Thad Cochran Said What?

Friday, June 13th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized

Throughout this primary season, the Madison Project has engaged in a relentless focus on the policy issues that are important and distinguish our candidates from those in the permanent political class.  Unlike our opponents, we are not focused on silly oppo hits and puerile “gotach” moments.  But we have noticed an unmistakable pattern of the media ignoring gaffes and slip-ups from establishment members of Congress while focusing on every last word of each of our candidates.

Take a look at this Breitbart story on Thad Cochran’s most recent gaffe and ponder for a moment what would have happened had one of our candidates said something like this:

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) provided his latest head-scratching comment in public, this time joking he engaged in illicit activities with animals as a child.

“[We’d] get back [to the Pine Belt-Hattiesburg area of Mississippi] as often as we could because it was fun—it was an adventure to be out there in the country and see what goes on,” Cochran said of his childhood and how parts of his family lived in the central part of the state. “Picking up pecans, from that to all kind of indecent things with animals.”

The audience laughed at that point, video published by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger shows. Cochran’s facial expressions did not change, nor did his stance or demeanor. “I know some of you know what that is,” he continued. “The whole point of the story is not just coming here to visit cousins and get to know aunts and uncles better, you absorb the culture and you know what’s important to people here. I feel very comfortable here and have an identity with this area of the state that’s different than any other.”

Let this anecdote seep in for a moment: if Cochran were one of our candidates, the name Thad Cochran would have become a demonstrably more powerful punchline of absurdity than Todd Akin.  Yet, the media, by and large, has no agenda to taint any member of the political class as cloddish, crazy, and extreme.  Because of the big government views people like Cochran hold, they are too big to fail in the eyes of the media.

However, as we have seen from Dave Brat’s spectacular victory against Eric Cantor, people are starting to see through the tainted media coverage.

 

Madison Project Congratulates Dave Brat’s Stunning Win in Virginia’s 7th District Primary

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

For Immediate Release:

June 10, 2014

Contact: press@madisonproject.com

 

Madison Project Congratulates Dave Brat’s Stunning Win in Virginia’s 7th District Primary

Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC made the following statement regarding conservative Dave Brat’s stunning upset victory in tonight’s Virginia 7th Congressional District primary race:

“The fact that an under-funded candidate Dave Brat has upset the sitting Majority Leader in a primary is not only a statement that the Tea Party is alive and well, but that amnesty and comprehensive open borders is dead on arrival,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project.   “The Washington political class has always shown up for the highly publicized primary battles where millions of dollars are pumped in, but tonight we see that when the people are left alone and in control of their own destiny, they pick conservative principles over politics as usual. Brat’s victory is a mandate for leadership reform, and shot across the bow for the rest of the Republicans. It means that amnesty, ruling-class politics, and the status quo will no longer be tolerated.

“Just a few short weeks ago, the Establishment was working the media over trying to shut the coffin on conservatives and the Tea Party, but first Mississippi, and now Virginia’s 7th show that the people, and not the political class will not accept a growing government dead-set on expanding their power, and passing policies that do nothing but line the pockets of special interests. This upset is a clear indication that the people are ready to fight for the heart and soul of both the Republican Party and our country. ”

The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/

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Cochran MIA as his Committee Funds Invasion of Southern Border

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

Word has gotten out in Central American publications that anyone who wants to drop their poverty off on America’s doorstep will be accommodated.   Those rumors were well founded.

I’m sure the Framers had this in mind when they gave Congress the power of the purse.  At a time when Americans are languishing from a stagnating economy and crushing debt, the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Labor-HHS passed a bill appropriating $1.9 billion in aid to fund care for the new arrivals of the illegal inundation from Central America across our southern border.

The Labor, Health and Human Services Committee unveiled a bill Tuesday which includes $1.94 billion in funding to cope with the 92 percent surge. […]

As part of the deal, the administration will be required to report back to Congress with a specific plan to deal with the surge.

Language in the bill also gives the Department of Health and Human Services additional powers to shift funds between accounts to cope with the problem.

Under the law, HHS is responsible for feeding and caring for the children after they are apprehended by border security officials. HHS bares the biggest share of costs in handling the migrants.

The Senate package should fully cover the $2.33 billion in new funding which White House deputy budget director Brian Deese asked the upper chamber for in a May 30 letter. [The Hill]

So where were the Republicans?

The deal was crafted by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) who negotiated with Harkin, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

The bill passed out of subcommittee on a voice vote and heads to a full committee markup on Thursday. There were no audible objections.

Taking a look at the membership of the panel, it’s no surprise that there were no GOP objections.  But there is one inescapable question:

Guess who is the Ranking Member of this subcommittee?

Thad Cochran.

Where is his voice?  Where is his zeal to stand up for Mississippi workers and taxpayers?

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If I Were Marco Rubio

Monday, June 9th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

Senator Marco Rubio spent the better part of last year joining together with Democrats to make a bipartisan push for amnesty and comprehensive open borders.  The message to the third world was clear and unambiguous.  We have not learned the mistakes of the past and we will continue granting amnesty because we lack the stomach to leave any illegals behind.

Not surprisingly, starting late last year there was a surge in border crossings.  Now, there are rampant rumors throughout Central America that as long as you come here with children, you will never be turned down.  How uncanny that the rumor tracks almost identically with the statements put out by politicians in both parties propagating a desire to care for the world’s poor and place their needs over those of Americans.

If I were Marco Rubio, I would hang my head down in shame for helping engender this new wave of illegal immigration.  At the very least, I would have issued the following statement:

“Although I have previously expressed support for amnesty, it is now abundantly clear that calls for amnesty before the enforcement measures are implemented will always spawn endless cycles of illegal immigration.  The approach I pursued last year was deeply flawed and I am now committed to shaming and embarrassing this administration into following the laws and preserving our sovereignty.  I still wish to deal with some other immigration-related issues, but none of that can be addressed until the lawlessness ends and this country is shielded from the harmful effects of illegal immigration.”

Instead, Rubio put out this ambiguous statement:

“There is evidence that unfounded rumors in some countries that if you come as a child to the U.S you can stay have contributed to it,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “Beyond that, I think that it’s illustrative of the need we have in this country to address immigration reform in all of its aspects.”

He said the surge “calls out for a long-term approach in terms of improving our immigration system: both the way the legal immigration system works and addressing those who are here illegally.”

It’s literally a Potomac mental disorder.  Every deleterious effect of illegal immigration, even those directly caused by their version of “immigration reform,” is used an excuse to double down on those very policies.  So by granting benefits and citizenship to those illegals already here before the fence is constructed, exit-entry is working, and interior enforcement is restored…..that will dissuade others from coming here illegally?!!

Over the weekend, Eric Cantor engaged in similar cerebral gyrations by suggesting that the way to solve the border crisis is by offering more “kids” citizenship.

At a time when Americans are suffering from protracted stagnation, diminished wages, and joblessness, it is unconscionable for Washington politicians to spend money supporting new illegal immigrants.  Yet, shame is one attribute lacking from any of the career politicians.

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Thad Cochran and What is Wrong with Politics

Friday, June 6th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

Let’s put aside ideology for a moment and ignore the fact that there is not a single conservative bone in Thad Cochran’s body.  What is more disturbing is that he clearly has not been able to effectively represent Mississippi for quite some time, and certainly will not serve as a vibrant voice for another six years.

Throughout the primary in Mississippi, all the media cared about was the torrent of oppo hits thrown at Chris McDaniel.  They never seemed interested in asking why Cochran was so scarce on the campaign trail or the Senate floor or why he declined to debate McDaniel. Finally, on the day of the primary, Molly Ball penned an article for Atlantic basically publicizing what we all know to be true about Cochran:

I followed Cochran from the square to a local diner, Jean’s Restaurant, where patrons swiveled away from plastic plates of boiled okra and corn fritters to shake his hand. On the wall were two framed photographs of Chris McDaniel. The restaurant’s owner, Diane Trammell, told me McDaniel had visited twice and stayed for an hour each time. “I don’t recall the last time I seen Thad,” she said. She’d always voted for Cochran in the past, but now she wasn’t sure.

Cochran didn’t pose for any pictures during his brief sweep. As he made his way toward the exit, the senator held out his hand to me. I had met and interviewed him less than half an hour before.

“Hello, how are you doing?” he said with a kindly smile. “I’m Thad Cochran.”

It’s hard to tell exactly where Thad Cochran is holding, but I can guarantee you that if one of our candidates was losing touch with reality, there would be a non-stop media circus aimed at discrediting him.  Cochran’s campaign is disgruntled and outraged over Ball’s story, but if the her insinuation is unfounded then why not agree to debate McDaniel?  Either way, any candidate who is unfit to engage in a debate during the most contentious runoff election of the year should not stand for reelection.

And sadly, if Cochran would be left to his own devices he probably would retire.  He seemed to hint at that in a Washington Post interview last week.  Yet, Haley Barbour and the local robber barons have too much riding on this.  They cannot lose their millions in lobbying fees, even if that means running a Senator who can no longer perform his duties.

Folks, I’m not worried about losing this runoff.  It’s almost impossible for Cochran’s campaign to muster enough votes to stay competitive for three weeks.  It’s clear that they were only able to deny Chris the requisite 50% needed to avoid a runoff by turning out Democrat voters in counties Obama won in the Delta region.  Those people will not turn out in a runoff.  We will win this whether he stays in or not.

It’s just sad that the political class has reached a point where they are willing to ruin a man’s retirement just so they can keep their own pay-for-play operation alive.  This is why so many people are turned off by politics.

Cross-posted at RedState

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What will the GOP do about the Latest Cap and Trade Scheme?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Economy, Taxes

It is has been noted in recent years that a good percentage of Americans do not pay income taxes.  However, we must remember that all Americans incur the cost of the hidden tax of regulations.  According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), burdensome regulations drain $1.86 trillion from the private economy every year.  The tab is $15,000 per family, more than many families pay in federal income taxes.

The cost of the regulatory state is paid for in the form of higher costs for food, energy, transportation, and healthcare.  It is also actualized in the form of lower wages and less job opportunities.

As CEI notes, just last year the administration finalized another 3,659 regulations. It’s no surprise that five years into the most tepid economic recovery in recent years, the economy is actually contracting again.

Naturally, the Obama administration is planning to rub salt on the wounds of the American economy by implementing Cap and Trade style regulations that will shutter American manufacturing.  The EPA has released a 645-page plan forcing all power plants to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions” by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.  Much like Obama’s administrative Dream Act, this devastating version of Cap and Trade never passed Congress.

So after creating a permanent part-time economy and driving up the cost of healthcare with Obamacare, this administration seeks to crush the average family with higher energy costs, which in turn, jack up the cost of most other vital goods and services.

In recent months, a slew of Republicans have introduced policy proposals attempting to appeal to middle class families.  There is no better way to advocate reducing government than by promising to reduce the regulatory state.  Along with repeal of Obamacare and opposing open borders (which hurts workers and taxpayers), the crushing burden of energy regulations must play prominent in any general election campaign.

On the surface, this is an issue for which all Republicans can unite and fight with a coherent message.  After all, the Chamber of Commerce is actually on the right side of the issue.  But there are two important observations that cannot be overlooked.

It’s easy for the Chamber and establishment Republicans to act outraged over the regulatory state when the EPA announces crushing regulations.  But what these people fail to see is that they are responsible for growing government and interjecting it into every aspect of the economy – to the point that they now feel that can control entire industries, such as energy, healthcare, and financial services.  People like Thad Cochran can’t have it both ways.  They can’t embrace the federal hand that subsidizes private enterprise and then complain about the hand that regulates them into submission. It is years’ worth of bipartisan work from the Chamber and pay-for-play Republicans to expand the role of government that has allowed the bureaucracies to grow large and brazen enough to regulate anything that moves.

The other point to consider is that although all establishment Republicans claim to be outraged over the latest Cap and Trade scheme, what are they going to do about it?  Remember, even if Republicans win control of the Senate, it will not change the balance of power.  They will not have control over the executive agencies, and Obama will be as truculent as ever in ruling by administrative fiat during the lame duck of his presidency.  Republicans already have control of the purse-string in the House – the last recourse to check against abuse of executive power – yet they sabotaged our only attempt to use it.

At some point, Republicans need to look beyond the next election to solving the constitutional crisis that is upon us.

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Scorecard of Amendment Votes on CJS Appropriations Bill

Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by and is filed under Blog

Last week, the House conducted a marathon session voting on amendments to the annual Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill.  As always, there were a number of votes on spending cut amendments.  In addition, there was a rare gun control amendment snuck into the bill.  An amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) dumped another $20 million into state grants for beefing up background checks on gun purchases.  This will essentially give a green light to blue states to continue their overzealous regulation of firearms.  Sadly, it passed with a majority Democrat support.

As always, we have put together a color-coded scorecard to track the way Republican members voted on key amendments.  You can view the spreadsheet here.

Below the fold is a brief summary of the amendments scored in the spreadsheet from the Republican Study Committee:

1)      Pompeo (R-KS):  Eliminates funding for the Economic Development Administration (EDA).  The underlying bill funds EDA at $248 million.  According to the amendment sponsor, “the Administration uses the EDA as a vehicle to spend taxpayer money on its own personal pork-barrel projects.”  The GAO has said that EDA grants “did not have a significant effect” on project success, and the EDA IG has found that up to 29 percent of grant money has been wasted.

The EDA has not been authorized since 2008.  The RSC budget proposed to eliminate this program.  Conservative Support:  American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, and Club for Growth (Key Vote).  Many outside groups have supported eliminating the EDA, including: Cato, Citizens Against Government Waste, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, and National Taxpayers Union.

2)      Thompson (D-CA):  Increases funding for National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Initiative grants by $19.5 million.  These funds are meant to provide federal grants to states to upgrade criminal and mental health records for NICS, as authorized by the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.  NICS is already funded at $58.5 million, a level that is already $3.5 million above the President’s budget request.

This increase is offset by reducing Commerce Departmental Administration by $1 million, Justice Information Sharing Technology by $3 million, Federal Prison System Buildings and facilities by $5.5 million, and National Science Foundation Agency Operation and Awards Management by $10 million.

3)      Cicilline (D-RI):  Increases funding by $8.5 million for DOJ State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance and reduces NASA Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration by $8.5 million.  This funding is meant to support Project Safe Neighborhoods, a grant program that is meant to reduce gun and gang crime.

4)      Smith (R-TX):  Would reduce National Science Foundation (NSF) Social-Behavioral-Economic (SBE) Directorate by $15.35 million and refocus those funds on science and technology NSF research directorates.  This would freeze the SBE Directorate at the current FY14 level.

This amendment is consistent with the goal of prioritizing NSF research that is in H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act, which was approved by the Science, Space, and Technology Committee yesterday.

The underlying legislation funds the NSF at $7.404 billion, $149 million above the President’s request, $232 million above the FY14 enacted level, and $409 million above the level proposed by the House Appropriations Committee for FY14.  The NSF has not been authorized since 2013.  The RSC budget called for reducing funding for the NSF due to the number of wasteful grants funded by the NSF.

5)      Scott (R-GA):  Would eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).  In the underlying legislation, the LSC is appropriated $350 million, $80 million below the President’s request, $15 million below the FY14 enacted level, and $50 million above the level proposed by the House Appropriations Committee for FY14.

The LSC has not been authorized since 1980.  The RSC Budget calls for the elimination of the LSC, explaining “the LSC has evolved into an organization that also takes part in the advocacy of political causes and lobbying.  Coupling the misuse of taxpayer funds with the redundancy of free legal services provided by states and other organizations eliminates the need for this federally funded entity.”  Several outside groups have advocated eliminating the LSC, including Heritage, Citizens Against Government Waste, and Cato.

6)      Blackburn (R-TN):  Would reduce the bill across the board (other than the FBI) by one percent ($400 million).

MP Breitbart Op-Ed: The Real Stain On America’s Honor

Sunday, June 1st, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

Keeping illegal immigrants “in the shadows in this nation,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told a group at Harvard University last month, is “a stain on America’s honor.”

Put aside the fact that these people do not live in the shadows and in many ways have more political power than We the People. The real stain on America’s honor is the fact that people like John McCain refuse to lift a finger to protect our sovereignty and stop the new wave of illegal immigration, irrespective of their views on what to do with those already here for a long time.

Instead of talking about ending unqualified birthright citizenship as a pre-condition to any legal status, Republicans like Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) have been running around the country touting policies that invite in anchor teenagers. The open invitation, coupled with Obama’s refusal to follow the law, has predictably resulting in a refugee crisis teaming over our southern border. Preliminary estimates show a minimum of 300 young migrants coming over the border on a daily basis, forcing our border patrol to serve as babysitters for the third world.

Read more at Breitbart News

America is not a Dumping Ground

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on issues related to immigration and border security.  There is probably no department through which Obama has pushed his lawlessness more than Homeland Security, as he has completed shredded our immigration laws and erased our borders.

Republican members of the Judiciary Committee should make this hearing the beginning of a sustained effort to shame and embarrass the administration into enforcing the laws, preserving our sovereignty, and protecting our national security.  As we head into the appropriations season, they must use the power of the purse as a weapon to batter these law-breakers into submission.  If they do not receive satisfactory answers from Johnson and DHS officials, they should cut the salaries of top officials in the DHS appropriations bill.

It’s time for Republicans to unite behind one common theme – preventing a new wave of illegal immigration.  Reasonable people can disagree about what to do with those who remain here illegally after we reinstate our laws and stop the new flow of illegal immigration.  We can certainly debate the level and type of legal immigration we desire to promote in the coming years.  But any Republican who shares a modicum of Republican values should put aside those ideas and stop giving aid and comfort to the President by helping him provoke a new wave of illegal immigration.

The notion that we must debate about the future of those already here while those very debates are fostering a gushing flow of illegal migration, particularly from Central America, is absurd and dangerous.  It is analogous to a homeowner mulishly focusing on what to do with the water in his basement while ignoring the torrent of water seeping under the door.

There is an overall surge in trespassing into the southernmost tip of Texas.  The public push by the administration to grant citizenship and benefits to children of illegals has spawned a surge in juvenile border crossings.  In fact, calls for amnesty have invited in so many juvenile border crossings that DHS is setting up emergency shelters for them in TexasHHS estimates that about 60,000 unaccompanied minors will enter the country illegally this year, a ninefold increase from 2011.

The memo that is being telegraphed to the Third World is that America is a dumping ground; come drop off your poverty on our doorstep.  Countries have gotten so brazen with their tactics that they are refusing to repatriate their citizens after we deport them.  Yet, the administration has stopped enforcing the law requiring the State Department to withhold visas from countries that refuse to repatriate their illegal migrants.

That is why it is so irresponsible for Republicans to begin talking about the Dream Act before the enforcement measures are in place, much less at a time when Obama is suspending all law and order.  Instead of demanding true immigration reform, which starts with enforcing our laws like every other country would do, Republican leaders refer to Obama’s bad behavior as immigration “reform.”

The willful disregard of our border security and immigration laws at the hands of this administration goes far beyond the broader debate over immigration.  Republicans need to unite on this issue, and that should start today by getting some answers from Jeh Johnson.

It’s time for Republicans to embrace the issue and champion our national security instead of running from it.

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Abolish the Economic Development Administration

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy

As the season of appropriations begins in earnest, Congress will take up the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill.  This bill (HR 4660), which funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as NASA and other related agencies, provides $51.202 billion in discretionary budget authority.

Obviously, from a conservative perspective, the entire Department of Commerce is a waste of money and should not exist.  But at the very least, we should cut back on failed programs.  Instead, this bill actually provides $3.8 billion in extra spending relative to last year’s House bill.  The Heritage Foundation has already detailed $2.6 billion in additional spending cuts that should be included in the bill.

A number of conservative members will be offering amendments to cut spending.  One of the most important amendments that has been proposed so far is Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-KS) amendment to abolish the Economic Development Administration (EDA).  The EDA is a failed Great Society program that serves as a stimulus/pork slush fund for special interest communities under the guise of assistance to economically distressed areas of the country.  It’s nothing more than a fund for corporate welfare and a way of picking winners and losers in the market.  It has been as successful in creating jobs as Obama’s stimulus.  Senator DeMint wrote a great piece on the EDA two years ago analyzing its history of failed promises.

Anyone who claims to oppose earmarks and stimulus must oppose the EDA.  This bill appropriates $248 million for the EDA, a slight increase from last year’s enacted level.  Call your members and ask them to support the Pompeo amendment to end the EDA.  If we can’t close down this failed agency, we will certainly never eliminate any major agency or full department.

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