Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments

Thursday, August 15th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Uncategorized

Here is Daniel’s book review of Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments posted at RedState

Over the past year, I have dedicated my time to helping elect conservatives in an effort to ensure that at least one political party represents our constitutional form of government.  But even as I sweat and toil for this endeavor, I have realized that elections are not enough to restore our liberty.  In fact, it is scandalous that our liberties should be subject to the outcome of elections in the first place.

What if we are not successful in electing more Constitutional conservatives?  What if the statists outgun us with all the special interest money they received in return for their votes against the Constitution?  Should we be denied our liberty just because we lack the parallel resources to convince low information voters that they have no right to infringe upon our liberties?

These are the questions our Founders dealt with when they warned of Elective Despotism, the ability of sleazy politicians to manipulate a ‘majority rule’ system to limit the rights of the individual.  That’s why they created a Republican form of government, one which only granted the federal government enumerated powers, irrespective of which party or group of individuals obtains political power.

Sadly, we have deviated from our constitutional form of government over the past century.  That’s why Mark Levin has written The Liberty Amendments, a set of proposed constitutional amendments that will unambiguously downsize the federal government by targeting specific loopholes that have allowed the statists to adulterate our Constitution.  Far from this being a radically new vision, Levin proves – through founding documents and floor debates at the Constitutional Congress – how his ideas are in line with what the Founders envisioned in our Federal government.  It’s just that after years of deviating from the Constitution, it has become clear that we need very specific limitations on federal abuses – abuses that have gone far beyond the imagination of our Founders – in order to restore the Republic.

Mark Levin is proposing ten amendments to the Constitution.  Each one is written in thoughtful language so as to preclude any ancillary problems:

1)      Term Limits: He proposes limiting service in both the House and Senate to 12 years.  Yes, we’ve heard all the arguments about elections being the best limit.  But the past 100 year has proven that to be false.  As someone who works day and night to throw the bums out, I can tell you that is nearly impossible to throw them out with the amount of money they raise – precisely for their abuses of power.  Levin also proves that limiting time in office was a highly regarded proposal during the Constitutional Congress.

2)      Repealing the 17th Amendment: Levin proposes repealing the 17th amendment and vesting state legislators with the power to elect senators so that the power of states is not diluted, as originally feared by the framers of the Constitution.

3)      Restoring the Judiciary to its proper role: The Judiciary was never meant to be an all-powerful institution in which five men in robes have the final say over every major policy battle in the country.  In order to end judicial tyranny, Levin proposes limiting service to one 12-year term, and granting both Congress and the state legislatures the authority to overturn court decisions with the vote of three-fifths of both houses of Congress or state legislative bodies.

4)      Limiting Taxation and Spending: Levin proposes a balanced budget amendment, limiting spending to 17.5% of GDP and requiring a three-fifths vote to raise the debt ceiling.  He also proposes limiting the power to tax to 15% of an individual’s income, prohibiting other forms of taxation, and placing the deadline to file one’s taxes one day before the next federal election.

5)      Limiting bureaucracy:  He proposes an amendment to limit and sunset federal regulations and subject the existence of all federal departments to stand-alone reauthorization bills every three years.

6)      Defining the Commerce Clause: Levin writes an amendment that, while technically unnecessary, is practically an imperative to restoring the original intent of the Commerce Clause.  The amendment would make it clear that the commerce clause grants not power to actively regulate and control activity; rather to prevent states from impeding commerce among other states, as Madison originally intended.

7)      Limiting Federal power to take private property

8)      Allowing State Legislature to Amend the Constitution: Although the Framers intentionally made it difficult to amend the Constitution, they did so to preserve the Republic they created.  However, the progressives have illegally altered our Republic through a silent and gradual coup without using the amendment process.  If we are going to successfully push the aforementioned amendments, we will need an easier mechanism to force them through. The proposed amendment allows states to bypass Congress and propose an amendment with support of just two-thirds of the states (instead of three-fourths) and without convening a convention.

9)      State Authority to Override Congress:  A proposed amendment to allow states to override federal statutes by majority vote in two-thirds of state legislatures.  The last two proposals are rooted in the idea that the states only agreed to the Constitution on condition that their power would not be diluted and that all federal power is derived from the states.

10)  Protecting the Vote: A proposal to require photo ID for all federal elections and limit early voting.

Taken as a whole, there is no doubt that these amendments would restore our Republican form of government.  Every proposal is backed up by scholarly analysis of the Framers’ view on the proposal, an overview of what has changed since the founding, and the rationale for why the proposal is necessary.  You should read the entire book.  As someone who is busy reading all the current news every day, this is the only political book I made time to read all year.

Now I know some of you thumb-sucking conservatives out there will pessimistically dismiss this as an impossible pipe dream; the same people who scoff upon our ability to throw out terrible Republicans in primaries…until we successfully do so.  However, it is quite evident that nothing will change substantially, even if we win an election here or there, until we strike out at lynchpins of power within the current system.  No proposal will be successful overnight.  This will take years or decades.  But it is a goal worth pursuing.

Remember, many of the principles of the Tea Party were dormant for many years, and have now filtered into the mainstream.

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Senator Mitch McConnell On ObamaCare

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Obamacare, Press

Confused? We are too.  Earlier today, we put out a press release asking Senator McConnell to clarify a few things for voters in Kentucky.

Senator McConnell on Obamacare In His Own Words

 Washington, D.C. – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement regarding Senator Mitch McConnell’s continual refusal to defund Obamacare:

 McConnell: “I’m for stopping Obamacare, but shutting down the government will not stop Obamacare.  Most of it is permanent law and not affected by that.“ 8/13/13 WYMT –TV

“Mitch McConnell is using the non-sequitur and Democrat talking point of a government shutdown,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project.  “The goal here is not to shut down the government; it is to use our only leverage point to shut down Obamacare.  All spending bills must originate in the House – the body that is controlled by Republicans.  The Framer designed it that way so that the body of government closest to the people would have the power over the purse strings.  The House needs to pass a bill funding the government sans Obamacare.   If Senate Democrats want to shut down the government in order to throw people off their health insurance and chase doctors out of the field, that is their prerogative.  Senator McConnell should work with the House to fund the government except for Obamacare instead of cutting a last-minute deal with Harry Reid or Joe Biden.”

“Also, McConnell is misleading the public when asserting that mandatory spending cannot be stopped in a budget bill.  The House can pass a CR to fully fund the federal government sans Obamacare.  Many budget bills contain numerous policy riders that can prohibit specific funding even for mandatory programs.  For example, in 2011, House Republicans originally passed a Continuing Resolution that contained such a rider. [H. Con. Res. 35 to H.R. 1, RC# 270, 4/14/2011].”

“Furthermore, according to the Congressional Research Service [page 5], Obamacare will need a substantial sum of discretionary appropriations just to implement the thousands of pages of regulations and the healthcare exchanges.  CRS notes that HHS projected that all the mandatory funds for implementation ‘would be obligated by the end of FY2012.’ Thereafter, ACA administrative costs will have to be funded through annual discretionary appropriations.”

McConnell: There are a handful of things in the 2,700-page bill [Obamacare] that probably are okay.”  8/13/13 WYMT – TV

“When it comes to policy issues, Senator McConnell always likes to speak in generalities and platitudes, declining to specify his position when it counts even though he is the GOP Senate Leader, “ said Horowitz.  “Senator McConnell should let the Kentucky voters know which parts of Obamacare are good in his estimation.  Earlier this year, McConnell said ‘Obamacare should be repealed root and branch.’  How can he repeal it root and branch if he likes parts of the law?”

McConnell: “[A government shutdown] It also wouldn’t stop the [Obamacare] taxes. Taxes that are going in on medical devices, taxes that are going in on health insurance premiums.” 8/13/13 WYMT –

“It’s laughable that Senator McConnell is concerned about the Obamacare tax increases,” stated Horowitz. “He wasn’t concerned about the tax increases that took effect this year when he negotiated the tax increases with Joe Biden and failed to get anything in return, such as a repeal of the Obamacare tax hikes in 2013“The new taxes in 2013 include a cap on the Medical Itemized Deduction, a cap on private flexible savings accounts, a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, a 3.8% surtax on investment income for those earning more than 200k, and a .9% increase in the Medicare payroll tax for the rich.  After agreeing to give Joe Biden $620 billion in tax increases affected 80% of Americans [Roll call 659, 1/1/2013], McConnell failed to extract a single concession from the Vice President on the Obamacare fiscal cliff tax increases.”

***Here is the full Mitch McConnell timeline of Flip-Flops on Obamacare***

  • In December 2010, Senator McConnell voted against a budget bill [RC#289], citing its funding for Obamacare as the reason for his opposition: “It’s got more than a half a billion dollars in it for the Democratic health care bill that we passed last year. The 2,700 page bill that looks pretty much like this. It’s got a half a billion dollars in it for that health care bill that we passed last year. An ever-growing number of Americans looking at that health care bill would like for us to repeal it, not fund it.”– Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 12/16/10 on why he voted against the FY2011 omnibus appropriations bill
  • Yet, he voted for the FY 2011 CR on March 17, 2011, even though it contained funding for Obamacare that same fiscal year. [RC#44] On that very same day, McConnell delivered a speech about the ills of Obamacare, declining to mention the same issue with funding he expressed four months before, despite the vote on the budget bill that day.
  • He voted for a similar Continuing Resolution for FY 2012 later that year [RC#153, 9/26/2011].  Once again, in his floor remarks that day, McConnell declined to mention the funding for Obamacare.
  • Throughout 2012, McConnell blocked efforts by conservatives to force votes on repealing Obamacare, thereby making this unpopular program an election issue.  McConnell didn’t want to anger Harry Reid. [The Hill, 03/01/12]
  • March 2013 – On March 20, McConnell said on the senate floor, “anyone who thinks we’ve given up that fight is dead wrong.” Yet, on the same day, he, once again, voted for a CR containing funding for Obamacare [RC # 44, 03/20/13]
  • Summer 2013 – Despite his promise to uproot Obamacare “root and branch,” McConnell tells a reporter there are parts of the law that are OK. [8/13/13 WYMT –].
  • Despite promising never to give up the fight, Mitch McConnell fights against conservatives who want to defund Obamacare at the last opportunity before the law takes effect.

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 athttp://madisonproject.com/

 

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Press Release: McConnell Gets Support from Liberal Special Interest

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues, Press

McConnell Gets Support from Liberal Special Interest

Washington, D.C. – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement regarding The American Chemistry Council’s $400,000 ad buy on behalf of Senator McConnell:

“It’s always interesting to see what special interest groups come out of the woodwork to support establishment Republicans in their time of trouble,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project. “The American Chemistry Council is led by liberal California Democrat Cal Dooley.  The only other ads they are running this year are in support of liberal Democrats and RINO Republicans who are vulnerable to conservative primary challenges, such as Rep. Mike Simpson and Rep. Fred Upton.”

“We find it extremely hypocritical that the ad praises McConnell as a supporter of small business and expanded energy production when he voted for the 2007 Energy bill – the Obamacare of Energy [RC#430, 12/13/2007].  That bill created the most onerous green energy mandates on fuel producers, cars, and light bulbs of any bill to come before Congress.  We are paying for these mandates and taxes to this day in the form of higher food and fuel prices and less jobs.”

“This is another example of the collusion between big government and big business,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “Of course a group like the American Chemistry Council would run ads on behalf of Senator McConnell-it is natural that big business would do anything to protect one of its own.  That is why we are proud to support Matt Bevin.  He is committed to working with conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee to restore our free markets and end all tendentious favors to big business at the expense of the American taxpayer.”

To view our endorsement of Matt Bevin, click here.

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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Shutting Down Mitch McConnell *Will* Stop Obamacare

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

Well, at least Mitch McConnell has finally come out of the shadows to take a stand on a contentious issue.  That is a start.  Roll Call reports that Mitch McConnell is publicly espousing the view that he has always held privately:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a crowd at a health care forum in Kentucky on Tuesday that while he does not like the president’s health care law, shutting down the government over funding it “will not stop” it from existing.

“I’m for stopping Obamacare, but shutting down the government will not stop Obamacare,” McConnell told the audience at Baptist Health Corbin, according to a WYMT-TV reporter at the event.

In one sentence, Mitch McConnell has articulated why the dinosaur party of the past has failed us and why we will never score points while people like him are in charge.

First, McConnell is repeating the bromide about a government shutdown failing to stop Obamacare.  The goal here is not a government shutdown as an ends to itself; it is to use our only leverage point to confront Democrats on an issue that is an albatross around their necks in the 2014 elections, which will be fought on red states.  All spending bills must originate in the House – the body that is controlled by Republicans.  They need to pass a bill funding the government sans Obamacare.  It is up to the Senate whether they want to force a shutdown over an unpopular law.  As James Madison noted in Federalist #58:

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse — that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

Moreover, this is exactly why we always lose.  Instead of talking about getting rid of Obamacare and funding the government without Obamacare, GOP leaders are preemptively sabotaging the effort by talking about a government shutdown, so as to play into the messaging of Democrats.  We need to talk about defunding Obamacare and have the House pass a standalone CR funding the government with a law prohibiting any funding for Obamacare.  If Democrats want to shut down the government in order to throw people off their health insurance and chase doctors out of the field, that is their prerogative.

Yet, because of statements like the one from McConnell, Democrats always know with certitude that we will be the ones to blink, even on issues where the public aligns with us.  It is this defeatist attitude that has saddled us with the $17 trillion in debt.  In fact, the only success we’ve seen in recent years was when Republicans engaged in brinkmanship in the ’90s, and actually forced through a balanced budget and welfare reform.  They also picked up two seats in the midterm elections.  And no, Bob Dole did not lose the ’96 election because of the government shutdown.

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Jim Ryun Op-ed in USA Today: Mitch McConnell’s Dinosaur GOP can’t Fix DC

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, News, Press

As a former conservative member of Congress, I learned that legislative battles are won or lost long before the votes are cast in Congress. If we want to win legislative battles, we have to win electoral wars first. Many of those start in primaries against establishment Republicans who have either become complicit in the endless expansion of the federal government or feckless in stopping its aggressive champions.

Over the past year, my political action committee, The Madison Project has had the opportunity to help recruit a number of conservatives who understand the gravity of our public policy problems and are willing to fight for solutions that will fundamentally restore our constitutional republic. They are committed to promoting a new standard in Washington – one in which principled leaders actually fight and win battles for conservatives. They will do whatever it takes to shrink the size of government – including filibusters against harmful legislation in the Senate or voting against rules to consider bad legislation backed by GOP leadership in the House.

Next year we will have a number of opportunities to elect these new principled Republicans – all in conservative-leaning red states. There are opportunities in Democrat-held seats in Louisiana, Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Alaska, and North Carolina. And yes, there are Republican seats in Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Wyoming and others currently being wasted on Republicans of yesteryear.

We are proud to have already made some bold endorsements this year. We backed Coast Guard veteran Art Halvorson against Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster in Pennsylvania. This is a clear race between a status quo Republican committed to the policies of meddlesome federal control versus a principled outsider committed to shrinking the size of government.

And there’s Louisville businessman Matt Bevin who’s challenging the sitting Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. McConnell’s quiet support for backroom deals and lack of leadership to fight the legislative battles needed to move our country in the right direction, has undercut conservatives in the Senate for years. We are proud to be the first national organization to support this historic conservative insurgency to empower the grassroots over the party establishment.

Read More at USA Today

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Jesse Benton, Mitch McConnell, and Holding Our Noses for Unprincipled Republicans

Monday, August 12th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, News

Last week, a former Ron Paul supporter released the audio of a conversation he had with Jesse Benton with regards to his work as Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager.  Benton is heard on the recording admitting that his decision to work for McConnell was all political: “Between you and me, I’m sort of holdin’ my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in ’16, so that’s my long vision.”

While the concept of taping private conversations is not something that sits well with us in general, these private remarks so illustrative of what is wrong with the powers that be within the Republican Party.

Mitch McConnell is the embodiment of a Republican who places personal power above principle.  We have seen that a number of times over the past few years as he privately cheered for or orchestrated bad deals with the Democrats while publicly voting against them in order to protect himself.  It’s no surprise that his campaign manager operates in the exact same manner.  We didn’t need to hear this private tape to ascertain unprincipled power politics playing out in the McConnell camp.  Mitch McConnell needed Ron Paul’s campaign manager as cover for his lack of conservative principles; Jesse Benton was enticed by the allurement of power and money from Mitch McConnell.  Hence, a match made in political hell.

For the past few months, Jesse Benton has been propagating laudatory statements about his boss – statements that he evidently never truly believed.  Concurrently, he has been smearing Matt Bevin for the past few weeks, despite the fact that Bevin is running against McConnell precisely so people like Benton don’t have to hold their noses for Mitch McConnell in the general election.  Benton, much like his boss, is a finger likin’ fraud.

And speaking of nose plugs, Jesse Benton has inadvertently provided us with an image that exemplifies our sense of discord with the Republican Party establishment in general and Mitch McConnell in particular.  We are sick and tired of holding our noses for unprincipled Republicans during the general election just because they are the lesser of two evils, or more aptly, the evil of two lesser.  We’ve had enough of the failed pale-pastel Republicans of the past who are barely discernible from the Democrats, both in their policies and in their personal behavior.  We have grown wary of voting for those Republicans who view elected office as an opportunity to assume power for power’s sake.

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Mitch McConnell Holding Nose to Support Obamacare

Friday, August 9th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

After Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, was caught red-mouthed saying that he had to hold his nose to work for Mitch McConnell, Mitch’s campaign thought they would make light of the verbal gaffe by parlaying it into Obamacare.  They tried to co-op “nosegate” by posting a photo on twitter with Jesse Benton holding his nose against the proverbial stench of Obamacare.

Nice try, Team Mitch.  The only problem is that the stench of Obamacare is most potent in McConnell’s office at 317 Russell Senate office building.  That is where he is pressuring members not to sign onto Mike Lee’s letter promising to do the only consequential thing that will actually block Obamacare.

Lamar Alexander’s Taxpayer-Funded Campaign Monument

Friday, August 9th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues, News

If you want to understand everything that is wrong with the current crop of leaders in both parties, take a look at this story out of Nashville by local investigative reporter Ben Hall.

Evidently, Lamar’s top campaign staffers were coordinating the creation of a traveling exhibit of Senator Alexander with the taxpayer-funded Tennessee State Museum.  The exhibit, which would paint a acclamatory picture of the senior senator, was originally going to be deployed towards the end of this year and into 2014, to coincide with his reelection campaign…that is..until Ben Hall caught them in the act.

The taxpayer-supported museum had been working with Alexander’s campaign on an exhibit that would travel across the state — while the senator was running for re-election.

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The Power of the Purse and Defunding Obamacare

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

Over the past three years, we have heard apologists for the Republican establishment argue that we only control one-half of one-third of government, and as such, are unable to force any transformational change.  Undoubtedly, we lack the wherewithal to propose and pass new legislation into law.  But when it comes to funding various functions of government, we wield full power.

James Madison poured copious pages of ink explaining the peculiarities of the two branches of Congress.  In Federalist #58, he explained the unique power over the purse that is manifest in the House of Representatives:

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse — that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

Well, the American people are turning to Republicans in Congress as the last refuge to redress the grievances wrought by Obamacare.  Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), a Madison Project endorsee, is circulating a letter to fellow House members requesting that they commit to defunding Obamacare in the next budget bill.  Here is the latest list of signatories.  If your member is not on the list, confront them at the next town hall meeting and tell them to read Madison’s writings:

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LA-5: Good Riddance to Rodney Alexander

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues, News

Winning a vacated seat from a sitting Democrat is not the only way to move a district to the right.  We should celebrate when a RINO retires as well.

Today, Rep. Rodney Alexander (RINO-LA-5) announced that he will not seek reelection next year.  What a relief.  Now we have an opportunity to easily pickup a conservative district.

Rodney Alexander has been in Congress since 2003. He represents the conservative northeast of Louisiana, which Mitt Romney carried by 23 points,  yet he is one of the biggest underperformers in the House conference. He is also, by far, the most liberal member of the Louisiana Republican delegation.

In 2011, he voted against every effort to cut spending and supported all of the bloated spending bills along with raising the debt ceiling. Alexander is another member of the Appropriations Committee who uses his position to block spending cuts. He is a big supporter of destructive Davis-Bacon wages and Big Labor in general. He was part of the TARP coalition.

He has earned a pathetic 36% rating from Heritage Action this year.  It’s members like this – members who waste red districts – that prevent us from creating a coalition of limited government advocacy in Congress.

We’re looking forward to finding a real conservative to represent this conservative district.

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