Wednesday, February 29, 2012

President Barack Obama Running on Empty in Arkansas

“Arkansans are feeling unprecedented pain at the pump,” says Webb.
Little Rock, Ark.– State Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb released the following statement on President Obama’s failure to offer a comprehensive energy policy which has resulted in record high gas prices for Arkansans:
“Thanks to President Obama’s inaction on an energy policy, Arkansans are feeling unprecedented pain at the pump. Gas prices have skyrocketed since Obama took office—from an average of $1.85 a gallon to over $3.71 a gallon today.  In Arkansas, gas prices have risen 10 cents over past week and 30 cents since January, with the average gallon now costing $3.52.

“Families that are already struggling from the difficulties of Obamanomics are finding it even harder to make ends meet with gas prices soaring higher and higher by the day.

“The few decisions that President Obama has made on energy have made matters worse, not better. Most recently, President Obama blocked the Keystone pipeline despite our clear need for safe, reliable, affordable energy and thousands of American jobs.

“Arkansas voters have had enough of President Obama’s broken promises and failure on energy policy. It’s time for new leadership in Washington that has a coherent vision on energy policy, not more of President Obama’s failed policies.”

Video message from Chairman Doyle Webb.
Gas Prices in Arkansas Have Risen 30 Cents Since January

Gas Prices Rise 10 Cents in Arkansas Over Past Week
“The average price for a gallon of gas in Arkansas has risen 10 cents in the past week. The AAA says the average price Monday is $3.52 for a gallon of unleaded gas. That's up from $3.42 a week ago.” (“Arkansas Gas Prices Jump 10 Cents Over Past Week,” Associated Press, 2/27/12)

Gas Prices Rise 20 Cents From January to February
“The average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in Arkansas is $3.43 - which is 20 cents higher than it was a month ago. The AAA says the national average Tuesday is $3.57 a gallon. That's also up almost 20 cents from last month.” (“Arkansas gas prices up 20 cents since January,” Associated Press, 2/21/12)

Average Gallon of Gas in Arkansas is $3.52
"The average price for a gallon of gas in Arkansas has risen 10 cents in the past week. The AAA says the average price Monday is $3.52 for a gallon of unleaded gas." (“Arkansas Gas Prices Jump 10 Cents Over Past Week,” Associated Press, 2/27/12)

Tags: Arkansas, gas prices, President Obama, RPA, Doyle Webb, news

Friday, February 24, 2012

Arkansas Dems' Sell Out Taxpayers And Vote To Protect Taxpayer-Funded Perks in State Budget

Arkansas Democrats demonstrated their unwillingness to compromise with legislative Republicans today by rejecting a proposal that would cut funding for lawmakers' dues to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Government.
“It’s clear we need to trim our state budget and it’s even clearer that state lawmakers should start with themselves,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb. “If we cannot find responsible spending reductions today, where will we find the money to a fund a projected $250 million Medicaid shortfall next year? It’s time for state Democrats to stop playing Washington politics and start working towards a bi-partisan budget compromise on behalf of hardworking Arkansas taxpayers.”

The proposal, sponsored by Republican Rep. Nate Bell of Mena, would have equaled a spending reduction of $267,400.

Democrats Reject GOP-Proposed Spending Reduction

“Arkansas lawmakers have rejected a proposal for the state to stop paying dues for membership in two national legislative organizations. The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday rejected a proposal to cut funding for lawmakers' dues to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Government. Republican Rep. Nate Bell of Mena said his proposal would help fund new firefighting positions at the Arkansas Forestry Commission by saving $267,400.” (“Ark. lawmakers reject proposal to stop paying dues,” Associated Press , 2/22/12)

DHS Projects $200-$250 Million Medicaid Shortfall

“Senate Republican Whip Michael Lamoureux of Russellville suggested an alternative Republican proposal early Tuesday evening that would put $40 million in state surplus into the Medicaid Trust Fund in light of a $200 million to $250 million shortfall projected by the state Department of Human Services for the fiscal 2014 Medicaid budget.” (Michael Wickline, Sarah D. Wire, “Beebe sees service sag, layoffs in GOP plan,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , 2/22/12)

Tags: Arkansas, legislature, democrats, taxpayer, funded, perks, state budget

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Democrats Playing Politics With Arkansas Workers, Won’t Compromise On Conservative Budget Alternative

Little Rock, Ark. – Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb said today that state Democrats are playing politics with Arkansas jobs by threatening state worker layoffs rather than compromising on a conservative general revenue budget alternative proposed by Arkansas Republican legislators.

“It’s hypocritical for Democrats to be concerned about state government jobs being eliminated but remain completely silent when President Barack Obama actually eliminates 60 Arkansas private sector jobs with his failure to approve the Keystone Pipeline,” said Webb.

“It’s clear Democrats are resorting to overly partisan rhetoric to avoid giving an inch to Arkansas Republicans who are fighting for ways to reduce fraud, waste and abuse on behalf of hardworking Arkansas taxpayers.”

“Democrats are simply unwilling to compromise on the budget. It’s sad to see Arkansas Democrats embracing this type of Washington politics instead of a truly bipartisan budget that will benefit Arkansans by preserving much needed services like Medicaid,” Webb concluded.

Democrats' Plan for State Budget: “Don’t Give an Inch”

“In short, Moore’s two messages convey his reading that House Democrats intend to stay with the Governor’s balanced budget proposal and that they don’t want House Republicans or Burris ‘to get any leverage’ out of a deal.  Talk Business blogger Jason Tolbert first reported on the text messages. Other House Democrats have confirmed in private conversations that they are ‘not willing to give an inch’ at this time. (Roby Brock, “Time, Money and Politics Are Driving Budget Debate ,” Talk Business , 2/21/12)

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)

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party of Arkansas, GOP, RPA, Arkansas Workers, reduced government, reduced spending, reduced budget, budget, Gov. Mike Beebe, state budget

Saturday, February 18, 2012

ICYMI: RNC & NFRA Adopt Resolutions Exposing Agenda 21

Bill Smith, Editor, NFRA and ARRA Member: I have been asked if the Republican Party cares about or knows about UN's Agenda 21 and its impact on the property and personal rights of American citizens. My answer has been yes. However, until the Republican National Committee publicly acknowledged the existence of Agenda 21 and the issues, it has been difficult to convince those who asked the question that the RNC is concerned. The RNC has done so now.

In addition, the identified "Conservative Wing of the Republican Party," the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) has also lead in the effort. It would do well for conservatives to align with the Republican Assemblies chapters. While these chapters and state organizations operate independent of the political structure of the RNC and republican state organizations, the members of the NFRA are active as conservative republicans voices within the Republican structured organizations.

Previously without such acknowledgment of Agenda 21 and is objectives by the RNC, it has been difficult to convince the general public including some conservatives that major threats exist to property rights of Americans under UN's Agenda 21. Agenda 21 agreements and funding via grants to government agencies and organizations carry with them obligations which can bind members and communities to international and UN agency agreements, regulations, etc., established by foreign nations or their representatives and which acceptable to the American citizens, our American beliefs and ideals, or our Constitutional rights. The biggest treat is to individual property rights and to community owned property. Threatened property rights include the ability to make individual decisions about ones own real property (land, water rights, mineral rights, use rights, etc.) and to personal property including livestock, use of animals, equipment, tools and eventually money and exclusive ownership of that property). Included is the threat of limiting a person's ability to use their own land or property or to even live and work in a one's geographic area / region. Relocation of humans appears to be part of Agenda 21.

National Federation Republican Assemblies:
UPDATE: The Republican National Committee approved the resolution exposing Agenda 21 at their Winter Meeting, January 13, 2012. The resolution will be recommended for adoption into the Republican Party Platform at the 2012 Convention. See the resolution (PDF) . Note: the resolution is the third from the top.

It has been reported that the Republican National Committee (RNC)passed a resolution exposing Agenda 21 for what it is: a disregard for American freedom, private property rights, and a key player in the Leftist move toward a one world government. Agenda 21 (ICLEI) assaults the very foundation of America. The RNC has not yet made an official statement or released the resolution. We call on the RNC to release this immediately, and we salute the individuals who signed this document.

Text of the RNC Resolution:
RNC Resolution Exposing United Nations Agenda 21
WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992; and,
WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly pushed into local communities throughout the United States of America through the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) through local “sustainable development” policies such as Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other “Green” or “Alternative” projects; and
WHEREAS, this United Nations Agenda 21 plan of radical so-called “sustainable development” views the American way of life of private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms; all as destructive to the environment; and,
WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment which would be accomplished by socialist/communist redistribution of wealth; and,
WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy National sovereignty is deemed a social injustice; now therefore be
RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee recognizes the destructive and insidious nature of United Nations Agenda 21 and hereby exposes to the public and public policy makers the dangerous intent of the plan; and therefore be it further
RESOLVED, that the U.S. government and no state or local government is legally bound by the United Nations Agenda 21 treaty in that it has never been endorsed by the (U.S.) Senate, and therefore be it further
RESOLVED, that the federal and state and local governments across the country be well informed of the underlying harmful implications of implementation of United Nations Agenda 21 destructive strategies for “sustainable development” and we hereby endorse rejection of its radical policies and rejection of any grant monies attached to it, and therefore be it further
RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall deliver a copy of this resolution to each of the Republican members of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, all Republican candidates for President who qualify for RNC sanctioned debates, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.
Chief Sponsor: Helen Van Etten, Republican National Committeewoman for Kansas
Co-Sponsors: Carolyn McLarty, Republican National Committeewoman for Oklahoma
Kim Lehman, Republican National Committeewoman for Iowa
Paul Reynolds, Republican National Committeeman for Alabama
Demetra DeMonte, Republican national Committeewoman for Illinois
Solomon Yue, Republican National Committeewoman for Oregon
Donna Cain, Republican National Committeewoman for Oregon
Cindy Costa, Republican National Committeewoman for South Carolina
John Sigler, Republican State Chairman for Delaware
Steve Scheffler, Republican National Committeeman for Iowa
Peggy Lambert, Republican National Committeewoman for Tennessee
Jim Bopp, Republican National Committeeman for Indiana
Bruce Ash, Republican National Committeeman for Arizona
DeMarus Carlson, Republican National Committeewoman for Nebraska
The National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) has long led the charge to restore conservative values and principles to the RNC, and we believe this is a sign that our message  is being heard. The NFRA Board passed a slate of resolutions at the NFRA Presidential Preference Convention in October 2011, including the following on Agenda 21:
WHEREAS, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies recognizes that the pillars of freedom and liberty are life, liberty and property. As such, we seek to identify those candidates that understand and support these same noble characteristics of our great nation and that it is the combination of these truths that makes America “exceptional”; and
WHEREAS, some little known facts about comprehensive land use planning, known as Agenda 21 include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The UN’s Agenda 21 was revealed to the world at the Rio Earth Summit II in 1992;
  • Agenda 21 was signed into soft law in 1992 and requires only administrative approval and not legislative approval;
  • The UN’s Agenda 21 was granted administrative approval when President Clinton, through Executive Order, created the first President’s Council on Sustainable Development;
  • The President’s Council on Sustainable Development created the domestic plan known as “Sustainable America”;
  • Official non-Government Organizations known as NGOs are certified through the UN based on their compliance and willingness to institute UN created policies like Agenda 21 and the "Wildlands Project". Examples of NGOs include, but are not limited to: the Sierra Club, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Planning Association, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability; formally known as the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.”;
  • GATT, NAFTA and other trade agreements also contain components that are derivatives from the economic components of Agenda 21;
  • Income redistribution as a form of “economic justice” is a tool to be used by Agenda 21;
  • Agenda 21 is anti-property rights;
  • The terms “Sustainable Development”, “Smart Growth”, "Comprehensive Land Use Plan”, and “Sustainable Agriculture” are domestic equivalents of Agenda 21; and
  • The Global Biodiversity Assessment Report identifies private property ownership, single family homes, traditional agriculture, and consumerism as “unsustainable.”; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that we, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), oppose the nondomestic policies of Agenda 21 based on failure to recognize private property rights as one of America’s cornerstones of freedom and liberty; be it further
RESOLVED, that Article one, Section ten of the Constitution prohibits any State or subordinate governmental body from contracting with nondomestic entities such as ICLEI; and be it
RESOLVEDthat the NFRA shall not endorse a candidate or elected official including the office of President that refuses to oppose the same.

Tags: 2011 NFRA Presidential Preference Convention, NFRA, National Federation Republican Assembly, Agenda 21, Liberty, Property, Republican National Committee, RNC, United Nations

Friday, February 17, 2012

Arkansas GOP Statement On Third Anniversary Of President Obama’s Stimulus Bill

“It’s clear that even by the President’s own standards, the bill has been a failure,” says Webb
Little Rock, Ark. – Today, Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb released the following statement on the third anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the stimulus bill into law:
“Three years after President Obama signed his massive stimulus spending bill into law, it’s clear that even by the President’s own standards, the bill has been a failure.

“Just three short years ago, President Obama promised that his $825 billion stimulus bill would save or create 3.5 million jobs and keep unemployment below 8% - but since then, we’ve lost more than one million jobs and unemployment has remained above 8% for a record period, with over 100,000 Arkansans struggling to find a job.

“What’s even worse is that while Americans are demanding a more responsible, efficient government, President Obama’s 2012 budget calls for even more spending and even more taxes with no plan to reduce the $15.35 trillion national debt.
“Arkansas voters have had enough of President Obama’s failed promises and out of control spending. It’s time for new leadership in Washington that can keep spending under control and actually improve our economy, not put us through another four years of economic hardship.”


12.8 Million:   Unemployed Americans. (Bureau of Labor Statistics , Accessed 2/3/12)

$825 Billion:   Price Tag Of Obama's First Failed Stimulus. ( CBO, 8/24/11)

$15.3 Trillion:   Current National Debt ($15,351,406,294,640.49). (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 2/6/12)

$354 Billion:   New Stimulus Spending In Obama's Budget. ( OMB, 2/13/12)

$1.9 Trillion:   Higher Taxes In Obama's Budget. ( OMB, 2/13/12)

105,294:    Number of Arkansans without a job (BLS, 2/17/12)

PROMISE: Obama's Economic Advisors Crafted A Stimulus Bill They Predicted Would Keep Unemployment Below Eight Percent. (Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, " The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan," 1/9/09)

BROKEN: Obama's $825 Billion Stimulus Failed To Keep The Unemployment Rate Below The 8 Percent Level He Promised It Would. ( Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/6/12; Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, "The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan," 1/9/09; Congressional Budget Office, 5/25/11)
  • The Unemployment Rate Has Remained Above Eight Percent For A Record 36 Straight Months Since The Stimulus Was Passed. ( Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/6/12)
  • The Unemployment Rate Peaked At 10.1 Percent In October 2009. ( Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/19/12)

Tags: Arkansas, GOP, RNC, Republican, Obama Stimulus Bill

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blogger Love - Protect Your Voice Campaign Kicks Off

ARRA News Service - Protect Your Voice: The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity called on CPAC 2012 attendees to sign a petition that aims to grant bloggers the same legal protection journalists have. According to American Journalism Review's 2009 analysis there were 30 percent less statehouse reporters then compared to 2003. While their grant has not been renewed to do the study since then, any reporter can attest to the continued cutbacks by walking into a newsroom.

Fortunately, a new wave of energized reporters has been filling those vacancies out of passion - many unpaid. These bloggers are dedicated to informing their citizenry of its elected officials’ actions. They are addressing the threat to democracy.

Because of this, we believe they deserve the same protections as reporters in the court room. We aim to protect the bloggers that are reporting on acts of government as meticulously and honestly as the journalist sitting next to him or her at the press conference. Citizen Journalists and Bloggers should not be penalized for providing a valuable service to our country. Citizen Journalists and Bloggers in every state deserve to be included in the state’s shield laws and granted Freedom of the Press rights.

Times have changed and it’s time for the law to adjust. Go to to show your some post Valentine Day love for bloggers .

Tags: citizen journalist, blogger, free speech government abuse, shield laws, protect your voice, promote accountability, transparency, protect source, access to public information, Valentine Day,

Fifty-Eight Arkansas Republican State Legislators Join Supreme Court Brief Challenging Obamacare

Little Rock, Ark. – Fifty-eight Republican state legislators signed onto an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court filed by the Cato Institute on Monday challenging the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care law, stating the law exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce by forcing Americans to purchase health insurance.

“While Arkansas Democrats continue to defend and support the President’s job-killing health care law, state Republicans stand together in opposition of Obamacare,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb. “In addition to the constitutional question of forcing Arkansans to purchase insurance or face a fine, we have also seen how the health care law is directly attacking the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment. Do Arkansas Democrats support President Obama’s bullying of churches and trampling of the Constitution?”

Last month, the names of several Democratic legislators including, House Majority Leader Johnnie Roebuck, Joint Budget Committee Co-Chair Rep. Kathy Webb and former Congressional Candidate Sen. Joyce Elliot surfaced on a Supreme Court brief arguing that Obamacare is constitutional and they “are working hard in their States to implement the Act in a timely, efficient, and effective manner.”

“It’s clear President Barack Obama has allies in the Arkansas Legislature who are committed to seeing his health care law take root in our state,” said Webb. “In November, we look forward to electing new conservative Republican majorities in both the state House and Senate that will fight on behalf of hardworking Arkansas taxpayers.”

58 Republican State Legislators Join Supreme Court Brief Opposing Obamacare Mandate
“The individual mandate exceeds Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce under existing doctrine. The outermost bounds of this Court’s Commerce Clause jurisprudence—the “substantial effects” doctrine—stop Congress from reaching intra-state non-economic activity regardless of its effect on the economy. Nor can Congress compel someone to engage in commerce, even if it purports to do so as part of a broader regulatory scheme.” (Source: Cato Institute, Dept of Health and Human Services, et al., v. States of Florida, Et Al.) See legislator list on page 48.

Cato Institute Files Obamacare Brief
“With the scheduled three days of oral argument six weeks away, Cato filed its fourth and final Supreme Court amicus brief in the Obamacare saga, this time on the most critical issue: the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Alongside Pacific Legal Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 14 other organizations, and a bipartisan group of 333 state legislators, we urge the Court to affirm the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling that the mandate exceeds Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.” (Ilya Shapiro, “Cato’s Final Obamacare Brief — on the Individual Mandate — Joined by 16 Other Groups and 333 State Legislators,” Cato Institute, 2/12/12)

Arkansas Democrats Argue Constitutionality of Obamacare in Supreme Court Brief
“Amici Curiae, a group of 518 State Legislators from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, believe that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“the Act”) is constitutional and are working hard in their States to implement the Act in a timely, efficient, and effective manner. They have a substantial interest in having this matter resolved expeditiously and in favor of the constitutionality of the Act.” (Source: Supreme Court Brief – US Department of Health Human Services v Florida)

Obamacare Mandate Violates Religious Freedom, Shifts Health Care Costs to Insurance Companies
“Catholic bishops said Friday night that they would not support the Obama administration's proposed compromise on a controversial rule that requires most employers to fully cover contraception in their workers' health plans…Under the new policy, religious employers that don't want to offer contraception could exclude it from their policies. Insurance companies instead would be required to provide access to contraception for plan participants who wanted it, without explicitly charging either the religious employer or worker.” (Louise Radnofsky, “Catholic Bishops Oppose Compromise on Birth-Control Insurance,” Wall Street Journal, 2/11/12)

Tags: Arkansas, Republican, legislators, Amicus Brief, SCOTUS, Challenging Obamacare, mandatory purchases, contraception, religious freedom, moral conscious

Lignite Exploration is Essential

By Arkansas Lt. Governor Mark A. Darr: This week I wanted to talk to you about an economic issue on which I have been focused. We have a real need for new energy sources in this country right now and I believe that our state has a great deal of potential in contributing to that need.

If you’re not familiar with lignite, it is a low-grade form of coal. Researchers have confirmed that Arkansas has at least four billion recoverable tons of lignite available and possibly as much as nine billion tons. As of now, these resources are untapped. It is just sitting in the ground. The bulk of our reserves are estimated to lie in a triangle that extends from Texarkana over to Crossett and up into Saline County.

Lignite is typically recovered through surface mining and burned to make electricity. However, new technologies are being developed to turn lignite coal into synthetic fuels, which adds an enormous amount of economic value to this resource. Micro-refineries can be placed at a mine and the lignite can be converted to crude oil right on-site. The oil could then be put into tanker trucks and taken to a refinery, such as the Lion Oil refinery in El Dorado, and developed into diesel fuel and other chemical products. The amount of supply we have would last for generations into the future.

People are often concerned with the prospect of surface mining because it disturbs the land and there are preconceptions about its affect on the environment. It’s right that people have these concerns, but let me tell you, I can assure you that the environmental considerations in these operations are extensive. I’ve seen it firsthand.

After mining, the companies do not just leave the land bare. They meticulously restore the soil and replant vegetation and can design a landscape according to the landowner’s specifications. As the land is reclaimed, it often results in an ecosystem that is even better than it was before. I would have never known that the reclaimed land that I saw had been mined unless someone had told me.

South Arkansas needs jobs. We can do better economically in this state, but we must have the will to do what is needed. Mississippi, Texas, and North Dakota all currently mine their lignite resources and have reaped the economic benefits of doing so. Why shouldn’t we? We have a domestic source of energy available and we need to promote it.

Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia has established a lignite research center to document the extent and test the quality of our lignite deposits. To properly develop and market this resource, more exploration is essential.

Arkansas has moved forward in recent years thanks to the natural gas industry and its involvement in the Fayetteville Shale. This has created economic opportunities in North Central Arkansas for thousands of people. I want to see a similar economic boom in South Arkansas.

This isn’t about politics. This is about doing what’s good for America. We can’t keep depending on dictators in South America and the Middle East for our energy. I have been told that if our lignite reserves were used, not for electricity, but were converted into crude oil, we would have the potential to replace the amount of oil our country imports from Chavez’s Venezuela. With a pro-active and responsible approach to energy development, Arkansas can help put America on the path to energy independence.

Tags: Arkansas, Lt. Gov, Mark Darr, Lignite, brown coal, Arkansas economy, economic development, jobs, South Arkansas, East Arkansas, 1st Congressional District, 4th Congressional District, energy independence, Fayetteville Shale, jobs, income, mining, electricity, synthetic fuel

Griffin: We Must Protect Seniors, Address Debt, Encourage Job Creation

Rep. Tim Griffin
LITTLE ROCK – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement in response to the release of the President’s fiscal year 2013 budget request to Congress:

“Once again the President has missed an opportunity to address our country’s debt crisis. Like budgets he’s presented in the past, this one raises taxes, punts on much-needed reforms, spends too much and puts us deeper in debt.  Worse, it would allow critical programs like Medicare and Social Security to continue their march toward bankruptcy. That’s unacceptable – and that’s why I will continue to fight for bold solutions that protect our seniors, tackle our debt and encourage private-sector job creation.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, Tim Griffin, Protect Seniors, Address Debt, Job Creation, presidents budget

Monday, February 13, 2012

Boozman Comments on President Obama’s Budget Proposal

WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) issued the following statement on the release of President Obama’s budget proposal:
“America deserves better than a collection of tax hikes, phony savings and additional debt. The President’s budget proposal is bad for seniors as it takes no steps to protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, will hurt chances of an economic recovery through tax hikes and will add $11 trillion more to our already staggering national debt in a 10-year period.”

“This is clearly an election year proposal. Rather than a serious attempt to outline a direction for our economic future, the President is trying to be all for everyone with this plan. Just as the President’s previous proposals have been voted down, I would not expect this one to pass should it come up for a vote in the Senate.”

“This budget proposal from the White House is stark reminder that we need to pass the Honest Budget Act. The President’s budget is loaded with gimmicks and accounting tricks that our bill would put an end to so that the American people would have an opportunity to weigh in on a real budget that would get our fiscal house in order.”

“When it comes to our country’s budget, Americans have a right to except accountability, honesty and responsibility. This proposal has none of those.”

Tags: Arkansas, John Boozman, U.S. Senate, President Obama, budget proposal

Arkansas: Legislative Republicans Look To File Leaner State Budget Benefiting Arkansas Taxpayers

Ark. GOP lawmakers eye pushing own budget bill

By Associated Press, 2/13/2012
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WTW) — The top Republican in the Arkansas House says he and other lawmakers are working on their own alternative budget to the one proposed by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

Rep. John Burris filed a resolution Monday to introduce an alternative Revenue Stabilization Act, the budget bill that is typically considered at the end of the legislative session. The RSA sets spending priorities based on expected revenues.

Burris said Republicans believe they can find more areas to cut than Beebe has proposed in his $4.7 billion budget for the coming fiscal year. A companion resolution has been introduced in the Senate...
Click here to read full story.

Republicans File Competing Revenue Stabilization Bills

The final deadline for amending the text of measures is not for another two weeks.

The Revenue Stabilization Bill is the mechanism for outlining the state’s budget priorities.

Burris tells me he anticipates the bill will propose a slightly tighter budget than the Governor’s budget, which is currently around $4.6 billion...
Republicans File Competing Revenue Stabilization Bills

Tags: Arkansas, Republican, legislators, alternative budget,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Marcus Richmond Advances to ‘On the Radar’

Arkansas Republican Candidate Takes Big Second Step to Achieving ‘Young Gun’ Status

Washington --- The National Republican Congressional Committee today announced Marcus Richmond as an ‘On the Radar’ candidate, the important second step in the ‘Young Guns’ program. Founded during the 2007-2008 election cycle by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), the ‘Young Guns’ program is a Member-driven effort that is the primary method for recruiting strong candidates for both open-seat and incumbent challenge elections. Richmond is running for Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District.

“We are looking forward to working with Marcus Richmond, who has already proven himself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the ‘Young Guns’ program that will position his campaign for victory,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX). “Marcus Richmond’s dedication and experience positions him to advocate for pro-growth policies and fight the failed Democrat status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Democrats’ record of spending, borrowing and taxing that Arkansas families know has failed.”

Specifically, the ‘Young Guns’ program encourages candidates who have proven their ability to meet crucial campaign benchmarks to develop their campaigns further in order to achieve victory on Election Day. In achieving ‘On the Radar’ status, Richmond has met the second set of these organizational and fundraising benchmarks and has already begun to establish himself as a strong contender.

Marcus Richmond spent two decades in the United States Marine Corps where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Upon his retirement in 1998, Richmond worked as a teacher and football coach before becoming the Director of Operations for America’s Pet Registry. Now, Richmond and his wife own the registry business and have made it the third largest registry service in America. Richmond is passionate about getting rid of red tape in Washington so small businesses across the country can reach their full potential just like he did.

With the second set of rigorous benchmarks met in order to achieve ‘On the Radar’ status, Marcus Richmond will now work toward even higher goals that will help him advance in the ‘Young Guns’ program and build an effective, winning campaign.

The additional candidate(s) for Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District that are advancing to ‘On the Radar’ status in the Young Guns program include: Beth Anne Rankin. The candidate(s) for Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District that are advancing to ‘Contender’ status in the Young Guns program include: Tom Cotton.

Tags: National Republican Congressional Committee, NRCC, Young Guns, Arkansas, On the Radar, candidates, Marcus Richmond, Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District, Beth Anne Rankin, Contender staus, Tom Cotton

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Boozman: “Health Care Mandate Threatens Much-Needed Assistance Provided by Religious Groups Across the Nation”

Sen. John Boozman
WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) took to the Senate floor today to voice his opposition to President Obama’s health care mandate that fails to respect the conscience rights of religious institutions.

“What this means in simple terms is that churches are exempt from the mandate, but institutions such as church-run universities, hospitals and non-profits must comply with the government regulation.  Therefore, in order to continue to operate, these church-run institutions must violate the very beliefs that inspire them to care for the least among us.  I would not be surprised to see many faith-based institutions disappear should this mandate move forward,” Boozman said in his speech.

On January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate requiring almost all private health insurance policies, including those issued by religious institutions, to cover free sterilizations and contraceptives at no cost to policyholders." Video Source

The full text of the speech:
Madam President: I come to the floor today to add my voice in opposition to President Obama’s unwillingness to respect the conscience rights of religious institutions.

On January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate requiring almost all private health insurance policies, including those issued by religious institutions, to cover free sterilizations and contraceptives at no cost to policyholders.

What this means in simple terms is that churches are exempt from the mandate, but institutions such as church-run universities, hospitals and non-profits must comply with the government regulation.  Therefore, in order to continue to operate, these church-run institutions must violate the very beliefs that inspire them to care for the least among us.  I would not be surprised to see many faith-based institutions disappear should this mandate move forward.

Despite the President’s contentions that this outcome is not what he intends, his mandate unfairly forces people to choose between their health and their morals or religious values.  Many parents, Christians, and others object to sterilizations and contraceptives. Americans should not have to pay for services or healthcare plans that conflict with their deeply-held religious beliefs. This purely political decision on the part of the Administration has shown that President Obama will do whatever necessary to appease his base and protect his own job, even if it means a blatant infringement on First Amendment rights.

With this mandate, President Obama is not only trampling religious liberties, but he is also confirming what many feared when his health care bill became law.  Americans saw this massive expansion of government as a threat to individual rights.  This mandate, one of the first based on the President’s health care bill, does little to assuage those concerns.  In fact, it comes across as confirmation that the President intends to force on us his belief that “he knows what is best” for Americans when it comes to our health care choices.

In an effort to fight the Administration’s overreach, I have joined several of my colleagues in supporting legislation to protect freedom of conscience and prohibit the government from imposing mandates on religious employers. Religious institutions play a critical role in our communities. If federal policies make it difficult for these institutions to continue important social services without going against their principles, it will hurt the least fortunate among us by threatening the much-needed assistance and outreach provided by religious groups across the nation.

The seemingly endless number of regulations this Administration has handed down to the American people needs to end. Let’s force the President to govern in a manner that respects the values of the American people, not just his base. Protecting religious organizations from this overreaching mandate is an excellent place to start.

Tags: John Boozman, Senator, US Senate, floor speech, health care mandate, religious organization, freedom of religon

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lt. Gov. Darr Addresses Arkansas' F Grade in Government Transparency

AR Gov't Transparency Grade
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Mark A. Darr’s statement on Arkansas being one of seven states to receive an F in online access to government spending data.

“This is frustrating news to Arkansans. You never want to hear your state is one of seven to receive a failing grade especially in something like government transparency.  I believe that Senate Bill 221 otherwise known as The Arkansas Financial Transparency Act will provide the accountability Arkansans deserve as well as help eliminate wasteful spending. The Department of Finance and Administration estimates the online checkbook will be up and running by July 2012.

Government Magazines Rates States on Government Transparency
Today, states’ use of stimulus funds has already decreased dramatically, and the board that monitors the spending sunsets next year. Yet even as the stimulus slowly fades from the spotlight, it’s becoming clear that, for many people, no economic study or analysis will ever provide definitive proof of ARRA’s impact, or lack thereof. The legislation has become too much of a partisan lightning rod, symbolizing everything the political left believes government should do to fix the ailing economy, and everything the right believes is causing it to slump.

But there is one area where the legislation has had a definitive effect, one clear impact that transcends politics and is almost universally acknowledged: The stimulus has done more to promote transparency at almost all levels of government than any piece of legislation in recent memory. (Ryan Holeywell, Governing Magazine, February 2012)

Tags: Arkansas, F Grade, government transparency, Lt. Gov, Mark Darr, response

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gov. Beebe: Illegal Aliens Don't Deserve Arkansas Jobs

Self-Deportation' of Illegal Aliens Can Create Jobs for Unemployed Arkansas Residents
Recently the term "self-deportation" has been discussed in presidential debates. "Self-deportation" is the belief that illegal aliens will leave Arkansas and the rest of the U.S. voluntarily on their own if they are denied access to Arkansas' jobs and public benefits. In fact, self-deportation is happening right now, as the current economic recession has reduced job opportunities across all of Arkansas' occupations.

Better known as 'attrition through enforcement,' this policy of 'self-deportation' has existed for some time. It is the common sense approach to immigration reform that lies in the middle of the opposing extremes of mass deportations and mass legalization of illegal aliens. It calls for Arkansas law enforcement officials to play a role in enforcing immigration laws on the local and state levels in addition to greater support from federal officials.

If Gov. Beebe is serious about reducing Arkansas' unemployment rate, he should do more to support enforcing Arkansas' immigration laws so that illegal aliens leave willingly on their own. Please don't delay. Send the critical message below to Governor Beebe, asking him to support attrition through enforcement, and help put unemployed Arkansas residents back to work. Simply click now to send your free fax. There is no cost to you.
Dear Gov. Beebe,
Please support a policy of attrition through enforcement so that illegal aliens will self-deport and our state's jobless will be able to get back to work.

The concept of attrition through enforcement is simple. If America's immigration laws are fully enforced and illegal aliens are not allowed to take U.S. jobs or receive non-essential government services, they will not be able to live in the United States (or in our state, for that matter). These individuals will have no other choice but to leave, or self-deport. This would free up millions of jobs for American workers and save American taxpayers billions of dollars. How could you oppose such a policy?

I urge you to think of the unemployed in our state who cannot find a full-time job. These Americans deserve better and you can help to give them and their families a chance at a better life. Please promote a policy of attrition through enforcement.

(Your Name Will Appear Here)

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe,Arkansas jobs, jobs, illegal aliens

Friday, February 3, 2012

State Treasurer Martha Shoffner Joins Ranks of Arkansas Democrats in Gross Mismanagement of State Government

Treasurer’s Failure To Do Job Leaves $1.1 Million Missing From County Revenue

Little Rock, Ark. – On the heels of Arkansas Democrats’ gross mismanagement of the Forestry Commission budget shortfall, Democratic State Treasurer Martha Shoffner recently cost more than a dozen Arkansas counties over $1 million in expected revenue for failing to simply do her job.

According to a memo issued by the Arkansas Association of Counties (AAC), “fifteen counties receiving over $100,000 has been denied by the US Forest Service,” because Treasurer Martha Shoffner “was not made aware” that it was her responsibility to mail the appropriate forms to counties eligible for Secure Rural Schools Title 2 & 3 funding. The AAC estimated the total loss of revenue to the counties as $1.1 million.

“Over 1 million dollars in revenue for our counties is now missing because Democratic State Treasurer Martha Shoffner failed to do her job,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “This is yet another example of how Arkansas Democrat’s mismanagement of state government is hurting our citizens.”

Last July, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a letter to Treasurer Shoffner carefully outlining her role in seeing that the “FY 2011 Payments to the State Election Form” was distributed to eligible counties and returned to the U.S. Forest Service by a September 30, 2011 deadline.

“While we hope this decision by the U.S. Forest Service to deny funding is reversed, today, we ask that Treasurer Shoffner come clean with the people of Arkansas and reveal the true costs of her gross mismanagement to our state,” concluded Vasilos.

$1.1 Million in County Revenue Lost Due To Treasurer Shoffner’s Mismanagement
“As most of you are likely aware, the Secure Rural Schools Title 2 &  3 funding for fourteen (see list below) of the fifteen counties receiving over $100,000 has been denied by the US Forest Service.  The stated reason for the denial is those counties did not get their Election forms back to the Forest Service by the September 30, 2011 deadline.  This has resulted in the loss of $1.1 million in revenues to these counties.  From what we can tell the mailing out of these forms had, historically, been handled by the Arkansas Department of Education. Beginning in 2011 that responsibility was shifted to the State Treasurer, however, it appears the Treasurer was not made aware of this new responsibility by the Dept. of Education.” (Jeff Sikes, Association of Arkansas Counties, Electronic Memo, 1/23/12)

USDA Informed Treasurer’s Office in July of Funding Deadline
“In order to prepare the 2011 payments to the states under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, as amended and reauthorized by P.L. 110-343 (the Act), we request that each participating state complete and submit the “FY 2011 Payments to the States Election Form” by September 30, 2011…” (Jennifer McGuire, Letter to State Treasurer Martha Shoffner, United States Department of Agriculture, 7/20/11)

Tags: Democratic, State Treasurer, Martha Shoffner, funds for schools, Forestry Commission, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

State GOP Calls on Ethics Commissioner to Follow State Law, Discontinue Public Support of Rep. Linda Tyler

Little Rock, Ark. – The Arkansas Republican Party today called on newly appointed Arkansas Ethics Commissioner Robert McCormack of Conway to immediately discontinue his public support of Democratic Rep. Linda Tyler in accordance with Arkansas Code Annotated § 7-6-217(c)(2) which prohibits a commissioner from “lending his or her name in support of any candidate for election to a state, county, municipal, or school board office under the laws of Arkansas.”

“Today, we are asking that Mr. McCormack preserve the integrity of the Arkansas Ethics Commission and immediately withdraw his public endorsement of Rep. Linda Tyler,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb.

On Rep. Tyler’s website for her State Senate District 35 campaign, the names “Bob and Armilda McCormack,” are listed under the endorsement tab. Prior to being appointed to the Commission by Governor Mike Beebe this January, Mr. McCormack was also documented online as a supporter of Rep. Tyler’s State Senate Campaign. These pictures continue to remain on her campaign website and Facebook page.

“Judging from Mr. McCormack’s strong ties with Rep. Tyler, we ask that he recuse himself from any future matters which might come before the Ethics Commission regarding Rep. Linda Tyler and the State Senate District 35 campaign. We owe it to the citizens of Arkansas to remain fair and non-partisan,” said Webb.

Arkansas Law Prohibits Ethics Commissioners From Endorsing Candidates
“During the entire term of service on the commission, a commissioner shall be prohibited from raising funds for, making contributions to, providing services to, or lending his or her name in support of any candidate for election to a state, county, municipal, or school board office under the laws of Arkansas…” (Source: A.C.A. § 7-6-217(c)(2))

Gov. Beebe Appointed McCormack in January, 2012
On January 13, 2012, Governor Mike Beebe announced the appointment of “Robert McCormack, Conway, to the Arkansas Ethics Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2016. Replaces Catherine Johnson.” (Governor Mike Beebe, Press Release, Accessed 2/2/12)

Commissioner McCormack Endorses Rep. Linda Tyler for State Senate
As of February 1, 2012, “Bob and Armilda McCormack” are listed as endorsers of State Rep. Linda Tyler campaign for a seat in the Arkansas Senate. (Source: Linda Tyler for State Senate Website, Endorsements, Accessed 2/2/12, Appendix A)

Commissioner McCormack Has Strong Ties With Rep. Linda Tyler
Robert McCormack appears and is identified in multiple pictures documenting a 2011 fundraiser for State Rep. Linda Tyler on her campaign’s Facebook page and Rep. Tyler’s State Senate Website. (Source: Rep. Linda Tyler Facebook Page, Accessed 2/2/12, Appendix B) and (Source: Linda Tyler for State Senate Website, Photos , Accessed 2/2/12, Appendix B)

Tags: Arkansas, Ethics Commissioner, Little Rock, Robert McCormack, Conway, Linda Tyler

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Arkansas Democratic Garry Smith Sides With President Obama, Says Republicans “Don’t Like Jesus”

Smith speaks at Democratic Club's inaugural meeting (Excerpts)

By Heather Hawley, El Dorado News-Times, Feb 1, 2012
Garry The Prevaricator
As the Union County Democratic Club held its inaugural meeting on Tuesday evening, State Representative Garry Smith stood to speak to the small crowd about his hopes for the party’s future…

…"I disagree with him because our Democrats are people who work for one another," he said. "I have said it before, if Jesus were here today, he would be a Democrat because he tried to help everybody and he still does."…

…"The Republicans are ripping each other apart because they have no depth," he said, adding that he felt that President Barack Obama would be elected to a second term. "He (Obama) inherited a terrible mess and had to be quite a man to take that position in the first place, and I am proud of his leadership ability and his tenacity."…

…When it comes down to his believes, he said he keeps in line with the way he was raised. "I am an Arkansas Democrat, I am not a Washington Democrat," Smith laughed. "And we are definitely different. The Republicans in Washington are anti-everything. They don’t like Jesus, I am pretty sure of that."… Click here for full article (Subscription Only)

Tags: Arkansas, Union County Democratic Club, Barack Obama, Democrat, State Representative, Garry Smith, attacks Republicans, Don't Like jesus