Thursday, June 05, 2008

Internship also links Obama, Rezko: Fund-raiser asked senator to hire contributor's son by Frank Main

Source: http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/184952,CST-NWS-obama24.article



December 24, 2006

In addition to a land deal, Sen. Barack Obama's ties to indicted dealmaker Antoin "Tony" Rezko include an internship the senator provided the son of a contributor at the request of Rezko, an Obama spokesman confirmed Saturday.

John Aramanda served as an intern for Obama for about a month in 2005, said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs. His father is Joseph Aramanda, a Rezko business associate who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal corruption case against Rezko. Aramanda has contributed $11,500 to Obama since 2000, Gibbs said.

"Mr. Rezko did provide a recommendation for John Aramanda," Gibbs said. "I think that it's fairly obvious that a few-week internship is not anything of benefit to Mr. Rezko or any of his businesses."

The internship revelation comes after Obama acknowledged he erred in buying property from Rezko in January. The transaction took place when it was widely known Rezko was under investigation by the U.S. attorney's office.

"It was a mistake to have been engaged with him at all in this or any other personal business dealing that would allow him, or anyone else, to believe that he had done me a favor," Obama -- a likely presidential candidate -- told the Chicago Sun-Times in November.


Alleged kickback
Rezko was indicted in October for allegedly trying to collect nearly $6 million in kickbacks from government deals and trying to shake down a Hollywood producer for $1.5 million in campaign contributions to Gov. Blagojevich.

Obama and Rezko have been friends since 1990, and the Wilmette businessman has raised as much as $60,000 in campaign contributions for him.

After Rezko's indictment, Obama donated $11,500 to charity -- the amount Rezko contributed to the senator's federal campaign fund.

Gibbs said no decision has been made on whether Obama will return any contributions from Aramanda, given his alleged role in the federal corruption cases against Rezko and former Teachers Retirement System board member Stuart Levine.

Aramanda is identified as "Individual D" in Rezko's indictment. And when Levine pleaded guilty in October, Aramanda again was listed as "Individual D."

Aramanda was identified by the Sun-Times as "Individual D," who allegedly received a $250,000 kickback tied to a scheme to steer lucrative state pension deals to firms and consultants that donated to Blagojevich. Aramanda is not specifically named or charged with criminal wrongdoing in the court papers. He did not return a call seeking comment Saturday.

Gibbs said John Aramanda served in Obama's Capitol Hill office from July 20 to Aug. 26, 2005.

fmain@suntimes.com

Obama: Rezko was 'a significant fundraiser' by Abdon M. Pallasch

Source: http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/843582,obama031408a.article

March 14, 2008


Barack Obama discusses his relationship with Tony Rezko with a group of Sun-Times reporters and editors Friday.

(John H. Kim/Sun-Times)

In an extensive 80-minute interview with the Sun-Times, White House hopeful Barack Obama laid out just how close he and indicted Chicago businessman Tony Rezko grew personally and financially.


Rezko could have donated as much as $250,000 to Obama's campaigns over the years -- much more than the $60,000 to $70,000 Obama's campaign initially estimated, Obama said.



"Rezko was not my largest fund-raiser but a significant fund-raiser" on his campaign for U.S. Senate, Obama. (Click to listen to the full interview.)


Obama estimated a total of $170,000 was raised by Rezko, he said. Could it be more than $170,000, Obama was asked. When pushed, he said it could be as high as $250,000.


“It’s hard for me to know precisely,” Obama said. “I may not know who are friends of his.”


Obama said he would talk to Rezko daily during some of his political campaigns. Obama and his wife Michelle had 'two or three dinners' with indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his wife over the years and made one day trip to the Rezkos' home in Lake Geneva.


Obama agreed to meet with Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune reporters after many months of refusing to answer all the questions about the extent of his friendship with Rezko and the amount of money Rezko raised for him over the years.


Rezko is standing trial on unrelated charges that he used his influence to control jobs and appointments to state boards in Gov. Blagojevich’s administration and that Rezko got kickbacks. Obama is not implicated in the indictment.


Obama denied he got any discount on the purchase of his Hyde Park home after Rezko toured the house with him and agreed to buy the adjoining lot that was for sale at the time. When Rezko told Obama he woud like to purchase the next-door lot, Obama told him that would be fine, he said.


“Having somebody that I knew, who was a friend of mine, developing the lot would be great,” Obama said. “Tony agreed to pay for the erection of a fence.”


Obama said even though “there were some noises” about Rezko having potential legal problems, he went ahead with the transaction, which he now thinks is a mistake.


An even more serious lapse was his later argreement to purchase a five-foot strip of land from Rezko after Rezko's legal problems became more public, he said.


"The larger problem is me purchasing the strip of land," Obama said. "At that point it was clearer he was going to have significant legal problems. For me to enter into a business transaction with him was . . . a boneheaded move."


All along the way, red flags should have been going up but were not because he had known and trusted Rezko so long, Obama conceded.


“He never once asked me for any favors, or ever did any favors for me,” Obama said. “He never gave me any gifts or gave me any indication he was setting me up to ask for any favors in the future.”



Related Blog Posts
* Rezko Guilty Verdict: The Relevance
From TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime

* Rezko Convicted, RNC Focuses on Ties to Obama
From Buck Naked Politics

Obama's Remarks Are Liberal Snobbery by Michael Barone



Source: http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2008/4/14/obamas-remarks-are-liberal-snobbery-2-2.html

April 14, 2008 02:26 PM ET

Corrected on 4/14/2008: An earlier version of this article had Marc Ambinder's name spelled incorrectly and incorrectly paraphrased an Adlai Stevenson quote. Adlai Stevenson's quip that if a majority of thinking people supported him, that wouldn't be enough because "I need a majority."


Much has been made of Barack Obama's comments at an April 6 fundraiser in the San Francisco Bay Area: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said. "And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate, and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or antitrade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."


The account comes from one Mayfill Flower of the left-leaning Huffington Post and was reported on Friday, April 11. Evidently, these remarks were made at one of three Bay Area big-bucks fundraisers that day, at Gordon and Ann Getty's house, portrayed by Zombietime as on "billionaires row." Here's Obama's try at extricating himself from charges of elite condescension and snobbery.


John McCain's campaign pounced quickly:



"It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking," McCain adviser Steve Schmidt said. "It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."



Hard to argue with that. Ditto Hillary Clinton's response:



"I saw in the media it's being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter. Well, that's not my experience. As I travel around Pennsylvania, I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves. They are working hard every day for a better future, for themselves and their children. Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them; they need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them, who works hard for your futures, your jobs, your families."



For more interesting responses, see John Podhoretz on Obama's ultimate condescension, a long Tom Maguire post, John Hinderaker's conclusion that this makes Obama unelectable, ditto from the redoubtable Ed Morrissey, a tough Gateway Pundit collection



"Senator Obama has said many times in this campaign that Americans are understandably upset with their leaders in Washington for saying anything to win elections while failing to stand up to the special interests and fight for an economic agenda that will bring jobs and opportunity back to struggling communities. And if John McCain wants a debate about who's out of touch with the American people, we can start by talking about the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that he once said offended his conscience but now wants to make permanent."



Wow!


I'm inclined to endorse most of these sentiments and to add a few observations of my own. Contrary to the usually sound analyses of Marc Ambinder, I believe that Obama's words are not really defensible—and are a major problem for him as the Democratic nominee. Per Ambinder, he is parroting the argument of Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas?, but the problem is that Frank, like Obama in these comments at the Gettys' multimillion-dollar house, is hugely condescending to voters. Frank's argument is that low earners are too stupid to realize that their real interests are in voting Democratic and that they are hugely stupid for voting Republican because of their religious beliefs or their views on trade (which are presumably similar to Obama's truckling-to-the-AFL-CIO views—or Hillary Clinton's) or their views on gun control or their anti-immigrant sentiments.


Obama is saying this to an audience that is willing to subordinate its own short-term interest on economic issues (i.e., lower tax rates) to its belief in reproductive rights (which equals killing babies, in the views of some fellow citizens) or in welcoming immigrants (a lot easier to get household help; anybody check the green cards on the 2800 block of Broadway?) or whatever. The implication is that low earners are not to be counted as rational unless they vote on their short-term economic interest while high earners should be counted as not only rational but enlightened if they are willing to vote (and max out contributions to candidates) despite their short-term economic interest. (I am leaving aside the possibility that voters on each side might decide that their short-term economic interests are not in the long-term economic interests of either themselves or the nation in whose interests both sides try to serve.) Bribe those poor dummies to vote for our side, and we can get them to back reproductive rights and civil unions and defeat in Iraq and all the rest of the "progressive" agenda.


But why should we assume that low earners in Pennsylvania towns are any less idealistically motivated than the rich people who thronged to the billionaires' 2800 block of Broadway in San Francisco? My own sense is that they're both motivated by strong morally based beliefs and trying as best they can to act on them. The assumption behind Obama's words is that low earners in Pennsylvania are seething with anger because they cannot afford the designer clothes and exquisite interior decoration that people on the 2800 block of Broadway can afford. I doubt it. I've been in the Gordon and Ann Getty house—in 1984, at a dinner the week before the 1984 Democratic National Convention—and I can tell you that it is beautiful indeed. But I've been in a lot of other houses in America that are hugely less expensive and exquisitely decorated, and I think the people who live there don't believe they are hugely deprived or oppressed.


In any case, Americans who don't like the opportunities they have where they are can move elsewhere, and many have. What the census data tell us is that not many people have been moving out of Pennsylvania in this decade—there has been a lot less domestic outflow there than there has been from the coastal metropolises (like the San Francisco Bay Area), where there has been massive immigrant inflow, along with massive domestic outflow. What Obama is showing us here is not sensitivity to the deprivations of people in Pennsylvania—which he, as a native of multiracial Hawaii and a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, knows little about first hand—but a form of liberal snobbery, which, as I have written, has been part of American politics for more than 40 years. This attitude goes back even farther to Adlai Stevenson's quip that if a majority of thinking people supported him, that wouldn't be enough because "I need a majority." The new face from Illinois, articulate and attractive to many people, fell short of a majority. Will that be the fate of Obama, articulate and attractive to many people but condescendingly dismissive of many of the voters he needs to win? Let's see.

Barack Obama: the novelty candidate by Lee Wilson

Source: http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/lwilson/080227




Lee Wilson


Lee Wilson

February 27, 2008






I took a sells training class years ago that left me with one valuable lesson: When it comes down to it, people make most decisions emotionally and then attempt to justify that decision rationally.


A German research study last year confirmed it as well. So that means we'll find excuses for buying the new car even though it might put us into debt with silly interest rates for several years. And the salesman can't wait to show you how you can rationalize it all. So he'll tell you that the monthly payment will be low on that car so that you're just fine with paying $15,000 over the sticker price after the interest is added.


Or, to note a current economic concern, some people might buy a house they really can't afford but want very, very badly. People were told they could have the house of their dreams and the justification was that the payment would skyrocket a few years later....but by then they would have found some way to come up with all the money they needed. So why not go ahead and start enjoying the house? We know how that emotion-based decision worked out for many people.


But it's easy to be swindled by something like that. We often take sub par justification when we really want something just so that we can quench that part of us that is looking for some sort of logical twig to grasp.


As so it goes with many Barack Obama voters.


I can't say for sure how many people I've spoken with who have an almost magical attraction to Barack Obama. I've talked to black folks who just come out and say that they will vote for him because he's black. And I'll often ask, "So there isn't an issue or position he takes you support, it's just that he is a black person?" And they'll sputter around a bit before finally saying that he's for "change." I'll push by asking, "What kind of change?" and they act like I'm annoying them because they have no answer.


This first-term senator has certainly inspired people. But not with his record because he's only a rookie and not with his planned policies he occasionally mentions off the record or between his pep rallies.


Take for example, his recent promise to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens. It was only a few months ago that he and John Edwards were giving grief to Hillary because she defended a New York governor for considering the idea. But Obama comes out and actually says that if elected President he will give drivers licenses to illegal aliens and there's barely a peep from anyone!


Obama supporters who never would have imagined supporting such an outrageous thing search for that logical justification to do what they want to do — vote for Obama. They want to vote for this man so badly because of the sheer novelty of voting for a black man who's got an unusual name that they have already chosen to justify the fact that his experience is minuscule. And so they reach deep into their rationalization well and find the easy button. "It's Barack Obama," they think to themselves. "He's got a great smile. And it will make me look so good to tell my friends that I am so enlightened and open minded that I voted for a black person. So it's okay that he supports giving drivers license to people who broke our laws and aren't even citizens of our country."


You'd think that they might sense something was wrong when (if) they learned his disturbingly radical position on abortion.


Basically, the issue was brought to the Senate floor that America needed to consider the issue of babies who survive abortions and are delivered alive. Terence Jeffrey of the Cybercast News Service penned an editorial a couple of months ago on how Obama reacted when considering these babies.


"He is so pro-abortion that he refused as an Illinois state senator to support legislation to protect babies who survived late-term abortions," Jeffrey writes. He said Obama "did not want to concede — as he explained in a cold-blooded speech on the Illinois Senate floor — that these babies, fully outside their mothers' wombs, with their hearts beating and lungs heaving, were in fact 'persons.'"


On the Illinois Senate floor, Obama was the only senator of either party to speak against the baby-protecting bills. You can read more about that story here.


But no, the Obama faithful will hold the dear-caught-in-the-headlights look for a few moments, but somehow find the rationalization that he is THE Obama, the magical one who will show the world how modern, enlightened and open-minded we are because we will be electing a black person to be President and that is more important than whatever he believes or wants to actually do as President.


Another startling position Obama took that normally would send a candidate to the pit of primary irrelelevancy occurred February 12 of this year. A recurring bill came up for vote that would preserve our ability to collect intelligence against terrorists like Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. The bill passed by an overwhelming bipartisan margin, 68-29. But Barack Hussein Obama voted against the bill that would allow us to continue to use surveillance to learn about plans of terrorists in advance, as we have before, in order to prevent attacks and make captures. But Obama, the man who wants to be your President, thought we were infringing on the rights of terrorists by listening to them talk about where and how they're going to attack.


But, you guessed it...those hypnotized by the slick smile and uniqueness of Obama are able to rationalize this one away as well. I'm honestly not sure how. This one I thought would at least slow him down, but it doesn't appear to be making any dent yet. Personal safety, the safety of our children, the safety of our brothers, sisters, moms, dads and friends for some reason can't compete with the novelty attraction of this first-term senator who offers something that none of his actions can stand against. I suspect that deep down though many Obama supporters feel that something isn't right, that maybe they should pay attention to the man behind the curtain. But the dream of voting for him so far outweighs the nudging of their conscience at this point that he truly could say or do anything without losing morale or allegiance from the glazed eyes of those who are so intoxicated by the messenger that they have forgotten to consider the message.

Lee Wilson is a editor of Grace-Centered Magazine and formally on staff at Family Dynamics Institute. He co-authored The Real Heaven with Joe Beam and is co-creator of Love Path International.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

WWE chairman promotes `Raw’ with $1M giveaway

WWE chairman promotes `Raw’ with $1M giveaway

By DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer
10 hours, 6 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Wrestling fans eager to get their hands on Vince McMahon’s money will have to jump through a few hoops first.

The World Wrestling Entertainment chairman announced during last week’s “Monday Night Raw” that he would give away $1 million of his own wealth to viewers, but he didn’t specify when or how it would be distributed.

The cash will be given away as part of a lengthy promotional sweepstakes, McMahon and the WWE told The Associated Press.

For a chance to win $1 million each week for the foreseeable future, viewers must pre-register on WWE.com and then watch the beginning of “Raw” each week to receive a special code, which viewers must tell McMahon if he calls them during the live broadcast.

The code will change each week of the promotion and will not be revealed until the beginning of each episode.

“People can view this as my own version of an economic stimulus plan to benefit our viewers,” McMahon told the AP.

While the USA Network series continues to be one of the most watched shows on cable TV, its ratings have recently declined. Last Monday’s episode received the lowest ratings for a Memorial Day broadcast in five years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

McMahon said his goal with the giveaway, which begins June 9, is to reward loyal “Raw” fans and draw new and former viewers back to the show.

USA is owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal.

On the Net:

http://www.wwe.com

Monday, June 02, 2008

Philadelphia Museum of Art CEO Anne d'Harnoncourt dies at 64

Philadelphia Museum of Art CEO Anne d'Harnoncourt dies at 64 By JOANN LOVIGLIO, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago



Anne d'Harnoncourt, the longtime chief executive of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and one of the art world's most influential women, has died. She was 64.

D'Harnoncourt died at home in Philadelphia on Monday morning of natural causes, museum spokesman Norman Keyes said. He said her death was unexpected but did not elaborate.

D'Harnoncourt came to the museum in 1967 as a curatorial assistant. She became museum director in 1982 and was named to replace Robert Montgomery Scott in 1997 as the museum's chief executive.

"She broke ground and she just kept growing," said Derek Gillman, executive director of The Barnes Foundation. "On all the three continents I've worked, the art world is very much dominated by men. ... Anne was not only impressively credentialed but massively respected."

Under her directorship, the Philadelphia Museum of Art saw a period of expansion including the purchase of a shuttered art deco landmark near the museum that added 173,000 square feet of restoration, research and gallery space. An upcoming $500 million expansion by Frank O. Gehry will be constructed 30 feet below the Philadelphia museum's east plaza.

She also led the charge to raise tens of millions of dollars to keep Thomas Eakins' masterpiece "The Gross Clinic" in the city after learning of its impending sale to a group that included Wal-Mart Stores Inc. heiress Alice Walton.

"She casts an enormous shadow, in the best sense of the word, on Philadelphia and on the art world," Edward T. Lewis, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, said. "I don't think there's any way we can ever replace her; she will become a legend."

D'Harnoncourt was born on Sept. 7, 1943, the only child of Rene d'Harnoncourt, art historian and famed director of New York's Museum of Modern Art, and Sara Carr, a fashion designer.

She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Joseph J. Rishel, a senior curator at the museum.

(This version CORRECTS corrects year named CEO to 1997 sted 1996)




Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Rock pioneer Bo Diddley dies at age 79

Rock pioneer Bo Diddley dies at age 79 By RON WORD, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 15 minutes ago



Bo Diddley, a founding father of rock 'n' roll whose distinctive "shave and a haircut, two bits" rhythm and innovative guitar effects inspired legions of other musicians, died Monday after months of ill health. He was 79.

Diddley died of heart failure at his home in Archer, Fla., spokeswoman Susan Clary said. He had suffered a heart attack in August, three months after suffering a stroke while touring in Iowa. Doctors said the stroke affected his ability to speak, and he had returned to Florida to continue rehabilitation.

The legendary singer and performer, known for his homemade square guitar, dark glasses and black hat, was an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and received a lifetime achievement award in 1999 at the Grammy Awards. In recent years he also played for the elder President Bush and President Clinton.

Diddley appreciated the honors he received, "but it didn't put no figures in my checkbook."

"If you ain't got no money, ain't nobody calls you honey," he quipped.

The name Bo Diddley came from other youngsters when he was growing up in Chicago, he said in a 1999 interview.

"I don't know where the kids got it, but the kids in grammar school gave me that name," he said, adding that he liked it so it became his stage name. Other times, he gave somewhat differing stories on where he got the name. Some experts believe a possible source for the name is a one-string instrument used in traditional blues music called a diddley bow.

His first single, "Bo Diddley," introduced record buyers in 1955 to his signature rhythm: bomp ba-bomp bomp, bomp bomp, often summarized as "shave and a haircut, two bits." The B side, "I'm a Man," with its slightly humorous take on macho pride, also became a rock standard.

The company that issued his early songs was Chess-Checkers records, the storied Chicago-based labels that also recorded Chuck Berry and other stars.

Howard Kramer, assistant curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, said in 2006 that Diddley's Chess recordings "stand among the best singular recordings of the 20th century."

Diddley's other major songs included, "Say Man," "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover," "Shave and a Haircut," "Uncle John," "Who Do You Love?" and "The Mule."

Diddley's influence was felt on both sides of the Atlantic. Buddy Holly borrowed the bomp ba-bomp bomp, bomp bomp rhythm for his song "Not Fade Away."

The Rolling Stones' bluesy remake of that Holly song gave them their first chart single in the United States, in 1964. The following year, another British band, the Yardbirds, had a Top 20 hit in the U.S. with their version of "I'm a Man."

Diddley was also one of the pioneers of the electric guitar, adding reverb and tremelo effects. He even rigged some of his guitars himself.

"He treats it like it was a drum, very rhythmic," E. Michael Harrington, professor of music theory and composition at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., said in 2006.

Many other artists, including the Who, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello copied aspects of Diddley's style.

Growing up, Diddley said he had no musical idols, and he wasn't entirely pleased that others drew on his innovations.

"I don't like to copy anybody. Everybody tries to do what I do, update it," he said. "I don't have any idols I copied after."

"They copied everything I did, upgraded it, messed it up. It seems to me that nobody can come up with their own thing, they have to put a little bit of Bo Diddley there," he said.

Despite his success, Diddley claimed he only received a small portion of the money he made during his career. Partly as a result, he continued to tour and record music until his stroke. Between tours, he made his home near Gainesville in north Florida.

"Seventy ain't nothing but a damn number," he told The Associated Press in 1999. "I'm writing and creating new stuff and putting together new different things. Trying to stay out there and roll with the punches. I ain't quit yet."

Diddley, like other artists of his generations, was paid a flat fee for his recordings and said he received no royalty payments on record sales. He also said he was never paid for many of his performances.

"I am owed. I've never got paid," he said. "A dude with a pencil is worse than a cat with a machine gun."

In the early 1950s, Diddley said, disc jockeys called his type of music, "Jungle Music." It was Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed who is credited with inventing the term "rock 'n' roll."

Diddley said Freed was talking about him, when he introduced him, saying, "Here is a man with an original sound, who is going to rock and roll you right out of your seat."

Diddley won attention from a new generation in 1989 when he took part in the "Bo Knows" ad campaign for Nike, built around football and baseball star Bo Jackson. Commenting on Jackson's guitar skills, Diddley turned to the camera and said, "He don't know Diddley."

"I never could figure out what it had to do with shoes, but it worked," Diddley said. "I got into a lot of new front rooms on the tube."

Born as Ellas Bates on Dec. 30, 1928, in McComb, Miss., Diddley was later adopted by his mother's cousin and took on the name Ellis McDaniel, which his wife always called him.

When he was 5, his family moved to Chicago, where he learned the violin at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. He learned guitar at 10 and entertained passers-by on street corners.

By his early teens, Diddley was playing Chicago's Maxwell Street.

"I came out of school and made something out of myself. I am known all over the globe, all over the world. There are guys who have done a lot of things that don't have the same impact that I had," he said.



Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Congressional Incumbents & Candidates Solemnly Pledge This:

Source: http://www.justinmichaelmurphy.com/Platform.html

Congressional Pledge

I, (INSERT YOUR NAME), offer this written commitment to the people of (INSERT YOUR STATE)’s (INSERT YOUR DISTRICT NUMBER) Congressional District, with the intention to promote a clear understanding of my belief system, and where I stand on the issues. Therefore, I pledge the following:



  • Advocacy for an aggressive approach to the War-on-Terror. The hard truth is that America was attacked by radical Islamic terrorists in November of 1979 at our Iranian embassy. America was continuously attacked by radical Islam throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. September 11th was a culmination of decades of attacks by Islamic terrorists. Terrorists have made it clear by their words and actions that they seek to exterminate us the same way Hitler sought to eradicate Jewish people in Europe during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Human development is being threatened by terrorists, and I believe failure is not an option. The gravity of this threat cannot be understated. The lessons of September 11 are clear; we need to always remember them, and honor those that perished that day.


  • Advocacy for regaining control of our immigration system. I believe Americans want our borders secured. Understanding this, I believe we should continue, and hasten, the construction of the fence along our southern border. I also believe in securing our northern border with Canada, and drastically reforming our VISA system to be able to track VISA holders including students. I believe in withholding federal aid to cities that declare themselves ‘sanctuary cities’. I support section 287 (g) of the INA (Immigration & Nationality Act) to permit more state and local law enforcement involvement in immigration issues.


  • Advocacy for Pro-Life policies. I believe our government should promote a culture that values innocent human life. I support the Hyde Amendment, parental notification, the ban on partial birth abortion, and pro adoption policies. I support adult stem cell research. I oppose embryonic stem cell research.


  • Advocacy for Traditional Conservative Values. I believe Marriage should be defined as the union between one single man and one single woman. I support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect the traditional definition of marriage. I believe in voluntary school prayer. I believe English should be America’s official language.


  • Advocacy for a Flat-Tax. I believe America needs a system of taxation that provides economic security for our middle-class, social mobility for our working poor, reward for business and job creation, and risk taking. As citizens, our relationship with the federal government is defined by our system of taxation. When government takes excessive amounts of what we create and earn, that relationship is strained. I advocate a Flat-Tax rate of 15%, eventually sliding down to 10%, to promote the economic growth needed in coming decades as we face more potent global competition. I believe we should abolish the capital gains tax in its entirety, and all estate and death taxes. When you leave this earth, the IRS should not follow you.


  • Advocacy for Health Savings Accounts. I agree with those who want universal health coverage for Americans, however, I adamantly oppose government-run healthcare. I believe every American should own a Health Savings Account. I believe the principles of privacy, quality, accessibility, and affordability should be the basis for any healthcare related policy.


  • Advocacy for Second Amendment Rights. I will oppose any attempt by the government that threatens to take away our Constitutional right to bear arms and protect ourselves, our families, and our property. I support the death penalty.


  • Advocacy for excellence in education. I am pro education; we have no future without a vibrant public education system. I believe strongly in school choice and competition between schools as way to strengthen our public education system. Competition works, and has made the American economy the most successful known to human civilization. I advocate the complete abolition of the Federal Department of Education, and that their budget of 69 billion dollars be equally divided among the 50 states and District of Columbia, solely for public education funding. This would inject over 1.3 billion dollars directly into public education for each state. Specifically, each of (INSERT YOUR COUNTY) County’s (INSERT NUMBER OF TOWNS) towns would receive approximately 1.5 million dollars for public education. This would provide a real solution for (INSERT YOUR STATE)’s problem of over-reliance on property taxes to fund public education.


  • Advocacy for complete energy independence. I believe we should develop the 1000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and the 131 billion barrels of oil that is estimated to be located right here in America. Specifically, the 16 Billion barrels of oil and 60 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that is located off the continental shelf. Trillions of dollars of assets that could be added to our economy are instead being sent overseas greatly aggravating our trade imbalance. Tens-of-thousands of blue-collar union jobs are not being created because we refuse to develop our own energy supplies. I want to create wealth for our economy, and create these jobs so our middle class has the economic opportunity and security they deserve. America has, in shale oil, three times the amount of proven oil reserves that are in Saudi Arabia. We need to safely extract these resources to forever end our dependence on foreign oil, especially from the Middle East. I also support the development of alternative fuel production and technologies and further development of solar and wind power.


  • Advocacy for serious fiscal discipline. I want to establish a Grace Commission, similar to the one President Reagan created in 1981, to identify waste, fraud, and beauracratic duplication. Then, the results will be submitted to congress in a manner similar to the successful BRAC (Base Realignment). Congress would vote up or down on the recommendations. BRAC was successful in removing waste from the DOD budget; we need to do the same for all federal spending. I support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.