From the Charleston Daily Mail by Don Surber
In his second run in two years against Democrat Joe Manchin for the U.S. Senate from West Virginia, Republican John Raese is pulling out all stops, by resurrecting the scandal in which his daughter, Heather Bresch, received an MBA she did not earn from West Virginia University while her father was governor and Manchin’s friend was president of WVU.
Bresch is CEO of Mylan, a maker of generic drugs based in Pittsburgh.
Milan Puskar and Don Panoz in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, founded the company
WVU’s football field was renamed for Puskar after he donated $20 million to the university, which is located in Morgantown, which is where the Raese family’s various companies are headquartered. Raese also owns the local newspaper, the Dominion Post.
An investigation by the university cleared Bresch of any wrongdoing, ditto her father. But the scandal led to the resignation of WVU’s presuident and a few other people.
On Sunday, Raese’s campaign ran a big ad in the Dominion Post raising the Bresch scandal issue. The ad was signed by Raese’s wife — who earned a B.S. in business administration from WVU in 1977.
I think Raese is in it to win it.
The ad reformatted so it can be read:
Yesterday, the newest White House chief of staff, Jack Lew, took to the Sunday talk shows to get a head start on promoting President Barack Obama’s FY2013 budget, which is set to be released today. But just as he was getting warmed up, Lew ran smack into a brick wall when he was forced to defend the Democrat-controlled Senate’s failure to pass a budget in the last 1,019 days.
“You can’t pass a budget in the Senate of the United States without 60 votes, and you can’t get 60 votes without bipartisan support,” Lew said on CNN’s State of the Union. “So unless… unless Republicans are willing to work with Democrats in the Senate, [Majority Leader] Harry Reid is not going to be able to get a budget passed.” Lew repeated the claim in a slightly different form on NBC’s Meet the Press, saying “One of the things about the United States Senate that I think the American people have realized is that it takes 60, not 50, votes to pass something.”
The trouble is, Lew is absolutely wrong. As ABC’s Jake Tapper points out, budgets only require 51 Senate votes for passage. The Washington Post‘s “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler weighed in as well, saying that Lew, who is a two-time budget director, “really should know better.” When Tapper called the White House on the error, he says that they didn’t deny that Lew was wrong and instead spun back to blaming “general gridlock in Congress that makes accomplishing even the most basic tasks nearly impossible.”
The issue, though, is bigger than whether or not Lew twisted the truth about a procedural matter that probably escapes the interest of the vast majority of Americans. The issue is that President Obama and his allies in Congress continue to take a pass on governing by refusing to address one of the biggest issues of our time: a looming fiscal crisis that will leave Americans saddled with unacceptable levels of spending and debt. According to Congressional Budget Office long-term projections, spending will rise to as much as 34 percent of GDP, with deficits at a post-war record of 15.5 percent of GDP and debt held by the public nearly twice the size of the entire economy. Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen says President Obama should address these problems head on:
No one expects President Obama to transform into a conservative. But he cannot ignore the fundamental problems of runaway spending and debt, and he can no longer turn these problems over to fiscal commissions or super committees. If his budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 is to be a credible policy document–not just a public relations pitch–it should:
Show specific proposals for reforming entitlements and reducing other spending not just for the next 10 years but over the long term as well; prevent the devastating cuts in defense that are looming because of the debt-reduction Budget Control Act; offer permanent solutions to the large spending and tax policies that keep vexing lawmakers and the public; and reject phony budget savings and other gimmicks.
Early details of the President’s plan are not promising. It purports to cut the deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade, with more than $1.5 trillion of that coming from new taxes on corporations and wealthy and with no structural changes to entitlements. Already, the President’s plan is drawing fire, with House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) saying, “It seems as if the President is doing little more than class envy and the status quo, which is the greatest threat to our health security, our retirement security, our national security and our economic security.”
In his budget last year, President Obama claimed government savings of the highest order — many of which were illusory and misleading gimmicks, including $1.09 trillion in spending reductions through 2021 for activities in Iraq and Afghanistan that was never going to be spent. That was on top of claiming mandatory savings from policies that were actually tax or fee increases. Meanwhile, the President is also finding “savings” by drastically cutting the military, leaving the nation with a hollowed-out force that will be unable to adequately execute its mission of defending the United States at home and abroad.
Later today, The Heritage Foundation will provide a detailed analysis of the President’s budget proposal on The Foundry. Judging by how early the White House turned on its spin machine — and Lew’s remarks on Meet the Press that “There is pretty broad agreement that the time for austerity is not today” — the news won’t be good. Expect more of the same from the White House — half measures and tax hikes, without bothering to address America’s entitlement spending crisis.
Richard Mourdock talks about the differences between himself and Senator Lugar on the issue of Earmarks.
Every Year, Congress finds new ways to spend our money… and Sadly, Senator Lugar went along with it: voting for the Bridge to Nowhere, a rainforest in Iowa, even a teapot museum. When Senator Lugar recently had the chance to stop wasteful earmarks, he voted no. We’re fifteen trillion in debt and it has to stop. I’m Richard Mourdock and I approve this message because Dick Lugar won’t vote to end wasteful spending and earmarks. I will.
To help support Richard Mourdock please visit his website @ http://richardmourdock.com/
I want to take a moment to update you on a very important piece of legislation that I am bringing to a vote tomorrow.
Last week the Senate passed its version of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or what is more commonly referred to as the STOCK Act. This legislation will prohibit members of Congress from profiting from insider knowledge that they gain in the course of carrying out their duties. However, I believe we should be doing more.
I will bring the House version of this legislation up for a vote tomorrow and it will be even stronger than the Senate measure. There are several areas where we will accomplish that.
- The bill will be expanded to also include members of the Executive Branch and their staffs.
- Any member of Congress convicted of a felony will lose their federal pension.
- Lawmakers will be restricted from unfair access to Initial Public Offerings.
- Lawmakers must disclose any trade of $1,000 or more.
I look forward to seeing this important legislation passed tomorrow and trust that the Senate will concur with our more stringent version. Then, with the President’s signature, we will have a Congress that is more accountable to you.
I have always believed it is extremely important that members of Congress are held to the strictest ethical standards possible, and this is a step toward that goal.
Thank you for your support, and as always, I appreciate your opinions and feedback on this or any issue we are facing.
Member of Congress
From the Associated Press:
COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel says he reduced his office’s budget by $1.2 million after identifying cost-cutting measures through a comprehensive review of office operations.
Mandel, a first-term Republican running for the U.S. Senate, released results of the review Tuesday. He said it led him to discontinue buying or using promotional giveaway items with the treasurer’s name on them, and reduced or eliminated spending on promotional materials and advertising.
He says the office also is using technology more wisely to save money and modernizing banking practices as a result of the review.
From the Detroit Free Press:
The early front-runner for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate — former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Holland — will skip a debate Saturday in Mt. Pleasant sponsored by dozens of tea party groups around Michigan.
Five other candidates — all hoping to win in the August primary the opportunity to unseat Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November — will attend the event at Central Michigan University.
Stabenow is seeking her third term after winning the seat in a razor-thin victory over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham in 2000.
The tea party groups hope the debate will help them find a candidate to solidify behind early in the race.
“I think (Hoekstra’s decision) is a mistake,” said Cindy Gamrat, a leader of the Plainwell Patriots tea party group in west Michigan. “Within these groups there’s an estimated 12,000 tea party members and I would think that all the candidates would want to connect to these voters.”
With the release of his “Seven Steps to Restore a Healthy America” U.S. Senate Candidate Greg Sowards has taken the lead in the ideas race in New Mexico. Rather than leaning on the slogan “Repeal and Replace” as his Primary opponents have, Sowards has chosen to provide the voters of New Mexico with a realistic plan for prosperity that accurately defines the core problems of America’s Health Care crisis and offers reasonable solutions that are attainable in one Senate term.
Greg Sowards is leading the Conservative Revolution in New Mexico.
The text of the Sowards Plan follows:
Seven Steps to Restore a Healthy America
A Plan for Prosperity by Greg Sowards, U.S. Senate Candidate
Every year, one out of six dollars generated in the U.S. economy – $2.5 Trillion – is spent on medical care. The high cost of quality care is the root cause of America’s 21st Century health crisis. Fraud, a broken medical malpractice system and illegal immigration accelerate runaway health care costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is incompatible with consumer choice and free markets. The American people are calling out for leaders who can provide solutions that alleviate high costs and deliver accessible health care. Americans do not want a bureaucrat from Washington standing between their family and their doctor.
When I am elected as the next U.S. Senator from New Mexico, I will work to Restore a Healthy America with a seven step plan:
Step 1 – Repeal Obamacare
Step 2 – End Fraud
Step 3 – Cut Waste
Step 4 – Save Medicare
Step 5 – Empower States
Step 6 – Reward Responsibility
Step 7 – Defend Doctors
Step 1 - Repealing Obamacare will remove a new layer of taxes, regulation and bureaucracy that America simply cannot afford. The law is unconstitutional, subsidizes waste, cuts Medicare, leads to massive uncertainty for job creators and will destroy the private medical profession.
Step 2 - Every year, over $200 billion is lost to fraud and abuse. Ending fraud by transitioning from a paper system to an electronic system is a powerful way to save Americans 10% across the board on medical costs. Key to this process would be a requirement for all health care providers to accurately document cases of free care given to illegal immigrants and report the nationality of each patient to both federal and state governments. The United States could then seek recourse on behalf of States by amending its aid and trade packages with other nations to recover the over $100 billion in health care that is provided to illegal immigrants, annually.
Step 3 - Restoring a Healthy America will require positioning the federal government to be an effective partner with states by cutting waste. The best way to build a Strong America Now is for incoming U.S. Senators to craft legislation that will compliment the bills of Representatives like Thomas Latham of Iowa, whose LESS Government Act moves to implement waste reduction across all federal programs. I am a pro-Lean Six Sigma candidate because it is a tried and tested, proven method of cutting waste and redundancy. It has been recognized by virtually every Republican Presidential Candidate as a program that can lower the cost of non-discretionary federal spending by 25% and put an end to the deficit. By 2018, America can and should be deficit free.
Step 4 - Saving Medicare is vital to a healthy America. 30% to 40% of all health care costs can be labeled waste. The American people can save 20% on the cost of their medical care every year and simultaneously increase the quality of the care they receive by fundamentally reinventing the Medicare reimbursement formula. By rewarding hospitals and care providers that implement effective waste reduction programs, extending optional Health Savings Accounts to every American and providing targeted voucher assistance to America’s neediest seniors, Medicare can be saved.
Step 5 - The successful implementation of cost-cutting measures will make access to health care a problem that is manageable at the state level. A Federal Government that is not strapped with a massive deficit can effectively partner with and empower states to utilize block grant programs that will create affordable assistance to low-income patients and high-risk pools that offer access to quality care for those who are too ill to work. Establishing the proper balance between Federal and State Government is essential to the restoration of a healthy America.
Step 6 - Hard-working Americans that purchase health insurance should be rewarded for their responsible behavior. Individuals should qualify for tax deductions on health premiums that are comparable to the employer subsidies claimed by corporations. Individuals should also be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines to increase competition and lower prices. Rewarding Responsibility in this manner will spur job growth, since 70% of small businesses file taxes as individuals.
Step 7 - Ending frivolous lawsuits by reforming the broken medical malpractice system is a necessary step in my plan to Restore a Healthy America. Defending doctors from junk lawsuits is a pivotal step in salvaging the private medical profession. The practice of defensive medicine leads to higher rates of redundancy and waste, which increase health care costs. Instituting Medical Liability Reform on the national stage is an idea whose time is now.
In seven steps, America can be on a healthy path to prosperity. Repealing Obamacare is the first step to recovery. By following my plan to Restore a Healthy America, we can place control of our Nation’s destiny back into the hands of individuals and stop the downhill slide to socialized medicine.
From Sunshine State News:
Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner issued a statement on Wednesday after a poll from Quinnipiac University found him taking 2 percent in the Republican primary to challenge Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson — putting him in fourth place, far behind U.S. Rep. Connie Mack who leads with 39 percent.
“We know this is a long campaign and a tough uphill battle,” Hasner said before taking a shot at Nelson, Mack and another Republican rival, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux. “We’re up against three Washington politicians who have no trouble raising money from Washington special interests. But we’re in this race to stay because we know that replacing Bill Nelson with another Washington politician isn’t enough. We need limited-government conservatives in Washington who will stand up to the establishment in both parties and fight to save our country.”
(Alamogordo, New Mexico) – After much consideration, I have decided to withdraw my bid for the U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico. I have evaluated the race and have decided that the best way forward is to publicly place my support behind the candidate that has earned my confidence and will receive my vote.
The 2012 election is perhaps the most important ballot in a generation. The Republican Party has a genuine opportunity to earn the support of the electorate; and, so long as the party does not splinter, we the people can deliver a mandate to repeal Obamacare, rein in regulatory agencies that kill jobs, fix Washington’s spending problem and restore America’s Greatness.
The Republican Party of New Mexico has a chance to send a message to Washington with its choice of a nominee to face the Democratic Party front-runner, Martin Heinrich. The three remaining candidates will likely spar with one another over the coming months as they vie for the attention of the Republican voters in New Mexico. The question is, will we choose a career politician that answers to special interests or a citizen politician that answers to the people?
The record is clear. Only one U.S. Senate candidate is positioned to lead the Conservative Movement to Victory in New Mexico – Greg Sowards.
I believe Greg Sowards is the only candidate that can unite the Republicans, Independents and Conservitive Democrats of New Mexico in 2012.
I would like to take this moment to thank all of my supporters and ask the New Mexico GOP to consider the appeal of the Sowards candidacy. If we truly want to restore the Constitution as the rulebook of our nation, if we truly believe that prosperity is only achievable through conservative principles, then we should all recognize that a Greg Sowards nomination in June provides the best platform to achieve our aims.
From the Cleveland Plain Dealder
Ohio Democrats ask to see Josh Mandel’s work schedule
WASHINGTON — The Ohio Democratic Party says that state Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican, is spending too much time tending to political duties, short-changing the citizens.
Mandel, who now has served a year as treasurer, is running for U.S. Senate, hoping to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown in November. But that requires time and money. So Mandel travels the country, from Hawaii to the East Coast, taking in millions for his Senate campaign and winning significant political endorsements.
Has he neglected his current job?
The former state representative, who also served as a Lyndhurst councilman and as a Marine in Iraq, says no. He can multitask. And he regularly sends out announcements saying his office is doing the job Mandel said it would do when he ran for treasurer.
But Mandel recently declined a long-standing invitation to appear before the Akron Press Club, telling club organizers that he was “too busy.” His media strategy has him being selective, not only in terms of whom he’ll grant interviews to (conservative program hosts, for the most part) but also about giving his opinion to the Ohio press on U.S. Senate issues.
That might be smart politically; he’ll probably be much more accessible later in the year. But Democrats say Mandel, while too busy to address Ohioans through the media, seems to consistently find time to fly out of state to raise money for his political campaign.
So Ohio Democratic chief Chris Redfern is asking: Exactly what is Mandel’s work schedule like?
Today, Redfern sent a letter to the treasurer’s office asking for “the daily schedule of Treasurer of State Josh Mandel from January 10, 2011 to January 9, 2012.”
The letter is brief and mostly has boilerplate public-records-request language.
We’re awaiting a response from Mandel.