Friday, January 31, 2014

Tim Griffin: Why I Put My Political Career on 'Operational Pause'

Rep. Tim Griffin: "It’s up to each member, and the voters, to
 decide what an appropriate length of service is."

by Rep. Tim Griffin, Roll Call: I love serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, and I have especially enjoyed my time on the Ways and Means Committee. Serving the people of Arkansas’ 2nd District is the honor of a lifetime, and I’m grateful for the opportunity I have been given by my fellow Arkansans.

I grew up when “Schoolhouse Rock” taught millions of American kids how a bill becomes a law. During my childhood, my father, a Southern Baptist minister, and my mother, a teacher, made sure I took educational trips to cities such as Washington, D.C., Williamsburg, Va., Philadelphia and Boston to learn about America’s history. I trace my interest in politics and government back to those days, and I think of them often as I climb the steps and walk the halls of the Capitol.

Folks often ask me what has surprised me the most about serving in Congress. To be honest, there have been very few surprises. With 10 years of experience in Washington as a staff member on Capitol Hill and beyond, I generally understood what the job entailed and what the pressures were like.

The decision not to seek re-election was an agonizing one for my wife and me, but we know it’s the right one. I’ve talked with several former members who made similar choices, and they all said the same thing: I will not regret having more time with my young family.

When I was elected in 2010, my daughter was 3 years old and my son was only a few months old. As I settled into the weekly routine of flying back and forth to Washington, I missed my wife and children, but my time away didn’t fully register with our kids.

That’s changed as they’ve grown older — fast. Now, Mary Katherine, my daughter, knows when I’m not around to help with homework. She knows when I’m not there for tennis, and John, my son, knows when I’m not there for soccer. Thankfully, my wonderful wife, Elizabeth, continues to keep things together when I’m gone.

Still, every time I walk out the door now, even if I’m just getting the newspaper, John asks me, “Dad, are you coming back?”

I will always have to travel, sometimes extensively. But right now, I need a little more say in which days I miss and which days I don’t. I’ve missed all three of John’s birthdays and it looks like I’ll miss his fourth, but I’m going to be there for No. 5. Many members have children who are in high school or married, or who have moved out of the house; that’s a completely different situation. Other members who have young children may be able to handle their parenting duties differently. It’s a very personal decision each family must make on its own.

With my family in Arkansas, Washington was never going to be a home, so I chose to sleep in my office. It’s great, and as a bonus, I don’t have to worry about a car or a commute. I can work in my office until late at night, go to bed and when I wake up, I’m already at work. Hitting the congressional gym provides a great opportunity to build friendships. Even if I stayed in Congress for a decade, I would still sleep in my office every night.

From the beginning, I’ve tried to model my service after the Founding Fathers’ ideal of the citizen legislator in terms of accessibility and tenure: I routinely give my cellphone number to constituents, and I always knew that I would serve in the House for years, not decades. My decision to hit the pause button on my time in Congress is also consistent with my 2010 pledge to serve no more than six terms in the House.

Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1785 that members of Congress “are of the people, and return again to mix with the people, having no more durable preeminence than the different grains of sand in an hourglass.” George Mason, a Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention, agreed, saying in 1788: “Nothing is so essential to the preservation of a republican government as a periodical rotation. Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate their burdens.”

I don’t presume to know how often this “periodical rotation” should take place for everyone serving in Congress; that is up to each member — and the voters — to decide for themselves. All other factors aside, if a representative believes he or she is the best candidate to serve the district, they should endeavor to serve.

After all, it was the various “burdens” Mason referred to, and my worry about what kind of future my children faced, that motivated me to go to Washington in the first place. When President George W. Bush left office in 2009, our national debt totaled $10.6 trillion — an astonishing, unacceptable amount after an increase of $4.9 trillion in eight years. President Barack Obama called it “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic,” but in the five years since, he’s swelled the national debt to a shameful $17.3 trillion. At the end of his two terms as president, he could very well double it to $21 trillion.

Our unsustainable fiscal trajectory is in large part attributable, of course, to autopilot, mandatory spending: Medicare, Social Security and an expanding Medicaid will not survive without reform. But for the three years I’ve had a vote, Democrats in the White House and the Senate have blocked any attempt to solve Washington’s entitlement spending and debt addiction. Am I frustrated and disappointed? You bet.

I’m open to working with Obama, but I’m disappointed that he is not willing to get serious and address the structural fiscal issues everyone knows exist. I don’t expect everyone to agree on exactly how to fix these problems, but we must all agree that the status quo is unacceptable. I remain hopeful the president will work with us to tackle these challenges before I leave Congress and before the next generation is forced to. But I am still waiting.

Despite what you may hear elsewhere, Republicans in the House have made historic progress getting discretionary spending under control. Under Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it increased to an all-time high. Since Republicans won control of the House in 2010, we have reduced discretionary spending by $165 billion. Now, under the Paul D. Ryan-Patty Murray agreement in fiscal 2014, discretionary spending — which makes up approximately 32 percent of the federal budget — will be $53 billion less than it was under Bush in fiscal 2008, adjusted for inflation. It will also be $27 billion less than the amount Ryan, the House Budget chairman, proposed in his original budget and $46 billion less than the base discretionary level set by the 2011 Budget Control Act. That’s something to tell your kids about.

There is still much that Congress can accomplish this year, and as I serve the remainder of my term, I am working just as hard as I did on my first day in office. I’m hopeful both parties can agree to a comprehensive overhaul of our bloated, needlessly complicated tax code. Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp continues to demonstrate bold leadership on the committee, and I’m excited about the tax reform legislation we are finalizing. I’ll continue fighting for a simpler, fairer and flatter tax system that broadens the base, encourages growth and helps create jobs. It’s a no-brainer, and if we want to compete, we must.

I have yet to decide what I’ll do professionally when I return to private life. I do know that I will continue serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, which I joined 18 years ago this June. And I will still be heavily involved in the political process, just as I was in the decade before I filed as a candidate.

Down the road, when my children are a little older and my wife and I believe it’s right for our family, I fully intend to seek public office again — this is simply “operational pause,” as we say in the Army.

For now, I’m enjoying retracing my old steps through America’s historical sites with my children, hopefully fostering in them the same love for our country and its founding principles that my parents developed in me. From the smiles I saw on my children’s faces in Williamsburg, Va., as we left Chowning’s Tavern and watched the firing of the cannon at the Magazine, we’re off to a great start.
-----------------------
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR District 2) is retiring. He is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and is currently serving in his 17th year as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Tags: Tim Griffin, political career,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Senator Pryor To Republicans: You Fix The Problems I Created With Obamacare

 Instead of taking ownership for his vote for Obamacare, Senator Pryor again passes the buck!
Little Rock, Arkansas — In a Politico article titled "2014 Dems Plot Obamacare Strategy," U.S. Senator Mark Pryor made his strategy very clear: Avoid taking any responsibility for his leadership role in crafting Obamacare or for his 60th vote to pass it, and instead isssue calls for Republicans to fix the mess he created. 
In a stunning display of arrogance, Senator Pryor told Politico's Manu Raju: “I hate to say it, but it’s a little bit of ‘put your money where your mouth is,’” Pryor said of Republicans. “You’re identifying all these things, let’s go ahead and try to fix them.”
U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton said: "Senator Pryor has no intention of ever fixing Obamacare, the law he calls 'an amazing success.' I've been part of numerous bipartisan efforts to roll back the most damaging parts of Obamacare, but Senator Pryor continues to stand in lockstep with President Obama and Harry Reid in blocking any changes to this disastrous Obamacare law."
Even after President Obama apologized for misleading millions of Americans into believing they could keep their health insurance if they liked it, Pryor admitted in an interview to Politico that he "hadn't been pressing for a vote" on legislation to allow Americans to keep their current healthcare plans.
After a Little Rock small business announced they could be forced to drop health coverage for employees because of the HIT tax in Obamacare, Senator Pryor dodged a question from KATV about whether he favored removing the tax.
Despite the fact that the President unilaterally granted a one-year waiver of Obamacare's mandate to Big Business and labor unions, Senator Pryor told MSNBC he'd refuse to support a similar delay for hardworking Arkansans. 
All of this should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with Pryor's support for the healthcare law. In 2009, Politico quoted Harry Reid giving credit to Senator Pryor and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for leading the effort to get a deal done on Obamacare in the Senate. 

Tags: Sen. Mark Pryor, created problems, Obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

ABC Profiles Arkansas Senate Race

Tom Cotton for U.S. Senate:

Tags: ABC, profiles, Arkansas, Senate, Election 2014, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Griffin Urges House Republican Leaders to Establish Select Committee to Investigate Benghazi Terrorist Attack

 Says “the families and loved ones of the victims deserve justice, the Administration must be held accountable, and the American people deserve answers”

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) announced today that he has sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy urging them to support the establishment of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.  It also requests that House leaders “pursue Congressional authorization to allow our military to utilize all available options to bring those who planned and carried out this tragic attack to justice.”

“It has been over a year since the attack; the families and loved ones of the victims deserve justice, the Administration must be held accountable, and the American people deserve answers,” Rep. Griffin’s letter states. “I urge you to adhere to calls from Members of Congress and the American people to address these important issues.”

Rep. Griffin is one of 180 cosponsors of Rep. Frank Wolf’s (VA-10) H.Res. 36, which would establish a select committee that would include the chairmen and ranking members of the current five committees investigating the attack and include seven additional members of Congress.

Gregory Hicks, who was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli at the time of the attack, wrote in The Wall Street Journal on January 23, 2014:

When I arrived in Tripoli on July 31, [2012,] we had over 30 security personnel, from the State Department and the U.S. military, assigned to protect the diplomatic mission to Libya. All were under the ambassador's authority. On Sept. 11 [the day of the attack], we had only nine diplomatic security agents under Chris's authority to protect our diplomatic personnel in Tripoli and Benghazi.

To sum up: Chris Stevens was not responsible for the reduction in security personnel. His requests for additional security were denied or ignored. Officials at the State and Defense Departments in Washington made the decisions that resulted in reduced security.


On January 27, 2014, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “My biggest, you know, regret is what happened in Benghazi.”

Rep Griffin’s letter also expresses concerns about Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey’s recent testimony that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which the Obama Administration has interpreted as authorizing the military to target Al Qaeda and associated forces, does not provide the military with the authority to track down and kill those terrorists responsible for the attack in Benghazi.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told The Hill earlier this month that “groups loosely associated with al Qaeda were” involved in the attack.

On October 16, 2012, President Obama promised to “find out who did this and we're going to hunt them down, because one of the things that I've said throughout my presidency is when folks mess with Americans, we go after them.”

But as Stephen Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn recently noted in The Weekly Standard, “The U.S. government has neither captured nor killed a single participant in those attacks[.]”

The full text of Rep. Griffin’s letter [PDF] is below:

January 28, 2014

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515-0001

The Honorable Eric Cantor
Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H-329 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515-0001

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Majority Whip
U.S. House of Representatives
H-107 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515-0001

Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Majority Whip McCarthy:

I write to express my continuing support for establishing a select committee to provide a full and thorough investigation of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans.  Further, I urge you to pursue Congressional authorization to allow our military to utilize all available options to bring those who planned and carried out this tragic attack to justice. 

Recently, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi could have been prevented.  The SSCI report notes that the State Department should have recognized the need to increase security at the U.S. Consulate; however, operations continued with minimal improvements in security, limiting the protection of the personnel within the Consulate.  Further, the report notes in the additional views section authored by a number of Republican Senators on the Committee that questions remain unanswered as a direct result of the Administration’s failure to provide the Committee with access to necessary documents and witnesses.  It has been over a year since the attack; the families and loved ones of the victims deserve justice, the Administration must be held accountable, and the American people deserve answers. 

This Congress, as with last Congress, Rep. Frank Wolf introduced a House Resolution to establish a select committee to investigate and report on the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.  This resolution has received 180 cosponsors supporting the creation of such a committee, yet the House has not had the opportunity to vote on this essential resolution.  I urge you to make establishing this select committee a priority and request that you bring this resolution to the House floor for a full vote as soon as possible. 

Also, I am deeply troubled by comments made by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey in a recently released transcript from an October 10, 2013 House Armed Services Committee (HASC) hearing.  In his testimony, General Dempsey stated that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which the Administration has interpreted as authorizing the military to target Al Qaeda and associated forces, does not provide the military with the authority to track down and kill those terrorists responsible for the attack.  According to statements made by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on January 8, 2014, the Administration believes that the attackers’ association with “core Al Qaeda” has not yet been proven; however, the SSCI report states that “Individuals affiliated with terrorist groups, including AQIM [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb], Ansar al Sharia, AQAP [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula], and the Mohammad Jamal Network, participated in the September 11, 2012, attacks.”  I urge you to consider additional legislation, if necessary, to ensure that Congressional authorization is provided for our military to pursue all possible options to bring these terrorists to justice.

These are two essential tasks that Congress must pursue over the next year, and I urge you to adhere to calls from Members of Congress and the American people to address these important issues.

Sincerely,
Tim Griffin

Tags: House Republican leaders, select committee, investigate, Benghazi, terrorism To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Save Arkansas Term Limits On Fox News Channel, Huckabee Show Feb 2, 2014

by Philip Blumel,President, U.S. Term Limits: Tim Jacob, Chairman of Arkansas Term Limits, will be appearing on Fox News Channel's Mike Huckabee Show this weekend to discuss the General Assembly's sneaky anti-term limits amendment. The show airs Saturday at 7 PM. If you miss the first showing, it re-airs on Sunday at 7 PM and 10 PM.

This is an amazing opportunity for Arkansas Term Limits to get national news exposure in its drive to expose the 16-year anti-term limits amendment as a scam against the voters. Please ask your friends and family to tune in.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee is a term limits supporter himself, having supported the 1992 and 2004 efforts by Arkansas citizens' to curtail the influence of career politicians in their state.

Tags: Tim Jacob, Save Arkansas Term Limits, Fox News, Huckabee Show To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

GOP Chairman Webb Thanks Federal Delegation for Standing for Life

Calls on Senator Pryor to Co-Sponsor Bill to Ban Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

 Little Rock, AR — Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb issued the following statement Wednesday morning thanking Congressmen Crawford, Griffin, Womack, and Cotton, along with Senator John Boozman, for their support of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would permanently ban taxpayer dollars from being used to perform abortions.

“The Republican Party is the only party that can be counted on to defend the inalienable right to life that is granted to us by God, enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, and protected by our U.S. Constitution,” said Webb. “Today, we thank Congressmen Crawford, Griffin, Womack, and Cotton for voting in the House to ensure that no taxpayer funding will ever be used to perform abortions.”

Senator John Boozman is a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, but Senator Mark Pryor is not. Chairman Webb said that Senator Pryor should listen to the voices of his constituents on this issue:

“Arkansans are overwhelmingly pro-life, yet Senator Pryor isn’t representing their views in the U.S. Senate. We hope he will become a co-sponsor of this legislation like Senator Boozman to ensure that taxpayer dollars are never used to fund abortion.” Senator Pryor Is Not A Co-Sponsor Of The No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. (S. 946, Congress.gov, Accessed 1/29/14)
Tags: Arkansas, Republicans, Pro-Life To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

French Hill Reacts to President's State of the Union Address

  Little Rock, Ark.-- Little Rock businessman and Republican candidate for
the U.S. House of Representatives (AR-2), French Hill, issued the following statement in reaction to President Obama's State of the Union address last night:

"Our economy is frozen, wages are flat, Obamacare is not working, and Americans have little faith in Washington.  Five years later, President Obama refuses to accept responsibility for his misguided leadership.  In addition, you do not solve partisan gridlock by steamrolling over Congress and the Constitution with new executive orders.  In short, I am disappointed with the president's desire to double-down on broken policies, promises, and politics.

"In Congress, I'll work to repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms that improve access and lower health care costs for all Arkansans. I'll support policies that help Arkansas's entrepreneurs start and grow their own businesses and encourage families to save and invest. And I'll demand greater accountability at every level of the federal government and vote to cut spending and balance the budget."


Tags: French Hill, 2014 Candidate, US Rep, Dist 2, President Obamm State of the union To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Phil Grace Announces Candidacy for State Senate, District 21

Phil Grace
 Heber Springs, AR - Phil Grace officially launched his campaign for State Senate today. He will be seeking the Republican nomination for Senate District 18 which covers parts of the following counties: Baxter, Cleburne, Faulkner, Fulton, Marion, Searcy, Stone, White, and Van Buren. Phil is a Conservative Republican with an experienced political history in Cleburne County, the largest populous in SD18.

“ I’ve been spending time over the last few months in different parts of Senate District 18 and I have repeatedly heard that the people want an alternative candidate on the ballot this year. My opponent’s record of voting for the largest government expansion in Arkansas’ history, known as the Private Option, is troubling to many of the Republican voters in SD18. It’s especially concerning since she was originally opposed to the private option, but at the last minute added her name as a co-sponsor and voted for it. I’m firmly opposed to Obamacare in Arkansas and legislation that helps implement any part of it, such as medicaid expansion under the Private Option.” said Grace “ Right now Washington is broken and trillions of dollars in debt. We can’t count on DC to keep promises for any funding and Arkansas certainly can’t foot the bill. The only way to deal with DC’s issues, is for States to band together and push back.“ he remarked.

Grace is a Conservative and some of his positions on the issues are as follows:
• Opposed to any form of Obamacare implementation
• 100% Pro-Life
• Strongly believes in the 2nd amendment right to bear arms
• State authority (pushing back against an out of control federal government)
• Pro-Traditional marriage
• Strongly believes in personal freedom and personal responsibility
• Limited Government
• Tax reform that lowers the tax burden on families and small businesses

Phil Grace if a former Justice of The Peace in Cleburne County and is employed as the Director of Technology at the Heber Springs School District. Mr. Grace is a licensed Arkansas teacher in the area of computer engineering. His wife April is a 7th Grade science teacher at the Heber Springs Middle School. He and his wife, have been married for 10 yrs and have a son named Alexander. The Grace family are active members of First Assembly of God in Heber Springs where they have attended since 2003. Mr. Grace has served previously as President of the Arkansas Society for Technology in Education. He is a member of the NRA, Gideon’s international, and a contributor to the Arkansas Right to Life.

More information about the campaign can be found at www.philgrace.us and on FaceBook at Phil Grace for State Senate


Tags: Phil Grace, Candidate, Arkansas, State Senate. District 21 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cotton: Did you hear what President Obama just said?

 Rep. Tom Cotton: Did you see what President Obama said in his State of the Union address?

If you didn’t, you only missed him promising to do more of the same (i.e., more spending and more government).

I took a minute to record the following quick response to the President’s address.
If you’re like me and won’t forget the false promises made about Obamacare by President Obama and his allies like Senator Mark Pryor, stand with me and fight. Thank you once again for your support.

Tags: Rep, Tom Cotton, District 4, running for U.S. Senate. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Responds to State of the Union

 WASHINGTON U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
“President Obama’s policies have resulted in 5 million Americans losing their health insurance under Obamacare, a stalled economic recovery, high unemployment, and increased income inequality. These are problems he created. We need to ask ourselves, are we better off today?

“The President continues to ignore the results and consequences of the failed policies of his presidency. While he is calling for a ‘year of action,’ his intention is clear – to circumvent Congress. Pursuing executive actions to push through his agenda is a troubling trend. The American people sent their elected officials to Washington to represent their needs and the President should not ignore their voices.

 “Our country is made up of a resilient workforce that wants a hand-up, not a hand-out. We need to promote policies that will strengthen our economy, encourage innovation and endorse methods to help our businesses expand and grow in order to put hardworking Americans back to work. Congress is ready to act. Awaiting action on Senate Majority Leader Reid's desk are dozens of job-creating, commonsense bills.

“As Arkansas families are finding themselves cash-strapped because of increasing regulations including the compliance with higher premiums, deductibles and canceled health care coverage under Obamacare, the President continues to pick winners and losers and decides who has to follow the law. Congress is ready to act to institute real reforms and that begins with dismantling the Affordable Care Act and creating a health care system that is accessible, fair, affordable and flexible.

“I’m ready to act on the behalf of all Arkansans, and all Americans, to institute real reforms to ensure a social safety net for those most in need, create opportunities for workers, address our ever-growing debt, and restore our standing in the world. I call on the President to start solving these problems instead of creating new ones.”

Tags: U.S Senator, John Boozman, SOTU, State of the Union, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Griffin: Obamacare Hurts the Most Vulnerable Workers

 

WASHINGTON – At today’s Ways and Means Committee hearing on Obamacare’s “30-hour rule,” Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) questioned Lanhee Chen, Ph.D., about Obamacare’s arbitrary definition of a full-time employee.

The employer mandate in President Obama’s health care law defines full-time employment as 30 hours per week, which has caused many employers to reduce workers’ hours to less than 30 per week, impacting their health insurance status and their wages.

Rep. Griffin listed specific examples of Arkansans harmed by Obamacare in this way, including at Arkansas State University, the Area Agency on Aging and Pulaski Technical College.

According to a Hoover Institution study, 2.6 million Americans making under $30,000 are at risk of having their hours and wages cut as a result of ObamaCare’s 30-hour rule. Of that:
  • 60 percent are between the ages of 19 and 34 – making the 30-hour rule particularly damaging for younger American workers.
  • 90 percent do not have a college degree.
  • 63 percent are women.
  • Over 600,000 workers in the retail trade, 225,000 workers in the education industry, and 589,000 workers in restaurants, are at risk of having their hours and wages cut.

Rep. Griffin is a cosponsor of Rep. Todd Young’s (IN-09) Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575), which would repeal Obamacare’s 30-hour definition of “full-time employment” and restore the traditional 40-hour definition.

HEARING TRANSCRIPT EXCERPTS:

GRIFFIN: Where did the 30-hour number come from?

CHEN: There are different explanations. Some are that it was a product of legislative compromise. Some might say it was pulled out of a hat. But it certainly doesn’t make sense to me from where I’m sitting here.

GRIFFIN: Well in Arkansas we try to apply a little common sense. I don’t know anywhere where 30 hours is full time. If you just want to have some kind of a requirement that’s one thing, but to call 30 hours is full time—in France it’s not even full time. In France it’s 35 hours and its moving toward a 40. So that’s on its face laughable.

When I look at the folks who have been impacted—let me tell you the sad part. And this often happens here. Good intentions by people on both sides of the aisle make their way into legislation which fails. Let me give you an example.

At Arkansas State University—the alma mater of our Democratic Governor—they had to cut folks back to a maximum of 28 hours per week. Now I assume that those are people that the people who wrote this law wanted to make sure had insurance. They wanted to give them insurance. That’s the goal. What did they get? No insurance and less play! Genius! That’s a genius federal program right there.

Let me read you another one. Area Agency on Aging of Western Arkansas. They did the same thing, went down to 28 hours a week. These people already had insurance because prior to the passage of Obamacare they had been taking part in a program offered with the state of Arkansas called Arkansas Health Networks. So these people now lose their health insurance and get paid less. Just a great deal for them, right?< Asian American hotel owners and operators have complained to me about this. Numerous stories from back home—Pulaski Technical College and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t doubt the well-intentioned actions of a lot of people, but Washington often gets it wrong. When I look at who [Obamacare] hurts, they’re the people that folks up here in Washington talk about wanting to help. The vulnerable….Lower income folks, vulnerable folks, seniors, it hurts jobs, school districts, colleges, small businesses. If I were to adopt the Democrat language, I would probably say that the 30-hour rule is a weapon in the war on women, the war on lower income folks, the war on the vulnerable, the war on seniors, the war on job creation, the war on school districts, the war on colleges and small businesses—sounds ludicrous doesn’t it? Well that’s the type of language that’s used here. And let me tell you, the people that say they want to help those folks, they are hurting them. I have pages and pages and pages of letters [from] people talking about the impact of this [Obamacare]….I hear so many voices from back home and it’s no consolation to them that the jobs that they’re losing in the private sector are being replaced by the county whatever expanding government jobs which aren’t sustainable and are with borrowed money anyway. I mean, this is ridiculous.”

The President has basically recognized a lot of these problems. The number one person in terms of repealing Obamacare has been President Obama. He does it unilaterally all the time. He doesn’t like it when we do it; maybe we can convince him to take a look at this [H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act].


Tags: Tim Griffin, Obamacare, hurts, most vulnerable workers,NSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Arkansas House Delegation Votes to End Taxpayer Funding for Abortion

 Arkansas House Delegation Votes to End Taxpayer Funding for Abortion
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Steve Womack (AR-3), Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), and Tom Cotton (AR-4) today joined a bipartisan group of 227 House colleagues to pass H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. This legislation enacts a permanent ban on the use of all federal dollars to fund abortions and eliminates tax credits and subsidies for Obamacare health plans that include elective abortion coverage.

“People who morally object to abortion shouldn't have to finance it,"
said Womack.  “I am proud to have supported this legislation as a cosponsor and with my vote.”

“I’m happy to join my colleagues in passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.  Taxpayers need to know the federal government won’t spend hard-earned money supporting the abortion of unborn children,” said Crawford.  “For the past 41 years, Roe v. Wade has proven a blight on our country.  When presented with the opportunity, we must always choose life.”

“Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund the killing of unborn babies, so I was proud to cosponsor this pro-life bill, which makes permanent several policies that have typically been passed in a piecemeal fashion year after year,” said Griffin.

“This bill is an important step toward restoring a culture of life in our country,” said Cotton.  “Unborn children are entitled to the God-given right to life and liberty enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed in our Constitution, and federal tax dollars should not be used to support abortion in any capacity.”

Tags: U.S. House, H.R. 7, Arkansas, U.S. House, delegation  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Arkansas GOP Anticipates Excuses Tonight in the President’s State of the Union Address

 President Obama and Mark Pryor promised Arkansans that under their watch, jobs would be created, health care would be more affordable, and the economy would strengthen. It’s no secret that these promises haven’t quiet panned out. Obama and Pryor’s agenda has failed Arkansans and tonight, in the President’s State of the Union address, we’ll hear more excuses.

But excuses and empty rhetoric won’t grow the economy, protect health care freedoms or create jobs. Too many families and individuals are left working paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to make ends meet. Rather than deliver on any of the promises made, Obama and Pryor have forced a partisan, ideological agenda on Arkansas: from their stimulus that failed to jump start the economy, and skyrocketing taxes to fund wasteful government spending, to ObamaCare which jeopardizes Americans' current insurance and doctors.

The President and Democrats have lauded the economy for years, but they ignore many of the facts below. Over the last five years, President Obama and Mark Pryor have shown Arkansans time and again that they lack the solutions to help grow our economy. Arkansans – and all Americans – deserve better from their elected officials in Washington.

There Are 10.4 Million Unemployed Americans. (BLS Website, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

There Are 3.9 Million Americans Who Have Been Unemployed For 27 Weeks Or Longer. (BLS Website, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

The Average Number Of Weeks An American Spends Unemployed Has Nearly Doubled Under Obama – From 19.8 Weeks In January 2009 To 37.1 In December 2013. (BLS, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

25.8 Percent Of Unemployed Americans Have Been Unemployed For A Year Or More – Up From 11 Percent When Obama Took Office In 2009. (BLS, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

There Are 917,000 Discouraged Workers In The U.S. Who, Despite Wanting A Job, Are Not Currently Looking For Work Because They Believe No Jobs Are Available For Them. (BLS Website, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)
  • There Were 734,000 Discouraged Workers When Obama Took Office In January 2009. (BLS Website, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)
The Labor Force Participation Rate Is 62.8 Percent – Down From 65.7 Percent When President Obama Took Office In 2009. (BLS Website, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

There Are 7.8 Million Americans Who Are Currently Working Part-Time Because They Can’t Find Full-Time Employment. (BLS Website, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

There Are Three Times More Unemployed Americans Than There are Jobs Available. ( PolitiFact, 1/7/14)

721,000 Construction Jobs Have Been Lost Since Obama Took Office. (BLS Website, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

528,000 Manufacturing Jobs Have Been Lost Since Obama Took Office. (BLS Website, www.data.bls.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

The Median Household Income Has Declined By $3,795 Since Obama Took Office. (Gordon Green and John Coder, “Household Income Trends Series: December 2013,” Sentier Research, 12/31/13)
  • Median Household Income Has Fallen For Five Consecutive Years. ( The Huffington Post , 9/17/13)
The Income Gap Has Risen More Under President Obama Than It Did Under Bush And Clinton. ( Investor’s Business Daily , 1/24/14)

There Are 46.5 Million Americans Living In Poverty (The Most All Time) – 6.7 Million More Than In 2008. (U.S. Census Bureau Website, www.census.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

There Are 47.6 Million Americans Receiving Food Stamps – 19.4 Million More Than When Obama Took Office. (U.S. Department Of Agriculture, www.usda.gov, Accessed 1/27/14)

The National Debt Has Increased $51,876 Per U.S. Household Since Obama Took Office. (U.S. Department Of Treasury, www.treasurydirect.gov, Accessed 1/27/14; U.S. Census Bureau Website, www.census.gov, Accessed 12/12/13)

The Price Of Gas Has Increased 79 Percent Since Obama Took Office – From. ( U.S. Energy And Information Administration, Accessed 1/27/14)

Tags: Arkansas, GOP, President, SOTU To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Arkansas GOP to Hold Special Event Featuring Senator Rand Paul, State Committee Meeting

 Little Rock. Ark. – The Republican Party of Arkansas will be holding a special event, “United We Stand, As We Welcome Rand,” on Friday night, followed by its Winter State Committee Meeting on Saturday.  Members of the press are encouraged and invited to attend, and the details for this weekend’s events are below.

Members of the press should RSVP to holly@arkansasgop.org by COB on January 30, 2014.
Special Event Featuring Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)     When: Friday, January 31 at 7:30 pm
Where: Hot Springs Convention Center - Horner Hall 134 Convention Boulevard Hot Springs, AR 71901
RSVP: By contacting Holly Wilson at holly@arkansasgop.org.

Winter State Committee Meeting When: Saturday, February 1st at 10:00 am
Where: The Arlington Hotel, 239 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901
RSVP: By contacting Holly Wilson at holly@arkansasgop.org.

Tags: Arkansas GOP, Ran Paul, Speaker, Hot Springs, Winter State Committee Meeting To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Coleman Call Texas Governor To Aid Aid Arkansas Business With Propane Crisis

Following is a news release issued by the Curtis Coleman Campaign regarding a propane shortage and the need for assistance from the Texas Governor.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas businessman and Republican candidate for Governor Curtis Coleman released the following statement today thanking Lt. Governor David Dewhurst of Texas for helping to alleviate Arkansas’ propane shortage:

"On Wednesday I received a phone call from a local Arkansas businessman and propane dealer. We discussed the temporary yet crippling propane shortage in Arkansas and other states brought on by the winter weather. He explained to me how Texas could help alleviate this shortage – if a proclamation was signed by the Governor of Texas that temporarily waived certain government roadblocks to the emergency transport of propane.

"Since Governor Rick Perry was out of the country, signing the proclamation fell to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. I had the honor of briefly speaking with him on Wednesday about the situation and he told me that he would check on the matter and call me back, which he did less than two hours later, saying that he would 'sign the proclamation within the hour.'

"True to his word, it was signed that day. I just want to thank the lieutenant governor for his swift response to the needs of Arkansas and all of the states adversely affected by this shortage. And I want to thank Governor Beebe for declaring Arkansas’ propane shortage in early January – a move that set this great example of states working together in motion."

Tags: Arkansas, Texas, propane crisis, Curtis Coleman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Arkansas GOP Congratulates Rep. Jonathan Barnett

Jonathan Barnett
  Little Rock, Ark — Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb issued the following statement today congratulating Arkansas State Representative Jonathan Barnett, National Committeeman, on his election to the RNC Convention Site Selection Committee.

“Serving on the Site Selection Committee for the 2016 RNC Presidential Convention is a huge accomplishment for Representative Barnett and for Arkansas. Barnett will be one of only eight members on a committee charged with making a decision regarding millions of dollars for a local economy in 2016.  This is an enormous responsibility and I know he will be an excellent asset to this committee.”

Tags: Arkansas, RPA, Jonathan Barnett, Republican National Committee, 2016 Presidential Convention Selection Committee To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Website Highlights Senator Pryor's Dodging Of Pro-Life Issues

Both Mark Pryor and Hillary Clinton are pro-abortion!
To quote Hillary "What difference does it make."
Why didn't Sen Pryor NOT support holding Hillary Clinton
accountable for Benghazi?  
 ProSomethingPryor.com documents Pryor's shifting statements and refusal to answer questions about pro-life legislation

Little Rock, Arkansas — Cotton for Senate launched ProSomethingPryor.com Friday morning as part of an effort to highlight Senator Mark Pryor's shifting statements on pro-life issues and his continued refusal to take a position on a key piece of pro-life legislation supported by the vast majority of Arkansans. 
On at least three occasions, Senator Pryor has refused to answer questions from reporters regarding his position on the Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which Tom Cotton co-sponsored and voted to pass in 2013. Pryor refused to answer questions from The Weekly Standard's John McCormackNational Review's Betsy Woodruff, and Talk Business' Jason Tolbert regarding his position on this legislation. The Pain-Capable legislation is almost identical to legislation passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Arkansas state legislature last year. 
The site also catalogs Pryor's shifting statements on life issues, which range from telling the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he is "pro-choice" to his recent remarks to KFSM political reporter Larry Henry that he "leans toward the pro-life side of the abortion debate."
Cotton campaign manager Justin Brasell said: "Why can't Senator Pryor just be honest with Arkansans about where he stands on late-term abortion? Is it because he doesn't share our values or is it because Harry Reid hasn't told him how to vote yet?"
The website and accompanying research can be viewed at ProSomethingPryor.com.

Tags: website, Mark Pryor, dodging, pro-life issues, Hillary Clinton To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Obama to Arkansans: 'I'll Act On My Own' Agenda

  Mark Pryor Has Repeatedly Empowered President Obama - Hurting Middle-Class Arkansans
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ahead of his State of the Union address, President Obama already appears frustrated, vowing to work around Congress by using executive authority to usher in a "year of action."
Washington, of course, has been under Democratic control since 2009. Liberal think tanks like the Brookings Institution agree that Senate Democrats are far more responsible for Washington gridlock than anyone else. The Republican House passed twice as many bills as the Democratic controlled Senate last year. "Even in the traditionally collegial Senate, 87% of bills die in committee,” Molly Jackman and Saul Jackman, of Brookings, and Brian Boessenecker wrote in Politico last week. “While the filibuster may grab all the headlines, committees are a far deadlier weapon.”
Five years into the Obama/Pryor economy, there are 10.4 million Americans unemployed, and the labor force participation rate has shrunk to its lowest level in nearly 40 years. There are nearly 3 times more unemployed Americans than there are jobs available.  Mark Pryor will call this a recovery, but middle class Arkansans know better.
Arkansans overwhelmingly disapprove of the job President Obama is doing. The shocking message that President Obama will send to voters in Arkansas? "Congress doesn't matter. Mark Pryor doesn't matter. Your vote doesn't matter. I run the show. Disagree with me? Too bad."  
"What reason do Arkansas voters have to vote for Mark Pryor, who is completely out of sync with them on job creation, spending, and ObamaCare? The answer is simple, none," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. "Whether it's higher taxes, ObamaCare, or a bigger, more abusive and intrusive government, President Obama's 'year of action' strategy is designed to usurp the will of Arkansans. Mark Pryor has repeatedly put President Obama first, a fact that continues to hurt Arkansas."

Tags: President Obama, Mark Prior, agenda, hurting Arkansas, NRSC To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why Isn't Arkansas Using The Death Penalty?

by David Sterling, Candidate for Attorney General: Arkansas’ death penalty system isn’t functioning for two reasons. First, the state is unable to acquire one of the drugs used in the execution process. Second, pharmacies who produce drugs for use in capital punishment fear retribution from anti-death penalty activists.

As Attorney General, I’ll push for the use of pentobarbital in executions of convicted murderers. Other states have switched to this drug and it has withstood legal challenges.

I’ll also ask the legislature to pass a law closing certain public records regarding those involved in manufacturing death penalty drug compounds from Freedom of Information requests. Closing these records from public access will make it easier for our state to contract with pharmacies for this critical product.

A death penalty system that is administered in a timely fashion is a deterrent to violent crime. Unfortunately, Arkansas’ capital punishment system isn’t working.

As Attorney General, I’ll get Arkansas’ death penalty functioning again so victim’s families receive the closure they deserve.

Tags: Arkansas, capital punishment, death penalty, attorney general, 2014 election, David Sterling To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tax Rates Can Be Cut Using Surplus Revenues

“Reduce the state's income tax…repeal the state's capital gains tax.” Arkansas Policy Foundation, Murphy Commission project, 1998

"(Arkansas) revenues are expanding because the business cycle’s current state is expansion, not contraction." (Policy Foundation research memo, November 2012)


 by Greg Kaza, Arkansas Policy Foundation: The state's November General Revenue Report shows another fiscal year (2013-14) surplus emerging, another reminder that Arkansas' uncompetitive tax rates can be cut using surplus revenues.

The state Department of Finance and Administration report notes:

"Year-to-date net available general revenues total $2,043.4 million, $69.6 million or 3.5 percent above year ago levels. After five months into the fiscal year, net available revenue is above forecast by $29.4 million or 1.5 percent."1

The state income tax rate could be cut at least one-tenth of one percent using surplus revenues. Arkansas has the highest tax rate in the region.

Surpluses Occur In Expansions

Another surplus is emerging because surpluses occur in expansions while recessions contribute to a decline below trend.

The U.S. economy has been expanding since June 2009, and Arkansas state government recorded surpluses totaling more than a half-billion dollars in the last three fiscal years. These surpluses were $94 million (2010-11), $146 million (2011-12) and $300 million2 (2012-13).
------------
1 http://posting.arktimes.com/media/pdf/november_2013_end_of_the_month_report.pdf
2 “State’s budget surplus 4th highest in 20 years,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 14, 2013

Tags: Greg Kaza, Arkansas Policy Foundation, Arkansas. revenue, tax rates, surplus revenues To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Stand For Life

Asa Hutchinson, Candidate for Arkansas Governor: On this day exactly 41 years ago the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion on demand was a constitutionally protected right and limited state laws designed to protect human life. No longer were the unborn entitled to the constitutional protection of life proclaimed so boldly by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Since that date in 1973, over 55 million babies have had their lives ended by abortion in the United States.
On Sunday, January 19th, my wife Susan and I joined with thousands of people from across Arkansas in our state’s 36th Annual March for Life to remember all the lives cut short since January 22, 1973. It was truly a touching moment and made me reflect on how essential it is that we continue our commitment to pass and defend strong pro-life legislation in Arkansas and all across the nation.

I am proud to say that I have been consistently pro-life throughout my time in public service. While in Congress I earned a 100% rating from National Right to Life, our nation’s leading pro-life advocacy group. As your next Governor, I will work tirelessly to protect the sanctity of all human life.

The number of abortions in Arkansas is currently at an all-time low and our state was just recognized as one of the top three most pro-life states in the Union. While this shows we are winning the battle for life over the abortion industry, we still have a long way to go.

When you have time today, please join me in a moment of prayer and reflection for all the victims of abortion who are unable to stand with us. God Bless.

Tags: Arkansas March for Life, Jan 19, Asa Hutchinson, Tom Coton, National March for Life, Jan 22, 2014 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cotton Stands For Life; What Does Pryor Stand For?

 Three different reporters strike out trying to get Pryor to weigh in on Pain Capable legislation

Last June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and sent it to the U.S. Senate. U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton voted for and was a co-sponsor of that legislation. But don't expect Senator Mark Pryor to tell you where he stands on protecting innocent human life.

Since the legislation passed, at least three reporters have written about their frustrations trying to get Pryor to state his position on the legislation. The Weekly Standard's John McCormack was the first to attempt to ask Senator Pryor last August, but all he received for an answer was: "I’ll have to look at it. I haven’t focused on it.”

If you thought the ensuing five months would give Senator Pryor enough time to figure out his position on the bill, you'd be mistaken. Last Friday, National Review's Betsy Woodruff reported that she had asked Senator Pryor his position on the bill a minimum of five times (including at least one face-to-face encounter), and was ignored by Pryor.

Cotton spokesman David Ray said: "Arkansans support a culture of life and policies that reflect those values. But Senator Mark Pryor doesn't, and he won't even be open and honest with the people he supposedly represents. As we approach the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it's important that Senator Pryor finally tell Arkansans why he won't stand for life in the U.S. Senate."

Tom Cotton discusses the importance of protecting unborn children at the 2014 March for Life in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tags: Pro-life Tom Cotton, Pro-Abortion, Mark Pryor To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Arkansas GOP Honors the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Little Rock, Ark—Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb issued the following statement today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The very founding of the Republican Party with its presidential nominee, Abraham Lincoln, was based in support of equal rights for all Americans. The dream of Martin Luther King was emphasized by our first Republican Governor in modern history, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, at a memorial service after the tragic assassination of Dr. King when he said, “I am not my brothers keeper. I am my brother’s brother.” I am proud of our long heritage striving for, in the words of the great Dr. King, to see the day that our children “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” 

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party, Dr. Martin Luther King,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Save Us From Ourselves

 Am. Humanist Assoc. Grinch Hates Nativities
by Jon Hubbard, Contributing Author: Just when we had almost forgotten about that left-wing Wisconsin atheist group threatening to sue Arkansas East Poinsett County School District last year on behalf of one person who complained about prayer at a school function, here comes another out-of-state anti-God organization threatening to sue Baxter County, Arkansas, because a nativity scene displayed on courthouse property “offended” one person. The American Humanist Association (AHA) from Washington DC, again at the request of one person, threatened legal action if this nativity scene wasn't removed (which it was), and provide proof that no similar display will be erected in the future. In addition to going after prayer in schools and nativity scenes on public property, the AHA represents such noble causes as outlawing Abstinence-only courses in public schools, while ignoring the growing epidemics of out-of-wedlock births and sexually transmitted diseases among our young people. These unprincipled liberal organizations once again feel the need to dictate to the people of Arkansas what our values should be.

Once again, one person “offended” by a long held American-Christian tradition can trample the rights of hundreds and thousands of others who want those traditions preserved and protected. And once again, we have allowed the obnoxious whining’s of yet another “squeaky wheel” to trample the rights of the majority.

These liberal hate groups continue to distort and misrepresented the First Amendment to our US Constitution. As written, this Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, the portion of this Amendment that is totally ignored. This Amendment was added to our Constitution to prevent the establishment of a “National” religion, such as was done in England with the “Church of England”, and not to create a separation of church and state as these liberal revisionists would have us believe. It was never intended to prevent the observance of a religious activity or tradition in this country, but liberal hate groups have found yet another avenue to empower satanic intrusions of American-Christian values and traditions. The American people have once again been bullied by those who have never understood what being an American really means, and yet we still can't seem to find within ourselves the courage to stand up and fight for those rights which are now routinely being stolen from us.

Have we decided as a nation that America is not worth saving after all, and that a hand-to-mouth existence subject to the mandates of a power hungry Federal Government is more preferable? This is simply another cowardly submission by people who either have forgotten they were Americans, or who were never Americans in the first place. We must now ask if the efforts and sacrifices of our Founding Fathers and all of those brave patriots who died fighting wars to preserve this nation were in vain.

Hopefully there are still people who can remember when America was a Christian nation, when killing innocent yet-to-be-born children was murder, and when the homosexual lifestyle was an abomination to Almighty God. If those people ever decide to stand up and fight for those things which once made America great, then maybe, just maybe, we can still reclaim our country. If not, oh well, it sure was good while it lasted! Sorry we weren’t there when you needed us America.
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Jon Hubbard is a former Arkansas State Representative for Dist 75, Jonesboro Arkansas. He is also a former Air Force veteran, school teacher, coach, and small businessman.

Tags: American Humanist Association, Grinch Hates, Nativities, nativity scene, Baxter County Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Reflections on Results Of Arkansas State Senate Special Election

by Megan Tollett, Executive Director, Republican Party of Arkansas: The political ground is shifting beneath Senator Mark Pryor's feet, folks.

In a special election for state senate in Craighead County (Jonesboro), a Republican was elected to the state senate for the first time since Reconstruction, despite being outspent by more than a three-to-one margin. Republican John Cooper defeated Democrat Steve Rockwell by a margin of 4,314 votes (57.2%) to 3,227 votes (42.8%).

In 2002, Mark Pryor defeated  U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson in Craighead County by an impressive margin of 56.3% - 43.8%. In 2010, Governor Mike Beebe cruised to re-election in Craighead County by racking up over 67% of the vote. The district has also been represented by a Democrat in the state legislature dating all the way back to Reconstruction - until now.

Like much of Arkansas, the area has been trending strongly Republican in recent years. In 2010, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford won over 56% of Craighead County on his way to becoming the first Republican to represent Arkansas's 1st Congressional District since Asa Hodges in 1875. In 2013, Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday announced he was switching parties to become the first Republican county-wide official in Craighead County in modern history.

In short, the historically Democrat stronghold of Northeast Arkansas is no longer Democrat at all. It's Republican country.

As Sean Trende observed in August in Real Clear Politics, Senator Pryor won his 2002 race for U.S. Senate by racking up large margins in the first and fourth Congressional Districts.

Cotton currently represents the 4th Congressional District after winning with 59.5% of the vote in 2012. He also enjoys a 54% - 38% lead over Senator Pryor in the 4th Congressional District, according to the most recent polling. Those facts make the 1st Congressional District absolutely vital to Senator Pryor. If Senator Pryor can't win in the 1st Congressional District either, where can he win?

The historic results of this Arkansas special election should serve as a wake-up call to Senator Pryor's campaign. The ground is shifting beneath their feet, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not.

Tags: Arkansas, political transitions, Arkansas State Senate, special Election, Republican win, 1st time in 136 years, Craighead county, Megan Tollett, Republican party of Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.