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Posts Tagged ‘Dick Armey’

This is refreshing to read in a newspaper:

But as Republicans smelled serious opportunity in the midterm elections, they didn’t let facts get in the way of a great punchline. And few in the press challenged their frequent assertion that under Obama, the government was going to take over the health care industry.

That paragraph is from today’s St. Petersburg Times, and appears in their article PolitiFact’s Lie Of The Year. I think they deserve a great deal of credit for calling out their own.

The article is the kind of reporting the news media should do a lot more of. Facts are good things, and as the saying goes, knowledge is power. Had these facts come out a long time ago the health care reform law may have turned out quite differently.

The article illustrates how the Republican Party set out to sway the public against health care reform and attack President Obama. To do so they used self-proclaimed “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz, the consultant whose slogan is “It’s Not What You Say That Matters, It’s What They Hear,” which seems fitting as a motto for the Republican Party as well. The Republicans turned to Luntz for a similar “snow job” in an attempt to kill financial reform, and he also played a roll in Newt Gingrich’s “Contract For America.”

To construct the big lie for the GOP Luntz came up with the term “government takeover.”

“Takeovers are like coups,” Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. “They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom.”

The line stuck. By the time the health care bill was headed toward passage in early 2010, Obama and congressional Democrats had sanded down their program, dropping the “public option” concept that was derided as too much government intrusion. The law passed in March, with new regulations, but no government-run plan.

We’re still hearing the words “government takeover” and the Republicans like the term so much that it’s become interchangeable with just about every issue out there.

The lie worked, in that it got the health care bill watered down considerably.

But that’s not enough for the GOP. They’re working to kill it altogether. 20 states, with Florida in the lead, have filed a lawsuit claiming the law is unconstitutional. Earlier this week, a judge in Virginia actually did rule part of it unconstitutional, but that judge also owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in a GOP political consulting firm. No conflict THERE of course, right? Did someone say “Government takeover?”

No, the Party that’s willing to hold the poor and unemployed hostage, along with DADT, The DREAM Act and national security with the START Treaty in order to get more tax cuts for their rich friends and contributors (not to mention themselves) have no qualms about robbing you and those very same people of a chance at getting health care. So expect more of the same in the future.

In fact, they’ve already begun:

An influential Tea Party group is urging Congress to hold votes in January to repeal healthcare reform in its entirety, according to a confidential memo to congressional Republicans.

The FreedomWorks memo, obtained by The Hill, outlines a strategy that starts with holding a vote in January to repeal the entire law. The group, headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), said Congress should then hold repeal votes on certain provisions of the law, such as the individual mandate.

“Repeal is achievable, possibly sooner than many expect, because the American people clearly want and expect repeal, and because the law is vulnerable to effective repeal,” the memo said.

“Because the American people clearly want and expect repeal.” Do you want and expect repeal of the health care law? Because Dick Armey SAYS you do.

“It’s not what you say that matters, it’s what they hear.”

There’s also more to Congress than meets the eye. You see, you may think you know who you elected to go to Washington to fight for you, but you really elected “wordsmiths” and “blowhards” like Frank Luntz and Dick Armey. Those new Republican “leaders” come January who you see crying like babies who claim they’ve harnessed the American Dream are really just puppets who have sold out. They’ve sold you and the country out as well.

We need more exposure to the GOP’s “big lies” from the media. We can’t afford to let the truth get drowned out, or we’ll only “hear” from these guys.

The puppet-masters.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been in the news a lot lately and for good reason. They are one of the larger contributors to political campaigns for Republicans in particular. They also have a great deal of foreign membership and get a lot of foreign money. One of the reasons they’ve been in the news so much recently is the concern over how much foreign money may be influencing United States elections.

Think Progress has done a great deal of research on the Chamber money trail and have a couple of recent posts worth reading if you’re not familiar with the issue. One shows a graphic illustrating how the Chamber gets its foreign money.

One thing that caught my attention was how much money the Chamber is spending on political campaign attack ads:

Earlier this week, a ThinkProgress investigation found that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been raising funds from foreign-based corporations to solicit funding for their general 501(c)(6) entity, and that entity runs approximately $75 million worth of partisan attack ads. This week alone, the Chamber ran nearly $10.5 million in attack ads in many of the most competitive elections in America. Republican candidates in the nine Senate and 22 House districts are benefiting from the Chamber’s support.

According to Campaign Money Watch, some of that $10.5 million is going to Florida candidates. One of the top three candidates benefiting from the largest sums is none other than Marco Rubio. Rubio has received $1,000,000. That amount is topped by only two other candidates on the list, Carly Fiorina in California and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire. Rubio is not the only Florida candidate getting those funds.

Expenditures for Republican candidates in Florida filed by the Chamber on Oct. 5 were the following:

Marco Rubio    $1,000,000, for attack ads against Charlie Crist (I-FL)

Sandy Adams   $250,000, for attack ads against Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL)

Dan Webster    $250,000, for attack ads against Alan Grayson (D-FL)

Also from the Campaign Money Watch site:

Campaign Money Watch today called on 31 federal candidates to join its effort to demand the U.S. Chamber of Commerce answer questions about the use of its foreign corporate dues in political advertising.

The letter sent to those candidates reads in part:

Recent news coverage surfaced significant and serious questions about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce use of foreign corporate funding for electoral activities. We are also troubled that evidence suggests that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in raising money overseas, has promised to represent the business interests of foreign corporations in Washington, D.C.

Since the Chamber has spent money in your election, we urge you to join us in demanding that the Chamber answer these important questions about their foreign funding and their representation of those overseas corporations. If they cannot or will not provide evidence to back up their claims, we urge you to join us in demanding that the Chamber remove all advertising or other electoral activities from your race…..

….This recent revelation goes beyond simple disclosure of campaign spending. The Chamber’s acceptance of foreign corporate money into the same account from which it is funding attack ads crosses the line of democratic decency. But the Chamber’s response to this question of mingling foreign and domestic dues has been inadequate. A spokeswoman told a Washington Post reporter, “We don’t feel obligated to answer that question.”

This is a dangerous precedent to let stand. Unfortunately, the Chamber’s response so far has been to attempt to dismiss the allegations as if no principles were involved, and to loudly criticize those posing questions as political partisans. The Chamber diminishes the criticism by claiming that very little money has been received from overseas affiliates and dues-paying corporations. But it is not partisan politics that is at stake; rather, serious democratic principles and laws are potentially being violated. The law does not distinguish between small and large amounts of foreign corporate money influencing American elections. All foreign corporate money is prohibited.

Moreover, by accepting the dues of foreign corporations, the Chamber is operating as the political outpost for those interests in Washington by pledging to mold public opinion to benefit their members. The method the Chamber is employing today to shape public opinion is electoral advertising in your race and others around the country….

….We are not asking you to criticize the Chamber. We are simply asking you to join with us to “trust, but verify.” It is the very least that you, as a candidate for high office seeking the public’s trust, can do.

A copy of the entire letter to candidates can be read here.

It will be interesting to see if any of those Republican candidates will do what the letter asks. But for the party that never appears in public without a flag pin on their lapel, claims they are the party who most “support the troops” and the party that “keeps America safe” and are quick to call anyone who doesn’t agree with them “un-American,” I would like to see them put that money where their talking points are and honor this request.

As for Marco Rubio, his standard stump speech spouts that America is the greatest country in the world, that America is “exceptional” and that he “wants to take the country back.” I think he should explain to those who would vote for him and all the American people just where he wants to take the country back to? So far Rubio’s campaign has been funded not only by the Chamber, but by Dick Armey and FreedomWorks, Karl Rove and American Crossroads, which some have called for an investigation of, and several others, and those are just the ones we know of.

Call me crazy, but I think we deserve to know where the money is coming from.

The citizens of this country are the ones these candidates are elected to represent. Not the foreign countries who fund their campaigns.

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Marco Rubio’s campaign reported today that it took in $5 million during the third quarter. Last quarter they reported $4.5 million.

Now it’s also being reported that Dick Armey’s PAC, FreedomWorks has just kicked in $10,333 to the Rubio campaign. The money is for “yard signs and door hangers.” That’s a lot of signs and door hangers.

The Rubio campaign also says it will report over $5.5 on hand from last quarter, an increase of $1 million.

You may have noticed that a lot of the current Republican-Tea Bagger candidates don’t do interviews, either won’t take part in debates, or just don’t show up for them, and refuse to talk to editorial boards and media in general. Do you suppose that’s in part due to the fact that they’re just swimming in campaign cash, thanks to that little Supreme Court ruling declaring that corporations are people in terms of donations, and that laws allow undisclosed contributions in large amounts?

These candidates are bringing in such big donations they don’t have to talk to the voters. Voters aren’t footing the bill.

Judging from tonight’s Senate debate, Marco Rubio isn’t giving contributors their money’s worth.

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