Press Releases

 

Friday
Apr172009

CHQ - Report Warns That Conservatives and Veterans are Potential Terrorists

Republicans Furious With DHS Report
CHQ Blog - Congressional Republicans are speaking out against a report from the Department of Homeland Security that singles out conservatives and U.S. veterans as potential terrorists. The report, which warns about "right-wing extremist activity," was sent to local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. [read and comment here]

 

Daily Lickskillet: Is our government trying to create a new caste system in America? Read today's Lickskillet comic here to find out.

 

Articles in News From The Front:

  • Tea Parties Great Success
  • GOP Hopes to Build Momentum Behind 'Tea Parties'
  • Texas Governor Says It Can Leave Union if it Wants
  • VIDEO: CNN Correspondent Goes Crazy at Tea Party
  • Matt Towery: Newt Gingrich Is Emerging As GOP's Leader
Friday
Apr172009

AFP - This is only the Beginning... 

Yesterday, literally hundreds-of-thousands of American citizens from all walks of life stood up for their freedoms by standing up and cheering at almost 1,000 Taxpayer Tea Parties across the nation.

Standing on the same stageSean Hannity would later speak fromin Atlanta, Georgia last night, I looked out over a crowd of more than 15,000 people – a young couple with their three young children in tow holding a sign that said, “Our children...Our future.”, an elderly gentleman standing with the assistance of a cane wearing a 101st Airborne Veteran baseball cap and waving a sign that said, “Got Freedom?", two University of Georgia t-shirt-wearing coeds holding a large sign that said “Tell the Politicians to cut THEIR budgets – we’re already cutting ours," dozens offolks holding "I am AFP" signsand so many more.

The day before the Atlanta rally, FOX News covered the pre-event preparation party with our own Georgia AFP team, Virginia Galloway and Jared Thomas.

Our Americans for Prosperity Texas state director, Peggy Venable, helped organize the rally in Austin, where thousands of folks showed up, including Governor Perry -- one of the few governors in the country fighting the good fight for our freedoms.

In Madison, Wisconsin – yes Madison, one of the most liberal big government areas of the nation – our Americans for Prosperity State Director Mark Block welcomed more than 8,000 people to a rally for freedom, for lower taxes and less debt!

In Sacramento, California – home to the largest state budget deficit in American history last year – our Americans for Prosperity team, David Spady and Jennifer Kerns,were partners in the coalition welcomingmore than 5,000 grassroots activists demanding an end to tax and spend policies that are literally killing what was once avibrant state economy.

In Oklahoma, AFP's Stuart Jolly called me from the road as he criss-crossed the state hitting some of the approximately two dozen rallies he was a part of organizing there.

Attached you can see several pictures from these rallies and media clips. For more pictures and more information on the Taxpayer Tea Parties go to our website at americansforprosperity.org.

At nearly 40 rallies across North Carolina, our AFP State Director Dallas Woodhouse had volunteers getting folks signed up for future battles.

And that’s what I want to talk with you about for just a moment more.

You see, we cannot view these Taxpayer Tea Parties as an end.

Instead, we must use them as a beginning.

So today I want to share with you the next steps.

First, on October 2nd in Washington, D.C. Americans for Prosperity will be hosting the National Taxpayer Tea Party at the Capitol. Why October 2nd? That’s when we expect the final debates to be occurring over the massive Obama budget.

Please make plans now to attend this massive event. For more information click here.

Second, please consider hosting a local grassroots organizing event at your home or somewhere in your community. We will provide a “Home Organizing” kit to help guide you through the process but it’s pretty easy. You may get 12 people out or you may get 50 – either way you’ll get more people involved.

It’s so important for grassroots activists like you to get to know the folks who care as much as you do, who believe like you do. These local events are not that hard and they’re a lot of fun. Plus, we will help you organize these events.More information is coming on thesehome events!

Third, go to our website, americansforprosperity.org and pull down the contact information for your two U.S. Senators, your member of the House of Represenatives and your state representatives. Then, commit to contacting them on a consistent basis about key issues such as taxes and spending beginning with the outrageous Obama budget. Also commit to forwarding their contact information to your friends and family whenever an important issue comes up.

Not long ago, I was speaking with Senator Jim DeMint and I asked him if it mattered when people call, email or fax their members of Congress. Senator DeMint said, “Tim, it matters more than ever before." Most Senators get a daily update on the number of people contacting their office and where they stand on the issues.

I realize we’re asking a lot from you.

But, we face the most dangerous threat to our economic freedom in generations. The very fabric of our lives – from the way our health care is handled, to the way our children are educated, to the way our incomes are taxed, to the way our businesses are run, to the way we use energy, to the way the government impacts the basic personal decisions we make – hangs in the balance.

Unfortunately, we face a President and Congress determined to make government bigger, stronger, and more dominant. They really believe that government knows best. And if they get their way, freedom – your freedom and mine – will wane.

So, we must do what Americans always do when faced with a challenge: We must work and fight and sacrifice our time and treasure in order to protect our freedom.

Thank you for all you are doing and more importantly, for all you are going to do for freedom.

Tim Phillips

P.S. Save the date of October 2nd for the National Taxpayer Tea Party in Washington at the Capitol to make the final push of the year! Go to our website to let me know you’re interested or even better, committed to coming. And, remember to take a look at the pictures and coverage of the Taxpayer Tea Parties from yesterday. They were great – but remember they’re a beginning, not an end.

Friday
Apr172009

WH Media - Vice President Biden Outlines Funding for Smart Grid Initiatives 

Announces plans fornearly$4 billion in technology deployment, monitoring and viability

 

Washington, DC – Vice President Joe Biden, on a visit to Jefferson City, Missouri, today with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, detailed plans by the Department of Energy to develop a smart, strong and secure electrical grid, which will create new jobs and help deliver reliable power more effectively with less impact on the environment to customers across the nation. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Vice President outlined plans to distribute more than $3.3 billion in smart grid technology development grants and an additional $615 million for smart grid storage, monitoring and technology viability.

 

“We need an upgraded electrical grid to take full advantage of the vast renewable resources in this country – to take the wind from the Midwest and the sun from the Southwest and power areas across the country,” said Vice President Biden. “By investing in updating the grid now, we will lower utility bills for American families and businesses, lessen our dependence on foreign oil and create good jobs that will drive our economic recovery – a strong return on our investment.”

 

On the visit to Jefferson City today, Secretary Locke also announced plans for a Smart Grid meeting in Washington, D.C. that he will chair with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The event, which will take place in early May, will bring together leaders from key stakeholders’ organizations, largely from private industry, to begin a critical discussion about developing industry-wide standards that will enable the Smart Grid to become a reality. Additionally, industry leaders at the meeting will be expected to pledge to harmonize industry standards critical to developing the smart grid, commit to a timetable to reach a standards agreement and abide by the standards devised.

 

The meeting will provide a forum for industry leaders to move toward an industry standards agreement critical to developing the Smart Grid. Additional meetings of industry staff on May 19-20 are planned to make further progress on a standards agreement.

 

"A smart electricity grid will revolutionize the way we use energy, but we need standards in place to ensure that all this new technology is compatible and operating at the highest cybersecurity standards to protect the smart grid from hackers and natural disasters," Locke said. "The Recovery Act will fund the development of those standards so the exciting technology can finally take off."

 

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is responsible for assisting with the development of a framework for standards associated with Smart Grid systems and devices.

 

As part of Vice President Biden's announcement, the Department of Energy released a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, as well as a draft Funding Opportunity Announcement from the Department for a smart grid regional demonstration initiative. Together these efforts will help implement technologies aimed at transforming how electricity providers operate their systems, offer options for increased energy storage and accelerate the integration of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power with the electrical grid.

 

“A modernized electrical grid will provide the necessary tools for system operators to analyze and resolve problems quickly,” Chu said. ”It will also expedite how we deliver renewable power to consumers, thus reducing the environmental impacts of generating electricity.”

 

These investments will help implement the necessary digital upgrades in the home and on the electric grid, enabling it to be more efficient, resilient, and secure. They will also help make the grid capable to effectively integrate renewable supplies, plug in electric and hybrid vehicles, and energy management technologies, ultimately reducing energy infrastructure requirements and our dependence on foreign oil.

 

$3.375 billion for Smart Grid Investment Grant Program

 

DOE’s Smart Grid Investment Grant Program will provide grants ranging from $500,000 to $20 million for smart grid technology deployments. It will also provide grants of $100,000 to $5 million for the deployment of grid monitoring devices. This program provides matching grants of up to 50 percent for investments planned by electric utilities and other entities to deploy smart grid technologies. The program will use a competitive, merit-based process to select qualified projects to receive funding.

 

Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, electric utilities, companies that distribute or sell electricity, organizations that coordinate or control grid operations, appliance and equipment manufacturers, and firms that wish to install smart grid technology. There will be a 20-day public comment period on the Notice of Intent; the Department will use feedback to finalize the grant program structure and subsequent solicitation.

 

$615 million for Smart Grid Demonstration Projects

 

The draft Funding Opportunity Announcement is for smart grid demonstrations in three areas:

 

  • Smart Grid Regional Demonstrations will quantify smart grid costs and benefits, verify technology viability, and examine new business models.

 

  • Utility-Scale Energy Storage Demonstrations can include technologies such as advanced battery systems, ultra-capacitors, flywheels, and compressed air energy systems, and applications such as wind and photovoltaic integration and grid congestion relief.

 

  • Grid Monitoring Demonstrations will support the installation and networking of multiple high-resolution, time-synchronized grid monitoring devices, called phasor measurement units, that allow transmission system operators to see, and therefore influence, electric flows in real-time.

 

Each demonstration project must be carried out in collaboration with the electric utility that owns the grid facilities. An integrated team approach that includes, for example, products and services suppliers, end users, and state and municipal governments, is encouraged. The projects require a cost share of at least 50 percent of non-federal funds.

 

The draft announcement will be open for comment for 20 days.

Friday
Apr172009

Census Workers to Verify Addresses in New England and New York  

First Major 2010 Census Operation to Employ Thousands



The U. S. Census Bureau has launched a massive operation to verify and update more than 145 million addresses as it prepares to conduct the 2010 Census.

 

Nationwide, more than 140,000 Census workers will participate in the Address Canvassing Operation, a critically important first step in assuring that every housing unit receives a 2010 Census questionnaire in March 2010. Throughout the Census Bureau’s Boston Region (New England, upstate New York, and Puerto Rico), approximately 13,000 temporary employees will carry out the operation.

 

“A complete and accurate address list is the cornerstone of a successful Decennial Census,” said Kathleen Ludgate, Regional Director at the Boston Regional Census Center. “Building on the achievements of the 2000 Census, we have been testing and preparing for the 2010 count all decade, and we’re ready to fulfill our constitutional mandate to count everyone living in the United States.”

 

The first publicly visible activity of the 2010 Census is now underway. New England and Upstate New York residents could see address canvassing listers in their neighborhoods and communities from April until late June. The Census listers have been trained to use new hand-held computers equipped with GPS to increase geographic accuracy. The ability to capture GPS coordinates for housing units will greatly reduce the number of errors caused by using paper maps as was done in previous Census counts.

 

“The primary goal of the Decennial Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” Director Ludgate said. “Because the Census is used for reapportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the distribution of more than $300 billion in federal dollars every year to state and local governments, it’s essential to get this first step right.”

 

The local Address Canvassing Operation will be conducted out of 12 Early Local Census Offices located throughout the Region. In most cases, Census workers will knock on residents’ doors to verify addresses and inquire about any additional living quarters on the premises.

 

Census workers can be identified by the official Census Bureau employee badge they carry. During the Address Canvassing Operation, the listers will only ask residents for information related to a housing unit address and any additional living quarters in the residence. No personal information will be collected during this operation.

 

Over the last several years, the Census Bureau has been actively working on updating its geographic databases and master address files. From implementing the Local Update of Census Address (LUCA) program -- where more than 11,500 tribal, state and local governments participated in a review of the Census Bureau’s address list for their area -- to increasing the precision of the GPS mapping, many advances have been made to compile the most comprehensive listing of addresses in the nation.

 

This is the first Census to include group quarters (such as dormitories, group homes, prisons and homeless shelters) in the Address Canvassing Operation, which should improve both the accuracy and coverage of the final count. There will be one final opportunity to add new home construction in early 2010 prior to the mailing of the 2010 Census questionnaires.

 

All Census information collected -- including addresses -- is confidential and protected by law. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with the FBI, the IRS, CIA, Welfare, Immigration, or any government or law enforcement agency. All Census Bureau employees — including temporary employees — take an oath for life to keep Census information confidential. Any violation of that oath is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison.

 

For additional information contact the Boston Regional Census Center at (617) 223-3610 or Boston.PDSP@census.gov.

Friday
Apr172009

President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary LaHood Call for U.S. High-Speed Passenger Trains 

Vision for a New Era in Rail EntailsClean, Energy-Efficient Option for Travelers

 

President Barack Obama, along with Vice President Biden and Secretary LaHood, announced a new U.S. push today to transform travel in America, creating high-speed rail lines from city to city, reducing dependence on cars and planes and spurring economic development.

The President released a strategic plan outlining his vision for high speed rail in America. The plan identifies $8 billion provided in the ARRA and $1 billion a year for five years requested in the federal budget as a down payment to jump-start a potential world-class passenger rail system and sets the direction of transportation policy for the future. The strategic plan will be followed by detailed guidance for state and local applicants.By late summer, the Federal Railroad Administration will begin awarding the first round of grants.

Additional funding for long-term planning and development is expected from legislation authorizing federal surface transportation programs.

The report formalizes the identification of ten high-speed rail corridors as potential recipients of federal funding. Those lines are: California, Pacific Northwest, South Central, Gulf Coast, Chicago Hub Network, Florida, Southeast, Keystone, Empire and Northern New England. Also, opportunities exist for the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston to compete for funds to improve the nation’s only existing high-speed rail service.

With a boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Obama administration launched a competitive process to drive local communities to develop their high-speed rail potential. The President, Vice President and Secretary of Transportation are urging states and local communities to put together plans for a network of 100 mile to 600 mile corridors, which will compete for the federal dollars. The merit-driven process will result in federal grants as soon as late summer 2009.

President Obama’s vision for high-speed rail mirrors that of President Eisenhower, the father of the Interstate highway system, which revolutionized the way Americans traveled. Now, high-speed rail has the potential to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, lower harmful carbon emissions, foster new economic development and give travelers more choices when it comes to moving around the country.

“My high-speed rail proposal will lead to innovations that change the way we travel in America. We must start developing clean, energy-efficient transportation that will define our regions for centuries to come,” said President Obama. “A major new high-speed rail line will generate many thousands of construction jobs over several years, as well as permanent jobs for rail employees and increased economic activity in the destinations these trains serve. High-speed rail is long-overdue, and this plan lets American travelers know that they are not doomed to a future of long lines at the airports or jammed cars on the highways.”

“Today, we see clearly how Recovery Act funds and the Department of Transportation are building the platform for a brighter economic future - they’re creating jobs and making life better for communities everywhere,” said Vice President Biden. “Everyone knows railways are the best way to connect communities to each other, and as a daily rail commuter for over 35 years, this announcement is near and dear to my heart. Investing in a high-speed rail system will lower our dependence on foreign oil and the bill for a tank of gas; loosen the congestion suffocating our highways and skyways; and significantly reduce the damage we do to our planet.”

“President Obama's vision of robust, high-speed rail service offers Americans the kind of travel options that throughout our history have contributed to economic growth and enhanced quality of life,” said Secretary LaHood. “We simply can't build the economy of the future on the transportation networks of the past.”

The plan identifies two types of projects for funding.One would create new corridors for world-class high-speed rail like the kind found in Europe and Japan.Another would involve making train service along existing rail lines incrementally faster.

Under the plan, high-speed rail development will advance along three funding tracks:

  • Individual Projects. Providing grants to complete individual projects that are “ready to go” with completed environmental and preliminary engineering work – with an emphasis on near term job creation. Eligible projects include acquisition, construction of or improvements to infrastructure, facilities and equipment.

 

  • Corridor programs. Developing entire phases or geographic sections of high-speed rail corridors that have completed corridor plans, environmental documentation and have a prioritized list of projects to help meet the corridor objectives.

 

  • Planning. Entering into cooperative agreements for planning activities (including development of corridor plans and State Rail Plans) using non-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) appropriations funds. This third approach is intended to help establish a structured mechanism and funding stream for future corridor development activities.

 

A Vision for High-Speed Rail in America

Highlights of Strategic Plan

April 16, 2009

This plan outlines the President’s vision to build a network of high-speed rail corridors across America. It is the first high-speed rail requirement under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 0f 2009 (ARRA).

 

o VisionProposal is to transform the nation’s transportation system, by rebuilding existing rail infrastructure while launching new high-speed passenger rail services in 100-600 mile corridors that connect U.S. communities. Similar to how interstate highways and U.S. aviation system were developed in 20th century: partnership between public sector and private industry, including strong Federal leadership that provided a national vision.

 

o Obama ADMINISTRATION IS MOVING Ahead of Schedule to stand up this new program—Strategic rail plan issued just 58 days after passage of ARRA, before the Congressional deadline. Application procedures expected to be published also before Congressional deadline—this spring. First round grant awards expected to be announced before the end of this summer, up to three years ahead of the schedule required by law.

 

o Commitment to HIGH-SPEED Rail—Unprecedented $8 billion investment in high-speed rail: $8 billion in ARRA considered a down payment on a national network of corridors, along with $1 billion per year for at least 5 years (proposed in FY 2010 budget). Completion of vision will require long-term commitment from both the Federal Government and States.

o Benefits of HIGH-SPEED rail—Promotes economic expansion (including new manufacturing jobs), creates new choices for travelers in addition to flying or driving, reduces national dependence on oil, and fosters urban and rural community development.

o High-speed rail is green— Today’s intercity passenger rail service consumes one-third less energy per passenger-mile than cars. It is estimated that if we built high-speed rail lines on all federally-designated corridors (on map), it could result in an annual reduction of 6 billion pounds of CO2.

o Transparent Approach—projects selected for funding based on merit/benefits of investment.

 

· First round of applications will focus on projects that can be completed quickly and yield measurable, near-term job creation and other public benefits.

 

· Next round to include proposals for comprehensive high-speed programs covering entire corridors or sections of corridors.

 

· Additional funds will be available for planning to help jump-start corridors not yet ready for construction.

 

o Ten major corridors are being identified for potential high-speed rail projects:

 

· California Corridor (Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego)

· Pacific Northwest Corridor (Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver BC)

· South Central Corridor (Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock)

· Gulf Coast Corridor (Houston, New Orleans, , Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta)

· Chicago Hub Network (Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville,)

· Florida Corridor (Orlando, Tampa, Miami)

· Southeast Corridor (Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Macon, Columbia, , Savannah, Jacksonville)

· Keystone Corridor (Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh)

· Empire Corridor (New York City, Albany, Buffalo)

· Northern New England Corridor (Boston, Montreal, Portland, Springfield, New Haven, Albany)

Also, opportunities exist for the Northeast Corridor (Washington, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Newark, New York City, New Haven, Providence, Boston) to compete for funds for improvements to the nation’s only existing high-speed rail service, and for establishment and upgrades to passenger rail services in other parts of the country.

  • OUTREACH—Administration will take a collaborative approach to formulate program; will work with stakeholders to gather feedback on strategic plan and help shape the program.