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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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The McCain v NeoCon Shuffle

Well, Kentucky has become an interesting "battleground" as John "no Earmarks" McCain came to town to have a joint fundraiser with Mitch "Sen. Pork" McConnell. Now, in 2002 McConnell took the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act to the SCOTUS, calling the act "Stunningly Stupid". McConnell lost.

So the battle was on. Pork Vs No Earmarks. How would it play out. Ethics and morals being HIGH up on both Senator's character list we had to expect a battle royale. Someone had to give. Someone had to flinch. Would it be McCain who would flinch and embrace the pork happy McConnell and his fundraising prowess or would McConnell flinch and respect the new bar of lobbyist money and no pork.

Seems there was a third option. Ethics and convictions were seen outside the room doing jello shooters.

McCain's their guy, but Ky. GOP does love pork
By John Cheves

Republican John McCain says he'll veto all congressional earmarks if he's elected president and use the savings – about $18 billion a year – to help offset his tax cuts.

No surprise: Throughout his long Senate career, McCain protested the special projects tucked into federal spending bills by lawmakers with little review, calling them ”wasteful pork“ and ”outrageous and obscene.“

But McCain's war on earmarks could turn into friendly fire for Kentucky's two biggest Republicans now united behind his campaign, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congressman Hal Rogers.

Both are senior members of their chambers' appropriations committees and have earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars over the decades. As a result, Kentucky is one of the porkier states, with an estimated $56 in earmarked spending per resident compared to the $33 national average.

Are McConnell and Rogers ready to kiss their earmarks goodbye if their man wins in November?

Hardly, said David Williams, vice president of Citizens Against Government Waste, a non-partisan spending watchdog in Washington.

”McCain has been battling earmarks in Congress, and folks like Mitch McConnell and Hal Rogers have been battling him,“ Williams said. ”Given their party loyalty, they're probably holding their noses and hoping that if McCain is elected president, they can – quote-unquote – "work with him' and see if they can't keep their status quo going.“

McConnell did not return calls this week seeking comment.

Calling the hogs

Rogers, of Somerset, said he supports McCain ”wholeheartedly“ – except on the subject of earmarks.

”Critical issues facing the people of southern and eastern Kentucky have long been ignored by federal and state bureaucrats, and without earmarks, many ongoing and worthy initiatives in my district would simply wither on the vine,“ Rogers said in a statement. ”Whether it's cleaning up the hillsides and roadsides through the PRIDE campaign, or eliminating the devastation of drug abuse through the UNITE program, I firmly believe that directed congressional spending can do a lot of good.“

Kentucky may be a conservative state that favors McCain in polls, but pork still wins votes here. Incumbents are happy to rattle the stick in the swill bucket – calling the hogs to supper – as Election Day approaches.

In his re-election bid this year, McConnell touts all the federal money he has hauled for public and private projects. McConnell sponsored or co-sponsored nearly $195 million in earmarks in 2008, including money for city buses in Paducah, computers for the Barren County sheriff's office and a Louisville technology venture represented by his former chief of staff, Hunter Bates, a lobbyist whose clients have enjoyed a number of McConnell earmarks.

”This was a tough year in the appropriations process, but after a long fight, Kentucky came out a winner,“ McConnell said in a Dec. 19 press release. ”I will continue to use my seniority in the United States Senate to help bring home funding.“

Rogers takes credit for bringing billions of dollars to his 5th Congressional District since he was elected in 1980, partly through earmarks. Government facilities he has brought to his counties, including three federal prisons, employ 1,600 people. Although he stands for re-election this year, he is so popular that the Democrats didn't bother to run anyone against him.

”Pork is the bad word for making good things happen,“ Rogers said in a 2006 interview.

In this environment, where local voters demand that national taxpayers get the bill for their wish lists, McConnell and Rogers can comfortably share a stage with McCain as he blasts the fiscal irresponsibility of earmarks, said Michael Baranowski, a political scientist at Northern Kentucky University.

”A lot depends on how you define earmark,“ Baranowski said.

”When people think "earmark,' they think of something like a National Polka Music Appreciation Museum somewhere else. They don't think about their local projects,“ Baranowski said. ”So Sen. McConnell can say, "Well, no, I don't support earmarks either, I support these fine projects that are essential public investments in my home state.'“

”There's a disconnect there, and I think Sen. McConnell and Congressman Rogers are counting on that disconnect,“ he said.

Losing patience?

However, 2008 could be the year that genuine conservatives lose patience with entrenched Republican incumbents who grease their path to re-election with deficit spending, said Jim Waters, director of policy and communications for the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, a free-market think tank in Bowling Green.

”True conservatives are getting to the boiling point,“ Waters said. ”Too many Kentuckians see government as the sole provider. The politicians play off that, saying, "You can't get rid of me! The next fellow won't have all the clout I have to bring you all this!'“

Kentucky's two Democratic congressmen – Ben Chandler of Versailles and John Yarmuth of Louisville – don't face the same dilemma in backing their party's choice for president, Barack Obama. While Obama has made noises as a senator about reforming earmarks and enacting a one-year moratorium, he hasn't shown anywhere near the fierce opposition of McCain, who has refused to submit earmarks on behalf of Arizona.

In a sense, McConnell and Rogers could be better off if Obama wins. Under a President McCain who vetoes their earmarks, the Republicans would have to decide whether to support their new president or vote with the expected Democratic congressional majorities to override the vetoes, said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a non-partisan watchdog.

”This isn't the first time that people in politics have had to hitch their wagon to someone they don't necessarily agree with and then hope they can figure out how to handle him after Inauguration Day,“ Ellis said.

McCain's their guy, but Ky. GOP does love pork - State -



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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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And then the "after the fundraiser" hangover, Ethics and Convictions were seen with a bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol, Rapid Release Caplets setting behind the dais counting the money from all the Special Interests in attendance.

Wonder why Bushie didn't show up? He is just never with either McCain or McConnell at these things.

McCain praised by old adversary
By Anna Tong

LOUISVILLE — Putting old differences behind them, U.S. Sens. John McCain and Mitch McConnell buddied it up Saturday evening in Louisville at a record-setting fund-raiser.

About 650 of Kentucky's most influential Republicans — and a few Democrats — attended the $1,000 per plate event at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Organizers said the total raised was $2 million.

This was the first time McConnell — who is up for re-election this fall — and McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, have campaigned together in Kentucky, said the event's chairman J. Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist for Peritus Public Relations.

Jennings said that is the most money ever raised at a presidential-level fund-raiser in Kentucky.

The $2 million will be divided among the Republican National Committee, John McCain's campaign fund and the Kentucky Republican Party.

In the first few minutes of their respective speeches, McConnell and McCain both owned up to past disagreements.

”The Washington press corps would have you think we've been in a lot of fights over the years, and they're right,“ McConnell said, ”Nobody plays harder than John McCain.“

McCain, who represents Arizona, has the reputation of a maverick in the Senate and said he admired McConnell's resolve.

”Can I say how much I appreciate his leadership, steadfastness and courage,“ McCain said, ”and frankly, the very tough job Sen. Mitch McConnell has in D.C.? ... It's awfully easy to say "OK, we'll agree.'“

Of their many clashes, the most notable is over the 2002 McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, designed to restrict ”soft money“ contributions from corporations, unions and the rich. McConnell, calling the act ”stunningly stupid,“ challenged that law all the way to the Supreme Court but ultimately lost.

However, on Saturday night the two rivals had unquestionably joined forces.

”I've known John McCain for a long time, and I've been his friend for a long time,“ said McConnell, who faces Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford in November.

Both McCain and McConnell spent time tackling the issue of rising gas prices.

McConnell spent much of his speech touting McCain's superiority over Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

”His opponent has never met a tax he wouldn't raise or a barrier to fair trade he wouldn't raise,“ McConnell said. ”Americans will see they have a clear choice in ending our dependence on foreign oil.“

McCain acknowledged that the United States has seen better days but outlined an optimistic plan for getting past the high oil prices.

”I believe we can become energy independent,“ he said.

He said he wants to encourage research in manufacturing cheaper electric cars, alternative fuel methods and clean coal technology.

”I don't have to tell anybody in this state that coal is an important factor in the future of our needs,“ he said.

McCain praised by old adversary - Breaking News -


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 01:41 PM
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Mah gawd, a whole dang herd of galloping swine! Whudda thunkit?

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Mah gawd, a whole dang herd of galloping swine! Whudda thunkit?
We are just working on getting Mitch and Hal both out of office. Problem with Hal Rogers is that he has produced enough patronage that no one can really run against him.

Mitch might be another story this year, though he has quite a machine.

Ditch Mitch KY | Ditch Mitch McConnell


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Last edited by mcbear; 06-29-2008 at 01:53 PM.
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