November 8, 2010

What About Washington (Part 1)?

November 2, 2010 was a remarkable day for our country.  Throughout America quality, conservative candidates of conviction were elected to the Congress.  Republicans now hold more seats in the House of Representatives than at any time since 1938.  In a year in which Republicans had to defend more Senate seats than Democrats, the GOP won 2/3 of the contested Senate races, picking up six seats.  Even more remarkable is the fact that the GOP now controls a majority of State Legislatures and Governorships.  It was a romp in “blue” states like Pennsylvania and Illinois, in “purple” states like Nevada, and in “red” states like Idaho and Alabama (where the GOP took control of the legislature for the first time in 136 years!).  The GOP won big everywhere – everywhere except Washington State.  What happened here?

In 1994, Republicans captured 52 seats in the US House for their first majority in over 40 years.  While Republicans were being swept into office nationally, the same was happening here in Washington State.  That year, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 9th Congressional Districts flipped from Democrat to Republican.  In addition, Republicans captured both houses of the State Legislature – flipping 26 seats in the State House!

Fast forward 16 years later to 2010.  Republicans have once again been swept into power in historic proportions.  When all is said and done, the GOP will have gained a minimum of 65 seats in the US House.   At the state level, 19 state legislatures flipped from Democrat to Republican and the GOP won Democrat-held Gubernatorial seats in Iowa, Ohio, Michigan Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to name a few.  However, in our state it appears that Republicans will gain four seats in the state House and four in the state Senate.  Dino Rossi ran an excellent campaign for the US Senate, but fell short.  On election night it looked as if John Koster would unseat Rick Larsen in the 2nd Congressional District, but now that looks unlikely.  What happened?  How did the tsunami that hit at the Congressional and Legislative level miss Washington State?

With the exception of the House race in the 42nd Legislative District, it appears that all of the races that were close on election night have broken for the Democrats.  Whether it was the race for the State Senate in the 48th, State House in the 28th, or State Senate in the 44th, Republican candidates who were ahead on election night are now losing.  These results speak to a glaring lack of a sustained ground game on the part of Republicans.  More specifically, it speaks to a lack of dedicated, grassroots doorknocks and phone calls overseen by the Washington State Republican Party and implemented by GOP County Chairs throughout the state.  In short, the Democrats are now kicking our butts in an arena in which the GOP used to dominate.

I don’t make this point to cast blame – the results are the results and there is no denying them.  In 1994, Senator Slade Gorton won nearly 55% of the vote statewide.  That wasn’t an anomaly, it was a result, in part, of the exceptional Republican ground game that the late Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn had begun building years prior.  We need to start from the ground up and rebuild this machine.  Part 2 will talk about what should happen.

October 19, 2010

Double Standard...Again.

I'm going to rant a little bit.  I made a determination early on that I wasn't going to use this forum to complain or belly ache about perceived injustices in the world.  Instead, my goal is to inform and offer what I hope to be a unique perspective on things.  Today, however, I'm going to break my own rule.

I am absolutely stunned and disgusted by the lack of outrage surrounding "the slap heard round the world".  For those who are unaware what I am talking about, last Saturday in a debate between Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-fixin' to lose) and Republican challenger Ryan Frazier, Perlmutter slapped Frazier's hand away while Frazier was making a point.  In fairness, Perlmutter immediately apologized.  He should have, his action was immature and uncalled for.  That apology isn't enough for me.

This might be uncomfortable for some people, but if the situation had been reversed and Frazier had slapped Perlmutter there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth throughout the media and blogosphere.  Why?  Because Frazier is black, and he would be held to a different standard.  Now, for those of you who think I'm being overly racially sensitive, know that I am speaking from experience.

As the son of a black father and a white mother - and as someone who has run for office - I know of what I speak.  What is seen as confidence and intelligence in white candidates is seen as arrogance in black candidates.  What is seen as righteous indignation in white candidates is seen as "traits" of the angry black man in black candidates.  The point is black candidates are held to a different standard and they know it.  Add in the fact that Frazier is a Republican, and all hell would have broken lose if the shoe was on the other foot - which brings me to my next point.

If Perlmutter was a Republican slapping away the hand of a Black Democrat - the media swoon would have been felt from Wasilla to Wabash.  I can just see Geraldo Rivera holding a candlelight vigil in front of the home of the perceived victim.  Keith Olbermann would name Perlmutter his "Worst Person in the World" and Joy Behar and Whoopie Goldberg would have been near tears on The View as they discussed the mistreatment of this brave, unassuming, Black man.  Alas, Frazier is a Republican so he gets none of the benefits of mainstream media victim hood.

So that's my rant.  I don't expect it to change a thing, but let's not kid ourselves that a double standard doesn't exist.  Republicans are quick to point out the double standard that exists Republicans are treated unfairly in the media.  Another double standard exists, however, and it's a little more comfortable to remain silent on this one and pretend it doesn't exist.

October 17, 2010

3rd CD Polls All Over The Place

So, what to make of the most recent polls in Washington's 3rd Congressional District?  A recent Survey USA poll has the GOP candidate up 11 points while a recent poll by Washington, DC-based The Hill has the race a statistical tie.  Broadly, polls have been all over the map in the Washington State Senate race as well, so what gives?

Regardless of what pollsters might say, polling is an inexact science.  There are so many variables that can effect the outcome of a poll from phrasing of the question(s) to sample size and universe.  Looking at the internals of the two most recent WA-03 polls, it's pretty easy to see why there is such a big discrepancy - the samples are different.

This may be a bit simplistic, but it speaks to the discrepancy.  The Survey USA poll interviewed a sample of likely voters that identified 34% of the voters as Republican.  The Hill poll interviewed a sample of likely voters that identified 28% of the voters as Republican - a significant 4 point swing.  Most pundits agree that voter intensity among Republicans is much higher than it is among Democrats this year, so The Survey USA sample could be spot on.  However, commentators have also concluded that Washington appears to be somewhat of anomaly when it comes to Democrat intensity.  That is, Washington Democrats appear to be more motivated to vote than their counterparts in other states.  If that is true, than The Hill poll could very well be an accurate sample.  So the answer?  Who the heck knows which poll is right?

I think we can all agree that turnout in 2010 will nowhere near mirror turnout in 2008 where there was a highly motivated group of Democrats voting in their party across the country..  A more accurate turnout model would probably be the 2002 elections in which Republicans picked up a significant number of seats.  Interestingly though, the partisan breakdown of 2002 results in WA-03 more closely mirror the sample in The Hill poll than Survey USA.  Again, all very strange.

One last point.  Survey USA has been exceptionally accurate over the past few election cycles.  Even they concede, though, that this has been a difficult year to poll in Washington, so their hedging their bets.  So be it.  ballots are in the mail, people are voting, and, in the end, the only poll that matters is the one on election day.  Onward.

October 7, 2010

The VP Comes to Town

So Vice-President "Recovery Summer" Joe Biden is coming to town to raise money for Democrats in our great state.  More interesting, though, is the fact that our bumbling Vice-President is coming to raise money for Denny Heck, Democrat candidate for Congress in the 3rd District (  Because I am an American who actually believes in the greatness of this country (and chooses not to drop the F-bomb in public), I am no fan of Biden.  Here's a man who has been wrong on every major foreign policy question of the past 50 years standing within in a heartbeat of the presidency.  His presence in the White House keeps me up at night.  God help us!

I digress.  It's always intriguing to see which surrogates come in to districts to stump for candidates.  Biden's presence here, although distasteful to some, indicates, strongly, that Democrats believe they have a shot at winning in the 3rd District.  While working for the Bush Administration and on the 2004 campaign, I had the chance to sit in meetings wherein we discussed where to send high level surrogates (Bush, Cheney, Giuliani, etc.) I know for a fact that having the VP come into your district and raise money for you is a big deal.  And the decisions on where to send him are made after hours of scouring polls, looking at fundraising numbers, and getting the general political lay of the land.

I'll be interested to see how Republicans respond to Biden's presence.  It will be particularly interesting to see if high level surrogates come in to the 2nd and/or 3rd CDs to help boost GOP candidates in both of those races.  I saw Brian Walsh, Political Director of the NRCC mention the 2nd CD today as a race they feel has become winnable over the past few weeks.  It will be interesting to see if they send in a heavy hitter to get John Koster over the finish line.  The same goes for the 3rd CD. 

You can learn a great deal about how seriously the national parties are taking a race based upon which surrogates gallop in to help.  It's clear - just a handful of days before ballots drop - that the DCCC is going all in for Denny Heck.

September 29, 2010

Delaware's Sore Loser?

News that Mike Castle (R-DE) might consider a write-in campaign has many on the right up in arms over the audacity of this “sore loser” (  Comparisons are being made (  between Castle and the decision by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to mount a write in campaign for the Senate seat in Alaska after being soundly thumped by Joe Miller in their primary.  I want to take a moment to explain why I believe the comparisons are unfair.

Murkowski is tilting at windmills (, driven by her own ego to mount an effort that will at best be futile and will at worst hand the seat to a liberal Democrat who is out of the Alaskan mainstream.  Murkowski did not endure any underhanded tactics at the hands of the Miller campaign, she was not slandered, and no one lied about her record, her background, or her history.  She lost, period.  Joe Miller was a superior candidate.  He deserved to win.  Lisa Murkowski is a liberal Republican running in a conservative state that got her hat handed to her.  The Senate will be better for not having her there and any questions about her character were answered when she allowed her ego to get in the way of what’s best for, not only Alaska, but also our country.

As for Mike Castle, let’s start by conceding that Delaware is not Alaska.  As a member of Congress, Castle voted pretty much where his state is – moderate to liberal.   Bear in mind that this is the state that gave us Joe Biden for heaven’s sake.  The Senate race in Delaware, like the race in Illinois, is extremely important for one reason – the winner will be seated immediately.  Remember, Biden vacated the seat when he became Vice-President (same situation with the Obama seat in Illinois).  Therefore, the winner in Delaware will be seated for the lame duck session and has an opportunity to stop any mischief the Democrats might try to foist upon the American people.

Anyway, I digress.  Although I believe Christine O’Donnell has a chance to win, I firmly believe Castle stood a better chance.  In addition, Castle was subjected to some fairly below the belt stuff during his race.  The O’Donnell campaign lied about his support of Obamacare (he did not support it) and played fast and loose with the truth about his voting record.  They instituted a scorched earth campaign and decided to see what would stick.  I don’t mind hardball – I don’t like lying to win.  O’Donnell did.

Finally, for those who are complaining about Castle’s decision (which he has yet to make), I’d encourage you to walk a mile in his shoes.  It’s very easy for those of us on the outside to tell candidates they should kiss and make up.  It’s a completely different animal when the losing candidate has lost all respect for the victor because of the way the campaign unfolded.  You make the bed, you lie in it.  O’Donnell and her team chose their tactics, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

I hope Mike Castle decides not mount a write-in campaign.  Recent polls show he wouldn’t win and he doesn’t take enough votes from Coons to give O’Donnell the victory.  Unlike Sore-Loser Lisa Murkowski, I don’t think it is ego driving Castle to consider a write-in bid; I think it’s revenge.  If that’s the case, he might set the whole state on fire just to make sure O’Donnell walks in his shoes.

UPDATE:  Congressman Castle proves that he is a man of character and honor by declining to mount a write in campaign  (  Murkowski could learn a thing or to about class and dignity from Mike Castle.

September 19, 2010

Who Decides if Someone Is Not Conservative Enough?

Christine O’Donnell’s victory in the Delaware Senate primary last week was remarkable.  Against overwhelming odds she defeated liberal Republican Congressman Mike Castle, a former Governor of the state and a 16 year member of Congress.  O’Donnell’s victory sent shock waves through the GOP establishment, conveyed the electoral strength of the “Tea Party” movement, and has alarmed me in a way that I can’t quite figure out.

The victory of so-called Tea Party candidates throughout America this election cycle has been amazing and, in my opinion, good for our country.  Whether it is Marco Rubio in Florida chasing a sitting Governor out of the Republican party, Rand Paul in Kentucky dispatching an establishment backed, liberal Republican, or Carl Paladino’s stunning victory in the New York Gubernatorial primary, solid, qualified, conservative candidates have been scoring tremendous victories for conservatives and conservatism.  O’Donnell’s victory does not compare with the three I’ve just mentioned, and I will explain why.

The O’Donnell victory has evinced the first fissures in the conservative movement during the 2010 election cycle, and it started with Karl Rove.  I was disappointed with Rove's remarks following Ms. O’Donnell’s victory in the Delaware Senate primary.  I do not understand why a man I respect a great deal, and know to be a conservative, would so overtly trash another Republican on national television.  I appreciate the concern among some (a concern I hold) that O’Donnell’s win in the primary could cost the GOP an opportunity to win in Delaware, and thus cost us an opportunity to control the Senate; I was shocked, however, by the level of vitriol in Karl’s remarks.

Although I believe Rove was out of line, he has a right to his opinion, and he has been a champion for conservatism throughout his career, going all the way back to his time with the National Young Republicans in the 70’s and 80’s.  So, imagine my surprise when other conservatives started trashing Karl for not being a conservative simply because he, albeit in a clumsy way, expressed his concern about the outcome in Delaware.  Karl’s remarks were followed by remarks and a column by Charles Krauthammer (the dean of conservative columnists) expressing his concerns about Ms. O’Donnell and her electability in very left leaning ( Delaware.  Karl’s comments were the spark, Krauthammer’s were the gasoline.

All of a sudden there appears to be a litmus test for who is “conservative enough”.  Those people who are railing against Charles Krauthammer quite clearly have no idea what a tremendous asset he has been to the ideals of conservatism.  Outside of perhaps Thomas Sowell, there has been no columnist who has done a more effective job of advocating conservatism in this country and explaining the benefits of conservatism in a way that appeals to a broad spectrum of Americans.  To dismiss this man as an “establishment Republican” discredits his work and does a disservice to all those Republicans who understand that the most important vote cast next year in the Senate will be the vote for Senate Majority Leader.  Mike Castle would very likely have won in Delaware and would have voted for the Republican as Senate Majority Leader.

I have become more and more frustrated and disgusted with people who think they “own” conservatism, or to a greater degree, “own” the Constitution.  The great Edmund Burke said, “the greatest crimes do not arise from a want of feeling for others but from an over-sensibility for ourselves and an over-indulgence to our own desires.” I was reminded of this quote when reflecting on the events of the past week.  This notion of “over-sensibility for ourselves” truly speaks to those people who KNOW that Rove, Krauthammer, and others can’t be conservative because, Heaven forbid, they have a different opinion.  Of course, “over-indulgence of our own desires” can very well be the belief that your knowledge of our Constitution is great than mine, therefore my interpretation is not “true to the cause of freedom” in the way that your beliefs are.  That’s all hogwash!

The concerns expressed about the electability of Ms. O’Donnell by other Republicans are legitimate.  We can’t just turn a blind eye to those concerns because we prefer a world in which all of our “Tea Party” candidates are the perfect representation of our thoughts, ideals, and beliefs.  She now has to defeat a liberal Democrat who has won statewide in a left leaning state while addressing the fact that she is not gainfully employed, has had significant financial troubles in her past, and has, over the years, expressed opinions on social issues that do not appear to be in line with the beliefs of the vast majority of Delawareans (effectively detailed by John McCormack in The Weekly Standard).  After all, she is running on fiscal accountability and personal responsibility in the state of Delaware.

I hope that Christine O’Donnell shocks the world and wins in Delaware.  Not because I think she will be a remarkable Senator, I don’t, but because she will be one more vote for a Republican Senate Majority Leader.  We do not have to pretend that she has the level of accomplishments of a Rand Paul or Marco Rubio, or that she is as qualified as Sharron Angel.  And, we do not have to demonize conservatives who have real concerns about O’Donnell’s electability just because we don’t share their opinion.

September 9, 2010


In 1964, Ronald Reagan said in what has come to be known simply as “The Speech”  "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth….If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
Given the current state of affairs in this country, it would be easy for many of us to believe that we, as a country, have reached our destiny – that our best days are behind us.  In fact, the vast majority of Americans are pessimistic about the future.  For too long, politicians of both major parties have been unwilling to make the difficult choices that will bring this country back from the economic abyss simply because they have been more interested in retaining power than in making difficult decisions that could cost them in the next election.  We cannot abide by that attitude any longer.
We live in a remarkable country – made that why by men and women willing to meet any challenge and overcome any obstacle.  America is exceptional and we have a duty to restore her greatness.  In these times of tribulation, we need leaders who see challenges not as obstacles, but as stepping stones to a thriving and prosperous America.
The challenges we face as a nation are remarkable for their complexity and their size.  Just today, I learned that the U.S. national debt is larger than all the money in the world combined (!  That is astounding...and disgusting.  We are making interest payments on our debt to the tune of $20.5 billion in August alone!  Bear in mind, this is during a time of record low interest rates.  When borrowers demand a higher rate of return, our debt payments will explode.

The path of least resistance is not going to cut it during these tough economic times.  We need leaders like Senator Jim DeMint, Congressman Paul Ryan, Dino Rossi here in Washington, Colonel Alan West in Florida and others to step up and make the same difficult choices they have made at other points in their career.  No one can overstate just how important this election is.  Our future - and the future of our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews - is at stake.  

My prayer is that we elect leaders in 2010 who are less concerned about career and more concerned about country.  Leaders who realize that the choice could be between furthering their own political viability or saving the United State for future generations.

September 6, 2010

A Quote from John Adams

I am finishing up John Adams by David McCullough.  The book is exceptional and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in our Founding Fathers and an interest in what leadership and sacrifice look like.

I was struck by a seemingly inconsequential passage in the book.  It wouldn't leave me, so I wanted to share it with you.  In a letter to John Quincy Adams, who expressed an interest in public life (serving in politics), Adams wrote "His first maxim then should be to place his honor out of reach of all men.  In order to do this he must make it a rule to never become dependent upon public employment for subsistence.  Let him have a trade, a profession...something where he can honestly live, and then, he may engage in public affairs, if invited, upon independent principles.  My advice to my children is to maintain an independent character".

Oh how far we have come!  There was a time when "public life" was to be had only after establishing a profession.  Now, political service is a means in and of itself.  This is exactly what I meant when I spoke of  the concept of servant leadership and the notion that we need to be leery of those running for office who have no private sector experience.

If we are going to effect true change in this country, the kind of change espoused by the everyday folks involved in the tea party movement, we need to take a hard look at our "leaders" whose only "service" has been in public life.

There was a time when Congress convened for six months out of the year and then the individual members of Congress returned to their homes and their professions (in fact, John Adams did this as Vice-President).  Are we too far removed from times such as these?  Can we get back to a time when people didn't aspire to political office for the power, perks, and paycheck?  I believe that we can, but it's up to each individual citizen to make it a priority to call on servant leaders to lead, not those who have made a career out of serving themselves at the public trough.

By the way - this is another great reason to support Dino Rossi over Patty Murray.  Dino is a self-made man who built a business and then, when called to serve, put his experience to use for the benefit of taxpayers.  By stark contrast, Patty Murray has made a career out of ensuring that the taxpayers serve her.

September 1, 2010

Denny Heck's Tone Deaf Ad

The other night I had the opportunity to see my first general election ad broadcast in the 3rd Congressional District.  The ad was put out by Democrat Denny Heck.  Notwithstanding the odd timing of the ad (the last week in August), I was struck by the complete lack of any true understanding of the problems confronting the people of the 3rd Congressional District.

Heck's ad (available here) was striking in its tone deafness.  I was stunned that his first ad for the general election, the one that will presumably introduce him to voters, focused on Wall Street reform!  Wall Street reform!  Seriously, is there anyone in the country, outside of the progressive enclaves of Berkley, CA, or downtown Seattle, discussing Wall Street reform around the kitchen table?  I highly doubt that.  Especially when we are living in a country that has nearly 10% unemployment, and a district where unemployment is 12%.  We are living in a country that has $14 trillion in debt.  A country that, in 10 years, will spend more on debt service than China does on its defense budget.  And, Denny Heck is focused on Wall Street reform

Of course, the ad had the usual, tired Democrat talking points about "outsourcing American jobs", and "getting off our addiction to foreign oil" through green energy, but the main point, and the reason Denny is running (according to the ad) is because of those fat cat bankers on Wall Street.  First question:  How did Denny Heck make his millions?  You guessed it, Wall Street.  He, along with our junior Senator Maria Cantwell, was an early investor in RealNetworks.  When RealNetworks went public, with the help of Investment Bankers ON WALL STREET, and had its initial public offering, Denny Heck was an overnight millionaire.  Not bad for a guy who seems to despise those "fat cat bankers".

Second question:  Why does he want to take the opportunity for wealth away from the rest of America?  Heck is like so many Democrats who, once they've achieved success, want to limit the opportunity for success for the rest of us.  Wealth is built three ways in this country: own dirt (real estate), own a business, or inherit the money.  Heck and the rest of his ilk have already destroyed the real estate market, it seems like only Democrats inherit great wealth (or marry into it), and now they want to limit our ability to own businesses through ownership of stock.  He got his, so he'll take his ball and go home.

In addition, Heck supports reinstating Glass-Steagall which might sound good on the surface, but could be disastrous for the economy (we'll leave this discussion for another day).  Heck and his team have no idea how to speak to the fed up, angry, concerned voters of the 3rd Congressional District, so they resort to worn out arguments and tired talking points.

Now don't get me wrong.  Reforms of "Wall Street" are needed.  For instance, I support increased regulation of derivatives, CDOs, and some of the more exotic investment products. I don't, however, support the pseudo reforms in the biill that Obama signed in to law.  That bill does nothing to address the underlying problems in our financial services sector, and does absolutely nothing to address the issues that caused the financial crisis in the first place.

But, none of this matters to Obama, Pelosi, and Heck.  Their focus is to create divisions among Americans, based on class warfare, and try to shame people into supporting their misguided and dangerous policies.  Although I don't put much stock in polls conducted in August, it is worth noting that Heck was down 14 points in the Survey USA poll commissioned after the primary election.  He's going to have to get a real clue regarding the concerns of the people of the 3rd Congressional District, or that August poll will be his high water mark.

August 30, 2010

Are We Willing?

On August 18th, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute wrote an outstanding article regarding the need for true reform in Social Security and the “cowardice” of some Republicans not to embrace some of the reforms detailed by Congressman Paul Ryan

Republicans are missing out on an historic opportunity to gain a mandate for true and lasting reforms to Social Security. We must lead on this issue and be willing to engage in the arena of ideas. Reform must happen. There is broad agreement that the current Social Security system is unsustainable. The question is whose ideas will win out?

Ronald Reagan taught all conservatives that our ideas are more popular than liberalism and progressivism. The problem with conservatives, pre-Reagan, was an inability to effectively articulate the ideals of conservatism and draw the pure analogy between conservatism and the first principles of our country. Republican candidates should be willing to lead on this issue, stand in the arena, and join the fight.

Social Security is a promise made to generations of Americans and we are in danger of being unable to keep that promise. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2010 Social Security will begin paying out more in benefits than it brings in through payroll taxes. Furthermore, although the Social Security Trust Fund is supposed to keep Social Security solvent through 2041, the default fallback for Democrats, the sad truth is there is no actual money in the Social Security Trust Fund. Instead, Congress has spent the money and replaced it with IOU’s ( Finally, today’s worker has a promise of less than a 2 percent return on the money paid out to Social Security. That is less than core inflation and it has to change if we are seriously interested in retirement security for all Americans.

Real reform is needed in Social Security that:

1)  Keeps the promise of Social Security that was made to the current generation of Americans;
2)  Creates a system that will maintain the solvency of Social Security without tax hikes;
3)  Establishes an “inheritable” account that non-users can leave to heirs;
4)  Creates a system that is fair to minorities (particularly Black Americans) whose life expectancy is below the national average; and
5)  Gives workers ownership over their savings.

There has been great work done on the issue of Social Security Reform by Congressman Paul Ryan (, the Cato Institute (, the Heritage Foundation ( and The Social Security Reform Center (, among others. I have incorporated many of their ideas into this plan.

The Plan

1) Allow younger workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in guaranteed, inheritable, personal accounts;
2) Set aside a portion of earnings on private accounts for deposit in the Social Security Trust fund for the first 15 years of the private account;
3) Maintain the current system of Social Security for workers 55 and older and those near retirement;
4) Allow workers 59 ½ and over the choice to opt out of Social Security and take a lump sum payment;
5) Lift the 401K and/or IRA limits for those workers who chose to opt out of Social Security and eliminate required minimum distributions;
6)  Discontinue the use of wage indexing to determine the amount of benefits and replace it with progressive price indexing;
7) Establish legislation that puts the Social Security Trust Fund off limits for any purpose other than Social Security spending; and
8) Implement age indexing for Social Security benefits that correspond to current life expectancy tables.

We have a choice. We can continue to put off the problem of Social Security insolvency, or we can make hard choices. In order to meet future Social Security obligations under our current system, we will either have to raise taxes by 30% or cut benefits by 24%. Neither of those is a positive solution; we can do better.

The goal of this plan is to not only bring Social Security into the 21st Century and keep it solvent, but also to provide Americans with real choices in retirement. The current system will not keep up with the growing number of baby boomers who are reaching retirement. Something needs to be done.

These are not radical ideas by any stretch.  They speak to the yearning of all Americans to be free of the yoke of government control.  We need leaders who are not only able to develop creative and workable solutions, but who are also willing to implement good ideas. Doing nothing and hoping for the best is not an option.

August 26, 2010

Two Evils

Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter.
- Oliver Goldsmith (Irish writer, poet, physician, 1776)

In the days since our August 17th primary election, I have read a lot of articles and comments about "having to chose between the lesser of two evils" in our state's Senate race. I, for one, reject that notion out of hand. It is abundantly clear that Dino Rossi is a considerably better choice than Patty Murray. Without question. It's not even close.

If elected to the United States Senate, Dino Rossi will be one of the few members of Congress (of either party) who has actually owned a small business. He will be one of the few who has actually created jobs in the private sector. He will be one of a small handful who have experience writing and managing private sector and public sector budgets. And, most importantly, he will be someone who has a record of conservatism to call upon. He has lived it, and his voting record speaks to that fact.

If you like Cap and Trade - support Murray over Rossi. If you like reckless and out of control spending - support Murray over Rossi. If you like - Sonja Sotomayor and Elena Kagen - support Murray over Rossi. If you think partial birth abortion is okay - support Murray over Rossi. If you like bailouts for billionaire bankers, Cash for Clunkers, earmarks, $2 trillion deficits, and $14 trillion in debt - support Murray over Rossi.

If you are as frustrated by the direction this country is going in and are disgusted by the legislation I just laid out, then you cannot sit out this election or throw your support to Murray. Too much is at stake!

Those of us supporting Dino Rossi are not choosing between the lesser of two evils. We are choosing to take advantage of an opportunity to undo the darkness that progressives like Patty Murray have foisted upon the American people and the people of Washington state. This cannot be an exercise in ideological purity - it is an opportunity to rescue our country from a cabal of big government, quasi-socialists, who are taking us down a path that is counter to our first principles. Dino Rossi can help this country change direction.

As somone who has experienced a political defeat, I understand, uniquely, the frustration of Didier supports - and Akers supporters for that matter. Moreover, Senator Don Benton is someone I have grown close to since I managed his race for Congress in 1998. He was my staunchest and most vehement supporter in my race for Congress this year. When he entered the Senate race, he was my guy - no question. I wasn't happy when he saw the writing on the wall and dropped out when Dino announced. Neither was Don. But, he did the right thing for his party and, more importantly, for his country. And, he stood up, supported Dino, and encouraged his supporters to do the same.

Let's put things in perspective. If supporters of George HW Bush, Howard Baker, Phil Crane, and John Connelly had decided not to support Ronald Reagan in 1980 following their defeats in the 1980 GOP Primary, Ronald Reagan may have never been President. Two of those candidates, Bush and Baker, were from the "Rockefeller Wing" of the Republican Party and thought (at the time) that Reagan was too conservative to get elected. They could have rejected Reagan as an ideologue, encouraged their supporters to do the same, and we would have had four more years of Jimmy Carter turning our nation into a laughingstock.

They stood with Reagan. Why? Because to do otherwise was unacceptable. They were unwilling to sacrifice the good of the country for their own pride, ego, or ideological purity. And praise God that they were!

The US Senate race in Washington State could very well be the most important campaign in America. Think about it. There is a very real possibility that Republicans will already have control of the House before ballots are even counted in Washington State. However, Republicans HAVE to win Washington in order to have a realistic shot at winning a majority in the Senate. This is it, this is our time.

I don't know if Dino will like me saying this or not - it's just my opinion, but if he is elected to the United States Senate, I believe he will be the first true conservative to represent our state in the Senate. He will reject higher taxes, he will insist on individual and economic freedom in this country, he will work for true spending restraint, he will be a voice of reason and compassion, and he will be a voice for the small business job creators - the backbone of our economy.

Our country is desperately in need of conservatives of conscience and clarity who recognize the threats we are facing. Dino Rossi represents the best hope for our state to send someone to the United States Senate who understands what's at stake and knows what needs to be done. Dino Rossi is a statesman, and our country needs men and women like him.

The choice couldn't be more clear. Socialism is evil, totalitarianism is evil, progressivism and its assault on the individual is evil. That's the darkness were fighting against. Supporting Dino helps bring our country back into the light.

August 24, 2010

My Statement on the Results of the Aug 17th Primary Election

Callie and I are so thankful for the wonderful people that came into our lives as a result of this campaign for Congress.  We are so appreciative of the supporters that were willing to give of their time and their treasure in this effort.   Although I was not victorious, I am a better person for having had the opportunity to spend the last 16 months getting to know the people of the 3rd Congressional District.

Throughout the primary election I continually stressed my belief that the 2010 election is the most important election in my life time.  I still believe that.

My primary motivation for entering this race was my deep concern for my son’s future.

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama are bankrupting this wonderful nation. They have rejected America’s unique role in the world and place in history. They have put the needs of their special interest allies, like big unions and big corporations, before those of the American people .  We cannot allow their misguided efforts to undermine America’s prosperity.

Denny Heck, if elected to Congress, will vote to continue the Pelosi regime. He will vote with those who want to restrict the economic and individual freedoms of all Americans.  He will not do anything to stop the reckless spending that is occurring, or reign in the unsustainable debt that is accruing.  It is imperative that Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives in order to stop progressives like Denny Heck from marching this country into the abyss.  Republicans must capture every seat in which we have a realistic chance of victory - that includes the 3rd Congressional District.

Jaime Herrera won the primary election and is the Republican nominee.  She now has the opportunity to put the 3rd Congressional District back in the Republican column.

I respect, immensely, the feelings expressed by those of you who have determined to "vote your conscience" in this campaign, but I want to implore all of you to set aside any notion of sitting out this election, conducting a write-in campaign or, worse, voting for Denny Heck.
If you share my deep concern for our country - a concern for the future country that our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews will inherit - then set aside your anger and disappointment, reject Denny Heck and vote for the Republican nominee.