Through their decades in business and politics, Charles and David Koch have honed their methods for rigging the system in their favor, both through their national operations and activities. Their history in Florida is indicative of this overall multifaceted strategy, which includes lobbying and raising funds for politicians, using their advocacy network to sway public policy, and leveraging financial donations to universities to buy professors that promote their worldview. Time and time again, the Koch brothers’ self-interested actions proved to be beneficial to their bottom line at the expense of hardworking Floridians.Read more after the jump.
Politicians & Pundits: Paul Ryan
Yesterday, President Obama announced his plan to take action to address immigration reform. Today, House Speaker John Boehner will use his 9 a.m. address to try to explain away the Republican Party’s obstructionist plan to fight the President’s effort.
Yesterday, American Bridge sent you a list of the many other times Republicans have claimed the President “poisoned the well” on an issue. Today, we’re showing you those Republican claims – in their own words.Read more after the jump.
One year after major Supreme Court decisions on the Voting Rights Act and the Defense of Marriage Act, conservative leaders are still denying equal rights for all Americans by failing to address the issues raised by these cases.
After the Supreme Court struck down a critical provision of the Voting Rights Act, or VRA, there has been little appetite among conservatives in Congress to fix the sections of the law that have been almost universally considered the most successful part of the landmark civil rights legislation. The VRA enjoyed bipartisan support when it was reauthorized in 2006; House Speaker John Boehner said at the time that the law had been “an effective tool in protecting a right that is fundamental to our democracy.” However, in the face of extreme opposition from the Tea Party, conservatives have either questioned the need for a legislative fix or ignored the issue entirely.
Sadly, the inaction on this issue – which has led to the passage of voter suppression laws in several states – is almost certainly politically motivated. As Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, bluntly stated in 1980, “our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” In fact, analysis has shown that election fraud, particularly the in-person voter impersonation that supposedly prompted tougher voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent. In addition, the voters who are disproportionately affected by voter ID laws – the poor, students, Africans Americans and Hispanics – all tend to vote for Democrats.Read more after the jump.
As congressional leaders from both parties negotiate over the federal budget, it is important to remember that many Republicans are similarly unsympathetic to the idea that addressing inequality should be a priority. Echoing Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” remarks, congressional conservatives routinely blame the safety net for making people “dependent” on government, implying that low-income Americans remain at the bottom of the economic ladder by choice. For instance, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the leading Republican voice on budget issues, has complained that “we’re going to a majority of takers versus makers in America.”
That attitude has been on display throughout the recovery from the massive recession that President Bush left behind, even as the wealthiest Americans recovered their losses and the income gap widened. In each of the past three years, Ryan has authored – and House Republicans have approved – extreme budget plans that shred the safety net while providing tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations. Republicans have repeatedly sabotaged bipartisan budget talks by demanding that working Americans shoulder the burden of deficit reduction while dismissing any proposal that requires the rich to pay their fair share. And, despite shamelessly citing the job losses that Obama inherited as evidence of his supposed failure, Republicans have been consistent in obstructing efforts to actually help the unemployed.Read more after the jump.
Crossroads GPS presents Heidi Heitkamp as an obstacle to Mitt Romney’s agenda in an ad called “Roadblock,” stressing that “every single vote” on the repeal of health care reform and the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will be crucial. The ad is highly dishonest about each of those policies, falsely claiming that ending Bush’s upper-income tax breaks means taxing small businesses, and accusing Heitkamp of “cutting Medicare spending” even though her opponent voted twice for the same Medicare savings.Read more after the jump.
The American Action Network wants you to know that Rick Nolan stands “for raising taxes and killing jobs” – 700,000 jobs, to be precise. But that number comes from a study that explicitly did not analyze the actual White House proposal for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. The on-screen claim that Nolan would tax 894,000 small businesses is similarly bogus, as that definition of “small business” includes multi-billion-dollar corporations and both candidates for president. The ad is correct about Nolan’s 1975 votes on gas taxes, but they somehow fail to mention the same bill included tax credits to offset the increase in pump prices.Read more after the jump.
Armed with misleading claims and a clip of Heidi Heitkamp playing softball, Crossroads GPS alleges she “will go to bat for the Obama agenda,” while Rep. Rick Berg is the “independent voice” North Dakota needs in the Senate. Of course, Congressman Berg’s voting record does not reflect that supposed independence – but it does include two votes for the exact Medicare savings GPS attacks Heitkamp for supporting. The ad’s claim that Heitkamp wants to “hit job creators with higher taxes” fares no better under scrutiny.Read more after the jump.
The 60 Plus Association reminds voters of Dan Maffei’s support for the Recovery Act and health care reform prior to his defeat in the 2010 election. They also present those policies in a deeply misleading light, when the facts show the Recovery Act worked and the Affordable Care Act will save us money. As a kicker, 60 Plus attacks Maffei over Medicare spending reductions that his opponent, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R), voted for twice when they were included in GOP budgets.Read more after the jump.
Crossroads GPS accuses Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) of being “far left of Obama and Pelosi” and “too extreme for Washington,” citing her support for a budget proposal introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The budget in question emphasized higher taxes for the wealthy, but also proposed to spend less than the president’s plan and would have eliminated the deficit faster than the GOP alternative introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan.Read more after the jump.
The Chamber of Commerce spent $100 million in insurance company funds trying to defeat the Affordable Care Act in 2009-10, and their 2012 ads indicate they’re not over that loss yet. An ad attacking former astronaut Jose Hernandez, candidate for California’s 10th Congressional District this year, relies on trite misinformation about the law. Beyond misrepresenting the Medicare and tax provisions of the ACA, the Chamber also ignores a crucial reality: Hernandez’s opponent, Rep. Jeff Denham, voted for the same Medicare savings for which they attack Hernandez.Read more after the jump.