Republicans in the US Senate continue to block the nominations of Barack Obama. This tactic of obstructionism needs to be ended. If Congress wonders why Americans have such a low rating of Congress, this is a prime reason. Tactics like the filibuster and secret holds on nominations contribute to a dysfunctional government.
Of course this fits the Republican Agenda of trying to stop Obama’s Agenda for Change. Repubicans hope Americans will blame the Democrats rather than them for the consequences of not getting things done because government posts and judicial seats are still unfilled almost a year and a half after Obama took office.
The New York Times in an editorial today notes that “there are 52 nominees on secret holds – all noncontroversial in committee debates.” As the New York Times explains:
The United States Senate was supposed to have dropped its insidious tradition that let members put endless secret holds on nominations and other important matters. The abuse continues, more murky than ever.
The reform, adopted three years ago, required senators to identify themselves within six days of blocking a nominee, and to state their objection. That stricture has been routinely violated with cheesy gamesmanship. Members — mostly in the Republican minority — pass secret holds among themselves to foil the time limit.
At the end of March, Obama made his first Recess appointments to end the Republican Senatorial roadblock 15 of his appointments. But the roadblock still continues for many other nominees. The New York Times editorial noted that the Senate has confirmed only 45% of Obama’s judicial nominees to date.
Americans need to contact their Senators and urge an end to this juvenile practice. Elections have consequences and the losers needs to acknowledge this and let the winner put their choices in place to do the people’s business.
Contrary to Republican goals of doing nothing, Democrats in Congress are moving forward addressing the nation’s problems without Republicans. As part of the recently passed Health Care Reform Legislation, Democrats added a rider to also reform the student-loan program. This is a major reform that will lower the interest rate college students pay, extend their repayment time and save $67 billion according to an column by Froma Harrop in the Seattle Times entitled “Student-loan companies don’t need welfare”
As Harrop notes, “…when corporations get taxpayer handouts, that’s not welfare in the GOP book of rhetoric. Take away a company’s subsidy, and you have a “government takeover”. Such is the Republican stance on Democratic plans to remove the corporate middleman from the federal student-loan program, included in the recently passed House health care reform bill”
President Obama’s weeekly address on March 27, 2010 addressed the student loan issue. The White House press release notes that “These reforms save the taxpayers $68 billion over the next decade by ending the subsidies given to banks and middlemen who handle student loans. The money saved will help expand and strengthen the federal Pell Grant program. The reforms will also cap college graduates’ annual student loan repayments at 10% of their income, revitalize community colleges, and increase support for Minority Serving Institutions.
You can read his full comments by clicking on the link above, hear audio or watch video.
The Democrats are acting to address our nation’s future. The Republican’s are gungho to go back to our past. They are continuing to try to obstruct Congress and the President from passing needed legislation.
If the public has any reason to be upset at Congress, it is because of the Republican Party of No has made a concerted coordinated effort to prevent Congress from moving forward and addressing our nations critical concerns in a constructive and meaningful way. It’s time to boot the obstructionist Republicans out of office.
Democrats need to re-engage in the political process and work to turn our voters out in the coming elections. It’s not enough to just about bemoan and complain about the Republicans negative and obstructionist tactics and point fingers.
No one ever said change would be easy. The big mistake many of those wanting change made was assuming that electing Obama was the end of their need to stay engaged. It’s time to re-energize and get back to work.
Susan Hutchison, running for King County Executive, claims she is nonpartisan.
Hutchison’s media firm, however, is the opposite of nonpartisan . A Google on Dresner, Wickers & Associates is unambiguous. “Dresner, Wickers & Associates is the go–to political consulting firm for Republican candidates, ballot initiatives, and major trade organizations.”
Their campaign work according to their website includes “strategic communication, media production and placement, polling and focus groups, DWA is a full–service agency”
A look at their present and past clients confirms their Republican credentials. Highlighted as “current” clients are:
Presidential Candidate and former Governor Mike Huckabee, Arkansas
US Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota.
They claim as a current issues advocacy client the Building Industry Association of Washington.
Their international list of clients includes Vladmir Putin of Russia.
As past clients listed they include:
Attorney General Ken Eickenberry, Washington
US Senator Paula Hawkins of Florida
Governor Pete Wilson, California
Their past advocacy work also includes two Washington initiative campaigns, representing those opposed to medical malpractice suits and the BIAW.
In 2005 two measures were on the ballot regarding medical malpractice. DWA worked for “Doctors , Nurses and Patients for a Healthy Washington “running with the slogan “stop the greed, vote yes on 330, no on 336. ” As Komonews.com noted “Insurance agencies and doctors wrote the measure (I-330), claiming skyrocketing legal fees jury awards are killing the medical profession.” The other side of the medical malpractice issue was Initiative 336 pushed by the Trial Lawyers. In the end both measures lost at the ballot.
The second Washington measure they were involved in was working for “Workers Against Job Killing Rules” to pass Initiative 841 which tossed out the state’s ergonomic rules that protected workers from injuries. Over half of the $1.4 million dollars to pass I-841 came from the BIAW.
Again the reality belies the myth that Hutchison is nonpartisan. She has contributed money to both Huckabee and the BIAW for example. Yes its guilt by association. You know her by her friends. Just as Rob McKenna was supported by the BIAW and then hired BIAW employees for his staff , expect that the BIAW will have representation in the King County Executives Office if she is elected.
Hutchison knew she couldn’t win running as a Republican in King County. That’s why she supported and worked for the effort to make the King County Executives Office nonpartisan.
Without the Party label, its much easier to deceive voters as to your real politics. But don’t be taken in by her phony nonpartisan claims. She’s a Republican and conservative to boot.
So if you made contributions to Dino Rossi, Dave Reichert, Mike Huckabee, Cathy McMorris, Mainstream Republicans, King County Republicans’ Central Committee, George Nethercutt and George W Bush but not to any Democrats and Democratic organizations is it honest to call yourself nonpartisan? Susan Hutchison, running for King County Executive seems to think it is.
I think it’s hypocrisy and deceptive politics. This morning on Upfront, Hutchison when asked if she was a Republican and conservative, evaded a direct response by stating that she was “running in a nonpartisan race and that’s intentional.” She claimed, “I’m a non-partisan, never affiliated with a party, you know we don’t register in this state.”
I looked up the word affiliate in the dictionary. While one definition of affiliate is “to take in as a member” a second definition is “to connect or associate (oneself with)” Since Hutchison is correct that no one registers by party to vote in this state, the next best way to identify party affiliation is by looking at who you connect or associate with by your actions.
So let’s judge her by her political actions. One key way you determine party connection or association is by who you contribute money to. Back in April Erica C. Barnett of Slog searched for and found a very identifying list of candidates that Hutchison gave money to. She entitled her post “Susan Hutchison, Partisan Republican” Here is the list of donations Hutchison made, based on Erica’s search of political donations made.
$500 to Republican Congressman Dave Reichert
$375 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi
$250 to Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (now McMorris Rodgers)
$1000 to Citizens for Accountable Elections, the group that made the King County Elections Director a nonpartisan elected position
$700 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi
$500 to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee
$100 to Republican King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg
$2,000 to Republican Congressman Dave Reichert
$1,000 to Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (now McMorris Rodgers)
$1,000 to Republican Douglas Robert Roulstone, who ran against Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen
$250 to Republican Supreme Court candidate Stephen Johnson, a darling of the religious right
$100 to the Mainstream Republicans of Washington
$1000 to ChangePAC, a BIAW-funded group that supported Republican Dino Rossi
$500 to Republican Congreeman Dave Reichert
$250 to the King County Republicans’ Central Committee
$100 to Conrad Lee, a Republican who sits on the Bellevue City Council
$50 to Jeff Sax, a Republican member of the Snohomish County Council
$50 to Jane Fellner, who ran against Seattle School Board incumbent Mary Bass
$3,000 to Republican George Nethercutt, who ran against Sen. Patty Murray
$500 to George W. Bush
In addition a check of 2009 campaign contributions at the PDC website found that in April she gave $800 to”nonpartisan” Reagan Dunn running for re-election on the King County Council.
Since 2003 Susan Hutchison has contributed some $13,525 to Republican candidates, Republican Party organizations and conservative causes according to public campaign fiance records. Of this no money was donated to Democrats or Democratic organizations. An additional $50 was donated to a Seattle School Board candidate that couldn’t be identified as to party.
You know someone by the friends they associate with and support. Hutchison has supported the campaigns of George W Bush, George Nethercutt, Dave Reichert, Cathy McMorris, BIAW’s ChangePAC, Mike Huckabee, Dino Rossi, the King County Republican Central Committee and Mainstream Republicans of Washington.
It’s pretty obvious that her history is a strong affiliation with the Republican Party and conservative issues. Her “nonpartisan” gambit is just that, a campaign ploy to try to hide her political philosophy from the voter’s of King County.
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