wisconsin Triathlon. He is a member of Ducks Unlimited, Grouse Unlimited, National Rifle Association, Wisconsin Sporting Heritage, Inc., and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He also has been involved with the Freemasons for a large part of his life, becoming Master Mason in 1985 and Grand Master of Masons in 2007, serving in this capacity into 2008. JB and his wife, Lynn, live in Waunakee and have two children, Byron and Madelyn.

JB has been campaigning hard around Wisconsin. His Democratic challenger, Democrat Scott Hassett, has yet to be heard from. Determined to be a vital cog in the resurgence of conservative governing in 2011, JB talked to me about his campaign, the state of ObamaCare, and his experiences as Wisconsin Attorney General over the past 4 years.

1. YOU HAVE SERVED AS ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE STATE OF WISCONSIN UNDER DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP FOR 4 YEARS. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT HAS FRUSTRATED YOU THE MOST OVER THOSE 4 YEARS?

I think basically 2 things: It is very frustrating to me when a liberal Governor like the one we have doesn't prioritize something as fundamental as public safety. Protecting our freedoms and liberties in this country is the most important thing that our government can do and yet overall spending during tough times went up and yet overall spending for public safety, law enforcement, and my Department of Justice budget went down and when we're trying to do so much good to help protect our citizens, having our spending priorities being so off-kilter is frustrating. And the other thing is the lack of respect for the Rule of Law. Politics, has, unfortunately played a role in our ability to do the best we could for the State of Wisconsin, whether it be our ability to join with Arizona to defend against the Federal Government in a lawsuit or to file briefs on the 2nd Amendment with the Supreme Court or a lawsuit on ObamaCare, the reality is that the Governor has let politics stand in the way of our doing our job to defend the state. Those two things are very frustrating.

JB Van Hollen at Milwaukee Police Association

JB is the chief law enforcement officer for the State of Wisconsin!

2. THERE IS ANTICIPATION FOR WISCONSIN TO HAVE THE FIRST REPUBLICAN-LED GOVERNMENT IN MANY YEARS. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH IN THAT SITUATION?

I'm hoping that we can accomplish what Republicans as a whole set out to do and that is to limit the size of Government but when we do limit the size of government, we have to make sure that we maintain our priorities as well. I have a great concern that Republicans may think that reducing the size of government may mean we make across-the-board cuts and reduce the size of every aspect of government. Well, that's not what we as conservatives, believe. We believe that we need to cut spending completely in some areas, considerably in other areas, and sometimes even increase spending in priority areas; areas where the government does need to be involved in our lives and I am hoping that when we get Republican control of the Governor's office, over the legislature, that we are going to be able to focus on government as a whole and make wholesale changes versus across-the-board cuts.

3. IN YOUR TIME AS STATE AG, WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING YOU'VE EXPERIENCED?

You know, there have been so many things that have been incredibly rewarding but I think that the most satisfying has been getting rid of the backlog of DNA evidence in our crime labs. Not only had every Attorney General candidate for decades run on the promise of getting rid of the backlog, every Attorney General had promised to get rid of the backlog and when I had inherited it, it was escalating horribly out of control and we needed to address it and we needed to address it promptly. We not only got rid of the backlog of DNA in the crime labs but we did it only partially by putting resources after the problem. A big part of what we did was by putting more efficiencies and technologies in the way we did business in the Department of Justice so that we got more bang for the taxpayer buck and so in the in process of helping law enforcement with perhaps the most significant law enforcement tool that has come along in our lifetimes, we were able to do it very efficiently economically, as well, and it is hard to not consider that to be the greatest success.

JB speaking to Dane County Young Republicans

JB is out campaigning hard for this fall\'s election turnaround!

4. CAN YOU GIVE US AN UPDATE ON THE STATE OF YOUR LEGAL CHALLENGE TO OBAMACARE? WHAT ELSE IS BEING DONE AROUND THE COUNTRY RIGHT NOW TO COMBAT THIS LEGISLATION?

Well, we're in a holding pattern in Wisconsin right now, as most people I think, are now aware. As Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin, I have considerable power and authority but it is still limited. And as a conservative, I hold myself to those limits and I don't believe that government should grow beyond what the law entitles us to do. And, suing over ObamaCare is simply something that I have limits placed on me to do and it was necessary for me to get approval from either the governor or one of the bodies of the legislature to bring this lawsuit. We submitted an 8-page detailed memorandum of law indicating why we should bring this suit to all three of them. All three of them declined it and so now, as along as the Legislature and the Governor's office is controlled by their current leadership, we are out of luck when it comes to Wisconsin joining a lawsuit or initiating a lawsuit over the Federal Health Care law. However, when we get a new governor and at a time when we are going to have a new make-up in the Senate and a new make-up in the Assembly we are going to renew our requests, as long as I am Attorney General, and I would suspect that we would be able to get that request granted, in which we will be able to join an ongoing lawsuit or file a lawsuit ourselves. Otherwise there is a consortium of states whose Attorney's General have gotten together and brought a single lawsuit on the behalf of a multitude of states in the State of Florida and we actually could actually join that as well. Thus far, neither of these suits have progressed very far and there is certainly more than enough time to get involved.

5. YOU ARE A HUGE 2ND AMENDMENT PROPONENT. CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THE CONCEPT OF CONCEALED CARRY AND CLEAR UP ANY MISCONCEPTIONS PEOPLE MAY HAVE ABOUT IT?

First with regard to the 2nd Amendment, I'm a huge proponent of it for a number of reasons. First of all I believe in the Rule of Law and it's a significant part of our Constitution. Second of all, of course, when people lose the ability to defend themselves, we become subject to the whims of others who want to violate our freedoms and liberties and we become subject to the whims of government if they are going to abuse their power and authority and so the 2nd Amendment is vitally important to me and we've done a lot in my Administration to advance the cause of gun rights and 2nd Amendment rights in Wisconsin. And I am for concealed carry as well. And I think there's a bit of mis-perception out there that people are in greater danger but in the 48 States that permit law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons, there is absolutely no anecdotal evidence to suggest whatsoever that, that is the case. The opponents of concealed carry will be the first one's to tout examples of problems if there were any. The reality is that Government's role is to protect its citizens and if we have a law in the State of Wisconsin prohibiting law-abiding citizens from carrying concealed weapons, if that is not doing anything to protect citizens, if it's not necessary to protect citizens, then by all means Government should get out of our lives. So I'm a big fan of the 2nd Amendment but I'm also a big fan of making sure the Government doesn't interfere in our lives when they can find or show no legitimate reason to do so. With regards to the Concealed Carry law in Wisconsin right now, there is no justification for it existing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Right Nation 2010

I was hoping that, at this Midwest-themed major event, I would be able to live-blog (I'm on Bloggers Row!) at this, plus two other weblogs.

The last time I was on a "Bloggers Row" - at the 2008 "Defending the American Dream" Summit - I was able to do so, at two blogs (my personal one, and at the UIS College Republicans one), with somewhat success... So I thought maybe, I could do this.

Right Nation 2010 - Bloggers Row

Who was I kidding? Not only did I get here late, and flustered, but just getting, on the Sears Centre wi-fi system was a chore.

I will post more here, but likely in the form of "recaps"... For live-blogging, I'll have to continue, at my personal blog (and on Twitter most likely, from the "interview room").

My U.S. Congressman, AARON SCHOCK (who's also just 1 month older than I), is speaking right now; They told us he will "be in the interview room 1 minute after" he finishes speaking; I hope to be in the front row! [Was in the back, when Andrew Breitbart was there, and I totally missed Herman Cain.]

Please follow updates, from the floor of the Convention, at my main blog [sorry in advance, if they seem garbled, unprofessional, and too stream-of-consciousness-like... I'm undercaffeinated, and mad at myself, for the aforementioned reasons, as well!], and perhaps some updates here, as well.

I will link to the posts of the others, who are here on Bloggers Row... I've noticed Bill Barr, right in front; recognized Emily Zanotti, when I first arrived.

From the interview room, it'll be live-Tweets! You can follow my stream (though for some reason, it's been VERY slow, with the mobile network); the hashtag for this event is #RN2010.

BTW: Four of the State Republican Parties, in our CRNC Midwest Caucus, are sponsors of Right Nation 2010: Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois.



Stay tuned, for more updates!

(I'd link to a live-stream, which I presume exists, but I'm going to get ready, to run to the interview room!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

SEAN DUFFY BUILT FOR THE RUGGED 7TH DISTRICT

Sean Duffy

Wisconsin 7th Congressional District Candidate Sean Duffy has a Christmastime YouTube video that he put on his campaign site in 2009 where he and his family are hunting for the perfect Christmas tree and the chainsaw ran out of gas. Sean broke the tree down with his bare hands, an act of bravado that isn't an anomaly for a family lineage extending back to four generations of pioneers and lumberjacks. He may be running for Congress and for the right to walk the polished, pristine halls of Capitol Hill but his roots have been cemented squarely in rural Wisconsin for longer than he's been alive.

Sean's great-grandfather, Hugh, moved to Hayward in 1883 and was a founding settler of the community as well as a lumberjack. His grandfather, Walter Duffy, was Register of Deeds and county judge for Sawyer County, Wisconsin. His father, Tom Sr, is a lawyer in Hayward and his brother, Tom Jr, also opened his own law practice in Hayward and ran for Sawyer County judge last year. And then there's the logrolling angle: While Sean holds 2 speed-climbing titles, his brother Brian holds 5 logrolling titles, and an even younger Duffy niece Taylor is a multi-logboom running champion who won her first championship at the age of 15.

Born on October 3, 1971, to Thomas and Carol Duffy, (WIKIPEDIA) Sean is one of 11 children born and raised in Hayward. He began log rolling at age 5 and speed climbing (which involves sprinting up 60 and 90 foot poles) at age 13. As a teen, he competed in the National Lumberjack Championships and is a three-time world champion in the 90-foot speed climb. He has a marketing degree from St. Mary's University, and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. In 1997 during his first year at law school, he was cast for and starred in MTV's Real World Boston. He played a Republican on the show. In 1998, the alumni from previous Real World shows, were cast together in Road Rules: All Stars. On the set, he met his future wife, Rachel, (RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY: MOTHER, STAY AT HOME ADVOCATE). They married on April 4, 1999 and the couple now has six kids Evita Pilar, Xavier Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma Pilar and MariaVictoria Margarita.

"My kids logroll in the summer," he told the MCLATCHY-TRIBUNE news agency in May of this year. "This is part of my family's tradition. I've traveled all over the country tree climbing and logrolling. You don't get more Wisconsin than me."

Hayward boasts one of the best logrolling training schools in the country and soon as his kids learn to walk, Sean takes them to logrolling school in the summer. They compete in the Youth division of the Lumberjack World Championships each summer. Evita has already placed 3rd in recent competition.

Here's my interview with Sean recently where he told me about his campaign approach and what he planned to do if he were fortunate enough to win the 7th District race and end up in Washington DC.

1. DAVID OBEY GAVE UP HIS BID FOR RE-ELECTION IN APRIL. HOW MUCH OF THIS DO YOU ATTRIBUTE TO PRESSURE FROM YOUR CAMPAIGN?

You know some people have speculated that I had quite a bit to do with Dave leaving. They've said that he would have stayed there but for the fact that he had a serious challenge this year. I don't know what's in Dave's heart, I don't know what the reason is that Dave got out, only he and his family know that so it's pretty tough for me to speculate. I'll leave that to the bloggers and pundits like yourself!

2. HAVING RECENTLY STEPPED DOWN AS ASHLAND DA, CAN YOU TELL ME HOW TOUGH THIS DECISION WAS AND HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO FOCUS MORE ON THE TASK AT HAND?

I loved my job as Ashland DA. I loved to work representing the citizens of Ashland County. I love putting guys behind bars, the best job I've ever had, but I also think it's important that if you are going to take a step like this and run for Congress you have to be able to look at your life and acknowledge what you can and can't do. I was being a full time father, a full time husband, a full time District Attorney, and a full time candidate and I struggled to do everything well so I decided to give that job up and run full time here and I think it's important that with the problems we face in the country, it's imperative that we have a new direction and this seat is part of this new direction and I wanted to make sure I was giving it my all. So I pondered it for a long time and Rachel and I came to the conclusion that, that was probably the best move. I think to leave the citizens of Ashland County with a District Attorney who is fully engaged, especially as I look at how much it is going to take to win this campaign, is the right way to go, and to recognize that on my part I think is important and that's what it's all about. I'm less concerned about my old job and I am more concerned about the hard-working families here in Wisconsin in the 7th Congressional District and that is why I resigned as the Ashland County DA.

Sean Duffy at the Cranberry Festival

Sean campaigning at the Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin Cranberry festival

3. IN THE EVENT THAT YOU ARE ELECTED TO CONGRESS, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU'D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH AS A REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE STATE OF WISCONSIN?

The first thing: Any unspent TARP money and unspent stimulus money should be sent back to pay down the deficit. I think this will send a resounding message to Americans and the rest of the World that the days of American bailouts and stimulus are over.

4. WHAT ISSUES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A CANDIDATE FOR THE 7TH DISTRICT AND HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TACKLE THOSE ISSUES ONCE YOU ARE ELECTED

The economy and jobs, I think, are the most important. I feel that we have seen government try to borrow and spend our way to prosperity and sustainable job growth and the bottom line is that, that doesn't work and it's never worked. I think that economic growth and sustainable job growth comes from the private sector; people who invest in their vision and it is those folks who create jobs and create wealth, I mean the Bill Gates of the world are the ones who create prosperity and growth and not government spending and I think we need to put a focus back on the true job creators in the private sector, not government. Number 2, we have to start to reduce our debt and balance our budget. We have a 13.3 trillion dollar debt. That breaks down to more than $43,000 dollars for every man, woman, and child in this country and when my little Maria Victoria was born about 5 months ago, she came into the world owing about $43,000 in national debt. This is unacceptable. We are mortgaging our children's future and that is just unacceptable.

Sean Duffy smiling at a rally


Sean hopes to be all smiles on November 3rd!


5. YOU'VE BEEN MARRIED TO RACHEL FOR 11 YEARS NOW. CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE ROLE THAT FAITH PLAYS IN YOUR MARRIAGE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BOTH OF YOU IN YOUR ROLE AS PARENTS?

Rachel and I are both Catholics and it isn't just a commitment between the 2 of us, it is a commitment between us and God and that is, I think, a pretty powerful statement that you make with someone once you include Him in your vows and I think it's important that we raise our children within a sound Faith and that's what we've done in our home. Our kids go to Church every Sunday and they are very well educated in their Faith and I think that plays a huge part of our life and our parenting and I think that plays a huge part in our relationship.

6. RECENTLY RACHEL GAVE BIRTH TO YOUR SIXTH CHILD, MARIA VICTORIA, A PREGNANCY THAT WAS CONSIDERED "HIGH RISK". WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR'S AND RACHEL'S RESOLVE TO SEE THIS PREGNANCY THROUGH AND YOUR REASONS BEHIND IT?

Those I like to keep personal. We have had 2 of those pregnancies that were considered high risk and we chose life, you know, regardless of what hand we are dealt or our kids are dealt and so that's our belief and so the belief just isn't in words, the belief is in practice.

Friday, September 3, 2010

CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: THE CONSERVATIVES FIRST HOPE

Christine O'Donnell for U.S. Senate

BY SCOTT SCHNEIDER
Like any other conservative running in 2010, Christine O'Donnell hopes that a November 2 victory signals the end of a damaging era in American Politics. For Christine; however, there is an added weight to the occasion. . .she would be the winner of an open race that could throw the Democrat's plans for a lame-duck counteroffensive into a tailspin.

Christine is running for Vice President Joe Biden's open Senate seat in Delaware. Because Biden has vacated his term, her reign as Republican Senator would begin immediately on November 3 and the Senate make-up now at 59 Democrats, generally filibuster proof, would be reduced to 58, or only marginally filibuster-proof and the Democrat's plans for a late-session Cap-and-Trade, Card-Check, tax-hiking bonanza would be in shambles.

Contrasting that with Christine's Republican opponent, a RINO in Mike Castle, a career congressman who has generally voted with Democrats on just about every single major spending issue including being one of the infamous 8 who voted for the Waxman-Markey Cap-And-Trade bill, the ability for Christine to win the Sept 14, 2010 primary election makes her race particularly vital to the conservative cause this fall.

According to WIKIPEDIA and her Website CHRISTINE O'DONNELL Christine was born and raised in New Jersey to a mother of Italian-American descent and a father of Irish-American descent and was one of six children. She says she remembers sharing a bedroom with four sisters and her father worked three jobs to take care of the family.

She studied English and Communications at Fairleigh Dickinson University, but did not receive a degree. Afterward she began working for the Republican National Committee for several years in Washington where she began to hone her political arguments and understanding and is credited with helping to develop the marketing strategy that played a key role in the historic ’94 Republican Congressional sweep. She was awarded a 2002 Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship in Constitutional Government from the Claremont Institute in Claremont, CA.

In 2003, Christine moved to Delaware to work for the conservative publisher Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) in Hockessin and also branched out into work as a marketing consultant for The Passion of the Christ and Natalia Tsarkova, the Vatican's first female portrait painter. In addition, she has put her political skills to work providing commentary on TV ratings bonanzas like "The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity & Colmes,” “The Glenn Beck Show,” and “Entertainment Tonight.” And is also a frequent radio talk show guest-host on WGMD in Rehoboth Beach and WDEL in Wilmington, DE.

She has recently been endorsed by Redstate's Erick Erickson REDSTATE, the TEA PARTY EXPRESS, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA, THE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, and ONE NATION PAC.

Christine talked with me this week about her campaign and why she is perhaps the most vital component in the race to take back the House and Senate and stop the Obama/Reid/Pelosi train-wreck in 2010.

1. PEOPLE OUT OF DELAWARE MIGHT NOT KNOW WHY YOUR ELECTION IS SO SIGNIFICANT; CAN YOU EXPLAIN IN YOUR OWN WORDS WHY THE RESULTS ON NOVEMBER 2 WILL AFFECT THE NATION?

It’s critical that Delaware elect a true Constitutionalist on Nov 2 for two reasons. First, this is a special election for the US Senate seat vacated by VP Biden, which means that the winner will be seated *immediately* after election day, rather than waiting until the start of the new Congress in January. That means that if elected, I could be one of the critical votes to help stop an outrageous Democrat Lame Duck bonanza, as Democrats voted out of office by the American people seek to have their final revenge. The second reason it’s critical to elect a conservative is that whether or not Republicans take back the Senate, the margin there will be very slim in either direction. This means that liberal Republicans who tend to vote with Harry Reid will have an incredible power to either thwart a Republican majority or side with a Democrat majority. In the past, liberal Republicans have seriously undermined the conservative agenda, including forcing the Bush tax cuts to be substantially less than they otherwise would have been. My primary opponent is the most liberal Republican serving in the House. As a Congressman, he has voted with Nancy Pelosi an astounding majority of his votes, including for the job-killing national energy tax known as “Cap and Trade.” He also was the Republican lead sponsor on the embryonic stem cell research bill and the first amendment-shredding DISCLOSE Act. Americans from every state, not just Delaware, should be very concerned about a liberal Republican being elected to this seat.

2. YOU COME FROM A LARGE FAMILY; CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE ROLE FAMILY HAS PLAYED IN YOUR CORE VALUES?

I'm one of six children whose parents taught us that while life can be hard, hard work makes life better. My father worked three jobs in order to put food on the table and clothes on our back. My mom's ability to make ends meet on such a tight budget taught me how to stretch a dollar. As adults, my siblings and I all hold different political beliefs, yet regardless, we support each other unconditionally. That dynamic around my mom's Sunday dinner table certainly has prepared me to hold my own in the political arena.

On a serious note, my family was always a rock and a refuge for me and fewer and fewer American children are growing up with that kind of support and unconditional love from a loving, two-parent family. I will fight hard for those values to be preserved in the U.S. Senate.

Christine O

Christine with her suit jacket on and ready to go!

3. BP's OIL SPILL IN THE GULF HAS LED THE PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD TO DISCUSS AMERICA'S ENERGY POLICIES AND QUEST FOR INDEPENDENCE. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OBAMA'S DRILLING MORATORIUM AND THE FUTURE OF OFF-SHORE DRILLING IN AMERICA?

Domestic oil and gas exploration is critical not only to our energy independence, but also our national security and our economic recovery. No one is disputing whether new appropriate safety regulations should be considered in order to prevent this disaster from occurring again. Yet, the Obama job-killing, judiciary-defying moratorium is a catastrophe for our ability to achieve all three of the above goals, especially for the already down-and-out working families of our hard-hit Gulf region. Either Barack Obama is too ignorant to understand the devastating effect of this outrageous policy, or he doesn’t care. My primary opponent is no friend to America’s energy workers either, since he voted for the cap-and-trade bill which would kill jobs and raise energy prices on every family.

4. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER "RESPONSIBLE SPENDING" AND WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WILL TAKE FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SPEND RESPONSIBLY?

Responsible spending is spending which puts the next generation ahead of the next election. Responsible spending means that taxpayer money is treated as a precious trust and should be spent by politicians as if it were their own. It means we do not demand that Americans yet unborn pay for the government programs we want for ourselves. It means we don’t spend more than we have.

The way to achieve this is to replace career politicians with citizen politicians. When the job becomes more important than the people, career politicians betray their oath and spend for political expediency instead of out of good stewardship. Second, we need to elect fiscal conservatives to every branch of government. Mere party affiliation simply will not do, as we have seen from many past Congresses. I wouldn’t oppose forcing Members of Congress to take Econ 101 once or twice, either!

Christine O'Donnell speaking, at her 2010 candidacy announcement


Christine announcing her candidacy in this photo by stevemaloneygop.blogspot.com



5. WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION, YOU ADVOCATE FOR PARENTS TO HAVE A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF CHOICES TO INCLUDE PUBLIC, PRIVATE, PAROCHIAL, AND CHARTER SCHOOLS AS WELL AS HOMESCHOOLING. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO GIVE THESE CHOICES TO PARENTS AND HOW WILL YOU OVERCOME OPPOSITION WITHIN THE BELTWAY?

We can only oppose opposition within the Beltway by massive support outside the Beltway. That means that Americans elect conservatives who are running on a platform that includes educational choice. It’s always difficult to change the Washington establishment, but let’s not forget that the Federal takeover of local education is a new development, not long-standing policy, and can and must be pushed back through big and small legislative measures.

6. WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS TOWARD THE CONSTITUTION?

You know, unlike so many other nations throughout the world and throughout history, America was not founded along tribal, ethnic or religious lines. It was not an accident of geography or post-war map-making. America was born of ideas. Those ideas are enshrined in our Founding documents, most pre-eminently the Constitution, and the more we stray from the limits prescribed in that document, the less we remain America. I love America and I will fight tooth and nail to prevent that from happening in every branch of government.

7. DESCRIBE HOW GRASSROOTS NETWORKS SUCH AS SMARTGIRL POLITICS HAVE AFFECTED YOUR CAMPAIGN?

There would be no O’Donnell for US Senate campaign without the grassroots! We have run a bottom-up campaign from the beginning, unlike my primary opponent, who has relied on top-down party king-making out of Washington. If not for the bloggers, the web sites, the homeschoolers, the Tea Party, and the other grassroots communities outside of the Washington cocktail club, I would never have made it this far. So I am grateful, and in awe of the incredible technological changes over the past few years which have so empowered everyday Americans to be able to make such a difference.

The Lords of the Backroom have anointed my primary opponent as the next US Senator from Delaware. He has been the most liberal Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, almost always voting with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat caucus over his 18 years in office. He has been on a government payroll longer than I’ve been alive. He’s been part of the Washington elite who have brought our economy, our national security, and our fiscal solvency to the absolute brink. Only a wave of common sense conservatives storming Capitol Hill will stand any chance of reversing the damage and restoring American greatness. This race is one that conservatives can win, and so I encourage all freedom-loving Americans to support us with prayer, volunteer hours, and financial giving at Christine2010.com. We can’t do it without you. But together, we can take back our country!

Join Christine on FACEBOOK!

Join Christine on TWITTER!

See more of Scott's interviews at CONSERVATIVEFEATURES.COM

Sunday, August 29, 2010

PAUL RYAN, TAXPAYER'S HERO

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

You don't have to be a conservative from Wisconsin to appreciate Congressman Paul Ryan. From his well-articulated opposition to the President's Government-run health care plan to his bold statements against both the TARP bailout and debt-inflating American Economic Recovery Act of 2009, Paul has positioned himself as a star-in-the-making in the Republican Party. Now a sixth-term congressman from the Wisconsin 1st District who is up for reelection in 2010, Paul has cemented his position in congress as a passionate advocate for fiscal responsibility. Already a ranking member of the Committee on The Budget, he is also a member the far-reaching House Ways and Means Committee, and belongs to the Subcomittees on Oversight and Health. Born on January 29, 1970. He was raised in Janesville, Wisconsin and graduated from Joseph A Craig high school. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Miami, Ohio in 1992 and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. It was after this that Paul began to hone his political skills, first working as an aide to Senator Bob Kasten in 1992, then as a legislative director for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas from 1995 to 1997. In between he also contributed as a speechwriter for the late Jack Kemp's vice presidency run in 1996, while writing additional speeches for former drug czar William Bennett. He finally staked his claim in the 1st congressional district in 1998 when he ran for the seat vacated by Republican conservative (now gubernatorial candidate) Mark Neumann when Neumann retired to run for a second time against Russ Feingold in the Wisconsin Senate race. Paul beat out Democrat challenger Lydia Spottswood that year for the congressional district seat and the rest has been history. He has beaten challenger Jeffery Thomas in the 4 terms since, Marge Krupp in the 2008 election; and the rest, as they say, is history! Paul currently lives with his wife, Janna, and their 3 children; Liza, Charlie, and Sam, at their residence in Janesville only a few blocks from the neighborhood where he grew up. This week, Paul was willing to give me some time out from his hectic schedule to give me a bit of an insider's perspective on the issues facing him in the House of Representatives through the 2010 election.





1. IF YOU WERE CHARGE OF AUTHORING THE FEDERAL BUDGET FOR THE COMING YEAR, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU WOULD DO TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT AND BEGIN THE PROCESS TOWARD REDUCING AND ELIMINATING OUR NATIONAL DEBT?


Well, I’m currently the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee and one of the responsibilities I have is to offer an alternative budget to that proposed by the President. If the American people have their say, hopefully I will be authoring the federal budget in the next fiscal year as Chairman of the House Budget Committee. As I’ve done in the past, I would put forward a budget that reins in spending, gets our debt and deficits under control, and promotes policies which get companies hiring and the economy growing.

The budget for the federal government, just like for businesses and families, sets priorities and forces difficult – but critical – decisions. This year, for the first time in modern history, the Majority will fail to even propose a budget, which is a total abdication of responsibility and especially troubling given the enormity of our fiscal challenges.

Congress has failed to address the urgent need to control Federal spending, reform our entitlement programs, and spur job creation and economic growth. I’ve put forward a comprehensive reform plan – ROAD MAP FOR AMERICA – focused on tackling our generation’s greatest challenges: fulfill the mission of health and retirement security, lift our crushing burden of debt, and restart the American engine of growth and prosperity.




2. NOW THAT GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE REFORM HAS BEEN PASSED, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE REPUBLICANS DID A SATISFACTORY JOB OF STATING FREE MARKET ALTERNATIVES TO THE PLAN? COULD CERTAIN CONCEPTS HAVE BEEN STATED DIFFERENTLY?


I introduced one of the first comprehensive health care reform proposals this session called the Patients’ Choice Act, a free-market alternative to fix what’s truly broken in health care. The Patients’ Choice Act secures universal access to affordable health coverage, not by expanding government, but by reinforcing the role of consumers – patients – in a truly competitive marketplace.

Democrats control the White House and Congress – and decided early on to shut Republican and the American people out of the legislative process. The entire health care debacle was a missed opportunity for true patient-centered reforms that attacked the root-drivers of health inflation. Alternative reforms were rejected, the government-run overhaul was jammed into law, and the American people are already feeling the costly consequences of this deeply flawed law.

Republicans must not tire in their effort to repeal this costly misstep and advance true reform.


Photo of Congressman Paul Ryan speaking

Paul Ryan, "The taxpayer's hero"

3. THE SENATE MAY BE WORKING ON A PLAN TO PASS LEGISLATION THAT WILL ALLOW THE EPA TO IMPOSE CAP-AND-TRADE-STYLE ENERGY TAXES. IF SUCH LEGISLATION IS PROPOSED AND DEBATED IN THE HOUSE, WHAT KIND OF A PLAN DO YOU AND OTHER REPUBLICANS HAVE TO DEFEAT IT?


The cap and trade bill passed the House last year by a seven vote margin after the Speaker successfully twisted the arms of her fellow Democrats to support it. Since then, this national energy tax has stalled in the Senate.

The goal of cap and trade is to lower global temperatures by a fraction of a degree over the course of the century. The bill would kill manufacturing jobs here at home, while our competitors have made clear that they have no intention to unilaterally impose similar harm to their economies. Studies have shown that for every one ton of carbon we reduce in our economy, countries like China and India would increase theirs by about three tons. Economically and scientifically, the cost benefit analysis of cap and trade doesn’t add up. It will put the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage and as a result, we will see higher taxes and energy costs, more manufacturing jobs heading overseas, and more emissions in the atmosphere.

The American people have clearly rejected this misguided proposal, and it has thankfully stalled in the Senate. Yet there have been troubling reports that the President may have the Environmental Protection Agency proceed with capping emissions without any Congressional consent. Earlier this month, the Senate voted down a resolution of disapproval from Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases without Congress passing legislation by a vote of 47-53. Looking at how the Majority has rammed through the health care overhaul and legislation on financial services, it’s not out of the question.




4. ELENA KAGAN HAS BEEN NOMINATED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA TO TAKE JOHN PAUL STEVENS' SEAT ON THE SUPREME COURT. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF ELENA KAGAN AND IF THE HOUSE COULD HOLD CONFIRMATION HEARINGS, WHAT KINDS OF QUESTIONS WOULD YOU LIKE TO ASK HER?


As a member of the House, I won’t be taking part in the confirmation hearings of Elena Kagan so I don’t want to speculate too much. I am sure that my colleagues in the Senate will ask many of the questions I would. With any Supreme Court Justice, Senators should look at a nominee’s experience, knowledge, and body of work and I am sure that we’ll hear these questions asked in the weeks ahead.


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Paul and Janna Ryan, and their kids, Liza, Charlie, and Sam

Paul's wife Janna and their 3 kids

5. FROM WHAT YOU SEE EVERY DAY, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE MAJORITY OF YOUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES ARE UNITED IN THEIR EFFORTS AND COMPREHEND THE HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY THEY MAY HAVE TO TURN THIS CONGRESS AROUND IN THE FALL?


Absolutely, I see the next few elections as realignment elections, where we have a clear choice of two futures. We can either choose to reclaim the American idea and restore the founding principles that made our nation the envy of the world, or we can continue down the path of a European style, cradle-to-grave social welfare state – where higher levels of government spending and debt leave future generations an inferior standard of living.

More and more of our leaders are recognizing the critical importance of the next few elections. In the House, you see the ascension of a younger class of reformers in the Republican Party. Individuals like Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Mike Pence – people who were back-benchers during President Bush’s Administration, who fought the decisions that were being made, but who have now ascended into positions of leadership, and they are going to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes if the American people entrust us with the Majority this fall.

It’s critical that we show people how we will be different from the current leaders in Washington, and that’s why we have to run on specific ideas. My experience with the Roadmap for America’s Future has taught me that the American people are ahead of the political class in Washington. They are ready to be talked to like adults. I feel that Republicans are returning to their core principles of limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise and if we present these ideas to the American people, I believe we can start restoring the American “idea” and get our country on the path to prosperity.





6. GIVEN THE POLITICAL CLIMATE THIS YEAR, WHAT OTHER KINDS OF BOLD ACTION WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE TAKEN IN CONGRESS IF THE REPUBLICANS WIN HANDILY IN NOVEMBER?


There is still a long way to go between now and November, but the first thing we have to do is get a grip on our nation’s debt and deficits, which have been primarily driven by government spending. In this session of Congress, the Majority has approved $1.8 trillion in spending increases and $670 billion in new taxes. They are doing this at exactly the same time we are running record deficits and we are seeing European countries, which followed a similar borrow-and-spend approach, coming undone.

I will continue to advance bold proposals that actually cut government spending, reform our entitlement programs, and modernize our tax code. These three things would go a long way to show the American people, the world and the markets that we are not accelerating our lurch towards a European-style social welfare state.




Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) Delivers Weekly Republican Address June 2010



Rep. Ryan: “Talk about a recipe for disaster: Democrats are offering no budget, no priorities, and no restraints – yet all their taxing, borrowing, and spending continues unchecked.”



WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) says Washington Democrats’ unprecedented decision to cancel this year’s budget will wreak havoc on our economy and make it even harder to put people back to work. The House Budget Committee’s top Republican, Ryan says Democrats’ plan to continue their out-of-control ‘stimulus’ spending spree and raise taxes on middle-class families is a “recipe for disaster.” He also challenges President Obama and Washington Democrats to stop running out the clock and “make the tough choices they promised they would, put moral obligation before political expedience, and focus on what’s in the best interests of the next generation, not the next election.” With economists saying immediate fiscal discipline is needed to create jobs, Ryan notes that Republicans have already identified $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts that could be implemented right now. Rep. Ryan is in his sixth term representing the people of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. President Obama will visit Southeast Wisconsin next week to discuss the economy. Text of the address follows; audio of the address is available here [mp3] and video of the address will be available here once the embargo is lifted. You can download the Weekly Republican Address here.

“Hello – I’m Paul Ryan – I work for the people of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District and I serve as the top Republican on the House Budget Committee. Yes, Congress does have a budget committee, but I’m afraid it hasn’t been very busy this year.

“In fact, this week the House Majority Leader announced that Democrats are canceling this year’s budget. Instead of reining in out-of-control spending that has pushed our national debt past $13 trillion, Democrats have made clear their intention to raise taxes on middle-class families to fuel their continued spending spree.

“Talk about a recipe for disaster: Democrats are offering no budget, no priorities, and no restraints – yet all their taxing, borrowing, and spending continues unchecked.

“With this budget failure – a first in the modern era – Democrats are missing a critical opportunity to provide the fiscal discipline economists say is needed to create private-sector jobs and boost our economy. This unprecedented budget collapse also sends a clear signal to American families struggling to meet their own budgets that Washington still doesn’t recognize the severity of its spending problem.

“Democrats say their decision is about what’s best for the future of our country. It’s not. With the political season upon us, Democratic leaders believe it’s better to take a pass than to pass a budget. While Americans ask ‘where are the jobs?,’ Democrats seem content to simply run out the clock and let their borrowing binge continue to drain resources from our economy.

“The debt is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy in the next 18 months. We have run out of road to kick the can down. If this is really about the future of our country, then leaders should make the tough choices they promised they would, put moral obligation before political expedience, and focus on what’s in the best interests of the next generation, not the next election.

“This is a time to make tough choices, not run from them. To that end, Republicans on the Budget Committee have already identified $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts we would implement right now to make Washington do more with less and help small businesses put people back to work. These are specific, common-sense ideas, such as canceling unspent TARP bailout funds and ‘stimulus’ money, that would help us focus on creating more jobs, not more debt. We also propose reducing federal employment and freezing government pay. Instead of growing government, we need to restart the engine of economic growth.

“Of course, this is just a starting point. Much more needs to be done to set our nation on a sustainable economic course. We need to start reining in unnecessary spending now so that we can boost the economy and work together to address our nation’s long term fiscal challenges.

“It is our shared responsibility to take on the challenges before us to make sure that our kids and our grandkids have a better life. Let’s begin this important work today. Let’s make certain we do not simply retreat to the same failed policies. Let’s make the tough, forward-looking choices that will restore the promise and prosperity of this exceptional nation - and let’s do it together.

“Thanks for listening.”


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RYAN FOR CONGRESS