Press Releases

 

Friday
Aug082008

CEI Blogger Update: Paycheck Fairness, Bad Meat, and The Housing Crisis

>>Check out the latest blogs posts, articles, and Op-Eds from the public policy experts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Nothing Fair About the “Paycheck Fairness Act” by Hans Bader
"The House of Representatives recently passed a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is being sold to the public on false pretenses. Its supporters claim they are just attempting to restore force to antidiscrimination laws supposedly undermined by 'conservative' Supreme Court decisions. But pay discrimination is already against the law. "
http://www.openmarket.org/2008/08/06/nothing-fair-about-the-paycheck-fairness-act/
Thomas Frank’s odd view of “conservatism”
by Ivan Osorio
“In his current column, The Wall Street Journal’s Thomas Frank blames ‘conservatism’ for horrid conditions at an Iowa meatpacking plant.” Frank is half right, but not in the way he thinks.
http://www.openmarket.org/2008/08/06/thomas-franks-odd-view-of-conservatism/
Affordable Housing, Diversity Mandates Caused Mortgage Crisis
by Hans Bader
“Banks and mortgage companies have long been under pressure from lawmakers and regulators to give loans to people with bad credit, in order to provide ‘affordable housing’ and promote ‘diversity.’” http://www.openmarket.org/2008/08/05/affordable-housing-diversity-mandates-caused-mortgage-crisis/
Dish-DirecTV Merger Next?
by Alex Harris “It looks like Dish Network and DirecTV are once again considering a merger… Unfortunately, Dish and DirecTV may face an even worse fate than XM-Sirius.” http://www.openmarket.org/2008/08/07/dish-directv-merger-next/
LA May Add Calorie Counts At Restaurants
by Courtney Long “Following in New York’s footsteps, a Los Angeles politician has proposed legislation that would require chain restaurants to post nutritional information, the Los Angeles Times reported.” http://www.openmarket.org/2008/08/07/la-may-add-calorie-counts-at-restaurants/
For more analysis and wit, visit OpenMarket.org and GlobalWarming.org/blog.
Friday
Aug082008

Office of Congresswoman Shea-Porter - Shea-Porter Tours NH Factories

New Hampshire—Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter continued to travel throughout New Hampshire and meet with business owners and constituents.  Shea-Porter toured both Goss International and Thomson/Center.

Granite State businesses are the best in the country,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  “I look forward to continuing to meet New Hampshire business owners and employees so I can take their concerns back to Washington.” 

Goss International is a printing company with more than 1,000 employees in Durham.  Thomson/Center, which is in Rochester, produces firearms and related merchandise.

Shea-Porter has a strong record of standing up for New Hampshire businesses.  Earlier this year, she introduced H.R. 5667, legislation which would require Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho (TKS), a Japanese firm, to pay a 59.67% anti-dumping duty for violating U.S. trade laws.  Goss International filed the anti-dumping claim against TKS for dumping printing products in the U.S. market, which were sold significantly under value. 

Friday
Aug082008

NH GOP Chairman Comments on Democratic Leadership Valuing Vacations Over Energy Solutions

CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen issued the following statement today on U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s call for a vote last Friday to go into August recess:

“I applaud House Republicans who are holding their own energy debate on the floor to protest the Democrats’ decision to put their vacations over the needs of the country – which both Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes voted for. It should not be surprising that Barack Obama and Jeanne Shaheen do not have anything in the way of an energy strategy to lower the high costs of gas and home heating oil that New Hampshire residents are faced with, when their party leadership places more of a premium on their own vacations rather than trying to solve the energy crisis.”

BACKGROUND

Both Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes voted to adjourn rather than vote on a comprehensive solution to the energy crisis

(House Roll Call 566, 8/1/08, 213-197, Shea-PorterYea, Hodes Yea, http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll566.xml )

Jeanne Shaheen Out of Touch on Energy

  • Despite overwhelming support here in New Hampshire, Jeanne Shaheen is so out of touch that she continues to oppose commonsense policies that will lower gas prices. She does not support opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and lifting the ban on offshore exploration. In fact she stated, "More drilling is the answer the oil companies are looking for, not the answer New Hampshire families are looking for." (Shaheen Campaign Press Release, John Sununu Votes To Continue Bush-Cheney Energy Policy, Open Up ANWR, Atlantic Costal Waters To Drilling, 5/13/08)
  • Jeanne Shaheen’s failure to propose a serious plan to deal with our national energy crisis reminder Granite Staters of her six years of failed leadership in the corner office.

Jeanne Shaheen’s failed plan:

  • Calls For No New Domestic Production But Would Force Companies To Drill On Currently Leased Land Whether It Is Productive Or Not.
  • Calls To Close The Enron Loophole – Even Though Recent Legislation Has Already Closed It. According to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “The United States Congress has approved a measure to close the ‘Enron Loophole.’ The measure was included in the Farm Bill conference report.”(Feinstein Press Release, Congress Approves Measure To Close “Enron Loophole,” 5/15/2008)
  • Calls For An End To Oil Shipments To The Strategic Petroleum Reserve – Even Though Recent Legislation Has Already Stopped Them: On May 13, 2008 the US Senate voted to suspend the 70,000 barrel per day shipment to the reserve. The measured passed by a margin of 97-1. President Bush signed the legislation on May 19, 2008.
  • Calls For OPEC To Produce More Oil, But Opposes More Offshore Exploration - Which Guarantees Greater Dependence On Foreign Oil.
  • Calls for a Tax on Energy Producers That Has Been Proven to Increase America's Dependence on Foreign Oil: A windfall profits tax was imposed by the Carter Administration in 1980 and according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service increased our dependence on foreign oil 8% to 16% percent. Because of its failure the tax was rescinded as part of The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988.

On Energy, Obama Does Not Have a Plan and Voted To Give Billions Away In Tax Breaks and Subsidies to Big Oil in 2005:

The 2005 Energy Bill Included $2.8Billion In Subsidies For Oil And Natural Gas Production. "The conference agreement provides for $14.6 billion in tax breaks and credits between 2005 and 2015, including: -- $2.8 billion for fossil fuel production..." (Toni Johnson, "CQ Bill Analysis: HR 6," Congressional Quarterly 's "CQ Bill Analysis," www.cq.com ,Accessed 7/14/08)

Obama Voted For The 2005 Energy Bill. (H.R. 6, CQ Vote #213: Adopted 74-26: R 49-6; D 25-19; I 0-1,7/29/05, Obama Voted Yea)

John McCain Criticized The 2005 Energy Bill's "Handouts To Big Business And Oil Companies," Calling Them Irresponsible. McCain: "This bill does little to address the immediate energy crisis we face in this country. The handouts to big business and oil companies are irresponsible and will be disastrous for people of Arizona. I cannot in good conscience, vote to pass legislation that does not adequately address issues related to energy efficiency, security, and energy independence." (Sen. John McCain, "McCain, Kyl Say No To Flawed Energy Bill," Press Release, 6/28/05)

OBAMA'SFELLOW DEMOCRATS CRITICIZED THE 2005 ENERGY BILL'S TAX BREAKS AND SUBSIDIES

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Criticized The Tax Subsidies For Oil Companies:

Sen. Clinton: "You know, the energy bill that passed in 2005 was larded with all kinds of special interest breaks, giveaways to the oil companies. Senator Obama voted for it. I did not because I knew that it was going to be an absolute nightmare. Now we're all out on the campaign trail talking about taking the tax subsidies away from the oil companies, some of which were in that 2005 energy bill." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, ABC/Facebook Democrat Presidential Debate, Manchester, NH,1/5/08)

Friday
Aug082008

DNC's EXXON-MCCAIN Campaign Responds To ABC News Report OBAMA Gets MORE BIG OIL MONEY

Washington, DC-- Today ABC News suggested that Senator Barack Obama has more support from Big Oil than Senator McCain. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"Let there be no mistake, the oil and gas industry knows that Exxon-McCain is the ticket to four more years of record profits and skyrocketing energy costs," said Exxon-McCain 08 spokesman Damien LaVera. "Our political opponents can try to muddy the waters if they want, but Big Oil has steered more than $2 million to the Exxon-McCain 08 campaign for a reason. John McCain's promise of more of the same reckless giveaways and tax breaks for Big Oil and obstruction of alternatives to oil is exactly what Big Oil is looking for, which is why Exxon-McCain is their ticket this November."

Oil Trader Funneled Campaign Contributions to McCain. But the man who gathered checks from them is no stranger to McCain -- he shuttled the Republican on his private plane and held a fundraising event for the candidate at his house in Delray Beach, Fla. Harry Sargeant III, a former naval officer and the owner of an oil-trading company that recently inked defense contracts potentially worth more than $1 billion, is the archetype of a modern presidential money man. The law forbids high-level supporters from writing huge checks, but with help from friends in the Middle East and the former chief of the CIA's bin Laden unit -- who now serves as a consultant to his company -- Sargeant has raised more than $100,000 for three presidential candidates from a collection of ordinary people, several of whom professed little interest in the outcome of the election.

McCain Received Almost $55,000 in Contributions from Exxon Employees and Exxon's PAC.
McCain received $54,336 in contributions from Exxon Mobil employees and its PAC. [Political Moneyline, Accessed: 8/5/08]

McCain Has Raised More Than $2.1 Million From The Oil And Gas Industry, Including More Than $1.1 Million In The Month Of June. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain received $1,039,768 in contributions from the oil and gas industry between January 2007 and May 2008 - a figure which dwarfs any other presidential candidates' oil industry money. In addition, the Washington Post reported that "campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling." According to the Post's analysis, oil and gas industry executives and employees contributed $1.1 million to McCain and the Republican National Committee's Victory Fund in June - $882,950 of which were donated after McCain's June 16th announcement that he supported ending the moratorium on offshore drilling. These contributions, when combined with the $1.03 million raised by McCain prior to the month of June, indicated that he has raised more than $2.1 million from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics website, "Selected Industry Totals to Candidates," accessed 7/31/08; Washington Post, 7/27/08; "Oil Flow," WashingtonPost.com graphic, accessed 8/3/08]

Friday
Aug082008

DNC's - EXXON-MCCAIN '08 Campaign Hits the Ground Running

Day One Sees Top Big Oil Talent on Board, Grassroots Support
and Oil Money Pouring In to Exxon John

Washington, DC - The reviews are in, and Day One of the Exxon-McCain '08 campaign was a roaring success.  Recent reports show oil trader Harry Sargeant funneling hundreds of thousands of campaign cash to McCain, some of Big Oil's top talent helping run the campaign, and grassroots Exxon-McCain rallies taking place across the country.  The word is getting out that Exxon-McCain '08 is the best bet for anyone looking for four more years of the same energy policies that have produced soaring energy costs and record profits for Big Oil.

"The Exxon-McCain '08 campaign is off to a roaring start," said DNC spokesman Damien LaVera.  "Exxon John has hit the campaign trail with his promise of more of the same failed energy policy that we've seen for the past eight years.  Some of the best and brightest minds from Big Oil have joined Exxon John and donations from Big Oil are pouring in to ensure that more of the same Bush-Cheney energy policies of the last eight years which have given Americans record gas prices continue for four more.  It is clear that John McCain's promise of $4 billion in new giveaways for Big Oil, a gas tax gimmick that will line their pockets even more and pattern of voting against incentives for alternatives to oil is fueling this campaign.  If you want more of the same, vote Exxon-McCain 08 in November."

Exxon-McCain 08 Campaign Hits the Ground Running

In Michigan:
Detroit News: Exxon-McCain Protestors Out In Force:  The McCain visit spurred protesters to outnumber supporters outside the Fermi II plant.  There were 40 to 50 people ready to welcome McCain at the security gate of Fermi II at about 1:30 p.m. Protestors outnumbered McCain's supporters about 3-1, forming camps on separate sides of the entrance. While the small McCain contingent brought lawn chairs and signs saying "Drill Now" and "McCain for Clean Energy, Good Jobs," the protestors were far more flamboyant. They had a novelty check from "Exxon & Friends" giving $2 million to McCain saying "Thanks for staying in the tank for oil" in the memo. Other signs included "John McCain: 100% Recycled Bush" and "John McCain is Not For Monroe." [Detroit News, 8/5/08: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008808050418]

In West Virginia:
West Virginia Metro News: "Another Bush Man."
"A couple dozen Barack Obama supporters lined 3rd Avenue in Huntington Wednesday morning as Senator John McCain visited the Marshall University football squad. 'The John McCain we see running for President right now is not the same John McCain he was in 2000,' said Matt Sowards, president of the Cabell County Young Democrats. 'He's not this political maverick he claimed to be. He has turned in to be just another Bush man.' The Obama supporters claimed McCain is hooked with big oil and will do nothing to help the nation's energy crisis. 'We can't stand four more years of the failed policies in Washington,' Sowards said." [West Virginia Metro News "'Another Bush Man'," 8/6/08: http://www.wvmetronews.com/index.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=25677]

Huntington News: Gasoline Price Protest.  However, Democrats have a gasoline price protest slated within ear and eye shot of the candidate. An official Democratic party source indicates that local residents and community leaders will carry "Exxon-McCain '08' and offer a symbolic check made out from McCain's alleged connections to big oil lobbyists.  http://www.huntingtonnews.net/local/080806-rutherford-localmccain.html

In Maryland: 
Baltimore Sun: O'Malley Launch Exxon-McCain Campaign.  Gov. Martin O'Malley was back in Washington yesterday to help his Democratic Party launch a new Web site accusing Republican presidential candidate John McCain of being too close to the oil industry. 'John McCain's running mate is none other than Exxon,' O'Malley said at news conference for the Democratic National Committee's 'Exxon McCain '08' Web site." [Baltimore Sun, 8/7/08: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/politics/bal-omalley0807,0,4954534.story]


Big Oil's Top Talent Joining Exxon-McCain 08:

McCain's Top Congressional Staffer Was An Exxon Lobbyist: In early 2008, McCain hired as his Senate chief of staff Mark Buse, who had served as McCain's staff director on the Commerce Committee "in the late 1990s and early 2000s," and who was until fall 2007 "a lobbyist for ML Strategies." From 2006 until 2007, Buse lobbied the federal government on behalf of Exxon Mobil, earning his firm $560,000 in lobbying fees from the oil giant. Buse lobbied on issues pertaining to renewable fuels, the energy savings act, climate stewardship act, climate change, cap & trade, and S.3711, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. [ML Strategies/Exxon Lobbying Disclosures, Senate Office of Public Records; Washington Post, 2/22/08]

The Deputy RNC Chair Was Also an Exxon Lobbyist. In March, McCain Installed Long-Time Lobbyist to Run RNC For Him. On March 6, 2008, Politico reported that the McCain campaign was set to announce "three top John McCain loyalists" to coordinate the RNC's work for McCain. Longtime lobbyist "Frank Donatelli will serve as the new deputy chairman of the RNC and will serve as the chief liaison between the committee and the campaign." ["Jonathan Martin," Politico.com, 3/7/08 (http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0308/McCain_begins_to_take_charge_at_RNC.html)]

Donatelli Earned $780,000 Lobbying for Exxon. Donatelli lobbied for Exxon until 1999 on "educational efforts pursuant to merger activities," earning his firm of Akin Gump $780,000 in lobbying fees from Exxon in 1999 alone. [Exxon Lobbying Disclosures, Senate Office of Public Records]

Exxon Engaged in Year-Long Effort to Win Approval of $81 Billion Merger with Mobil, Which Created Largest Oil Company in the World. At the time of Donatelli's lobbying for Exxon on "merger activities," the company had been engaged in a year-long effort to win approval of a massive merger that had been delayed by "antitrust concerns" between itself and Mobil, "the No. 2 company in the field." In November 1999, "roughly a year after industry leader Exxon (XON) announced its plan to buy Mobil," the Federal Trade Commission approved the $81 billion merger, which "create[d] the largest oil company and the third largest company in the world behind GE and Microsoft." [CNN Money, 11/30/99; BBC News, 12/1/98]

Oil Donations Pouring In:

Oil Trader Funneled Campaign Contributions to McCain. But the man who gathered checks from them is no stranger to McCain -- he shuttled the Republican on his private plane and held a fundraising event for the candidate at his house in Delray Beach, Fla. Harry Sargeant III, a former naval officer and the owner of an oil-trading company that recently inked defense contracts potentially worth more than $1 billion, is the archetype of a modern presidential money man. The law forbids high-level supporters from writing huge checks, but with help from friends in the Middle East and the former chief of the CIA's bin Laden unit -- who now serves as a consultant to his company -- Sargeant has raised more than $100,000 for three presidential candidates from a collection of ordinary people, several of whom professed little interest in the outcome of the election.

McCain Received Almost $55,000 in Contributions from Exxon Employees and Exxon's PAC. McCain received $54,336 in contributions from Exxon Mobil employees and its PAC. [Political Moneyline, Accessed: 8/5/08]

McCain Has Raised More Than $2.1 Million From The Oil And Gas Industry, Including More Than $1.1 Million In The Month Of June. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain received $1,039,768 in contributions from the oil and gas industry between January 2007 and May 2008 - a figure which dwarfs any other presidential candidates' oil industry money.  In addition, the Washington Post reported that "campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling."  According to the Post's analysis, oil and gas industry executives and employees contributed $1.1 million to McCain and the Republican National Committee's Victory Fund in June - $882,950 of which were donated after McCain's June 16th announcement that he supported ending the moratorium on offshore drilling.  These contributions, when combined with the $1.03 million raised by McCain prior to the month of June, indicated that he has raised more than $2.1 million from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics website, "Selected Industry Totals to Candidates," accessed 7/31/08; Washington Post, 7/27/08; "Oil Flow," WashingtonPost.com graphic, accessed 8/3/08]