Republican Congressman Endorsed as a “Young Gun” by NRCC Supports Planned Parenthood Funding
By Joel Griffith
May 12, 2012
The National Republican Congressional Committee supported Bob Dold’s 2010 campaign as one of its ostensibly conservative “Young Guns” candidates. With this help from the NRCC, Bob Dold was elected to Congress.
On May 9, less than two years after this inflow of funds from the Republican Party, Representative Bob Dold (R-IL) introduced legislation protecting funding of Planned Parenthood. This stands in stark contrast to legislation passed last year by the House seeking to eliminate all federal funding. All but seven Republicans voted in favor of this ban.
In 2010, Planned Parenthood provided more than 329,445 abortions. This makes it the largest abortion services provider in the county. In that same year, 46% of its more than $1 billion in revenue came from government health services grants and reimbursements! Nearly 70% of its expenses fell under the “medical services” category which includes abortion services. Partially due to this inflow of government funding, Planned Parenthood’s assets exceed its liabilities by more than $1 billion. That’s quite a strong balance sheet!
Despite the fact that many of Bob Dold’s constituents oppose being forced to fund an abortion services provider, despite the fact that these funds could easily be directed to health organizations which do not provide abortions, and despite the fact that Bob Dold earned an endorsement from the NRCC’s Young Guns program, he advocates continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Bob Dold’s campaign website states, “To put our government back on firm financial ground we must drastically cut spending. “ Actions speak louder than campaign rhetoric, Mr. Congressman. And actions speak louder than any past “Young Guns” endorsement. Then again, Dick Lugar once offered a glowing endorsement of Bob Dold as well, commending him for his fiscal discipline and common sense. This proposed legislation shows little of either.
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CONFUSION OVER WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN CONVENTION DELEGATES
By Joel Griffith
May 8, 2012
Is Republican senatorial candidate Mark Neumann attempting to stack this upcoming weekend’s Wisconsin Republican state convention with delegates? Or is the “Establishment” attempting to freeze out grassroots activists from the state convention? A close look at the facts suggests both accusations might be true.
During the state convention, candidates vie for official Republican Party of Wisconsin endorsements leading to the August 14 congressional primary. This year, Mark Neumann is competing with former Governor Tommy Thompson, state representative Jeff Fitzgerald, and businessman Eric Hovde for this trophy. The delegates will play an important role in determining official state party endorsements. As such, all candidates attempt to win the support of delegates prior to the convention.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin Constitution governs the selection of delegates to the state convention. Article VIII, Section 4 states,
Such delegates shall be elected by members in good standing of the Republican organization in each county at the regularly called County Caucus for the election of such delegates. The members in good standing at the County Caucus may authorize the County Chairman to substitute delegates after the County Caucus if the County Chairman certifies in writing that the added delegate is a member in good standing of that County and the deleted delegate, if any, has no objection to the deletion. No substitutions shall be allowed after the last meeting of the Credentials Committee prior to the convening of the convention.
These rules define the delegate selection process. The state delegates are to be selected at the county caucuses. If any substitutions are made after the caucus, the County Chairman must have been authorized to do so by those in attendance at the County Convention. In addition, any deleted delegate must agree to the switch. The language “the deleted delegate, if any” implies that a substitution does not necessarily involve deleting another delegate. Thus, the County Chairman can also fill allocated delegate slots which remain unfilled following the County Caucus.
These unfilled slots may be quite numerous. The Republican Party of Wisconsin Constitution Article VIII, Section 3 (b) allocates one delegate for every 250 Republican votes cast for governor in the preceding election. Based on Scott Walker’s 2010 vote totals, more than 4,500 delegates could theoretically gather at the state convention. After all, last year was the biggest nonelection year attendance in over forty years. Even so, just 1,050 attended. Presumably, nearly 3,000 delegate slots remained open! This year, a record attendance is expected of up to 2,000 attendees. Yet, still this would leave over 2,000 delegate slots unfilled.
Our source says the Neumann campaign has been actively encouraging people to sign up as delegates to the state convention. The strategy seems to have worked, as hundreds of delegate applications flood in. Unclear is whether the county chairs have been authorized by those in attendance at the county caucuses to make such substitutions and appointments.
The state party credentials committee attempted to amend the rules to only certify as delegates those who signed up prior to the end of the county caucus. Such an attempt to change the rules in the name of “clarification” does serve to alienate these potential delegates. The credentials committee should instead be ensuring that the party constitution be followed. Namely, any delegate additions may only be made (1) at the discretion of the County Chairman and that (2) such Chairman will have been authorized by the County Caucus to make such additions.
Simply following the party constitution as drafted will avoid ostracizing grass roots supporters and will also stop the Neumann campaign (and any other) from flouting the delegate rules. Rather than amend the rules, the credential committee should enforce the rules.
Concerns that the Neumann campaign will drum up needless controversy are understandable. In 2010, Neumann’s supporters picketed the state convention. Neumann alleged that his supporters were being denied access to the convention. After this feeble attempt to attract sympathizers, Neumann admitted the picketing supporters failed to sign up as delegates, alternates, or guests.
The Republican Party rightfully emphasizes the importance of the “rule of law.” It’s time that GOP candidates operate campaigns in accordance with that principle. It’s also time that those in charge of the party infrastructure enforce the rules as written. Such enforcement should be equally applied, regardless of any official’s personal candidate bias.
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Lugar Endorser “Lunch Pail Republicans” Receives 100% of Funding from Left-leaning Union PAC
By Joel Griffith
The Dick Lugar campaign recently trumpeted its endorsement from the Lunch Pail Republicans, expressing “gratitude” to the new organization for it support. The Lunch Pail Republicans committee claims to be comprised of “Indiana Republicans” striving to return Indiana to “traditional core Republican values that used to define who we are.” Extensive research suggests both claims are a distortion of the truth!
According to the organization’s first and only quarterly FEC filing, the Lunch Pail Republicans received $100,000 funding earlier this year. ALL of this funding came from the Engineers Political Education Committee (EPEC). To be clear, every dollar of funds collected by the Lunch Pail Republicans came from a single donor, the EPEC. Not a single dollar reported came from any of the “Indiana Republicans” the organization claims to represent.
Let’s follow the money now. Every dollar funding Lunch Pail Republicans came from EPEC. What types of candidates does EPEC typically support? During the last election cycle, EPEC contributed over $2,000,000 to congressional races. Nearly 90% of those funds went to Democrats. EPEC’s most recent monthly filing covering March of this year shows a similar breakdown. In March, EPEC contributed to Representative Jim Moran, who recently tried to censor advertisement critical of Obamacare. In addition, EPEC contributed to Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who once suggested the Constitution guarantees a right to dental care! It gets worse…EPEC also gave to notorious Democrat Alan Grayson, who earned the title “America’s Worst Politician” for intellectually inept and incendiary outbursts and Representative Jan Schakowsky, a member of the radical Progressive Caucus. To top it off, in March of 2012, EPEC contributed $100,000 to AFL-CIO and $250,000 to the Michigan Democratic Party 21st Century Fund.
Yet, the Lugar campaign proudly touts an endorsement from an group funded in its entirety by EPEC. Ironically, a Lugar surrogate declared that “endorsements matter” while decrying Grover Norquist’s (of Americans for Tax Reform) endorsement of Mourdock. Is the Lugar campaign unaware that most conservatives would appreciate the endorsement of a person known for fighting against tax increases rather than from an organization entirely funded by EPEC?
The Lunch Pail Republicans is an organization entirely funded by a “political education committee” funding opponents of Republican candidates 90% of the time. Unfortunately, the impact from the deceptively named organization extends beyond the Indiana Senate race. Lunch Pail Republicans recently endorsed six Republicans running for the Indiana House of Representatives. Conservatives should cast a wary eye on all of them.
Follow Joel Griffith on Twitter @joelgriffith
Federal Tax Dollars Indirectly Fund Organization Leading Assault on ALEC
By Joel Griffith
The Center for Media and Democracy proudly leads the charge against the American Legislative
Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization dedicated to advancing limited government, free markets,
federalism, and individual liberty. Several leading corporations have announced plans to withdraw
membership contributions from ALEC following this outcry.
Who funds the Center for Media and Democracy? The website proclaims, “We accept no funding from
for-profit corporations or grants from the government.” Based on this statement, one might be fooled
into thinking that indeed no tax dollars find their way into the coffers of this progressive organization.
However, the truth suggests otherwise.
One of the prominent contributors to the Center for Media and Democracy is the Tides Foundation.
As it turns out, both the Tides Foundation and the related Tides Center receive funding from the
federal government in the form of grants from an array of agencies. These include the Environmental
Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Energy, and the
Department of Agriculture. According to the government database, www.usaspending.gov, the Tides
Center received more than $3,000,000 in federal funding since 2000; the Tides Foundation received in
excess of $800,000 in the same period.
Matthew Vadum, Senior Editor at Capital Research Center and author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s
ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, this week referred to the
Tides Foundation as “a legal money-laundering outfit for the radical left that was founded by Drummond
Pike, a leftover peacenik from the 1960s.” In response to the revelation that the Tides Foundation
collects millions of dollars in federal funding, Mr. Vadum stated, “This is disgraceful. Our tax dollars
should not be funding an organization that helps racist groups like Color of Change and hyper-partisan
propaganda shops like Media Matters for America.”
This bold criticism of this federal funding seems vindicated. In short, the federal government funds
the Tides Foundation. This same foundation contributes significant sums to the Center for Media
and Democracy, which launched a public relations offensive against ALEC. The possibility of federal
tax dollars being used to aid organizations stymying the work of a private advocacy group should be
disconcerting to all who value our First Amendment right “to petition the government for a redress of
What’s Really going on in Washington State
By: On The Edge’s Correspondent out on the campaign Trail
In Washington state, precinct caucuses elect precinct delegates to attend county Republican conventions across the state. Each of these county conventions is divided into districts, usually based on legislative district representation at the state house. Thus, a county convention might involve numerous districts meeting at the same time within that convention building. Each of these districts elects STATE delegates from the much larger number of precinct delegates gathered to attend the Republican state convention. At this state convention, approximately 1500 of these state delegates then select 40 delegates to attend the national convention in Tampa. Those delegates at the national convention join with other delegates from across the county to choose the next Republican nominee for President.
We all know that 1144 is the magic number of delegates to choose the nominee. We all know that Mitt Romney maintains a strong lead in reaching that number. However, even with all this lead, Romney us only about half-way to the necessary number- 1144.
What many don’t understand is that the media exaggerates its estimates of likely Romney delegates from caucus states. Because Romney won the non-binding WA statewide caucuses by a wide margin on March 3, the media estimates the national delegate split from WA as follows: Romney 30, Santorum 5, Paul 5. However, the county conventions show a different scenario taking place.
In Pierce, King, Snohomish, Mason, Whitman, and Clark counties, Santorum and Paul delegates have been working together to elect primarily Santorum and Paul delegates to the state convention. In some districts, this is resulting in Romney being shut out from attaining ANY state delegates. Clark Legislative District (LD) 17, Clark LD 18, and Pierce LD 25 are three examples where Romney won ZERO delegates at the county convention. Keep in mind that in all three of those districts, Romney entered the county conventions with a plurality of precinct delegates! Yet, the delegates going to the state convention from those districts are almost entirely support either Santorum or Paul.
Of course, Romney surrogates intended to use a similar strategy to deny Santorum and Paul state delegates. These surrogates and WA Republican Party insiders devised dozens of “Unity” slates stocked with a majority of Romney state delegate candidates and NO Paul delegates.
While slates of recommended delegates are permissible and quite common in these situations, the establishment forces went a step further by printing up hundreds of copies of slates claiming to be endorsed by the Santorum campaign. In Pierce County, Alex Hayes, executive director of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington (a decidedly left-of-center political group), worked with Jane Milhans to distribute hundreds of “Unity Slates” purporting to be endorsed by the campaign.
As it turns out, the Santorum campaign had already dispatched a staffer to the convention to encourage Santorum delegates to reject this slate. Grass-roots leaders and delegates limited Romney to just 5% of delegates in the district lobbied by Alex Hayes.
This unity slate debacle just scratches the surface of WA county conventions irregularities. Consider the following examples from this past weekend:
- Snohomish County LD 39: The chair refused to allow the representative from the Santorum campaign to address delegates prior to voting. Instead, he selected a person claiming to be a Santorum supporter who actually advocated for the Romney friendly “Unity” slate. When delegates motioned to allow the Santorum staffer to speak, the chair ruled the motion out of order.
- Snohomish County LD 39: The chair refused to allow a Santorum staffer to meet with delegates in between the four rounds of voting. Many campaigns at caucuses take this opportunity between votes to talk with their delegates about the process and strategy. In fact, the sergeant at arms in this district threatened to send two police officers to escort the staffer off premises.
- Snohomish County LD 1: A Unity slate advocate proposed cutting the balloting process short by dividing the delegates into groups based on candidate preference. Each group would then choose a certain number of delegates to the state convention based on their candidate’s proportion of the March 3 vote in LD 1. Such an action would have been an extreme violation of the rules. When approached by a Santorum parliamentarian challenging this proposal, the chair stated the proposal would not be acted upon. What was troubling was that reason the chair gave for its failure. He stated that the illegal proposal did not have enough support. In a society governed by the rule of law, the proposal should have been rejected on its face because it violated the rules.
- Snohomish County LD 44: The chair denied motion to allow a Santorum representative time to speak. The chair also denied a challenge to this ruling. According to the rules, the motion was entitled to a vote by the delegates. A Unity slate advocate physically assaulted the Santorum representative who was patiently awaiting an opportunity to speak, shoving him out of the room. A police office standing just feet away did nothing to properly address the situation, choosing to deny the Santorum staffer access to the room by blocking the entry to the doorway following this assault.
- Clark County LD 17: As Romney delegates and Unity slate supporters began to realize the Santorum/Paul coalition threatened to shut Romney out of delegates, they decided to run out the clock on the balloting process. The time allotted for the process expired, leaving approximately 17 delegate spots to the state convention empty.
What a shame that in the United States of America, the establishment of the Washington State Republican Party would tolerate, and in some cases engage in, such uncivil behavior.
Thanks for choosing On The Edge for you CPAC coverage. Today I was fortunate enough to catch quite a few interesting speakers. I look forward to providing you much more in depth and direct coverage of other speakers but I want to focus on just a few, those being Herman Cain and Rand Paul.
Oh, Herman Cain, the David like figure who inspired so many in the primaries. He always is an absolute joy to listen to, and I don’t mean that sarcastically. Whether or not you like him, or think he was guilty of the sexual charges, he really has a way of invigorating audiences and inspiring people. Personally I think that’s a good thing, I don’t think he was really presidential material (If you’re curious as to why not, ask him about Usbekibekistanistan). Despite his potential failings as a candidate he certainly raises some interesting points. In his address he discussed the 999 plan, honestly his pitch almost made it sound like a pizza deal. Literally upon hearing the pitch I got hungry and wanted to cut taxes. … at the same time! And that ladies and gentlemen is two types of debt reduction; increased business, and lower taxes boosting the economy. He spent a fair deal talking about his foundation, and actually raising good points about how people should get to know their candidates before they get elected. Personally I think that often too many people vote with the party without getting to know their candidate so I commend Mr. Cain for mentioning that. So after fifteen minutes of Cain talking about how wonderful he is, he gave somebody else accolades and that someone was Joe the Plumber. Mr. the Plumber was in attendance in the VIP section and gave a nice awkward wave and smile as Mr. Cain talked about him for five seconds before returning to his own excellence. Herman Cain ended his speech with standing ovations, which quickly turned into hurried footsteps, and a mass exodus out of the ballroom as Rand Paul took the stage.
Personally I have nothing against Rand Paul, but I got the sense that the libertarian crowd made up a much smaller percentage of the CPAC attendees this year. I was actually surprised to see the pro-life and social con’s being even more prevalent and generally accounted for than the Paulistinians usually are. Rand Paul also delivered a very interesting speech. His speech was basically an admonition of crony capitalism in the Obama administration. In his speech he exposed the loans given out to The Kennedy’s and George Kaiser. Among his themes were the double talk of the Obama administration and the need for limited and fair government. I really do love when libertarians say things that I agree with, it makes them loveable for a few minutes…that is until they say something really stupid. I count my blessings that Rand didn’t veer off to far and overall he was very tolerable, even so far as enjoyable.
That is all the coverage for today. Join us for tommorow’s coverage of CPAC on On The Edge w/ Allan Poteshman