Archive for March, 2010

Michael It’s Time To Go

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is dragging Republicans down and draining its bank account.  He has created controversy since his election more than a year ago.

That’s not bad enough he even wrote a book in which he says Republicans will not in 2010 take over the U. S. House of Representatives.  His actions and those of his cohorts if continued will certainly help make his prediction come true.

Worst still opportunity for Republicans is knocking on the door as we approach the 2010 midterm election. 

Steele is now presiding over a sex club fiasco by someone using Republican National Committee (RNC) money.

When Steele was elected the RNC had $22 million on hand.  In the Federal Election Commission report for the period just ended he reported less than $10 million after raising $96 million during the period.

National news accounts say the Republican National Committee is losing loyal high dollar contributors.  I expect after the sex club episode the small donors will say – no thank you.

With the opportunity President Obama has given Republicans to gain or take control of Congress the members of the Republican National Committee should remove Steele at the first opportunity.

Better yet Michael it’s time to go.

Palin In WV

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

West Virginia Facebook followers of former Governor Sarah Palin woke up this morning to learn she will be visiting our State.  The Fix a Washington Post political column reports she has targeted 20 congressional seats held by Democrats as we moved into the 2010 mid-term election.

Give Obama Line Item Veto

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

President Obama wants lawmakers to remove state specific projects inserted in the health care legislation.  Congress should include a line-item veto provision in the reconciliation bill to force him to cut these – if the health care bill gets to his desk.

His call for this action is window dressing.  Polls are showing the voters are upset about “back room deals” in Congress plus the excessive spending. 

In case you were busy decorating your Christmas tree it was Obama’s senior staff in the back room with Senator Reid putting these state specific projects in the health care bill to get the votes for passage on Christmas Eve.

President Obama always calls for spending restraint and an end to earmarks.  But when Congress passed a nearly $410 billion omnibus spending bill in 2009 with about 9,000 earmarks totaling $5 billion he signed it.

Remember the 2008 presidential debate in Oxford, Mississippi?  “We need earmark reform,” Obama said.  “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

A line-item force of law is about the only way these state specific projects will come out of the health care bill.

Obama talks a good game but……

Taxpayers Money for Political Campaigns?

Friday, March 12th, 2010

There is a bill moving the final days of the Legislature that makes no sense.  The Manchin administration had proposed using taxpayer’s money to finance the 2012 Supreme Court race.

It now appears in a contested primary a candidate would get $200,000 of taxpayers’ money and $350,000 in the general election.  I have run campaigns and this is a “drop in the bucket”.

Besides I thought the Administration had asked state government agencies to take budget cuts.  Why start a new program to finance political campaigns.  If there is money to spend let’s create jobs with it.

Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin (D-Mingo) has it right.  He has said “If you want to run for Supreme Court, raise your own money.”

Senator Byrd We Need You

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Senator Byrd is needed in the United States Senate more than ever.  He needs to be there to protect the Senate from itself. 

It is well known the Obama administration is pressuring Congress to use a process known as reconciliation to pass health care reform. 

After the congressional budget act passed in 1974 (I worked there at the time) Congress started to abuse the spending and revenue targets established in the budget resolution passed each year. 

Senator Byrd stepped in to stop using the budget reconciliation process to enact legislation that had nothing to do in meeting the requirements of the budget resolution.  

He introduced legislation which was passed in 1985 and became permanent in 1990. It is known as the “Byrd Rule”. 

Senators are permitted under the “Byrd Rule” to ask for a point of order objecting to provisions in the reconciliation legislation they believe does not meet the requirements of the budget resolution.  After that it is up to the President of the Senate or presiding officer.  In practice, the Senate Parliamentarian makes the final decision. 

Despite the fact Senator Byrd voted for health care reform on Christmas Eve let’s hope he is well enough to be present to stop the abuse of reconciliation as he did in l985.

Happy Birthday, Senator Randolph

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Today is the 108th birthday of Senator Jennings Randolph.  He was a man of vision and accomplishment.  He worked tirelessly for West Virginia.

Jennings Randolph was a Senator for 26 years and a member of the House of Representatives for 14 years.  He never considered himself a national or international Senator with all those years of experience.  Senator Randolph once said, “I essentially am a West Virginia Senator.”

There are so many examples of his work for West Virginia.  He was most proud of having created the Appalachian Regional Commission.  His vision to create this federal-state partnership brought enormous results throughout the 13 states Appalachian states. 

If only the leaders of our country had heeded the vision of Jennings Randolph in 1943.  He wanted a national energy policy.  In a speech before the House of Representatives where he said,  “In the future, we will not be able to depend on the importation of oil from any foreign country, even though it may appear now to be a very friendly one.”  This same speech is still being made today. 

For three decades, beginning in 1942 when he was in the House, Jennings Randolph pushed for an amendment to lower the voting age from 21.  He pursued his cause of every opportunity, and on his 11th attempt Congress approved it.  The measure became the 26th Amendment on June 30, 1971, attaining the approval of three-quarters of the states.

The accomplishments of Senator Randolph are a matter of record.  I know he would want me to note his work to establish a Department of Peace.  He introduced that legislation in 1946.  After he had announced his retirement from Congress in 1984 his colleagues enacted the United States Institute of Peace Act. 

On his birthday I just wanted to be sure he was remembered.  We were friends for over thirty years.