Friday, February 28, 2014

Hypocrisy 101: Senator Pryor Takes Money From Group He Says Has A "Reckless Agenda"

 Surely the Pryor campaign will soon be announcing those contributions will be returned?

Little Rock, Arkansas — A new report from The Weekly Standard details a stunning new level of hypocrisy from Senator Mark Pryor. As reporter Michael Warren explains, Pryor's Political Action Committee (PAC) accepted a $5,000 contribution from Koch Industries PAC in September of 2013. Pryor himself has claimed the group has a "reckless agenda," and has attacked them for supporting Tom Cotton. Campaign finance watchdog group Open Secrets shows that Pryor has received $25,000 from Koch Industries overall.

Cotton spokesman David Ray wonders when Senator Pryor will announce that he's returning those contributions: "Since Senator Pryor has said repeatedly he believes Koch Industries has a 'reckless agenda,' we're looking forward to seeing when and how he will be refunding the $25,000 in contributions he has accepted from them."

Last month, Senator Pryor sent an email to supporters criticizing "the Koch brothers’ reckless agenda." That email can be viewed here.

Tags: Mark Pryor, hypocrisy 101,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hutchinson to President Obama: “Don’t Cut The Arkansas National Guard”

Little Rock – Republican candidate for Governor, Asa Hutchinson, expressed his opposition to proposed cuts in National Guard funding that may impact Arkansas. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed Monday that active Army, Reserve, and National Guard personnel be reduced, bringing the total size of the U.S. Army to the lowest level since before World War II.

Hutchinson issued the following statement:“I call on both President Obama and Congress to reject the proposed cuts that will jeopardize the readiness and availability of our National Guard units. I know how important the service of these men and women is to our state and nation. These proposed cuts would weaken an important state and federal resource that has proven to be essential in responding to national disasters at home. In times of emergency and danger a strong National Guard is the backbone of our ability to respond and protect the lives of our citizens. As Governor, I will be a strong advocate for those who have served us so faithfully.”Since September 11, 2001, more than 14,000 Arkansas National Guardsmen have been deployed across the globe. Every one of Arkansas’s 75 counties is a home to Guardsmen.
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Asa Hutchinson is running as a Republican candidate for Governor of Arkansas.

Tags: Tim Hutchinson, Presidetn Obama, Don't cut, Arkansas National Guard, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Obama Administration’s Attempts to Restrict Inconvenient Voices ‘Cannot be Allowed to Go Forward’

 House passes legislation to halt IRS discrimination against conservative groups

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, issued the following statement after the House passed the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act (H.R. 3865):“When the IRS was caught discriminating against conservative groups, Obama Administration officials said it was all a misunderstanding and certainly not political. Similarly, they said new regulations governing 501(c)(4)s were proposed in order to prevent confusion with the law—but it just so happens they would actually reverse more than five decades of policy and muzzle nonprofit groups the White House disagrees with politically. Now, thanks to internal emails from Treasury and IRS officials uncovered through our Committee’s investigation, we know the real story. The Obama Administration’s attempts to change the law and restrict inconvenient voices cannot be allowed to go forward, and that’s why I supported this bill.”H.R. 3865 would prohibit for one year the Department of Treasury and the IRS from finalizing the regulations regarding 501(c)(4)s the Administration issued on November 29, 2013.

The Daily Caller reported February 5: “The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules ‘off-plan,’ meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested. The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups. ‘Don’t know who in your organizations is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off -plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting…,’ Treasury official Ruth Madrigal wrote in a June 14, 2012 email to [former IRS official Lois] Lerner[.]”

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

White House Announces Senator Pryor's Cuts To Medicare Advantage Will Only Get Worse

  Pryor can run from his record of cutting Medicare Advantage for current beneficiaries, but he can't hide from voters
Little Rock, Arkansas — 109,650: That's the number of Arkansas seniors on Medicare Advantage according the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Undoubtedly, these seniors won't be happy voters once they learn that Senator Mark Pryor cut their plans to pay for Obamacare.

In a late-Friday evening news dump, the Obama administration announced the cuts to Medicare Advantage required by Obamacare would total 3.5% next year, with the total cuts likely totaling as much as 7%.

The hard truth is that Senator Pryor owns these cuts to Medicare Advantage. Not only did he cut Medicare Advantage to pay for Obamacare, but he also voted against an amendment that would have specifically prevented Medicare Advantage from being cut.

Cotton campaign manager Justin Brasell said: "In his eagerness to pass Obamacare, Senator Pryor slashed Medicare Advantage, and seniors will be seeing those cuts in 2014. The 109,650 Arkansas seniors on Medicare Advantage plans should hold Senator Pryor accountable for playing politics with their healthcare."

Tags: Mark Pryor, cutting medicare advantage To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Open Letter To Arkansas Legislators On Gov. Mike Beebe and House Speaker Davy Carter Holding Legislature Hostage

"Voting with a majority against ones principles, ones stated convictions and against the majority of ones constituents is unacceptable.  And, forcing members of the legislature to repeatedly vote over-and-over again against previously defeated legislation is holding the legislature hostage and an abhorrent abuse of power."  ~ Bill Smith, Editor

"Below is an open letter to legislators. And let's not forget that citizens collected 30,000 signatures in 52 days, averaging 575 signatures a day against the Private Option last summer. At that rate we would have collected 21,850 more signatures in the 38 days that were cut off from our 90 day deadline by AG Dustin McDaniel's delaying approval of the ballot title. That would have been more signatures than required."
~ Debbie Pelley


by Debbie Pelley, Open Letter to Legislature: How can any legislator even consider voting on the side of leaders who openly say they will hold legislators hostage until they vote their way - and with a Governor who openly spends millions of taxpayer dollars to bribe a senator into voting for a bill?

Speaker of the Arkansas House Davy Carter brazenly declared he plans to vote every day on the Private Option (Obamacare Medicaid Expansion) until he gets the vote he wants. He has already presided over four House votes on it that failed.

Governor Beebe unashamedly bribed Senator Jane English for her vote. John Brummett details how $25 million of taxpayer money was moved around to satisfy Senator Jane English in exchange for her vote, the last vote in the Senate needed to pass Medicaid Expansion in Arkansas.

Speaker Davy Carter sent the police after Representative John Payton because he was not there to cast a vote for himself and another legislator. Payton has been a strong NO vote on the Private Option. Payton was actually at the dentist having an emergency root canal. Carter had already delayed the vote twice trying to twist arms to get the vote he wanted, and Payton had been there both times ready to vote.

Both Carter's and the Governor's actions should be prosecutable offenses. These legislators are the people's representatives so Carter is basically holding all of us hostage until he gets the vote he wants.

Some of these things have happened for years, but not openly. People back home are learning a great deal about the legislative process and will never trust again if these matters go unchallenged. These thuggish tactics are just like Obama's, who openly declared he has a phone and a pen and will execute his policies regardless of what the people or Congress want.

I doubt that legislators have any idea how much ordinary people detest this type of legislating and how they feel the same way now toward the these legislators that are cooperating with Beebe and Carter as they do about Obama. Legislators gradually grew accustomed to these unethical behaviors, but the average citizen is shocked by them.

Many Democrats and Republicans are tarnishing their reputation forever and committing political suicide just as the Democrats in Washington have done - all for Obama whether they realize it or not. Arkansans have spoken loudly and clearly about how they feel about Obamacare.

Referenced Documentation:
Carter to hold votes until Private Option passes, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Feb 21, 2014: Carter vowed at the start of the fiscal session last week that the private option would pass both the House and Senate ... After each failed vote, he said the House would continue to vote — and would not engage in further negotiations — until it passed." "Private option falls short for fourth day in a row"

"To Win A Vote" by John Brummett: "By noon Monday, everyone had agreed on as many of English’s reforms as could be implemented immediately, and had agreed further to work on the rest of them within the year. The sum of $15 million formerly dissipated among the two-year colleges for work-force education and training would be consolidated in the Economic Development Commission for meting out on a targeted basis according to job needs. Another $9.6 million was moved around to fund programs for college and career readiness and so-called career pathways."

Carter sends police after Representative John Payton: "There was some drama as the vote Friday approached and Carter learned one member, Rep. John Payton, R-Wilburn, had left the chamber early after pairing with an absent member for the vote. Carter called a recess and ordered state police to locate Payton."

Payton's experience with emergency root canal in his own words. Rep. Payton: "Thanks for asking. I had an emergency root canal. The dentist and his crew skipped lunch to address my misery. I feel much better now I was at my seat at the appointed time(10:00) but they didn't have all their "yes's lined up. Carter recessed us til 10:30 and the arm twisting started. At 10:30 I was in my seat and rep Edwards jumped up there and banged the gavel saying we were recessed til 11:00.I was hurting and could not risk this going on all day forcing me to make it through the weekend without help. It's a good thing I got to the dentist, because I didn't realize how bad of shape that I was in."
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Debbie Pelley (Jonesboro, Arkansas) is Retired Arkansas Teacher of 27 years. She is presently a grassroots citizen activist, researcher and writer who advocates for the Arkansans and for transparent and limited government.

Tags: Debbie Pelley, Open Letter, Arkansas Legislature, Gov. Mike Beebee, Speak Dave Carter. abuses, private option, voting To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tom Cotton Makes It Official; Files For U.S. Senate

Cotton promises the matchup with Senator Pryor will be a "clear contrast"

Today,Fourth District Congressman Tom Cotton officially filed his paperwork as a candidate for U.S. Senate with the Republican Party of Arkansas and the Secretary of State. Cotton will face longtime incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Pryor in November.

Cotton issued the following statement, "Over the next several months I will continue to lay out my vision for change in Washington that is already resonating with Arkansans.  Together we can work to restore our nation's fiscal health and get our economy moving again by repealing Obamacare, reining in out-of-control federal spending, and preventing more failed Washington-knows-best policies.  Our campaign will offer a clear contrast with Senator Mark Pryor, who went to Washington more than a decade ago promising to be an independent voice for Arkansas.  Instead Senator Pryor has rubber-stamped the Obama agenda at every opportunity, voting with the President more than 90% of the time and supporting Obamacare, the wasteful stimulus, the Wall Street bailouts, cap and trade and other failed Obama Administration policies."

Congressman Tom Cotton was elected as representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District on Nov. 6, 2012. He is was only the second Republican ever elected to this Congressional seat since it was created in 1875. He serves on the House Committees on Financial Services and Foreign Affairs.

Cotton is a sixth generation Arkansan who was born and raised on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County. He is a graduate from Harvard and Harvard Law School.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred during Tom’s final year of law school and he began to reconsider his future plans. After law school, he clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals and was in private law practice. However, he wanted to serve in the Army as his father had served. He joined the United States Army and declined a commission as a JAG attorney and opted to serve as an Infantry Officer. He has almost five years as an active duty Infantry Officer completing combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, he served with the 101st Airborne where he led an infantry platoon in daily combat patrols. While in Afghanistan, he served as the operations officer for a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Between his two combat tours he served as a platoon leader with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, the unit responsible for military honors funerals.

Tom’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Ranger Tab. After leaving active duty Tom worked as a management consultant for McKinsey and Co. He represents Arkansas’s fourth district in the United States House of Representatives.

Tags: Congressman, Tom Cotton, Republican, candidate, Arkansas, U.S. Senator, 2014 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Congressman Griffin Files for Lieutenant Governor

Today, Second District Congressman Tim Griffin officially filed his paperwork as a candidate for Arkansas's Lieutenant Governor with the Republican Party of Arkansas and the Secretary of State.

Giffin issued the following statement: "Since announcing my campaign 12 days ago, I've been humbled by the outpouring of support and the enthusiasm for bold ideas and common sense conservative reforms for Arkansas. As Lieutenant Governor, I look forward to using my experience, knowledge and relationships to help Arkansas compete and grow jobs and want to work with the Governor and Legislature as we move Arkansas forward."

Congressman Tim Griffin was re-elected as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District on Nov. 6, 2012. He is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means an an Assistant Whip for the majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. Griffin holds the rank of Lt. Colonel and served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 17 years and deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. He and his wife Elizabeth have two children and live in Little Rock.

Tags: Tim Griffin, Republican, candidates, Arkansas, Lt. Governor, 2014 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Coleman and Hutchinson File As Republican Candidates for Arkansas Governor

by Bill Smith: Today, Republican Candidates for Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson and Curtis Coleman, filed papers with the Republican Party of Arkansas and the Secretary of State’s making their his candidacy for governor official. They both have been active crisscrossing the state speaking to groups leading up to the official filing period.

After filing both candidates issued statements.

Curtis Coleman said, "Arkansas has the capacities, resources and people to be one of the most prosperous states in the nation. But we cannot become that prosperous people if we continue to expand the size, cost and reach of government. If Arkansans are going to succeed like they can, we must get government out of their faces, off their backs and out of their pocketbooks."

Coleman released his four-point education plan in January. “A key to Arkansas’ prosperity is a dramatic improvement in education. We’ve got some of the best teachers in the country right here in Arkansas, but we’ve got to get far too much paperwork off their backs and let them teach. And we must give every parent in Arkansas the equal liberty to choose the very best schools for their children.”

Coleman said he will be releasing his tax and regulatory reform plan in March.

Asa Hutchinson said, "I am running because I know how important this race for governor is for Arkansas families. This race is about creating a climate in Arkansas where businesses can come to this state and hire Arkansans. This race is about educating our students so they can become entrepreneurs and create their own futures. Together, we can build a new future where Arkansas can compete and grow. Arkansas’s future looks bright."

Hutchinson told the crowd that his priorities as governor would be education, job creation and tax reform. “We can make Arkansas a leader in technology education by offering graduation credit for computer science courses in our high schools. When we offer computer coding in every high school across Arkansas, the next tech entrepreneur can come from Fayetteville or Forrest City. “Arkansas has the highest income tax rate of all our neighboring states. When we stop penalizing workers and businesses for operating here we can keep our graduates in Arkansas."

Hutchinson also announced that Pine Bluff native Leon Jones, Jr., will serve as the campaign’s Minority Outreach Coordinator. Hutchinson said that his campaign is expecting support from Arkansas’ minority populations, pointing out that minority communities are especially hard-hit in tough economic times. “My tax reform plan and education initiative will benefit all Arkansans, especially those communities that are predominately African-American or Latino. They understand that the top-down approach of the past isn’t working for them and we need to try something new.”

Coleman was the founding CEO and President of Safe Foods Corporation, an international food safety company headquartered in North Little Rock. While CEO of Safe Foods Corp., Curtis frequently lectured on team building and servant leadership for the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton School of Business Emerging Leaders program. In 2010, he founded The Institute for Constitutional Policy and has spoke on constitution across Arkansas for over two years. He is also popular with many Tea Party groups in Arkansas and his syndicated “Coleman Commentary” was heard daily on multiple radio stations in Arkansas until his announcement that he would run for Governor and he has been a regular guest on radio shows in Arkansas and regionally. He and his wife Kathryn have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

Hutchinson has served as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas> He was U.S. Congressman from the 3rd Congressional District from Jan 3, 1997 – Aug. 6, 2001 when he was appointed by President George W. Bush as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Asa has spent the majority of his career in the private sector as a small business owner, lawyer and entrepreneur. He and his wife Susan have been married for forty years and have four grown children and five grandchildren.

Tags: Curtis Coleman, Asa Hutchinson, Republican, candidates, Arkansas, Governor, 2014 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Cotton Gains Ground Over Pryor in New Poll

By Washington Free Beacon: A new poll shows Rep. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) is gaining ground in his effort to unseat Sen. Mark Pryor (D., Arkansas). . . Cotton received 46 percent support from 1,202 poll respondents, while Pryor received 42 percent.

The poll was conducted on Feb. 12 by the Little Rock-based Impact Management Group. In an Oct. 24 poll conducted by the same group, Cotton received 43 percent support, and Pryor received 41 percent. . . .

Tags: Arkansas, politics, 2014 Election, Mark Pryor, Tom Cotton, US Senate race To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Mike Ross's Record - Nancy Pelosi's Blue Dog Puppy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Governors Association released a new television advertisement today in the Arkansas governor’s race, shedding light on Democrat Mike Ross’ far-left, unabashed liberal record in Congress and the widespread damage he caused through his blind allegiance to Washington liberals, especially big-spender Nancy Pelosi.

“Mike Ross’ claim to be politically independent is laughable,” said RGA Communications Director Gail Gitcho. “One look at his record in Congress and it’s painfully obvious Ross worked in lock-step with Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and other Washington liberals from beginning to end, eager to support their failed policies and every dollar they recklessly overspent. Arkansans won’t fall for Mike Ross’ thinly veiled attempts to hide his out of touch, liberal Washington agenda.”

Tags: video, democrats, Mike Ross, Nancy Pelosi, debt, stimulus,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Private Option Fails House For 4th Time / Thuggery Tacticts

Update 9 AM, Feb 23, 2014 - Bill Smith, Editor:  Rep. John Payton is my State Rep.  He has been voting No on funding the private  option.  Unlike other news media, I contacted him and asked him to reply on the record about his dental emergency.

Rep. Payton said:  "Thanks for asking. I had an emergency root canal. The dentist and his crew skipped lunch to address my misery. I feel much better now

"I was at my seat at the appointed time(10:00) but they didn't have all their "yes"s lined up. Carter recessed us til 10:30 and the arm twisting started. At 10:30 I was in my seat and rep Edwards jumped up there and banged the gavel saying we were recessed til 11:00.

"I was hurting and could not risk this going on all day forcing me to make it through the weekend without help.  It's a good thing I got to the dentist, because I didn't realize how bad of shape that  I was in.

"I am very disappointed that Rep. Carter went to the press without considering the facts. And shocked that "news" organizations would fail to report all the facts.

"My obligation to be there representing our pair was fulfilled and our votes should have counted."
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by Debbie Pelley: Email I sent to legislators.  It is harsh but is the truth whether they like it or not.  Feel free to pass it on to them.  Or write your own thoughts as many of you already have.  Below the email note other things that went on this morning according to Facebook posts.  The vote has failed again today in the House (got 71 votes today according to government website - see link below) but there was some real arm twisting. Below the email are some tweets and facebook comments and the article from the Dem Gazette saying the next vote will be on next Tuesday. There was one tweet from a reliable source that Rep. Day Carter sent the state police after Rep. John Payton who was heading to the dentist after a two day toothache - and that was even after I had sent this email to the legislators - talk about being held hostage.  It will be interesting to hear the outcome of that. Keep calling this week-end and sending emails!  I have a feeling that if citizens had sent the emails and made the calls earlier, we would have been in better shape. But better late than never.
Carter Holding Legislators Hostage- Gov Buying Votes With Taxpayer Money
How can anyone even consider voting on the side of leaders who openly say they will hold legislators hostage until they vote his way - and with a Governor who openly spends millions of taxpayer dollars to bribe legislators into voting for a bill, even openly doing it.  Both of these should be prosecutable offenses. Holding people against their will is also called kidnapping in the normal world.

I know some of these things have happened for years, but not openly.  The people back home are learning a great deal about the legislative process and will never trust the process again if the Private Option is passed into law. This is being done just like Obama is doing at the national level, openly declaring that he has a phone and a pen and will execute his policies regardless of what the people or the Congress want.  The same thing is happening in Little Rock.

I doubt that the Republicans have any idea how much the people back home detest this type of legislating and how they feel the same way now toward the Republicans that are cooperating with Beebe and Carter as they do about Obama. Many Republicans are tarnishing their reputation forever - all for Obama whether they realize it or not.

This may be harsh, but it is the truth like it or not. --
Link for the vote
[Editor Note: the AR State Legislative website does not reflect the date of the vote and appears to change with each new vote]

Tags: Private Option, Arkansas House, 4th Time, Thuggery Tactics, Davy Carter, Mike Beebe< John Payton, Debbie Pelley To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Democrats Getting Desperate...And Filing Hasn't Even Begun!

With how busy things have been in Arkansas Politics already, you wouldn’t know that Candidate Filing for the 2014 election cycle only begins in Arkansas next week! Here is a look at some of the highlights (or perhaps lowlights for the Democrats) from this past week.

NWA Victory Office Grand Opening
Please join us and special guest speaker Congressman Tom Cotton for the GRAND OPENING of the Northwest Arkansas Victory Office TOMORROW morning from 9:00 am to 11:00 am located at 2576 W. Sunset Avenue in Springdale. This is an open house event with light fare and refreshments provided. To RSVP or for more information please contact Scott Crenshaw at screnshaw@arkansasgop.org or 501-952-8660.

“Filing for Victory!”
Only 3 days until Candidate Filing begins here in Arkansas! We don't know about you, but the RPA is extremely excited about the anticipated turnout of AWESOME candidates to file with the Arkansas GOP for 2014!! Join us on Monday for good food and live music as we kickoff this election cycle the RIGHT way (pun intended) at our special event, "Filing for Victory!" Our caliber of candidates is the reason the GOP will be victorious in November and we want you to help us celebrate them. For further details and to purchase tickets please visit our website.

Democrats Dig Deep for District 1
The Arkansas Dems may have had to go way down their roster, but it appears they have finally come up with a candidate to run in the First Congressional District, Heber Springs Mayor Jackie McPherson. Oh, you haven’t heard of him? It is somewhat surprising that in an area that has traditionally been a Democrat stronghold they would resort to NOT their first, second, third, fourth or possibly even fifth option. This is just further proof of the total realignment in Northeast Arkansas to the Republican Party. And of course they all saw what just happened in State Senate District 21.

DGA Gets Desperate
Democrats are running in droves away from Obama and this week we saw the Democrat Governor’s Association jump on the band wagon by running an ‘attack’ ad that resulted in a spectacular takedown of their OWN Democrat policies and their OWN candidate Mike Ross. The DGA’s message was to condemn support for the Obama-Pelosi Wall Street bailout, auto bailout and stimulus…BUT WAIT, Mike Ross supported the Wall Street bailout, the auto bailout and the stimulus — sloppy work indicates the DGA is feeling desperate.

Pryor Pointing Finger Again…
Broken promises and passing the buck are the norm for Senator Mark Pryor. This week was certainly no exception! We called on him last week to answer for his blatant hypocrisy towards Medicare and his deception of Arkansas Seniors. Now, in a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, Pryor ADMITS that he cut Medicare for seniors after promising Arkansans that ObamaCare wouldn't harm Medicare, yet he is once again pointing fingers and ducking responsibility. With the inevitable Medicare Advantage cuts on the way, we wonder what Senator Pryor will say to Arkansas Seniors?

Holly Wilson, Communications Director, RPA

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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

UPDATE: Mark Pryor Admits to Medicare Hypocrisy

  Little Rock, Arkansas—Last week, the Republican Party of Arkansas called out Senator Mark Pryor for his blatant hypocrisy towards Medicare and his deception of Arkansas Seniors. Now, in a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, Mark Pryor ADMITS that he cut Medicare for seniors after promising Arkansans that ObamaCare wouldn't harm Medicare.

“Mark Pryor has broken many promises to Arkansans, and his promise that ObamaCare wouldn't harm seniors who rely on Medicare is just the latest in a long line of falsehoods to be exposed,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman, Doyle Webb. “Now, even though Mark Pryor admits that he cut Medicare Advantage to pay for ObamaCare, he is still trying to blame others and pass the buck for his broken promises. Arkansas Seniors cannot trust Mark Pryor and they will hold him accountable despite his desperate attempts to distract them from the truth.”

BACKGROUND
Pryor Said He Wanted To Ensure ObamaCare Did Not Harm Medicare. “Pryor said a key in the CBO score will be ensuring the bill does not harm Medicare. ‘And so we’re approaching it as probably being revenue neutral for Medicare,’ he said.” (Anna Edney and Dan Friedman, “Dem Group Hopes To Strike Multi-Faceted Deal By Today,” National Journal’s CongressDaily, 12/8/09)

In March 2010, Pryor Voted To Kill An Amendment That Would Have Prohibited Cuts To Medicare Advantage Under ObamaCare. “Baucus, D-Mont., motion to table (kill) the Hatch, R-Utah., motion to commit the bill to the Finance Committee with instructions that it be reported back with changes that would prohibit cuts to the Medicare Advantage program and provide for an offset if the Health and Human Services Department certified that at least 1 million Medicare Advantage program participants would lose benefits under the changes in the reconciliation measure or the 2010 health care overhaul law. The bill would make changes existing health care law, revise student lending procedures and provide new revenue-raising provisions.” (H.R. 4872, CQ Vote #72: Motion agreed to 56-42: R 0-40; D 54-2; I 2-0, 3/24/10, Pryor Voted Yea)

Last Week, 19 Senate Democrats Sent A Letter To Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner Opposing Planned Cuts To The Medicare Advantage Program.  “Some Democrats have now joined their Republican counterparts in asking the Obama administration to moderate scheduled Medicare Advantage payment cuts for 2015.  In a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, a bipartisan coalition of 40 senators urged the administration ‘to maintain payment levels that will allow [Medicare Advantage] beneficiaries to be protected from disruptive changes in 2015.’” (Mary Agnes Carey, “Bipartisan Group Of Senators Concerned About Medicare Advantage Cuts,” Kaiser Health News , 2/18/14)

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

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mike Ross, Quick Question For You

 The worm has turned. Democrats are abandoning Obama.

Democrat donors are now financially backing attack ads that condemn support for the Obama-Pelosi Wall Street bailout, auto bailout and stimulus. It is clear that 2014 will be about hiding from President Obama and the Democrat record.

Yesterday, the DGA released this attack ad intended for Arkansas Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchison, but it turns out it is a spectacular takedown of their own Democrat policies and their own candidate Mike Ross.

In fact, this ad is the height of hypocrisy. Democrat donors are now funding ads that attack Obama policies, which Mike Ross voted for. Yes, Mike Ross supported the Wall Street bailout, the auto bailout and the stimulus — which were all criticized in the ad.

The ad is spectacularly sloppy and demonstrably false. No one verified the research, clearly. It wrongfully attacks Asa as a lobbyist that supported Democrat bills. Asa never lobby for any of the programs the ad cites.  In fact, he was no longer employed by Venable when these votes took place. He was already back at home in Arkansas working with his son at a law firm they started together. But while Asa had nothing to do with the auto bailouts, tarp or the stimulus bills Mike Ross sure did.  He voted for all three.

The ad is a takedown of their own candidate leaving him with precisely zero credibility. Mike Ross proudly left Congress to become a lobbyist. Yet the DGA ad accuses and condemns Asa Hutchison for working at a lobbying firm.

The ad displays an arrogance in focusing on just one opponents in hopes of gaining an advantage in the outcome of the Republican elections. The creators fail to understand that Mike Ross will be defeated by whichever candidate the Republicans choose in their primary election.

Gail Gitcho, RGA Communications Director responded to the ad, "The latest DGA ad is embarrassing, sloppy and the height of hypocrisy. Democrats are now finding donors to finance their ads that attack President Obama their own Democrat policies. From this astonishing DGA takedown of their own candidate, we are left to glean that their only strategy for 2014 is to raise boatloads of cash in order to hide from Obama's terribly unpopular policies. The RGA calls on Mike Ross to either condemn the DGA ad or confirm that he is ashamed of his votes for the bailouts and the stimulus."

Thus, a question for Democrat Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross: Do you you condemn this DGA ad for attacking lobbyists and the bills you supported or do you regret being a lobbyist and voting yes on these bills?

Talk Business Arkansas noted the following points about Mike Ross and this ad.

In October 2008, Ross Voted For The Wall Street Bailout. “A bill to provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes.” (H.R. 1424, Vote #681: Passed 263-171: D 172-63, R 91-108, 10/3/08, Ross Voted Yea)

In December 2008, Ross Voted To Bail Out The Auto Industry. “To authorize financial assistance to eligible automobile manufacturers, and for other purposes.” (H.R. 7321, Vote #690: Passed 237-170: D 205-20, R 32-150, 12/10/08, Ross Voted Yea)

In 2009, Ross Voted For The $787 Billion Obama Stimulus Bill. In 2009, Ross voted for both the House version and the conference committee’s version of the Obama stimulus bill. (H.R. 1, Vote #46: Passed 244-188, 1/28/09, Ross Voted Yea; H.R. 1, Vote #70: Passed 246-183, 2/13/09, Ross Voted Yea)

Ross Quit Politics Because He Was “Burnt Out,” Wanted To Be A Lobbyist

Ross Said He Had Become “Burnt Out” On Politics. “U.S. Rep. Mike Ross said Tuesday that he fully intended to run for Arkansas governor when he left Congress but that he had become ‘burnt out’ after 22 years in politics and wanted to spend more time with his family. … ‘Campaigns have become so dirty and everything’s become so partisan and everything’s become so expensive since I first started in this business in 1990,’ Ross told The Associated Press. ‘I’m just burnt out.’ … [Ross]: ‘At the end of the day it wasn’t a political decision. It was just a very personal decision, and I made a decision based on what I thought was best for me and my family.’” (“Ross: Would Have Had ‘Decent’ Shot At Ark. Gov.,” The Associated Press, 5/15/12)

Ross: “Maybe 22 Years In Elected Office Is Enough … I Feel Like A Huge Burden Has Been Lifted. … I Just Don’t Want To Be On The Ballot Anymore. (“Politics No Fun Anymore, Ross Says Of Departure,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/16/12)

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s John Brummett: “Ross Told Me I Could Call Him A Lobbyist If I Insisted…” “‘I’m 51. I’ve got to do something for a living,’ Ross said. ‘My Social Security retirement age is not until 67.’ So he accepted, effective next year, the overture of the Southwest Power Pool in Little Rock. It’s for a new position of vice president for government and public relations. This power pool, which manages the electricity grid for power companies in nine states, is actually organized as a nonprofit, though the power companies themselves are utility corporations, by and large. Ross told me I could call him a lobbyist if I insisted, but that federal rules prohibit his lobbying the U.S. House for a year. … If he needs to lobby in Washington after a year, he’ll register and do so, but rather doubts that will happen, he said.” (John Brummett, Op-Ed, “Mike In The Middle,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/17/12)

The DGA Ad Calls Ross "Independent." False. Ross Is Not “Independent” – He Voted With Democrats Most Of His Time In Congress

For Most Of His Congressional Career, Ross Voted With Democrats Far More Often Than He Voted With Republicans. Between 2001 and 2010, Ross voted with Democrats 82% of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly (taking the average of his yearly party support scores). In his final two years in Congress, following the Democrats’ extensive losses in the 2010 midterms, Ross voted with his party only 45% of the time. (CQ.com, Accessed 2/18/14)

According To CQ, Ross’ Overall Average Annual Party Support Score Was 75.5%. This number comes from taking the average of each of Ross’ annual party support scores, as listed by Congressional Quarterly, between 2001 and 2012. (CQ.com, Accessed 2/18/14)

Tags: Mike Ross, not an independent, Democrat ad, question, facts To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Obama/Pryor Stimulus Turns 5 Years Old, But Where Are The Jobs?

Thanks to Mark Pryor
 Whether it's bailouts, stimulus, or Obamacare, Senator Pryor loves spending taxpayers' money

Little Rock, Arkansas — Today marks the 5th anniversary of the Obama/Pryor failed "stimulus" package, a government spending bonanza that topped $787 billion and failed to turn the American economy around as promised. Senator Mark Pryor voted for President Obama's "stimulus", claiming it was "a good bill" at the time and later claimed the bill worked as intended.

U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton marked the 5th anniversary of the law by calling for a return to fiscal responsibility: "Unfortunately, Senator Pryor has supported President Obama's big-spending agenda since he first took office, including the $787 billion stimulus that wasted taxpayer dollars and didn't help our economy recover. Instead, we are still saddled with massive underemployment, a $17 trillion debt, and the lowest labor force participation rate since the days of Jimmy Carter."

While the stimulus was passed with promises of "shovel-ready" jobs, much of the money was wasted, including billions in government give-aways to failed companies like Solyndra and millions in wasteful projects like the $3 million spent on a turtle crossing in northern Florida.

Background:
In February 2009, Pryor Voted For Obama’s Stimulus. “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - (Sec. 5) Designates each amount in this Act as: (1) an emergency requirement, necessary to meet certain emergency needs in accordance with the FY2008-FY2009 congressional budget resolutions; and (2) an emergency for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) principles.” (H.R. 1, Roll Call Vote #64: Conference Report Agreed To 60-38, 2/13/09, Pryor Voted Yea)

On The Stimulus, Pryor Said, “It’s A Good Bill; It’s Not A Perfect Bill.” “‘It's a good bill; it's not a perfect bill,’ said Pryor.” (Jane Fullerton, “State’s Delegates Ride Herd On Stimulus,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/5/09)

Pryor On Republicans Opposing The Stimulus In February 2009: “If It Goes Well, They’ll Probably Want People To Forget They Opposed It.” “Pryor, pointing to growing deficits during former President George W. Bush's two terms, said the criticism by Republicans of excessive spending in the bill was disingenuous. ‘A lot of Republicans are trying to put this squarely on the Democrats,’ he said. ‘If it goes well, they'll probably want people to forget they opposed it.’” (Alex Daniels, “Stimulus Clears Senate Hurdle,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/10/09)

In October 2011, Pryor Said “The Truth Is That The Previous Stimulus Package Did Work.” “U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said Wednesday he disagrees with his fellow Arkansas senator’s position that President Barack Obama’s latest jobs bill was a repeat of a policy that failed. ‘The truth is that the previous stimulus package did work,’ Pryor said in a conference call with reporters. ‘It didn’t fix everything that people wanted it to, but if you take that stimulus out of the economy over the last couple of years, you would see a higher unemployment rate, you would see a worse economy today than we would have had, had we not passed it.’” (John Lyon, “Pryor Says Federal Stimulus Worked,” Southwest Times Record, 10/13/11)

Solyndra Was Offered The First Recovery Act Loan Guarantee, Receiving $535 Million In March 2009. (Solyndra, “Solyndra Offered $535 Million Loan Guarantee By The U.S. Department Of Energy,” Press Release, 3/20/09)

In August 2011, Solyndra Announced That It Would File For Bankruptcy And Laid Off 1,861 Workers. “On the day it closed, Solyndra said it was laying off 1,100 full-time and temporary employees. But 1,861 workers lost their jobs as the solar panel manufacturer shut its doors, according to U.S. Labor Department documents provided to The Bay Citizen under the Freedom of Information Act… By the time it closed last August, Solyndra had an unsold inventory of more than 23 megawatts – enough solar panels to power about 23,000 homes.” (Aaron Glantz, “Solyndra Layoffs Larger Than Previously Reported,” The Bay Citizen, 6/13/12)

The Stimulus Spent $3 Million  For A Turtle Crossing. “A report due to be released today by a Republican senator contends the Obama administration’s stimulus program is fraught with waste and incompetence – evidenced by a turtle crossing in northern Florida that will cost more than $3 million.” (Peter Nicholas, “Stimulus Program Fraught With Waste Report Says,” The Los Angeles Times, 6/15/09)

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Obama's Not-So-Secret Admirers...

Holly Wilson, Communications Director, Republican Party of Arkansas: While the majority of Arkansans will NOT be sending any Valentines to the White House this year, at least President Obama knows he can always count on love in the Natural State from Mike Ross and Mark Pryor!

Ross’ Funny Valentine…
Mike Ross has made no secret of his support for Barack Obama from the beginning. He actively campaigned on his behalf and even told columnist John Brummett during the 2008 presidential campaign "he’d be comfortable squiring Obama around his district." We wonder if he still feels the same way about his funny Valentine Obama? If so, we look forward to Ross inviting Obama to Arkansas to return the favor and ‘help out’ his campaign!

A Match Made in Partisan Heaven!
Mark Pryor's partisan record is a near-perfect match for President Obama. Unfortunately that means Pryor isn't such a good match for the majority of Arkansans. Time after time Mark Pryor has consistently championed President Obama's agenda, voting with him an eye opening 90% of the time in 2013 (despite Obama's low approval rating with Arkansas voters). Neither Pryor or Obama are a good match for Arkansas, but at least they will have each other in the Lonely Hearts Club!

The RPA Hearts our Candidates!
And in a gesture of our appreciation for them the RPA invites you to join us Monday, February 24 at Next Level Events in Little Rock for our special event, "Filing for Victory!" We are excited about the anticipated GREAT turnout of candidates to file this cycle with the Arkansas GOP and we want you to help us honor them. Our caliber of candidates is the reason the Republican Party is going to be victorious this November!

Doors will open at 6 pm and the program will begin at 6:30 pm to kick-off the first day of candidate filing. Tickets can be purchased for $50 through the RPA HERE or by phone with a credit card or by mailing a check to 1201 W. Sixth Street, Little Rock, AR. 72201. Guests will enjoy food and live music as we celebrate our 2014 candidates!

A New Flame
We are growing our statewide reach and opening a new office! Please join us and special guest speaker Congressman Tom Cotton for the GRAND OPENING of the Northwest Arkansas Victory Office next Saturday, February 22nd from 9:00 am to 11:00 am located at 2576 W. Sunset Avenue in Springdale. This is an open house event with light fare and refreshments provided. To RSVP or for more information please contact Scott Crenshaw at screnshaw@arkansasgop.org or 501-952-8660.

Tags: news letter, RPA, Republican Partu of Arkansas, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mike Ross and Presidential Politics

 Little Rock, Arkansas—Former President Bill Clinton's Wednesday fundraising plea on behalf of Mike Ross served as a reminder to Arkansans that former Congressman Ross has quite a history with Presidents and Presidential candidates.

"If you liked Michael Dukakis, you'll just love Mike Ross," said Doyle Webb, Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, referencing Mike Ross' service as the Massachusetts liberal's Arkansas campaign director in his 1988 presidential run (a race he lost, and in Arkansas by a whopping 14 points).

President Clinton's email mentioned Ross having served as a campaign aide and driver for him during his time in Arkansas.  Notably, Congressman Ross said he would have been happy to do the same for Barack Obama in South Arkansas, telling columnist John Brummett during the 2008 presidential campaign "he’d be comfortable squiring Obama around his district."
Ross has made no secret of his support for Barack Obama, telling the City Wire last year "I voted for President Obama.  I'm a Democrat."

Webb concluded, "Despite claiming he's an independent man, actions speak louder than words and Congressman Ross's record is clear: Whether it's being liberal Mike Dukakis's top man in Arkansas or saying he'd happily have helped Obama campaign for votes in South Arkansas, Mike Ross has shown he's out of touch with mainstream Arkansans."

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Griffin Launches Conservative, Reform-minded Campaign for Lieutenant Governor

 Excited to continue public service and watch kids grow up in Arkansas, Lisenne Rockefeller to Chair Campaign

LITTLE ROCK – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement regarding his decision to seek the office of Lieutenant Governor in 2014: “Last year, I announced my decision not to seek reelection to Congress when my term ends. The decision to leave Congress and return home was an agonizing decision but the right one for my young family. Since that announcement, I have been urged to continue public service, and I am humbled and honored at the encouragement I have received from all over our wonderful State. After much prayer, thought and discussion with my wife and family, I have decided to seek the office of Lieutenant Governor which will allow me to continue serving Arkansans as a problem solver and watch my 3 year old and 6 year old grow up at our home in Arkansas. As Lieutenant Governor, (1) I will work to restore trust by reforming the office and saving hardworking taxpayer dollars; (2) I will use my experience, knowledge and relationships to help Arkansas compete and grow jobs; and (3) I will serve as a resource for the Governor and Legislature to help move Arkansas forward.

“First, I will restore trust in the office by upholding the highest standards and reforming the way the office conducts business: I will save hardworking taxpayer dollars by spending less and making better choices. I will reduce the number of staff and do more with less. I will continue to drive my own truck and will not ask the Arkansas State Police to provide me with personal transportation—the ASP has better, more important things to do with their time and resources.

“Second, I will use my experience, knowledge and relationships to help Arkansas compete and grow good-paying jobs. Service on the House Ways and Means Committee has given me a unique and valuable insight into tax and trade policy that will help us develop pro-growth policies here in Arkansas. Further, I will advocate for policies that help us compete with neighboring states—often for the same projects and jobs—and around the world.

“Third, I will use my knowledge of the federal government as a former White House official, Member of Congress and Army officer of 17 years to be a resource for the governor and the legislature to help Arkansas. As a Member of Congress, constituents count on me and my staff to help them navigate the federal bureaucracy and solve their particular problem. Responsiveness, resourcefulness and creativity are critical to delivering results for constituents. Similarly, the federal government is more and more involved with Arkansas state government functions: It directs billions and billions of dollars to Arkansas and regulates many of our activities. As a result, an understanding of the federal government is helpful and often necessary to understanding state government. I am uniquely qualified to navigate the federal-state relationship and be a problem solver here at home.

“I am honored and proud to announce that Lisenne Rockefeller of Little Rock will serve as my Campaign Chair. She is well-known and well-respected throughout the state and will be an invaluable asset to our campaign as we work to move Arkansas forward. She shares my belief that government at all levels must respect hard-earned taxpayer dollars and go the extra mile to spend taxpayer dollars wisely. She has been a tireless advocate for the people of Arkansas and understands what is required to grow jobs and help us compete around the world," Griffin said.

Rockefeller said, “I am excited to Chair Tim’s campaign for Lieutenant Governor. I have known Tim for years and am proud of his public service as an elected official and an Army officer. He has the energy, experience and expertise to lead Arkansas, and I will do all I can to make sure he is our next Lieutenant Governor.”

About Congressman Tim Griffin
Congressman Tim Griffin was re-elected as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District on November 6, 2012. For the 113th Congress, he is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as an Assistant Whip for the majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Griffin is a graduate of Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 17 years, was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth and their two children.

For more information about the campaign, please visit TimGriffinForArkansas.com. Griffin supporters can also follow the campaign on Twitter at Twitter.com/TGforArkansas and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TGforArkansas.

Tags: Tim Griffin, candidate, Arkansas, Lt. Governor, 2014 Election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Boozman Votes to Restore Military Retiree Cuts

  WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) voted to restore misguided military retirement cuts that were included in the Bipartisan Budget Act.

“Our retired servicemembers were unjustly targeted to bear the burden of irresponsible spending. The budget agreement passed at the end of last year unfairly puts this weight on their shoulders, which is why I voted against that agreement. I have fought to bring this correction for a vote on the Senate floor. We needed to right this wrong so our military retirees and their families have one less thing to worry about. This vote restored the full COLA for retirees who joined prior to January 1, 2014, but upholding our promise for all those who enrolled prior to the initial cut is an important step in the right direction. However, this entire provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act should still be repealed, and if there are ever any changes to military retirement they should be part of a more responsible, thoughtful and comprehensive proposal,” Boozman said.

A provision in the budget agreement Congress passed in December required a one-percent annual reduction in the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for military retirees. Boozman voted against the Bipartisan Budget Act because of this unfair offset. Boozman supported the first steps at correcting this injustice by supporting the omnibus that reversed the COLA cuts for medically retired disabled veterans and those collecting survivor annuities and encouraged his colleagues to fully restore these cuts on the Senate floor and in letters to his colleagues.

Boozman is a cosponsor of  S. 1869, the “Keeping Our Promise to Our Military Heroes Act,” which would fully restore military pay for all retirees, as well as S. Res. 323, a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate on the need to restore military retirement pay.

Tags: Senator John Boozman, sponsor, votes for, restore military retiree cuts To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Mike Ross: Decades Of Liberalism

“Former President Bill Clinton’s ‘fundraising plea for Mike Ross’ serves as a reminder to Arkansans that Ross has been a liberal for decades, regardless of what he may say on TV. The truth is when Ross ran for Congress in 2000, Nancy Pelosi helped fill his campaign coffers. Ross returned the favor, playing a key role in bringing Nancy Pelosi to power. And when Democrats ushered in their new Big Government era in 2009, Pelosi embraced Ross and handed the gavel to him. But Ross’ record of supporting liberalism dates back even further. Ross ran liberal Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis’ 1988 Presidential campaign in Arkansas. Dukakis lost the Natural State by 14%. When Ross joined the Arkansas State Senate in 1991, he described himself as a ‘progressive.’ Thanks for the reminder, President Clinton. Mike Ross is a liberal.” ~ RGA Communications Director Gail Gitcho

In 2000, When Ross Ran For Congress Liberal Nancy Pelosi Was There To Help Fund His Campaigns
When Ross First Ran For Congress In 2000, Nancy Pelosi’s Leadership PAC – PAC To The Future – Contributed $10,000. (Center for Responsive Politics Website)

In 2002, Running For Reelection As A Freshman, Pelosi’s PAC Contributed Another $10,000 To Ross’ Campaign Committee. (Center for Responsive Politics Website)

And Ross Returned The Favor, Helping Bring Nancy Pelosi To Power In The House
As A Newly-Elected Congressman, Ross Held A Key Vote In Who Would Be The Next House Democratic Whip – Steny Hoyer Or Nancy Pelosi. “When the Democrats failed to win back the House in 2000, the future of the whip race was uncertain … As the summer approached, Hoyer and Pelosi started wooing hard, focusing especially on the roughly two dozen undecideds. One of them was Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, a first-termer. With his conservative voting record, he seemed to be a natural ally for the more moderate Hoyer. But both Pelosi and Hoyer had campaigned for him in 2000, and both had sat in his office asking for his vote.” (“The Making Of Madam Whip,” The Washington Post, 1/6/02)

Ross Privately Gave His Support To Hoyer But Did Not Make A Public Endorsement, So Pelosi Began To Lobby Him. “Hoyer was convinced he had Ross’s support. In March, according to Hoyer, the Arkansan had privately told him, ‘I want you to know I’m a loyal person. You’ve done more for me than anybody else, and you were there for me, and I’m for you.’ Ross, himself, says he does not recall such a conversation. But others agree that shortly afterward Ross attended a breakfast meeting of Hoyer backers, where assignments were made of undecided members to lobby. In any case, Ross was not going public about his intentions, and Pelosi sensed she had possibilities.” (“The Making Of Madam Whip,” The Washington Post, 1/6/02)

Ross Then Changed Camps: “I’m Going To Be Voting For Nancy Pelosi. I’m Sorry.” “Ross was aware that if the three of them [Vic Snyder, Marion Berry, and himself] endorsed Pelosi as a group, their tiny state would have more influence in the caucus next year. And it felt like things were moving toward Pelosi. ‘Arkansas is a small state,’ he explained. ‘It’s difficult to be recognized and obtain the clout we want and deserve.’ One night shortly before Congress adjourned for the summer, Hoyer was walking down the Capitol steps when he saw Ross standing off to one side. ‘This is awful tough for me,’ Ross said, visibly troubled. ‘What’s tough, Mike?’ Hoyer asked, puzzled. ‘This is awful tough,’ Ross simply repeated. The next day, Ross had a handwritten note delivered to Hoyer’s office. It consisted of two sentences: ‘I’m going to be voting for Nancy Pelosi. I’m sorry.’” (“The Making Of Madam Whip,” The Washington Post, 1/6/02)

After Pelosi Was Elected Whip, Ross Attended Her Victory Party At A Lavish D.C. Hotel. “The morning of the vote Pelosi had 106 public commitments, and claimed she had as many as 123 backers. Hoyer had 81 supporters on record, and declared he had a total of 106 stalwarts. When the ballots were counted, Pelosi had won decisively, 118 to 95, becoming the highest-ranking woman in congressional history. … That night, Pelosi had a celebration at the Phoenix Park Hotel near Union Station. Bob Clement and Mike Ross made it to the reception, which featured multiple chocolate desserts, an open bar and a band playing loudly in the background.” (“The Making Of Madam Whip,” The Washington Post, 1/6/02)


Ross Was A Loyal Foot-Soldier In Congressional Democrats’ Efforts To Regain Control Of The House Of Representatives
May 2004: Ross Said He Would Be An Active Campaigner For Democrats, Calling Himself A “Team Player.” “Ross, who has no GOP opponent this year, said he’ll help campaign for Kerry and other Democrats in Arkansas, and he’ll also campaign for Democratic congressional candidates in other states. ‘I’m trying to be a team player,’ Ross said.” (“Arkansans Look At Race For President,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/23/04)

December 2004: A Congressional Aide Confirmed Ross Was Seen As “A Team Player.” “Rep. Mike Ross is on a short list of Democrats being considered for a coveted seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a congressional aide close to the selection process confirmed Wednesday. … Ross, who ran unopposed in November, dipped into his campaign war chest to donate about $200,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he gave about $89,000 to dozens of individual Democratic candidates running in the general election. The reward for Arkansas’ 4th District congressman could well be one of three open seats on the committee reserved for Democrats. … ‘It certainly helps,’ the aide said of Ross’ fund raising, ‘because members in the caucus see you’re a team player willing to help out when you need to.’ The aide spoke on the condition of not being named.” (“Ross On Short List For Key Panel Seat,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 12/2/04)

Ross Boasted Of His Work To Bring House Democrats Back Into The Majority
When Ross Considered A 2006 Bid For House Leadership, He Boasted To His Democratic Colleagues Of How Much Money He Had Raised For Democrats. “[Ross] is considering making a bid either for a spot in the Democratic leadership or for leadership of the House’s Blue Dog coalition of fiscal conservatives. He said he’ll make a decision within about a week. … In late September, Ross sent a letter to his fellow House Democrats asking them not to commit their support to anyone in the race to become the caucus’s vice chairman, because he might make a bid. In the letter, he pointed out that this year he has directly contributed or raised $1 million toward the election of House Democrats.” (“Legislators In Majority Relish Win,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 11/9/06)
  • Ross Said He Donated Or Raised More Than $1 Million To Help Democrats Take Control Of Congress That Year. “Ross, in a recent letter to other Democrats, said his contributions to individual candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, combined, total more than $300,000. He added that he had helped the committee raise an additional $700,000.” (“In D.C., Sharing Wealth Routine,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/13/06)
Ross Made Extensive Efforts On Behalf Of The DCCC And Was One Of Rahm Emanuel’s Political “Lieutenants.” “Arkansas’ Rep. Mike Ross has been an active foot soldier in Democrats’ bid to take control of Congress’ lower chamber in November’s midterm elections, playing a prominent role in his party’s ‘red-to-blue’ strategy. … Ross has contributed $150,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the fundraising group headed by Emanuel. On top of that, he has raised an additional $517,625, either by making phone calls or drawing donors to fundraisers, according to a committee memo published by Washington Monthly, a liberal political journal, on its Web site. ‘He’s been an integral part of the DCCC’s activities,’ said Adrienne Elrod, a spokesman for the committee. She said Ross has been particularly effective in reaching out to moderate and conservative Democrats. … National Journal, another Washington policy magazine, has described Ross as one of ‘Rahm’s Lieutenants.’ Ross is one of eight members of Congress who huddle with Emanuel during semiregular Thursday meetings to plot strategy.” (“Ross A Kinetic Player In ‘Red-To-Blue’ Plan,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/7/06)

And When She Ushered In A New Congress In January 2009, Then-Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi “Cupped Ross’ Cheeks” And Then Handed Him The Gavel
January 2009: As The New Congress Began, Speaker Pelosi “Briefly Cupped Ross’ Cheeks” Before Turning The Gavel Over To Him After Members Were Sworn In. “House members, having just been administered their oaths of office by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, began to file out of the chamber, jammed to capacity with the lawmakers and their children. Pelosi turned to leave the speaker’s perch and was greeted by Arkansas’ Rep. Mike Ross. They shook hands, and Pelosi briefly cupped Ross’ cheeks. Then the 111th Congress got down to business. Ross, who presided over the previous Congress for more than 100 hours, had been chosen by Pelosi to be the first speaker pro tempore of the new Congress because of ‘his firm grasp of procedure,’ according to a release from Pelosi’s office. Ross hammered the gavel. … It was up to Ross to mediate the debate on House Resolution 5, which would set the rules by which the Democratic majority will run the chamber.” (“Arkansans Gear Up For 111th Congress,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/7/09)

In Fundraising Plea, Former President Bill Clinton Reminds Voters Of Ross’ Three Decade History Of Liberalism, Beginning In The Early 1980’s
Former President Bill Clinton Notes Ross Helped His 1982 Campaign For Governor. “When I was running for governor of Arkansas in 1982, a talented and energetic young man named Mike Ross was a big help to me and my campaign.” (Emily Schultheis, “Bill Clinton Sends Fundraising Plea For Mike Ross In Ark.”, 2/12/14)

In 1988, Ross Was An Aide To Liberal Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis During His Presidential Bid Against George H.W. Bush And Effusively Praised His Convention Speech
Ross Ran The Dukakis Campaign In Arkansas. “Mike Ross of Prescott, an aide to Lieutenant Governor Winston Bryant, has been named director of the Arkansas campaign of Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/14/88)

Ross Called Dukakis’ Convention Speech “Maybe The Best Speech I Ever Heard.” “Arkansas reaction to Michael Dukakis’ speech Thursday night ranged from the sheer ecstasy of Dukakis supporters to the cautious encouragement of Jesse Jackson supporters. ‘Maybe the best speech I ever heard,’ Mike Ross, who was Dukakis’ floor whip for Arkansas, said.” (“Tremendous,” Gannett News Service, 7/22/88)

George H.W. Bush Carried Arkansas With 56% Of The Vote, Thoroughly Dismantling Liberal Dukakis In The General Election
When Ross Ran Dukakis’ Arkansas Campaign In 1988, George H.W. Bush Won In A Landslide. (CQ.com)
Year
Bush Votes
%
Dukakis Votes
%
1988
466,578
56%
349,237
42%
(CQ.com

In 1991, Ross A Self-Described “Progressive” When He Joined The State Senate
As Ross Took His Seat In The State Senate In 1991, He Called Himself A “Progressive.” “Mike Ross of Prescott won’t feel like a newcomer when he takes his state Senate seat Monday. For four years, he was an administrative assistant to Lt. Gov. Winston Bryant, who was the Senate’s nominal presiding officer, and he knows the chamber’s players already. … Ross, 29, calls himself a ‘progressive’ who would prefer to plan ahead rather than react to problems after they have developed.”  (“Ross Takes Seat With Bills In Hand,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/13/91)

Early In His Career, “Ross Positioned Himself With The Progressive Wing Of The Democratic Party…” “Ross is a political ‘survivor,’ said Jay Barth, a political science professor at Hendrix College in Conway. Barth was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. He said that as a state senator and then during his first congressional campaign, Ross positioned himself with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. But his district, like many areas of the South, began to lean more heavily Republican over the past decade, and Ross began to take a more conservative stance, Barth said. ‘He has been a very ambidextrous politician,’ Barth said.” (“Ross Wrapping Up 12-Year D.C. Stint,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 12/30/12)

Tags: Mike Ross, decades, liberalism, news sources To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.