September 2010

Who Is Kirsten Gillibrand?

by Bill O'Connell on September 18, 2010

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In New York we have the unusual situation of voting for two senators in the same year.  Chuck Schumer is the incumbent running for reelection and Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant seat when the latter became Secretary of State in the Obama administration.  So in some respects, Ms. Gillibrand is running for the Senate for the first time rather than as an incumbent.

As a Congresswoman in 2007 she was a member of the “Blue Dog” coalition of conservative Democrats.  In the Senate Ms. Gillibrand has been quiet as a church mouse.  Perhaps that is because she doesn’t want people to notice her metamorphosis from a moderate Democrat from upstate New York with a 100% approval rating from the National Rifle Association to another far left Harry Reid “pet”, voting with the Democratic leadership 97% of the time.  Now that she is in the Senate she has been endorsed for election by a leading gun control group which the NRA strongly opposes which prompted this response from the NRA

“She was either being dishonest with her voters in the congressional district or she’s being dishonest to the voters in New York state,” said the NRA’s chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox. “Either way, the key word is dishonest.”

Gillibrand’s spokesman had no comment.

Ms. Gillibrand voted in favor of giving stockholders a vote on executive compensation in corporations.  Does she favor giving Americans a vote on her and her colleagues’ compensation?  In July 2009, she voted yes on a Congressional pay raise.  So we need to keep those greedy corporate types in check, but she gets to vote herself a raise?  But that’s not all; when as an attorney she represented corporations she had a very different role.  As an attorney representing Philip Morris her job was to keep the Department of Justice from finding out that Philip Morris’ own research showed that tobacco was harmful.

“So when the Justice Department tried to get its hands on that research in 1996 to prove that tobacco industry executives had lied about the dangers of smoking, the company moved to fend off the effort with the help of a highly regarded young lawyer named Kirsten Rutnik [now Gillibrand].” – New York Times, March 26, 2009

Call it inconsistent, but whatever you call it, Ms. Gillibrand doesn’t like to talk about it.

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Democrats Try to Get Out the Illegal Vote

by Bill O'Connell on September 17, 2010

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President Obama met with leading Hispanic legislators Robert Menendez, Nydia Velázquez, and Luis Guitierrez.  It is believed they were there to discuss language being added to a Pentagon policy bill at the behest of Harry Reid, who is desperately trying to hold on to his seat by energizing the Hispanic vote to come out for him on November 2.  The language would provide a path to citizenship to any illegal alien who came to this country before the age of sixteen, stayed here five years, complete high school and either served two years in the military or completed two years of college. 

Of the twelve or so million illegal immigrants in this country now, I wonder, how many either meet these qualifications or are very near to doing so?  This won’t get them to the voting booth on November 2, but it is meant to appeal to all others who support amnesty.  At the same time, if this passes those who benefit from the bill will be reminded constantly that it was those wonderful Democrats who pulled this stunt off and expect to be repaid with their votes in all future elections.

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Tim Bishop Comes out Swinging, But is it at Himself?

by Bill O'Connell on September 16, 2010

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Bailouts

I’ve seen Tim Bishop’s new ad to help re-elect him to Congress.  He glares into the camera and says “no more bailouts.”  Having voted with the Democratic leadership (Nancy Pelosi) more than 97% of the time, who is Tim Bishop running against, himself?  Is this another “I voted for the bill before I voted against it?”

  • Tim Bishop voted for TARP. 
  • Tim Bishop voted against repealing the rest of TARP and returning the money to taxpayers. (HR 4173 [Roll Call 967]. The House defeated an attempt to repeal the Troubled Asset Relief Program and lower the national debt limit)
  • Tim Bishop voted for the bailout of GM and Chrysler rather than letting them go through bankruptcy. 
  • He voted yes on a bill to modify bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures.  A fellow Democrat who also voted in favor of the bankruptcy bill said, “Rep. PETER WELCH (D, VT-0): Citigroup supports this bill. Why? They’re a huge lender.”  Wow, Tim Bishop is really tough on those Wall Street banks. 
  • Tim Bishop voted for the stimulus package that cost more in one year than the entire War in Iraq and has failed.  Unemployment is almost 10% when we were told the stimulus would cap it at 8%.  The administration keeps telling us about “jobs saved,” something that no one can measure, but they don’t tell us how many jobs were actually created which is a statistic that can be measured.  Why?  (Hint: 3 million jobs have been lost since stimulus signed)

 

So the guy who helped give us all these bailouts is now talking tough that he is protecting us from bailouts.

Credit Cards

His ad then goes on to say how he is protecting consumers and their credit cards.  One of the features he voted for is to cap the interest rate on credit cards at 16%.  Well that sounds good, but what is so magical about 16%?  Why not 17%, why not 12%?  Wait a minute, New York State used to have a cap on credit card interest rates of 12%, but then we got the Jimmy Carter economy where interest rates skyrocketed.  What happened then?  Major banks with credit card operations in New York state moved to other states that had no limit.  I worked at Citibank shortly thereafter, and they picked up their operations and moved them to South Dakota and Nevada.  New York lost thousands of jobs.  So what Mr. Bishop wants to do is place a limit at the federal level so those tricky people in South Dakota and Nevada can’t steal jobs from New York.  So instead, if we get another Carter economy, those jobs will go overseas.  But wait, doesn’t his commercial say he will create jobs here, not overseas?  What it proves is that Tim Bishop doesn’t understand economics and free markets, which he opposes.

Does Tim Bishop know what he’s talking about, or just waiting for the next instructions from Nancy Pelosi?

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Paladino and the People

by Bill O'Connell on September 15, 2010

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The old bull Republicans continue to get rocked.  Add Carl Paladino and Christine O’Donnell to the list that includes Rand Paul, Sharon Angle, Joe Miller and others. It drives home the point that was exposed in a Rasmussen poll that 72% of GOP voters say Republicans in Congress are out of touch with their base.  On the Democrat side it is just the opposite where 61% of Democrat voters say the Dems in Congress fairly represent them.  While the Democrats are standing pat, rank and file Republicans are asking for a new set of cards.

Liberty’s Life Line endorsed Mr. Lazio, because New York state government is such a dysfunctional mess it was felt more political experience and a detailed plan would make more headway than an outsider.  However, the fire in the belly that Mr. Paladino demonstrated, we wish Mr. Lazio had.  But Lazio ran another lackluster campaign as he did against Hillary Clinton for Senate, missing the key issue for voters by focusing on the Ground Zero mosque instead of the broken government.  Oddly, he had a 24 page plan on how he would change things, but you had to hunt to find it.  I have two suggestions for Mr. Lazio: drop out of the race on the Conservative line and free that up for Mr. Paladino, and give a copy of your plan to Mr. Paladino.

For the Republican party’s old pulls, it’s time to clean out your desks.  Enough of the lamenting that we need moderates to win in the general election.  When the going gets tough moderate Republicans vote with the Democrats.  When do moderate Democrats vote with Republicans?  Never, because there are no moderate Democrats. We don’t need any more Arlen Specters, Susan Collins, or Olympia Snowes. It is time to get polarized, energized, and laser focused on the issues that affect Americans.  If that means we have two extremes, left and right, so be it.  It also means Americans will have clear choices.

So let’s get behind the nominees and also put the old bulls out to pasture.

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How to Repeal ObamaCare Now

by Bill O'Connell on September 14, 2010

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Have you ever heard of an arcane legislative procedure called a discharge petition? Well, pull up a chair and I promise to keep this brief. 

There is a bill in the House of Representatives H.R. 4972 – “To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, which, if passed would repeal ObamaCare.  Naturally, Nancy Pelosi is determined to never let this see the light of day and has it buried in committee.  Here’s where the discharge petition comes into play. 

If a majority of the House of Representatives signs the discharge petition (Discharge Petition 11), then H.R. 4972 has to come to the House floor for an up or down vote, over Nancy Pelosi’s dead body, objection.  Isn’t this fun?  Now, here’s where it gets interesting.  It seems that every Democrat it running and hiding from ObamaCare, because they know most Americans oppose it.  They can claim that it was too big to read, they were drunk, their families were being held hostage if they didn’t sign it, so they reluctantly went along.  Eureka! Now they can have a second chance to vote against it before Election Day!  And if they don’t, we’ll be watching.

So contact your Representative, especially those Blue Dogs out there and get them to sign Discharge Petition 11 and watch the fireworks begin.  Who said politics wasn’t fun?  Have a nice day.

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Fan Running for Congress Claims Rush Limbaugh Endorsed His Run

by Bill O'Connell on September 14, 2010

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Trailing his two challengers for the Republican nomination for Congress in New York’s First Congressional district, George Demos appeared to have scored a major coup by landing the endorsement of Rush Limbaugh.  As Demos puts it in a last minute letter, “I am so humbled that Rush Limbaugh, our nation’s leading Conservative voice, has endorsed our campaign.”

 

When I got the robo-call, I was stunned by the endorsement and went to Demos’ website to see or hear it firsthand.  I found a five minute clip of Rush and although he talks about George Demos, the word “endorse” never crosses his lips.  So who is George Demos?

 

George Demos was one of the first candidates to challenge the incumbent, Democrat Tim Bishop. But after a few early television ads, his campaign seemed to go quiet.  A new entrant, Randy Altschuler,  hit the airwaves with  a number of ads tying Bishop and his voting record to Nancy Pelosi’s.  Altschuler ran an issues based campaign and was soon endorsed by the Conservative Party of New York State.  He is pro-life and has the support of former NYS Right-to-Life Director Bill Doyle.  He also signed the American’s for Tax Reform, “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

Also in the campaign is the grandson of Richard Nixon, Christopher Cox, and it seemed like the battle was between Cox and Altschuler.  As the primary day neared Demos came back into the fight.  Oddly, considering today’s economic climate, Demos’ returning campaign theme seemed to be, “I’m pro-life and they’re not.” 

On his website, Demos touts his experience as an SEC enforcement attorney, fighting white collar crime and Rush mentions that in his video clip.  The odd thing is that Demos mentions being on the Bernie Madoff prosecution team, at the SEC.  It was the SEC that refused to believe it when Harry Markopolos tried for nine years to convince them that Bernie Madoff’s filings with the SEC were mathematically impossible, but he was ignored.  It’s not as if Demos cracked the case.  Demos later came under investigation for violating SEC rules for outing a whistleblower and resigned from the SEC shortly thereafter. 

The issues section of his campaign website are lightweight.  Here is a sampling of his position on cutting wasteful spending, “The government continues to spend taxpayer money on bloated projects and wasteful new programs. Congress promised the “stimulus” bill would create millions of new jobs, but now all we have are higher taxes, more unemployment, and mountains of debt.”  Both Altschuler and Cox have signed the Contract from America, while Demos has not.

So, where’s the endorsement?  In the video, Rush reads a letter that Demos wrote to him in 1995 and referred to Demos, proudly, as a real “Rush baby.”  It was a flattering letter about what a great job Rush did in helping the Republicans take control of Congress in 1994.  He mentions that Demos is opposed to the Ground Zero mosque, but he goes on to say that the “DC GOP sent a bunch of people in to run against him.”  The interesting thing is that Randy Altschuler is the only one of the three candidates who lives in the First Congressional District.  He has lived in his current house since early 2009 where he moved to from a nearby town, so it is an odd characterization from Rush that they “sent in” the only guy that already lived there.  Demos lives on the border of the district and Cox lives in Manhattan.

So what does Demos do?  He takes this video from Rush on the eve of the weekend of 9/11 and turns it into an endorsement and then queues up robo-calls announcing the endorsement, to blast out over the weekend and the day before the primary to try to overtake the leaders.  I don’t know how well Rush checked out Demos’ story or if he was just so taken with a “Rush baby” running for Congress that was hoping it was all true and that Rush could give him a lift, but it seems as if Mr. Demos is trying a primary eve Hail Mary.

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New York Republican Primary Endorsements

by Bill O'Connell on September 13, 2010

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Tomorrow is the New York State Republican Primary.  We go to the polls to choose our candidates who will go up against the Democrats in November.  This is an important election and an important turning point for our country.  New York is a deep blue state and the Republican party seems to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.  The candidates that they often put forth are more likely to make Republicans throw up their hands and stay home on election day than turn out and vote. 

We have seen the hope and change of the Obama administration and it scares the hell out of many Americans.  The change we need is to turn out the “go along to get along” crowd and put in true reformers.  At Tea Party meetings I encounter more and more New York conservatives who say they are tired of hiding their beliefs.  They used to keep their political views to themselves because they feared repercussions from their employers, their customers, their schools, but they are tired of it.  They tell me they are coming out of the closet.

We need to embrace this view.  It may mean we lose some races like the special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional district, where the Republican bosses picked Dede Scozzafava, who after falling behind Doug Hoffman, the Conservative candidate, in the polls, dropped out and endorsed the Democrat.  It is time to stand and be counted.  Liberty’s Life Line makes the following endorsements.

New York’s First Congressional District

In New York’s First Congressional District, Liberty’s Life Line endorses Randy Altschuler. Randy came out early and often to challenge incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop and Speaker Nancy Pelosi on their reckless spending.  He has articulated a conservative view on the major issues that we face and he is a free market conservative.  Christopher Cox has a number of positions that are similar to Randy Altschuler, but instead of focusing on explaining how he would govern and why he is the better candidate, he chose the low road to attack his fellow Republicans in a mudslinging campaign that angered numerous voters.  Mr. Cox also promotes a protectionist point of view,  rather than a free market point of view and he seems confused about what the job of Congressman entails.  In one of his ads he talks about putting Suffolk County taxpayers first.  If he were running for County Executive, that would be fine, but a Congressman cannot put his constituents ahead of any other taxpayers.  Federal tax laws should affect all Americans equally, and where they don’t they should be changed so that they do. 

George Demos’ campaign is verging on the desperate.  His positions on his web site are little more than platitudes and he has chosen to make the centerpiece of his campaign social issues that are not what the majority of the voters are concerned about right now.  We are heading toward a debt crisis, and Mr. Demos oddly chose to run on an issue that will let the incumbent change the subject from the economy.

New York Senate versus Kirsten Gillibrand

Liberty’s Life Line endorses David Malpass for United States Senate for the seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand.  Mr. Malpass has more experience at the federal level having worked in the Reagan administration.  He also understands that New York has, for years, paid more money in taxes to Washington than New York has gotten back in government money.  Yet every year Sentators Schumer and Gillibrand vote for more spending and more programs that New Yorkers will fund and others will reap the rewards.  Mr. Malpass understands that the answer is not to fight for a bigger share of the pie for New York, but to shrink the pie and eliminate unnecessary programs and spending.  Mr. Blakeman has relied more on imagery in his campaign and attacks on Mr. Malpass rather than focusing on how he would govern and therefore be the best choice for the Senate. Mr. DioGuardi seems to advocate the same old ways of doing business.  For example, he advocates “Paygo” which was the tool Democrats invented to force tax increases as new programs were added to the economy and which the Wall Street Journal described as “kind of budget gimmick that gives gimmickry a bad name.”  We need straight forward shrinking of government not better tools to monitor how badly it is being done.

New York Senate versus Chuck Schumer

Liberty’s Life Line endorses Jay Townsend for United States Senator for the seat currently held by Chuck Schumer.  Both Mr. Townsend and Mr. Gary Berntsen have strong national security views, are for tax reduction and reduced spending.  Mr. Townsend’s positions seem to be more thoroughly developed.  For example, he is for the repeal of ObamaCare and in its place he supports some common sense methods to reduce the cost of delivering health care without spending $1 trillion.  Mr. Berntsen doesn’t address health care on his website.  Mr. Townsend also has pledged to ban all earmarks, which are basically the way incumbents bribe their constituents to send them back to Washington.  Replacing Chuck Schumer will be a tough challenge so we need to put forth the best candidate we can.

New York State Governor

Liberty’s Life Line endorses Rick Lazio for governor.  Although Carl Paladino has captured the anti-incumbent energy and had energized people to come out and support him, Rick Lazio has a concrete plan on how he would attack the issues.  New York State government is so broken, Life Line could see that an outsider like Mr. Paladino could just be hamstrung and stalled by a legislature that is vehemently opposed to him.  Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, who came in on a re-call election to turn things around but ended up being the one turned around.  Mr. Paladino, as a CEO, is coming from an environment where he calls the shots, in Albany he will have to work with the legislature to get things done and it will take him a little while to figure out what buttons to push.  Mr. Lazio has legislative experience as a Congressman, and has thought through his plan in sufficient detail that it might actually work.  Mr. Paladino has moved the debate which is a major victory and if he loses the primary Life Line hopes he will support Mr. Lazio.  Likewise, if he should prevail, we all must get behind him to defeat Mr. Cuomo in November.

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Tax Cuts Even David Axelrod Could Understand

by Bill O'Connell on September 8, 2010

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Who would you trust to better invest a million dollars in the economy, Bill Gates or Joe Biden?  Do the richest people in America bury their money in a pit in their back yard or do they either spend it or invest it?  Are taxes cuts where the American people give less of the wealth they created to the government or is it where the government gives money to the American people?

If you are like the overwhelming majority of Americans you would answer those questions as follows:  Bill Gates; spend or invest it; give less to the government.  But the Obama administration and their acolytes live in an alternate reality where Joe Biden, who President Obama put in charge of watching carefully how the stimulus money was spent because “nobody messes with Joe,” is in charge of spending $700+ billion; where they think nothing good happens from the most productive people in the economy when they have more resources to work with; where all money belongs to the government and the government gets to decide who and how much we can keep.

By excluding “the rich” from any tax cuts because we “can’t afford to give the rich a $700  billion tax cut”, this administration is saying that by giving Joe Biden $700 billion he will spend it in such a spectacular way that the economy will be humming before Recovery Summer has ended.  We are still waiting. 

What happens if Bill Gates has an extra million?  I could see three things.  One, he spends it.  Although he is not known to be an extravagant spender like his competitor Larry Ellison, I understand that Mr. Gates lives in a very nice state of the art house.  He may choose to upgrade it.  That will probably involve architects, engineers, general contractors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, laborers, and on and on.  In other words, jobs.  Isn’t that we need now?  How many stimulus projects are there that have sucked up money but created no jobs? (If you are struggling with that question go to www.recovery.gov and sample some of the projects)  Two, he could invest it.  He might fund a start-up which would again create jobs.  If the start up was successful, he might buy it outright which would put money back in the hands of the entrepreneurs who started the company and perhaps they would start another.  More jobs, more spending, a growing economy.  Three, he may put the money in his charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  That is a charity that does good things, but with a difference.  Because it is a charity not a government program, there will be people watching how the money is spent with the discretion to modify the program if it gets off track.  Government programs are built upon rules.  If  a crook gets a copy of the rulebook, he can rip off the program until someone gets around to re-writing the rules.  In the meantime it is ka-ching for the crook.

The incumbents in government believe that tax revenues are their money and tax cuts are gifts from the government to the people.  Taxes are what we the people give to the government.  We need to starve the beast and put it back in its cage.  Government is trying to run every aspect of our lives.  This country was founded because a tone deaf government was taxing America to the eyeballs.  It is that time again.  We should make the Bush tax cuts permanent now and clean house in November.

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It’s Time to Get Out of the Way, Mr. President

by Bill O'Connell on September 7, 2010

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As we approach the mid-point of his term we, once again, hear President Obama with another scheme to create jobs.  This time he really, really means it.  For a mere $50 billion we can build roads, rails and runways and we can create an “infrastructure bank” to boot.  I guess the government wants to get into the banking business now that they have swallowed up two thirds of the domestic auto companies and passed a law to take over health care.  But, hey, who are you calling a socialist?

The infrastructure bank has supporters: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ed Rendell the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and Michal Bloomberg the Democratic, Republican, Independent mayor of New York, but they want it to support more projects such as water and clean energy projects.  But here’s the really good news, according to the New York Times “They say such a bank would spur innovation by allowing a panel of experts to approve projects on merit, rather than having lawmakers simply steer transportation money back home.” We get a brand new panel of experts to tell us morons what is good for us! 

How about this idea, get the Federal government out of the roads, rails and runways business.  Unless the road is part of the Interstate highway system, and that means interstate, the feds should stay away from it.  If a road within a city needs maintenance, that city and its citizens should pay for it, not taxpayers elsewhere in the country.  That’s how the whole process got screwed up.  You build my road, I’ll build your road and nobody will know who pays for what, until we find out we are $13 trillion in debt.

One of the good ideas Jimmy Carter had was to deregulate the airlines.  Airlines became competitive and prices came down.  The problem is that air travel consists of three components: the airlines, the airports and air traffic control.  Complete the process, deregulate the airports and air traffic control.  If you do that, airports can charge different prices for takeoff and landing slots.  No more will we see thirty-two flights all scheduled to take off at 7:30 AM from one airport.  Private investors would also have an incentive to build a state of the art air traffic control system. 

By the way, what happened to all those “shovel ready” projects from the first stimulus plan?  Did we actually finish building all the turtle crossings that this country needs?

On another front, Obama continues to tinker with the mortgage market rather than getting out of the way, letting housing prices find their bottom and then going from there.  George Mason economist Anthony B. Sanders said in the New York Times, ““Housing needs to go back to reasonable levels.  If we keep trying to stimulate the market, that’s the definition of insanity.”  Even Democrats are piling on:

“The administration made a bet that a rising economy would solve the housing problem and now they are out of chips,” said Howard Glaser, a former Clinton administration housing official with close ties to policy makers in the administration. “They are deeply worried and don’t really know what to do.”

Who would have thought that a president and vice president with no executive experience prior to taking office would not know what to do once they got there?  After all everyone knew that Obama was a really nice guy with an even temperament, what went wrong?  Now we hear that Fannie Mae wants to back mortgages with nothing down.  But not to worry, this time they are actually going to require the lenders to check to make sure the borrower has income. I feel better already.

Since this administration seems to like experts how about listening to these experts:

“We have had enough artificial support and need to let the free market do its thing,” said the housing analyst Ivy Zelman.

 

Michael L. Moskowitz, president of Equity Now, a direct mortgage lender that operates in New York and seven other states, also advocates letting the market fall. “Prices are still artificially high,” he said. “The government is discriminating against the renters who are able to buy at $200,000 but can’t at $250,000.”

 

It’s time for President Obama and his administration to get his boot off of the neck of the economy.  Ours is the strongest most resilient economy in the world, if you set it free.  All of the tinkering and the anti-business threats have pushed employers to the sidelines.  The uncertainty over the economy has led businesses to take a wait and see attitude.

The rhetoric the Democrats have been trying to muster to save their skins is that “eight years of failed policies,” yada, yada, yada.  The reality is that this recession started one year after Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over Congress.  This recession started in the last year of the Bush administration, not the first seven.  This recession has lasted nearly twice as long and counting under Obama than it did under Bush, and it shows no sign of changing anytime soon.  A recent poll in Ohio by Public Policy Polling asked respondents who they would prefer to see in the White House right now and the results were George W. Bush 50%, Barack Obama 42%; what does that tell you?

So, Mr. Obama, keeps your hands were we can see them and slowly step away from the economy.

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Pretty Weak Tea

by Bill O'Connell on September 3, 2010

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There is an increasingly nasty battle brewing in the Republican race for the nomination to run against Democrat incumbent Tim Bishop in the First Congressional District in New York.  With jobs and the economy the number one issue across the nation, the petty personal attacks may result in potential Republican voters staying home in disgust.

In an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “New York’s GOP Never Learns,” Kim Strassel concludes her article by saying, “The effect has been to enrage and divide a New York party that should have bigger things on its mind. Say, winning this fall.” 

Chris Cox is trying to play catch-up to the front runner Randy Altschuler who has been actively campaigning for more than a year.  The difficulty for Mr. Cox is that his positions are not that different than those of Mr. Altschuler.  So, while Mr. Altschuler has been taking on the Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop and Bishop’s lockstep voting with Nancy Pelosi, Mr. Cox has resorted to attacking Mr. Altschuler.  Not to leave his flank unprotected, Mr. Altschuler has been forced to respond and now the race, with two weeks to go before the primary on September 14th, has degenerated into a mudslinging contest.  There is a third candidate, George Demos, who is lobbing attacks from the rear with little effect.

Each candidate is calling themselves the “true conservative,” and Mr. Cox has garnered the support of the Suffolk County 9-12 Project the self-proclaimed “Largest Tea Party organization in Suffolk County.”  Mr. Cox’s father, Ed Cox, is the head of the New York State GOP.  Ms. Strassel reports that the senior Mr. Cox, backed Steve Levy over Rick Lazio for governor to curry favor with the Suffolk County GOP chairman to back his son.  It is all the kind of backroom political dealing that have attracted a rush of newcomer candidates and put incumbents of both parties on the endangered species list.

The Tea Party Endorsement

 

What caught my eye was the endorsement of the Suffolk County 9-12 Project and the announcement by Bob Meyer, co-founder.  He gave as one of his primary reasons that, Randy Altschuler was one of those people, “getting rich off the backs of hardworking Americans by outsourcing their jobs.”  That sounds more like Jimmy Hoffa, Andy Stern, or Barack Obama’s class warfare than any Tea Partier I know.  A commenter on the 9-12 Project’s site, Judyann Joyner added, “Randy is credited with the creation of ‘white collar sweatshops in India.’”  Pretty strong stuff.  I don’t know if Ms. Joyner or Mr. Meyer visited the company that Mr. Altschuler co-founded in India, but Business Week magazine did.

“The lights burn day and night in the gleaming glass-and-chrome building that towers over a leafy street in the southern Indian city of Madras. Here at OfficeTiger, 1,500 young men and women peer into computers 24 hours a day, analyzing and processing U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission reports and other documents drawn up by lawyers and bankers on Wall Street. Walking the floor, sometimes even at 3 a.m., is 34-year-old co-founder and co-Chief Executive Joseph Sigelman.”

Just because the office operates 24 hours per day, don’t be conned into thinking the same people are at their desks 24 hours a day.  “Gleaming glass-and-chrome building that towers over a leafy street,” yup, sounds like a hellhole to me.  Business Week added, “Indeed, OfficeTiger is the only successful startup in India’s $5 billion outsourcing industry that is owned and managed by a U.S. entrepreneur.”  So we have an American company making money in India, in what seems to be a rather large and competitive field, and this is a bad thing?  Since when did conservatives turn into protectionists?  But what about the jobs they replaced?  Okay, let’s examine that. 

You have some Wall Street firms that are in a competitive business.  A young entrepreneur comes up with an idea to reduce operating expenses by having an external company handle routine clerical tasks that are not one of the firm’s key competencies, that is, people don’t buy that firm’s services because of their typing skills.  The company outsources and reduces costs.  By reducing costs, they prosper and grow; by growing they create more high skill jobs like lawyers, accountants, financial analysts, IT people, etc.  Perhaps even some of the former typists, because of their computer skills can move up the ladder to spreadsheets, and databases.  Do some people lose their jobs, yes, just as buggy whip makers lost their jobs when the automobile came on the scene.  Okay, let’s shift to India.

In India white collar jobs are created; their standard of living improves; they buy consumer goods like iPods and iPhones and their offices need sophisticated IT equipment from companies like Cisco Systems which grow companies like Apple and Cisco creating jobs in the U.S. We live in a global economy and if we want prosperity and peace, the best way to get there is through free markets.  Even Mr. Cox in the policy section of his website blames government policies for companies outsourcing jobs overseas.  If it is the government’s policies that make these jobs uncompetitive here and Mr. Cox knows it, why is Mr. Altschuler wrong for reacting to it and helping American companies that use these services remain competitive?

After selling Office Tiger to RR Donnelly, Mr. Altschuler started another company in the U.S., CloudBlue, that recycles old IT equipment.  So we have an entrepreneur that has started a couple of companies that have created jobs around the world and that makes him a villain?  Perhaps Mr. Meyer should go back and read some of the quotes on his own website:

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.” – Dr. Adrian Rogers

“I have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson

Mr. Meyer’s key criticism of Mr. Altschuler smacks of the government picking winners and losers.  This business is okay, but not that one.  If your business creates jobs overseas that is bad, but if it creates jobs here it is okay.  Well, Mr. Altschuler has done both and he has firsthand experience doing so, which is what we sorely lack in Washington.  If the strategy of Mr. Cox continues, including creating another party, the TaxPayer party, to run on and split the vote further, Mr. Cox might as well mail his strategy over to the Bishop campaign as I am sure they will find it very useful in the general election.  Not my cup of tea.

The focus should be on defeating the out of control spenders in Congress who got us into this mess, not fighting each other to the death and let the incumbent waltz back into office.  The time is now.  Mr. Cox should focus on what he would do as a Congressman that is better than Tim Bishop and Mr. Altschuler.  If he can’t articulate that, he should drop out.  He is not going to win a lot of support by throwing mud at his fellow Republicans.

Note: In the spirit of full disclosure I have done some volunteer work for the Altschuler campaign

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