Thursday, December 29, 2011

It’s A Dogs Life


by A.F. "Tony Branco:

Tags: dogs life, Americans, on a leash, liberal government, Barack Obama, A.F. Branco, political cartoon

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking Back and Ahead

The below letter to the editor is by Robert "Bob" McDowell, Jr. He is a Professional Engineer and Geologist with over 50 years experience in creating drilling prospects, supervising drilling, well completion, production operation, and pipeline design for oil and gas including repair of problem wells. McDowell is a conservative and active in the Oklahoma Republican Assembly.

Bob McDowell
By Bob McDowell: As we come to the end of the first year of the second decade of the twenty-first century AD, it seems that we should look back at the first decade and ahead to what may face us in the rest of this one. After all, people who forget or ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes in the future. Also, it appears that those whom choose to 're-invent the wheel' seem to waste both time and effort which could have been put to better use to improve the lot for all of us. Unfortunately, it also seems that those with "official power" appear to be the most likely to be guilty of making these mistakes.

Three years ago, voters elected a young man as President of the United States whom they knew not knew very little about. He possessed a marvelous ability for public speaking, albeit using Teleprompters almost exclusively. Using the teleprompter is why he continually turns his head from side to side while reading his speeches.

He promised 'hope and change' without really identifying what changes he intended or how they would provide hope. He was quoted before the election as stating that he was fully prepared to "begin to RULE" the minute he was sworn to the office.

Most of the previous presidents have proposed to LEAD after taking the oath of office. Included in that oath, and for that matter the oath taken by all office holders, is the sworn intent to 'support, obey, and protect the Constitution of the United States of America . . . ." [1]

Unfortunately, the present occupant of the Office of President seems more intent on the destruction of the society and economy of the most prosperous and peaceful nation in the history of the world. A Nation whose freedoms have been unequaled anywhere prior since the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789.

Unfortunately for the majority of law abiding citizens, the candidate and his supporting machine were able to rally large numbers of young and ignorant first time voters to his cause, as well as substantial numbers those who were 'guilt ridden' bt the fact that no one of black ancestry had ever had the opportunity to be elected. All this was accomplished despite, in my opinion, that there was a valid question about his even being legally qualified to seek, let alone occupy, the office of president.

Looking ahead, it would appear that the U.S. is at another crossroads in the history of our nation. The new year, 2012, brings another presidential election. We already are seeing strong evidence of "the politics of personal destruction" surfacing in the race for the Republican nomination. Then there is the reprehensible but normal conduct of those following the Socialist / Communist agenda. They resort to this agenda because they have no logic on which to state their case or position.

Unfortunately, the national media has been taken over by so-called 'journalists' who are completely allied with the progressive agenda. They seem willing to stop at nothing to expound their liberal position in the guise of 'reporting' news.

Since there is no way to stop the misconduct by the progressive liberal machine or the bias of the national liberal media, we must be willing to find other sources of information to counter the falsehoods that are continually promulgated. We also need to look to GOD for our guidance in our efforts to become properly informed in order to vote for and elect honorable individuals.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours!
[1]: The Constitutional oath taken by a person assuming the position of President of the United States is as follows: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" ~ U.S Constitution, Article II, Section 1 (last paragraph).

Tags: Bob McDowell, Oklahoma, letter to editor, past, future, 2012 election

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011


Tags: 2011, Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Arkansas Governor Ignores Bi-Partisan Opposition to Obamacare

Governor Mike Beebe Ignores Bi-Partisan Opposition to Obamacare, Plays Partisan Game with Health Insurance Exchange

Little Rock, Ark. – Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos released the following statement in response to Democratic Governor Mike Beebe’s weekly column and radio address where he announces support for implementing a key component to Obamacare and recognizes legislative Republicans for stopping the early implementation of the President’s health care law:
“While there is bi-partisan opposition to setting up a health insurance exchange, we thank the Governor for giving Republicans credit for delaying the early implementation of Obamacare in Arkansas. It’s unfortunate Governor Beebe is playing partisan games and using scare tactics to give himself political cover. Only the Governor has the authority to authorize grants to fund an exchange, and he chose to not act. While we agree and applaud his decision, the decision was entirely up to him. Until the Supreme Court rules this summer on the constitutionality of the law, we should not spend tax dollars to fund planning for an Obamacare exchange in Arkansas.”

Governor Beebe Supports Key Component to Obamacare
“Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is supporting a partnership with the federal government to implement the insurance exchange required under the health care law after efforts for a state-run exchange failed.” (Beebe Backs Health Exchange Partnership Idea, Associated Press, 12/22/11)

“My preference was to maintain control of the insurance exchange in Arkansas…” (Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, “Protecting Arkansas Insurance Consumers,” Weekly Column and Radio Address, 12/22/11)

Governor Beebe Acknowledges Arkansas Republicans For Stopping Obamacare
“My preference was to maintain control of the insurance exchange in Arkansas…A bill was introduced during the 2011 legislative session to give Arkansas that very control. However, legislative Republicans vigorously fought the bill, and voted repeatedly to de-fund the entire Arkansas Insurance Department over this issue.” (Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, “Protecting Arkansas Insurance Consumers,” Weekly Column and Radio Address, 12/22/11)

Democrat Legislators Oppose Obamacare Exchange
“Other Democrats, including Senate President Pro Tem-designate Larry Teague, indicated they have no intention of supporting a state health exchange at this time. ‘I wasn’t crazy about the idea to begin with,’ said Rep. Nate Steel, D-Nashville. ‘Federal grant funds always come with strings attached. I’m not certain what those strings will be yet, but until we know more, I don’t believe we should apply for them.'" (Jason Tolbert, “The Obamacare hot potato,” Arkansas News Bureau, 12/9/11)

“Rep. James McLean (D-Batesville) thinks it is the right decision not to apply for the grants. ‘I work for the people of Independence County and they don’t support the health care exchanges,’ said McLean.” (Jason Tolbert, “Minority Leader Burris Points to Obama as Responsible for Health Care Exchanges,” The Tolbert Report,12/2/11)

Governor Beebe Forgets He Has Authority To Fund Planning For Obamacare Exchange
“Beebe doesn't need legislative approval to seek the grant…” (Andrew Demillo, “Beebe unlikely to seek health exchange grant,”Associated Press, 9/27/11)

“To avoid the disastrous consequences of losing our Insurance Department, I agreed to abide by any legislative decisions regarding the health-insurance exchange and not supersede their decision by executive order. As a result, we missed the opportunity to control the exchange, and it will be set up by the federal government.” (Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, “Protecting Arkansas Insurance Consumers,” Weekly Column and Radio Address, 12/22/11)

Arkansas Gov. Beebe Seeks To Be First State To Implement ObamaCare
"Merely the hint of Obamacare, Arkansas, Gov. Mike Beebe (D), and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (D) stirs the concerns of Arkansans who overwhelmingly said loudly and clearly "No to Obamacare" prior to the 2010 elections. In fact, the backlash against incumbent Democrats Representatives and former Sen. Lincoln over government controlled healthcare resulted in Arkansas electing more Republicans to office than in the former 128 years. . . . " (ARRA News Service, 3/8/11)

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, Obamacare

Did Arkansas Governor Put Arkansas Jobs At Risk For Political Gain?

Politically Generated Layoffs?
ARRA News Service - In the past it has been noted that Arkansas has been plagued by "Plantation Politics" for over a hundred years. Arkansas present governor, Mike Beebe (D), has in the past used the terms like "traditions and practices" in an attempt to cover over situations which have come to light with increasing awareness and growing transparency in Arkansas.  The following presented situation again begs questions about the past actions of Mike Beebe.  In this specific situation, did Gov. Beebe before the 2010 elections either attempt to restrict or actually did restrict the truthful reporting of negative facts associated with the projected spending and funding by the Arkansas Commission? Was this another of his Democrat "tradition and practices" used to gain a political advantage? Why was access to to the following referenced information not made available to the Arkansas legislature responsible for the oversight and funding of Arkansas government agencies and commissions?

The below situation was highlighted today in an email by the Republican Party of Arkansas quoted below:

Governor Beebe Puts Arkansas Jobs At Risk For Political Gain,
Ignores State Agency Shortfall For Over A Year
Arkansas Forestry Officer Says Boss Knew of Shortfall
Arkansas Business.Com - By The Associated Press, 12/21/11
LITTLE ROCK - The former chief fiscal officer of the Arkansas Forestry Commission told legislators Tuesday that the agency's chief knew for years about financial problems that led the planned layoff of 36 workers.

The agency announced this month that the workers will be laid off Jan. 13. About 300 people work for the Forestry Commission.

Robert Araiza told a Legislative Council subcommittee Tuesday that state Forester John Shannon told him in 2010 that Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe didn't want any public discussion of a shortfall until after last year's general election and had canceled a meeting commission officials planned to have with forestry professionals.

The Forestry Commission this year has a $4 million shortfall that is being blamed on a drop in timber sales. The shortfall prompted the layoffs.

"It was like they were listening but they weren't hearing me," Araiza said.

Beebe's spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor didn't know how bad the agency's financial problems were and canceled the meeting because it pertained to raising the severance tax on timber. DeCample said Beebe didn't believe the discussion would be productive in the middle of an anti-tax environment.

"It wasn't until this fall that we learned that they were no longer able to operate within their budget," DeCample said. "If we had known (in 2010), we would have addressed it during the session and the budget hearings before the session."
So who is telling the truth? Governor Beebe's spokesperson or the Forestry Commissioner Robert Araiza?

To shed light on the situation, two days before the above cited article, Curtis Coleman, a potential Republican Arkansas gubernatorial candidate in 2012, identified the following in a post on The New South Conservative:
Former Marine sergeant Robert Araiza, often referred to as “sarge” by Forestry Commissioners, had served as the Commission’s chief financial officer until October when he left to work for the Arkansas Department of Career Education’s Rehabilitation Services. Araiza said that he warned the commission for three years of waning revenue that’s leading to the loss of 36 jobs next month.

There are reports that minutes of the Commission’s meetings may contradict Shannon’s testimony to the Committee and confirm Araiza’s report. Documents expected to be made public in tomorrow’s meeting of the ALC Personnel Sub-Committee may show that Shannon knew about the trust funds being used as early as 2008, contradicting his testimony to the Legislature.

The Forestry Commission’s Trust Fund is held in reserve for emergencies, especially to fund outside help and volunteer fire departments in situations where the Commission’s primary resources are inadequate to fight fires. Documents to be released tomorrow may reveal that Shannon told Commissioners on one occasion that contracted air tankers had to be used to fight fires in 2010, saving the lives of volunteer fire fighters, but because trust funds were depleted, GIF funds from the Governor’s office had to be used to pay for the tankers.
A CW Arkansas article and and Fox 16 video related that Former State Forestry Chief Financial Officer Robert Araiza "said he told his superiors -- particularly State Forester John Shannon -- the agency would run out of money from its trust fund if they continued to dip into it. Perhaps if they acknowledged his warnings, dating back to four years ago, he said those 36 laid off workers would have their jobs. 'I did everything I could do. I sounded all of the alarms and pushed all of the buttons,' said Araiza. . . . But Araiza says Shannon ordered no one speak to lawmakers about anything going in the agency."

From the reports so far it seems reasonably evident that the Governor's office knew something about the financial problems at the Arkansas Forest Commission long before the statement by Gov. Beebe's spokesperson. And according to the various reports, Governor Beebe may have put Arkansas Jobs at risk for political gain.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, Arkansas Forestry Commission, John Shannon, Robert Araiza, Matt DeCample, overspending, underfunding, tradition and practices, Plantation Politics, Curtis Coleman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Partisan Politics in Sebastian County, Arkansas

Rex Terry
Commentary by Fort Smith attorney Rex Terry, chairman of the Sebastian County Republican Party
Sebastian County, Arkansas - Even though the election is months away, we already know that one Justice of the Peace will no longer be serving come January 1, 2013.

Democrat-controlled redistricting now places Republican incumbents Bob Schwartz and Leo Faulkner in the same JP district. Thus, if they wish to continue to serve, they will be forced to face each other in the Republican primary in May.

The situation happened because two Democrats who have not been elected to any office refused to adopt other, better redistricting plans. They instead decided on the basis of partisan politics. We often hear people on “both sides of the aisle” complaining about partisanship, as if it only happens in Washington. This is an example of what can happen at the local level. Here is how two Democrats gained the power to redistrict at least one Republican out of office.

Under Arkansas law, the Board of Election Commissioners in each county is charged with the responsibility of drawing JP districts after each decennial census. Each Board of Election Commissioners is composed of three individuals. In all 75 counties in our state, two of those commissioners are Democrats, and one is a Republican. One might wonder why that is the case. It is because the Democratic party is the “majority party” as that term is defined by Arkansas law.

After the election of Winthrop Rockefeller, the first Republican governor since Reconstruction, the Democratic controlled General Assembly enacted the law defining “majority party” as the party that holds the majority of the constitutional offices. There are seven such offices in the state, and four of them are held by Democrats. For that reason, in every county (including Benton, which has only one Democratic elected official), the composition of the Board of Election Commissioners is the same – two Democrats, one Republican.

Earlier this year, Jerry Huff, the board’s coordinator, presented a tentative JP District map that placed these two long time public servants in the same district. After several months and significant dialogue both with Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Faulkner and county Republican representatives, and consideration of a number of different districting maps, the Board of Election Commissioners made its final decision on November 17. The new JP district map would place these two Republican incumbents in the same district.

In revising JP district boundaries, the election commission’s mandate is to equalize the population (within 5%) among 13 JP districts, taking into consideration minority populations, whose voting strength cannot be diluted, and maintaining contiguity among the districts. According to the Secretary of State’s guidelines, some consideration should also be given to those Justices of the Peace presently serving the county.

Additionally, the commission takes into account congressional districts, legislative districts, and uses census block information available to it. The Arkansas Secretary of State has assisted some 43 counties with this process. Sebastian County has elected to use the services of the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District, which uses software in the process that is licensed by the Secretary of State.

While it is true that Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Faulkner live in reasonably close proximity to each other, it is equally true that they have lived in their same locations for many years, and lived in those locations, for example, the last time the redistricting process was completed after the 2000 census. It is also true that the population of our county has shifted somewhat, as people move into and relocate within the county. This is the type of situation that is encountered in any redistricting process whether it is here or elsewhere, and these are minor obstacles that are easily overcome.

Thanks to the services of County Clerk Sharon Brooks, acting with assistance from the Secretary of State’s office, Republicans presented a map that would accommodate not only these two elected officials, but all 13 JPs, including the six Democrats on our county’s Quorum Court. All that needed to happen in order to do so was a revision of the boundaries of a few voting precincts, a matter within the authority of the election commission. The majority of the commission stubbornly refused any consideration of that, seeming to hold the view that precinct lines are somehow sacred. However, they are not. For example, the election commission expanded the number of precincts in Sebastian County from 92 to 107 earlier this year.

It is telling that on the new JP district map, no two incumbent Democrats on the Quorum Court are living in the same JP District – only two Republicans. So, two Democrats, one the County Chairman, Lee Webb, and the other, David Harp, neither of whom have been elected to office, have decided that one of the Republican JPs has to go. The Republican commissioner, David Damron, voted against the plan.

So it’s partisan politics as usual, both in Washington, D.C., and in Sebastian County. The result here is the removal, by drawing lines on a map, of either Bob Schwartz or Leo Faulkner. Both of them have served honorably and well for many years on the Sebastian County Quorum Court. At least one of them will be missed by our county and their constituents 2013.

Tags: partisan politics, democrats, election commissioners, redistricting, Sebastian County, Arkansas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Standing with Arkansas Workers

RPA Chairman Doyle Webb goes on location at Welspun Tubular to discuss President Barack Obama's failure to protect Arkansas jobs by delaying approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Barack Obama has put the jobs of 600 Welspun employees at risk -- 60 of which have already been notified they are losing their jobs. Will state Democrats stand with Arkansas workers or will they support the President's efforts to save his own job?

Tags: Arkansas, Republican, GOP Arkansas, Arkansas GOP, RNC, Republican Party of Arkansas, Doyle Webb, Keystone XL, Pipeline, Democratic Party of Arkansas, Arkansas Democrat, Jobs, Welspun Tubular, Welspun

Friday, December 16, 2011

Democrats View Their Own Potential Candidate In 2012 For AR-01

A reader provided he following  post from the "dark side" and said, "I think the infighting between Dem’s in the 1st District (Arkansas) has already started. It seems that Mike Ross (D-AR-04) has already endorse Clark Hall.Check out what is going on inside our opposition."

From Blue Arkansas:

AR-01: Clark Hall “Not Running Against People”…Except Democrats Apparently

December 15th, 2011
By ARDem
A friend of mine sent me some clippings from today’s Jonesboro Sun, and it’s got my blood running hot.  I can’t find a link on the Sun’s website so these excerpts from the article “Demo Group Backing Hall In 1st District” will have to suffice for now:
When asked how he specifically disagreed with Crawford’s public and policy stances, Hall was vague, saying he won’t get into policy matters until next year.
“I’m not running against people, I’m running for the people of Arkansas,” Hall said, later adding, “Right now I’m focusing on me, not on him (Crawford).”
Pelosi, a liberal former speaker of the House, has been a lightning rod for Democrats from the South.  Hall said he couldn’t support her.
“No, sir,” Hall said when asked if he’d vote her into a prominent position within the party.  He later added, “It’s time for  new leadership and a new direction in Washington, D.C.”
Hall has been running now for almost two full months now and he still can’t explain to first district voters where he stands on the issues.  That’s just plain insulting.  What’s more, he won’t even try to make a case against Crawford, the Republican incumbent he’s trying to retire, but will rush to bash another Democrat.  And remember, this is the man that the Democratic establishment has all but crowned as the nominee.  I’d elaborate more on how I feel about this, but I think this is about to give me a stroke, so I’m going to make this one point and then go to the E.R.  Running as a fake Republican while trying to say as little substantive stuff as possible did not help Chad Causey one bet last year.  Nor did it help Blanche Lincoln.  If Arkansas Democrats think Clark Hall can pull it off doing the exact same thing, then as much as I hate to say it maybe we deserve to lose next year, assuming he’s the nominee.  . . .

One Response to “AR-01: Clark Hall “Not Running Against People”…Except Democrats Apparently”
dave says:
December 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

Let’s wait until the filing fees are paid first. I don’t blame him for keeping his cards close to his vest. The 1st still leans Democratic, and he’s probably the “frontrunner” right now, if you had to name one. The blue dog endorsements…I know, they don’t really impress you, but they are mostly beneficial for fundraising & structural issues, not policy (IMHO).

I’d ask him, who would he support for a leadership position? Steney Hoyer? If you don’t want to support Pelosi, that’s fine, but who would you replace her with and why would that individual be better than her?

He’s got a lot of questions to answer, but again, let’s wait until after new year’s to crown him the second coming of Chad Causey.

Tags: Arkansas, 1st Congressional District, AR-01, US Rep, Rick Crawford, Republican, Clark Hall, Democrat, candidate, Blue Arkansas,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Governor Beebe -- Call The President And Ask Him To Lift Keystone Ban

Little Rock, Ark. – Today, Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) Chairman Doyle Webb issued a letter to Governor Mike Beebe asking that he publicly call on President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline in light of recent layoffs at Little Rock-based Welspun Tubular, a major manufacturer of pipeline for the Keystone project.

“While the Governor’s spokesman says he’s not ready to ‘jump into’ a ‘partisan issue,’ 60 Arkansans are now out of work, with hundreds more at risk of losing their job due to the President’s delay of the Keystone pipeline,” said RPA Chairman Doyle Webb.

According to the Tolbert Report, in September Governor Beebe issued a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in support of Keystone XL - before the President announced his moratorium on the pipeline project.

“A letter is simply not enough,” said Webb. “This is not a partisan issue, this is a jobs issue, and Governor Beebe should be fighting aggressively to keep Arkansans at work. Today, we are calling on Governor Beebe to urge President Obama to immediately lift his administration’s ban on the Keystone XL pipeline before more Arkansas jobs are lost.”
Click here to download the letter to Governor Mike Beebe.

center>Governor Beebe Calls Keystone XL Pipeline a “Partisan Issue”
“But governor’s spokesman Matt DeCample said while their office is obviously disappointed in the delay, they are not ready to jump into the partisan issue that they feel this has become.” (Jason Tolbert, “Beebe Office Points to September Letter of Support for Keystone Pipeline,” Talk Business, 12/14/11)

September Letter is Best Governor Beebe Can Do on Keystone Issue
“The recent announcement of layoffs by Welspun here in Arkansas due to the delay of the Keystone Pipeline along with the passage of a bill supporting moving forward with the project by the U.S. House of Representatives has pushed the issue to the forefront of Arkansas politics this week…I asked the governor’s office for a response today and they pointed me to a letter Beebe wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton back in September.” (Jason Tolbert, “Beebe Office Points to September Letter of Support for Keystone Pipeline,” Talk Business, 12/14/11)

60 Arkansas Workers Lose Their Jobs Due to President’s Keystone Delay
“The first tangible signs of a moratorium on the Keystone XL oil pipeline project affecting Arkansas jobs has surfaced. Indian pipeline maker, Welspun Tube, which has a major North American production plant at the Little Rock Port Authority, says it will lay off 60 temporary workers due to the project’s delay.” (Roby Brock, Welspun Says Keystone Moratorium And Steel Delay Reason For Layoffs, Talk Business, 12/13/11)

600 Jobs at Risk Due to President’s Keystone Moratorium
“If the project doesn’t get the required permits, most of Welspun’s 600 jobs could be suspended for a time, he added. ‘It would affect us tremendously if it is not approved,’ Delie said. ‘All this pipe we have in the yard belongs to TransCanada and ... we would be competing with them’ to sell pipe.” (Paul Quinn, Pipeline delay prompts LR layoffs,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 12/14/11)

Tags: Governor, Mke Beebe, Keystone XL pipeline, ban,

Senator Mark Pryor Ignores Nation’s $15 Trillion Debt Crisis, Votes No on Balanced Budget Amendment

Is balancing the budget asking too much of Senator Pryor?

Little Rock, Ark. – Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos released the following statement after Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) voted no on S.J.Res.10, the Balanced Budget Amendment:
“It’s disappointing Senator Mark Pryor voted against a measure to responsibly balance our nation’s budget and protect the American economy. Rather than aiding in the re-election of a president who has increased out debt by $4.4 trillion since taking office, Senator Pryor needs to join with Arkansas Republicans and commit to spending less and reducing our budget deficit. In Arkansas, we are legally required to balance the budget. It shouldn’t be asking too much for Senator Pryor and Washington to do the same. Arkansans deserve better from their senior senator.”
Senator Pryor Votes No on Balanced Budget Amendment
(United States Senate, S.J.Res. 10, Roll Call Votes, 12/14/11))

Senator Mark Pryor “completely disagree[s]” with a Balanced Budget Amendment
Senator Pryor: “There are a lot of people who think a balanced-budget amendment solves all the fiscal problems. I completely disagree.” (Peter Urban, Pryor Tilts Balanced Budget, Southwest Times Record, 11/17/11)

National Debt Exceeds $15 Trillion (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 12/6/11)

National Debt Has Increased by $4.4 Trillion Since Obama Took Office (Ibid

Democrat, U.S. Senator, Mark Pryor, opposes, Balanced Budget Amendment, debt, national debt, RPA, Republican Party of Arkansas, Insert tags

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Facts: H.R. 1540 - The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

First Congressional District Arkansas - Representative Rick Crawford: My office has heard many concerns about H.R. 1540, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Since the bill is garnering so much attention I wanted to address some of the misinformation that is spreading with the following facts:
  • H.R. 1540 authorizes funds for the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2012
  • Concerns have surfaced that the NDAA authorizes government officials to hold American citizens suspected of aiding Al Qaeda in military custody indefinitely. This is simply not true, H.R. 1540 specifically states that United States Citizens cannot be detained. In fact, Page 657, Sect. 1022 (b)(1) of the bill says:
    in military custody under this section
    does not extend to citizens of
    the United States
    H.R. 1540 can be accessed Here
  • H.R. 1540 does not give the President that authority to override the exemption of U.S. citizens from detention.
  • H.R. 1540 strengthens existing laws that allow the federal government to indefinitely hold in military custody foreign nationals associated with Al Qaeda who have participated in planning or carrying out an attack against the United States.
Once again, under no circumstances does this legislation permit the indefinite detention of American citizens.

I hope this information will help clear up any concerns you might have about H.R. 1540, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Rep. Rick Crawford serves the 1st District of Arkansas. | Congressional Website

Tags: First Congressional District, Arkansas, Representative Rick Crawford, H.R. 1540, 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, NDAA, U.S Citizens

Boozman: Delay of Keystone Pipeline Hinders Job Creation

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today pressured President Obama to stop hindering job creation and stifling energy development by delaying the Keystone XL pipeline construction from beginning.

During a speech on the Senate floor, Boozman said the president’s decision to postpone the start of the project “is putting more Americans out of work instead of putting them to work.”

“Our country lacks an energy policy.  We are also facing a jobs crisis of enormous magnitude.  And our president is standing in the way of one project that can help address both of these problems—the Keystone XL pipeline,” Boozman said.

The Keystone pipeline would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to U.S. refineries and create thousands of American jobs. Despite reviewing the Keystone XL permit for three years and conducting two comprehensive environmental evaluations of the project, President Obama last month requested an additional study be undertaken before saying whether or not he will grant a permit for the pipeline construction to begin.

During his speech, Boozman highlighted how the delay is already resulting in job losses in Arkansas.

“Welspun Tubular Company, which makes pipes for the oil industry, has been producing pipe for the Keystone project.  Unfortunately, due to the administration’s delay on Keystone, the company has already begun to lay workers off in Little Rock.  They have 500 miles of pipe that was produced for the project, ready to go, that is just sitting at the facility,” Boozman said.

The delay—which was announced only after environmentalist groups intensified their protests of White House support of the project—means there will be no decision on the whether the pipeline will be built until after the 2012 elections.

“President Obama needs to quit pandering to the radical environmentalists.  He needs to do what is best for the country, not what he perceives is best for his re-election.  The Keystone pipeline is what is best for America.  Let’s move forward with it,” said Boozman, a cosponsor of The North America Energy Security Act which would require a construction permit to be issued for the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days of passage.

Boozman also noted that the administration’s decision is a “major step backwards for our energy policy goals.”

“Canada’s oil sands are among the largest oil reserves in the world.  As global demand for oil surges and Canada increases production, the addition of the Keystone pipeline will ensure that Americans benefit from reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner,” Boozman said.

Tags: Senator, John Boozman, Keystone Pipeline, delayed jobs, job creation, jobs, energy

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

President’s Pipeline Delay Is Killing Jobs in Arkansas

ARRA News Service - Update 6:14 PM: The House passed H.R. 3630 (234-193) which included $202.4 billion to cover extending the two-percent payroll tax cut for one year, preventing a tax increase on every working American. The bill would reform the unemployment insurance program by lifting the ban on drug testing, decreasing the number of weeks of eligibility from 99 to 59 and require certain recipients enroll in a GED program if they have not finished high school. It also would provide a two-year fix to the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians to ensure seniors continue to have access to quality health Finally, speed up the approval of a Canadian pipeline by creating the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline that would stretch to Texas. This pipeline doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and unlike the stimulus bill, which relied on vague promises of jobs “saved or created,” the pipeline would create 20,000 direct job and 100,000 indirect jobs.

Sen. Harry Reid has said that he and Senate Democrats will kill the bill in the Senate. And. President Obama has promised if Reid doesn't succeed then he would veto this bill.

Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) responded after the passage of the bill about the impact on Arkansas if it becomes law, "The President’s delayed decision on the Keystone Pipeline has already cost Arkansas jobs at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, and further delays could risk the opportunity for the U.S. economy to create 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs through this project. Further, it is estimated that the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules, as written, could cost Arkansas’s economy over $338 million and put more than 5,400 Arkansans out of work."
House to vote later today to force the President to decide on Keystone XL’s future

Rep. Tim Griffin
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after learning that employees at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, AR were laid off because of delays in the Keystone XL Pipeline project:

“Welspun is laying off workers in Arkansas because the President refuses to decide on the future of the Keystone XL Pipeline until after the next election.  I don’t agree with Big Labor bosses on much, but even they understand that the President’s political posturing on this issue is costing us jobs at a time when far too many Americans are still out of work.  Arkansas workers cannot wait another year for the President to make a decision.  That is why the House will vote today on a bill that will require him to make a decision on the pipeline within 60 days of enactment.  The President should put all of our governmental resources into approving this pipeline. Arkansas workers are counting on it.”

Last month, Rep. Griffin led a group of House Members in urging the President to stop putting politics over paychecks when it comes to approving the Keystone XL Pipeline permits.  Learn more about that event, as well as Griffin’s prior efforts on this issue, here.

Tags: Washington, D.C. Keystone pipeline, US House, HR 3630, Tim Griffin

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rep. Crawford Questions Jon Corzine in Agriculture Committee

Jon Corzine was subpoenaed to testify in front of the House Agriculture Committee on December 8, 2011. Representative Rick Crawford (AR-02) had several excellent questions regarding Corzine's conduct with MF Global's bankruptcy. Crawford critically probed Cozine's responses while showing gracious respect to an older person.

Tags: Rick Crawford, House Agriculture committee, oversight committee, questioning, Jon Corzine, MF Global,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Missed Opportunities

First Congressional District Arkansas - Representative Rick Crawford: In the last two weeks Congress missed two key opportunities to address our mounting debt, restore fiscal discipline and start rebuilding our nation’s economy.

With the defeat of the Balanced Budget Amendment in the House, Americans lost their best hope to restore lasting fiscal restraint to the federal government. Passing a Balanced Budget Amendment would have been a clear sign that Congress is focused on rebuilding confidence in the Federal Government and putting Americans back to work. Balancing the federal budget would have been a boost to job-creating entrepreneurs who would no longer be forced to worry about the uncertainty that our national debt now poses.

Congress failed to muster the political will needed to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Just last week the country learned that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or Super Committee, failed to reach an agreement to significantly reduce our national debt. The Super Committee had a real hope to prove that Republicans and Democrats could put partisan differences aside and work together for the good of the country. Unfortunately, the committee’s failure showed Washington at its worst. Political bickering and partisan grandstanding will not move our country forward.

The Super Committee botched a tremendous opportunity to prove that Congress can still accomplish great things.

To add insult to injury, Fitch Ratings has now given the United State Government a negative outlook for its credit rating. Fitch cited the lack of a credible plan to address the national deficit as reasoning for putting the United States on watch. Losing our nation’s AAA credit rating would be a signal to global markets that the United States is incapable reducing our debt and meeting our financial obligations.

People from all corners of the First District have told me that they are tired of Washington’s inability to fix the debt crisis. I share your frustrations. Americans deserve a Congress that is focused on producing thoughtful legislation, not a Congress focused on the politics of the next election. Members of both political parties were sent to Washington to govern, not play games with our nation’s economy. Republicans and Democrats need to work together to produce solutions that will establish fiscal disciple and put America on the road to financial well-being.

Tags: First Congressional District, Arkansas, Representative Rick Crawford, missed opportunities, super committee, national debt, federal spending, Balanced Budget Amendment

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Veteran & UAM Band Director Runs for Arkansas State House

Gary Meggs
MONTICELLO, AR – If he has his way, the Director of Bands for the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) and Air Force Veteran, Gary Meggs will be beating a new drum in Little Rock beginning in 2013. Meggs has declared his candidacy for the Arkansas State House of Representatives District 9.

“I really want to see South Arkansas explode with new business, population and world class education. This will draw many new people to the area and give our young people the opportunity to stay home after high school and college and enjoy a great career in Southeast Arkansas,” Meggs said.

Meggs, a resident of Monticello, is married and has four children.  He has been the Director of Bands for UAM for 11 years. A veteran of 22 years of honorable military service in the Air Force and National Guard, Meggs has also served 22 years in public school education.

2012 Arkansas
House District 9
Click Map to Enlarge
Meggs listed the following issues as his top priorities as a state legislator:
  • JOBS - So our children and grand children have an opportunity to live in Southeast Arkansas and raise their families
  • Less corporate tax state wide so we can compete with surrounding states bringing in new business
  • Southeast Arkansas children deserve all the opportunities that children in North Arkansas enjoy
  • Expansion of the University of Arkansas at Monticello as an economic engine to ignite the economy
  • Teachers and Administrators need better resources and less state and federal government interference
  • Arkansas District 9 should be a Free Enterprise Zone to attract large businesses
“Just like almost everyone in South Arkansas, I am a conservative,” Meggs said.; “So I’ll be running as a Republican.  The Democrat Party left conservative folks like me and the people of District 9 some time ago. And like most Arkansans these days, we’re finding that the conservative fiscal and social values of the Arkansas Republican Party now more closely resemble our own.”
Contact for the Gary Meggs Campaign: Website - Twitter - FaceBook

Tags: Gary Meggs, Southeast Arkansas, conservative, republican, candidate, Arkansas, State House of Representatives, District 9, Director of Bands, University of Arkansas, Monticello, UAM, Air Force, veteran

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Legislative Republicans Look at Reducing Tax Burden on Arkansas Families

“A working class family with an annual income in the low $30,000 range is in the highest marginal tax bracket in Arkansas, even though that family’s income exceeds the federal poverty level by only $10,000 or so. This needs to be addressed...” - Rep. Davy Carter (R-Cabot)
Rep. Davy Carter, R-Cabot, AR
Tax Chairman Wants To Trade Exemptions For Income Tax Reform
By Roby Brock, Talk Business, November 28th, 2011: House Revenue and Tax Committee Chairman Davy Carter (R-Cabot) wants to lower your personal income taxes, but he’ll have to close a number of existing loopholes to do it.

Carter, the second-term Republican who chairs the powerful panel that oversaw a bevy of targeted tax cuts in the 2011 regular session, is interested in a long-term vision for tax reform in Arkansas.

He tells Talk Business that he will hold hearings in the February 2012 fiscal session to review all existing sales tax exemptions and exclusions in an effort to find a “revenue-neutral” way to reshape individual income tax brackets for Arkansans.

“A working class family with an annual income in the low $30,000 range is in the highest marginal tax bracket in Arkansas, even though that family’s income exceeds the federal poverty level by only $10,000 or so,” Carter said. “This needs to be addressed along with other tax ‘loopholes’ and how competitive we are with our surrounding states. Essentially, I’d like to see a broader base with lower rates across the board.”

Currently, Arkansans making $32,700 or more per year are in the highest personal income tax bracket — 7%. An annual salary of $19,600 will put a state taxpayer in the second highest personal income tax bracket of 6%.

Carter thinks that because Arkansas’ economy wasn’t pounded as bad as other states in the recent recession, there is a chance to make a once-in-a-generation change in the state’s tax policy.

“For several reasons, Arkansas has been able to endure the economic downturn better than most other states in the union. As such, I think that we have a small window of opportunity to consider policy changes that could make Arkansas even more competitive nationally and generally a better place to live and work,” Carter said. . . . Full Article.

Tags: Legislative Republicans, Reducing Tax Burden, Arkansas Families, Roby Brock, Talk Business, House Revenue and Tax Committee, Chairman, Davy Carter, R-Cabot

Monday, November 28, 2011

More Democrats Bow Out In the Arkansas 1st Congressional District

Arkansas Congressional 1st District
Revised Redistrict Approved Map Pending
Jonesboro, Arkansas businessman Steve Rockwell said last week that he won't seek the Democratic nomination for an east Arkansas congressional seat. Rockwell, part owner of a publishing business, had been considered a potential candidate for the seat and said in October he was leaning toward running. He said he could have probably won but that it was not the "right time." Translation: "I didn't have a chance in hell of winning."

2010 loser Chad Causey, a Democrat and former Congressional Chief of Staff for Marion Berry, announced in September he wouldn't run for the seat.

Presently, State Rep. Clark Hall of Marvell and Arkansas State University economist Gary Latanich have both announced bids for the Democratic nomination. As previously identified, Latanich is in bed with Obamacare which makes us wonder about his ability as an economist.  What is he teaching over there at ASU?  However, Hall seems to be more the rolling blunder head at the moment saying "Pick Me - Pick Me."  He want money to fund Obamacare in Arkansas (as if the Fed's had any more money) and recently showed a lack of concern of "missing precincts" in the 1st District and be one to continue in Congress the passage of fuzzy legislation. Makes one want to examine all the Arkansas legislation that may have had Hall's vote.  Some "fuzzy legislation" has been known to confuse the issues in Arkansas up and until til the former and present Arkansas Attorney Generals issued opinions in the favor of the Democrats.

Previously Noted: Prof. Latanich Offers Support for Obamacare
“Latanich - in an interview with The Associated Press - criticized Crawford's economic policies as ‘damaging’ to the country and singled out Crawford's opposition to the health care law and his support of a balanced budget amendment.” (“AR State economist announces congressional bid,” Associated Press, 11/2/11)

Previously Noted: Rep. Hall Wants Your Money To Fund Obamacare In Arkansas
“‘The way I look at it is never turn down free money,’ commented state Rep. Clark Hall, D-Marvell, on applying for the grant.” (Jason Tolbert, Beebe seeks cover from Republicans on health care,” Arkansas News Bureau, 10/2/11)

Tags: Arkansas, election 2012, US Congress, AR-01, Steve Rockwell, Chad Causey, Clark Hall, Gary Latanich, 1st Congressional District, US Representative, Rick Crawford

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Doyle Webb: Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court and a Balanced Budget Amendment

Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb goes on location to discuss the meaning of Thanksgiving (2011), the Supreme Court's decision to rule on the Obamacare lawsuit and why our country needs a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Tags: GOP Arkansas, Arkansas GOP, GOP, Republican, Arkansas, Republican Party, Republican Party of Arkansas, Doyle Webb, Chairman Doyle Webb, Senator Mark Pryor, Mark Pryor, Balanced Budget Amendment, Obamacare, Supreme Court

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

State Rep. Clark Hall’s Sees No Problems With Missing Precincts

Rep. Clark Hall (D-Marvell) Edition:

“It’s enough to make you wonder if this is the kind of representation Mr. Hall would provide the First Congressional District if he becomes its congressman—one who ignores loose ends in legislation because he doesn’t see any. Or if there is one, he doesn’t want to bother fixing it.” - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

No precinct is an island, Unless the Ledge has screwed up
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Editorial, Pages 12, 11/22/2011
Extract from article - LITTLE ROCK — “If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” — Olin Miller

AN ELECTION commission in Jefferson County noticed a curious omission in the map of the state’s new congressional districts, and did what an election commission should do when it spots a problem: It reported it. As if the commissioners actually thought somebody in state government would do something about it. These people have faith.

By now the Case of the Missing Precincts has attracted the attention of the congressman from the First District, who wants to know if two precincts that should have been transferred from the Fourth District to his really were. Rick Crawford notes that Act 1242, the redistricting act, doesn’t specifically list these precincts as having been reassigned.

One of them is in little Wabbaseka, Ark., and the other lies along the border of three adjoining counties—Arkansas, Jefferson and Lonoke. Call them the lost islands of Arkansas’ new congressional map. Tiny precincts, but you can bet they’re important to the folks who live in them. Especially if they wind up in the wrong congressional district.

If these political isles have been assigned to the wrong district, it would raise a legal question about the constitutionality of the state’s new congressional districts, since the districts are supposed to be contiguous, not leave some precincts out. . . .

CLARK HALL, a state rep from Marvell who’s already announced for Rick Crawford’s congressional seat, doesn’t see any problem here. What, him worry? “The map is legal, the map is fine, the map is what we’re going to go with. End of story.”

Really? And suppose some litigious type doesn’t see it that way, and gets a judge to agree with him? Or has Representative Hall decided he’s a court, too?

End of story? This one could be only beginning. So could the expense if the state’s taxpayers have to defend this legislative map in court.

It’s enough to make you wonder if this is the kind of representation Mr. Hall would provide the First Congressional District if he becomes its congressman—one who ignores loose ends in legislation because he doesn’t see any. Or if there is one, he doesn’t want to bother fixing it. (“Nobody wants to get into that mess again, including me.”) Unfortunately, no mess is really fixed till it’s fixed right. You have to wonder why somebody would run for the Legislature if he weren’t interested in solving the state’s problems or, as in this case, anticipating and preventing them.

You would think that by now Congress has passed quite enough fuzzy legislation (see all the questions that still linger about ObamaCare) without having somebody like Clark Hall up there to tell us there’s no problem here and to move on . . .

Click here to read full editorial (Subscription Required)
Note: Above news article shared by the Republican Party of Arkansas.

Tags: newspaper report, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, democrat, Clark Hall, redistricting, missing precincts, Election commission, Jefferson County, Arkansas, 1st Congressional District, US Representative, Rick Crawford

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

State Rep. Linda Collins-Smith Announces For Arkansas State Senate

Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: State Representative Linda Collins-Smith excited those that attended her announced intentions to seek State Senate District 19 on the Republican ticket at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas on November 15, 2011.

Rep. Collins-Smith is in her first term representing Sharp and Randolph counties in the State House. Senate District 19 was created by redistricting and includes all of Independence, Izard, Sharp, and part of Fulton and most of Randolph counties.

"Right now we have an economy that's losing jobs because small businesses are over taxed and over regulated by an over bearing government. In order to get this economy going again we have to allow our small businesses to do what they do best, create jobs. As your next State Senator, I'll work hard to create an environment where small businesses feel confident they can create jobs." Collins-Smith said.

She is already seen as rising voice for conservatism in the Republican Party by those who have met and heard her share her ideals and beliefs. But "Linda" did not start her political walk in Arkansas as a Republican. Like many Arkansas conservatives, she grew up as a democrat. However, she was raised with conservative values and has not wavered on these values.

However, after being elected as a State Representative in 2010, Linda quickly discovered that her conservative values were not shared by the majority of her fellow elected Democrats. Instead of abandoning her values, she switched to the political brand that did espouse her conservative values. After recently joining the Republican Party, Collins-Smith said "I ran last time promising to protect our rural, north Arkansas conservative values. I had been a democrat my entire life. When I got to Little Rock, I voted for less taxes and less government, consistent with my rural, north Arkansas values. I found myself ostracized from the party of Barack Obama. I made the decision to switch to the Republican party because they are more aligned with my conservative values. There is no room in Obama's Democrat party for conservatives."

Collins-Smith has an established record of working for lower taxes, less regulations, less spending, and more efficient government. She is pro life, pro traditional marriage, and has worked hard to protect our agricultural community from liberals that don't understand our rural values.

Linda is 49 years old. She is married to Phil Smith and has two children and two grandchildren. She attends Sutton Free Will Baptist church. Linda is self employed, President of the Arkansas Lodging Association, winner of national sales awards, member of state and local chambers of commerce, rotary board member, and active in regional economic development.

I have have enjoyed meeting and listening to Linda's commitment to conservative values.  If elected to the Arkansas Senate District 19 seat, she and others like Sen. Missy Irwin will be pillars in the conservative movement to protect the traditional conservative values of Arkansans.

Both reflect the desire for restoration of America and Arkansas through principled the leadership values. Representative (and hopefully future Senator) Linda Collins-Smith reminds me of the former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and an elected Sen. Collins-Smith will promote a positive agenda of reform for Arkansas.

Below is the full text of Linda Collins-Smith announcement of her candidacy for the Arkansas State Senate.

Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas - Rep. Linda Collins-Smith: Thank you so much for your warm welcome. I appreciate your presence, and I am humbled that you have chosen to share this occasion with me. Many of you have come considerable distances to be here, and I am truly honored by that.

I want to say a word about this beautiful place where we have met today. Lyon College is one of Arkansas’ greatest treasures. Its worth to this community and the entire state is immeasurable. I learned a lot about Lyon College a few years ago when my step-daughter spent her college years here. She loved it here. And she found, as have thousands of other young Arkansans over the years, that a degree from Lyon opens doors.Businesses and graduate schools all across America understand and value the quality of an education earned at Lyon College.

They do it right here, and I suspect that Arkansas’ entire education system could benefit from duplicating as much as possible the model of Lyon College.

President Weatherman, I am so grateful to you and the Lyon community for the use of these wonderful facilities today.  Special thanks to the College Republicans. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you for hosting this event.

I have known many of you for a long time. Others I have met only recently.  But I treasure my friendships, and I look forward to knowing each of you even better than I do today, and working side-by-side with you to bring our state government back to the values of the good and decent people of Arkansas.

I am here today to announce that I will be a candidate in the 2012 election to be your State Senator.

I do not expect your support simply because I tell you I want to be your State Senator.  I understand that your friendship, your vote, your financial support, and your hard work on my behalf, all must be earned.

That is why I am here today. I want you to know me, know who I am, know what I stand for, and know that my commitment to good government doesn’t consist of empty words. I want you to know that you will have a Senator who will not change – one who will do exactly what she says she will do on your behalf.

You all know that I currently am serving the people of Sharp and Randolph Counties as their State Representative. When I was campaigning for that office, I made a solemn pledge to them that I would be a different kind of legislator – one who stands firmly for the values of real Arkansans, and who would be a consistent voice for those values, even in the face of party politics and pressure.

I made that pledge because like most of you, I was not a career politician. Politics was not my dream; it was not something I aspired to. But, night after night I sat in front of the television news, frustrated and fuming to my family: “Why do they say one thing to get elected and then do the opposite when the get to Little Rock or Washington? Why don’t they stand up for our values? Why do they ignore the people who elected them?”

I came to realize that for reasons I simply couldn’t grasp, many of our elected officials were putting party politics over principle and pandering to special interests over the common good to stay in power.

I am a common woman. I come from a family of common people, where I was taught that it is a virtue to work hard; it is a virtue to strive to be self-sufficient; it is a virtue to love God, to love family and to value friendships.

I was taught that laziness is shameful, and that expecting others to do for me what I can do for myself is dishonorable.

So I decided to quit complaining and get off the sidelines. I decided to offer myself as a legislator who would listen to the people, who would truly represent their interests, and who would never forget who elected me.

I tell people over and over that I am a conservative. People disagree about what that means, and accurate definitions of conservatism are not easy to write.  But let me tell you what I mean when I say I’m a conservative.

I mean I believe in the solid principles of limited government, financial responsibility and the creation of jobs for Arkansas’ hard-working families.

I mean that I trust the people of Arkansas and America to solve the basic problems of society more than I trust the government.

I mean I believe that government policies should reflect the common will of the people more than the desires of special interests.

I mean that I believe government’s proper role in creating jobs is to insure an atmosphere that encourages business development and expansion, rather than viewing business as a revenue source for the government.

I mean that the government should manage limited finances wisely and live within its means.

I mean that the government must value and protect the life of every citizen, from the womb to the grave.

I mean that the government should not seek to regulate the everyday lives and personal choices of its citizens.

I’ve heard it said recently that in Arkansas it really doesn’t matter whether you have a D or an R beside your name. That statement simply is not true. I know because I have lived it.

Most of you are aware that about three months ago I left the Democrat Party and embraced the Republican banner. Like most Arkansans, I was raised a Democrat. My father – who is here with me today – was a Democrat, as was his father before him. I knew that the national Democrat Party had completely lost touch with the values of honest, hardworking Arkansas people. But I nevertheless believed the party in Arkansas still had enough true conservatives that it could be brought back to its senses.

I was wrong. When I got to Little Rock I found that the politics of Washington and of the national Democrat Party have become entrenched in Arkansas, and that there is no room for real conservatives in the state party. Those who call themselves conservative Democrats are only tolerated at best. Those who steadfastly act on true conservative principles are unwelcome, outcast, and punished.

I have found that in thought and practice the Democrat party no longer is the party of the working man and the common people. Rather, it has become the party of Big Government, Big Brother, and Big Spending. The state party has bought into the uncontrolled excesses of the national party; it marches lock-step with the national party, and it tolerates no independent thinking within the ranks.

But I do think independently. I will not be obligated to official party lines that do not reflect the values of the people I represent. I believe my conservative values and principles are consistent with those of the great majority of the citizens of Independence, Izard, Fulton, Sharp and Randolph counties.

And so, I will consider it my solemn duty to listen to you, the people of District 19, and cast my votes on your behalf consistent with your interests and your direction.  My first duty is to the people who elect me, rather than to a political party or professional politicians.

Now, I live in Randolph County. I understand the feeling that some have that they want their State Senator to live in their county because surely she will do more for the county where she lives. That is the “business as usual” approach to government that I totally reject and I want to change.

I live in Randolph County; I grew up in Sharp and Lawrence Counties; I was educated in Sharp County; I shopped in Independence County; I fished and vacationed Izard and Fulton counties. I am a citizen of District 19. I have spent years developing regional relationships. I believe in regional cooperation. What is good for Batesville is good for Ash Flat, and what is good for Melbourne is good for Mammoth Spring.

Talk to people you know in Sharp County. I am confident they will tell you that I worked every bit as long and hard for them as their State Representative as I did for Randolph County.

I am proud to be associated with the Republican Party of Arkansas. I have found it to be full of people who do not accept that government has to be “business as usual”, who do not believe that we have to “go along to get along”, and who do not consider the “good old boy” system to be good government.

I have found it is the Republican Party that has become the party of the working people of Arkansas; it is the Republican Party that strives to live by the ideal expressed in our state motto, “The People Rule”; it is the Republican Party that most closely holds to the principles that I and most other Arkansans believe in.

Let me be clear. I am the same today as I was when the people of Sharp and Randolph counties elected me to represent them. Little Rock did not change me, party politics did not change me, and ideological intimidation did not change me.

I have not changed because I have an anchor. I know what I believe to be right, and I believe I understand the values of the people of District 19.  As your Senator, I will represent all the people and communities of the district with the same fervor and commitment that I have serve my House district.

I know without a doubt that the people of Senate District 19 want elected officials who will stand for what is right, who will say what they mean, and who will do what they say they will do. That is the kind of State Senator I want, and it is the kind of State Senator I intend to be.

I am wearing a pin today that says Together We Can Make A Difference. I want to bring our great country back to what it was and we can do that one state at a time.

This is a race we can, and will, win. I can’t win it, but we can, and we will do it -- with your help, with your door-to-door work, with your financial support, and most of all, with your prayers.

Thank you. God Bless.

Tags Arkansas, State Representative, Linda Collins-Smith, campaign announcement, candidate, 2012, State Senate, district 19, Independence, Izard, Sharp, Fulton, Randolph, counties.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

State GOP Calls on Gov. Beebe and Democratic Party To Stand With Arkansas Workers and Condemn President Obama’s Keystone Delay

Little Rock, Ark. – The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) yesterday called on Governor Mike Beebe and the Democratic Party of Arkansas to stand with Arkansas workers and condemn President Barack Obama for delaying a decision on TransCanada’s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline until 2013.

“Six hundred Arkansas jobs have been threatened by President Obama’s failure to lead on private-sector job creation,” said RPA Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “Why hasn’t Governor Mike Beebe and the state Democratic Party publicly condemned the President for his delay of the Keystone pipeline?”

According to the Arkansas News Bureau, Little Rock-based company Welspun Tubular has 600 employees who “have been working day and night for months manufacturing the 36-inch steel pipe for TransCanada.” Welspun President David Delie even criticized President Obama’s decision, stating it “makes future pipelines a question.”

“Gov. Beebe needs to stand up for homegrown job creators and urge President Obama to give Keystone the green light,” said Vasilos. “We simply cannot allow the President’s threats on our country’s domestic energy industry to produce a climate of economic uncertainty in Arkansas.”

600 Arkansas Jobs Threatened by President Obama’s Keystone Delay
“Although the pipeline won’t run through Arkansas, a good stretch of it is being produced in the state at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock. About 600 employees there have been working day and night for months manufacturing the 36-inch steel pipe for TransCanada. They have 500 miles of pipe stacked up on-site awaiting shipment.” (Peter Urban, “Griffin criticizes Obama on Keystone delay,” Arkansas News Bureau,11/15/11)

Welspun Tubular President Says Obama’s Decision Threatens Future Projects
“Delie, who attended the news conference, said he is more concerned about future orders given the ‘uncertainty’ that this delay may bring to potential pipeline projects. ‘The uncertainty created by this makes future pipelines a question,’ he said.” (Peter Urban, “Griffin criticizes Obama on Keystone delay,” Arkansas News Bureau, 11/15/11)

Tags: Arkansas, Republicans,GOP, Governor, Mike Beebe, Democrat Party, support for, Keystone Project, Keystone XL pipeline, jobs, workers, Obama Administration, delays

Friday, November 18, 2011

They Said What? Senator Mark Pryor Edition

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) Edition:

“There are a lot of people who think a balanced-budget amendment solves all the fiscal problems. I completely disagree.”

-U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) on being the only member of the Arkansas Delegation to oppose a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Tags: U.S. Senator, Mark Pryor, Democrat, Arkansas, Balanced Budget Amendment, disagrees, They Said What

Legislative Republicans Stand Up For Arkansas Jobs, Pass Interim Resolution Supporting Keystone Pipeline

Update 11/21/2011 Via AFP- Arkansas: Sources confirmed to us that the following Legislators voted against the resolution:
Co-Chair of the Joint Energy Committee Tiffany Rogers
Representative Jerry Brown
Representative David Fielding
Senator Randy Laverty

Republican Party of Arkansas - ICYMI:
Energy Committee Passes Resolution Supporting Keystone Pipeline
By Jason Tolbert, The Tolbert Report, November 18, 2011

The Arkansas Legislature’s Joint Energy Committee passed a resolution yesterday which supports moving forward on building the Keystone Pipeline, which would allow oil to be transported via pipeline from Canada to refineries in Texas.  The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe and it echoes the statements made by Congressman Tim Griffin earlier this week criticizing President Obama for delaying the pipeline project.

Observers at the hearing tell me it passed on a voice vote so there was no roll call, but it appeared to be mainly a party-line vote with mostly Republicans voting for the resolution and Democrats voting against it.

Here is the resolution…
WHEREAS, TransCanada wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas; and
WHEREAS, TransCanada is willing to change the route of the Keystone XL pipeline to avoid certain areas of environmental concern; and
WHEREAS, President Obama’s administration has announced that it will delay its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until 2013; and
WHEREAS, the Keystone XL pipeline is critical to the creation of United States jobs and to our nation’s economic, energy, and national security; and
WHEREAS, President Obama’s administration failed to recognize that its recent decision delayed the creation of 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs and continued significant dependence on politically unstable countries for our energy needs; and
WHEREAS, the delay was unnecessary because the United States Department of State has already been analyzing the Keystone XL pipeline for nearly three (3) years; and
WHEREAS, Arkansas has a particular interest in this project because sixty-five percent (65%) of the Keystone XL pipeline will be produced by approximately six hundred (600) employees at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, Arkansas,
I.R. 2011-006
THAT the Interim 1 Joint Committee on Energy urges the President of the United States to expedite the review and approval of the new route and the Keystone XL pipeline to create 20,000 new jobs and to secure America’s economic, energy, and national security.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon adoption of this resolution, a copy of this resolution shall be transmitted to the President of the United States of America and the Secretary of State of the United States.
Respectfully submitted,
Senator Jonathan Dismang
District 29

Tags: Arkansas, jobs, Keystone Pipeline, Republican, legislators

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Griffin: Keystone Delay a Result of President Putting Politics over Paychecks

Obama’s decision is the ‘presidential equivalent’ of voting ‘present’


WASHINGTON – Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-02) led a group of House Members at a press conference today to urge the President to stop putting politics over paychecks when it comes to approving the Keystone XL Pipeline permits.

“We all agree that the greatest challenge facing our country is our weak economy and high unemployment,” Griffin said.  “By delaying a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline permits, the President is putting politics over paychecks.  Approval of this truly ‘shovel ready’ private sector stimulus of $7 billion should be a no-brainer for anyone interested in creating jobs.  We are talking about 20,000 direct and 100,000 indirect high-paying jobs.”

In July, Griffin voted in favor of the North American-Made Energy Security Act (H.R. 1938), which was passed by the House.  This legislation would direct the President to expedite the consideration and approval of the federal Keystone XL Pipeline permits.  The Senate still has not voted on this bill.

Griffin also wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Clinton in March urging approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Last week, President Obama announced that his administration would put off any decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline permits until after the next presidential election.

“This decision is all about a presidential election, not leadership.” Griffin said.  “This is the presidential equivalent of voting ‘present.’”

David Delie, President of Welspun Tubular, a pipe manufacturer in Little Rock, AR involved in the Keystone XL Pipeline project also spoke at today’s event.

“I appreciate Congressman Griffin holding this press conference so that people will know what is at stake if a decision on the pipeline permitting is further delayed,” Delie said.  “We have over 600 employees in Little Rock who have been working to produce over 700 miles of pipe.  This project already has been delayed once.  Further delay raises serious questions about any future infrastructure project needing federal approval.  The Keystone XL Pipeline permitting process has been compromised by politics, and it’s preventing job growth.”

“Earlier today, I spoke with the Premier of Alberta [Canada],” Griffin said.  “She said they need a market and someone to help them refine their oil.  Yesterday, Canada’s Prime Minister indicated that due to the Administration’s delay, they are looking to China.  The President’s delay will create jobs – Chinese jobs – while at the same time injecting more uncertainty into our economy for American workers and companies like Welspun.”

“Stopping this pipeline won’t decrease oil consumption, but it will force us to continue to get oil from overseas at a high price,” Griffin concluded.  “The President should put all of our governmental resources into approving this pipeline.  American workers are counting on it.”iv>

Tags: Keystone XL Pipeline, Press Conference, Tim Griffin, US Representative, Canada, US, President Obama