Press Releases



Jim Bender Releases Statement on Times Square Bomber 

Jim Bender - US Senate 2010

HOLLIS, NH - Republican US Senate Candidate Jim Bender released a statment today concerning the attempted attack in Times Square:

The authorities have arrested Faisal Shahzad as a suspect in the botched Times Square car bomb attempt.

Mr. Shahzad is a naturalized citizen of the United States, and as such he must be tried according to the laws of the United States.  If Mr. Shahzad is indeed the man responsible for these crimes, he is a wicked man who sought to bring terror and destruction onto American soil.  Times Square is a tourist destination, busy with parents and their children.  The people behind this heinous act are cowards seeking to destroy innocent American lives.

I’m no lawyer, but I read the Constitution, and it’s clear on this subject.  I would oppose attempts to strip Mr. Shahzad of his citizenship and his legal rights.  The Founding Fathers knew there could be traitors even within our own country.  The Constitution specifically speaks to the crime of Treason and our judicial system has over 200 years of experience fending off enemies from within.  In recent memory, we can look to the case of Timothy McVeigh to see that it is possible to uphold our legal system and seek justice, and we can see that these goals are not in conflict with one another.  In trying situations like these, it is more important than ever that we adhere to our Constitutional values.

If circumstances were different and the man was not a citizen, I would favor sending him to a military tribunal instead.


Gerson: Tim Pawlenty: Minnesota's Ronald Reagan? 

Gerson: Tim Pawlenty: Minnesota's Ronald Reagan?

By Michael Gerson

May 5, 2010


"A few days ago," Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty relates, "I was having breakfast with my wife, my 91-year-old mother-in-law and daughters, 17 and 13. On TV there was a news report about the financial situation in Greece. Out of the blue, my 13-year-old said, 'This is going to be us pretty soon.' I almost dropped my fork. This is an eighth-grader."


It sounds a bit like Jimmy Carter in 1980, telling the much-mocked story of a discussion on nuclear proliferation with his 13-year-old daughter, Amy. But Pawlenty -- all Midwestern, blue-collar candor -- is nothing if not sincere. And his daughter's macroeconomic judgment is disturbingly insightful.


"Something is happening for the first time of my adult life," Pawlenty continues. "Average people, not activists, are openly talking about debt and the deficit with an understanding that it matters. They know something is amiss. One of the driving sentiments is that government is out of control."


Pawlenty is among the least known of Republicans angling for his party's presidential nomination in 2012. He estimates that 75 percent of the GOP has no idea who he is. But he exhibits the confidence of a man holding at least a few aces.


If the problem is deficits, Pawlenty believes he is the solution. From 1960 to 2002, state spending in Minnesota increased by an average of 21 percent every two years. As governor, Pawlenty has held the growth of spending to just over 2 percent annually. Last year, he cut state spending in real terms -- the first time that has happened in 150 years. "We cut everything except public safety and K through 12 education," he says. "We changed the entitlement structure." All while moving Minnesota off the list of the top 10 most heavily taxed states.


Pawlenty is the successful conservative governor of one of the most liberal states in the union -- as if Ronald Reagan had been elected in Sweden. One explanation is his disarming, beer-sharing niceness, which is among Minnesota's main exports to the nation (exception: the seething Sen. Al Franken).


In normal circumstances, this virtue would be a pleasing contrast to President Obama's increasingly touchy, brittle public persona. But there are drawbacks to being a nice guy in an angry time. No Tea Party activist will find Pawlenty the most enraged choice. His attempts at stump-speech outrage come across like a Baptist trying to swear; the words are right, but the melody is lacking. Which raises the question: In a party of the incensed, can Pawlenty win the nomination without sacrificing his authenticity?


Pawlenty responds that niceness is not inconsistent with toughness. He recounts his confrontation with Minnesota's public transportation union to limit its overgenerous health benefits. "People were standing outside my house holding signs. We shut down the [bus] system for 44 days." Eventually, like Reagan staring down the air traffic controllers union in 1981, Pawlenty got his concessions.


But Pawlenty suffers from another possible handicap in the Republican race -- a history of policy innovation. In Minnesota, he instituted a performance pay system for teachers and passed a market-based health reform for public employees that reduced health cost inflation. "I can take conservative ideas and values," he says, "and make them connect at the gut level with people who are not Republicans." Pawlenty has been one of the Republican Party's most serious policy modernizers. But given the current Republican mood, modernization and outreach are not much in demand.


It says something about our political moment that Pawlenty's civility and policy creativity are not advantages in a presidential run. But he possesses other possible advantages. His quiet evangelical Christianity could attract interest, particularly if former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee does not run. His governing seriousness might impress Republican leaders and conservative intellectuals.


And Pawlenty's fiscal record may fit the moment, particularly if his daughter's worries about public debt prove widespread. "Change has to come," he says. "It is a matter of junior high school math. Entitlement spending is going up. Revenues are likely to be flat, even as the economy recovers. The outcome is certain; it is just the timing that is in question. When President [George W.] Bush attempted entitlement reform [in 2005], the country wasn't ready to take up entitlements. Congress wasn't ready for reform. But they're warming up. There is a saying: 'When the pupils are ready, the teacher will appear.' The pupils are getting ready."



ALG Decries Creation of "Financial Intelligence Agency" in Dodd Bill

"Under the Dodd bill, the Office of Financial Research could monitor every economic activity in the country."—Bill Wilson, President of ALG.

May 5th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today blasted provisions of the Dodd financial takeover bill that "put the 'preservation of financial stability' ahead of an individual's right to privacy."

"This is basically the creation of a financial intelligence agency to monitor all economic activity in the country without regards to an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, and it must be stopped," Wilson declared.

Wilson pointed to provisions establishing an Office of Financial Research (OFR) and those allowing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to monitor every bank account in the country as "going way too far into areas the government has no business, nor any constitutional authority to implement, giving the government the power to monitor every financial transaction in the country."

ALG today released a backgrounder outlining these provisions in the bill.

According to the American Spectator, a Senate committee source stated, "As we read this legislation, the CFPB could mine for whatever data they want, bank card activities of a subset of American citizens, credit card debt and payment patterns, who is spending money on whatever… And if the business community isn't already scared out of their minds, they should be."

According to the bill, the OFR would be tasked with the power to "collect, validate, and maintain all data necessary" to maintain financial stability.  The OFR would obtain information from "member agencies, commercial data providers, publicly available data sources, and financial entities."

Wilson said "The OFR could monitor banks, large and small, and would possess an unlimited authority to monitor all financial activities, including deposits, withdrawals, account transfers, and trading by investors, large and small, through stock exchanges, securities exchanges, commodities exchanges, and the like.

"In short, under the Dodd bill, the OFR could monitor every economic activity in the country," Wilson explained.

The OFR could "require the submission of periodic and other reports from any financial company for the purpose of assessing the extent to which a financial activity or financial market in which the financial company participates, or the financial company itself, poses a threat to the financial stability of the United States."

The Director of the office would be given subpoena power to require "the production of the data requested" of an entity upon a written declaration by the Director of the OFR.   

"All the Director of the OFR would need to do is cite that the information requested was necessary for the maintenance of financial stability," Wilson explained.

According to the bill, the OFR would be tasked with "collecting data on behalf of the Council, and providing such data to the [Financial Stability] Council and member agencies… [and] making the results of the Office available to financial regulatory agencies."

The technology and software developed for monitoring the financial system, and the data it produces, would be also shared with the Council and member agencies.  The Office will be funded off-budget through assessments levied on the $50 billion and larger financial and non-financial companies supervised by the Federal Reserve.

Wilson said, "Therefore, the Office will have an unlimited budget to put together military-grade technology to monitor the financial system, and whatever activities it wants, including trades, transactions, deposits, and withdrawals."

Wilson concluded, "None of the information the OFR will be gathering will 'protect' anyone; it will only be used to preserve the government's maintenance of power over the financial system. This is just way too much power to vest in government.  Not even U.S. intelligence agencies have this much power upon U.S. citizens, and they're tasked with preserving national security and protecting the homeland from actual physical assault."


"Big Brother is Watching You: The Threat Posed by the Dodd Bill to Privacy," May 5th, 2010.

"'Down a Rabbit Hole:' The Threat Posed by the Dodd Bill to the Private Sector," April 30th, 2010, Americans for Limited Government.

Letter to the U.S. Senate, ALG President Bill Wilson, April 26th, 2010.



NetRight Daily: Obey, Fed Audit, Bailouts and More 

David Obey to Retire - House Appropriations Chairman and Pelosi ally David Obey (D-WI) will be retiring at the end of his term in 2010. Obey's announcement is the largest from a House Democrat this cycle.

Big Brother Is Watching You: Students React - Students from George Mason University react to provisions in the Chris Dodd Financial Takeover Bill that would allow the Feds to monitor every bank account transaction in America

Check out today's Must Reads.

The Disappointment In the Air is Palpable - The person who appears to be responsible for attempting to commit mass murder at Times Square in New York is not a member, nor has he ever been a member of the tea party. He is one of the usual suspects – a Pakistani born Muslim who had become a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Newsweek Is For Sale
- Newsweek, the once popular magazine owned by the Washington Post, is up for sale. The Washington Post announced today that they were seeking bids to purchase the failing entity.


CHQ - Fitzgibbons: On Crony Philanthropy 

Fitzgibbons: On Crony Philanthropy

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Fitzgibbons: On Crony Philanthropy
American Thinker -- Mark J. Fitzgibbons comments on Obama's prolific use of taxpayer dollars to partner with non-profit organizations such as ACORN and Planned Parenthood, raising the specter of "crony philanthropy" -- a dangerous mix of political patronage, taxpayer cash, and leftist activism.

Black Hopefuls Pick This Year in GOP Elections
New York Times -- More African-Americans are running as Republicans this year than at any time since Reconstruction, fueled by Barack Obama's election, an open embrace of the Tea Party movement, and the possible influence of GOP Chairman Michael Steele.

Great Moments in Opportunism
Politico -- James Hohmann and John Harris slam Charlie Crist's abandonment of the GOP label: "It turns out that one big reason people assume that politicians are slippery opportunists whose words can't be trusted is that many of them are slippery opportunists whose words can't be trusted."

Coats Wins In Indiana Due To Divided Conservative Vote
American Spectator - Former Sen. Dan Coats saw an open Indiana U.S. Senate seat as a golden opportunity to re-enter politics and quickly became the favorite of the GOP national establishment - but there was little enthusiasm at the grassroots level for his candidacy.  Despite the grassroots' antipathy, Coats managed to win the Indiana primary - and W. James Antle, III writes that it was due to the conservative vote being split by two more promising candidates.  

Polls Show GOP May Rise With Arizona
Politico - Democrats and the liberal media have predicted dire consequences for Republican support of Arizona's tough new illegal immigration law, but polls are showing that a firm stance in favor of enforcement will only help Republicans with the voters.  Once again, the liberals' lack of deference to the popular will finds them on the wrong side of another issue.

Liberty, Limits, and Illegal Immigration
American Conservative - Jack Hunter points out the obvious hypocrisy of those who champion closer surveillance of American citizens (through laws such as the Patriot Act) yet take issue with state and local governments that try to keep tabs on illegal immigrants (such as Arizona).  Hunter says state action to control a problem where the federal hypocrites have failed is entirely reasonable under the circumstances.

Reading the Louisiana Tea Leaves
Greater Baton Rouge Business Report - Tea Parties in Louisiana are certainly different from others across the country, but they're also the same in one respect - they're a spontaneous grassroots-based movement that political veterans are saying they've never seen before.  Here's a look at a Louisiana state and Baton Rouge local Tea Party that's turned heads in the state legislature and has federal candidates vying for their favor.

Bunning: McConnell Endorsement Of Grayson Won't Mean Much
Hotline On Call - Retiring Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning doesn't have much to lose in expressing his opinions on the primary race to replace him, and he says that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's endorsement of the Party establishment favored candidate (Trey Grayson) won't do much to eliminate Rand Paul's lead in the polls.  Bunning also strongly hinted that it was McConnell who 'misled' James Dobson to announce and then retract his endorsement of Grayson.

In Kentucky Senate primary, Contest Is Tea Party vs. GOP
McClatchy Newspapers - As the Kentucky GOP U.S. Senate race winds to a conclusion (on May 18th), it's becoming clear that the contest has become symbolic of the fight between enthusiastic Tea Party conservatives and the stale business-as-usual Republican Party establishment.  Conservative favorite Rand Paul leads establishment darling Trey Grayson in the polls, but there are signs that the establishment won't go down quietly.

Judd Gregg and Bob Corker Sell Out GOP on Bailouts - Erick Erickson blogs on the moves by Republican Senators Judd Gregg (New Hampshire) and Bob Corker (Tennessee) to sabotage the GOP's chances to alter the Democrats' Big Government Wall Street bill, revealing their efforts to kill an amendment that would require the Federal Reserve to account for its bailout actions.  Gregg and Corker are counting on continued ignorance to allow the Fed to bailout companies without any transparency.

Conservative Activists Pushing Republican Party to Right
Voice of America - For those observing American politics from overseas, it must look like a strange picture with the emergence of the Tea Party movement and the major Parties dealing with massive citizen protests - and here's a look from Voice of America at the situation in Florida and other places where conservative activists have been successful in moving the Republican Party to the right.