Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Former Arkansas Womanizer POTUS / Gov. Bill Clinton Democratic Key Speaker

by AF Branco:

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, POTUS, Bill Clinton, Democratic Key Speaker, speaking for women, historic womanizer, accused rapist, political cartoon, AF Branco

Way Cool! Young Republicans "Call Me Maybe"

Right in the heart of the Obama Democrat machine's city Chicago, Young Republicans are ready and taking them on. Great going and thank you Chicago Young Republicans. And the video is "way cool!"

----------------
TheChicagoyrs: Who says making phone calls for political candidates isn't fun? The Chicago Young Republicans are making calling cool. Below are the lyrics in the video:

Call Me Maybe" AKA "The CYRs Are Calling, Baby"
I cast my vote in the booth,
Hoping and praying for truth
But Obama took it all
And now he's in my way

I'd trade my soul for a job,
Pennies and dimes all I got
I never asked for all this
And now he's in my way

Small business folding
Private sector isn't growing
Give me back my country
Because we deserve victory

Hey, if you're like me,
And going crazy,
The CYRs
We're calling, baby

It's hard to be right,
In Chicago,
But we're all here
for a better tomorrow!
Hey, if you're like me,
And going crazy,
The CYRs
We're calling, baby

Just think how happy
No more balling
Obama lost
Cuz you went calling

Come to the office to call
It will take no time at all
We've got the tools that you need
So we can win this time

Obama lied to us all
Our country's worse overall
You're not alone if you feel
That he is in our way

Small business folding
Private sector isn't growing
Give me back my country
Because we deserve victory
Hey, if you're like me,
And going crazy,
The CYRs
We're calling, baby

It's hard to be right,
In Chicago,
But we're all here
for a better tomorrow!

Hey, if you're like me,
And going crazy,
The CYRs
We're calling, baby

We'll give you pizza
Plus some free beer
Why are you waiting?
Just get yourself here

Before you start to give up
We need you so bad
We need you so bad
We need you so, so bad
Before you start to give up
We need you so bad
And you should know that
We need you so, so bad

It's hard to be right,
In Chicago,
But we're all here
for a better tomorrow!

Hey, if you're like me,
And going crazy,
The CYRs
We're calling, baby

We'll give you pizza
Plus some free beer
Why are you waiting?
Just get yourself here

Before you start to give up
We need you so bad
We need you so bad
We need you so, so bad
Before you start to give up
We need you so bad
And you should know that

So let's make phone calls!

Tags: Insert tags

Monday, August 20, 2012

63% Oppose Driver’s Licenses, Public Benefits for Illegals Who Get Work Permits

Latest Rasmussen Reports gives mixed signals. It appears that American's compassionate but don't like being ripped off. Below are two finding from the Rasmussen Reports that evidence this point:
  • 63% of Likely Voters Oppose Driver’s Licenses, Public Benefits for Illegal Immigrants Who Get Work Permits
  • 73% of Likely U.S. Voters believe someone brought to this country illegally when he or she was under 16 years old who has no criminal record, has graduated from high school or served in the military should be allowed to apply for a legal work permit.
Full Story

Tags: illegal aliens, work permits, benefits, Rasmussen Report

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Arkansas - The Holdout State

Arkansas may turn Republican red this year.  But that we’re the last Southern state to do so may tell more stories about us that we want.

by Curtis Coleman: In a recent story in the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes says there’s a better than 50-50 chance that the Arkansas legislature will be controlled by Republicans next year. But Barnes also said that Arkansas has been the lone holdout in the conversion from Southern states controlled by Democrats.
“In 2010, the Alabama legislature went Republican for the first time in 136 years. In 2011, Republicans won the Mississippi statehouse and Louisiana’s legislature..”
Texas and Oklahoma have been led by conservative Republicans for years.  And Tennessee has a Republican governor.

So one has to wonder how our reluctance to move to conservative, smaller government, pro-growth, pro-business leadership has related to these discomforting statistics:
  • In 2011, Oklahoma’s economy grew three times faster than Arkansas’s; Tennessee’s grew six times faster and Texas’s economy grew 10 times faster.
  • Arkansas has the highest capital gains tax, the highest personal income tax and the highest cumulative taxes of any state in the region – but one of the lowest per capita personal incomes in the nation.
  • We rank 44th in the nation in graduating high school seniors who are considered to be prepared for success in life.
  • Arkansas was recently ranked as the 5th worst state in terms of which states will be the best places to live in the future.
Now, I can’t produce an empirical relationship to our slow conversion to conservative leadership in state government, but it’s hard to miss our poor performance in education, salaries and business growth.

And the fact remains: Arkansas can be and should be one of the most prosperous and successful states in the nation. And we can be with the right leadership.
---------------
Curtis Coleman is Chairman of The Institute for Constitutional Policy.

Tags: Curtis Coleman, Alabama, capital gains, education, income tax, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, pro-business, pro-growth, Republicans, Texas, Arkansas, Government, Business, Jobs

Farm Bill is Top Priority

Rep. Crawford with livestock producers
in Mountain View, AR, discussing
drought disaster relief measures.
Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01): At home this week in Arkansas I have been meeting with livestock producers to let them know about the important drought relief disaster package the U.S. House of Representatives passed. Over sixty percent of the country and nearly all of Arkansas is suffering from drought conditions. I hope the Senate will act quickly to get this much-needed assistance passed into law.

Passing a five year Farm Bill is my top priority:
Nothing is more important to me than passing a five year Farm Bill that gives Arkansas producers the security they need. I was proud to join Democrats and Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee to pass the Farm Bill out of committee. At a time when many Americans have lost faith in the ability of Congress to accomplish great things, the House Agriculture Committee is an example of what can be done when partisan politics are put aside in favor of sound policy.

This month I will be traveling our First District listening to the challenges families are facing with record drought conditions. Even though Congress did pass an important drought relief package, I will not stop working until a Farm Bill is signed into law. Instead of attending my party’s national convention, I will be in Arkansas ensuring farm families are getting the help they need from federal and state agencies. Arkansans are experiencing the worst drought in more than three decades, and my staff and I will be assisting producers as they cope with this terrible natural disaster.

In July, I joined a bipartisan group of 62 House members urging House leaders to bring the Farm Bill to a vote. The House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm Bill by a strong bipartisan vote of 35 to 11. In a letter to Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, I requested floor time to consider the bill so that it can be debated, conferenced, and ultimately passed into law before the current Farm Bill expires on September 30th. The letter was signed by 38 Republicans and 24 Democrats.

Additionally, in a continued effort to urge leaders in Washington to pass a Farm Bill, I will be signing a discharge petition that will push the Farm Bill toward a final vote. In joining my colleagues on advancing the discharge petition, I am working to put farm families in Arkansas ahead of Washington’s partisan politics. Nothing is more important to me than passing a five year Farm Bill and I will not rest until legislation is signed into law.

Now is the time for House leadership to acknowledge the role farm families play in our nation’s economy. The success story of Arkansas and American agriculture can continue if Congress acts to pass sound policies. The message from my constituents and rural America is clear: we need a Farm Bill now. The Farm Bill needs to be a priority of the House as it is critically important to Arkansas. It is essential that the House vote on a five year Farm Bill before current legislation expires.

Tags: Rick Crawford, US House, Representative, Arkansas, 1st District, AR-01, Farm Bil, Mountain View, farmers, drought disaster, relief efforts

Friday, August 17, 2012

Waste Watch: Taxpayer Money for Marina in N. Little Rock

AFP Arkansas: We're over $15 trillion in debt, but somehow there is money available to spend $1.2 million of our tax dollars on a marina in North Little Rock. This marina is being developed and owned by a former legislator. Hardworking Arkansas taxpayers have sacrificed enough. It's time to end wasteful spending.


Tags: North Little Rock, Arkansas, government waste. taxpayers money, marina, boat dock

Mitt Romney To Visit Arkansas Next Week

Fox News 16, Little Rock says, "State GOP officials say Mitt Romney will visit Arkansas for a fundraiser next week.

Party spokeswoman Katherine Vasilos says Romney will be in Little Rock on Wednesday. It's the first Arkansas visit for Romney since he became the presumptive Republican nominee for president."

But don't get too excited unless you have a minimum of $2,500 to anti-up.

FoxNews 16 continues, "The visit was first reported by Stephens Media Group. An invitation to the fundraiser says receptions will be held at the Peabody Hotel followed by dinner at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock. The invitation also lists the Republican members of Arkansas' congressional delegation as special guests.

The dinner costs $50,000 per couple. The receptions range from $2,500 per person to $25,000 per couple."

UAR Public Radio added, "No public appearance in Arkansas is planned during the visit, a campaign spokesman said Thursday."

Arkansas Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb , “We are certainly excited about him coming to Arkansas. It shows how important he views the state.”

Webb said Romney’s planned visit “certainly contrasts with President Obama, who has not been in Arkansas since he has been president, nor was he in the state when he was campaigning for president. The last time that he was in the state was when he was a United States senator and he was campaigning for the election of Gov. Mike Beebe in 2006.”

Tags: Mitt Romney, visit, Arkansas

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Healthcare Issues)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section. [Note this is the last article in this series]
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HEALTHCARE ISSUES
Healthcare is not a right; it is a service. As a compassionate society we will aid those in need; however, a government takeover of healthcare is detrimental to the entire health care system.

The Republican Party of Arkansas expresses support for:
1. Long-term Medicare solutions:
Form a bipartisan commission to make recommendations.
" Assure long-term solvency by implementing cost saving measures that reduce bureaucracy, fraud and abuse.
" Implement optional plans that combine public and private efforts to provide citizen access to and choices among various kinds of coverage.

2. Medical Savings Accounts which allow people to own and control their healthcare.

3. Freedom to choose fee-for-service plans.

4. Choices among various managed care plans.

5. Optional long-term care choices, including nursing home, hospice and home health care for certain diseases such as Alzheimer's.

6. Tax-deductible premiums for these and other such options.

7. Medicaid block grants to states with "No Federal Strings". Arkansas Republicans believe that such strings defeat the purpose of state grants. Distribution of Medicaid grant funds should be left to the discretion of each state.

8. We strongly support Medical tort liability reform through an amendment to the state constitution: Arkansas Republicans believe health care costs can be reduced by tort reform of medical liability regulations and statutes by limiting the circumstances under which such cases may be properly pursued and the extent of damage claims involving pain and suffering.

9. Freedom to choose doctors outside of the Medicare system: Arkansas Republicans hold that neither Medicare patients nor doctors choosing to practice outside the Medicare system should be fined or otherwise punished for non-cooperation with the Medicare system, and patients should be free to voluntarily pay doctors out of personal funds for such medical care, even when rendered outside the Medicare system.

10. The repeal of all statutes, laws and regulations that would permit the Medicare system to pressure, prosecute, pursue, fine or otherwise punish any such patient or doctor.

11. Continuity of patient care when employers change health insurance plans and providers, we support the flexibility for physicians to provide services for any managed health care plan in any state that they are licensed to practice.

12. National legislation to treat mental and physical illnesses equitably and fairly.

13. Efforts to implement more access to Community Based Health Centers; to meet the health care needs of the uninsured and underinsured in their communities.

14. Association Health Plans to help small businesses on behalf of their employees; Health Savings Accounts so Americans can get help with out-of-pocket medical expenses; and a creation of refundable tax credit to help low income families purchase health insurance.

15. Creation of a legal environment for pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs and lower costs to consumers.

16. Replace Obamacare with a well designed conservative initiative.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform, 2012-2014, Healthcare Issues

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Environment, Natural Resources And Energy Policy)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY POLICY
Arkansas Republicans should take a leadership role in challenging all private business and citizens to protect natural resources and environment without further government regulations. The health and beauty of the State of Arkansas and all of America is important to us and future generations. We should encourage recycling to reduce waste, conservation of energy including the use of renewable energy sources and choosing products which are not harmful to plants and wildlife.

We also support local, state and federal programs, and market based incentives to promote a thriving natural environment, enhancing quality of life, and advancement of economic prosperity including:
1. Maintain air quality.

2. Maintain water quality and conservation of wetlands.

3. Cleanup and redevelopment of hazardous waste sites.

4. Promotion of land conservation and stewardship.

5. Development of a realistic growth-oriented and scientifically based approach to the questions surrounding global climate change.

Our nation's dependence on foreign oil is a threat to national security, and the exorbitant energy prices are a threat to our economy. We believe that a long-term strategy for energy independence must include:
1. Establishment of a coherent policy that affords access to our vast natural resources while protecting our natural environment.

2. Opening of the Outer Continental Shelf, oil shale regions, and other domestic sources of oil for exploration and drilling now.

3. Loosening of the environmental regulations that make it impossible to build new oil refineries.

4. Investments in proven technologies that provide energy in a cost effective and environmentally safe process.

5. Arkansas is among the top natural gas producing states and we support responsible development and use of our domestic natural resources.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Environment, Natural Resources, Energy Policy

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Immigration)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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IMMIGRATION
As citizens of the United States --- a nation of immigrants --- the Republican Party of Arkansas recognizes the important contributions immigrants from all nations have made to the economic and cultural strength of the United States. We also believe that, as a nation of laws, the integrity of our immigration system is undermined by the flagrant disregard of our laws by those who illegally enter our country and those who overstay their visas.

We believe that the foundation of an effective immigration policy must begin by securing our borders. We recognize that to protect our borders the federal government must continue to accelerate border security measures such as increasing the number of border patrol agents and greater utilization of technology and physical barriers.

Since it is estimated that 40% of the illegal aliens in our country are a result from overstaying a legitimately issued visa and the Immigration and Naturalization Service has frequently demonstrated the inability to process petitions for legal immigrants in a timely manner, we call for the federal government to reorganize this agency so that it becomes more effective and efficient in the execution of its assigned duties.

We also recognize that workers from other countries will continue to use every means to come to the United States as long as there are employers who hire them. For that reason, we support an employer verification system that will require the employer to verify legal status prior to hiring or offering employment.

With this combination of effective border security, a comprehensive entry-exit system for foreign visitors, and an employer verification system, we are convinced a nation as great as the United States, can secure and protect its borders from those who would unlawfully enter or overstay. This will restore integrity to the discredited immigration system that is vital to a prosperous America.

We also support a greater partnership by the State of Arkansas and federal authorities in the area of immigration enforcement. We encourage the Governor to direct the Arkansas State Police to be trained and engaged in immigration law enforcement.

The State of Arkansas should verify proof of legal presence in the country before the issuance of state identity documents such as driver's licenses. This is an essential requirement due to the exploitation of identity documents by illegal aliens.

We support English being recognized as the official language of the United States of America. This does not preclude governmental use of other languages in documents and forms. We oppose the printing of voter registration forms in any language other than English.

We believe that enforcement of immigration law by local police will remove the majority of illegal aliens from the State of Arkansas. We therefore support a concentrated effort to use attrition and enforcement to remove as many illegal aliens as possible without giving any path to citizenship or any other reward to those who enter the state illegally.

We believe that a massive deportation is impractical. Therefore we support focusing deportation efforts on criminal aliens while granting renewable residency status without giving any path to citizenship, to those who have established roots in our society, meeting criteria such as worthiness, family ties, and payment of a fine.

We recognize that Arkansas is blessed with a growing number of immigrants that are working hard, fulfilling their obligation to community and country, and contributing to the social fabric of this great State. We support efforts by immigrants to assimilate into our state, our language and our culture.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform, 2012-2014, Immigration

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Arkansas GOP Files FEC Complaint Against Democrat Gene Jeffress

Webb to Jeffress: “Stop spreading illegal, non-compliant campaign materials to the public.”

Gene Jeffress - Liberal
And A Plantation Politician
Not Even Close to Outgoing
Blue Dog Rep. Mike Ross
Little Rock, Ark. – The state Republican Party today submitted for filing a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against Democratic Fourth Congressional District candidate Gene Jeffress for failing to provide proper disclosures on campaign materials.
 
“If Democrat Gene Jeffress can’t even follow federal campaign law, how can he seriously ask Arkansans to let him write federal law as a member of Congress?” asked Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb. “This is an issue of transparency and voters deserve to know who is paying for these materials. Senator Jeffress has had four opportunities to bring his campaign into compliance with federal law. Today, we call on him to stop spreading illegal, non-compliant campaign materials to the public.”
 
Today’s complaint follows four public notifications made by the FEC to Gene Jeffress for being out of compliance with federal campaign finance laws and regulations.  
Click here to download a copy of the complaint.

Jeffress Has Serious Problems With FEC

“State Sen. Gene Jeffress is having trouble keeping his congressional campaign in compliance with the Federal Election Commission. He has been publicly notified by them that he is out of compliance not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times. ” (Jason Tolbert, Jeffress FEC Compliance Problems Continue, The Tolbert Report, 8/13/12)

Jeffress Calls Lack of FEC Compliance “Malarkey”

“Fourth District congressional candidate Gene Jeffress has not submitted his July quarterly financial report electronically, despite a warning from the Federal Election Commission nearly a month ago. Jeffress said he has received no notification from the FEC. He said he learned of the warning Tuesday when asked by a reporter. ‘They have not sent me any letters or any announcements that we’ve done anything wrong,’ he said. ‘You’re telling me something is missing. That’s just malarkey as far as I’m concerned until they let me know.’” (Sara D. Wire, “FEC warns Jeffress about finance report,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/1/12)

Tags: Arkansas, GOP, files ethics complaint, federal election commission, Gene Jeffress, AR-04, out of compliance, campaign funding, news reports

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Drug and Alcohol Abuse)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE
Despite the historic progress made in reducing illegal drug use in the United States (50% reduction since the late 1970's), substance abuse continues to threaten the strength of our families, communities and work force. Arkansas Republicans support the balanced approach to fighting illegal drug abuse including tough law enforcement, effective drug education efforts, and drug treatment programs with accountability.

We oppose efforts to decriminalize or legalize harmful drugs including marijuana. We believe that current medical evidence and research do not support the legalization of marijuana for medical treatment.

We support periodic evaluations of education programs for tobacco, drug, and alcohol abuse and further recommend increasing fees for multiple offenders. This increased funding will provide for additional programs or improvements in the existing programs.

In Arkansas, we applaud the recent successful efforts to restrict the precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Now, we recognize the greater challenge is the methamphetamine imported to Arkansas by national and international criminal organizations.

We applaud the designation of part of Arkansas as the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) program which will increase federal funding for enforcement efforts against these major criminal organizations operating in Arkansas. In order to effectively partner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, we urge a greater commitment of state police resources to counter narcotics efforts.

We support enhanced penalties for those who are found operating a methamphetamine lab and engaged in the distribution of meth.

We support proven effective programs such as "Operation Weed and Seed" which targets high-crime neighborhoods with a combined strategy of prevention and crime control.

We support the continued expansion of Drug Courts in Arkansas which combine effective treatment with accountability and has been proven to reduce recidivism among participants. We urge increased state funding of drug courts.

We recognize that there has been a historic disparity in the sentencing of cocaine offenders. Those convicted of "crack cocaine" offenses have been sentenced to much longer prison sentences than those convicted of "powder cocaine" offenses. This difference has resulted in a greater incarceration rate for black offenders. We applaud the steps of the U.S. Sentencing Commission in reducing this disparity.

We support an effective state parole system that assures adequate supervision including drug screening. We also support an expansion of private sector efforts and community support for the employment of offenders who have fulfilled their sentence. This reintegration of offenders into society is essential to avoid recidivism.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform, 2012-2014, Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Monday, August 13, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Homeland Security And The War On Terror)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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HOMELAND SECURITY AND THE WAR ON TERROR
We believe the global war against terrorism is the transcendent challenge of this generation.

Consequences continue to mount as a result of eliminating many prudent and obviously effective policies toward home land defense and the prevention of terrorism. We support a Homeland security policy that knows our enemy, stops terrorists before they attack and treats terrorism as a martial rather than criminal offense.

We support reducing the strain on our military by increasing the statutory level of our armed forces. We back the increased support of our veterans particularly with high quality government funded medical care.

We grieve for the brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Their memory will live on in our hearts, and their sacrifice will never be forgotten or taken for granted. We recognize and appreciate the sacrifice of their families and our obligation to them.

We oppose the acquisition of nuclear weapons by our adversaries, and support the Reagan philosophy of Peace through strength. This should be achieved by maintaining our country’s nuclear weapons at a level capable of deterring enemy nations.

We are proud of the United States of America and the role our nation plays in spreading freedom around the world. We also realize that once we lose the respect of our adversaries, our liberty is in jeopardy. Therefore, we stand united against abusive dictators and threatening regimes. Furthermore, we believe that the United States should stand with our friends and allies around the world.

We believe that the enemy we face today in Islamic extremism is as menacing as the enemy we faced in communism some years ago. Furthermore, we believe that recklessly downplaying the nature and magnitude of the terrorist threat jeopardizes our liberty. Therefore, we support the War Powers Act and active anti-terrorism efforts by our security agencies and military forces.

We support the war against radical Islamic terrorists and nations that support them. We reaffirm our defense of religious freedom for all peaceful religions because this is the foundation upon which our country was founded.

We support the law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other emergency responders who are on the front line here at home.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014,Homeland Security, The War On Terror

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Family Values)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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FAMILY VALUES
The Republican Party of Arkansas supports the traditional definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment between a man and a woman, and we believe that marriage is the foundational unit of a healthy society.  We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the integrity of this institution should be defended, protected, strengthened, and nurtured at all levels of government.  We urge the repeal of laws that place an unfair tax burden on families, including the marriage penalty tax.  We believe that each individual family has the primary responsibility for its own welfare, including education, moral training, and conduct.

We believe that the traditional family unit provides an ideal environment for rearing children.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Family Values

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Human And Civil Rights)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS
All Arkansans who believe in our goals of rewards equal to effort expended, freedom, justice, and responsive government are urged to join us in promoting that human rights, civil rights, and due process be equally available to all persons without regard to race, ethnic background, age, gender, religion, or physical condition.

1. Bigotry has no place in our state. We denounce those persons, organizations, publications and movements which practice or promote racism, hate actions or religious intolerance.

2. We believe all Americans should have equal opportunity to succeed regardless of race, nationality, origin, gender or creed.

3. The Republican Party of Arkansas believes that unborn children have a fundamental individual right to life, which cannot be infringed. We believe that all innocent human lives should be respected and safeguarded from conception to natural death. We oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, genocide, infanticide, cloning, partial birth and all abortion, and embryonic/fetal stem cell research. The Party affirms its support for a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of human life. We urge the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

4. We support state legislation that will ensure abortion coverage is prohibited from being offered in state-sponsored health care exchanges, federal exchanges, federal-state partnerships and high risk pools created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

5. We commend those who provide alternatives to abortion by meeting the needs of pregnant women and providing adoption services.

6 We fully support the Americans with Disabilities Act and the elimination of barriers in order to ensure equal opportunities for the physically disabled.

7. We believe that every citizen has the opportunity to achieve the American Dream through hard work, dedication, self-determination and that government should not be an obstacle to these but instead support them through education, skills training and business opportunities that foster the resourcefulness of the people to better themselves absent of dependency upon the government and help our next generations envision a future brighter than the challenges of the past. We encourage private groups and faith based organizations to use their own creativity and initiative to further develop these opportunities for all citizens of Arkansas and the United State of America.

8. We strongly support Second Amendment rights. The Republican Party of Arkansas fully recognizes the constitutional right of citizens to keep and bear arms. We recognize that criminals, not guns, commit crimes. We believe that it is the responsibility of all gun owners to safely operate and store their firearms. We believe there should be mandatory sentences for criminals using a gun in the commission of a crime, or any other weapon or threat used to debase, wound, or kill an innocent victim. We call on governments at all levels to strictly enforce existing gun laws.

9. We support a national "right-to-carry" law for persons with concealed permits to travel freely on interstate journeys.

10. We deplore all forms of discrimination based on creed, race, color, national origin, gender, age, and disabling conditions. We oppose the use of race and gender-based preferences in the areas of education and employment, particularly those national, state, and local laws which are inherently discriminatory and use government power to promote racial and gender groups over others, which is anathema to the American experiment in democracy.

11. We support career education and job training for all citizens.

12. The Republican Party of Arkansas believes all Americans have the right to practice their religious faith free of persecution, intimidation and violence. We acknowledge that the church is a God-ordained institution with a sphere of authority separate from that of civil government. Thus, churches, synagogues, and other places of worship should not be regulated, controlled, or taxed by any level of civil government.

13. We recognize the importance of the Declaration of Independence in American history and the founding of our country. References to the Creator must remain in this document, on public buildings and in government sanctioned activities. We further express our belief that the reference to "One Nation Under God" must be retained in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on our monies. We reject the contention that these phrases violate the First Amendment. We believe statements regarding religion and morality made by our Founding Fathers are just as important today as they were more than 200 years ago.

14. Arkansas Republicans support positions that permit references to God in all school functions including athletic activities and graduations.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Human Rights, Civil Rights

Arkansas GOP Praises Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential Choice

Little Rock, Ark. – Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb released the following statement on Governor Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential choice, Congressman Paul Ryan:
“The American people want a leader who understands that massive debt is a drag on job creation and will work to fix the economy and get our spending under control. Paul Ryan knows that jobs and the economy is the number one issue to voters. As America’s Comeback Team, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan have the energy, ideas and knowledge to get America working again and put us on a path to a brighter future.

“After three and a half years of struggling in the Obama economy, the American people will finally have a team that will help restore America as the best place in the world to find a job, start a business, or hire a worker. I applaud Gov. Romney for his decision and our party looks forward to supporting the bold, conservative reform needed to move our country in the right direction.”

For more information, Read: Paul Ryan Is Mitt's Nominee for V.P.

Tags: Arkansas, GOP, RPA, Doyle Webb, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney,

Paul Ryan Is Mitt's Nominee for V.P.

ARRA News Service - Today, Republican Republican candidate Mitt Romney presented Paul Ryan as his nominee for Vice President. Ryan is a noted fiscal and social conservative, a TEA Party favorite, and a seven term U.S. Representative for Wisconsin having been first elected at age 28. If nominated at the RNC 2012, Ryan will be the first member of Generation X to have run for either Vice President or President. Today's announcement was made in Norfork, VA.

Romney said, "His leadership begins with character and value. Paul Ryan works in Washington, but his beliefs remain firmly rooted in Janesville, Wisconsin.

"He combines a profound sense of responsibility from what we owe the next generation and an unbounded optimism in America's future and an understanding of all the wonderful things the American people can do."

Paul Ryan is clearly ready for the challenge.  Read the complete text of both Romney and Ryan's speeches with highlights. Red meat for people that love America.

Also View Videos: Romney and Ryan speeches.

Tags: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Republicans, Norfork, Virginia, speeches

Friday, August 10, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Freedom of Information)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
America is a vibrant and progressive nation thanks to the free and open exchange of information that has been firmly established through more than two centuries of daily practice and the law. We enthusiastically uphold the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that declares, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act of 1967 was among the first achievements of Governor Winthrop Rockefeller's administration. It is a tribute to Governor Rockefeller that for more than three decades this Act has opened the actions of all levels of governmental bodies to public view and scrutiny. We encourage strengthening this Act whenever weaknesses may appear. We also oppose any type of regulation that negatively affects the ability of Arkansans to obtain access to public information.

Republican leadership resulted in passage of our state online checkbook law. We support full implementation of the law by all levels of government and related entities.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Freedom of Information

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tom Cotton endorsed by National Right to Life

Dardanelle, AR - Tom Cotton, Republican nominee in Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District, has been endorsed by the National Right to Life Political Action Committee.
National Right to Life Executive Director David O’Steen stated, "This endorsement reflects Tom's commitment to strengthening a culture of life throughout the nation and in the U.S. Congress.  We look forward to working with Tom to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family – unborn children and medically disabled or dependent persons, whose lives are threatened by abortion or euthanasia."
Tom stated, “I am pro-life and I will always vote that way in Congress.  The health of a society can be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members.  I look forward to working in Congress with the National Right to Life's many grassroots members and leadership to protect the vulnerable."
About the National Right to Life Committee:The National Right to Life Committee, founded in 1968, is the oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization, encompassing a federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters across the country.
About Tom Cotton:
Tom Cotton is the Republican nominee for Congress in the Fourth District of Arkansas.  Tom is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, an Army Ranger, and a Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge recipient.  Tom is a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School and has worked as a business consultant at McKinsey & Co.  A sixth-generation Arkansan, Tom lives in Dardanelle, where he grew up on his family's farm.  Supporters can learn more at www.cottonforcongress.comwww.facebook.com/cottonforcongress, and www.twitter.com/cotton4congress.

Tags: Arkansas, Us Congress, Tom Cotton, AR-04, 4th Congressional District, endorsement, National Right to Life

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Criminal Justice)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
We believe that an effective criminal justice system must act swiftly, impartially and with certainty to punish wrongdoers. We believe the following are necessary to restore public confidence in the criminal justice system so that the citizens of Arkansas can enjoy a free and open society and be secure in their persons and property:

1. We believe that all legal proceedings should be conducted and adjudicated based on the constitutions and laws of the State of Arkansas and the United States alone without reference to any foreign law.

2. We encourage ongoing, age appropriate, juvenile reform programs, including private sector programs for juvenile sex offenders and "boot camps" as a method of reforming first time criminal offenders as an alternative to imprisonment alone. We hold the belief that juveniles and adults be held separately.

3. Victims of crime should have a voice in the criminal judicial system, not just the criminals. We insist that victims' rights are protected as follows:
  • Full restitution for the victim at the expense of the perpetrator
  • Protection from intimidation or violence by the offender
  • Notification of court proceedings
  • Right to remain in court during trials and hearings
  • Right to a voice in the plea bargain and sentencing proceedings
  • Notice of escape or release of offenders.
4. Reform the grand jury system by requiring Circuit Judges to convene a grand jury when 10% of those voting in the last gubernatorial election in a county sign a petition calling for a grand jury.

5. Construction of more prison space as needed and use of economic alternatives such as private prisons.

6. Local and state administration of prisons, with emphasis on both punishment and rehabilitation of prisoners.

7. Uniform and vigorous enforcement of the Domestic Abuse Act.

8. Meaningful reform of the probation system, with accountability and increased monitoring.

9. Reform and possible elimination of the parole process and furloughs for persons convicted of violent crimes.

10. Prohibit the use of public office as a shield from prosecution. We support revocation of pension rights or other benefits of public officials who are convicted of high crimes such as felonies or serious misdemeanors committed while in office.

11. Initiate a monitoring system to ensure and increase accountability in all phases of the judicial process.

12. We strongly believe that the ultimate solution to crime rests in individual responsibility and accountability.

13. The Party maintains that the priority of our prisons must be the protection of society and the punishment of the offender.

14. Prisoners should be required to perform meaningful work in proportion to their skills and abilities.

15. No convicted felon should be given organ transplants at taxpayer's expense.

16. Capital punishment, when properly applied is a deterrent to crime and should be used. It should also be done swiftly after the last appeal.

17. The Party believes an adult who commits forcible rape upon a minor deserves to be imprisoned for life without parole.

18. We support legislation that is directed at protecting children from access to pornography and we strongly urge parental responsibility in this area.

19. The present Sex Offender Residence Law covers level 3 and 4 wherein such individuals cannot live within 2000 feet of a school, day care center or park. We believe the law should be expanded to include all level 2 offenders where victims were 14 years old or younger.

20. We strongly support the effort to amend the state constitution to bring about Legal Reform in the Criminal Justice System.

21. We support judicially ordered work programs to pay Court imposed fines.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Criminal Justice

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Page: 2012 Arkansas State GOP Legislative Candidates

Editor Comment:  "Boot Berryism" now has  a new Page titled AR State GOP Legislative Candidates which identifies all of the Arkansas 2012 Republican candidates for the State legislature (House and Senate). If your specific House or Senate district is not identified, it is because you and no other Republican filed to run in that position. 

The link to the new Page is at the top of the Right Hand column. Links have been added for all but one position.  Presently the links are to the candidates' Secretary of State filing info.  However, I will be updating the links of the opposed Republican candidates to their campaign sites as they are identified.  The new campaign links will be maroon colored. Please leave comments if you learn of a new link not identified.
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Note that for unlisted positions, there are some democrats with opposition from libertarian, independents and green party candidates.  My recommendation for positions with no Republican candidates is to vote for candidates in the following order:
1.  Vote for the libertarian candidate over the Democrat.  The libertarian will be far more conservative and will likely caucus with the Republicans and will work with the Republicans to advance transparency and accountability, controlling and limiting  ,and other conservative positions.
2.  If there is an Independent running against the Democrat, we do not know if the Independent is really an Independent.  However, it would be better to vote for the Independent than to vote for the Democrat Party that absolutely supports the Obama agenda.
3. When a Green party candidate is the only candidate opposing the Democrat candidate, you are faced with the dilemma of two people people supporting  leftest parties.  However the Green Party member may be farther left than the Democrat running for office.  Choose wisely.  And get a conservative to run in two years.

Tags: new page, Boot Berryism, Arkansas Republicans, candidate, 2012 Election, State legislature, House, Senate,

Challenge To Democratic Party of Arkansas: Stop Lying!

“Democrats are satisfied with maintaining the status quo of an unfair tax system that punishes the middle class” - Vasilos

Little Rock, Ark. – Today, the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) issued a challenge to the Democratic Party of Arkansas:
Stop lying about the Republicans’ tax reform plan and come clean to the people of Arkansas about why Democrats think cutting taxes on the middle class is not a good idea.
“The Democratic Party of Arkansas continues to lie in order to distract from the fact they have no plan to lower taxes on the middle class,” said RPA Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “The question voters need answered is why Arkansas Democrats consider someone making $33,000 per year ‘rich,’ and have to pay the state's highest income tax rate?”

Under the current state Democratic Party platform, there is no mention of any income tax relief or plan to protect the middle class from paying the highest tax rate in the state.

“Clearly, the ‘brighter future’ Arkansas Democrats like to speak of includes a massive tax increase on Arkansans through Obamacare and no tax relief for the middle class,” Vasilos continued. “It appears Democrats are satisfied with maintaining the status quo of an unfair tax system that punishes the middle class to pay for their continuous expansion of state government.

“Arkansas Republicans are proud to have a party platform and legislative policy plan that provides bold, conservative reform to enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans without raising taxes.

GOP Tax Plan Calls For Reforming of Income Tax Rates Without Raising Taxes

Rep. Charlie Collins: “The result is a dramatic tax break for low-income workers (60 percent reduction from 2.5 percent to 1 percent), strong relief for middle-class working families (35 percent cut from 7 percent to 4.5 percent), and a modest drop for high-income workers and job creators (14 percent from 7 percent to 6 percent).” (“Collins: Let’s Turn Arkansas Into A Good Jobs Magnet,” The Tolbert Report, 8/2/12)

GOP House Caucus SIMPLE Plan: “Income and Other Tax: Streamlining Arkansas’ tax system. Establishing a true middle class tax rate.” (The SIMPLE Plan, 2012)

“Replace the State Income Tax with a more equitable method of taxation.” (Republican Party of Arkansas Platform, 2012)

Democratic Party Called Out For Lying About Republican Tax Reform Plan

“The Democratic Party of Arkansas put out a second press release today digging in on their charge that Republicans plan to raise your taxes. But this time, after their initial charges turned out to be based on an incorrect report from a local liberal blogger, they changed their allegation to be based on the fact that they just know the Republicans secretly want to raise the sales tax.” (Jason Tolbert, Democrats Accuse Republicans Of Secret Plan To Raise Taxes, The Tolbert Report, 8/7/12)

Arkansas Democrats Call For Brighter Future Despite Support For Obamacare Tax Increase

“Arkansas Democrats are committed to working with Gov. Beebe for a brighter future…Arkansas Democrats are ready to continue moving our state forward towards a brighter future.” (Democratic Party Chairman Will Bond, Talk Business Op-Ed, 2012)

SCOTUS Deems Obamacare Massive Tax Increase

“The Supreme Court handed down its decision on the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ‘Obamacare,’ on Thursday, ruling it constitutional and upholding the most controversial part of the bill, the individual mandate, as valid under taxing authority.” (Alicia M. Cohn, “RNC: Obama broke 'another promise' on individual mandate,” The Hill, 6/29/12)

Obamacare Includes $810 Billion In Taxes

$810 Billion - Amount Of Taxes In Obamacare. (CBO, 3/13/12; JCT, 6/15/12)

Arkansas Democrats Support Obamacare Tax Increase On Middle Class

Democratic Leader Roebuck, Rep. Kathy Webb (D) And Sen. Joyce Elliott (D) Sign Amicus Brief Stating They’re “Working Hard” To Implement Obamacare In Arkansas. “ 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.” (Source: Supreme Court Brief – US Department of Health Human Services v Florida)

Democratic Members Of Legislative Council Vote To Spend $7.7m To Implement Obamacare In Arkansas. “The Legislative Council today endorsed a plan for the state to use a $7.7 million federal grant to fund planning for a federally mandated health insurance exchange in Arkansas…Approval came in a voice vote after about 90 minutes of debate largely along party lines.” (Rob Moritz, “Panel OKs state use of fed grant for health insurance exchange planning,” Arkansas News Bureau >, 4/20/12; Legislative Council Roll Call Record, 4/20/12)

Tags: Arkansas, RPA, Republican party, challenge, Democrats Stop Lying, tax cut,

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Tax Reform And Fiscal Responsibility)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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TAX REFORM AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Tax Reform begins by electing qualified and trustworthy Republican candidates to office at every level of government to ensure effective and responsible management of our resources.

A. National Level
1. We are concerned over the deficit spending prevalent in our federal government; therefore, we support a Balanced Budget Amendment. We call for a complete audit of the Federal Reserve System and an immediate report to the American people. We insist that our elected representatives pursue policies of fiscal restraint, limited government, and lower taxes. This will involve major cuts in federal spending, elimination of many “earmark” projects, elimination of agencies and personnel where duplication is identified and where the purpose of such agency or personnel no longer exists.

2. Restore America's entrepreneurial spirit by eliminating the current corporate income tax. We support a more efficient tax code that helps rather than hurts the economy.

3. Increases in capital gains taxes will have a dramatically negative effect on investment activity and thus reduce economic growth.

4. We support reducing the maximum amount of Social Security Income subject to income tax from 85% to 50%. Social Security should be treated like any other retirement plan on which tax has been paid on the funds invested and therefore only the gain on the investment should be subject to income tax when received by the taxpayer.

5. We support the permanent repeal of death taxes which are double taxation applied against assets remaining after income taxes have originally been paid. Death taxes reduce the ability of families to be self-sufficient, and they encourage retirees to settle in states that have no death taxes. They are destructive to family farms and family-owned businesses.

B. State Level
1. Replace the State Income Tax with a more equitable method of taxation.

2. In the interim and before the personal income tax can be eliminated, we wish to make clear our position that we are opposed to income tax increases and corporate income taxes because they penalize creative economic activity. We support legislation that would eliminate all income reported on IRS form 1099-R (i.e. retirement income) from the state income tax. This would increase the attraction of Arkansas as a “Retiree Friendly” state and retiree spending would result in an increase in sales and property tax revenues making this a revenue neutral change.

3. In the interim, we support the elimination of the Political Contribution Credit which is currently allowed when there is a State Income Tax liability (Ref Tax Form AR1800). It appears unethical, and even immoral, to allow tax money owed the state to be used as a political contribution. The amount may seem insignificant but the principle is proper and righteous stewardship of public funds.

4. In the interim, we support legislation to change the rules on “Deduction for Tuition Paid to Post-Secondary Educational Institutions” (Ref Tax Form AR1075) by treating all tuition paid to 2 year, 4 year, or Technical Institute the same. The current rules allow a larger percentage deduction for tuition paid to a 4 year institution. The proposed change would result in all qualified post-secondary educational tuition being treated the same when itemizing deductions on the personal Arkansas State Income Tax Return.

5. We support the permanent repeal of death taxes.

6. We support legislation that will permanently dedicate all General Improvement Funds to critical state-wide needs such as Arkansas prisons, water resource development, highways, higher education, and other critical needs, thus eliminating most pork barrel projects from state funding.

C. In General
1. We are opposed to all unfunded federal and state mandates, because they cause severe financial distress for state and local governments. We support reform of the state tax code to make the passage of all taxes dependent upon three fourths of the legislators approving such change.

2. We support federal and state tax codes that promote marriage and the family. Believing that marriage is a divinely ordained union between one man and one woman, we do not believe that the state or federal tax code should allow individuals in a same sex union to file a tax return using the filing status of “Married filing Joint”.

3. In conclusion, we call on Congress and the General Assembly to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of each and every action they take, and to use the best possible means to effectively achieve the desired ends on which we all agree: To use the tax code to promote and encourage the creation of jobs, favorable economic climate for business, both small and large, and viable partnerships between government and the private sector which permit the effective transfer of technology and expertise for the general good. We support privatization of government services provided control of the activity rests with the government agency, and that government agencies are free to bid. Arkansas is a beautiful state that has many fine attractions to bring visitors to our state. As Republicans we support the expansion of the tourism industry and efforts to promote tourism in our state.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Tax Reform, Fiscal Responsibility

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Election Reform)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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ELECTION REFORM
Goal: To promote awareness and understanding of Arkansas election laws, prevent ballot fraud, and conduct fair and honest elections.
To that end, the following are submitted:
1. Election laws must be vigorously enforced. Failure to comply must be reported to the appropriate authorities immediately.

2. In the spirit of a positive approach to ballot security, we support efforts to provide assistance to all county election commissioners for the purpose of training their workers to efficiently perform their duties and to recognize any inconsistencies or irregularities in the election process.

3. We support measures that ensure public officials and voters adhere to election laws. This will deter voter fraud, voter impersonation, and multiple voting by the same person. Presentation of a government issued photo I. D. with current address should also be required at polling places.

4. We reaffirm the role of the county election commissioners in the conduct of all elections including early voting. The early voting process should be handled similar to a normal polling place on Election Day, including bi-partisan staffing and training by a state certified poll worker trainer.

5. We strongly urge all Republican county chairmen or the selected designee on the election commission, to familiarize themselves with Arkansas election laws and the American Disabilities Act in order to implement them in every election.

6. We support the moving of Early Voting to a neutral location away from county premises staffed by trained poll workers and administered by the county election commissioners.

7. We support the current term limits law as initiated by the people.
8. We oppose the use of taxpayer funds to influence any elections including initiative and referendum elections.

9. We support the Electoral College process as it presently exists and oppose modifications that would alter or diminish its role in electing the President.

10. We support absentee ballot procedures being reformed to eliminate the abuse of absentee ballots by those who could actually vote in person.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Election Reform

Monday, August 6, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Education)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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EDUCATION
Article 14 of the Arkansas Constitution requires that “an adequate and efficient system of free public schools shall ever be preserved.” We recognize that although the federal and state governments have spent more and more tax dollars in the public education system, the system often leaves students unprepared to join the work force or attend institutions of higher learning.

We believe that all Arkansas children deserve a quality education and that learning should be delivered effectively and efficiently. Recognizing that for a republic to work it must have educated citizens, we offer the following statements:

1. Parents have the primary right and responsibility for the education of their children. Our education system should support and encourage that parental role. School choice made possible by scholarships or other funding sources should be implemented across the State. Educational programs should promote a range of choice, to include home schooling, charter schools, private schooling, virtual schools, distance learning programs, and public school choice.

2. School administration should be conducted in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The primary emphasis of the education budget should be directed to the classroom.

3. We support the Republican efforts to enhance recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers, and to increase teacher salaries based on performance.

4. The Republican Party of Arkansas should be the vanguard of a concerted effort between parents, teachers, administrators, local school boards, the Arkansas General Assembly, and other interested parties to support teachers in their efforts to control their classroom environment through the establishment of more stringent disciplinary measures and the commitment to enforce those measures. We support implementation of reforms that have made a proven difference in actual operations of schools.

5. School mandates should come from the parents, communities, local school boards, and state legislatures, not from the federal government. Legislation and funding should support these goals and order of priority.

6. All students should receive a high-quality curriculum to include English, mathematics, science, geography, history, civics, and computer science—along with physical exercise and nutritional training . We support learn-and-earn programs which encourage students to earn income as they prepare for the work force while receiving valuable experience.

7. Parental choice, accountability and evaluation of student performance are the keys to reform in education. Common sense values and skills are the core of good education.

8. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. We, therefore, support the right of the individual to pray in all public schools.

9. We support Alternative Certification Programs to increase the number of qualified and caring teachers in our schools.

10. Sufficient resources should be available to assist low income students in their quest for higher education. Federal and State aid should be limited to legal residents of the State of Arkansas. We reject the use of public educational facilities and personnel to indoctrinate students in sexual matters of any kind. We believe that the choices available to young people in sexual matters are the proper realm of parents and their chosen faiths. We do not approve of the use of tax dollars in the advancement of any experimental, social, or sexual agenda which has not been tested and proven by centuries of collective wisdom to advance the causes of public health, civil order and the well-being of children.

11. We promote both opportunity and responsibility for all. We must strive to improve the quality and accessibility of literacy education for adults at every stage of life.

12. Teachers' time devoted to non-teaching duties during the academic day should be reduced, so that more time is available for individual student attention. We encourage more volunteerism such as mentoring programs, senior citizen tutors, parental involvement, and business partnerships within the public schools.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Education

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2012-2014 (Agriculture And Rural Development)

The delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas 2012 State Convention approved its new 2012-2014 Platform. In summary, this is what the RPA is "about!" Individual sections / topics of the platform will be presented over the the next two weeks in individual posts so that readers may read, digest and comment on each section.
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AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Arkansas is a leader in agricultural production and our producers are excellent stewards of the land on which that production takes place with respect to environmental quality and conservation. Our farmers are major producers of rice, cotton, soybeans, poultry, beef and many other staple products. Support of agriculture helps to insure a safe, wholesome and plentiful food supply. Believing this, we support:

1. Farm legislation that provides an adequate safety net for agricultural producers, promotes the unencumbered free trade of U.S. farm products in the global marketplace, and provides incentives for producers to implement progressive conservation practices on environmentally sensitive lands.

2. The reauthorization of the Farm Bill to provide an adequate safety net for Arkansas' farmers.

3. Quality of life enhancements for rural residents. Arkansas has a large rural population, many of whom are living in poverty. Education, healthcare, water treatment, and community facilities are often unavailable to people in these areas thus constraining their enjoyment of an adequate quality of life. We support efforts to ensure a healthy and vibrant rural America where local communities and residents have opportunities and the human and financial tools to reach their goals.

4. Protection of private property owners' rights. The Republican Party of Arkansas believes that protection of private property rights is paramount. In light of the United State's Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London, the Republican Party of Arkansas calls on the Arkansas General Assembly to re-define the definition of "public use" to ensure that private property cannot be seized by government entities for private development.

5. Legislation providing a comprehensive Entry-Exit system of documentation for needed agricultural workers.

6. Efforts to educate the American public regarding specifics of the Farm Bill which, in addition to supporting American agriculture, predominately includes other programs such as food stamps, school programs, WIC, etc.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Platform 2012-2014, Agriculture, Rural Development

Arkansas Trout Population in Danger

Record Heat in Arkansas and lack of Rain are
Threatening Trout Population in Arkansas River
s.

Arkansas State Sen Missy Thomas Irvin: On the morning of July 30, local trout guides informed me of a significant threat to the trout population of the Little Red River. The high air temperatures and low water releases have resulted in water temperatures above 70 degrees below Lobo Landing and upwards of 80 degrees at Ramsey Access which cause a major thread to not only the trout population but the local economy ofCleburneCountyand surrounding areas.

“We observed water temperatures above 75 degrees below Mossy SRA (Special Regulation Area) and upward of 80 degrees at Ramsey access. We will likely see more death of trout over the next weeks or months due to stress related bacterial infections, parasites, and deteriorated body condition” says Paul Port, Trout Management Biologist.

After consulting Congressman Rick Crawford’s office we made a joint effort to communicate with the SWPA the urgency of the matter. SWPA has since released the below response:

SWPA is increasing the minimum flow by 40 percent for the next week. They will evaluate the results at the end of the week to see if the extra release of water has a positive impact on reducing the water temperature down the river.

Congressman Crawford and myself will continue to monitor this situation and work with the COE and SWPA, as we understand that additional releases may be needed in the future to maintain a water temperature that is viable for the Trout population.

It is an honor to represent my district and advocate for our local businesses and our communities. Trout fishing is a thriving industry that contributes greatly to our economy.

Tags: Arkansas, Trout, Record Heat, Limited Rain