Wednesday, September 26, 2007

S-CHIP is a defining issue that neither side can afford to lose

The ongoing battle to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program is a big one. Stakes are high for everyone involved: The Congress, The White House, Governors, State Legislators, and, most importantly, nearly 3.5 million additional children that would be covered by health insurance.

This is an enormous issue of morality. There are an estimated 48 million Americans without access to healthcare; 9 million of those are children.

At issue here is a disagreement on how much the program should be increased. Democrats and many Republicans are advocating a $7 billion per year increase. That would achieve the coverage of the additional 3.5 million children previously noted. However, the White House only wants to increase the spending $5 billion per year. The program lasts for five years, so the total difference over the life of the program is $10 billion.

Over the $2 billion dollar per year difference, President Bush and his soul-lacking White House Staff are not only threatening a veto, but applying an incredibly amount of pressure on House Republicans to vote against the bill. He says that it is moving us toward socialized healthcare.

Frankly, I don't care what you want to call it. Government exists to serve its people. Children are the most prized possession of any nation and we have a moral imperative as a nation to protect and nurture the children who represent the future of our Democracy.

To put this into perspective, we're spending a billion dollars a day on the War in Iraq. In less than a week and a half, we will have spent the entire difference between the two proposals on the War. That is embarrassing. I can't believe the White House is digging its heels in on this. Further, I can't believe that they aren't being publicly flogged by every politician and organization in America.

Here's what is at stake politically. Bush, after approving six Republican budgets that increased spending at a far greater rate than pretty much all of his predecessors, is trying to reclaim a position of fiscal conservatism. Because of his historically low approval rating, he is trying to shore up the support of his conservative base. Bush is also in great need of a Congressional victory not related to Iraq or the trampling of Constitutional rights.

On the Democratic side, they desperately need a victory over the President in order to assert their new power in the Majority. Their base is very disappointed in their inability to change the course of the War. A failure here would further demoralize the confidence that the base, and the general public, will have in the ability of a Democratic Congress to achieve measurable results.

All that being said, House Republicans hold the keys to the castle here. It is up to them to change course and vote to override the President's expected veto. Failure to do so should put them at the top of the DCCC's target list. Their Democratic challengers should go on the offensive immediately. If a Democratic challenger doesn't yet exist, then a Party surrogate should target the Republicans who voted no.

At issue here is access to healthcare for nearly 3.5 million children. We as a nation can't afford to leave them behind for the sake of George Bush's political needs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rudy's Camp Lies to WaPo

In a post yesterday, you learned about Rudy's desire to live by a different set of rules than Today, his camp is lying about it!

In a write-up over at the Washington Post by Michael Shear, Rudy's spokesperson had this to say:
"Our ad not only met the acceptability standards of The New York Times, but it was placed at the standby rate with no commitment it would run on a specific date."

However, in direct conflict to this statement is Hizzoner himself. Check it out here. In Rudy's own words, he DEMANDS that his ad run in that Friday's New York Times at the SAME rate he had already criticized MoveOn for receiving. He sounds like an angry little kid demanding an equal share of a piece of chocolate, NOT a Presidential candidate.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rules don't apply to Rudy. Or do they?

Rudy Giuliani is a hypocrite who thinks he should live by rules different than others. He attacked and the New York Times for the rate charged for a newspaper ad. Promptly, he ran an ad in response and paid….wait for it….the SAME amount.

Since the NYT says it was a mistake that they were charged the lower amount, MoveOn promptly paid the difference in an ‘abundance of caution’. Rudy refuses to.

The wingnuts filed an FEC complaint against MoveOn and the NYT, but didn’t include Rudy. That oversight has now been corrected:

See an important UPDATE here. Rudy's being a bad boy!

September 24, 2007

Lane Hudson
Washington, DC

General Counsel
Federal Election Commission
999 E. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

Dear Counsel:

This is a formal complaint against the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee, Inc. for the receipt of corporate soft money contribution in excess of the limits established by the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971 and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. The information in this complaint is derived from publicly available reports on the internet and falls under 2 U.S.C. 441 B and 11 CFR S 114.2.

In response to an advertisement purchased by Political Action on September 19, 2007, the Giuliani Campaign purchased an advertisement to run in the September 14 publication of the New York Times. Both Political Action and the Giuliani Campaign paid $64,575 for their respective ads. This ad quote is known as the ’standby rate’ because the day of publication and its placement are not guaranteed.

In a September 23, 2007 newspaper column, Public Editor of the New York Times, Clark Hoyt, admitted that the New York Times made a mistake in charging the standby rate:

Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for The Times, said, “We made a mistake.” She said the advertising representative failed to make it clear that for that rate The Times could not guarantee the Monday placement but left with the understanding that the ad would run then. She added, “That was contrary to our policies.” responded to the column by saying this on September 23:

Now that the Times has revealed this mistake for the first time, and while we believe that the $142,083 figure is above the market rate paid by most organizations, out of an abundance of caution we have decided to pay that rate for this ad. We will therefore wire the $77,083 difference to the Times…

In the same column, Mr. Hoyt has this to say about the advertisement purchased by Mr. Giuliani:

In the fallout from the ad, Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor and a Republican presidential candidate, demanded space in the following Friday’s Times to answer He got it — and at the same $64,575 rate that paid.

According to the New York Times’ own policy, Mr. Giuliani should have paid the fixed-date rate instead of the standby rate. Therefore, the difference, $77,083 is an in-kind corporate contribution, which far exceeds the limits allowed by law. Now that he has knowledge that his campaign is in receipt of an illegal $77,083 contribution from the New York Times, it is incumbent on Mr. Giuliani to repay the difference. If he does not, that is not just a violation of the law but a betrayal of the public trust at a time when Americans want integrity from our leaders.

When Mr. Giuliani’s campaign was called on to pay the difference, therefore avoiding a violation of law, his campaign declined to do so.

Respectfully submitted,

Lane Hudson