Friday, September 25, 2009

RPA Newsletter 9/25/09

from the Republican Party of Arkansas

A big part of being a United States Senator is the ability to lead. Leadership in the Senate is fundamental to Arkansas . We need two Senators who are willing to step forward and lead the way for Arkansans as they work to pass legislation that reflects the views of the people. Unfortunately, the last several years have shown a total lack of leadership on the part of Senator Blanche Lincoln.

Not only has she failed to provide leadership for her own party in Arkansas , she has failed to provide leadership for the people of Arkansas , and has been an abysmal failure as a United States Senator. That is why the Republican Party of Arkansas is committed to retiring Blanche Lincoln from the United States Senate.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln has behaved like an ostrich. She keeps burying her head in the sand when it comes to the important issues of our day. She blindly follows the liberal Democrats in the Senate instead of leading on the issues important to the people of Arkansas . That's why it was no surprise to hear Sen. Lincoln blindly speaking of the Senate being able to craft a "bipartisan health reform bill."

Clearly Sen. Lincoln hasn’t listened to the people of Arkansas. She is clearly siding with Harry Reid and his liberal cronies in the Senate who are trying to ram their health care bill through the Senate without a real chance for consideration by the American people.

It's time to tell Senator Lincoln enough is enough. We won't tolerate your lack of leadership any longer.

Together we can lead the Republican Party of Arkansas and the people of Arkansas to victory in 2010.

It's time for leadership.

Visit to see how you can help today.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lincoln & Pryor Vote To Protect Millions in Taxpayer Funds for Little-Used Murtha Airport

from ARRA News Service

NRSC: In a remarkable vote on the Senate floor this afternoon, U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) [and Mark Pryor (D-AR)] made clear that despite rising federal deficits and a record national debt, she still stands firmly on the side of more wasteful Washington spending.

Lincoln helped defeat an amendment, offered by U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), to the annual transportation appropriations bill that would end taxpayer subsidies for the John Murtha Airport, a little used 650-acre facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania that has received at least $200 million in taxpayer funding. U.S. Congressman John Murtha (D-PA), who the airport was named after and who has been the subject of a number of ethics-related stories in recent months, has personally directed $150 million in federal funds to the facility even though it only has 3 flights daily to one destination: Washington, D.C.

The waste of taxpayer dollars at the Murtha airport has received a great deal of media scrutiny in recent months including from ABC News, CNN and the Wall Street Journal, which reported just last week, “The airport has an $8.5 million, taxpayer-funded radar system that has never been used. The runway was paved with reinforced concrete at a cost of more than $17 million . . . Airport Director Scott Voelker admitted in an interview that having a never-used unmanned radar system is ‘dumber than dirt.’”

The widespread media reports of waste at the Murtha airport make Lincoln’s vote in support of allowing millions in taxpayer funds to continue flowing to Murtha’s pet project all the more remarkable, the NRSC said today.

“This vote was a basic test of Blanche Lincoln’s commitment to fiscal discipline and she failed with flying colors,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson. “At a time when too many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, unemployment is at a near-record high, and Congress is saddling taxpayers with a record level of debt, why does Blanche Lincoln believe this little-used airport should continue to receive millions of taxpayer dollars? Why did she vote to protect Congressman Murtha’s interests instead of the interests of the taxpayers in Arkansas she was elected to represent? We look forward to hearing Senator Lincoln’s explanation for this vote today.”

Read much, much more at ARRA News Service

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Was Marion Berry even awake during the August recess?

Originally posted on Boot Berry!

Apparently he wasn't awake enough to hear the tremendous uproar that emanated from virtually every town hall meeting across the nation, including those held in Arkansas.

Of course, he never held any town halls to listen to 1st District constituents. Not one time throughout the entire month of August was he present at one of the numerous events held across the state to give voice to concerned Arkansans who wanted to be heard. When we contacted his office to ask when the Congressman would give his constituents their say, we were told he had no town halls scheduled.

On August 22, Recess Rallies were held outside Berry's Jonesboro, Mountain Home, and Cabot offices in an effort to get across just how outraged his constituents are at the prospect of turning over our health care system to the federal government. The Congressman was invited to attend the Cabot rally, but declined. Hundreds of Arkansans gave up a beautiful Saturday to make their unresponsive, almost reclusive Representative understand just how deep the roots of their opposition to Obamacare run.

Other Arkansas elected officials began the month with no intention of listening to their constituents, but were convinced to change their tune by the rising level of opposition to socialized medicine in America. Representatives Vic Snyder and Mike Ross, along with Senator Blanche Lincoln changed their tunes to stand before some of their constituents at the very least. Though some of their town halls were tightly controlled, Berry's legislative branch colleagues did hear their constituents' concerns.

No one really knows where Blanche Lincoln stands at the moment (one day she said she wouldn't vote for a plan that included a government option, then the next day recanted), but Mike Ross admitted his constituents had convinced him they were overwhelmingly opposed to a government takeover and he unequivocally stated he would vote against any plan that contained such an option. Even Vic Snyder, who represents what is arguably the most liberal district in the state, was forced to concede that a public option wasn't essential to the bill. From the Arkansas News, "Snyder said he would not vote against a plan simply because it contained a public option, but he differs with those who see a public option as a necessity."

Berry's unwillingness to listen to his constituents apparently shielded him from the smelling salts that opened the eyes of his colleagues. According to Rick Crawford, the only announced Republican candidate for Berry's seat in 2010, "Just this last week, Congressman Berry said publicly that he is supportive of a public option on health care and it is not a deal breaker for him."

In response to President Obama's lie-laden address to Congress last week, Berry sent out a press release that demonstrates his inability to understand the concerns of his constituency. He attacks the free market system now in place. You know, the one that draws citizens of countries that have government-run systems when their nanny-state systems fail them. He fails to comprehend that Americans don't trust Congress to "fix" the system when he states, "We must have health insurance reform but we must work to find a fiscally responsible solution that preserves what works, fixes what doesn’t, and makes health care better and more affordable for all Americans."

When's the last time government interference made anything more affordable? When's the last time government intervention fixed anything? Government can take a good situation and make it bad, and it can take a bad situation and make it worse. The net cost of any government program always outweighs its benefits, and 1st District Arkansans understand this.

But Berry obviously has no plans to listen to those of us he supposedly works for, a strong majority of whom don't want Obama's government-run system determining our fate.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

LCRC September Meeting Report

Another month has come and gone, as has the monthly meeting of the LCRC at Grandpa's BBQ in Cabot. Next month, we'll meet again at the same location at 7:00 pm on October 12.

Now that fall is officially only days away, our mission is becoming evermore critical, especially with the happenings in our nation's capital. Since January, the US National debt has quadrupled, our money supply has increased at such a rapid, unprecedented pace that many economists foresee hyper-inflation in the near future, the Democrat controlled legislative and executive branches are on the verge of passing the largest energy tax in our country's history and forcing a government takeover of our health care system. And that's not all.

President Obama has appointed dozens of "Czars" with dubious backgrounds, including one who believes animals should have the right to sue their owners and another who believes international gun laws should supersede our 2nd Amendment. With both houses of Congress in the hands of the party of the President, radical Democrats have near total control of the future of our country.

It's important all Lonoke County Republicans, Indpendents, and even Democrats taken aback by the radical moves of their party, know this county committee is working hard to bring Arkansas' and our County's conservative values back to all levels of government. The 2010 campaign season will soon be kicking into gear and we'll do our best to help you sort it out.

In the past several months, speakers at the committee members have included candidates for county, state, and federal offices. This month we were pleased to welcome two of the [many] Republican candidates for Democrat Blanche Lincoln's US Senate seat, Fred Ramey and Curtis Coleman.

Neither Ramey nor Coleman is a professional politician. Ramey lives in Searcy and works for FedEx, and Coleman lives in Little Rock and runs Safe Foods, a business he built from the ground up. It's really heartening to see regular folks like Ramey and Coleman stepping up to the plate to take on the incumbent Lincoln, especially when you look back and realize the Republican Party didn't even field a candidate against Arkansas' other Democratic Senator Mark Pryor in last year's election.

Ramey told us he decided to run to fight against the radical changes being forced on us by the Democrats in the Capitol and the White House. He sees Obama's push to put our health care system in the hands of government bureaucrats and the huge energy tax Democrats refer to as "Cap & Trade" as symptoms of an increasingly intrusive federal government. The Democrats' runaway spending is another factor that persuaded him to throw his hat in the ring. Ramey says of his 4 young daughters, "They're going to get the bill!"

He says of the crowded field vying for the coveted spot on the Senate floor, "There are a lot of good people in this race and a conservative message won't set us apart." But Ramey does believe he has an advantage that makes him a better candidate to defeat Lincoln next November. His explanation included a reference to a recent John Brummett column titled "Farmer's Daughter" in which the left-leaning columnist argues that Arkansan's would be foolish to vote against the Senator who recently called many of them "un-American."

Ramey claims he has what it takes to neutralize Lincoln's ties to agriculture. He, too, is the child of a farmer and says, "I'm a farmer's son and farmed myself, rice and soybeans, for 5 years before going to work for FedEx." Ramey says he's always believed next year's general election will come down to Arkansas' agricultural areas, and he says "I speak the language of East Arkansas." Of the race with Lincoln, Ramey states emphatically "I'm going to compete with her, rice levee to rice levee."

Coleman spoke next and told members of the committee his wife "prayed that God would show him he was crazy" when he first informed her he was thinking of entering the race. It didn't take long after the Democrats took control of DC and began implementing their radical agenda, before she saw the need for good people to run, and agreed to support his decision to run.

He decided to enter the race because we're "facing the most egregious erosion of our liberties in history." Coleman worries that his 7 grandchildren "don't have a ghost of a chance of growing up with the same liberties" he had. He says he wants to go to Washington to slow down the Democrats' high speed march to dismantle our capitalist, free-market system. "The next 3 years will be as critical as any period in our history," he said.

Like Ramey, Coleman was also complimentary of his adversary for the Republican nomination. He told the committee he and Ramey had attended several of the same events and have become good friends. Also like Ramey, Coleman believes he has the best chance to beat Lincoln.

He points to a recent Public Policy poll that showed him beating Lincoln 41%-40% at this early stage in the campaign. Another poll he pointed out was conducted by Democrats that showed him trailing the Arkansas Senator 45%-37%. Coleman believes at this juncture in the campaign, for a poll commissioned by Democrats to show him within an 8 point margin and Lincoln unable to break above the 50% level, these numbers bode well for his shot in the general election next year.

Coleman went on to admonish Lincoln for bragging that she returns to Arkansas 10 times a year. He also made the point "she had to be forced to hold town hall meetings" during last month's congressional recess. He promised, if he is elected, he'll hold a town hall meeting in every county at least once per year.

Thanks to Mr. Coleman and Mr. Ramey for taking the time to address the committee and letting us get to know you. We wish you both the best of luck in your campaigns.

After the candidates spoke and fielded questions from attendees, the discussion turned to local affairs. For the past several months, the committee has been working to restore partisan elections in Cabot. This battle is ongoing, but we believe voters want to know the party affiliation of candidates on the ballot, even in local elections. Next Monday, September 21 at 7:00, the Cabot City Council will meet. We're not certain yet if this issue is on the agenda, but the committee plans to make a good showing in case it is. We encourage everyone who wants to know the party affiliation of those running for local office to attend this meeting.

Again, next month's meeting will take place October 12 at 7:00 pm at Grandpa's BBQ in Cabot. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Curtis Coleman, Fred Ramey to speak at LCRC September meeting

The Lonoke County Republican Committee will hold its regular monthly meeting on September 14, 2009 at Grandpa's BBQ in Cabot at 7:00 pm. You can view or download last month's minutes and this month's agenda by clicking on the following links.

LCRC August MinutesViewDownload
LCRC September AgendaViewDownload

With the end of the August congressional recess, our Senators and Congressmen will head back to Washington after what may have been the most contentious "vacation" most of them have ever experienced. Arkansas' Democratic legislators have had an earful from their constituents, whether they wanted it or not. President Obama and his proposed health care reform have resuscitated conservatism in America only a few short months after many pronounced the ideology dead.

It's an exciting time to be a Republican in Arkansas as the party is poised to capitalize as conservative Democratic voters in the state recoil from recent actions of the hard left regime in DC. Last year the GOP didn't even field a candidate for any of the congressional seats currently held by Democrats. This year it seems there's no end to those vying for Senator Blanche Lincoln's seat and every one of Arkansas' US House races will have a Republican competing.

At last month's meeting we heard from one candidate for Lincoln's Senate seat, Dr. James McNair. This month we'll hear from two more, Curtis Coleman and Fred Ramey. Each will address the committee then spend a few minutes answering questions. It's a great opportunity to meet and get to know those who could be your next US Senator.

So join us September 14 at 7:00. (Get there a little earlier to enjoy some great BBQ)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gilbert Baker Joins Race for US Senate

*Note: The Lonoke County Republican Committee does not endorse any candidate until after the primary election.*

Press Release Dated September 1, 2009

Conway – State Senator Gilbert Baker (bio attached) announced today that he will be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2010.

“After encouragement from people all across the state, and with the support of my family and close friends, I have decided that during this important time in our nation’s history, one should not be a political spectator.” Baker continued, “I believe that Arkansas’ next United States Senator should help provide checks and balances on the policies being pushed by President Obama and the D.C. leadership.”

Baker will spend the month of September travelling the state raising money, speaking to groups, visiting with grassroots supporters, and developing a campaign infrastructure.

“We have set modest fundraising and organizational goals as we begin this process,” commented Baker.

“However, let me be clear, I believe any viable challenger to Senator Lincoln must possess the ability to raise a significant amount of money in order to get his or her message out to the people of Arkansas.” Baker closed, “I look forward to a spirited primary campaign and a vigorous debate about the many issues facing Arkansas.”

A formal campaign kick-off will be planned for October.