Categories

Archive for the ‘Norm Coleman’ Category

I’ve been suspicious of the Florida polling because it didn’t reflect the big crowds that Newt was attracting. This morning, I wrote about a credible poll that showed Newt leading. Jim Hoft has just posted Greta’s interview with Florida AG Pam Bondi. It’s today’s must reading. Here’s the scary part of Greta’s interview:

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi who’s fighting to repeal ObamaCare appeared on Greta, tonight, defending RomneyCare. She says Romney’s health care plan is not the same as ObamaCare and, in fact, Romney’s plan reduces costs. She goes on to say that Romney wants all states to impose similar laws (including mandates) and that she is all for it.

She went on to explain that she’s going to be on Romney’s Health Care Advisory Team when he’s president!

It’s clear that Romneycare is what AG Bondi was talking about. It’s clear that she had her Romneycare chanting points. I didn’t hear her say, though, that Mitt wants the 50 states to implement Romneycare.

That said, it’s clear that Mitt’s defense of Romneycare isn’t just to save face. It’s clear that he truly believes in it.

It’s clear through this video, though, that Mitt isn’t interested in moving us that far away from O’Care. If that’s the case, we’re in serious trouble.

I’m predicting now that, barring something totally unforeseen happening, Mitt won’t win the Florida GOP primary. Romneycare is as unpopular as O’Care, meaning this interview will hurt Mitt’s chances Tuesday. I’d bet the proverbial ranch that the Gingrich campaign and Florida’s extensive TEA Party network will spread this information from the Panhandle to the Keys.

Couple this unexpected revelation with conservatives’ reaction to Wednesday’s attempt to destroy Newt’s campaign and you’ve got a potent argument that Mitt shouldn’t be our nominee.

Mitt’s gone too far in attacking his opponents. Mitt’s a Massachusetts liberal. Now he wants the states to implement Romneycare. Those aren’t the things that add up to a Florida primary victory.

PS- It’s worth noting that Ms. Bondi isn’t the first Mitt surrogate to hint that Mitt isn’t interested in getting rid of O’Care. Earlier this week, Norm Coleman said that they wouldn’t repeal all of O’Care, a statement that Mitt quickly distanced himself from.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ever since Michael Brodkorb broke onto the blogging scene in July, 2004, he’s been a high profile force in Minnesota Republican politics. Most Democrats think of Michael as the devil incarnate.

While I’ve disagreed with Michael’s tactics from time to time, I never questioned his commitment to winning. Likewise, there’s no arguing that, during his blogging heyday, he didn’t break alot of stories that the Strib or the PiPress wrote about after Michael had broken the stories.

The reality is that, whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Michael’s a force of nature and a bare-knuckled fighter. I think Noah ’17 failed attempts isn’t hacking’ Kunin still gets cold sweats when he thinks of Michael.

In many respects, I wish more elected Republicans, especially the spineless kind in DC, had Michael’s go-for-the-throat attitude. Too often, Republicans get sucked into playing into the Democrats’ hands. Compromise, compromise, the Democrats say when they’re getting their asses handed to them, which the John McCains, Lindsey Grahams and Mitch McConnells of the world immediately comply with.

These gents, plus other DC politicians, should take their lessons from Michael. When the other side is losing the fight because the American people agree with us, that’s when a fighter like Michael would push the advantage and leave the other side with table scraps.

Putting things simply, Michael’s motto for fighting Democrats could be phrased this way: We win, they lose.

Summarizing what he’d be prepared to do is simple. Metaphorically speaking, if Democrats brought a knife to the fight, Michael would show up with a gun and extra clip. If they brought a gun will extra clips, Michael would’ve shown up with the gun, more extra clips and some grenades.

Michael’s never been known as a policy wonk. That’s ok. We’ve got alot of wonks. What Michael is, though, is a tactical expert.

Like other activists, I’ve had my disagreements with Michael. Not once in that time did I ever question his commitment to helping Republicans win races. While there are GOP activists that don’t like Michael, (Joe Repya leaps to mind) the reality is that Michael has his allies.

No Michael story is complete, though, without talking about the day that Michael interviewed Peter Fritz after Fritz was harassed by Al Franken. At the time, Fritz was attending Carleton College. Here’s a recap from Michael’s first post:

C.J. from the Star Tribune is reporting that Al Franken repeatedly mocked a Carleton College student during a recent visit to Northfield, including ridiculing the young man’s manner of speaking. At one point, Franken even refused to shake the young man’s hand. The best part: the Carleton College student’s account is backed by the head of the Carleton College Dems.

To repeat: this was a GROWN MAN being cruel to a young college student. Mocking him and being mean. This wasn’t an example of someone being tired and just being a jerk; this is an ADULT deliberately making fun of someone who was clearly nervous and uncomfortable. Absolutely mean and totally unMinnesotan.

At the end of Michael’s interview of Fritz, Michael asked if Franken was driving himself or if he had a driver. When Fritz said that Franken was being driven by College Democrat from Mankato State, Michael replied “I think I know the driver.”

It was a totally Michael moment. Only Michael would know the College Democrats from Mankato State who got paid by the DFL to drive Franken around.

Is it any wonder why Michael broke as many stories as he did?

Technorati: , , , , , , , ,

MPR is reporting that Sen. Norm Coleman is hosting a fundraiser for Chip Cravaack today at The Minneapolis Club:

Former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman is slated to hold a fundraiser for GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack. Coleman, who lose his reelection bid to DFL Sen. Al Franken in 2008, is holding the fundraiser for Cravaack at The Minneapolis Club on Friday. Individuals are being asked to contribute $500. Political Action Committees are being asked to contribute $1,000.

Cravaack is expected to face a tough reelection battle in 2012. He defeated DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2008.

This is a great first step for Chip Cravaack. During his initial run in 2010, fundraising prevented Chip from running a more robust campaign. This cycle, it’s apparent that Chip’s campaign is benefiting from the instant credibility that comes with being the incumbent.

Another additional credential working in Chip’s favor is the fact that he’s the sitting vice-chair of the House Subcommittee on Aviation.

Rather than sulking after his 2008 defeat, Sen. Coleman has stayed engaged with Minnesota politics. This fundraiser is a great way for him to do what he can to help Chip win re-election. Norm knows that it’s important for the Minnesota GOP to solidify their gains, then build off of that strengthened base.

This is a perfect trial of the old political adage that ‘money talks but early money shouts.’ Thanks to the expected haul from today’s fundraiser, Chip’s campaign can afford to do alot of additional shouting.

Chip’s benefiting from his highlighting subjects that Rep. Oberstar likely would’ve swept under the rug. Chip issued this statement to explain why he voted for legislation that would limit this administration’s overreach via the NLRB.

While making it clear that he stands for unions’ rights, Chip’s also making sure people know that he won’t let this administration use the NLRB to prop up President Obama’s campaign.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Mark Ritchie’s and the DFL’s mantra regarding Minnesota’s election system is that it’s the gold standard of all the election systems in the United States. They cite as proof the 2008 Coleman-Franken recount. Then they talk about how much experience state election officials have with recounts.

I’m not buying that for a minute, thanks in large part to this tweet:

MinnesotaDFL RT @stowydad: Duluth ballots feared missing located. Sealed envelope was in election storage ctr, says St. Louis County auditor

First, I’m thankful that the ballots were found. That said, why didn’t election officials know where the ballots were? That seems like a high priority, possibly only behind making sure the people that vote are eligible to vote and guaranteeing that the people who vote sign the sign-in sheet.

I’d also argue that any system that has vouching is a system that’s ripe for voter fraud. Before anyone argues that there’s no proof of that, I’d highlight Powerline’s post showing proof that progressive organizations, including ones associated with Minnesota SecState Ritchie, had a plan in place for voter fraud in 2004:

In Minnesota the Bush campaign has come into the possession of the following email from ACT to its Minnesota volunteers:

Election Day is upon us. You are confirmed to volunteer with ACT (America Coming Together – http://www.actforvictory.org/) on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov 2.

We will be creating name badges that include your Ward and Precinct information for each of the thousands of volunteers that day to make it easier to find a volunteer to vouch for a voter at the polls.

I am emailing you to request your street address, city and zipcode. We’ve already got your other contact information, but your record in our database does not include this information.

You can save us time on election day by replying today to this email with this information, or give us a call at [phone number with St. Paul area code].

In order to get your badge correct, please reply by Thursday.

Thank you for your help and cooperation. See you on Election Day!

Why would there be a need to create badges that include the volunteer’s name and precinct number? The principle behind vouching is that the person vouching knows the person who doesn’t have proof of residence.

Certainly, the person being vouched for should know their voting place, including the ward and precinct number.

That’s before talking about all the felons that illegally voted in the 2008 election. That’s before talking about Ritchie complaining that he didn’t have the authority to update the voter list even though HAVA of 2002 gave him authority, indeed the responsibility, to update the registered voter lists and keep them current.

Put these things together and it’s impossible for a thinking person who’s looked at these events objectively to state that Minnesota’s election operations are smooth, much less the gold standard that the rest of the country should attempt to emulate.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , ,

Mark Sommerhauser’s article on Rep. Dan Severson’s candidacy for Minnesota’s Secretary of State office quotes Mark Ritchie several times. Here’s one of those quotes:

Ritchie emphasizes the recount results held up to months of scrutiny. Local auditors conducted the recount; a three-judge panel oversaw Coleman’s election contest, and the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against Coleman’s appeal.

The work of those involved in the recount earned near-universal acclaim, even from members of Severson’s party, Ritchie says. “Their work made Minnesotans proud,” Ritchie said. “I hear that on the street; north, south, east and west in the state. “I hear it often from people who did not support the candidate who won.”

I wrote about Mark Alvarez’s investigation for KSTP into the troubled absentee ballot process in this post. Here’s part of that post:

In the last election Ramsey county, Minneapolis and St. Louis county (the county I did my investigation in) had a combined rejection of only 7 absentee ballots. Carver county officials (a county much smaller than any one of the above named counties) had 188 rejected absentee ballots.

In South Minneapolis, Margaret Dolan told Alvarez that they didn’t reject any absentee ballots because they weren’t told what the criteria was for accepting or rejecting absentee ballots.

Let’s first stipulate that Mark Ritchie isn’t responsible for training election judges. That’s the job of the county clerks. What is Mark Ritchie’s job is to make sure that county clerks do a good job of training election judges. A secretary of state committed to election integrity would verify that election judges know the criteria codified into law for the handling of absentee ballots:

The election judges shall mark the return envelope “Accepted” and initial or sign the return envelope below the word “Accepted” if the election judges or a majority of them are satisfied that:
(1) the voter’s name and address on the return envelope are the same as the information provided on the absentee ballot application;
(2) the voter’s signature on the return envelope is the genuine signature of the individual who made the application for ballots and the certificate has been completed as prescribed in the directions for casting an absentee ballot, except that if a person other than the voter applied for the absentee ballot under applicable Minnesota Rules, the signature is not required to match;
(3) the voter is registered and eligible to vote in the precinct or has included a properly completed voter registration application in the return envelope; and
(4) the voter has not already voted at that election, either in person or by absentee ballot.
There is no other reason for rejecting an absentee ballot. In particular, failure to place the envelope within the security envelope before placing it in the outer white envelope is not a reason to reject an absentee ballot.

KSTP’s Alvarez questioned SecState Ritchie about why he found so many absentee ballots that were accepted that should’ve been rejected. Ritchie’s response was to play the victim card. What Alvarez did was show Ritchie the photocopies of the envelopes containing the absentee ballots. Minnesota state election statutes require that the envelopes be signed by the legally registered voter who is voting via absentee ballot and the signature of the legally registered voter who witnessed the filling out of the absentee ballot.

What KSTP’s Alvarez did was show Ritchie envelopes without the voters’signatures. Some were visibly marked as accepted. Others were properly rejected. Ritchie’s response was typical liberal victim:

“You would’ve had to tell me to bring my glasses if you wanted to spring something on me.”

Is Mr. Ritchie so blind that he can’t see whether the voter’s signature is on the envelope? Is Mr. Ritchie so blind that he can’t see whether the witness’s signature is on the envelope? Does Mr. Ritchie know the law for casting a valid absentee ballot? If he does, does he insist that the law is followed?

It’s troublesome to me that Mr. Alvarez was threatened with legal action if he investigated the election results. Doesn’t that sound like intimidation from election officials? That can’t be tolerated.

There’s another thing bothering me about this article. I don’t care whether people applauded the process. People might applaud themselves despite their doing a less-than-adequate job. Outsiders might not know the criteria for accepting or rejecting absentee ballots.

The sole criteria I’m using is whether the law was followed in casting absentee ballots. I’m using that criteria because that’s the objective criteria that the law requires. It’s irrelevant whether election judges don’t know the laws or whether they’re willfully ignoring absentee ballot laws. What’s relevant is whether the laws were followed.

Clearly, that didn’t happen here. Clearly, some counties didn’t follow the clearly written state law.

The question going forward isn’t whether Mr. Ritchie’s rationalizations can be justified. It’s whether Mr. Ritchie insisted that the laws were followed.

Critics of photo ID say it can disenfranchise elderly and disabled people who may not have photo ID. When legislators modify election law, they typically seek consensus to ensure election results are widely viewed as legitimate, Ritchie said.

I’d love asking these faceless critics what they’re basing their opinion on. What proof do they have that shows that the elderly and disabled are disenfranchised by photo ID? If they have proof that it’s disenfranchising voters, is there a solution to fixing that situation? If there is, why hasn’t that change been made?

These critics need to answer why it isn’t possible to craft a system that doesn’t disenfranchise voters but still guarantees election integrity. I’m skeptical that it can’t be done because America was built on the the premise that there isn’t any problem we can’t solve if we just use our ingenuity.

After all, a nation that can do the things we’ve done is capable of designing an election system that’s straightforward and easy for everyone to follow.

That’s why I believe voters will fire Mr. Ritchie this November. We can’t afford having another sloppy election.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Readers of this blog know that I’ve recently had the privilege of introducing Sen. Coleman at the SD-15 GOP fundraiser. I’ve never made it a secret that, while I disagreed with him on some of his votes, I’ve always considered him a statesman and a gentleman.

Following his announcement that he isn’t running for the endorsement to be the GOP gubernatorial candidate, I can’t help but say that my respect for Sen. Coleman has never been higher. This portion of his announcement is vintage Norm Coleman:

At the moment, I am tremendously energized by the work I am currently involved in to create a positive, center right agenda for this country. Anger on the left and anger on the right will get us nowhere. In Minnesota, we face a jobs deficit, a budget deficit and a bipartisanship deficit.

We must all put aside the bitterness and sniping and remember that behind every job loss and every home foreclosure is a Minnesota family losing hope and confidence.
I think I can be part of recreating a more civil and respectful politics, a politics that better expresses the will of the vast majority of people. I will continue my efforts to work with Republicans, Independents and moderate, common sense Democrats across the country to advance the values of fiscal responsibility, entrepreneurship, effective government change, national security and respect for life.

To those of us who’ve known Norm, that’s typical Norm. First and foremost, Norm’s a gentleman and a statesman. Almost as importantly, Norm’s an optimist who genuinely thinks that America is a center-right nation.

The Norm I talked with a week ago was appalled with the extremist policies of this admininstration. Norm also seemed appreciative of the TEA Party movement. If Norm starts speaking out on those issues during this campaign cycle on behalf of local and statewide candidates, he’ll be a powerful advocate for entrepreneuriship and center-right policies.

I won’t pretend to know Norm well because I haven’t been an activist as long as some. Still, I got to know Norm a little during the 2008 campaign. A staple of his stump speeches was a story about a woman showing up at a politician’s funeral. A reporter approaches the woman and asks whether she knew the politician. The woman replied that she didn’t know the politician “but he sure knew me.” Norm was fond of saying that he loved being know as a politician who knew his constituents.

Anyone who’s ever known Norm knows that he is a man of the people. Most importantly, he’s the definition of statesman.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

There’ve been a alot of articles written speculating whether Norm would run. My friend Andy Aplikowski wrote a great post this morning on whether Norm should run. First, let me say up front that I love Norm dearly. I think he’s a great statesman. Second, it’s important that I announce that I’ve been asked to be part of Tom Emmer’s steering committee and that I’ve accepted that position.

Now that that’s been dispensed with, let’s cut to the decision facing Republicans. On one hand, you’ve got Tom Emmer, who has built a great organization and who gained alot of delegates yesterday when Pat Anderson dropped out of the gubernatorial race. Most of Tom’s delegates are willing to run through the wall for him. Because of that, I can confidently say that Tom’s on the right side of the enthusiasm gap.

Anyone who’s paid attention to the last 2 election cycles knows how important that it, don’t we? Last year, the Democrats had a huge enthusiasm gap advantage. Now they’ve got the White House and supermajorities in the House and Senate.

Having talked with Tom about his vision for Minnesota, I’m confident that he can build a vibrant GOP majority. I’ve witnessed how well his message is selling with Minnesotans. Most importantly, Tom’s message doesn’t just resonate with rock-ribbed conservatives like Andy and myself. Tom’s message connects with independents who are energized about politics for the first time in their life, too. BTW, many of those independents who are energized about politics for the first time in their life are part of the TEA Party movement. I’m confident that history will record the TEA Party movement as the dominant force in American politics this cycle.

That’s how winning coalitions are built.

The argument against Tom is feeble. The argument is that he doesn’t have high name recognition and his fundraising abilities aren’t as good as his opponent. It’s worth remembering that that’s what the NRSC said about Marco Rubio in Florida.

The argument was that Charlie Crist had the fundraising ability and the 100 percent name recognition, which made him an ideal candidate. Today, Rubio’s campaign is gaining momentum. Crist’s campaign is in shambles. The army of Rubio supporters is growing and enthusiastic. His message is resonating with the same types of people that Tom’s message is reaching. It isn’t coincidence that Marco Rubio’s message is experiencing the same success that Tom’s message is experiencing.

In announcing her candidacy for the State Auditor’s position, Pat Anderson paid Tom a great compliment:

Even when she still was in the race, Anderson acknowledged that it has been Emmer who has done the best job of igniting the passions of the forum crowds. “He’s a great speaker, very passionate, and the activists feel he has a better [legislative] voting record than Marty [Seifert].”

Pat’s compliment goes to the heart of why Tom should be our next governor. Tom’s willing to fight for his vision of limited government, common sense reforms and restoring prosperity to Minnesota.

Tom’s appealing vision for Minnesota will help grow the Republican Party, too. In short, Tom’s vision is connecting with Minnesotans, which is why his coalition is so formidable.

Which brings me to Norm. Norm’s name recognition is great and his fundraising ability isn’t in dispute. With all due respect to Norm, though, those aren’t as important as they once were. You needn’t look further than Ron Paul’s fundraising last year.

he isn’t in the U.S. Senate because he didn’t run a great campaign. It wasn’t that people didn’t like him. They did. They just weren’t inspired by him.

The biggest question facing Norm is what his message will be. Will he be a fiscal conservative? Nothing in his record says he is. Will he be a reformer? Again, I don’t know. Will he fight for Minnesota’s taxpayers? I don’t know. There’s no question whether Tom will fight for Minnesota’s taxpayers.

The question that I can’t answer is why Norm is the right choice for being the next governor. The question I can answer quickly is why Tom Emmer should be our next governor.

At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Last night, I got this statement from Rep. Michele Bachmann’s office on President Obama’s speech at West Point:

After several long months of deliberation, I’m pleased that the President has finally decided to follow the recommendation of our commanding officer in Afghanistan and deploy more troops to the country. As the President has said, the war in Afghanistan is a war of necessity. However, I sincerely hope that the President is truly committed to victory. While it’s important to acknowledge that U.S. forces will not be in Afghanistan forever, we must not have a concrete time line for withdrawal as it will ultimately hurt our effort and energize our enemies.

Clearly, it’s in the vital interests of the United States to defeat the Taliban, destroy Al Qaeda, and establish a free, sovereign Afghanistan that can govern and look after its own people. Anything less and we’re guaranteeing almost certain instability and chaos in the region. But going forward, we must be in it to win it because if we engage in this effort halfheartedly, then the war is already lost.

Former Sen. Norm Coleman issued this statement after President Obama’s speech:

I do give Obama credit for stating our security requires this increased troop presence. But why isn’t that still the case in 2012? We set deadlines for withdrawal in iraq after the surge proved successful. Here, we are invitng the Taliban to wait us out.

Rep. Bachmann and Sen. Coleman clearly want the military to win this fight and this war. It’s in that context that they both expressed reservations about the timetables President Obama hinted at during his speech.

I mentioned in this post that it seemed strange to hear this in President Obama’s speech:

This is the epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda.

then hear this a few short sentences later:

First, we will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban’s momentum and increase Afghanistan’s capacity over the next 18 months.

I don’t know how you go from saying that Afghanistan is “the epicenter of violent extremism” where al-Qa’ida planned the 9/11 attacks to saying that the increase in troops will last 18 months. Either it’s a serious threat that must be defeated or it isn’t. Triangulation doesn’t work in this situation. To use a poker metaphor, with Afghanistan, you’re either all in or you’re folding.

To anchor one foot in each camp is a great way to put yourself east of the rock and west of the hard place.

I hope the strategy works. I definitely have confidence in Gen. McChrystal and Gen. Petraeus. I can’t say the same thing of President Obama. Still, I’m willing to give him the opportunity to succeed without criticizing his policy.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, after finishing this post, I did a quick scan of FB. After scanning that quickly, I noticed former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman was online so I asked him his opinion on the health care debate, specifically the GOP’s arguments in the House.

I prefaced that by saying the House GOP had talked too much about deficit neutrality and that they hadn’t focused enough on whether the bill would make health insurance premiums less expensive. Here’s Sen. Coleman’s reply:

Norm: we sound like detached accountants. And debt is a new phenomena-when the word trillion got into the lexicon, things changed. We need to let folks know that it’s going to cost them more, it’s going to raise their taxes, and it’s going to crush their kids future…and for what???? to solve part of a problem?

Norm couldn’t be more right in his analysis. I’m not suggesting, nor was Norm, that the cost didn’t matter. He’s right in saying that people ar worried now that annual deficits are measured in trillions of dollars. That’s got families frightened about every expense.

Here’s the context that we should view the rising cost of health insurance premiums:

Our taxes will increase under the Democrats’ plans. Health insurance premiums will continue rising under the Democrats’ plans. We’ll be spending trillions of dollars over the next 20 years. The new debt that’s being created by the Obama budget is crushing the next generation’s future.

Now Democrats want to spend trillions of dollars to partially fix the problem? I don’t think so.

Deficit neutrality is important but only if it’s coupled with good policies that lower health care and health insurance costs. Who cares if a bill is deficit neutral if it punishes people for being responsible:

The minute Pelosicare is signed into law, HSAs aren’t a nannystate-approved health insurance policy.

Let’s suppose that you have an HSA and a policy that covers catatstrophic events like a broken leg, stroke or heart attacks. The minute Pelosicare takes effect, the Obama administration will send you a notice that your insurance isn’t in compliance with Pelosicare and that they’re fining you for not complying with Pelosicare’s mandates.

You’ve done the right thing. You’re providing health insurance for your family with your money. You’ve worked hard. You’ve done the right thing. And you’re getting fined for that.

Shouldn’t We The People impress on the legislators, the ones who theoretically work for us, that WE DEMAND that this get corrected ASAP? Shouldn’t We The People DEMAND that lawsuit abuse reform be included in any reform legislation? Shouldn’t We The People DEMAND that anything that’s done will lower insurance premiums?

After all, that’s what President Obama campaigned on:

Barack Obama ran for president on a promise of saving the typical family $2,500 a year in lower health care premiums.

But that was then. No one in the White House is making such a pledge now.

This is proof that the Democrats’ legislation is another bait-and-switch gambit. Yes, another. The stimulus bill was touted as a bill to jumpstart the economy. Nine months later, we know that it was a bill to jumpstart the Democrats’ political allies. This legislation was touted as bringing down health care costs, which were “crippling private industry.”

This legislation does nothing to slow down health care costs to small businesses or families. I noted above that HR 3962 punishes people for doing the right thing. how is that helping families? How is piling on $729,000,000,000 of new taxes helping small businesses?

The federal government shouldn’t tell us that a health insurance policy that’s legal today isn’t legal once health insurance ‘reform’ is enacted. It’s time that We The People told our employees that they’d better start listening to us or we’ll fire them in less than a year.

Obama was the one who raised expectations of lower premiums. From one city to the next, and during the presidential debates, Obama made the pledge almost as often as he vowed to remove troops from Iraq: “We estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.”

He has barely uttered it since taking office. The last recorded mention by Obama was in May, when he announced that six health industry groups agreed to lower the growth rate in health care spending by $2 trillion over 10 years, resulting in a savings of $2,500 per family “in the coming years.”

Whether President Obama raised expectations is irrelevant. We The People can’t afford to keep paying ever-increasing health insurance premiums. Thus far, only the House GOP alternative lowers insurance premiums. That isn’t just my opinion. It’s the verdict that CBO has rendered:

CBO anticipates that the combination of provisions in the amendment would reduce average private health insurance premiums per enrollee in the United States, relative to what they would be under current law-by 7 percent to 10 percent in the small group market, by 5 percent to 8 percent for individually purchased insurance, and by zero to 3 percent in the large group market. Those are averages, however, and they are subject to a great deal of uncertainty; some individuals and families in each market would see different results.

Here’s another provision in the bill that should get closer scrutiny:

A State Innovations grant program to provide federal payments to states that achieve specified reductions in the number of uninsured individuals or in the premiums for small group or individually purchased policies.

When welfare reform was passed in 1996, the states were the testing ground for what eventually became part of the national welfare reform. It only makes sense that we look to the states to be the experimentation stations for health care reform.

Until the Democrats’ legislation does something to increase competition and lower health insurance premiums, their legislation should be a non-starter. Lowering OUR COSTS is the only criteria that’s important.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at California Conservative

NRSC Chairman Sen. John Cornyn issued this update to the other GOP senators explaining where the election contest is at:

Dear Colleagues,

I write to update you on Norm Coleman’s election contest in Minnesota. Over the recess, there were conflicting media accounts as to both what is happening in the contest and what these events mean for Norm’s case. This brief memorandum is meant to clarify any confusion, and to make clear that the bottom line has not changed: if the Minnesota Court fulfills its statutory obligation to certify the candidate with the highest number of legally cast ballots, we are confident that Norm Coleman will be declared the winner.

First, the number of unopened ballots that have never been counted in this race far exceeds the current 225 vote difference between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. Approximately 3,500 rejected absentee ballots remain before the three-judge Minnesota Contest Court.

Second, original/duplicate ballots that were double counted during the recount stage heavily favor Al Franken; it’s estimated by over 100 votes. Norm’s team has provided direct testimony by Minnesota elections officials that votes were counted twice, and the Minnesota Court has yet to remove the double counted ballots from the recount total.

Third, multiple extraneous ballot issues remain unresolved by the Minnesota Court. For example, election night vote totals were used in the recount where ballots favoring Franken were “lost” (there’s no evidence they ever existed), but election night totals were not when ballots favoring Franken were “found” after election night.

Finally, the Minnesota Court has now made clear that the number of illegal votes that are currently included in the vote count exceed the margin of Al Franken’s “lead” by hundreds if not thousands. It seems straight common sense that illegal votes cannot be included in a final certified vote total. Yet last week’s Friday the 13th ruling by the 3 judge creates exactly that possibility:

The Minnesota Contest Court ruled that 12 categories of ballots were “illegal” under Minnesota law. The problem is that the three judges themselves have previously allowed ballots they now call illegal to be counted. Additionally, this ruling makes thousands of ballots already included in the election night total illegal.

Specifically, the judges’ order contradicts their own ruling three days earlier on seven (Franken weighted) ballots that allowed those ballots to be included in the count. Further, this order renders illegal nearly 100 of the 933 (Franken weighted) ballots counted by the Minnesota Canvassing Board during the recount and contradicts a stipulation the Board signed on February 3 that all 933 ballots were legally and properly counted. The Court is refusing to address these blatant inconsistencies despite the fact that they are charged with certifying the number of “legally cast ballots” in this race, a charge that, by their own definition, they are no longer able to keep.

As a former Texas Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice, I find the legal quagmire created by the Friday the 13th ruling, and the Minnesota Court’s apparent refusal to address it, particularly troubling. Such widespread inconsistency not only creates state and federal constitutional problems, but saps voters’ faith and confidence in the integrity of our election process. In order for the voters of Minnesota, and the members of this body, to have confidence in this contest’s outcome the process in Minnesota must be uniform and it must be fair.

I know that you join me in my concern, and support Norm’s fight.

Something jumped out at me in this memo. Here’s what jumped off the page at me:

Finally, the Minnesota Court has now made clear that the number of illegal votes that are currently included in the vote count exceed the margin of Al Franken’s “lead” by hundreds if not thousands.

The February 13th ruling creates a predicament for the courts because they didn’t officially take their previous ruling off the books. That means that hundreds of votes that were counted for Franken because of one court ruling should now be removed by virtue of the latest court ruling.

Until now, I’ve resisted making a prediction because I thought things were too close to call. While I realize that Mr. Franken currently has the lead, it’s becoming apparent that that lead is the result of cherrypicking ballots from Franken-friendly precincts. Let’s review some important facts.

  • The votes from the Franken-friendliest precincts have been added in already.
  • The votes from the most pro-Coleman precincts haven’t been counted.
  • There are approximately 3,500 votes from these Coleman-friendly districts. That’s more than enough to overtake Franken.
  • Election officials have testified that some votes have been double counted.
  • These double-counted votes have been from Franken-friendly precincts.
  • If the three-judge panel finds this testimony credible, which I think they will, more ballots will be subtracted from Franken’s vote totals than from Sen. Coleman’s totals.

As a result of this information, I’m now willing to predict Sen. Coleman’s return to the Senate.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , ,