30 March 2010

More bad news for Democrats

Independents not only are more likely to blame Democrats for the post-health care vote vandalism and threats, a vast majority believe Democrats abused their power to pass the unwanted bill. According to a new Gallup released a new poll today:

* When asked whom they think was a "major reason" for "post-health care vote threats and vandalism," more independent voters blamed Democrats (50 percent) than conservative commentators (44 percent) or Republicans (40 percent.)

* An amazing 58 percent of independent voters say Democrat actions in passing the health care bill constitute an "abuse of power."

http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

Will the Obama presidency be retired by Florida?


Nate Silver, one of the sharper liberal bloggers and statisticians, finds for Obama to win re-election in 2012 he may likely have to find a way to come up with 270 electoral votes without Florida.

Obama won Florida with only 50.92 percent, but polls shows massive opposition to his health care plan and Israel policy may place the state all but off-limits.

That's significant because the 2012 election will be decided by an Electoral College reshaped by the 2010 Census. Many states Obama lost, like Texas, will be gaining representation in the College, while Obama's stronghold of the Northeast and Midwest will lose representation.

Obama won the 2008 election with 365 electoral votes to McCain's 173. But based on Clark Benson's projected 2012 Electoral College Obama would have won 360 votes, five fewer as voters flee Democrat-dominated states.

Five votes may not sound like much, but that was the difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2004.

And with Florida projected to gain a 28th vote, losing that state means Obama starts with 33 electoral votes off the map. A swing of 33 electoral votes would not only have handed Gore an easy win, it would have also almost exactly flipped the 2004 election and given the presidency to John Kerry.

And that likely flip of 33 electoral votes to the Republican in 2012 is nothing more than already-occurred population changes and a switch of as little as 1.4 percent of Florida voters. Heavy opposition to Obama policies is all but certain to chop more Electoral College votes off Obama's 2008 total.

Also losing Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, all swing or traditionally Republican states, would likely hand the presidency to a Republican. And that's assuming Obama wins swing states like Colorado and Ohio. By losing Florida, Obama could keep states like Virginia and a large swing state like Ohio and still lose the presidency.

With more of the College's 538 seats going to Republican-dominated states, it's critical Obama hold on to Florida, but ObamaCare and his Israel policy are making a 2012 reelection a tougher undertaing.

http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

Straightening the Post's skewed health care polling

In today's Washington Examiner, Byron York had the same question I did about The Washington Post's Sunday poll claiming Americans were "split" over ObamaCare instead of opposed -- why didn't the Post reveal how independents felt?

York finally got the partisan breakdowns from poll director Jon Cohen and they reveal independents bitterly oppose ObamaCare and believe Obama is lying on virtually every claim he made.

York didn't address the other problem with the poll -- how they deflated opposition by undersampling Republicans by a whopping eight percent.

The Post's sample was of 1,000 adults was composed of 34 percent Democrats, 24 percent Republicans and 38 percent independents (with four percent saying "other" or "don't know.") That conflicts sharply with current partisan identification trends, which put the country at 35.1 percent Democratic (and falling,) 32.1 percent Republican and 32.9 percent unaffiliated.

The Post undersampled Republicans by eight percent. Making up for it by oversampling Democrats would be blatant bias, but filling that gap in with independents is harder for some to spot.

Now, York writes, "On the support-or-oppose question, 82 percent of Republicans oppose the new law (73 percent strongly), while 76 percent of Democrats support it (56 percent strongly). Among independents, 56 percent oppose the new law (44 percent strongly), while 40 percent support it (26 percent strongly)."

While York gave full numbers for independents, but did not provide Republicans in support or Democrats opposed, an estimated breakdown of the Post's sample goes like this.

Democrats: 258.4 support, 81.6 oppose
Republicans: 43.2 support, 196.8 oppose
Independents: 152.0 support, 491.2 oppose

That comes out to 453.6 support (45.4 percent) and 491.2 oppose (49.1 percent.) Almost exactly the Post's final numbers.

So let's take the Post's numbers and figure out what the real number is when you use an accurate universe, and not the Post's light-on-Republicans universe.

Assuming support and opposition numbers aren't skewed to favor Obama, as the Post's sample is, by applying the Post's by-partisan-ID numbers to a partisan-accurate universe of voters you find:

Democrats: 266.76 support, 84.24 oppose
Republicans: 57.78 support, 263.22 oppose
Independents: 131.6 support, 184.24 oppose

That comes out to 456.1 support (45.6 percent) and 531.7 oppose (53.2 percent.)

So had the Post not undersampled Republicans, but used real numbers, the story would have been that 53 percent of Americans oppose ObamaCare, not the supposed "46 percent to 50 percent 'split'" the Post claims.

That 53 percent to 46 percent margin being, of course, the same margin of victory Obama got when the Post reported he won a "landslide" in 2008.

That's more on par with virtually all other polls, and an indicator of just how skewed the Washington Post's polls are.

Not a 50 percent to 46 percent "split," but a healthy 53 percent to 46 percent margin against. Or as the Post puts it, a "landslide."

http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

29 March 2010

Who are the "angry mob" Democrats fear? Women.

A Quinnipiac University national poll measuring the effect of a hypothetical Tea Party candidate in congressional races uncovered a rather interesting statistic.

You know that "angry," "radical," "right wing" Tea Party "mob" of fabled Democrat lore?

Fifty-five percent of them are women.

I had never seen a gender breakdown of the Tea Party movement before, so I was skeptical. But all other statistics are in line with previous surveys. Eighty-eight percent are white, 74 percent Republican and 72 percent have a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin, all of which match previous polls by other institutions and firms.

Other interesting Quinnipiac findings:

* After a year of leading the "generic ballot" by anywhere from seven to ten points, after passage of ObamaCare Democrats now trail by five.
* Forty-two percent of voters view the Republican Party unfavorable, but forty-eight percent view the Democratic Party unfavorably.
* Among independents, 42 percent view Republicans unfavorably, but 55 percent view the Democratic Party unfavorably.
* By a 43 to 39 percent margin, women plan to vote for the Republican candidate for Congress in their district.
* Fifty-nine percent of independents and fifty-one percent of women say government is now doing "too much."
* While only 10 percent of Democrats "hardly ever" "trust the government in Washington to do what is right," 40 percent of both independents and Republicans say so.
* Only 57 percent of Democrats follow current events "most of the time," compared to 70 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of independents.

http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

Do Democrats still want to talk about "inciting violence?"

The United States Attorney's office in Philadelphia announced Monday "a two-count complaint and warrant was filed charging Norman Leboon with threatening to kill United States Congressman Eric Cantor and his family."

In a video posted on YouTube, Leboon warned Cantor "…you receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads."

With Democrats screaming and wailing that Republicans are using super-secret "code words" to supposedly incite people to "hate and violence," why is Leboon's arrest especially notable?

1) Leboon is from Philadelphia, where Obama egged on Democrats to back his 2008 campaign against Republicans with the cry "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl."

2) Just a week Obama told Democrats to "bring a gun" to "fight" Republicans, Leboon donated $505 to Obama on June 20 and 21.

3) Days after Cantor leads the fight against ObamaCare and holds a press conference on threats he has received Leboon apparently takes Obama's words to heart, posting a video on YouTube telling Cantor, his wife and his children "you receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads."

Obviously, the only person responsible for a death threat is the person who makes it.

But if Chris Matthews is so insistent Republicans are "criminally responsible" for nasty words, is Obama "criminally responsible" for someone threatening to shoot a Republican after he visited his city and told him to "bring a gun?"

http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

27 March 2010

"A Congressman Who's Nuts"


When asked in a radio interview if he had gotten any nasty phone calls over health care, insane Florida Congressman Alan Grayson claims a woman called his home and said "If you vote for health care, I'll kill you"...to his five year old son. No, really. He said A) he got a death threat...from a woman, B) the threat was the kind you come up with if you need a story, and C) since every liberal fantasy involves harm to children, his five-year-old son got the call.

He didn't save the message or call the police and somehow the media-loving, attention-starved Grayson never mentioned it until asked if he had a story about threats.

He then claims Republicans who say they were threatened are lying and only got the idea from Adolf Hitler. He's currently wanted on charges of violating Godwin's Law.

This is the same Democrat who claimed Republicans had a secret plan to kill off the poor, that he had poll numbers showing he would beat every Republican candidate in the *Republican primary* and demanded Attorney General Eric Holder arrest a Florida woman and imprison her for five years for creating an anti-Grayson website.

http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

ObamaCare includes automatic tax on worker paychecks, of as much as over $2K a year

Why did Democrats hide the text of the ObamaCare bill until just before the vote?

Because they slipped in stuff like this, an automatic tax on your paycheck of as much as $240 a month to fund a new government insurance program.

No wonder Obama made sure most of the bill's provisions don't kick in until after he's out of office.

Little-Known Health Care Law Provision Is a Budget Buster, Critics Say
By William La Jeunesse, FOXNews.com

While Congress spent the last year debating how to provide health insurance for the uninsured, a little-known provision slipped into the heath care law that could cost some Americans upwards of $2,000 a year.

The Class Act, otherwise known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act, is the federal government's first long-term care insurance program.

Under-reported and the under the radar of most lawmakers, the program will allow workers to have an average of roughly $150 or $240 a month, based on age and salary, automatically deducted from their paycheck to save for long-term care...

...Opponents say the provision is little more than a short-term revenue fix that will eventually add to the federal deficit.

"This is a scary proposition where the government passed a huge new entitlement program with gimmicks and tricks and the American people don't know they will be automatically enrolled in it by their employer if they don’t watch out," said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

Nunes says Republicans were blindsided by the provision because they were unable to see the final bill until the very end.


26 March 2010

More health care hysteria: Media claim Republicans employing 30-story giants to attack Democrats.

A hysterical Seattle Times story on the supposed "violence" aimed at those who voted for eliminating private health insurance claims "a rock was thrown through the window of (Democrat Congressman Steve) Driehaus' Cincinnati office Sunday."

Glenn Reynolds and Gateway Blog point out his office is on the 30th floor of a downtown skyscraper.

The eeevil Republican would need to be able to throw the rock into the sky the length of one and half football fields.

A sobbing Nancy Pelosi released this sketch of the attacker.



Yet another "they're threatening us" story exposed as a poorly-slapped-together lie.

http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

25 March 2010

MoveOn.org: Gary Coleman is a domestic terrorist

I got an e-mail this afternoon from MoveOn.org hysterically bleating about how "Republican officials" were inciting "hate and violence" against Democrats. Along with continuing to flog the since-debunked story about black congressman being slurred and spat on, they also claimed a silent prayer vigil outside a senator's home and Sarah Palin's use of bullseyes to mark targeted districts for fundraising were "death threats." They even claimed the fictional attacks on black congressman were done at the orders of Republican representatives Mike Pence, Tom Price, and Michele Bachmann.

But the crazy got turned up to 11 when MoveOn offered a link to photos of signs at protests they claim were "coded" messages from Republican officials for "racists" to attack Democrats.

This was one of them:


MoveOn.org sent out a hysterical e-mail claiming THAT is a death threat aimed at Democrats.

Hopefully ObamaCare will pay for their thorazine.

But rather than supply MoveOn.org with the phone numbers of board-certified psychotherapists, I've decided to help them root out those behind the tidal wave of terrorists acts that somehow only they can see.

So just who does MoveOn.org apparently believe constitute a threat to the United States?

THE MOVEON.ORG RIGHT-WING DOMESTIC TERRORIST WATCH LIST

7) Maude. "God'll get you for that."

A clear and undebatable case of Bea Arthur calling for violence.

6) Deputy Barney Fife. "Nip it!"

Obviously a call for dittoheads to kill Democrats. Can't you see it?

5) Marcia Brady. "Oh, my nose!"

ABC corporate executives were giving Republicans direct orders to assault Democrats.

4) Col. John "Hannibal" Smith. "I love it when a plan comes together."

Just what plan is he talking about? MoveOn.org knows!

3) Vinnie Barbarino. "Up your nose with a rubber hose!"

A chilling call for the waterboarding of Democrats. Don't argue. That means you're a terrorist too.

2) Ralph Kramden. "One of these days Alice, straight to the Moon!"

"Alice" is obviously another one of those secret Republican code words for "Obama." Vowel-consonent-vowel-consonent-vowel. Can't you see the secret Republican codes!!!!!!

And the mastermind of all the secret Republican death threats that only MoveOn.org can see...

1) J.J. Evans. "Dyn-o-mite!"

A bomb threat!

Please help MoveOn.org maintain order and quash dissent. If you see one of these former pop culture icons/violent right wing domestic terrorists, please contact the FBI and issue a press release. Do not attempt to make an arrest or seek an autograph.

http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

WTP files ballot initiative restoring right to lower utility bills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2010
Contact: Donny Ferguson, 703-200-3669 or donnyferguson@gmail.com

Coloradans file ballot initiative restoring right to lower utility bills
Proposed initiative restores right of customers to opt out of price-hiking mandates

DENVER — Colorado citizens submitted to the Legislative Legal Council Wednesday a proposed ballot initiative restoring the right of consumers to lower their utility bills by choosing less-expensive forms of energy.

“In this economy, families should have the right to buy less expensive electricity. It comes down to one question, who controls your family budget, you or the political class?,” said Dan Fuchs, WTP Director of Government Relations and a former Montana state legislator.

“All we are doing is restoring the opt-out approved by the voters in Amendment 37 and without which that measure might not have passed. Legislators took away that opt-out provision in a subsequent session,” said Fuchs.

The “Consumer Choice in Energy” initiative was submitted by Parker resident Bob Kennedy and Greeley resident Kent Overturf. Kennedy started up a successful video production company and Overturf is a drywall installer and home remodeler. Western Tradition Partnership (WTP) a Denver-based citizens’ grassroots group promoting affordable energy, property rights and job security in the West, has been drafting the ballot language for a year and will work with citizens to pass it.

If approved, the initiative allows a utility’s customers to submit a petition requesting an election among customers on whether to opt out of so-called “renewable energy standards.” Renewable energy standards are government mandates forcing a utility to buy a certain percentage of their power from more expensive sources such as wind and solar, driving up utility bills.

Renewable energy standards are a favorite tool of speculators, who invested in the more expensive, less efficient sources and cannot attract consumers in a competitive market. By lobbying politicians to make purchasing their product mandatory, speculators pass their losses to captive customers.

“Renewable energy standards are the ultimate bailout – government officials forcing citizens to buy a more expensive product from speculators who are often political allies. You should have the right to make that decision for yourself, not have it imposed on you and extracted from your wallet by politicians,” said Fuchs.

WTP is a fast-growing, grassroots-supported non-profit organization advocating rational, responsible natural resource development and land use policy. For more information, go to http://www.westerntradition.org. For more information on this issue, or to schedule an interview, contact Donny Ferguson at 703-200-3669 or at donny.f@westerntradition.org.

The initiative language can be found here.

# # #

GOP stands to make deep cuts in Dem Senate majority

In order for Republicans to overcome a 59-41 majority and have any hope whatsoever in their long-shot bid to take the Senate in 2010, they would need to:

1) Re-elect Richard Burr in North Carolina and David Vitter in Louisiana. (Net gain: Zero.)
2) Hold their open seats in Florida, Missouri, Ohio and New Hampshire. (Net gain: Zero.)
3) Pick up open Democrat seats in Delaware, Indiana and Illinois (Net gain: Three. Now 56-44.)
4) Defeat vulnerable incumbents Harry Reid in Nevada, Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, Michael Bennet in Colorado, Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. (Net gain: Four. Now 52-48.)

And then.

5) Pick up the open Connecticut seat and defeat safe incumbents Kristen Gillibrand in New York, Patty Murray in Washington or Russ Feingold in Wisconsin.

Don't put money on that.

But Republicans could come close, and poll numbers are currently trending in their favor (not that you should assume anything with a little over seven months still to go until Election Day.) Right now.

1) Richard Burr leads his Democrat challenger by an average of 9.7 points, and the latest polls put him over 50 percent with a 16 percent lead.

* David Vitter leads his opponent by an average margin of 16 points, and the latest Rasmussen poll has Vitter crushing likely Democrat nominee Rep. Charlie Melancon by a 57 percent to 33 percent margin.

RESULT: No Republican losses there. Still at 59-41.

2) * Both potential Republican nominees, Gov. Charlie Crist and State Sen. Marco Rubio, hold wide leads over potential Democrat nominee Kendrick Meek in Florida.

* In Missouri, Republican Rep. Roy Blunt leads Democrat Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, and polls show him pulling away.

* Republican Former Congressman Rob Portman holds a steady lead over both Democrat Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher.

* Former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, the likely Republican nominee, leads Rep. Paul Hodes by anywhere from eight to ten points for New Hampshire's open Senate seat.

RESULT: Republicans hold on to all their open seats. Still at 59-41.

3) * In Delaware, Republican Rep. Mike Castle is crushing likely Democrat nominee Chris Coons by around 20 points.

* Democrat State Treas. Alex Giannoulias leads Republican Rep. Mark Kirk by six points in the race to succeed Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, though those polls show his lead shriking.

* Indiana Republican Rep. John Hostettler is rolling over Democrat Rep. Brad Ellsworth by 18 points as Democrats struggle to hold retiring Sen. Evan Bayh's seat in a state Obama won in 2008.

RESULT: Republicans win two of three open Democrat seats. Now at 57-43.

4) * Sen. Harry Reid trails every likely Republican nominee by double digits in his Quixotic bid to keep his Nevada seat.

* Highly unpopular Democrat Sen. Blanche Lincoln trails likely Republican nominee Rep. John Boozman by around eight points in Arkansas.

* Colorado Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet trails former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton. Norton also leads Bennet's primary challenger, former State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, in the latest Rasmussen poll.

* In Pennsylvania, Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter trails Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey by an average of 1.2 points in five polls.

RESULT: All four vulnerable Democrats are losing. Dems plunge to 53-47

5) * With catastrophically unpopular Democrat Sen. Chris Dodd dropping his re-election bid, the party is poised to hang on to his seat. State Attorney General Ricahrd Blumethal leads both likely Republican nominees by 28 and 29 points.

* Sen. Russ Feingold leads both potential Republican nominees by an average of 13 and 17 points in Wisconsin. But if former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who is looking at a bid, were to challenge Feingold polls show Republican Thompson beating Feingold by an average

* Washington state Democrat Sen. Patty Murray leads State Sen. Don Benton by 11 points in the latest Rasmussen poll. However, should former gubernatorial nominee Dino Rossi jump into the race and challenge her, all three independent polls show Murray losing.

* But New York Democrat Sen. Kristen Gillibrand trails potential Republican nominee former Gov. George Pataki. Though the average deficit is just a half-percent, Pataki leads Gillibrand by six points in the newest poll.

RESULT: Democrats hold on to Connecticut. Gillibrand, Murry and Feingold win. Democrats stay at 53-47.

But announcements by Pataki, Rossi or Thompson, or all three, could put the scenario at anywhere from a narrow 53-47 lead or a 50-50 tie.


If the elections were held today, Republicans would hold all their open seats and re-elect all their incumbents, while taking two of three open Democrat seats and defeating four Democrat incumbents, gouging the Democrat majority down to a 53-47margin.

While the Connecticut seat is safe, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patty Murray and Russ Feingold could all lose should Pataki, Rossi and Thompson announce bids. While unlikely, should current polling hold up a loss of those three seats would tie the Senate.

A distant long-shot combination of Gillibrand, Murray and Feingold losses, and a win by Republican Kirk in Illinois, would hand the Senate majority to Republicans.

24 March 2010

Democrat Judiciary chair: Constitution's "good and welfare clause" authorizes use of force against citizens who don't buy insurance

Amazing.

When asked where in the Constitution Congress is authorized to enact the individual insurance mandate, Democrat House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) was ready with an answer that puts an end to 222 years of constitutional law.

“Under several clauses, the good and welfare clause and a couple others. All the scholars, the constitutional scholars that I know -- I’m chairman of the Judiciary committee, as you know -- they all say that there’s nothing unconstitutional in this bill and if there were, I would have tried to correct it if I thought there were.”


Someone should inform Chairman Conyers the Judiciary Committee is not a creative writing class.



23 March 2010

Obama, opposing his 2010 plan in 2008: "In order for you to force people to get health insurance, you've got to have a very harsh penalty"

Barack Obama, on Feb. 21, 2008 in a CNN-sponsored Democrat presidential primary debate in Austin, arguing why Hillary Clinton's support for the individual health insurance mandate disqualified her as an acceptable presidential candidate:

"Number one, understand that when Senator Clinton says a mandate, it's not a mandate on government to provide health insurance, it's a mandate on individuals to purchase it. And Senator Clinton is right; we have to find out what works.

Now, Massachusetts has a mandate right now. They have exempted 20 percent of the uninsured because they have concluded that that 20 percent can't afford it.

In some cases, there are people who are paying fines and still can't afford it, so now they're worse off than they were. They don't have health insurance and they're paying a fine. (APPLAUSE)

In order for you to force people to get health insurance, you've got to have a very harsh penalty.

(Later in the debate.) We've got a philosophical difference, which we've debated repeatedly, and that is that Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it."


http://DonnyFerguson.blogspot.com

"This is what change looks like."

From CBS News:

Already Insured? Get Ready to Pay More

...But premiums will continue to rise. How much? No one's certain. To pay for this sweeping reform, here's what will change: Those tax-free flexible spending accounts will be cut in half...

Rick Swartz buys his family health plan through work. He's the fleet manager at DH Griffin, America's second-leading demolition company. His health premiums have almost doubled in five years, to more than $9,500 a year.

With this health reform Swartz and his wife Teresa expect their premiums to keep jumping.

"Somebody will have to pay for it - for the uninsured to be insured," Teresa said. "I just don't want it to be the middle class."

David Griffin knows he'll pay more. His family built DH Griffin. But his higher income faces higher taxes.

"We've been successful and we don't feel like we should be penalized the more successful we are," Griffin said. "It's not the American way."


And it's intentional. The entire idea behind forcing insurers to cover people who wait until they are already sick to buy insurance is to send the price of your health insurance plan skyrocketing, and to bankrupt private insurers.

Once Obama and the Democrats succeed in destabilizing the market and creating chaos, the private sector will collapse and Americans will have no choice but to submit to an entirely government-run medical system. How do I know this?

It's what they promised to do.





20 March 2010

Key House Dems: There are no rules. "We make them up as we go along."

Before he was a key member of the House Democrats, Alcee Hastings was a federal judge...who was impeached and barred from office on charges of bribery and racketeering after accepting $150,000 in exchange for a lenient sentence.

Instead of being in a federal prison, he is now Senior Democrat Whip, a member of the House Rules Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and even now Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.


>br>

15 March 2010

Obamanomics in action: US poised to lose AAA status

March 15 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and the U.K. have moved “substantially” closer to losing their AAA credit ratings as the cost of servicing their debt rose, according to Moody’s Investors Service...

...Under the ratings company’s so-called baseline scenario, the U.S. will spend more on debt service as a percentage of revenue this year than any other top-rated country except the U.K., and will be the biggest spender from 2011 to 2013, Moody’s said today in a report.


14 March 2010

Pelosi: "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it."



This, from the woman who started the year promising, "There has never been a more open process for any legislation."

10 March 2010

Media coverage of WTP suit to restore free speech

WTP members and friends,

Be sure to stay up to date on WTP’s efforts to hold politicians accountable for their attacks on the West’s jobs and property rights. Below is a sample of some of the media coverage of Monday’s filing of a lawsuit to overturn Montana laws that prohibit political speech by employers.

WTP Free Speech Center: http://www.westerntradition.org/freespeech/

Helena Independent-Record: http://helenair.com/news/article_d79fd2d4-2b39-11df-bf03-001cc4c03286.html

BusinessWeek (AP): http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9EB68A84.htm

Forbes (AP): http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/03/09/business-financial-impact-us-montana-campaign-finance-lawsuit_7418472.html?boxes=Homepagebusinessnews

Billings Gazette: http://www.billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_242f9c20-2b11-11df-b183-001cc4c03286.html

Bozeman Daily Chronicle: http://bozemandailychronicle.com/news/article_4ca5b7b2-2b15-11df-8778-001cc4c03286.html

Missoula Missoulian: http://www.missoulian.com/news/local/article_10073dd2-2b22-11df-904c-001cc4c03286.html

KECI Channel 13: http://www.keci.com/Lawsuit-Seeks-to-Overturn-Montana-Ban-on-Political/6526321

WTP Files Suit to Protect Free Speech in Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 8, 2010

WTP files suit to protect free speech in Montana
Citizens’ lobby and small businessman seek to overturn political speech ban

BOZEMAN, MT – Citing a Supreme Court decision upholding Americans’ First Amendment rights, Western Tradition Partnership (WTP) and a local employer filed suit Friday in Montana state court seeking to overturn state laws prohibiting political speech by employers.

WTP and Bozeman small business Champion Painting filed the suit in state district court in Helena Mar. 5.

With rising spending, taxes and regulation threatening his business, Champion Painting owner Ken Champion would like to use his business’ financial resources to exercise First Amendment rights. Montana state code (Title 13, Chapter 35) prohibits a corporation from “mak(ing) a contribution or an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party” unless it gets permission from the state through the establishment of a segregated fund.

“Just as you do not lose your right to religious expression when you freely assemble as a church, you do not lose your right to political expression when you assemble with others under a corporation. Speaking out about issues of taxation and regulation that threaten employers are central to creating jobs and prosperity,” said Donny Ferguson, WTP Director of Media and Public Relations. “Our republic and democratic process are only healthy when all sides can speak freely. One side of the argument, namely government officials, should not have a legally-enforced monopoly on speech.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Margot Barg of Bozeman’s Wittich Law Firm. Attorney General Steve Bullock and Political Practices Commissioner Dennis Unsworth are named as defendants.

The suit comes after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld First Amendment protections in a suit brought by the non-profit group Citizens United. The group was threatened by the Federal Election Commission with prosecution for distributing a movie, funded with corporate contributions, about former First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton. The federal government admitted in court that laws prohibiting corporate expenditures on political speech could be used to go so far as to ban books if they contain a mention of an individual who later became a candidate for public office.

WTP is a fast-growing, grassroots-supported non-profit organization advocating rational, responsible natural resource development and land use policy. For more information on WTP’s efforts to fight for free speech, go to http://www.westerntradition.org/freespeech/

# # #

WTP also chalked up a victory for free speech in WTP, et al, vs. City of Longmont in Colorado in late 2009. So-called “progressives” had taken a majority on that City Council and ensconced themselves in a campaign finance scheme that WTP labeled an “incumbency protection act” — which a Federal judge promptly threw out on an injunction. Longmont later paid WTP nearly $70,000 in legal fees.

Click here and here for press stories covering the lawsuit and background on the long battle over property rights in Longmont, and here for WTP’s press release on the action. WTP was instrumental in mobilizing residents on the issues, and the anti-business majority was overthrown (story “Conservative Wipeout” here), while turnout swamped two countywide “green” tax boondoggles, whose defeat shocked Boulder liberals.

02 March 2010

IOC investigates Canadian women's hockey team for political incorrectness

I had no problem supporting the Canadian women's hockey team over the United States because unlike their southern neighbor, Canada was not ashamed of their exceptional talent and refused to dial back the offense in the third period to avoid an "unfair" final score.

I'm so happy to see they rewarded my faith with a proper post-gold medal celebration.

The International Olympic Committee will investigate the actions of Canadian women's hockey players who celebrated their gold medal victory Thursday night by swigging beer and smoking cigars on the ice in Vancouver...

...Gilbert Felli, the IOC's executive director of the Olympic Games, said that drinking in public was "not what we want to see" from athletes at an Olympic venue. The organization will investigate the actions and will speak with the international hockey federation and Canadian Olympic Committee and ask them to "act accordingly."

Sadly, Team Canada apologized.

Common-sense punishment for taunting and "hot-dogging" make sense, but Team Canada have always conducted themselves with respect and sports(wo)manship. So not only are are athletes not supposed to be too exceptional, any celebration is supposed to be muted an inoffensive.

01 March 2010

Obama lifts offshore drilling ban…but only for Soros

From my Western Tradition Partnership blog:

In his Feb. 15, 2010 column, Michael Barone, Washington Examiner senior political analyst and co-author of the respected Almanac of American Politics, warned “Under Obama, crony capitalism again rules the day.” Barone went on to document how the Obama administration is manipulating health care and banking policy, and the automotive industry, to benefit friends of the White House.

President Obama’s disturbing policy on off-shore energy exploration should give Mr. Barone a lot more to write about.

The Obama administration is fighting off-shore energy exploration here in the United States, robbing workers of badly-needed jobs in a double-digit unemployment market and driving up energy and consumer prices as wages stagnate or fall.

But Obama is much kinder to Brazil, and one of his biggest personal moneymen. The Obama-controlled U.S. Import-Export Bank announced in Aug. 2009 it is shipping $2 billion in tax dollars to the socialist-run country’s government-run oil company to finance oil drilling in the massive off-shore Tupi oil basin, according to The Wall Street Journal.

And that $2 billion in taxpayer cash is just a down payment, as the Obama administration has talked with socialist President Lula da Silva about increasing that amount to Petrobras.

The real scandal is who gets rich off Obama’s decision to wire $2 billion in taxpayer cash to socialist Brazil while American energy workers collect unemployment and workers whose jobs depend on the energy industry join them on the unemployment line.

Bloomberg Financial News reports as of June 30, 2008, Hungarian left-wing financier George Soros purchased an $811 million stake in Petrobras. In just the last few years, Soros has funneled close to $100 million to various radical left-wing groups that support Obama and the radical environmentalist agenda.

After Soros’ purchase of Petrobras stock, Obama would loan the company $2 billion in taxpayer cash to boost profits largely held by Soros.

And it’s all but certain that a chunk of those taxpayer-funded Soros profits will be funneled into the campaign accounts of Obama, radical environmentalist groups and Obama’s Democrat cronies.

So while American workers suffer wage stagnation, rising prices and growing unemployment because of the Obama administration’s refusal to allow off-shore energy development in the United States, left-wing moneyman George Soros and Brazil’s state-run oil company will reap windfall profits, guaranteed by mountains of American taxpayer cash, that will find their way into liberal campaign accounts.

Seven months later, Obama refuses to budge — denying jobs to American workers and punishing families with higher prices while using public policy to benefit his political allies.

Americans workers may not be able to write the kind of checks to fund radical activity that Soros can, but WTP members ask Obama to do one simple thing — just allow Americans to develop the massive energy reserve we already own off our own shores.

Barone was right. The Obama administration is charging hard to write public policy to line the pockets of the president’s friends, knowing some of that cash will shake its way down to the president and his friends.

WTP members ask Obama to do one simple thing, give American workers just a fraction of the attention he showers on socialist regimes and leftist political moneymen.

They don’t want an Obama bailout. Or Obama to nationalize their industry. Or wire $2 billion in taxpayer cash to their offshore accounts.

WTP members, and millions of unemployed Americans, have one request — simply allow Americans to develop the massive energy reserves we already own off our own shores.

The jobs and lower prices that off-shore energy development bring should be available to all, not just a privilege to be enjoyed by the president’s friends on the taxpayer’s dime.