Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crawford, Smith square off against Democrat rivals in Lonoke

On Thursday, April 22, both GOP candidates seeking to replace retiring Congressman Marion Berry joined the six Democrats vying for the seat in Lonoke for a candidates' forum. Rick Crawford and Princella Smith demonstrated why it's time for the 1st Congressional District to send a Republican to Washington for the first time since Reconstruction.

Four of their potential opponents in the general election showed themselves to be polished politicians with their vague, evasive answers to direct questions by moderator Roby Brock. Chad Causey has worked for Berry the past 10 years and served as the Congressman's chief-of-staff during the tumultuous past year that saw Berry help Barack Obama ram through the most radical liberal agenda America has ever seen.

Steve Bryles and Tim Wooldridge have served in the state legislature and their political experience showed as they ducked and dodged hard questions on controversial issues. When asked if they would have voted for things like Cap & Trade or the unpopular health care takeover, responses like "I wouldn't have voted for it in its current form," were common. Eddie Cook has also served in the state legislature and wasn't as equivocating as his colleagues. But Cook was quick to pronounce he would have supported legislation opposed by most Arkansans and supported by the Obama-wing of the Democrat party.

The other two Democrats, Dr. Terry Green and Ben Ponder of Mountain Home, were more colorful and entertaining than their Democrat opponents, but eccentric enough that it's doubtful either will draw a significant number of votes in the May 18 primary.

We won't call a winner between Crawford and Smith, but we will present their responses to all the questions posed to candidates during the forum. The video will be shown in a multi-part series to accommodate YouTube's 10 minute limit for uploads. For those with dial-up or other slow connections, a transcription of each video can be found at the end of this post.

Part I
Part II


Part I

Moderator: What's the biggest problem currently facing our country?
Crawford: Certainly we all talk about the deficit, debt.

But one of the things being...I think is being overlooked is the unfunded liabilities that exist. That's the compounding of the debt and the deficit and all those programs that we have implemented but have not funded.

And so as I mentioned in my opening comments, fifty-six and a half trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.

So how do we move forward?

Well, Congress enacts a brand new entitlement program that we cannot pay for. And so we continue to spend your money.

And I would tell you they're spending money like drunk sailors, but drunk sailors spend their own money. They're spending your money!

And so what we need to do is call on that political class and reel in that spending.

As I said before, we've got to put a stop to it. We've got to dig ourselves out of the hole. And we've got to make sure we never fall back in the hole again.

So I'm a proponent of a balanced budget amendment. And...I'm a constitutional conservative, but I think we need to amend the constitution to force Congress to act fiscally prudent.
Smith: Without a doubt the biggest issue the economy.

It's spending is out of control and we hear everyone saying over and over again...uh...I want to cite a few examples and I don't think there will be too many fans of these big pieces of over reaching legislation that have passed.

One. People are talking about the financial regulatory reform bill that's going to put permanent bailouts for Wall Street.

Before that, we did TARP. And right after that we did the bailout in...uh...or excuse me the...uh...stimulus bill in 2009.

All of these pieces of overreaching legislation do nothing for small business owners. And people always say "Why are Republicans always thinking about small business owners."

Well, I for one, I believe as a legislator I should promote bills that favor people who create jobs. I'm the proponent of putting money back into the hands of the American people and letting them spend it, letting the free market run its course.

And so it's not that I'm favor of the rich man or, or the big business guy. But it's what are we doing to actually create jobs?

That is number one, the biggest problem and then every other piece of the legislation and issues falls under that category, in time.

Moderator: I think I'm going to make an assumption about the

answer to the question, and so my question is two-fold. Number one, do you think the federal government is too big and if so, can you name one or more programs that you would propose eliminating if you're elected to Congress?
Crawford: Answer to your first question, yes government's too big.

We need to shrink the size of government and expand the free market and create jobs in the context of the free market.

What can we do to cut costs?

There are a lot of things we can look at. But the first thing I want to look at is an issue that affects us all today, right here in the first district of Arkansas. It's not an abstract concept, it's something that's going to run your...uh...budget up and cost you more dollars early as eighteen months from today.

And that is FEMA's expansion of the flood zone--the remapping of the flood zone in the first district of Arkansas to include 19 of the 26 counties.

Nineteen of our twenty-six counties are going to be forced to buy flood insurance from FEMA. This is a gross over reach of the federal government.

And what that's going to do is cost homeowners more money. It's going to cost businesses more money. And we're going to start to see housing starts fall. We're going to see the construction industry suffer. And we're going to start to see businesses move from Arkansas as a result.

We can work on that issue on day one.
Smith: The federal government is too big,

and one example of that was the health care bill that just passed.

Now, I know it just passed but one of us is going to Congress and we're going to have to vote on whether or not to fund a lot of these things that they passed. So that's one area.

Another one is that there are too many agencies that have too much power over regulating...a lot of red tape. There's a lot of bureaucracy.

I think currently there's about 16 agencies that regulate food for example. That's another example.

Particularly, and more dear to my heart is education. I think the federal government has entirely too much power over...over the Department of Education...uh...over the state levels of education. I think that we spend too much money. We chunk it down the drain.

In particularly in the Northeast Arkansas, particularly in the Delta, our schools are failing and we've seen over and over again that money is not the answer to this.

I will definitely cut in those areas.

Moderator: Do you think that there should be some cuts made there,

in agriculture, at the federal level?
Crawford: Let me give you a little background on the most

recent address to the United States Department of Agriculture budget.

The Obama administration at the beginning of the year put forth a budget that called for a 50% cut in the Adjusted Gross Income for farmers, 25% cut in the direct payment limitations, at the same time expanding the USDA budget by 10%.

So what are we doing?

We're taking money out of the hands of producers and putting it into the hands of non-producers by expanding an entitlement program. And that hurts our farmers' ability to produce food and fiber.

We have the cheapest, safest, most abundant food supply in the world because we support agriculture.

But I can make the argument that the...uh...that supporting our farmers is in our national security interest. We're already a net oil importer. We deal with countries that...uh...that don't like us very much.

The minute we become a net food importer, we have conceded our national security to folks who don't like us very much.

And so I would also like to add that we need to open up the Cuban markets so that we can get our rice farmers selling more rice.
Smith: No. We shouldn't make those cuts.

There's a lot of things we can cut before we make cuts to farmers.

I'm a proponent of making sure our farmers can remain competitive...uh...particularly family farmers, but...uh...corporate farmers.

I'm definitely a proponent of CRP programs, and I'm a proponent of expanding those. Programs that help prevent erosion, and that help us increase wildlife. All those help our farmers.


[gets drink]

I'm sorry, one of the things I wanted to say also...I will definitely, I haven't heard anyone else say this yet, I will definitely ask to be placed on the Agriculture Committee and I will definitely be an advocate for farmers.

Moderator: ...this year is the Employee Free

Choice Act, also known as Card Check. It's a piece of federal legislation that's been discussed at length, particularly this last year. If you're elected to Congress, would you support or oppose this possible legislation?
Smith: I'm opposed to the measure. I'm

definitely a proponent of workers having a right to a secret ballot. And I believe that the unions have too much power.
Crawford: Adamantly opposed to Card Check.

I support the right to a secret ballot. I oppose forced unionization.

It's an economy killer, it's a job killer, and we certainly can't afford that at this time.


Part II

In Process

Moderator: How would you have voted on the health
care legislation in Washington?
Smith: I was adamantly opposed to the
health care bill.

I believe that we should present a bill...and this is kind of an argument that's been going on, particularly in our primary. I did sign the pledge to repeal or replace the bill but realistically we should amend the bill to add things that will actually fix the health care issue. And that's the problem with this bill.

No one understood it and it didn't address the real issue.

One of the things we should do first of all is make sure that we're passing a bill that is friendly to small businesses. The bill that just passed is going to force businesses to fire people, the unemployment rate is going to skyrocket, and when you're passing a bill of that magnitude that is the equivalent of something that is going to affect 1/6 of our economy, you have to do better than what we did.

And what we did was just rush a big piece of legislation through that didn't address the issues and thus passed only on partisan lines.

I believe we should be allowed to buy insurance across state lines. I believe in expanding high risk pools for the less than 1% of the people who are deemed uninsurable.

But most of all, I believe that as a Congressman it is our job to go to Capitol Hill and put our heads together for something effective and not the bill that just passed.
Crawford: I absolutely would not have supported or
voted for that bill. I prefer...uh...reforming health care costs in the context of the free market.

I would like to address pre-existing conditions and at the heart of that pre-existing condition argument is creditable coverage. And how do we address creditable coverage?

We allow for portability of that insurance policy between employers. We know in today's economy that employees change jobs frequently. And it is almost impossible to maintain coverage, creditable coverage which is required to avoid pre-existing conditions under COBRA. That is virtually impossible for working families making forty, fifty thousand dollars a year to make the choice between maintaining their COBRA premiums or putting food on the table for their families.

And so we need to address that in the context of the free market; portability for policies, competition across state lines, and uniform...uh...standardizing form claims...uh...claim forms to make the policies easier to make claims on.

Moderator: What do you think needs to happen
to create more bipartisanship? And maybe you can offer me a definition of what bipartisanship would be.
Smith: Well. I like the term non-partisanship...
uh...when you're talking about positions, when you're talking about people becoming public servants.

The title of what we're trying to become is US Representative. That means I'm a representative to Congress on your behalf. It didn't say I'm a representative to Congress on behalf of the Republican Party. It didn't say that they're representatives to Congress on behalf of the Democratic Party. I am a representative to Congress on behalf of Northeast Arkansas.

Particularly on Capitol Hill...and I had some time to work there...the House Rules Committee is a good example of where we can change some things. Right now the party in power...uh...controls what amendment's going to the floor. It controls what amendments are debated.

And...I would say that's extremely unfair considering the fact...especially now that people are highly uncomfortable. There's a story that's often told about a young congressman running to Capitol Hill who was so excited he said, "Where's the Democrats? I want to meet the enemy." To which the senior congressmen says, "The Democrats aren't your enemy. The Senate is the enemy."

And that's a joke that we told, but what's fundamentally true is that, sadly, that time in Washington, DC is passed. And the answer is just to elect new people and bring new people in with fresh ideas.
Crawford: Why can't we all just get along?
We've heard that before. And we've heard some common themes here.

We don't all get along on every fundamental issue. But I ask you this question, "What have we heard tonight?"

Jobs, the economy. We've heard about national security...maintaining national security. We've heard about putting people back to work. We've heard about protecting agriculture.

We can do it. We could sit down here tonight and we could solve a lot of problems.

The problem is you go to Washington and you get Potomac Fever.

And so bipartisanship, non-partisanship, partisanship, he said, she said, it doesn't matter. Statesmanship is the requirement. And we've forgotten that.

And so that's why I think it''s so important that your next representative be a citizen-legislator. Be the kind of person that does the same thing you do every day.

That's go to work, work hard to make your money, and take care of your family. That's where it's at.

Tags: Rick Crawford, Princella Smith, Lonoke County Leadership, Lonoke County, Republican, GOP, Primary Election, Arkansas, Election 2010

Hat Tip: Lonoke County Republican Committee

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lying left can't hide from the truth...

...even with the mainstream media as a willing accomplice in their attempt to mislead the American people.
The Democrat party has long claimed to represent the "common man" while painting conservatives as being "in-the-pockets" of big business, or Wall Street. Liberals and their Jackass party claim to stand for constitutional freedoms. You know, like freedom of the press and free speech. All the while, they claim conservatives constrict the rights guaranteed by our founding documents. And the loony left loves to paint conservatives as rabid, violent, hatemongers filled with rage and always looking for an opportunity to gang up on a smaller, weaker opponent.

Partnering with the mainstream press, liberal Democrats have often been able to convince large blocks of voters to believe all of these things. But recent events are illuminating the absolute hypocrisy of these self-proclaimed peace-loving protectors of American freedom for the little guy. The lack of mainstream media coverage of these happenings shines an even brighter light on the obvious bias of the "4th branch" of government.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) recently introduced a bill to reform America's entire financial system. He and his Democrat colleagues have often blamed the entire financial crisis on a lack of regulation spawned by big business' ties with President Bush and other Republicans. Goldman Sachs took billions in bailout bucks from the American taxpayer in 2008. You of those firms that was just too big to fail. But it wasn't Republicans who benefited from the generous political donations of Goldman's people. It was President Obama who received nearly $1 million as the company crumbled.

You might expect that to make the news. Something along the lines of "Obama Coffers Filled by Bailed Out Financial Giant." But don't hold your breath. Lachlan Markay at Newsbusters points out that Time and Newsweek were quick to tie President Bush to the failed energy company Enron when it failed. Bush's ~$150,000 in contributions paled in comparison to Obama's Goldman take. Obama hauled in nearly 7 times as much from Goldman as Bush took from Enron.

Liberals screamed as if their fingernails were being pulled out when they learned the Bush administration was (gasp!) listening in on phone calls between overseas terrorists and their contacts in the US. They acted as if the former President had dropped the US Constitution in the shredder when he set up a prison camp for captured terrorists on a remote base in Cuba.

But Democrats and conservatives usually agree the 1st Amendment protections guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are essential and must be preserved. At least, that's what they all say.

So when the TEA Party started gaining momentum, and Democrat politicians began labeling us un-American, we conservatives were somewhat taken aback. But even Obama's own backers were upset this week when, not once but twice, the President appeared upset by gay rights activists protesting his failure to drop the US military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

Obama challenged the hecklers who want the policy changed immediately. Apparently quite perturbed by their protest, the President yelled, "Barbara and I are supportive of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. So I don't know why you're hollering!" Only a few days later, gay rights activists dressed in military uniforms chained themselves to the fence in front of the White House to draw attention to the President's unkept promise to end the policy. When reporters approached to interview the protesters and cover the story, they were forced to retreat by police officers.

So it appears the President and his liberal supporters only value the constitutional rights of those who agree with their positions 100% of the time. Obama seems to believe those who disagree should keep their mouths shut and have no real right to voice their opinion. Even the mainstream press, arguably his biggest ally in the 2008 campaign and these first 15 months of his tenure, loses their freedom to cover a story that might stain the President's image with his supporters.

And of course you'll recall the demogoguery of the TEA Party protesters in Washington by Democrat congressmen the day the Socialist sheep in jackass clothing voted to drive the final nail in the coffin of the world's greatest health care system. Charges of racism and homophobia were leveled by these elected officials based on their "claims" that protesters hurled racial and anti-gay epithets at black congressmen and Barney Frank.

The mainstream media, always a stalwart ally of the liberal left, ran with the story on the word of these Socialist snakes without a shred of evidence. What the Democrat allies in the press didn't tell the world was that Andrew Breitbart of offered $100,000 to anyone with video evidence to back up the claims of the congressmen. None materialized. In a literal sea of protesters packing video cameras, and the congressmen recording the entire event on their own phones and cameras, not even a few seconds of a lone protester were produced to exchange for $100K.

This leads me to believe the entire act was scripted and staged by these ruling Democrats for no other reason than to delegitamize the movement that drew such a large and vociferous crowd to oppose the crowned jewel of the Obama platform. Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat underlings rarely, if ever, enter the Capitol via the front steps. They pranced through the disgruntled crowd hoping to incite them to violence. And when that didn't work, they just lied about it.

The entire debacle was nothing more than a Democrat attempt to undermine the 1st Amendment rights of the opponents of the health care takeover. Pelosi and her pals hoped to instill the fear of being labeled a racist and/or homophobe in the hearts of concerned conservative American citizens for no other reason than to intimidate them into not participating in the rallies.

Now for perhaps the most egregious hypocritical hype from the loons on the left recently.

The Obama administration and other liberal Democrats have been trying to paint conservatives who oppose the President's march to a Socialist America as violent and dangerous. They've tried hard to link them to militia groups planning to overthrow the US government. But the only violence at TEA Parties thus far has been perpetrated by liberal counter protesters.

In St. Louis, SEIU thugs beat down a black TEA Party protester. Last month, more SEIU thugs tried to misdirect conservatives headed for the kickoff of the Tea Party Express III tour in Harry Reid's hometown of Searchlight, NV. When Breitbart stopped, thinking he had arrived at the TPX rally, he found himself amid a throng of SEIU goons who threatened him with violence when he attempted to question them.

Most recently, when the Southern Republican Leadership Conference gathered in New Orleans, the most violent of these liberal attacks occurred. Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's top fundraiser, Allee Bautsch and her boyfriend were savagely attacked when they left an event at Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans. Bautsch's leg was broken in four places and her boyfriend suffered a concussion.

Liberal protesters who apparently didn't believe conservatives have a right to hold conferences in New Orleans had gathered outside the restaurant as the fundraiser went on. It's been reported that conservatives (and even some patrons of the restaurant who weren't with the party) suffered verbal attacks much worse than those the Democrats accused conservatives of as they left the restaurant. And now it's come to light that what set the attackers off were "Palin pins" worn by Bautsch and her boyfriend.

A young woman and her boyfriend viciously attacked for their support of a conservative icon while Democrats consistently claim conservatives are prone to violence? You'd think everyone in the US would have heard of it by now. But no, the Democrat allies in the mainstream media won't tell this story.

Contrary to what you see in the MSM, big business is pumping piles of cash into the pockets of liberal Democrats to buy influence and favors. Those seeking to restrict constitutional freedomes wear the brand of the jackass. And the blood on the streets is spilled by the hands of left wing liberals.

Tags: MSM, Mainstream Media, Democrats, Liberals, Violence, Bautsch, Jindal, SRLC, 1st Amendment, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal Lies, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Conservatism, TEA Party

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Register to Vote Now!

To vote in the May 18 primary election, you must register to vote by April 19. To make it easier for any who haven't already done so, we have partnered with Rock the Vote to create this online registration tool. Click the image below to get started.

After you've completed the web forms, you'll be able to download, print, and sign a completed voter registration form. Then you'll need to mail in the form to address provided. Once you complete these simple steps, you're registered to vote!

You can also sign up for text messages reminding you when and where to vote.

Please encourage all your friends and family to make sure they're registered so they can help us take this country back!

Click on the image below to register now!

Tags: Voter Registration, Rock the Vote, Primary Election, Arkansas, Election 2010

Hat Tip: America, You Asked For It!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Almost 2000 years ago, the only innocent man to ever walk the Earth arose from the grave after being betrayed by one of his closest friends, humiliated by the public, brutally beaten and executed by the Roman authorities. Now he serves as the intercessor between us and God the Father.

He died for my sins, and yours. All he asks in return is that we believe in him.

We give thanks for his sacrifice for all of us. And here are a few songs that celebrate his escape from the grave, and our salvation!

This is Love

Amazing Grace

On the Darkest Day

He Lives/He's Alive

Tags: Easter, Amazing Grace, He Lives/He's Alive, On the Darkest Day, This is Love, Easter Songs, Jesus Christ, Faith, Christianity

Hat Tip: America, You Asked For It!