The monthlong ‘Python Challenge’ in the Florida Everglades has proven to be just that. So far, wildlife officials say Burmese python hunters have found 21 of the exotic snakes.
Driving The Discussion….
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell tells USA Today that he believes Republicans can take control of the U.S. Senate. McConnell said he is optimistic about the party’s chances in states such as Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Wisconsin — as well as “deep-blue” Hawaii, where President Obama was born. … “Races have yet to be won,” McConnell told USA TODAY and Gannett, blaming the “dysfunctional Senate” on Democrats who are in charge. “The Senate Democratic majority is an embarrassment and should be replaced.” He also said President Obama deserves some of the blame for the inability of Congress to pass a budget and spending bills – two items that lawmakers are charged with doing every year.
Meanwhile, NRSC Chairman John Cornyn penned an op-ed for the Washington Times where he says the GOP is on offense in states Democrats won in 2006. As our nation enters the final two months of another spirited election, Republican Senate candidates are on offense in states Democrats won in 2006. A record of broken promises coupled with an unprecedented attempt to push through an extreme liberal agenda has put Democrats in the unenviable position of being forced to play defense and facing daunting odds in areas where just a few short years ago they cruised to victory. Democrats including Jon Tester of Montana, Bill Nelson of Florida and Sherrod Brown of Ohio find themselves on defense because they promised to be independent voices for their constituents while committing to support a balanced approach to managing our country’s finances.
Happening In Key States Today….
In Massachusetts, WFB-TV in Boston reports that Elizabeth Warren’s driver refused to discuss why he assaulted a GOP tracker in Martha’s Vineyard.
In Florida, Connie Mack tells the Daily Caller that after 40 years in office, liberal Democrat Bill Nelson doesn’t have a vision for America. Florida Senate hopeful and Congressman Connie Mack IV said Wednesday that the negative ads his Democratic opponent, Sen. Bill Nelson, is running against him are insulting to Florida voters and show an inability to talk about real issues. … “I think people are interested in having a conversation about the future of America and what the hopes and dreams are for their children — not running ads that, frankly, I think dismiss the Florida voters. … He’s a forty year career politician and that’s the best he can do? That’s sad,” Mack said.
- Meanwhile, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that the GOP’s Convention could help Connie Mack defeat Nelson and his failed policies. Having the Republican National Convention in his home state could be a boost to GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Rep. Connie Mack, who is still struggling to convince leaders in his own party that he can beat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. … After easily winning the Republican primary, Mack is starting to pick up momentum. The Fort Myers congressman is in position to leave Tampa this week with a solid fundraising haul and, depending on his performance in a prime speaking slot tonight, buzz among grass-roots activists.
- Finally, the Tampa Tribune reports that Connie Mack reiterated that he opposes President Obama and Senator Nelson’s job-killing regulations. U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, his wife, U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater came out swinging Tuesday against government regulation and overspending. … They hurled much of their scorn at financial regulations, such as the Dodd-Frank act. Community banks can’t make loans because new regulations restrict the amount of capital they can lend, said Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, who is running for U.S. Senate. Instead, they sit on the sidelines, he said.
In Arizona, Tucson Weekly reports that Jeff Flake unveiled a new web video reminding voters that Richard “Rubberstamp” Carmona was personally recruited by President Barack Obama. Republican Senate candidate Jeff Flake is out this morning with a new web video linking Democratic opponent to President Barack Obama.
In Virginia, the News Virginia reports that George Allen toured a food facility plant in Stuarts Draft. Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen has said jobs are the number one issue in his race against Democrat Tim Kaine, and on Wednesday, Allen visited an Augusta County manufacturer that is adding jobs. Allen spent an hour touring the McKee Foods facility in Stuarts Draft, and held a town hall meeting with McKee employees.
In Ohio, WHIZ-TV in Zanesville reports that Josh Mandel visited the Y-Bridge City and reiterated that he’ll go to Washington to fight for the people. The race for the United States Senate made a stop in the Y-Bridge City Wednesday. … Mandel blames partisan politics for the gridlock in congress and said if elected he will not be pushed around. “I’ll look that political boss in the eye, I’ll look that lobbyist in the eye and tell them, I don’t work for them,” said Mandel. “My boss is the 11.5 million people in the state of Ohio. No one in Washington is going to push me around, because I’ve been through tougher stuff than this.”
- Meanwhile, WTAP News reports that Mandel also brought his pro-jobs campaign to Marietta. Mandel says with local companies, like Caron, he believes Marietta and the entire county can lead economic recovery for Ohio and the entire country. “A lot of politicians in Washington think the federal government is the answer, I happen to think that Washington is the problem. As a United State Senator I’m going to get Washington out of the way so that blue collar workers, small business owners, manufacturers can release their own ingenuity, intelligence, hard work to create and grow jobs here throughout the Marietta area,” says Treasurer Mandel.
In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is echoing how Tommy Thompson is going to help Republicans up and down the ticket in the Badger State. “I think probably the single most important thing that helps Romney in Wisconsin is Tommy Thompson,” said Van Hollen, referring to the former governor running for U.S. Senate. “You talk about substance, someone who can show you when he was in office he got things done, someone who is a byword in Wisconsin. He will bring a lot of voters to Republicans who otherwise wouldn’t be there. And it doesn’t take too many of them to stay over there in the presidential race to make a difference.”
In Indiana, the Brazil Times reports that Richard Mourdock met with the Clay County Chamber of Commerce to discuss ways to get America’s economy moving. Mourdock said the “Indiana Way” was the clear way to get out of the economic doldrums facing the nation. Mourdock then discussed items he believed could help the nation claw its way out of the economic hardship, stressing taking the “Indiana Way” to Washington, D.C., creating long term, consistent policy, reducing regulation on business and repealing the Affordable Health Care Act. He said the federal government must learn to live “within its means.” In addition, he said small business owners are unaware of what their tax rates will be Jan. 1, 2013. Because of this, business owners, he said, are unlikely to invest. “These uncertainties are the heart of why we are seeing no economic recovery,” he said. He added repealing the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly referred to as “ObamaCare,” is vital, suggesting it must be replaced with “job friendly, market oriented reforms,” which would reduce the cost of health care while giving people more choices.
In Michigan, the Midland Daily News reports that Pete Hoekstra has launched a “We Did Build This Tour” and is traveling the state meeting with small business owners. Visiting small businesses as he launched the “We Did Build This Tour,” Hoekstra spent an hour listening as Computers to Go owner John Levy shared concerns about small business…”The lifeblood of the economy is these small and medium size businesses and we’ve made it so hard and so expensive for these folks, in many ways, to realize their dreams,” he said. “There are barriers, that government, at all levels, puts in place to keep people from being successful. (Gov. Rick Snyder) and I have talked about how do we streamline the process between the feds and the state?” To help small businesses, Hoekstra would like to ease banking rules and regulations… Hoekstra believes that the regulations are affecting small, local banks.
In Nevada, Senator Dean Heller continued his rural tour by visiting Yerington, Fallon and Fernley. Dean Heller is moving across Nevada this week, and today he stopped in Yerington, Fallon and Fernley. All along the campaign trail, Dean Heller has met Nevadans who want to hear actual solutions to Nevada’s struggling economy, which is why he has consistently focused on the issues that matter most – creating jobs, keeping families in their homes and the pressing need to stop out-of-control spending in Washington.
In Nebraska, KTIV-TV in Sioux City reports that Republican State Senator Deb Fischer promises that if elected, she’ll change Washington. Nebraska U.S. Senate candidate Deb Fischer has introduced herself to convention-goers, at the RNC in Tampa, Florida. The state senator described herself as “not the usual” politician … a wife, mother and a rancher. Fischer said becoming a U.S. Senator was never an ambition of hers. But, Fischer says, the last four years have changed her mind. Deb Fischer, (R) U.S. Senate Candidate says, “I’ve become very dismayed with the record spending, the record debt, and the record unemployment. The Obama administration has been out of touch with the American people. And, they’ve driven the country towards the edge of a fiscal cliff.”
- Meanwhile, Fischer tells Don Walton at the Lincoln Journal-Star that she’ll debate Bob Kerrey and his liberal ideas two more times in September. Republican Senate nominee Deb Fischer said Wednesday she’d like to schedule two more debates with former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey in September and call it good. “There’s early voting in Nebraska,” she said during a telephone interview. “It’s important for voters to be informed by October when it begins.”
In Hawaii, Hawaii News reports that physicians in the Aloha State are backing former Governor Linda Lingle. The Political Action Committee of the Hawai`i Medical Association has endorsed former Governor Linda Lingle’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. HMA is a local organization representing over 1,100 physicians, resident physicians, and medical students in the state of Hawaii. It is dedicated to serving physicians, their patients, and the community through representation, advocacy, and public service. HAMPAC representative Dr. Don Parsa said in announcing the groups endorsement of Lingle “she is clearly committed to advancing affordable, quality health care for all the people of Hawai`i and the nation.
In Connecticut, the Connecticut Post reports that absentee Congressman Chris Murphy’s lackadaisical campaign could force National Democrats to ship money to the Nutmeg State. Summer’s over for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy and Connecticut Democrats. Their blue-state dreams got a red-state wake-up call Tuesday. As Labor Day looms and with it the traditional election stretch drive, the Quinnipiac University Poll shows Republican Linda McMahon has made huge inroads among women and independent voters — once her vulnerability — and pulled ahead of the third-term congressman in the race for the U.S. Senate. … And what was already a contentious race may become even more so, as Democrats could be forced to pour money into Murphy’s campaign to help him compete with McMahon’s personal fortune. The poll showed McMahon with a 49-to-46 percent edge. Back in March, Murphy enjoyed a 52-to-37 percent lead in what was then a theoretical matchup with McMahon, the former pro-wrestling executive.
In New Jersey, the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Joe Kyrillos will host the Garden State’s farewell breakfast in Tampa. Today he’ll host a farewell breakfast for the state delegation, at which he plans to speak. Kyrillos has a long friendship with Christie that began when they worked on President George H.W. Bush’s 1992 re-election campaign. And it was during the same campaign that he became acquainted with Mitt Romney, this year’s Republican presidential nominee whom he also backed in 2008.
In Florida, FOX-TV in the Panhandle reports that Connie Mack brought his pro-jobs campaign to the Panhandle. The U.S. Senate race from Florida is still weeks away, but one candidate has already visited the Panhandle Thursday, August 23. … Mack toured the Marianna Airmotive Corporation facility. It overhauls parts of C-5 cargo aircraft for the Air Force. Mack said he wanted to visit the facility because one of the important issues in the election will be encouraging the growth of small businesses.
- Meanwhile, the Orlando Sentinel reports that Crossroads GPS continues to hit liberal Democrat Bill Nelson for supporting ObamaCare. Republican organization Crossroads GPS is launching a new round of Florida TV commercial attacking against Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, contending his Affordable Care Act vote is “hurting Florida’s seniors.” The ad, from an organization that already has spent millions of dollars in Florida going after Nelson, raises a charge that Nelson has vehemently disputed, that the proposed $700 billion Medicare trim included in the Affordable Care Act would affect benefits. Nelson contends the trim is an efficiency move that would not affect care.
- Finally, Gannett reports that Connie Mack has been awarded a prime speaking role at the GOP Convention in Tampa. Rep. Connie Mack of Fort Myers will kick off the list of speakers on the final night of the Republican National Convention next Thursday in Tampa. Mack, who is running for the United States Senate against incumbent Bill Nelson, is among five Republicans who will speak before Mitt Romney accepts the nomination as the GOP presidential candidate. Sen. Marco Rubio of West Miami will introduce Romney.
From the Washington Post:
A couple days ago, the Miami Herald wrote that Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment “could be bad news for Florida Sen. Bill Nelson,” because big-spending outside groups that were on the fence about this race might change their minds if Missouri fell off the map. Rep. Connie Mack (R) has stumbled a bit, but he’s never said anything about “legitimate rape.” And it’s still a competitive race.
That looks pretty prescient now. As first reported by Politico, the Karl Rove-advised non-profit Crossroads GPS is going up with its first ad in Florida, part of a $4.2 million Senate offensive. Of that, $2.4 million is going to Florida. (Ads are also going up in Montana, New Mexico and Ohio.)
From the Orlando Sentinel:
The 60-Plus Association, a Republican-favoring national organization, is launching a new TV ad blitz in Florida today featuring Pat Boone attacking U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, contending that the Affordable Care Act will put bureaucrats between seniors and Medicare treatment.
The ad calls the Independent Payment Advisory Board, created under the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, to review and reduce Medicare costs “like a Medicare IRS.”
The $276,000 television ad campaign will run statewide in Florida beginning on August 15 and running through August 28.
That board was created to replace a previous Medicare board that had advisory power only. The new 15-member board, nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and to include doctors and patient advocates, will have executive power to administer changes in Medicare coverage if costs climb, though it is specifically prohibited by law from “recommending any policies that ration care, raise taxes, increase premiums or cost-sharing, restrict benefits or modify who is eligible for Medicare,” according to a White House analysis.
The 60-Plus Association, which calls it part of the “Obama-Nelson health care agenda,” argues that it puts bureacrats between seniors and health care.
Nelson now is in line to defend against Republican Senate challenger U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, who won the GOP primary Tuesday.
“Call Senator Nelson,” Pat Boone implores. “Tell him: Unaccountable bureaucrats should never have the power to deny you the care you deserve.”
While many political observers and reporters in Florida consider, and often mislabel, Florida Senator Bill Nelson a centrist, that label is greatly at odds with his very liberal voting record and 98 percent support of Barack Obama. In fact, it is greatly at odds with a time long ago when Bill Nelson might more accurately have been labeled a centrist, way back in the late 70’s.
Consider that in 1979 and 1980, Bill Nelson supported President Jimmy Carter only 49% and 68% of the time, respectively. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Bill Nelson supported Obama 97%, 98% and 97% of the time, respectively. Bill Nelson is in no way a centrist, and he has become far too liberal for mainstream Floridians.
Aside from his support of the space program, Nelson has never really identified himself with a strong signature issue. In fact, a Florida magazine once labeled the Democrat an “empty suit.”
So with just over an eleven-week sprint to Election Day, the Bill Nelson of 2012 is in a significantly weaker position than the Bill Nelson of 2006. In 2006, Nelson’s average ballot score in over 30 polls through the mid-August that year was in the mid-50s.
In 2012, Nelson has been mired in the mid-40s in public polling. In fact, his numbers very recently have been falling into the low 40s, and for the first time this cycle, the most recent series of Real Clear Politics (RCP) averages of the polls has had Mack leading and now this race as close as a race can get at 43.8-43.6.
And as we all know, 2006 was one of the worst elections in the last two decades for Republicans; while it was a banner year for Democrats and a thus banner year for Bill Nelson. Overall, the election resulted in a sweeping victory for the Democratic Party, which captured from Republicans control of the US House of Representatives, the US Senate, and a majority of governorships and state legislatures.
Unlike the political and issue landscape of this election, Nelson focused on safe issues in 2006 portraying himself as a bipartisan centrist problem-solver. He obtained the endorsement of all 22 of Florida’s daily newspapers and as the election approached, polls showed Nelson ahead by 26 to 35 points. With a comfortable enough lead in the last weeks, he transferred about $16.5 million of his campaign funds to other Democratic candidates, and won the election with 60.4% of the vote.
The political landscape for 2012 is markedly different from 2006, as are the most important issues on voters’ minds and, much like 2010, it greatly favors the more fiscally-hawkish Republicans like Connie Mack than liberal, big-spending Obama rubber stamps like Bill Nelson.
A closer look at Nelson’s liberal voting record reveals clearly why.
In the slightly more than 10 years that Bill Nelson has been representing the state of Florida, the federal debt has gone from $5.7 trillion to nearly now $16 trillion. He’s voted to raise the debt ceiling 11 times. The annual federal deficit in his first year in 2001 was $127 billion. Last year it was $1.3 trillion – more than a 1000% increase! When Bill Nelson took office, there were over 310,000 unemployed Floridians. Today, that number is tripled.
It is very difficult for Bill Nelson to claim he is not part of the big spending addiction that inflicts liberal Democrats in the Senate. He has voted for 88,990 earmarks during his tenure worth a total of $178 billion! He has sponsored or co-sponsored legislation that, if it all were passed into law, would cost $1.45 trillion.
Remember that self-proclaimed bipartisan, centrist-problem-solver image he wore in his 2006 re-election campaign? In no way can he effectively project that image anymore; it doesn’t fit. Because he has voted with Barack Obama 98 percent of the time, and has voted for increasing taxes 143 times.
In addition to an abysmal fiscal record of supporting record spending, record deficits and record debt that has cost Florida desperately needed economic growth and jobs, and despite having warned President Obama that Obamacare was a raw deal for seniors in Florida, Nelson still caved to White House and his party leadership’s pressure to provide the 60th vote for its passage in the Senate.
All across Florida, the Nelson-supported Obamacare is literally killing jobs. In North Florida, small business owners have said that government-run healthcare is driving up their premiums. Meanwhile, small business owners in Jacksonville have said the taxes in ObamaCare could force them to sell their business. Additionally, in Melbourne, medical device companies have stated that the medical device tax is stifling innovation.
Notably, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has stated the healthcare law will kill 800,000 jobs nationwide.
The Nelson record is further littered with more liberal, big spending initiatives including the failed stimulus, bailouts, cap and trade, card check, and the DREAM Act. And he more recently voted against the pro-domestic energy, pro-jobs Keystone XL Pipeline legislation.
Nelson claimed after his stimulus vote that it would create or save 206,000 jobs. In fact, Florida ranked dead last in stimulus benefits per resident. Today versus when Nelson was sworn in in 2001, Florida construction jobs have dropped 33%, and Florida manufacturing jobs have been reduced by 35%.
Connie Mack is a solid alternative to Bill Nelson
In contrast, Connie Mack has a clear record and offers a great contrast to the ever-left-leaning Nelson. Mack is a vocal supporter of less federal spending and lower taxes, reducing debt and balancing the budget. He is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Additionally, he is an original co-sponsor of a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget and has been one of the most outspoken opponents of federal bailouts.
He also has sponsored “The Mack Penny Plan,” a straight-forward, common-sense plan to balance the federal budget by: 1) cutting federal spending by one percent each year for six consecutive years; 2) setting an overall spending cap of 18 percent of GDP in 2018; and 3) reducing overall spending by $7.5 trillion over 10 years.
In addition, Mack has a unique idea for what he calls a “Repeal Congress.” Each Congress sits for two years and he is proposing that the House and Senate utilize one whole Congress – for two full years – focusing nearly all legislating on repealing and reworking bad, broken and out-of-date laws currently on the books that do much more damage than good to the American people and our Constitution. Another common-sense conservative idea that is probably too plainly simple and smart to get the traction it deserves.
Mack also maintains a strong, consistent record of voting for pro-growth, pro-jobs legislation throughout his career in the House, legislation that rarely sees a vote these days in the Harry-Reid-Democrat-controlled Senate while they stack up high in a death pile on his desk in the Senate.
This Senate election in Florida is a very clear contrast and Bill Nelson is in serious trouble, as he should be. Conservatives and fiscal-minded independents should take a keen look at Connie Mack as the clear alternative to replacing the far too liberal Bill Nelson.
Connie Mack video response to Nelson ad: Senator’s a “typical career politician wants to talk about Hooters and what I did as a kid.”
From the Miami Herald:
Sen. Bill Nelson’s first negative ad against Rep. Connie Mack sure hit a nerve, and it provoked an interesting response: a web-ad rebuttal from the Republican. Conventional campaign wisdom says you shouldn’t repeat an opponent’s attack. But Mack does a solid job looking serious, sober and tough, thereby trying to judo Nelson to make him like the frivolous one talking about the past instead of the future.
Here’s the ad:
“Sad, 40 years in politics and this is what Bill Nelson wants to talk about. Even if it were all true, and it’s not, who cares.”
“After all, Bill Nelson and I are candidates for the United States Senate and their are real differences between us.
“Bill Nelson cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare and voted to raise our taxes 150 times- I voted to against ObamaCare and to cut taxes.
“I want to talk about what really matters- fixing our economy, creating jobs and tackling our deficit. Bill Nelson, like a typical career politician, wants to talk about Hooters and what I did as a kid. “Lets get serious: Our country is in crisis. It’s time to debate the issues that matter, not this nonsense”.
From the Miami Herald:
Little-known Glenn Burkett, who is running for the Democratic nomination against incumbent U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, is accusing Nelson of hacking his website.
Here’s the statement from Burkett.
Just one day after press release reporting over a thousand people per day and climbing was visiting the Glenn Burkett for U.S. Senate campaign web site was attacked early this morning. Voters are calling reporting the site is down. Glenn Burkett is Nelson’s only competitor in the primary. Glenn Burkett’s business and Foundation web sites are up and running. The company providing the server for the site is investigating the source of the hackers since 8 am this morning.
Voters today depend on researching candidates position on issues via web sites. Burkett does not believe this was an accident because it happened during early voting.
Nelson campaign manager Pete Mitchell called the claim “absurd.”
From the Tampa Bay Times:
Hotline’s latest U.S. Senate rankings pegs Florida’s contest between Democrat Bill Nelson and (probably) Republican Connie Mack IV as the 11th most like senate race to switch party control.
Rep. Connie Mack is becoming more competitive simply by virtue of the state’s closely divided nature. National Republicans are getting more interested in the race as public polling continues to show Mack running closely behind — or in some cases narrowly ahead — of Nelson. If Florida comes off the presidential table, watch Senate groups get more interested. Nelson’s money, though, is an overwhelming advantage right now.
Two thoughts: It’s highly unlikely that Florida will come off the table of battleground states, and there’s little reason to think Nelson really will have a financial advantage. Anyone residing in a key Florida media market for months has been seeing loads of ads attacking Bill Nelson, courtesy of GOP SuperPACs. Yes, Nelson currently has $10.7-million on hand, compared to $1.3-million for Mack, but GOP political committees already have spend more than $7-million tearing down Nelson on TV and it seems more likely than not that Republicans will end up outspending Democrats in Florida’s senate race.
The fact that Nelson has dispatched his savvy chief of staff, Pete Mitchell, to lead his re-election campaign, speaks volumes. Plenty of Republicans are justifiably shaking their heads over the rocky performance of the Mack campaign to date, but Nelson is highly vulnerable. And he knows it.
Will Dem Senators Support A Death Tax Hike Despite Acknowledging It Would ‘Hurt Family Farmers’ And Promising ‘There Is No Way’ They’d Do It?
Senate Dem Estate Tax Plan ‘Troublesome For Farmers’
FARM BUREAU: “Estate taxes are especially troublesome for farmers and ranchers. [The Reid Proposal] fails to provide any estate tax relief which would allow a $1 million per person exemption and 55 percent top rate to be reinstated on Jan. 1, 2013. A $1 million exemption is not high enough to protect a typical farm or ranch able to support a family from estate taxes…” (Letter To U.S. Senators, American Farm Bureau Federation, 7/24/12)
Dem Vow To Farmers: ‘There Is No Way, No Way’
NORTH CAROLINA FARMERS: “…would have a devastating impact on farms and ranches in North Carolina and the Nation. This reversion… has the great potential to eliminate a generation of aspiring farmers from continuing the family farming operation.” (Letter To Sen. Hagan, North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, 7/24/12)
· SEN. KAY HAGAN (D-NC): “Sen. Kay Hagan spoke to the North Carolina Farm Bureau meeting in Greensboro. … ‘I understand the issue with the estate tax. I know that it affects you tremendously,’ Hagan told the crowd. ‘I am definitely concerned about this and there is no way, no way we can let that estate tax revert back to $1 million (starting) next year.’” (“Hagan Gets Her Wish On The Estate Tax,” Greensboro News And Record, 12/6/10)
MISSOURI FARMERS: “…exemption is not high enough to protect a typical farm or ranch from estate taxes considering land values and the cost of machinery, equipment and farm buildings. Two years ago we shared with you the stories of two Missouri farm families—one frustrated with estate planning because of ever-changing laws and another struggling to pay inheritance taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. We are certain there are more families just like them…” (Letter To Sen. McCaskill, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, 7/24/12)
· SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): “Estate tax issue draws local input … McCaskill said today in a written statement. ‘I support extending the current exemption so that we don’t hurt family farmers.’” (“Estate Tax Issue Draws Local Input,” Columbia Daily Tribune, 6/7/06)
PENNSYLVANIA FARMERS: “This not only can cripple a farm operation, but also hurts the rural communities and businesses that agriculture supports. Estate taxes hit family-owned farm operations especially hard because of the illiquid nature of farm and ranch business property.” (Letter, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, 7/24/12)
· SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): “…on the estate tax: If we set the general estate tax exemption level at $3.5 million for an individual, 7 million for a couple, maybe even carve out a $5 million exemption for family farms and businesses, you could get a savings just on that alone of $300 billion over 10 years.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 9/3/06)
· “Democrat Bob Casey, who is running for a second term in U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania, says he hasn’t decided whether to go along with President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders on a plan to allow tax rates to rise…” (“Casey Doesn’t Embrace Obama’s Plan On Tax Rates,” The Associated Press, 7/20/12)
FLORIDA FARMERS: “This will have a devastating impact on Florida farms and ranches … the Estate Tax would often result in farms being closed, land being sold and businesses being lost.” (Letter, Florida Farm Bureau Federation, 7/24/12)
· SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL): “…with regard to the inheritance tax, I have always been in favor of eliminating this tax. I voted for a significant reduction in 1981 and for a modification in 1986. To me the inheritance tax represents a double tax. People have paid taxes as they have accumulated their assets during their lives. And I think we ought to pass that on to their families and to their loved ones without most of it being eaten up by the government.” (“Differences Wide As Candidates Take Stands; Bill Nelson,” The Ledger [Lakeland, FL], 11/3/00)
· “Senate Democratic leaders are worried about potential defections within their caucus on taxes. … Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).” (“Reid Rejects GOP Request To Vote On Obama’s Tax Plan,” The Hill, 7/11/12)