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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Idaho Democrats Catch Election Riggin' Fever

What is it about Democrats that drives them to obsess over election procedures, public finance, controlling the airwaves, “campaign finance reform” and the like?

We have witnessed an assault at the national level by Democrats: First they tried to overwhelm organizations like Family Research Council and American Life League into silence with new grassroots lobbying rules. They are seeking to tighten the already outrageous McCain-Feingold campaign finance scheme. And then there is the plot to restrict the free speech rights of conservatives by re-imposing the “Fairness Doctrine” over print and broadcast mediums.

And remember the incessant whining over stolen elections and voting violations?

Clearly Democrats will do just about anything to control the debate, to hold power, when they find free competition too disadvantageous.

It seems Idaho Democrats have finally caught the wave.

The Lonely Seven of the Idaho Senate have introduced a bill (SB1037) to bring “fairness” back to Idaho elections. (Translation: let’s change the rules so needy Democrats have a better shot at winning legislative seats).

SB 1037 is called the “Idaho Fair Elections Act”, implying that our centuries of experience with the ballot box have been little more than a sham. (How foolish we Idahoans have been not to elect more liberals! What other explanation could there be for the pathetic history of Democrats in Idaho? If not their message and pro-abortion values – then there must be something wrong with the process!)

This legislation would set up a 7 member commission to distribute public campaign dough to candidates for statewide or legislative office. They would acquire this money by sticking a ten percent surcharge on all traffic fines in the state.

The fact that Democrats would forcibly extract campaign monies from Idaho citizens does not even cause them an embarrassing pause in pushing the bill: In their Statement of Purpose, Senate Democrats claim that this scheme creates “an alternative, voluntary method of financing electoral campaigns.”

But it turns out that it is only “voluntary” for candidates. The rest of us will be forced to pay the printing bills for Democrat liberals to publish their campaign propaganda.

Certainly the GOP will kill this measure – but be prepared for a high-toned whine all winter long over how “mean-spirited” Bart Davis and Company can be.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Abortion Lobby Softens Message, Not Brutal Objectives

As Americans on both sides of the abortion issue marked the 34th year of legalized baby killing this week, leaders of the Abortion Lobby admitted that they were facing a more difficult political and cultural environment. This, despite the elevation of two abortion champions to national office: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The Washington Post quotes Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL, as advocating a new tone and strategy: “You’re going to see a change in the tone of the debate, and a move toward more solutions, rather than the divisiveness.”

Rather than forcing a straightforward decision on abortion rights – a debate they are losing – Abortion Lobby leaders are going to focus on issues like “reproductive freedom”, as defined by guaranteed access to birth control and emergency contraception.

This redefinition of the debate makes sense on both political and economic grounds.
Planned Parenthood has a sweetheart contract with the manufacturer of the “Plan B” drug – which allows them to undersell almost any retailer. And, as is their want – they will be selling these drugs as a “public right”, for which American taxpayers should pay.

We hear rumors that this national strategy will be pursued here in Idaho. Planned Parenthood of Idaho is apparently preparing for a major legislative push to guarantee access for all women and girls to the sometimes-abortifacient, Plan B.

Not only are there economic advantages to the contraception debate for Planned Parenthood, there are political advantages as well. They are not winning the hearts and minds of Americans by defending abortion-on-demand, practices like Partial Birth Abortion. But they do have an advantage when it comes to emergency contraceptives. Many people do not understand they cause abortions. And most folks have a hard time connecting the dots between easy sex, free contraceptives and higher abortion rates.

And as long as Planned Parenthood & Co. can keep the money rolling in, they will be in a stronger position to buy abortion rights in the dark hallways of Congress and our judicial system.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Surprising Defense of Civil Liberties in the Senate

We have discussed the impending disaster being engineered by Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid. His legislation to reform the “ethics” of the U.S. Congress is a disguised attempt to protect his newborn majority.

I assumed there was little chance to defeat his plans to silence Christian conservatives by regulating their grassroots information/organizing efforts. And, in fact, when I learned that the Senate had passed his legislation, I thought disaster had befallen all of us out here who work to keep you informed about the doings of the powerful and infamous.

We’re nearly giddy to report that lightning has struck. An amendment to strip out the “grassroots lobbying” provision of the bill actually passed! Proposed by Utah Senator Robert Bennett, the amendment passed on a vote of 55-43.

All of the Republicans in the Senate voted for the measure – except Kansas Senator Sam Brownback. (I assume he missed the vote because of his presidential campaign efforts). And there were several Democrats who bucked Senate Leadership:

Sens. Nelson, Baucus, Bayh, Conrad, Landrieu and Salazar all voted for Bennett’s amendment.

There is still the threat of identical language in the House – but it seems that Reid’s plans to restrict our ability to hold these folks accountable has been derailed for awhile. No doubt he’s hard at work planning other assaults on the Constitution.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tancredo's Ties Raise Hard Questions

As Congressman Tom Tancredo announced plans to explore a presidential bid – questions are being raised about his ties to Dr. John Tanton, founder of the “Federation for American Immigration Reform”.

An article just appeared in the American Spectator which challenges Tancredo’s pro-Life claims.

Quoting unnamed GOP Congressional Staff members, the Spectator article charges that Dr. John Tanton is a hard-line advocate of eugenics, and a long time supporter of Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda. Tanton is also a major donor to Tancredo’s congressional campaigns.

The article also quotes from a Wall Street Journal article, in which Jason Riley documented the racist orientation of FAIR – the “Federation for American Immigration Reform”. That group has donated some $15,000 to various Tancredo campaigns over the past ten years. According to Riley, FAIR advocates abortion as a method for controlling the size and power of racial minorities.

There is a lot of interest to this subject here in Idaho – given the close association between Tom Tancredo and Robert Vasquez. Vasquez challenged Congressman Bill Sali last year in the GOP Primary, and is promising to do the same to Sen. Larry Craig next year.

As the 2006 Primary developed, Vasquez’s claims to being pro-Life pretty much melted away as he dealt with his resentments over losing the Idaho Chooses Life endorsement to Sali.

Presumably, Tancredo and Vasquez will remain joined at the hip through the 2008 Primaries. So Tancredo’s politics continue to be of intense interest to Idaho conservatives.

We did a search of Tancredo’s record on abortion. According to the National Right to Life Committee, Tancredo had a 100% pro-Life record during the years 2005-06. (They are about the only handy source of information about congressional voting records; this data should not be read as definitive – as there are many years missing, and probably key votes.)

We were pleased to see that Tancredo supported Terri Schiavo’s right to live; he supported national Parental Consent legislation and he opposed expanded Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

While the Spectator article raises disturbing questions, questions Congressman Tancredo should be asked about while on the presidential campaign trail – it apparently goes too far in challenging Tancredo’s pro-Life values. Guilt by association is almost never fair.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Meyers Gives Up on GOP

Robert Novak reports that Idaho attorney William Meyers has quit the Senate process on his nomination to the U.S. 9th Circuit. He was actually nominated several times – in May of 2003, February of 2005 and September of 2006. The White House was willing to do it again – but Meyers has simply had enough of the charade.

Meyers has been the victim of an intense campaign by the Left, especially the Enviro Wing, since his name first surfaced. Despite receiving high grades from the American Bar Association and despite a favorable vote (on party lines) by the Senate Judiciary Committee in March of 2005 – Meyers was unable to overcome the Democrat stranglehold on the confirmation process. And that was before they assumed formal control this month.

That leaves Idaho without a single member on the huge 9th Circuit bench; perhaps the only state in the union without a judge on their respective appeals court bench.

We still have Judge Randy Smith in the running. The President first nominated Smith in December of 2005. And he managed to get a recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee in September of last year. But there a floor vote has been a different matter.
Smith has been the victim of an attack by California’s Democratic senators – who claim that California should have this seat. Perhaps they will change their minds now that Meyers has given up.

The President renominated Smith this month. But now that Democrats actually have title to the Senate, it seems tough going for Judge Smith.

These things are of tremendous import to average Idahoans. Despite being blessed with one of the more conservative legislatures in the nation – we are often victimized by the leftist politics of the federal judiciary, especially those ideologues running the 9th Circuit.

That has certainly been the case in our decade-long efforts to secure a strong Parental Consent Law for Idaho families. The Legislature has enacted Parental Consent four different times over those years – and for 3 of those, we had an effective law.

The fate of thousands hangs on an appeal now sitting in front of 3 judges on the 9th Circuit – all of whom were appointed by President Clinton; two of whom served as attorneys for the ACLU.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dems Move Boldly to Protect Majority

Senator Harry Reid has his own priorities in the opening days of a new liberal regime: REELECTION!

His top priority is to restrict the free speech liberties of conservatives – particularly those of Christian groups who have been such an effective thorn in his side for the past decade. Even the Democrats cannot outright repeal various provisions of the Constitution. So he and his people have been working overtime to find some way to minimize the damage Christian leaders like Dobson and Judie Brown can do to their rule.

They will use their new power to regulate such groups to death through Reid’s “Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007”. It would impose fines of up to $100,000 on groups like Family Research Council if they fail to tell the government before hand of any grassroots education efforts. (For example, letting rank-and-file Christians know about specific legislation). Forms and detailed accounts must be sent to the government – an administrative burden that will intimidate many smaller groups into keeping their collective mouths shut.

And for those willing and able to tackle the new bureaucracy – the advance notice provisions enable Democrats ample time to launch their own preemptive strikes to confuse and mislead constituents.

More important than the impact such legislation will have on specific groups – is the threat this kind of legislation poses to citizen liberties. This bill comes after the infamous McCain/Feingold Act, which has turned political action into a potential serious criminal liability for average citizens. McCain’s “reform” bill actually made it illegal for groups to conduct public education efforts about incumbent legislators’ voting records within 60 days of an election. How can a democracy effectively operate when average citizens are virtually forced to vote blindly for the incumbent?

Unfortunately, from this vantage point, Reid’s latest scam is likely to pass. We can only pray that the President has the fortitude to simply veto it. Mr. Bush cannot sit out the fight, and hope the courts will defend America’s liberties. He tried that strategy when McCain’s bill came across his desk – and the courts amply demonstrated their hostility to free and open political discourse.

Friday, January 12, 2007

House Democrats Pass Embryo Killing Bill

Sali, Simpson Vote No

President Promises Veto

Democrats made an installment payment on their multi-million debt to the Abortion Lobby yesterday by passing the “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007” on a vote of 253 – 174. The vote was 32 shy of the 2/3 majority needed to override a promised veto by President Bush.

37 Republicans voted ‘aye’, while 16 Democrats opposed the measure.

As we noted yesterday, there were 5 newly elected Democrats who claimed in their campaigns to be pro-Life. A check of their votes indicates that 4 of the 5 delivered by voting “No”. Only Chris Carney of Pennsylvania broke faith with his constituents.

In a public statement, Dr. Ben Mitchell of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity responded to the action by calling the vote “not only unethical – but unnecessary and undesirable.”

He pointed out that there are many ethical sources of stem cells – including amniotic fluid, placenta and umbilical cord blood.

“While the need for relief of human suffering is great, we must not seek cures for some at the expense of the lives of others,” concluded Dr. Mitchell.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

House Votes Today to Expand Preborn Killing

As part of their “100 Hour” drive to do America – Democrats will push through legislation expanding embryonic stem cell research today. They will not only expand the pot of tax money on the table for research institutions and private companies – they will seek to break the President’s prohibition on limiting research to a small number of cell lines.

Since there has been precious little hard progress in this whole ESCR debacle – one must look beyond a good-hearted search for medical treatments for motive.

Naturally, there is the reliable standard of greed. Many scientists and entrepreneurs are looking for the public dole. But what of the “true believers” like Planned Parenthood and Speaker Nancy Pelosi? Why is the expanded destruction of preborn children such a high priority?

To understand that, one needs to appreciate the social and political consequences of turning the destruction of tiny human beings into a “public good”. Obviously such a development, sanctioned by the U.S. Congress as a social benefit greatly aids in the devaluation of human life – particularly human beings at the early stages of development. By creating a mythological ethic around the casual destruction of young human beings, the Abortion Industry seeks to further anesthetize our souls.

We are hopeful that President Bush will continue to stand for the principles which may yet turn his presidency into one of history’s greatest; his televised speech in August of 2001 continues to call us to a higher plane.

Pressure will also be intense today on several new Democrat members of the Congress, who campaigned as “pro-Life” champions. Cybercast News Service reports that there were six elected Democrats who declared themselves opposed to expanded ESCR: Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Reps. Heather Shuler of North Carolina, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, Charlie Wilson of Ohio and Chris Carney of Pennsylvania.

We’ll try to discover whether these people actually deliver.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Weird Doings in Kansas

There have been many twists and turns in the legal and social issues raised by George Tiller’s brazen late-term abortion practice in a state once fabled for family and “down home values”.

But this is not Dorothy’s Kansas anymore.

All of Kansas became corrupted by Tiller and his butchery when they voted to replace the tenacious pro-Life Attorney General Phill Kline last fall. A majority of citizens turned a blind eye to the evil operating within their borders – preferring a Democrat candidate who promised to install the three monkeys as his chief aides: “Deputy Hear No Evil”, “Deputy See No Evil” and “Deputy Speak No Evil”.

After all, Democrat Paul Morrison promised he would keep his hands off George Tiller after Tiller poured millions into his election campaign. And he’s delivering.

Before leaving office, AG Kline filed 30 criminal charges against George Tiller. A district court judge dismissed the charges on the grounds that the Kansas Attorney General did not have the authority to file charges.

Kline responded by appointing a Special Prosecutor, with a term to extend beyond his. He also filed an appeal of the court’s dismissal with the Kansas Supreme Court.

That appeal is still pending. But Morrison just dismissed the Special Prosecutor, saying he was biased against abortion rights.

It is possible that the Kansas Supreme Court will uphold Kline’s authority. The problem is, Kline will be gone from the Attorney General’s office.

There remains the hope that Kline will be able to pursue Tiller’s criminal enterprise through the powers he has just inherited as a county district attorney. But the odds are Tiller’s friends in the legal offices around Kansas will continue to assert themselves on behalf of his Death Machine.

We ask for your prayers on behalf of Phill Kline. And we ask you to carefully consider what is happening to the Kansas that once represented the very best of American values. It is a case study in the sundry ways abortion is corrupting our institutions and culture.

Monday, January 08, 2007

59th Legislature Opens 2 Folks Short

With today’s opening of a new Legislature, under new management in the House, hopes are high that Idaho’s preborn citizens will be given some time on the agenda. Already, the liberal press is at work, repeating a mantra that has come down from editorial boards every year: “There are so many important things to deal with …. Taxes, roads, water …. Just no time for something as frivolous as abortion.”

Such was the message from the Associated Press in a story posted Friday (1.05.07) by the Statesman.

Fortunately, there have nearly always been enough folks of conscience in Boise to deny the press their sacred and perennial wish. And we believe solid pro-Life majorities exist in both chambers of this new Legislature.

We will be aided in our cause if pro-Lifers are selected to fill two vacancies in the House.

Tonight, Republican precinct committeemen will gather at the Nampa City Hall to select three possible replacements for former legislator Bill Deal. After losing his bid to become Speaker, Deal accepted a post as Insurance Commissioner.

There are two pro-Life people seeking to make the GOP list. Irene Gans, who challenged Deal in the last primary, is asking her fellow Republicans to give her a shot at serving the families of District 13. She is a solid pro-Life champion, and will make an excellent legislator.

We have also heard good things about Ray McKenzie – father of Canyon County Senator Curt McKenzie. He is reported to be a highly educated Christian who would do the people of Nampa proud.

What a blessing it would be to have the pro-abort Deal replaced with an advocate for Idaho’s preborn children!

And tomorrow night, the District 20 Central Committee will gather to select three possible candidates to replace Shirley McKague – who has moved from the Idaho House to the Senate. That meeting will convene at 7 pm at the Meridian Police Station on Watertower Road.
Reports indicate that pro-Lifer Marv Hagedorn has a good shot at placing first on the list. Marv won our endorsement for the Legislature this past spring, and we are hopeful he will be on hand this winter to help move the ball.

As always – your prayers for these people, including the preborn children threatened with abortion, are essential.

Friday, January 05, 2007

McKague Moves to the Senate

Idaho Governor Butch Otter appointed pro-Life champion Shirley McKague to the Idaho Senate late Wednesday. She moves from the Idaho House of Representatives following Gerry Sweet’s resignation last month; she will continue to represent the families of District 20 – centered in Meridian.

McKague has served ten years in the House, during which time she earned the “Friend for Life” Award from Idaho Chooses Life. Among many contributions to the movement, Rep. McKague co-sponsored legislation in the 2003 session which would have provide health insurance benefits to preborn children. (Unfortunately, that legislation was defeated on the House floor by just 3 votes).

Former state senator Gerry Sweet resigned after two terms in the Idaho Senate to take a position as State Director for Congressman Bill Sali. During his time in the Legislature, Sweet was an unapologetic advocate for Idaho’s preborn children.

It is a real blessing to have another pro-Life champion representing Meridian in the Senate. We are grateful to both Shirley and Gov. Otter.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Germany Latest to Pay for Babies

After decades of encouraging abortion, most European nations are suffering from declining population rates. Many are turning to benefit packages as a way of encouraging women to have more than one child.

Germany becomes the latest to adopt the strategy. As of January 1st, the Germany government will pay women up to 1800 Euro-dollars each month if they give birth, for up to 14 months.

Many German women were reportedly working hard at the end of last to delay their baby's arrival - in hopes of cashing in on tens of thousands in benefits. Newspapers have been running tip columns, while doctors were urging women to allow deliveries to proceed naturally.

The birthrate in Germany has declined to just 1.36 children per woman, below the European average of 1.52, far below the rates necessary to sustain national populations.

Britain pays families 500 English Pounds upon birth - and invests the money in a government account until the child turns 18.

Russia has been the most aggressive, largely because its population is declining at an astonishing rate of 700,000 citizens per year. It will pay women a cash bonus of 250,000 rubles if they have a second child.

Oddly enough, enough China has begun to reconsider its drastic one-child policies, and will soon offer parents in rural areas cash grants to have a second or third child.

Birth rates in the United States have also drastically declined since the onset of the Roe era, and have been below the rate necessary for replacement for most of the past several decades.

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