Category Archives: Republican

A New Mexico Lawmaker Wants To Criminalize Post-Rape Abortions

via Business Insider: 

A Republican legislator in New Mexico is seeking to force pregnant rape victims to carry the pregnancy to term, claiming the fetus could be used as “evidence” at trial.

rep cathrynn bown

Rep. Cathrynn Brown’s bill would charge a rape victim who sought an abortion with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence,” The Huffington Post reported Wednesday.

“Tampering with evidence consists of destroying, changing, hiding, placing or fabricating any physical evidence with intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of any person or to throw suspicion of the commission of a crime upon another,” House Bill 206 reads.

“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime,” it adds.

And while the bill is unlikely to survive the Democrat-controlled state legislature according to HuffPost, it has enraged activists all the same.

“The bill turns victims of rape and incest into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state,” ProgressNow New Mexico member Pat Davis told HuffPost. “According to Republican philosophy, victims who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case.“

Brown, who brags about being endorsed by Right to Life on her website, has yet to respond to Business Insider’s request for more information about her bill.

The Most Devastating Look At How Barack Obama’s Digital Team Crushed Mitt Romney’s And Won Him The Election

via Business Insider: 

The Obama campaign’s digital operations proved to be a crucial point of success that led to the re-election of President Barack Obama in November. 

Based on a sophisticated effort and larger emphasis on digital and new media, the Obama campaign engaged supporters and raised an unprecedented amount of money through its digital efforts.

How did the Obama campaign become so effective in the digital realm? Engage, an interactive digital political agency in Washington, D.C., recently published a report entitled “Inside the Cave.” It features a 93-page, step-by-step in-depth look at the secrets to the Obama digital team’s success.

We’ve collected 15 of the report’s key topics and published them here.

(Note: A special thanks to Engage president Patrick Ruffini for permission to republish parts of the report.)

 

“The Cave” was the site of the Obama analytics team in Chicago where a group of programmers revolutionized the way that campaigns are run.

Right off the bat, it’s clear that the Obama organization lapped Romney when it came to employee presence online, the number of donors, and the size of the email list support.

While Romney’s campaign beefed up staff, it still was far from enough to compete with the Obama digital and analytics staff.

The team Obama built came from a wide array of startups, tech firms and even particle physics labs.

Here’s where the Obama analytics team delivered: They were able to accurately discover the real effect of early voting and predict with startling accuracy how people would vote.

The beefed-up digital squad had a large effect on fundraising, amounting for the vast majority of campaign revenue.

The beefed-up digital squad had a large effect on fundraising, amounting for the vast majority of campaign revenue.

Engage DC

One single email — with an “I will be outspent” subject line — pulled in $2.7 million alone.

The email pleas went through a significant amount of testing among focus groups to see what subject lines and body text were the most effective at eliciting a response.

Quick Donate was an important feature that made giving easy — it allowed mobile users to give and streamlined the whole process.

From the internal site system alone, the Obama campaign received $250 million from supporters.

Their website was built to last and designed to serve as a useful resource. Traffic to BarackObama.com dwarfed traffic to Romney’s site.

The internal system was vigorously tested constantly to design for unprecedented use. The closest thing the Romney campaign had — known as “Project Orca” — was untested and flopped on Election Day.

The Obama campaign also invested an unprecedented amount in online ads.

Even more, the campaign took a “Moneyball” approach to TV ad buys, looking at metrics that normally went unnoticed to reach a core audience, targeted audience more effectively.

The Obama digital model will endure and serve as the model for any serious campaign to come, outliving phone calls, landline polling and earlier campaign structures.

 

Why Ron Paul Fans Are Especially Furious About John Boehner’s Conservative ‘Purge’

via Business Insider: 

Fans of Republican Congressman Ron Paul suffered another defeat in their quest for acceptance in the GOP this week, with House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to remove four libertarian-friendly Republican Congressmen from top congressional committees. 

 

The “purge” — which removed freshmen Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Walter Jones (R-NC), and David Schweikert (R-AZ) from the House Budget and Banking Committees — sparked outrage among movement conservatives, who interpreted the action as a “warning” for other Republican members to fall in line with a deal that would raise taxes.

Nowhere has the criticism been more biting than among members of the so-called “Liberty Movement,” the cottage political industry and grassroots networks spawned by Ron Paul and his disciples.

Like Paul, all four of the ousted congressmen are hardcore deficit hawks and critics of the Federal Reserve. Amash, in particular, has an avid following among Ron Paul’s supporters (Rand Paul-Justin Amash 2016 signs were common at Ron Paul rallies throughout the 2012 primaries). The Michigan Republican has publicly declared himself a fan of Ron Paul, and even earned an endorsement from the libertarian demi-god during his first congressional campaign in 2010.

“What’s the point of even having a Republican Party if you’re going to punish those who believe in balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility? The GOP stands as the opposition to what, exactly?” said Jack Hunter, a Liberty Movement blogger with deep ties to the Pauls. “Everyone knows Republicans haven’t been any better than the Democrats in cutting spending for years and the current House Leadership seems hell-bent on preserving this shameful heritage.”

“The current battle within the GOP is whether it will be the party of limited government or limitless government,” Hunter told Business Insider“It’s no secret on which side of that divide Congressman Justin Amash stands, and with his recent decision Speaker Boehner has now made it perfectly clear where he stands.”

Matt Hawes, vice president of Paul’s political organization the Campaign for Liberty, similarly sees the “purge” as part of a growing push to sideline libertarian-minded conservatives in the Republican Party.

“I think this is the latest example in a disturbing trend of the Establishment cracking down on people who are serious about cutting spending,” Hawes told Business Insider. “The Establishment is doing the best they are doing to stymie some of the people who are most passionate, and most committed to limited government.”

But Hawes also sees an opportunity for the movement, which has lost momentum since Paul’s primary loss and subsequent fade into retirement.

“I think it’s something that encourages a lot of our people to get further involved. It shows how much the movement has grown that the Establishment has to make these power grabs out in public — it shows the increasing desperation,” Hawes said, adding “It’s getting people more fired up.” 

Evidence of Hawes’ claims are readily apparent in the Ron Paul Internet Universe, where bloggers and commenters have issued a rallying cry for Amash, urging fellow Paul devotees to call their representatives to demand Boehner reinstate the “purged” congressmen and resign from the speaker post.

Here’s a sampling from Ron Paul blogs:

 

ron paul amash

The Daily Paul

 

 

ron paul amash blogs

The Daily Paul

 

 

amash ron paul blogs

ronpaulforums.com

 

From the comments on Amash’s Facebook page:

 

amash facebook

Facebook

 

 

amash facebook

Facebook

 

And here’s a meme that’s being passed around by Paul fans on Twitter:

 

justin amash meme

Twitter

 

While Ron Paul’s office did not respond to a request for comment, his fans do have a fellow Amash supporter in his son, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

“The House leaders chose to punish some of their more conservative members for voting for a budget that balanced in the short term, and against one that took 28 years to balance — for standing up for fiscal sanity, they were removed from the budget committee,” Sen. Paul said in a statement emailed to Business Insider. “It sends the wrong message both to conservative members and to the American taxpayer.”

 

Report: Gov. Jan Brewer in Afghanistan

via Politico: 

Governor Jan Brewer is pictured. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer — who left the state guessing about her whereabouts after her aides refused to say where she had gone — is in Afghanistan, according to a report.

Brewer is visiting troops from Arizona in Afghanistan, according to a Bloomberg News report Tuesday.

The GOP governor has been out of the state since Sunday, but her staff was refusing to tell reporters where she was. Bloomberg reported Brewer’s location based on a source familiar with her schedule who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

According to the notice Brewer sent to Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Brewer will be out of state until Sunday.

 

 

 

Dick Armey Resigns As Chairman Of Tea Party Group FreedomWorks

via Huffington Post: 

Dick Armey Freedomworks

In a move not publicly announced, former Rep. Dick Armey, the folksy conservative leader, has resigned as chairman of FreedomWorks, one of the main political outfits of the conservative movement and an instrumental force within the tea party.

Armey, the former House majority leader who helped develop and promote the GOP’s Contract with America in the 1990s, tendered his resignation in an memo sent to Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, on November 30. Mother Jones obtained the email on Monday, and Armey has confirmed he sent it. The tone of the memo suggests that this was not an amicable separation. (See Armey’s email below.) Armey demanded that he be paid until his contract ended on December 31; that FreedomWorks remove his name, image, or signature “from all its letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter”; and that FreedomWorks deliver the copy of his official congressional portrait to his home in Texas.

“The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life,” Armey tells Mother Jones. “At this point, I don’t want to get into the details. I just want to go on with my life.”

In the email, Armey indicated that he wants nothing to do with FreedomWorks anymore. He asked that all user names, passwords, and security-related data created in his name be emailed to him by the close of business on December 4. He even insisted that FreedomWorks—”effective immediately”—was “prohibited” from using a booklet he authored. Was Armey’s resignation a reaction to the recent election results? “Obviously I was not happy with the election results,” he says. “We might’ve gotten better results if we had gone in a different direction. But it isn’t that I got my nose out of line because we should’ve done better.”

Armey declined to specify his disagreements with FreedomWorks. Asked if they were ideological or tactical, he replies, “They were matters of principle. It’s how you do business as opposed to what you do. But I don’t want to be the guy to create problems.”

After leaving Congress in 2003, Armey joined the conservative advocacy group Citizens for a Sound Economy as co-chairman. The following year, the organization, which had been cofounded by Charles and David Koch, split off to become FreedomWorks. Its sister outfit, Americans for Prosperity, has been a prominent grassroots conservative group.

FreedomWorks, under Armey’s leadership, was a key player in the rise of the tea party in 2010. The organization helped elect tea party favorites, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Reps. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.). Armey led the fight to eliminate Obamacare, emailing every Republican member of Congress after the 2010 elections with a strategy for gutting President Obama’s signature health care law. FreedomWorks has acted an connector between tea party groups around the country, organizing protests against Obamacare and expanding the ranks of the conservative movement. In 2010, Armey and Kibbe together published Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto.

Mother Jones contacted Kibbe and FreedomWorks spokeswoman Jacqueline Bodnar for comment. Neither responded.

Armey says he doesn’t know what he will do next, but he is considering consulting work.

Here is Armey’s November 30 memo to Kibbe:

November 30, 2012
To: Matt Kibbe, President, FreedomWorks Inc.
From: Honorable Richard K. Armey
Regarding: Resignation

This is to inform you that as of 5:00 P.M. ET on November 30, 2012 I resign my position of Trustee at FreedomWorks, Inc. and my positions of Chairman of FreedomWorks and FreedomWorks Foundation.

As I resign from all board positions and duties, please see below a list of dispositions on outstanding issues: I expect to be fully compensated through the expiration date (December 31, 2012) of my current consulting contract with FreedomWorks. Henceforth FreedomWorks shall be prohibited from using my name, image, or signature in any way or for any purpose without my written permission or in the event of my death, without my heirs written permission.

Effective immediately I expect that Freedom Works shall remove my name, image, and signature from all its letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter. I expect to receive via email at [redacted] by the close of business, December 4, 2012, all user names, passwords, security questions, and security answers for all accounts, web sites and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter, created in my name.

Effective immediately FreedomWorks is prohibited from using my booklet or any updated versions of my booklet “Hitting the Ground Running” without my written permission which I innovated while still in congress and trusted to Max Pappas to update for new member orientation. I request that FreedomWorks deliver the copy of my official congressional portrait to my home in Texas.

UPDATE: More details emerged on Monday about Dick Armey’s departure from FreedomWorks. The Associated Press obtained a contract dated September 24 indicating that Armey will make $8 million in consulting fees in exchange for leaving the organization. In an email to Mother Jones, Armey confirmed the $8 million deal, and said the contract was between him and FreedomWorks board member Richard Stephenson.

A handful of key FreedomWorks officials said Monday that they, too, were leaving the organization. According to Roll Call, Max Pappas, the former vice president for public policy and government affairs, and campaigns director Brendan Steinhauser are both quitting the group. Two staffers who worked with Steinhauser have also departed.

FreedomWorks president and CEO Matt Kibbe and several of the group’s board members have not returned calls for comment.

 

Newt Gingrich Walks Into a Restaurant…and Ends Up on Parks and Rec: Former GOP Presidential Candidate’s Surprise TV Appearance

via E! Online: 

Parks and Recreation, Newt Gringrich

Leslie Knope will be devastated she missed this.

In a stranger-than-fiction twist, Newt Gingrich filmed a cameo appearance on Parks and Recreation  Monday—and the whole thing was totally unplanned.

The Los Angeles-based NBC comedy was on location in Indianapolis when the former Republican presidential candidate and House speaker unexpectedly walked into a restaurant where filming was taking place and was immediately welcomed by series co-creator Mike Schur. “It was a completely random chance,” Schur told the Indianapolis Star. “But you can’t pass up an opportunity like that.”

Which is why he quickly incorporated the politician into the episode’s storyline, which finds Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) living it up at his bachelor party before tying the knot with Leslie (Amy Poehler), the mayor of fictional Pawnee, Indiana. While Poehler wasn’t present for the filming, co-stars including Rob LoweNick OffermanAziz Ansari and Chris Pratt were all in attendance, as well as Indiana Pacers players Roy Hibbert and Miles Plumlee, who were already scheduled to film cameos.

According to Gingrich, the spur-of-the-moment guest shot is ultimately thanks to a lunch recommendation from his driver. “The driver said St. Elmo Steakhouse,” the politician told ABCNews.com. “And when I walked inside, I saw Rob Lowe.

“It was great fun,” added Gingrich, who was reportedly in town to meet with Indiana GovernorMitch Daniels. “It was especially great chatting with Rob. We have a mutual interest in General Grant and the Civil War.”

Lowe seemed to get a kick out of hanging with the politician as well. “I love, ironically, that we had to come to Indianapolis to have Speaker Gingrich,” the actor told the Star. “We didn’t have him in Washington. We have him at St. Elmo’s.”

Gingrich is not the first politician to make a Parks and Rec cameo, of course. Vice PresidentJoe Biden and Senator John McCain have popped up in recent episodes as well.

Parks and Rec fans can check out Gingrich’s acting chops for themselves when the episode airs in January.

John Boehner Has Started Purging Fiscal Hawks From House Committees

via Business Insider: 

Three conservative House deficit hawks were stripped of their committee seats Monday for not being “team players” — a power move by House Republican John Boehner as he tries to quell dissension among rank-and-file members.

john boehner

NBC News reports that the House Republican Steering Committee has purged Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) from their seats on the House Budget Committee, and Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) from the Financial Services Committee.

The ousted congressmen are all far right-wing deficit hawks, and have each butted heads with the Republican Establishment over government spending and the federal deficit. All three members were part of a small group of Republicans who voted against House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, which they said did not go far enough to bring down the national debt.

The purge sends a clear warning from Boehner that the Republican leadership will not tolerate inter-GOP squabbling as the budget negotiations heat up over the fiscal cliff — but there are signs that the iron-fist approach may backfire. Conservative groups, already displeased by the GOP’s initial fiscal cliff counter-offer, slammed Boehner for the move Tuesday.

Here’s a statement from Club For Growth President Chris Chocola: 

“Congressmen Schweikert, Huelskamp, and Amash are now free of the last remnants of establishment leverage against them. We expect that these three defenders of economic freedom will become even bolder in their efforts to defend the taxpayers against the big spenders in both parties…The dirty little secret in Congress is that while refusing to kowtow to the wishes of party leaders can sometimes cost you some perks in Washington, the taxpayers back home are grateful. Schweikert, Huelskamp, and Amash are following in the honorable footsteps of Jeff Flake, Pat Toomey, Tom Coburn, and Jim DeMint, all of whom consistently championed limited-government principles in the House – often in the face of pressure from party leaders – and are now doing so in the Senate. Schweikert, Huelskamp, and Amash have bright futures in the Republican Party, and the Club for Growth PAC looks forward to supporting them, just as we did Flake, Toomey, Coburn, and DeMint.”

 

Top Republican Senator Blasts John Boehner’s Fiscal Cliff Plan

via Business Insider: 

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, an outspoken conservative and tea party favorite from South Carolina, ripped House Speaker John Boehner’s fiscal cliff counteroffer in a statement released Tuesday morning.

Jim Demint

DeMint said the offer amounts to an “$800 billion tax hike that will destroy American jobs.”

Here is his full statement:

“Speaker Boehner’s $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny,” said Senator DeMint. “This isn’t rocket science. Everyone knows that when you take money out of the economy, it destroys jobs, and everyone knows that when you give politicians more money, they spend it. This is why Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.

“Big government is the cause of our debt crisis, not the solution. Washington has a spending addiction that is shackling our children and grandchildren with unsustainable debt. Conservatives fought for a balanced budget amendment last year precisely because we knew the political establishment in Washington would never stop their tax and spend addiction without it. However, if neither party leadership is going to put forward a serious plan to balance the budget and pay down the debt, we should end this charade. We can stop the fiscal cliff with the bill that House Republicans already passed that simply extends the current tax rates and replaces the defense cuts with reductions in wasteful spending.”

 

Leading Conservative Group Rips Boehner’s Fiscal Cliff Offer: ‘It Is Utterly Unacceptable’

via Business Insider: 

The same morning Republican Sen. Jim DeMint ripped House Speaker John Boehner’s fiscal cliff offer, the influential Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, called it “utterly unacceptable.”

john boehner gavel

“[T]he Republican counteroffer, to the extent it can be interpreted from the hazy details now available, is a dud,” Alison Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, and J.D. Foster, a senior fellow, wrote in a statement.

“It is utterly unacceptable. It is bad policy, bad economics, and, if we may say so, highly questionable as a negotiating tactic.”

Amy Payne, Heritage’s assistant director of communications, wrote this morning that Republicans’ offer “dooms future efforts at tax reform” and appears to show Republicans “caving on taxes.” Heritage also whacked Boehner for not proposing more specific reforms to entitlements at a time when reforms are “badly needed.”

“Beyond disappointing, the House Republican counteroffer appears at best to suggest incremental tweaks to these programs,” Fraser and Foster wrote. “Without real entitlement reform — not just spending cuts — we will never fix the underlying problem.”

Here are Sen. Jim DeMint’s comments >

The GOP Fiscal Cliff Counteroffer Is Brilliant—And It’s Actually A Really Good Sign

via Business Insider: 

Republican House Speaker John Boehner offered the GOP’s first counter-proposal in the fiscal cliff negotiations Monday, sending a letter to the White House that demands both parties negotiate from a middle ground.

John Boehner

The letter is actually a savvy tactical maneuver by Boehner, and underscores just how angered Republican leaders were by the White House’s initial offer on the fiscal cliff.

That plan, presented to House Republicans by the Obama administration last week, called for $1.6 trillion in increased revenues, and closely mirrors the president’s “Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction,” which was submitted in September 2011.

In the letter Monday, Boehner blasts the Obama administration for failing to try to find common ground. Here’s the key line:

“We cannot in good conscience agree to this approach, which is neither balanced nor realistic If we were to take your Administration’s proposal at face value, then we would counter with the House-passed Budget Resolution [Paul Ryan’s budget plan].”

Instead, Boehner doesn’t counter with the Ryan budget, but proposes that the two parties use a neutral framework for negotiations: a plan outlined by former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles during a November 2011 testimony before the supercommittee. That plan proposes increasing revenues by $800 billion by cutting loopholes and deductions for the wealthiest Americans, and cutting spending by a combined $1.2 trillion.

Notably, Boehner does not outline any specifics for how to achieve those revenue increases and spending cuts. Instead, he is saying that Republicans are unwilling to negotiate down from the White House plan, and proposing a new framework from which to begin negotiations.

What’s key is that Boehner is trying to position himself as a compromiser, expressly disavowing the more conservative approach that his party took before the election. He makes a point that they’re not just countering with the Ryan budget, but rather a framework developed by a Democrat.

In the end, it is likely that the White House will agree to these terms, but demand additional increases in revenue by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those earning more than $250,000. That’s a big concession for the GOP, but one that will arguably be more palatable if Republicans are allowed to dictate the terms of the talks.