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Four gubernatorial elections : Nov. 8, 2011

No incumbent party changes in four autumn elections

    Four gubernatorial elections took place in October and November, resulting in one new governor-elect but no changes in party holding any of the four governorships:
  • Mississippi: Phil Bryant (R) was elected; he is currently the Lt. Governor.
  • Mississippi: Haley Barbour (R) will retire in January; he is a leading contender for Vice President. If Romney is nominated, look for the "Mass-Miss" connection!
  • Kentucky: Steve Beshear (D) was re-elected on Tuesday's election day.
  • Louisiana: Bobby Jindal (R) was re-elected in a runoff election in late October. His large margin of victory in the runoff precluded an election on November's election day.
  • West Virginia: Earl Ray Tomblin (D) was elected in a special election in October; he was already acting governor since Joe Manchin resigned to take a Senate seat.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excerpts from all 50 Governors

Gubernatorial biographies excerpted: Nov. 7, 2011

Excerpts from two Governors' books

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excerpts from all 50 Governors

Head-to-head debate: Nov. 5, 2011

Herman Cain vs. Newt Gingrich, head-to-head

This debate on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, had Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich in a one-on-one matchup. It was hosted by the Texas Patriot PAC and held in Houston Texas; moderated by Iowa Congressman Steve King.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for debate excerpts, or for issue stances from Herman Cain (R, GA) or Speaker Newt Gingrich (R, GA)

Romney's book excerpted: Nov. 2, 2011

Excerpts from No Apology, by Gov. Mitt Romney

This book, published in 2010, outlines Mitt Romney's case against Obama for the 2012 election. Its title makes Romney's case that Obama is an apologist for America (pp.24-33) whereas Romney would instead "proudly defend her." If the title sounds arrogant, that too is Romney's intent: he claims that Obama is too weak in missile defense (p. 18); in defense spending (p. 31); in the War on Terror (p. 64); and in just about everything.

While this book focuses heavily on foreign policy and military issues, Romney also makes the domestic case against Obama. Romney reinforces his conservative credentials against abortion (p. 265) and against gay marriage (p. 269), since those credentials need substantial reinforcement in the view of many hard-line conservatives (Romney ran against Ted Kennedy for the Massachusetts Senate seat in 1994 as a pro-gay, pro-choice Republican). But mostly Romney focuses on healthcare. And mostly he focuses on how RomneyCare (the Massachusetts healthcare plan initiated by Romney as Governor) is not the same as ObamaCare (p. 176). Mostly Romney's opponents will focus on how ObamaCare is based heavily on RomneyCare: the 2012 Republican primary voters will have to decide which view prevails.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excerpts from No Apology, by Gov. Mitt Romney

Book excerpts "The 100": Oct. 25, 2011

"The 100 Greatest Speeches Ever" including John F. Kennedy

This book analyzes political speeches, but more from a speechmaking perspective than a political perspective. It's about the 100 greatest speeches of history, which were mostly delivered by politicians or political activists. But the book's focus is on how rhetorical techniques accomplished the speaking goals, not on any political goals.

    Those excerpted include:
  • Barack Obama
  • Bill Clinton
  • Colin Powell
  • George Bush Sr.
  • John F. Kennedy
  • John McCain
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Rudy Giuliani

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excertps from The 100, by Simon Maier and Jeremy Kourdi

Republican debate: Oct. 11, 2011

GOP presidential contenders in Dartmouth NH

Broadcast Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 8pm- 10p.m. at Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College will be an important stop this fall for the Republican presidential candidates when it co-hosts a debate on October 11 at 8:00 p.m. with the U.S. economy as the focus. The event will be broadcast nationally and around the globe by Bloomberg Television and streamed online by Washingtonpostlive.com. WBIN in Derry, N.H., will broadcast the debate throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Sources: http://www.dartmouth.edu/debates/
Click for issue stances for GOP contenders in N.H. debate

Sarah Palin opts out of presidential race: Oct. 5, 2011

Former Governor of Alaska formally declares she's not running

In a statement to supporters, the 2008 vice presidential nominee said she would not seek the Republican nomination for the White House by entering what is already a crowded field.

Instead, Palin said she can be more effective helping other Republicans win office "from the nation's governors to congressional seats and the presidency."

Her statement from Wasilla, Alaska, was a shorter retreat than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's bowing-out on Tuesday, which came at a lengthy press conference in Trenton.

Taken together, the twin Shermanesque statements leave Republicans facing what's likely to be the complete GOP field — dominated by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and with pizza magnate Herman Cain rising in the polls.

Most Republicans had not expected Palin to run ever since Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota got into the race and soared to the top in the Iowa straw poll. But Bachmann's stumbles since then opened the door a bit for another female contender with strong conservative credentials.

Palin's path to the nomination would have been complicated by the presence of Perry and others — including Bachmann, Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich— destined to split the conservative vote.

Sources: Richard Wolf and Jackie Kucinich, USA TODAY
Click for issue stances for Gov. Sarah Palin (R, AK)

Democrat wins West Virginia Gubernatorial Special Election: Oct. 4, 2011

Appointee Earl Ray Tomblin elecfted for special one-year term

Democrat and Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin won the race for West Virginia’s next governor in Tuesday’s special election. Tomblin won over Republican challenger Bill Maloney.

Though Tomblin and Maloney were the front runners in the race, they were not the only candidates. The remaining candidates were: New Haven’s Marla D. Ingels (Independent); Bob H. Barber (Mountain Party); and Harry V. Bertram (American Third Position Party).

Tomblin will serve out the remaining year of the term won by former Gov. Joe Manchin who now sits in the US Senate.

Sources: Point Pleasant (W.V.) Register
Click for complete excerpts from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin or Sen. Joe Manchin

Punditocracy anoints Chris Christie for President: Sept. 28, 2011

Governor of New Jersey declared the flavor of the week

The mainstream media has become breathless again, "reporting" on the possible presidential candidacy of Gov. Chris Christie (R, NJ).

Gov. Christie has repeatedly stated, unambiguously, that he is not running. He also promised the people of New Jersey, during his election campaign, that he would serve out his term.

Despite the repeated denials, radio talk show hosts and newspaper editorialists nationwide are reporting this week how people in the audiences ask, "Might you run?" and any other such "news."

We note that, as usual, the mainstream media only report on the horserace -- who says Christie might run, and who says he won't, and isn't it all so exciting! -- without actually reporting anything about what Christie believes.

We report here Gov. Chris Christie's issue stances, so you can decide for yourself if you'd like to form a draft movement.

[On Oct. 4, Gov. Christie formally declared he will not run for president in 2012].

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue stances for Gov. Chris Christie (R, NJ)

Republicans debate in Florida; straw poll results: Sept. 24, 2011

First major debate to feature Gov. Gary Johnson

The Fox News-Google GOP Presidential debate took place on September 22, 2011 at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It was sponsored by Fox News and Google in conjunction with the Florida Republican Party. It aired on the Fox News Channel, streamed on YouTube.com/FoxNews, and broadcast on Fox News Radio.

The debate was in anticipation of the Florida Straw Poll which took place the next day, with the following results:

Candidate     Straw Poll Result  
Herman Cain37%
Gov. Rick Perry15%
Gov. Mitt Romney14%
Sen. Rick Santorum11%
Rep. Ron Paul10.5%
Speaker Newt Gingrich8.5%
Gov. Jon Huntsman2%
Rep. Michele Bachmann   1%

According to Fox News, Romney and Bachmann had both left Florida before the voting began and their campaigns discounted the straw poll's role in the campaign. Previous straw polls have predicted the GOP nominee. Ronald Reagan won in 1979, George H.W. Bush in 1987 and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole in 1995. The Republican Party of Florida, however, has not organized the test vote in recent years.

Sources: Fox News and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excerpts from Google Orlando debate

Republicans win two special House elections: Sept. 15, 2011

Special election results from New York and Nevada

A little-known Republican businessman from Queens, channeling voter discontent with President Obama into an upset, won election to Congress on Tuesday from the heavily Democratic district in New York City last represented by Anthony D. Weiner.

The Republican, Bob Turner, a retired cable television executive, defeated Assemblyman David I. Weprin, the scion of a prominent Democratic family in Queens, in a nationally watched special election. With 92 percent of the precincts counted, Mr. Turner was leading Mr. Weprin by 53 percent to 47 percent, according to The Associated Press. National Republican leaders immediately trumpeted the victory as a sign of trouble for Mr. Obama’s re-election effort.

Mr. Turner capitalized on discontent in some corners of the Jewish community with Mr. Obama’s posture toward Israel and his handling of the Middle East peace process. Former Mayor Edward I. Koch, a Democrat, urged voters to rebuke the president by voting for Mr. Turner.

A rural northern Nevada district did what it has always done and sent a Republican to Congress Tuesday, but that didn't stop the GOP from heralding the predictable finish as a victory against President Barack Obama.

Former state Sen. Mark Amodei emerged as the winner of Nevada's 2nd Congressional District special election, easily sweeping past Democrat Kate Marshall in this economically-wounded state where Obama's popularity is sinking.

Amodei took 58 percent of the vote to Marshall's 36 percent after campaigning to stand up to Obama and other Washington Democrats. History was on his side. The district made up of conservative voters has never elected a Democrat and Republicans had a 32,000-vote registration edge heading into Election Day.

Amodei said he would travel to Washington, D.C., Wednesday and hoped to be sworn in Thursday. The candidates were competing to replace Republican Dean Heller, who was promoted from the House to the Senate in May after former Republican Sen. John Ensign resigned over a sex scandal with a former staffer. Amodei will serve the remainder of Heller's term and will have to seek re-election in 2012 to keep the seat.

Sources: Josh Haner, New York Times; Associated Press on CBS News
Click for issue stances of Rep. Mark Amodei (R, NV) and Bob Turner (R, NY)

GOP Candidates debate: Sept. 12, 2011

Debate sponsored by Tea Party Express

Moderator: Wolf Blitzer:
"Welcome to the Florida State Fairgrounds here in Tampa, the site of the first ever Tea Party/Republican presidential debate. One year from now, right here in Tampa, the Republican National Convention will nominate the Republican candidate for president of the United States. Tonight, eight contenders will be on this stage to try to convince voters he or she is the best choice to hold the highest office in the country. And joining them inside this hall, Tea Party activists from Florida and across the nation.

"Tonight's debate is airing on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, and the American Forces Network seen on U.S. military bases in 175 countries and aboard Navy ships at sea around the globe. We also want to welcome our co-sponsors, the Tea Party Express, and more than 100 state and local Tea Party groups from across the United States."

Sources: CNN Debate Transcript
Click for all excerpts from the Tea Party debate in Tampa.

Obama address Joint Session of Congress: Sep. 8, 2011

Excerpts from Obama's Jobs proposal plus GOP response

President Obama presented his jobs plan to Congress Thursday evening. It proposes tax cuts to businesses that hire new employees, reforms to the unemployment insurance system and investments in schools and infrastructure.

Sources: NPR.org, White House press release, and GOP websites
Click for complete excerpts from presidential contenders on the American Jobs Act

GOP Candidates debate: Sept. 7, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry makes first appearance

Rick Perry arrived at his first presidential debate packing heat. The Texas governor who once shot a threatening coyote while jogging came armed, rhetorically, for his debut on the national political scene. He blasted rival Mitt Romney on job creation, doubled down on his critique of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme and defended his record on everything from education to climate change.

Perry's performance Wednesday night in the forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., demonstrated not only his considerable strength in the Republican primaries — he has rocketed to the top of the national polls little more than three weeks after announcing his candidacy — but also his clear vulnerabilities in a general election. And it illustrated the changing shape of the GOP contest for the nomination to take on President Obama in 2012. The spotlight was on Perry and Romney, the man he dislodged as frontrunner in national polls. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, the Tea Party favorite who was the star of the first debate, was largely eclipsed and the other contenders often had to battle to get into the conversation

The debate was Perry's chance to make a first impression on many Americans. Before he announced he was running for president last month, only about half of Republican and Republican-leaning voters even knew who he was, according to the Gallup Poll. Now three of four have heard of him, and most like what they see.

Sources: USA Today
Click for all excerpts from presidential primary debate at Reagan Library.

Senate Challengers: Sept. 6, 2011

Senate first-time challenger pages added

OnTheIssues.org covers first-time Senate challengers by excerpting their websites, and then sending them a VoteMatch quiz to fill in. Below are links for the newly-covered Senate challengers; check back in a week or two for the ones who responded to our VoteMatch request. In the following months, we'll cover the Senate debates as they occur.

Senate Challenger

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Dick Cheney releases his book: Sept. 1, 2011

Former Vice President's memoir: "In My Time"

Dick Cheney is on book tour this week for his new memoir, In My Time. In it, Bush's V.P. discusses the Iraq War, the War on Terror, and numerous other controversial topics.

Also on book tour this week is the former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell for her book, Troublemaker, her memoir of her Tea Party-based race in which you'll recall she was accused of being a witch.

And we've completed book excerpts from all of the presidential candidates; they're all listed below with our book reviews in the links. Finally, we include a couple of excerpts from a new book by our favorite troublemaker, Jesse Ventura. We'll be filling in more excerpts from all the new books over the next few weeks.

Liberty DefinedRep. Ron Paul (R, TX)
It Takes A FamilySen. Rick Santorum (R, PA_
On My HonorGov. Rick Perry (R, TX)
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R, MI)
TroublemakerChristine O'Donnell (R, DE)
63 DocumentsGov. Jesse Ventura (I, MN)
In My TimeV. P. Dick Cheney (R, WY)

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, or the 2012 presidential candidates.

WI Senate Challengers: Aug. 30, 2011

Senate challenger pages added for Wisconsin

The incumbent Senator from Wisconsin is retiring; the field of challengers has now formed:

WI Senate Challenger

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Senate Challengers: Aug. 28, 2011

Senate challenger pages added

OnTheIssues.org covers Senate challengers who are former incumbents or candidates by newly excerpting their websites, and then collating their previous voting records. Below are links for the newly-covered Senate challengers; check back in a week or two for the ones who responded to our VoteMatch request. In the following months, we'll cover the Senate debates as they occur.

Senate Challenger

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Background Politicians: Aug. 16, 2011

Political philosopher pages added

OnTheIssues.org attempts to establish the source of current politicians' philosophies by documenting the original political philosophers. This election cycle, we've added five new people. All five have been routinely cited by the presidential candidates (especially Pres. Kennedy!) so we allow our readers to look at the original. We will add materials over the course of the presidential election cycle.

Political PhilosopherCited in these current sources
Milton Friedman
(Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist)
and Ayn Rand
(Founder of Objectivism and Tea Party favorite)
Tea Party
(Outline of the movement's beliefs)
Pres. John F. Kennedy
and Pres. Lyndon Johnson

Sources: Library of Congress
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Tim Pawlenty withdraws from race: Aug. 14, 2011

Former Governor of Minnesota is out

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty told supporters this morning that he will end his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, according to Politico.

He finished a disappointing and distant third in yesterday's Iowa presidential straw poll, well behind his Minnesota rival, Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Courage to Stand,
by Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Governor Tim Pawlenty:
The Sam's Club Republican,
by J. A. McClure

Source: USA Today and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Tim Pawlenty

Iowa Straw Poll results: Aug. 13, 2011

Bachmann wins; Pawlenty loses

Michele Bachmann4,82329%
Ron Paul4,67128%
Tim Pawlenty2,29314%
Rick Santorum1,65710%
Herman Cain1,4569%
Rick Perry7184%
Mitt Romney5673%
Newt Gingrich3852%
Jon Huntsman680.4%
Thaddeus McCotter350.2%
Total:16,892 votes cast

Sources: CBS News Political Hot Sheet
Click for all issue stances from the Iowa Straw Poll debate

GOP candidates debate: Aug. 12, 2011

Lead-up to Iowa Straw Poll tomorrow

The moderators of Thursday night's Republican debate are defending a question posed to presidential candidate Michele Bachmann regarding her past remarks that wives should be "submissive" to their husbands. The question elicited boos from the Iowa debate audience and has spurred a range of responses.

During the debate, moderator Byron York of the Washington Examiner asked Bachmann about her 2006 remarks that she studied tax law because her husband told her to, even though she hated the idea. Bachmann said at the time, "But the Lord said, 'Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.'"

York asked, "As president, would you be submissive to your husband?" Bachmann paused for a few moments before quipping, "thank you for that question, Byron." She then went on to offer up something of a non-answer. "Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10th. I'm in love with him. I'm so proud of him," she said. "And both he and I -- what submission means to us, if that's what your question is, it means respect. I respect my husband. He's a wonderful, godly man, and a great father. And he respects me as his wife. That's how we operate our marriage. We respect each other. We love each other."

On Fox News' "Fox and Friends" Friday morning, York defended his question, saying, "This is a serious and legitimate question about something she has said and believe me, if she progresses very far in the campaign process, she would have been asked this question." York said Bachmann handled it well.

Sources: CBS News Political Hot Sheet
Click for all issue stances from the Iowa Straw Poll debate

Gov. Rick Perry announces for President: Aug. 11, 2011

Texas Governor is in

Rick Perry, a staunch rightwinger with a Washington outsider's political resumé, will run for the Republican nomination for US president in 2012.

"He will make a definitive announcement on Saturday for the race," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said. Asked if Perry is indeed joining the race, Miner said "yes".

Perry is a social and religious conservative who can boast of a strong job-creation record in Texas. That could help him compete with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the party's pro-business wing and make him a formidable challenger in the November 2012 election. He is the longest serving governor in Texas history, taking over from George W Bush after he became president in 2000.

Analysts said Perry has the visibility and fund-raising network to make a successful entry into the race, even though it comes months after other leading contenders. A Perry candidacy could steal support from Michele Bachmann, a favourite of the conservative Tea Party movement, replacing her as Romney's top rival and potentially narrowing the gap between the party's establishment centre and rightwing activists.

Sources: The Guardian (London UK)
Click for all issue stances from Gov. Rick Perry (R, TX) or his book, Fed Up!

Early 2011 Senate votes: Aug. 10, 2011

Voting records updated for Senate members

OnTheIssues.org records key votes for Senate members; the latest set, from early 2011, sets the stage for coverage of the Senate challengers (first batch coming by Labor Day!) The recorded votes are linked below:

  • 11-SV019 : Vote on 2/17/2011 ,  extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps
  • 11-SV054 : Vote on 4/6/2011 ,  barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases
  • 11-SV077 : Vote on 5/25/2011 ,  the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice; tax & spending cuts
Sources: Library of Congress
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Topics in the News: Aug. 9, 2011

News updates up-and-running for 2012 contenders

OnTheIssues.org has updated our "Topics in the News" for the 2012 race. This coverage has been shut down since just after the 2008 election. It is now up-and-running for the 2012 contenders, focusing on the Republican primary. We have added some new topics and retired several outdated ones....

     New topics for 2012           Retired topics from 2008     

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all Topics in the News for 2012.

Nader rules out 2012 run: Aug. 5, 2011

But seeks a Democratic primary challenger against Obama

Ralph Nader is back -- and this time he's looking for a Democrat to challenge President Obama in next year's 2012 primaries. The frequent third-party candidate tells The Daily Caller website that Obama's decision to sign the debt ceiling bill -- without tax hikes on the wealthy -- will only make it that much easier to find an opponent to Obama's left. "What [Obama] did this week is just going to energize that effort," Nader said. "I would guess that the chances of there being a challenge to Obama in the primary are almost 100 percent."

The only question, (Nader) said, is the stature of that opponent and whether it will be either "an ex-senator or an ex-governor" or "an intellectual leader or an environmental leader." In approximately a week and a half, there will be "another chapter of this effort," Nader predicted.

“It’s an initiative to scan the possibilities of people who may run,” Nader said in a phone interview. “My guess is that it’s almost 100 percent sure there’s going to be a primary challenge to Obama from somebody or somebodies — plural — in some states.” Nader’s effort follows comments over the weekend by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a liberal independent who caucuses with Democrats, that it would be a “good idea” for Obama to face a primary challenge in 2012. Sanders brusquely declined to talk Tuesday about his weekend remarks, saying only that he hadn’t heard from anyone in the White House about the comments.

Other liberal stalwarts on Capitol Hill acknowledged their frustration toward the president and his handling of the spending-and-debt debate. But they flatly ruled out supporting a primary challenge to the president. “We’re probably all going to vote for him. But it takes more than that to win,” said Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, where Obama won the 2008 caucuses. “I hope that the president rediscovers his progressive base before too long.” Harkin also said progressive forces in the Democratic Party should be more vocal.

Sources: Daily Caller interview (8/4); USA Today (8/5); and The Hill (7/27)
Click for complete issue stances of Ralph Nader

David Wu resigns as U.S. Rep: Aug. 3, 2011

Ends two weeks of ethics investigation

On July 22, 2011, The Oregonian reported that an 18 year old woman accused Wu of an aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter. The teenager is the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor. Wu admitted the encounter but said it was consensual. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an ethics investigation into the allegations. Wu initially indicated that he would not resign but would also not seek reelection in 2012. Several days later, however, Wu announced he would resign following resolution of the 2011 US debt ceiling crisis, eventually resigning on August 3, 2011.

Gov. John Kitzhaber chose to have a primary election in 2011 and then a general election on Jan. 31, 2012 using the pre-2010 Congressional district boundaries.

Contenders for Jan. 2012 special election: Jim Greenfield (R); Rob Cornilles (R); Pavel Goberman (R); John Kuzmanich (R); Suzanne Bonamici (D); Dominic Hammon (D); Robert Lettin (D); Dan Strite (D); Brad Avakian (D); State Rep. Brad Witt (D).

Sources: Wikipedia.com and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for complete records of David Wu (D, OR-1)

Twitter debate: July 21, 2011

Six 2012 Republican contenders tweet at the 2011 Twitter debate

The Twitter debate was certainly innovative and modern -- if somewhat challenging for voters to follow. Six GOP hopefuls tweeted, in 140 characters or less, their responses to moderator and audience questions. Their responses tended to overlap each other (i.e., they all tweeted at once), and it seemed that each candidate was usually unaware of what the others were tweeting. But maybe that's good -- it was definitely different!
Rep. Ron Paul (TX)
Gov. Gary Johnson (NM)
Rep. Thad McCotter (MI)
Rep. Newt Gingrich (GA)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN)
Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN)

Source: Twitter.com and OnTheIssues.org
Click for policy statements from the 2011 Twitter debate

Buddy Roemer announces for president: July 21, 2011

Former Governor from Louisiana is in

Former Governor Charles Elson “Buddy” Roemer (R, LA) announced his candidacy for president at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. Thursday afternoon. With the addition of the Former Louisiana Governor there are now 11 contenders in the 2012 presidential race.

In his announcement speech, Roemer said, “I run to prepare America to grow jobs again, beginning with the elimination of our tolerance for unfair foreign trade practices and the use of our own tax code to ship jobs overseas. I run to reveal and challenge the control of the special interest over our nation’s capital, and demonstrate the freedom to lead that can only come from refusing their money.”

Roemer is pledging that he'll take no money from political action committees and no donation more than $100. [Roemer this week moved his family to New Hampshire for the duration of the primary].

Roemer served four terms as a Democratic congressman from Louisiana then became governor of the state in 1988. He switched affiliations to the GOP in his third year as governor and lost re-election to a second term.

Source: ABC News and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Gov. Buddy Roemer (R, LA)

Rep. Ron Paul announces retirement from U.S. House: July 15, 2011

Michigan Rep. Dale Kildee also announces retirement

Rep. Ron Paul said he will concentrate on running for president and will not seek re-election to Congress, ending a 24-year career as one of the more colorful members of the House of Representatives.

The 75-year-old Republican said he will serve out his term through December 2012, whether his presidential campaign is successful or not. He has been criticized for running for Congress while seeking the presidency in the past.

Paul said the growing support for his 2012 presidential bid convinced him he should not divide his energies. He won a straw poll at the Republican Leadership Conference held in New Orleans last month. "I think that you have more credibility if you run for only one office at a time," Paul said. He acknowledged that he may miss some House votes because of the presidential campaign, but that his staff would continue to provide constituent services.

Rep. Dale Kildee (D, MI) also announced his retirement, bringing the total number of announced retirements to thirteen (5 Republicans and 8 Democrats).

Sources: Associated Press (July 13) and Washington Post (July 15)
Click for all issue stances from Rep. Ron Paul (R, TX) and Rep. Dale Kildee (D, MI)

Early 2011 House votes: July 13, 2011

Voting records updated for House members running for president

OnTheIssues.org records key votes for House members; the latest set, from early 2011, affects three presidential contenders:

The rest of the members of the House will be updated with these same votes in ac ouple of weeks. All of the recorded votes are linked below:
  • 11-HV410 : Vote on 6/3/2011 ,  banning armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval
  • 11-HV320 : Vote on 5/12/2011 ,  opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling
  • 11-HV292 : Vote on 5/4/2011 ,  banning federal health coverage that includes abortion
  • 11-HV264 : Vote on 4/13/2011 ,  repealing the "Prevention and Public Health" slush fund
  • 11-HV249 : Vote on 4/7/2011 ,  barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases
  • 11-HV200 : Vote on 3/30/2011 ,  reauthorizing the DC opportunity scholarship program
  • 11-HV198 : Vote on 3/29/2011 ,  terminating the Home Affordable mortgage Program
  • 11-HV193 : Vote on 3/17/2011 ,  removing US armed forces from Afghanistan
  • 11-HV192 : Vote on 3/17/2011 ,  terminating funding for National Public Radio
  • 11-HV066 : Vote on 2/17/2011 ,  extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps
  • 11-HV277 : Vote on 4/15/2011 ,  the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts

Rep. Thad McCotter announces for President: July 2, 2011

Michigan Representative is in; via a surprise announcement

Thaddeus McCotter, a Livonia congressman, announced to a Michigan rock festival crowd Saturday he's seeking the Republican nomination for president, saying the future of the country is not big government but self government.

McCotter laid out his principles of liberty, sovereignty, security and prosperity to a festival crowd of more than 400 people who were unsure about his presidential chances. "While it is a hard road ahead, we will have better days and we will start now," McCotter said.

Immediately after the speech, McCotter picked up his American flag themed guitar and jammed with the band for a song. McCotter, a lawyer and author who is serving his fifth term in Congress, is considered a long shot in the GOP nomination. He faces serious challenges in fundraising and national name recognition, compared to challengers like Michigan native, Mitt Romney, and tea party darling Michele Bachmann. But supporters say it will be his message of small government will resonate and his Michigan roots and manufacturing support will change the dialog in the campaign.

Sources: Marisa Schultz, The Detroit News
Click for all issue stances from Rep. Thad McCotter (R, MI)

Rick Perry considers preparing to announce for president: June 24, 2011

Pundits claim TX Governor is in; TX Governor says nothing

The pundits declared this week that Texas Governor Rick Perry plans to announce for President sometime soon. Rick Perry himself has said nothing of the kind.

This sort of breathless over-analysis in the mainstream press is the reason OnTheIssues.org came to exist: the mainstream press cannot offer anything except the hair-splitting political parsing of Perry's every move and how each perturbation translates into another step forward or backward.

Voters don't care. Voters want to know, "Where does Perry stand on issues important to me?" OnTheIssues.org offers that information instead of the breathless, endless parsing.

Please ignore the mainstream press. All that their coverage does is hinder interested citizens from being able to google Rick Perry's actual issue stances. We commit to digging up his stances despite the mainstream press -- stay tuned here, and tell the mainstream press you want them to do their job and investigate Perry on the issues, not more "PerryWatch" political parsing!

Sources: Not the mainstream press; they're useless!
Click for all issue stances from Gov. Rick Perry (R, TX)

Jon Huntsman announces for president: June 21, 2011

Former Utah Governor is in

Republican Jon Huntsman, President Barack Obama's former ambassador to China, entered his party's 2012 presidential race on Tuesday pledging to make the "hard decisions" to deal with America's debt.

"I'm a candidate for the office of President of the United States of America," Huntsman told supporters at Liberty State Park in New Jersey, with the Statue of Liberty in the background. The site is where former President Ronald Reagan launched his bid for the White House in 1980. "For the first time in our history, we are passing down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitive and less confident than the one we got," Huntsman said. "This, ladies and gentlemen, is totally unacceptable and totally un-American."

Huntsman, 51, is one of the few Republican hopefuls who worries Obama's re-election team. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, he upset the White House in April by quitting his job as ambassador in Beijing, a post he held since 2009, to return to home to plan his election campaign. If he picks up traction in opinion polls, Huntsman could be a rival to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the role of the moderate Republican candidate.

Source: Reuters news service
Click for all issue stances from Gov. Jon Huntsman (R, UT)

Anthony Wiener resigns as U.S. Rep: June 16, 2011

Ends several weeks of "Wienergate" sexting scandal

Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission that he tweeted and Facebook-messaged inappropriate photos of himself to at least six women is the latest sexting scandal among politicians and public figures. Disgraced Rep. Christopher Lee, R-N.Y., a married Republican, resigned in February after he reportedly sent a bare-chested image of himself to a woman on Craigslist.

Rep. Anthony Weiner's resignation announcement: "Today I announce my resignation, so my colleagues can get back to work and my neighbors choose a new representative." He apologized again for causing a "distraction," to his colleagues, constituents and his wife, Huma Abedin.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo must schedule an election no later than 80 days from the date of the vacancy. New York's 9th District, which Weiner has represented since 1998, comprises heavily white, ethnic neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn. It has elected the congressman with comfortable margins but has been trending Republican: In 2000 the Democratic presidential nominee, Al Gore, got 67% of the vote, but the margin dropped to 56% for the party's 2004 nominee, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. In 2008, Barack Obama won the district with 55% of the vote.

Sources: Los Angeles Times; USA Today Liveblog; National Journal
Click for complete records of Anthony Weiner (D, NY-9)

GOP Debate in New Hampshire: June 13, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R, MN) announces for president at debate at St. Anselm's College

The strong performance by Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) — the only other clear winner Monday night — complicates Tim Pawlenty’s situation in Iowa. Herman Cain learned Monday night that one good debate, which he had in South Carolina, doesn’t begat a second.

Monday’s debate also highlighted more clearly the choices that face two prospective candidates, Sarah Palin and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. No one can predict what kind of staying power Bachmann might have, but her emergence as the likely favorite of many tea party voters and social conservatives could accelerate Palin’s timetable.

* * *

Source: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R, MN) or St. Anselm NH debate

Rick Santorum and Herman Cain announce for president: June 6, 2011

Former Senator from Pennsylvania is in

Former Senator Rick Santorum (R, PA) announced today his candidacy for president.

On May 21, radio talk show host Herman Cain announced his candidacy.

We use this opportunity to explain how OnTheIssue.org coverage begins, explaining why Santorum is covered immediately but Cain required over two weeks. We cover Senate votes and bill sponsorpships, including those of Sen. Santorum. Hence we have an immediate record available of his issue stances.

In the case of Herman Cain, we have no such record, and must build it ourselves, mostly by transcribing speeches. That process requires several weeks; the results are now posted from these debates:

We received many emails from Cain supporters during that time; all of them complained that we had no coverage; we responded to each one suggesting that they volunteer to help transcribe speeches; none volunteered. We hope to hear from Cain supporters and any other volunteers in coming weeks, as we do the same for former Gov. Buddy Roemer!

Source: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Herman Cain (R) or Sen. Rick Santorum (R, PA)

Mitt Romney announces for president: June 3, 2011

Former Governor of Massachusetts is in

Mitt Romney, the widely hailed frontrunner for the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nomination, has finally confirmed his candidacy and immediately criticised the faltering US economy. The former Massachusetts governor also repeated his pledge to dismantle President Barack Obama's healthcare reforms, which are similar to those he introduced at state level in the mid-2000s but which, he argues, would ''bankrupt the nation''.

Launching his campaign on a New Hampshire farm, the 64-year-old Utah Mormon said that America's lagging economic indicators amounted to Mr Obama's own ''misery index''. ''Barack Obama has failed America,'' he told supporters. ''When he took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse. And he made it last longer.'' With more than 16 million Americans out of work, the national debt climbing beyond $14 trillion and petrol prices at near-record highs, the US faced a bleak outlook, he said. ''These failing hopes make up President Obama's own misery index,'' he continued. ''It's never been higher. Mr President, you've had your chance.''

Source: Sydney Morning Herald (June 4); and OnTheIssues.org archives (June 3)
Click for all issue stances from Gov. Mitt Romney (R, MA)

Kathy Hochul to be sworn in as new U.S. Rep: June 1, 2011

Democratic House election victory in NY-26

The Democratic nominee won the special election in NY's 26th district last week and will be sworn in on June 1st. Democrats consider this race a belweather for the 2012 House races because it focused on ObamaCare and because the Democrat won in a traditionally conservative district. Republicans disagree. Analysis from both sides follows:

Democratic viewpoint:
The Associated Press called the special election for New York's 26th district House seat for Democrat Kathy Hochul over Republican Jane Corwin. in the race to succeed Republican Rep. Chris Lee, who resigned in February after shirtless photos he sent to a woman were published online.

Corwin, a multimillionaire state assemblywoman, watched her lead evaporate after expressing support for a plan crafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to strip billions from Medicare and recast it as a voucher program. Corwin said she supported the Ryan plan as a way to ensure Medicare for future generations. Hochul quickly seized on Corwin's position and cast herself as the protector of Medicare in a district with a large population of voters over 55. Her television ads hammered the issue even as Corwin tried to shift her position, suggesting she'd favor changing the Ryan plan if elected. The race has drawn attention and more than $2 million from both national parties and several independent groups.

Republican viewpoint:
Five and a half weeks after House Republicans passed their budget, Democrats and liberal pundits have decided it is political kryptonite that will fatally weaken the GOP. Their evidence is Tuesday's special election in New York's 26th district, where Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin for a vacant congressional seat. This is not just any congressional district, but one carried by George W. Bush and John McCain in the last two presidential elections, and one represented for 58 years by a Republican.

Ms. Hochul won a plurality (47%) of the votes, not a majority, getting only one percentage point more than Barack Obama as he was losing the district in 2008. Not exactly a compelling performance. Democrats won only because a third-party candidate—self-proclaimed tea partier Jack Davis—spent a reported $3 million of his own money. Absent Mr. Davis as a spoiler—he got 9% of the vote—Democrats would never have made a serious bid for this district, nor won if they did. Ironically, Mr. Davis ran for the same seat in the last three elections as a Democrat. This year he ran as a populist conservative.

Sources: Karl Rove op-ed, May 26; Huffington Post analysis, May 25
Click for complete records of Kathy Hochul (D, NY-26) and her predecessor Chris Lee (R, NY-26)

Political book excerpts: May 27, 2010

Book excerpts and reviews from OnTheIssues.org

OnTheIssues.org excerpts political books for possible presidential contenders:
A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington
(and a Trillion That We Don't!),
by Mike Huckabee
By a vice-presidential contender, Gov. Mike Huckabee, since he withdrew from the presidential race last week.
Give Us Liberty:
A Tea Party Manifesto
by Rep. Dick Armey
Rep. Dick Armey's book is a first outline of the Tea Party movement.
Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,
by Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Kevin McCarthy
Written by the next generation of presidential contenders; all three representatives are possible candidates in 2016 and beyond.
True Compass: A Memoir,
by Edward M. Kennedy
Ted Kennedy's book is perhaps the most significant political memoir of last year.

Tim Pawlenty announces for president: May 24, 2011

Former Governor of Minnesota is in

Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign rests on this question: Will Republican voters itching for confrontation with President Obama deliver their nomination to a man who tends toward soft-spoken and bland? The former Minnesota governor sought distance from the GOP field by casting himself as an everyman who would speak frankly to Americans about the gravity of the nation's challenges.

Charging that Obama has failed to tackle difficult issues like entitlement reform and warning that "the pain of the recent recession will pale in comparison to what's coming," Pawlenty chided the president for backing a "pork-filled stimulus bill" and financial bailouts for well connected businesses, and called his healthcare plan "an unmitigated disaster for our country."

"Someone has to stand up and finally level with the American people," Pawlenty told an audience of several hundred people in Iowa, which is likely to serve as a pivot point for his bid. "Someone has to lead. I will."

Source: Los Angeles Times; and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Tim Pawlenty

Mike Huckabee opts out for president: May 15-22, 2011

Gov. Huckabee out; Gov. Mitch Daniels out

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won several Republican primaries in the 2008 presidential race, said Saturday that he will not make a run for the White House in 2012. "All the factors say go, but my heart says no," Huckabee told viewers at the end of his Fox News program. "My answer is clear and firm. I will not seek the Republican nomination for president this year. I'm going to gladly continue doing what I do."

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s decision not to run for president in 2012, while deflating the hopes of many in the Republican establishment, has helped solidify what has been a fluid GOP field and brings more clarity to the challenges ahead for each of the leading contenders. Daniels, who had been deliberating for more than a year, joined a growing list of potential candidates who looked at the race and decided to take a pass

Source: Washington Post; Los Angeles Times; and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels

Newt Gingrich announces for president: May 12, 2011

Excerpts from Newt's biography Newt! Revolution

Newt Gingrich is entering the 2012 presidential race as a familiar face--a 20-year veteran of Congress who served a polarizing turn as House speaker before assuming a career as a prolific political commentator and author. But Gingrich, who officially announced his White House bid Wednesday, is bringing a decidedly different approach to this contest than he did to his previous stint in public office. In his speeches and campaign appearances, Gingrich is expected to lay out a political vision that intertwines fiscal and social conservatism, drawing from a newfound interest in religion he has infused into his work in recent years.

The strategy is aimed at shoring up Gingrich's standing with the party's social conservative wing, a constituency that regarded him with suspicion in the past, in part because of his three marriages and admission of an extramarital affair. But in recent years, the former speaker has made gains among evangelical leaders — the result of aggressively cultivating relationships with influential national figures and local pastors in key nominating states.

Last year, Gingrich helped secure seed money for a successful campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who approved same-sex marriage in the state. Gingrich is now hoping his network of conservative Christian leaders will help him win over evangelical voters, who play an outsize role in deciding the Republican presidential nominating contests in Iowa and South Carolina.

Source: Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times; and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Newt Gingrich

Dean Heller sworn in to Senate: May 9, 2011

Senator Dean Heller replaces Senator John Ensign

Nevada's new U.S. senator, Dean Heller, was sworn in Monday to replace the embattled John Ensign, who resigned amid a Senate Ethics Committee investigation stemming from an extramarital affair he had with a campaign aide.

Heller, 50, was serving his third term in the House when Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval selected him to serve out the remainder of Ensign's term. The transition does little to change the political dynamic in the Senate, as Heller and Ensign shared similar views on most issues.

Heller was escorted to the front of the Senate chamber by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath as Heller's wife, Lynne, and their four children and son-in-law watched from the gallery.

Heller was already the favorite to win next year's GOP primary election for Ensign's seat when Sandoval made the appointment. On the Democratic side, Rep. Shelley Berkley has said she will run for the seat.

Source: Kevin Freking, Associated Press
Click for policy statements from Senator-Appointee Dean Heller (R, NV) or Former Senator John Ensign (R, NV)

Ron Paul & Gary Johnson announce for President: April 28, 2011

Rep. Ron Paul (R, CA) and Gov. Gary Johnson (R, NM) are both in

It looks like Ron Paul is running for president again--and libertarians everywhere have reason to cheer. After the big government conservatism of the George W. Bush era, their ideas seem finally ascendant-and now they have two standard-bearers competing for the Republican nomination in 2012. While the Paul family--recently dubbed "the libertarian Kennedys" by Politico--suck up the media oxygen, there is a comparatively little known but more electorally accomplished libertarian running for president--former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.

It's a political high-water mark for a movement that is simultaneously watching the new film version of its ubertext, Atlas Shrugged, tank at the box office. After all, Tea Party rallies were infused with crowd-pleasing libertarian rhetoric. Paul Ryan's budget plan--with its proposed transformation of Medicare and Medicaid to a voucher-program--represents a long-time fantasy of libertarians about rolling back the welfare state. And while President Bush campaigned on a federal marriage amendment in 2004, polls show that young conservatives have decidedly inclusive attitudes toward gays and lesbians, even when it comes to the freedom to marry.

Source: The Beltway, MSNBC, By John Avlon, "A Better Ron Paul"
Click for policy statements from Rep. Ron Paul or Gov. Gary Johnson

Senator John Ensign resigns: April 22, 2011

Senator John Ensign (R, NV) resigns amid sex and money scandal

Embattled U.S. Sen. John Ensign will resign from office on Friday, opening the door for Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to appoint Rep. Dean Heller to finish out the term. If Heller is appointed, it would give him a strategic leg up as an incumbent against his presumed opponent in the 2012 Senate race, Democrat Rep. Shelley Berkley. Berkley is still expected to run.

Ensign's political star fell two years when he revealed he had an affair with a campaign aide, a scandal for which he remains under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. It's unclear whether the ongoing investigation played a role in Ensign's resignation, or whether he was stepping down early at the behest of the Nevada GOP in order to benefit Heller, the party's presumptive nominee for 2012.

[If Heller is appointed], that would trigger a special election for Heller's 2nd Congressional District seat, which "tea party" supporter Sharron Angle has announced her intention to seek. She narrowly lost a Senate race to Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010.

The senator's decision was met with a collective sigh of relief--and little surprise--in his home state, where Ensign's scandals have dominated headlines for nearly two years. [Ensign is accused of financially benefiting the campaign aide after having an affair with the campaign aide's wife].

"I will not continue to subject my family, my constituents or the Senate to any further rounds of investigation, depositions, drawn-out proceedings or especially public hearings," Ensign said in a statement. "For my family and me, this continued personal cost is simply too great." He also denied violating Senate rules or laws.

Source: Las Vegas Sun and Los Angeles Times
Click for policy statements from John Ensign (R, NV)

2012 Presidential Analysis: April 21, 2011

Book excerpts on the presidency

OnTheIssues.org covers books by and about presidential contenders, as well as Governors and Senators. This set of books provides analysis of Obama's presidency so far, in preparation for the 2012 race. There's also substantial retrospective on Bush's presidency, both from supporters and detractors. We consider these some of the most important books for political readers; with many more to follow before the 2012 race gets under way!

Source: OnTheIssues.org's Archive
Click for issue stances for OnTheIssues.org's Archive.

Donald Trump enters presidential race: April 18, 2010

Click for issues stances for Donald Trump or his and policy book

Out with Sarah. In with The Donald. GOP celebrities like Sarah Palin aren't getting much buzz. Mainstream candidates like Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty aren't getting much traction. GOP activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina appear deeply intrigued by, and open to, a run by Donald Trump, the publicity-loving business tycoon and host of NBC's "The Apprentice," even as he perpetuates falsehoods about Obama's citizenship and questions the legitimacy of his presidency.

These Republican officials and activists stopped short of saying they see Trump as the eventual nominee. But they said their party is hungry for forceful, colorful figures to attack Obama and other Democrats on health care, spending and other issues. In Iowa at least, there's also widespread talk about two social conservatives: Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who would be the first president elected directly from the House since James Garfield, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who lost his 2006 re-election bid by a landslide.

While these people certainly have talents, the party's establishment does not see them as the likeliest contenders to defeat Obama. Republicans traditionally pick party veterans who wait their turn and earn their nominations after years spent as governors, senators or vice presidents. But this field lacks a front-runner like Bob Dole in 1996 or George W. Bush in 2000. There's a political vacuum in the GOP, insiders say, and it's being filled by an unusually large and diverse number of White House hopefuls.

Palin's apparent fade and Trump's rise are arguably the most surprising events in recent weeks, as more establishment-oriented contenders, including former governors Romney of Massachusetts and Pawlenty of Minnesota, took formal steps toward full-fledged candidacies. A CNN nationwide poll of adult Republicans showed Trump tied for the presidential lead with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, at 19 percent each. Palin, the 2008 vice presidential nominee, was third at 12 percent.

Source: OnTheIssues.org and New York Magazine (Oct. 5)
Click for Donald Trump's views on the issues and Trump's book, The America We Deserve

Obama announces for 2012: April 4, 2011

Formally launches re-election campaign

President Obama formally launched his reelection campaign Monday morning--illustrating his eagerness to start raising money for a race that could prove difficult but exposing himself to criticism for focusing on politics despite pressing crises at home and abroad.

The announcement--via an e-mail message and a Web video to supporters--makes Obama the first declared candidate in the 2012 presidential race. By filing his candidacy papers with the Federal Election Commission, the president will be able to start raising campaign money immediately.

Obama’s formal entrance into the race comes as his potential challengers are playing a surprising waiting game. For the 2008 race, former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) announced his candidacy in December 2006, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) did the same two months later. The entries of those two prominent candidates effectively forced other contenders to start as well, and almost a dozen candidates, including Obama, were running by April 2007. This time, although former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) formed an exploratory committee last month and is virtually certain to run, as is Romney, none of the most prominent Republicans has made it official. And Republicans say the first member of their party to enter would face what Obama already has to deal with as president: the pundits, press and their opponents watching their every move.

Sources: Washington Post, April 4
Click for complete records of Pres. Obama; or our 2012 Presidential VoteMatch quiz.

2011 Bill sponsorships: March 31, 2011

First round of House bills by new Republican Congress

OnTheIssues.org covers bill sponsorships as well as Congressional voting records. This set of House bills are the first bills introduced by the new GOP-majority House of Representatives. Most have not yet come to the House floor for a vote; we will cover voting records later in the year. Click below for sponsors of each 2011 bill:

11-HJR02Require a balanced budget, by Constitutional amendment
11-HJR03Constitutionally guarantee parent's right to educate kids
11-HR059Require Congressional certification of president's "Czars"
11-HRes20Ratify CEDAW (Discrimination Against Women)
11-HR002Repeal the Job-Killing Health Care Law
11-HR004Repeal ObamaCare reporting requirements for small business
11-HR025Replace income tax & estate tax with 23% sales tax
11-HR068Defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
11-HR091Repeal requirements for compact fluorescent bulbs
11-HR096End net neutrality; allow tiered Internet service
11-HR097No EPA regulation of greenhouse gases
11-HR104Dedicated funds for harbor maintenance
11-HR111Require insurers to cover breast cancer treatment
11-HR125Require defining constitutional authority for every new law
11-HR126Require video recording of every firearm test by ATF
11-HR127Remove all funding from the 2010 national healthcare law
11-HR140Redefine "birthright citizenship" to exclude illegal aliens
11-HR143Permanently repeal the estate tax
11-HR191Establish a public insurance option via healthcare Exchanges
11-HR204Reduce the salary of Members of Congress
11-HR212Congress shall protect life beginning with fertilization
11-HR217Prohibit federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood
11-HR284Investigate mortgage discrimination in veterans & disabled

Source: Thomas Locator Service from the Library of Congress
Click for issue stances for Members of the House.

House Committee Memberships: March 6, 2011

Outline of newly-assigned House committees

When you see members of the U.S. House of Representatives on C-Span, they are usually on the "House floor", where final votes take place. But the real work of writing and editing bills takes place in House Committees. House Committee assignments were made in January and finalized in February; OnTheIssues.org includes on each House member's page their committee assignments. We summarize the committees with links to each member; some important committees are:

Source: U.S. House of Representatives, www.house.gov, Committee websites
Click for issue stances for Members of the House. or Lists of Committee memberships

Newt Gingrich prepares to announce for president: March 3, 2011

Excerpts from Newt's biography Newt! Revolution

Newt! Revolution was written in 1995, when Newt Gingrich's was the newly-elected Speaker of the House. He had just engineered the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, and had not yet fallen from power after struggles with Pres. Bill Clinton. Hence this book is a snapshot of Newt at the peak of his power. If Newt runs for President in 2012, as currently seems likely, this book will become a valuable indicator of his views before any post-Clinton lessons.

The book is important for two reasons in the 2012 presidential race: it pinpoints where Newt stands on the scale of conservatism; and demonstrates the consistency of his political views over time. Newt's 2009 book, Real Change, will be excerpted shortly, as will his 2011 book, "To Save America".

We have added Newt Gingrich to our early Presidential 2012 VoteMatch quiz, where you answer 20 questions and get matched issue-by-issue with the major candidates. All of the candidates for the Republican nomination discussed above are also included in the VoteMatch quiz.

This book is the second in our series of 2012 GOP presidential contenders. Also in preparation for the 2012 race, we cover retrospectives on the obama presidency from different political perspectives. Some of the other recently-excerpted books include:

Source: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Newt Gingrich or his biography, Newt! Revolution

Pentagon attempts to brainwash Members of Congress: Feb. 23, 2011

U.S. Army caught applying "psy-ops" illegally on Senators

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war– and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as "information operations" at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.

The list of targeted visitors was long. Those singled out in the campaign included senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; and a host of influential think-tank analysts.

According to the Defense Department’s own definition, psy-ops – the use of propaganda and psychological tactics to influence emotions and behaviors – are supposed to be used exclusively on "hostile foreign groups." Federal law forbids the military from practicing psy-ops on Americans, and each defense authorization bill comes with a "propaganda rider" that also prohibits such manipulation.

Source: Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone Magazine
Click for issue stances for Members of the Senate or Mmebers of the House.

CPAC convention: Feb. 10-12, 2011

2012 Republican contenders speak at CPAC convention

For the second year in a row, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., emerged as the potential presidential candidate that an active group of conservative activists want to see at the top of the Republican ticket in 2012. Paul won this year's Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll by a healthy margin. Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw vote in 2007, 2008 and 2009. 3,742 conference-goers voted in this years straw poll -- more than twice the number who participated in 2007.
ContenderPoll result
Rep. Ron Paul (TX)30%
Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) 23%
Gov. Gary Johnson (NM)6%
Gov. Chris Christie (NJ)6%
Rep. Newt Gingrich (GA)5%
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN)4%
Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN)4%
Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN)4%
Gov. Sarah Palin (AK)3%

Source: Washington Post and Fox News
Click for policy statements from the 2011 CPAC convention

Two members of Congress resign: Feb. 9, 2011

Harman exits revolving door; Lee exits in sex scandal; 2 down; 433 to go.

Two members of Congress demonstrated today why voters should have an attitude of "Throw the bums out!". One Democrat and one Republican resigned from Congress, requiring special elections later in 2011 in New York and California.

Rep. Jane Harman (D, CA-36) is leaving Congress to go to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a nonpartisan research institution (a "think tank"). Harman is worth an estimated $300 million. She presumably quit Congress because the Democrats were no longer in control and millionaires don't like to toil away in the minority. Harman served all of 33 days of her 730 day commitment before announcing her departure.

Harman announced her resignation saying, "I'm just movin' down the street; I'm not leavin' this place." OnTheIssues.org considers that a restatement of the "revolving door" that members of Congress routinely claim to abhor when applied to others. It is difficult to believe that Harman was unaware of the Woodrow Wilson Center deal just three months ago at the time of her re-election, or just one month ago at her swearing-in, when she promised the people of her district to serve for two years.

Rep. Chris Lee (R, NY-26) has a more immediate crisis that forced his resignation -- a sex scandal. Lee abruptly resigned after a shirtless photo of himself, which he had e-mailed to a woman, was published on the Internet. Mr. Lee, who is married and has a son, replied to a personal ad that the woman had placed in the “Women for Men” section of Craigslist.

Mr. Lee’s office released a statement in which he asked for forgiveness. “I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” he wrote. “I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.”

Under New York law, it falls to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to call a special election to find a successor for Mr. Lee. The special election in California, which has to be called by Gov. Jerry Brown, will test California's new election system: all candidates run in the primary and the top two finishers regardless of party face each other in a runoff.

Source: C-Span radio (Harman); Huffington Post (Harman); N.Y.Times (Lee); & OnTheIssues.org opinion (both)
Click for issue stances for Harman and Lee or other remaining House members.

State of the State speeches: Feb. 5, 2011

Round 2: Governors address state legislatures nationwide

To complement Obama's State of the Union speech, during January and February, Governors describe the "State of the State" to their legislatures. This is the second round of speech coverage; see our first round dated Jan. 16
    Upcoming speeches:
  • Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) March 1
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) March 8
  • Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) Feb. 16
  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) Feb. 7
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) TBD
  • Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) TBD
  • Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) Feb. 9

Source: OnTheIssues.org
Click for excerpts from other governors' State of the State speeches or other governors' views on the issues

Chicago Mayoral race: early voting underway: Feb. 1, 2011

Election day: Feb. 22, 2011

Mayoral candidates Rahm Emanuel and Miguel del Valle kicked off the first day of early voting by casting ballots for themselves. Registered voters can cast ballots at any of the city's 51 early voting sites through Feb. 17. The elections board also allows "grace period" voting through Feb. 15 for individuals who are not already registered. Election Day is Feb. 22.

White House aides say President Obama has applied for an absentee ballot to vote for mayor in his hometown of Chicago.

Six candidates will appear on the February 22 ballot:

Emanuel’s candidacy was in jeopardy when an appeals court ruled that he didn’t meet the residency requirements to run for mayor. But, the Illinois Supreme Court last week reversed that ruling and ordered his name to be restored to the ballot.

Sources: Chicago Tribune (Jan. 31); Chicago Sun-Times (Jan. 31); Fox News (Feb. 1); and Wikipedia.com (Feb. 1)
Click for complete records of Rep. Rahm Emanuel's or Sen. Carol Moseley Braun's issue stances; or Emanuel's biography "The Thumpin'"; or Sen. Moseley Braun in the 2003-2004 Presidential primary debates.

Three Senators announce retirement: Jan. 23, 2011

Sens. Lieberman (I-CT), Conrad (D-ND), and Hutchison (R-TX) will not run in 2012

Q: Will the president find bipartisan cooperation on Capitol Hill? Joining me now, Senators Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad, and from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison. All three have recently declared they will not be seeking re-election. Sen. Lieberman, what will you be listening to from the president at the State of the Union?

LIEBERMAN: Well, the president listened to the results of the election in November, and that's -- that's the right thing to do in America. Elections have consequences. And since then, he has really reconnected to the vital center of American politics and, I think, to the American people.

Q: Sen. Hutchison, do you think the president can convey that message of unity and confidence to move forward?

HUTCHISON: I think he can convey the message. But I think the question is, will there be a follow-through? Will he really get his regulatory commissions to cut back on the regulations that are hurting the growth of business? Will he agree to some changes in the Obamacare which is keeping people from hiring?

Q: Senator Conrad, what does Obama need to say?

CONRAD: Well, I think three things. 1) growing the economy and jobs. 2) the debt threat. That's got to be taken on. 3) reducing our dependence on foreign energy.

Source: ABC This Week with Christine Amanpour
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