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’

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMY0VA_VxwY

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do AG McDaniel and Arkansas Democrats Still Agree ObamaCare Suit Is “Frivolous”

Little Rock, Ark. – Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s announcement that it will review President Barack Obama’s health care reform law: “Does Democrat Attorney General Dustin McDaniel still believe a 26-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare is ‘frivolous?’” asked Vasilos. “The Supreme Court of the United States does not hear frivolous cases, much less a case that Attorney General McDaniel said has ‘more to do with politics than law.’”

According to CNN, “Oral arguments will likely be held in late February or March, with a ruling by June.”

“It’s irresponsible for Arkansas Democrats to continue playing politics by pushing to implement a health insurance exchange before the Supreme Court has ruled on the law’s individual mandate,” said Vasilos. “Instead of trying to force Obamacare’s job-killing mandates on the people of Arkansas, state Democrats need to stop the partisan propaganda and allow the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the President’s health care law.”

SCOTUS Expected To Rule On Obamacare Suit By June 2012
“As expected, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama. The justices made their announcement in a brief order issued Monday. Oral arguments are likely to be held in late February or March, with a ruling by June, assuring the blockbuster issue will become a hot-button political debate in a presidential election year.” (Bill Mears, “Supreme Court takes up challenge to health care reform law,” CNN , 11/14/11)

AG McDaniel Calls Obamacare Suit “Frivolous,” Says SCOTUS Will Uphold
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s Office: “It is our belief that any such lawsuit would be frivolous and would have more to do with politics than law.” (“Health care bill: Ark AG will not sue if health care bill is signed,” KTHV, 3/10)

“McDaniel said he believes the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the law, but if it rules otherwise, he will work to ensure that Arkansas complies with the ruling.” (John Lyon, “McDaniel to Darr: State won’t sue over health care law,” Arkansas News Bureaub , 12/17/10)

Tags: SCOTUS, Obamacare, Federal health Care, RPA, Arkansas, AG, Dustin McDaniel

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Senator Pryor and “Net Neutrality” and the National Debt

Senator Pryor and “Net Neutrality”
On Thursday, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) stood with President Obama and voted against a conservative effort to prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from regulating the Internet through the enforcement of “net neutrality” rules. As a result, the bill failed 52-46.

The Heritage Foundation said the FCC’s new rules would “give the government a role in deciding how content is treated on the Web, potentially threatening the free flow of information."

The U.S. House already passed a similar measure in April to override the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules. Why does Senator Mark Pryor support a federal regulatory overreach that has the potential to stifle innovation and freedom of speech? Click here to contact Senator Pryor!

Has Washington Cut Enough?
Despite an exploding $14.9 Trillion national debt, Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) seems to think Washington has tightened its belt enough. When recently asked if Congress should cut spending, Senator Pryor said, “I don’t think we need to do more cuts this year.” What do you think? Click here to watch the video.

Tags: Arkansas, Senator, Mark Pryor, opposed free speech, net neutrality, federal spending, Democrat, Democratic Party of Arkansas, video, ARGOP, Republican Party of Arkansas

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pelosi Says NRLB Should Shut Down Boeing South Carolina Plant

Do Arkansas Democrats Running for Congress Agree?

Little Rock, Ark. – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said Friday the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) should shut down aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s new South Carolina plant because they chose to expand in a right-to-work state.

“Do Rep. Clark Hall, Sen. Gene Jeffress and candidate Ken Aden (AR-03) agree with Minority Leader Pelosi?” asked Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “Arkansas’ Democratic Congressional Candidates need to get on board to fight the NLRB’s attempt to obstruct job creation and punish right-to-work states like Arkansas. Since our state bid on the Boeing plant, this could have very easily been Arkansas workers threatened by the NLRB’s overreach.”

In August, the entire Arkansas Congressional Delegation voted to prevent the NLRB from hurting right-to-work states by approving the American Jobs from Government Interference Act.

“Will Arkansas Democrats running for Congress stand with the likes of Nancy Pelosi and union bosses or will they join the rest of us in fighting for the rights of Arkansas’ workers?” asked Vasilos. “Today, we are calling on Rep. Clark Hall, Sen. Gene Jeffress and candidate Ken Aden to take a stand to protect private-sector job creation.”

Minority Leader Pelosi Says Shut Down or Unionize South Carolina Boeing Plant
(Source: YouTube, 10/28/11)

Arkansas House Delegation Votes To Protect Jobs, Right-to-Work States

Republican Reps. Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Democrat Rep. Mike Ross (AR-4) voted yes on H.R. 2587, the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act. (Source: Speaker of the House John Boehner, Roll Call Votes)

Tags: Arkansas, Right-to-Work, Rep. Clark Hall, Sen. Gene Jeffress, candidate Ken Aden, Us House Mnority Leader, Nancy Pelosi

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Creating Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

By Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR-01): This week the House voted on two bills that will give small businesses more flexibility to expand their business and create jobs.

H.R. 2940, The Access to Capital for Job Creators Act, eases a ban by the Securities and Exchange Commission that prevents small, privately held companies, from advertising for investors. The bill will help entrepreneurs and small business owners access the capital they need to be innovative and ultimately create jobs. Small businesses, not the federal government, are the primary source of job creation for our country.

H.R. 2930, The Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act, improves access to capital for small businesses and ensures that government is allowing small businesses to obtain the investment capital they need to finance their operations. The bill would allow Americans the freedom to invest in cutting edge startup companies without having to go through Wall Street.

Both of these bills will be a shot in the arm for our economy. Government should work to complement the business environment. The two measures passed by the House this week will make it easier for entrepreneurs to launch their ideas and generate new American jobs.
Efforts to ignite economic growth are well underway in Congress. My focus is on a simple set of principles that will get government out of the way and encourage innovation:

1. Empower small businesses by reducing government regulations that are barriers to job creation
2. Fix the tax code so job creators can hire new employees
3. Maximize American energy production instead of relying on foreign sources
4. Boost competitiveness for American manufacturing by opening new markets for trade
5. Pay down our nation’s unsustainable debt burden and start living within our means

In these tense economic times we must remember there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by Americans. We are the country that started the Industrial Age, finished the Panama Canal and put a man on the moon. Working together we can unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit and put our country on the road to sustained economic prosperity.

Tags: Rick Crawford, Representative, Arkansas, H.R. 2940, The Access to Capital for Job Creators Act

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Jobs Through Growth Act

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR): This week, we began a series of posts that highlight the individual pieces of legislation that make up The Jobs Through Growth Act, a comprehensive package of bills that will jumpstart our economy and get unemployed and underemployed Arkansans working again.n>

The Jobs Through Growth Act combines several bills that reform the tax code, abolish burdensome regulations, eliminate wasteful spending, promote new markets for American exporters and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy. Together, these initiatives will spur job creation and lift the fog of uncertainty that is preventing an economic recovery in the private sector.

The first three posts in the series highlight bills included in this package that address regulatory reform. Regulations stifle economic growth in the form of substantial compliance costs on our nation’s job creators. Overbearing, excessive regulations take farmers away from tending to their crops, slow the lines at the manufacturing plants and sap resources that could otherwise be put toward hiring more American workers. These days, the only new employees a business is looking to hire are compliance officers—not employees that can help expand and grow their operation.

In a recent Gallup Poll, small-business owners in the United States said the number one problem they face today is figuring out how to comply with the countless government regulations. Fear of the effects the next wave of regulations serve to further push small business owners to the edge of uncertainty.

Among the provisions included in our jobs plan is an effort to keep the executive branch in check by requiring Congressional approval of any federal rule that would cost the economy $100 million or more. This is important as the current administration has abused the regulatory process. ;Last year, the Obama Administration finalized 3,573 new rules—the costs of these new regulations amounted to $1.75 trillion—nearly 12% of GDP.

One such overbearing regulation is a withholding requirement that hurts every small business that works with local, state, and federal agencies. We want to >repeal it with our jobs plan. There is no reason why government agencies should be required to withhold federal taxes from payments to contractors. This withholding takes money from the companies that could otherwise be used for capital investments, employees or additional project bids. Repealing this requirement is one step toward fostering an environment that helps create jobs in the private sector. Despite the Majority Leader’s recent out-of-touch claims , the private sector is exactly where jobs are needed the most.

Another repeal of a much larger government bureaucracy—the President’s health care law — is a key component of our plan. Repealing and replacing the President’s health care law will remove over $550 billion in new taxes and could save as many 800,000 jobs. The detrimental effects the President’s health care law has on the job market are already being felt. While the economy was far from booming at the start of 2010, private-sector job creation was recovering from the recession at a normal rate. Within two months of the passage of the President’s health care law, the job market stopped improving and has yet to regain its footing.  The uncertainty created by the President’s health care law will only cost more jobs in the future, if we do not repeal and replace it with real market-based reforms that will contain the rising costs of health care and return some confidence in the economy for our job creators.

As Congress continues to debate competing plans to get Americans working again, I will continue this series to shine a spotlight on the individual bills that make up The Jobs Through Growth Act. This plan truly is the right path to recovery.

Tags: Senator, John Boozman, Arkansas, Jobs, The Jobs Through Growth Act

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Arkansas Congressional District 1 Candidates: Where Do They Stand on Obamacare?

Little Rock, Ark. – The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) today called on First Congressional District Candidate Rep. Clark Harvell, D-Marvell, to join primary opponent Prof. Gary Latanich, D-Jonesboro, and announce his position on President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

“Rep. Clark Hall needs to let voters in the First District know exactly where he stands on Obamacare,” said RPA Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “Rep. Hall supports the state implementation of a health insurance exchange, which is the first step in establishing President Obama’s job-killing health care law in Arkansas. First District voters deserve a leader willing to stand up to the failed policies of Barack Obama. In 2012, we look forward to re-electing Congressman Rick Crawford, who has already voted to repeal the President’s deeply flawed health care law.

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)

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)

Prof. Latanich Rep. Hall

Tags: Arkansas, Congressional District 1, Candidates, Obamacare, Clark Harvell, D-Marvell, Gary Latanich, D-Jonesboro

They Said What? Treasurer Martha Shoffner Edition

Treasurer Martha Shoffner Edition:

“Well, yeah”

-Treasurer Martha Shoffner when asked if she drove a vehicle leased by her campaign for personal use – a possible violation of State ethics laws.

Tags: Martha Shoffner, vehicle, Arkansas, Constitution, State Treasurer, leased by her campaign, personal, violation, ethics laws, Well Yea, They Said What

The 'Four Years' Flip-Flop

Mr. President, you had it right the first time: we're not better off.

Tags: President Barack Obama, better off, no better off, jobs, Unemployment, economy, failed stimulus, deficits, election day, 2012, RNC ad

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Griffin Introduces ‘Job Creation and Regulatory Freeze Act’

Bill would place a moratorium on new major regulations until January 2013

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) has filed legislation to freeze the Obama Administration’s ability to issue new major federal regulations. The Job Creation and Regulatory Freeze Act of 2011 ( H.R. 3194) would place a moratorium on regulations until January 20, 2013.

“I recently hosted the Second District Jobs Conference in Little Rock, where over 60 business and community leaders shared their perspectives on creating jobs in Arkansas,” Griffin said.  “Job creators made it clear that excessive regulation is the single biggest obstacle to job creation.”

Griffin says his bill would curb job-killing regulations.

"This legislation, which is only four pages long, would immediately eliminate much of the regulatory uncertainty job creators are facing,” Griffin said.  “This year alone, over 62,500 pages of new regulations have been added to the Federal Register, and according to the Small Business Administration, annual compliance costs drain over $1.75 trillion from our economy.”

During the jobs conference, Susan Gunaca, owner of 10 International House of Pancakes restaurants throughout Arkansas, highlighted the burden she and her employees face due to excessive regulation.

“As a business owner today, I'm in a constant posture of defense,” Gunaca told Arkansas Business during the event.

“Also, at the jobs conference Arkansas’s leading energy suppliers outlined the devastating impact excessive regulation could have on our economy,” Griffin said.  “They explained how proposed EPA regulations could shut down Arkansas power plants and increase energy rates by up to 25 percent, burdening Arkansas families and job creators.”

A poll conducted by the independent, non-profit group Public Notice, indicates that nearly 60 percent of Americans think “additional federal regulation on businesses put the average American worker at risk of job loss.”  In addition, 3-in-4 Americans agree that the costs of excessive regulation could prompt businesses to move operations overseas where there is a more jobs-friendly business environment.

“Reasonable regulation is needed to keep our communities safe and clean,” Griffin said.  “But excessive regulation is burying Arkansas's job creators under a mountain of red-tape, and that’s killing jobs.  Giving our job creators the confidence to expand their businesses and hire additional employees is critical to strengthening our economy.”

Griffin’s bill targets major regulations, those imposing at least a $100 million cost to the economy, and exempts regulations that are needed to address “an imminent threat to human health or safety, or any other emergency,” as well as those designed to address certain law enforcement, military and foreign affairs matters, and those designed to encourage job growth.

H.R. 3194 has already received seven cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, of which Griffin is a member.  A list of the top ten job-destroying federal regulations can be found here.

Tags: Congressman Tim Griffin, Arkansas, AR-02, jobs, jobs bill