As we get deeper and deeper in Obamacare nationwide, one may wonder “what will this do to the local paid on-call and volunteer ambulance services?”
Update 1: Oberweis had a staffer passing out petitions at the regular Downers Grove Township Republican meeting. Date and time for a formal/official announcement is TBA.
BREAKING: State Senator Jim Oberweis is running against Senator Dick Durbin in the U.S. Senate race in 2014. Details are limited.
Partisan bickering, grid lock and not much productivity. Everyone can agree for the most part that Washington D.C. is busier with internal conflict among political parties, special interests, and in the end the taxpayer literally pays the price. The group “No Labels” came into being three years ago working to bring the most powerful interest groups together to forge solutions to the nation’s problems 1.
It’s their slogan that essentially states exactly what they want, “Stop fighting, start fixing” 2. The group released two action plans to what they say is focused on breaking down the structural problems pushing our leaders apart, one is “Make Congress Work” and “Make the Presidency Work” 3. “No Labels” is led by honorary co-chairs Senator Joe Manchin (D) and Governor Jon Huntsman (R), and among the new projects they’ve worked on is a group called “the Problem Solvers Coalition” 4, composed of Democrats, Republicans, and one independent. Essentially this group publicly states that they strive towards solving problems through cooperative bipartisanship and compromise working across the aisle to arrive at better solutions for the nation’s major issues. However, further research into the group’s action plans and also who is involved in the group’s “Problem Solver’s Coalition” may suggest that there is a particular political ideology that is taking a more dominant hold overall. All of these parts will be investigated in due time, the first will be the “Problem Solvers Coalition”.
As mentioned before, the coalition is composed of Republicans, Democrats, and an Independent, showing that this is a bipartisan group. The actual numbers of members of Senators and Congressmen from each party are as follows: 42 Democrats, 38 Republicans, 1 Independent. Automatically, one will see that there are four more Democrats than the Republicans in the group, which will tend to sway on decision-making for various issues and policies. Whether four more Democrats joined the group very recently or four Republicans have jumped ship makes little difference, and it will need to be something that No Labels will need to work on correcting on bringing in a more balanced number of members from each party to retain the bipartisan composition in it’s Problem Solvers Coalition.
It’s one thing on how many members a group has from each party to determine how bipartisan it really is, it’s significantly quite another on how the members vote overall that ultimately decides where the Problem Solvers Coalition goes politically. Below is a list of the members of the Problems Solvers Coalition, divided up by parties and there are two rows of numbers.
For the Republican side, they were graded on their overall lifetime scorecard by Freedom Works, the conservative organization. For the Democrats, they were graded on their overall lifetime scorecard by Progressivepunch.org, a progressive liberal organization. We decided to grade the members on their lifetime scorecards to get a better sense of how each member votes politically as opposed to just one year. The results were calculated adding the percentage points of each member in the political party and dividing them from the total number of members within the party in the coalition.
The overall scorecard according to Freedom Works for the listed Republicans in the coalition had an average of 63% conservative, and the overall scorecard according to Progressivepunch.org for the Democrats in the coalition had an average of 82% progressive liberal. That is a stunning 19 percentage point gap with Democrats in the group voting more progressive liberal than the Republicans voting conservative. This also plays into affect how coalition will vote overall in various legislation and issues more likely favoring the progressive liberal position than conservative.
It appears the Republicans that are in No Labels generally follow a more moderate political path versus the Democrats in the group that generally follow a more hard-leaning liberal route. This is not to say the Republicans in the group knowingly follow a group that leans towards a more liberal path, but information such as this researched and investigated should prompt Republicans within the coalition to question whether they feel as a Republican if their principles and ideas do have a place at the table in No Labels, or worse if the (R) label next to their name is something they feel has little to no value anymore.
In light of the recent email composed by Jim Allen regarding Erika Harold, the Illinois Conservatives would like to take this opportunity to rescind support of Allen, who is the Montgomery County GOP Chairman. Allen unnecessarily pointed a finger at Harold, calling her a “street walker” and referring to the Democratic party as her “pimps”. The Illinois Conservatives do not support the extraneous name calling, or comments which are racist and sexist. In light of this email, we would like for Allen to step down from his post as Montgomery County GOP Chairman.
Public Relations Director of the Illinois Conservatives
“Miss Queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the Democrat Party and RINO Republicans.”
This is just a portion of an email sent by Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen to Republican News Watch Editor Doug Ibendahl about GOP primary challenger Erika Harold facing incumbent Congressman Rodney Davis.
The email was in response to an article written by Doug Ibendahl regarding the primary battle in the 13th congressional district where Erika Harold, a black woman who won the 2003 Miss America title and worked at a law firm in Chicago, jumped in the race against the freshman Republican Rodney Davis. Jim Allen, who was until recently, a member of “Rodney Davis 2014″, a group working to re-elect and retain Congressman Davis, launched verbal bombs towards Erika Harold with offensive and sexist language.
In this email, Allen spelled Chicago (the city where Harold worked at a law firm) in an extremely derogatory manner referring to it as a fecal city, and that after Harold loses, she would be “working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires.” Allen also called Harold the “love child” of the Democrat National Committee, comparing both Harold and Nancy Pelosi as “former queens, their crowns are tarnished and time has run out”. He even insulted her statements promoting abstinence and claims her winning the crown was due to be being bullied.
Jim Allen has since apologized for his statements, for what he called very inappropriate and wrong, and apologized to both Harold and her campaign supporters. No doubt that was the right thing to do, but Allen is not off the hook. His comments were incredibly reckless, disturbingly offensive, and that damage not only the image of the Republican Party in Montgomery County, but the state as well. The Republicans of Montgomery County can not and should not have a chairman who makes such a poor decision to write up and send an angry email filled with remarks disparaging someone’s race and gender.
As a GOP precinct committeeman as well, words like this only further the false stereotype that the Republican Party is “anti-minority” or “anti-women”. The county and state party as of now is on damage control, and as long as Jim Allen remains the GOP Chairman of Montgomery County, Democrats will use this in commercials, literature and other forms of attack ads against Republican candidates.
Who Jim Allen supports in this race makes zero difference, in such a leadership and figurehead role of a county party, an apology for writing such an angry piece offending so many people is not enough. We believe Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen must resign in the best interests for the Republican Party.
Vice President, Illinois Conservatives
Link to Ibendahl’s article with Allen’s email message: http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/?p=12708
WACO, Tex., April 15, 2013 – Last week, the Economist featured a “special report” on internet freedom in China, bringing to mind the unprecedented public reaction to the introductions of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) debates in late 2011 and early 2012. Though the bills were notably over-hyped by critics, the reaction reflects the different views between the American and Chinese governments on internet regulation.
When SOPA was first introduced on October 26, 2011 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), major media companies and organizations, including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), clamored to support the legislation. The bill, if enacted into law, would have given the government power to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs), search engines, and payment processors to block access to foreign websites “dedicated to copyright infringement.”
The MPAA cited a study analyzing the consequences of content theft or piracy, which can be as large as $58 billion in output and over 370,000 jobs. Though the accuracy of these numbers has been criticized, some make a philosophical objection as well. According to Tim O’Reilly, the founder of O’Reilly Media and a consistent supporter of open-source movements, “The losses due to piracy are far outweighed by the benefits of the free flow of information, which makes the world richer, and develops new markets for legitimate content.”
O’Reilly makes a good point. Though most Americans can agree piracy at some level is unfair to artists and content-producers, regulating the Internet can begin a slippery slope toward the erosion of free speech.
Once petitions were circulated, millions of Tweets were sent, and Wikipedia engaged a “black-out” to oppose the new laws, the government quickly stepped back and gave in to the public’s demands.
China, on the other hand, has shown no qualms about regulating which websites its citizens can access. The Economist concludes, ”[The Chinese government] has shown great skill in bending the technology to its own purposes, enabling it to exercise better control of its own society and setting an example for other repressive regimes.”
In fact, many American media companies now consult Chinese censors or allow them on movie sets to approve scripts before the movie’s release in order to guarantee approval in Chinese theaters.
China immediately blocked sites such as Facebook and Twitter when they were released, wary of the danger information-sharing could pose to the government-controlled narrative. However, Chinese “micro-bloggers,” taking advantage of a service called Weibo, have made great gains in persuading the government to allow domestic Internet companies some freedom.
Though critical messages about government officials are quickly deleted, the micro-blogs have been able to achieve influence in crucial moments. When a high-speed train crash killed 40 people, word spread so quickly via Weibo that the authoritarian government had no choice but to take action and replace the railway officials responsible.
Micro-bloggers realize, however, that to avoid being blocked altogether, they must consent to some censorship measures. It’s a constant struggle of negotiation and deal-making. Says one web-editor of the micro-blogging platform Tencent (speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions), “If we did not have any free speech then this company would not have any influence, so the company must act proactively to safeguard our space. So that’s why they must go through this process of bargaining with the government departments.”
It is heartening that both American and Chinese citizens have recognized the importance of free speech, even while their governments have not. The future shows great promise for improving Internet freedom.
By: Danny Huizinga
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2013 ― Education reform may be one of the few political issues that has bipartisan support. In spite of that, attempted solutions to our failing educational system have failed so far to achieve encouraging results.
Especially alarming is the fact that increased funding seems to have no effect on solving the problem. Since 1960, real (inflation-adjusted) education spending per student has more than tripled. However, test scores and graduation rates have not seen any improvement.
The award-winning documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” persuasively argues for much-needed reform in America’s education system. By following the stories of five children who are looking for better school opportunities, the movie demonstrates the many flaws with the current system.
The movie describes a “dance of the lemons,” in which bad teachers are shuffled from school to school because they cannot be fired. Good teachers are of paramount importance, the movie argues. Whereas good teachers can often cover as much as 150 percent of the required curriculum, bad teachers can cover as little as 50 percent.
Why do we not distinguish between good and bad teachers? Because, until recently, almost all attempts at merit pay (teachers’ salaries based on performance rather than years teaching) have been rebuffed by the two largest teachers’ unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
Last November, New Jersey governor Chris Christie compromised with the AFT to implement a merit pay plan for Newark’s teachers. The plan marks a sudden change in the traditional conflict over this issue. Despite the AFT’s willingness to compromise, however, the NEA continues to oppose the merit pay measures.
The NEA also opposes any measures offering “vouchers” for school choice to parents. Dr. Michael Q. McShane, research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, argues, ”Teachers’ unions fear vouchers, as students choosing to attend private schools cut into their market share and curtail the primary source of their revenue and political power, the dues of their unionized members.”
Although unions can sometimes serve a valuable purpose, many argue the NEA has overstepped its boundaries. The NEA consistently supports and articulates pro-choice and pro-gay marriage positions, inviting criticism that these issues are irrelevant to helping teachers improveeducation.
Teachers who do not wish to join or support the union often have no choice, facing possible termination if they do not pay union dues. The NEA needs this revenue in order to maintain their place as the highest campaign contributor. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NEA spent $56.3 million in the 2008 election cycle. Though corporations are often criticized for their alleged spending power, the NEA spent more than ExxonMobil, Microsoft, Walmart, and the AFL-CIO combined.
Even statements from the organization itself offer a jarring truth:
“Why is the NEA an effective advocate? Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.
“The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.”
As long as the NEA continues to oppose these school reform measures and stand in the way of new ideas, American schools will still be “waiting for Superman.”
By: Danny Huizinga
WASHINGTON, March 16, 2013 — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is always a favorite at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). She was introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as her influence and endorsement were the catalysts behind Cruz’s successful race.
Palin instantly fired up the crowd as attendees rushed to snap pictures of “Mama Grizzly,” as she is affectionately known by conservatives. “I can spot those liberal media folk here to write their annual ‘conservatives in crisis’ story!” she began. “Raise your hands!”
Palin jumped right in to attacking Obama’s performance and the state of America’s economy. “[Obama] is considered a good politician ‒ which is like saying that Bernie Madoff was a good salesman,” she said. Citing a lower median income, poor growth, and a stagnant economy, she lamented the failure of Obama’s leadership.
After acknowledging the lack of government transparency, Palin looked directly at the camera and shouted, “Barack Obama, you lied!” Her direct criticism of Obama did not stop there. “Step away from the teleprompter and do your job!” she commanded.
Peppered with dogsled references, “Amen, sista’,” and words like “ain’t,” her speech continuously drew shouts and applause. The biggest cheer of the day, however, came when Palin pulled out a “Big Gulp” full of soda from behind the podium and proceeded to drink it defiantly in opposition to New York Mayor Bloomberg’s new (and temporarily overturned) ban on the large drinks.
Palin discussed the 2nd amendment and her Christmas presents to her husband, humorously remarking, “My husband’s got the gun, I’ve got the rack.” She continued with the jokes, addressing Republicans on college campuses: “You’ve gotta be thinking Sam Adams, not drinking Sam Adams.”
Palin argued against an expanding government that supports the Washington elites. Unless you’re well-connected, you’re not “at the table” in Washington. “You’re on the menu,” she said.
Shake off the culture of consultants and pollsters, Palin advocated. “If we truly know what we believe, we don’t need professionals to tell us.” The message she wants to send to Washington? “Get over yourself.”
By: Danny Huizinga
The left & the media have seemingly forever labeled the Republican Party as the party of rich old white guys. These same liberals their allies also claim the Republican Party is waging a war on women, war on children, war on the elderly, war on fill-in-the-blank.
Given the current economic & governmental situations, the Republicans should adopt the left’s previous arguments against them & use those same arguments against the Democratic Party.
For example, an argument made under previous Republican administrations was the “widening gap between rich & poor ”. Seeing the NYSE hit record 14,000 point territory while a record number of people are on food stamps, the Republicans should be the ones touting about how there is a widening gap between the rich & the poor – and it’s all because of this administration’s policies.
Another example is the left’s constant barrage of claiming the Republicans don’t care about minorities. Yet two of the most outspoken rising stars within the Republican Party are Ted Cruz & Marco Rubio. Even here, the Republicans should turn the left’s arguments against them. Minority unemployment is ridiculously high within the Hispanic (9.6%) & African-American (13.8%) communities. The numbers are even worse when looking at localized urban centers like Detroit – and it’s all because of this administration’s policies.
The Democratic Party has traditionally positioned itself as the “party of the working man” while painting the Republicans as the party of the greedy businessman. They have also traditionally said the Republicans are the party of “Big Business”. The Republicans should be turning these arguments against the Democratic Party as well! Which “Big Business” companies have aligned themselves with the Democratic Party are getting huge tax returns (Facebook) or pay no taxes (GE)? Meanwhile, the Democrats pushed for & got that long sought after tax increase on the rich this past January. Correction. The Democrats pushed for & got that long lied about, never going to happen middle class tax increase affecting 77% of workers – and it’s all because of this administration’s policies.
Obamacare must be fought & repealed as Paul Ryan recently stated. The left is still trying to sell the socialist nationalization of the healthcare industry to the voters. What will make the Republican’s case even stronger for the curbing & eventual repeal of Obamacare? The fact that over the next year, we will become a part-time nation. Employers will cut back to 28 or less hours & drop their healthcare plans altogether. Workers will earn less & will be forced take second jobs or find new ones – if possible. It’s already happening in my community. Ultimately, these involuntary part-time workers will have to change their lifestyles which will drive public opinion against Obamacare & also give fuel to repealing Obamacare completely. Driving public opinion against Obamacare will also be the fine (tax!) at tax time next year because people didn’t purchase healthcare. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at H&R Block next year when people find out they owe the government money versus getting money back. The argument should be made that Republicans will protect the American worker from government destroying their livelihoods & therefore repeal of Obamacare is necessary because it is the Republicans that are the true champions of the working class.
These are just a few examples. I’m positive there is more.
If there is one thing the Republicans have been really bad at, it is messaging. The Republicans need to broadcast these argument reversals far & wide & as often as possible. The media lapdogs of the left will decry it & do their best to prove it wrong . Watching Chris Matthews’ foam at the mouth would be worth it all. But the genius of it all is that try as the left might to discredit these arguments…they can’t.
The other side of the messaging overhaul must be different messengers! John McCain & Lindsey Graham are the very crusty old white guys (and squishes that drive conservatives nuts) that are the poster child for everything the left says about the Republicans. We must have people – young, rising stars – step up to be the spokesmen for the Republican Party. The Republicans must have people like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mario Rubio, Tim Scott, Mike Lee & others as the face of this new Republican message. These individuals all understand what is at stake. While John McCain & Lindsey Graham were dining on what I am sure was an exquisite high priced meal with President Obama, many of the aforementioned were on the floor of the Senate fighting for our liberties. I want fighters, not squishy diners.
Finally, Republicans – and what few allies they have in the media – must get rid of the old guard consultants, pundits & cheerleaders that are extensions of the old John McCain/Lindsey Graham Republican Party. To be exact, people like Karl Rove. People who have made a small mint providing advice & “leadership” to the Republican Party and the Republican intelligentsia. There are numerous younger, more articulate commentators, pundits, bloggers, etc. that could wipe the floor with a host of issues yet are forced to sit on the back bench or are lost in the noise of group think Republicans in the media. These new guard conservative pundits/consultants & young rising stars in the Republican caucus in Congress are all very fluent in social media as well. The battle must be fought online, not only on the airwaves.
The time to implement this change of messaging is now, not later. Despite polling numbers still somewhat bad for Congressional Republicans, the latest McClatchy-Marist poll suggests a beginning of a trend away from the President & tightening numbers – including 18% undecided – on who to blame in Congress. Republicans need to seize the opportunity before them & begin to imprint in voter’s minds now that Americans are definitely not better off today than they were last year…or 5 years ago – and it’s all because of this administration’s policies.
By: Brian Milleville
Illinois Conservatives Leadership Member
In 2010 State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-24) lost the Republican nomination by just 193 votes to State Senator Bill Brady (R-44). In 2014, both will battle it out again for the GOP nomination.
This upcoming election is much different though. In 2010, Dillard, a DuPage County resident, faced three other DuPage County residents: Adam Andrzejewski, Jim Ryan, and Bob Schillerstrom (who dropped out, but whose name appeared on the ballot). In fact, Kirk Dillard did not even win DuPage County, Jim Ryan did. Dillard beat Brady in the 6 counties that encompass the Chicago area by an 81,271 – 23,579 vote count. However that was not quite enough to beat Brady who had run up a big lead by winning 77 downstate counties.
How is 2014 different? It appears that fewer candidates from the DuPage County region are going to run. It also appears that more central Illinois candidates are going to run. In 2010, Bill Brady was the only downstate candidate, but in 2014 he will not be. Already, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford from Pontiac has made an unofficial announcement at a recent Lincoln Day dinner that he will join the race. Also rumored to be joining the race is central Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock. If Brady, Schock, and Rutherford split the vote in downstate Illinois, look for Dillard or someone from the suburbs to capitalize.
The wildcard in the race, however, is if former suburban Congressman Joe Walsh, or Chicago-area businessman Bruce Rauner decide to run for Governor. This would give Dillard slightly more competition in the suburbs. However with at least three candidates splitting the vote in the downstate counties, and more votes being available near Chicago, you have to be feeling pretty good about yourself if you’re a suburban Republican candidate.