Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mike the pimp?

It's been clearly obvious that our government, including Rep. Mike Simpson, is willing to sell the American people out to the highest bidder. They want to sell our wilderness, they want to sell our air and water quality, they want to sell our high-paying jobs to countries overseas (while ferociously protecting our minimum wage jobs from the "illegals"--gee, thanks!), and so on. They protect the interests of the huge corporations (pharmaceuticals, oil companies) while family farms and businesses wither on the vine. The government is more than willing to sell us out to those who are willing to pay for them.

Americans must demand change. We need to "fire" those who do not represent citizens but only represent the almighty dollar. The most effective way to do that is to evaluate our current representatives and determine whether they are working for Idaho or do they work to serve others.

For example, let's evaluate Representative Mike Simpson. At the GOP Auction House, I discovered some interesting facts about Rep. Simpson which stimulates some serious questions about whether he represents Idaho or whether he represents the Republican party:

What will Michael Simpson put on the Auction Block next?
  • Rep. Simpson voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging.
  • Rep. Simpson voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries.
  • Big oil and gas industries have given Rep. Simpson $42,450. Any surprise?
  • Rep. Simpson voted to strip overtime protection from millions of workers.
  • Rep. Simpson voted to allow federal loans to American companies that have escaped paying U.S. taxes by moving offshore.
  • Big drug interests have given $4,250 to Simpson over the Representative's career. They know who their friends are.
  • Rep. Simpson voted for the GOP Medicare Prescription Drug Bill that will give billions to businesses and the health care industry, while forcing seniors to accept annual increases in premiums and deductibles and a growing gap in coverage for the prescription drugs they buy.


  • Simpson has taken $1,000 from House Majority Leader John Boehner.
  • Simpson received $22,165 from House Majority Leader John Boehner's "Freedom Project" PAC.
  • Simpson voted with President Bush 89% of the time.
  • Simpson voted the GOP party line 95% of the time.
Simpson has taken:
  • $6,171 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.
  • $1,000 from convicted DeLay associate Jack Abramoff.
With all of these ties to the DeLay/Abramoff mess, is it any surprise that Simpson has:
  • Voted to weaken House ethics rules when DeLay proposed doing so as GOP Majority Leader.
  • Voted with Tom DeLay 94% of the time (through 3/31/2006)
  • Rep. Simpson voted to continue awarding contracts to Halliburton even if the Pentagon's own audit processes found that more than $100 million of their contractor's costs in Iraq were unreasonable. No surprise that Halliburton gave Simpson $3,000.
  • Rep. Simpson opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage.
  • Rep. Simpson voted against granting a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and Reserve forces.
  • 1,861 water systems in 29 states have been contaminated with MTBE, exposing as many as 45 million Americans to this potential carcinogen, but Rep. Simpson voted to protect the companies responsible from lawsuits by communities that need their help to clean up these systems.
  • Rep. Simpson voted against bipartisan reform of the Endangered Species Act.
  • Rep. Simpson voted for a massive sell off of public lands to mining interests.
While tuition costs are rising for ordinary Americans, Rep. Simpson voted to cut Federal student aid by $12.7 billion -- the biggest such cuts in history.
Rep. Simpson sided with social conservatives against patients with debilitating diseases and voted against expanding Federal funding of stem cell research.

How can someone who receives 80% of his money from OUT OF STATE honestly be able to represent the interests of Idaho?
Fortunately, Idaho has an alternative alternative with Jim Hansen. To start out with, Jim is ONLY accepting contributions UNDER $100. Yes, he has friends and family from out-of-state who are sending their $100 to Jim to support him because they believe in him, but I think that we can handle that much better than competing with a PAC sending thousands of dollars to a politician because they are purchasing a "service" (i.e. vote) from him. Most Idahoans cannot compete with PACS and thousand dollar contributions. Most of us can handle sending a donation under $100.
Check Jim out and ask yourself... who do YOU want in DC? Someone who works for out-of-state organizations or political parties... or someone who works for the people in Idaho?

Is "Staying The Course" in Idaho's best interest?

I wanted to write a letter explaining why I support Jim Hansen but while I was doing "research", I found a post written by Julie Fanselow on her political blog, "Red State Rebels" and she said it better than I could. Please take the necessary time to get to know what Jim stands for...and educate your friends, family, and neighbors. Can America really survive two more years of the "same"? "Staying the course" is just as unhealthy for how America's government is being run, as it is for the way the war in Iraq is being handled...

..."Conventional wisdom says Democrat Jim Hansen has no chance of beating GOP incumbent Mike Simpson, even in what's looking like a very Democratic year. I say: Let's prove conventional wisdom wrong.

Jim Hansen has run an amazing and inspirational grassroots campaign. In town after town across southern Idaho, he has shown up for lunch at the senior center and walked the halls of schools and hospitals, talking with thousands of Idahoans to learn what's on their minds. Sure, all politicians do a little bit of that, but for Jim, it's not "just politics," it's his passion. It's how he grew up, watching his Dad - Rep. Orval Hansen, a Republican who served 1968-1974 in Congress - travel from town to town and really listen to folks.

Jim tells the story of one man he met in southeast Idaho who is a lifelong Republican, but who will be voting Democrat this year because his son was killed in Iraq and he still doesn't know why we're there. He tells of people who say that they've never, ever seen the incumbent in their town. And that's the main reason we need to retire Mike Simpson: He has reached a point where he takes his constituents for granted, at best, and that's probably being charitable.

Jim Hansen is a man of his word, and a man who has refused to let money run his campaign. If he wins, he will have won on a principle of taking no money from PACS and capping individual donations at $100. What a message that would send to the rest of America - that seats in Congress need not go to the highest bidder.

Mike Simpson has been ruined by the toxic combination of power and money. This June 7 item from The Hill newspaper depicts a Mike Simpson who was "barely been able to contain his dislike" for Bill Sali, who had just won the Idaho 1st District GOP primary with 26% of the vote. "There’s a serious question about whether he can win the race," Simpson said, adding that the obstinate Sali made controversial conservative firebrand Helen Chenoweth-Hage look "like a dream." But within one week ... one week ... Simpson had endorsed Sali and sent him a $2,000 check. "I can tell you that Congressman Simpson is committed to keeping the majority in power," his spokeswoman told the Spokesman-Review.

At a fundraising concert and rally last night for Jim Hansen, someone onstage said "If Tom DeLay is the disease, Jim Hansen is the cure." Well, I'll take that a step farther: If Mike Simpson is the disease, Jim Hansen is the cure. Mike Simpson has been rising ever higher in GOP power circles. He's tight with John Boehner, who replaced DeLay, and who has come under scrutiny in everything from his ignorance of Mark Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages to his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Like too many Congressmen from both parties (but, let's face it, mainly from the GOP), he seems to increasingly have an attitude that he is above the law. That's about as far away from "conservative" as you can get.
There is going to be some long-overdue House cleaning this fall. Shouldn't Idaho have a hand in it? Let's do our part by retiring Mike Simpson and sending Jim Hansen to represent real change and true Idaho values in Congress.

Click here to learn more about Jim, and here to donate to his campaign via my ActBlue page."

I want to also include a reference to one of the comments, from Elizabeth:

So many of us complain about money in politics and corruption in DC, but the most many of us are willing to do is vote. That leaves the rest of the process in the hands of the wealthy and corporate interests. We need to exert our ownership over the process, but that also includes responsibilities that extend beyond the voting booth.
Jim is the real deal, and his self-imposed campaign contribution limits show that. The Party isn't too happy about his position, because it is in opposition to the status quo for fundraising. The more the merrier.
Jim is providing an opportunity for average people to participate in the campaign process in a meaningful and powerful way. I wish he could speak personally to every voter as there would be no question who would win the election.
Here is a letter to the editor I sent to the Statesman. They've confirmed the letter but it hasn't been published yet.

"Mike Simpson says his campaign donors “philosophically agree” with him on the issues. Does that mean Simpson is in philosophical agreement with donors such as convicted felon Jack Abramoff or his former coworkers at DC lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates, Laura Neal and Lawrence Grossman? Do Simpson’s contributors represent his values?

According to the FEC, the majority, over 76%, of Simpson's campaign money comes from PAC and corporate contributions. Top donors include those from Cassidy & Associates and from Cavarocchi, Ruscio, Dennis Associates, another lobby group with ties to Abramoff.

Only 18% of individual contributions are from Idahoans, representing 7% of the total dollar amount. Of that 7%, nearly 60% is from Idaho Power executives. Does this mean that Simpson has more in common, philosophically, with corporations and lobbyists than ordinary Idaho citizens?

It’s clear that corruption is rampant in national politics, and Idaho’s representatives are not insulated. Craig and Otter have also been beneficiaries of the Abramoff cartel’s largesse.

Why the good, hard working people of Idaho would find this acceptable is beyond me. While elected Republicans claim to share the values and beliefs of Idaho citizens, it’s clear their hands and hearts lie elsewhere. Vote for change in November."

Additional posts:
Mike Simpson says pork is a constitutional right
Republican Congressman Mike Simpson sent out a "Dear Colleague" letter ... In his letter, Simpson vigorously defended the practice of congressional ... Simpson went on to say that earmarking was fiscally conservative and that in fact, ...
mike simpson: protector of idaho
when will people start to realize that this land, the land in question in this bill, is their land? visit it or not, its ours! mike simpson can't decide to sell it, it is not his. the whole damn congress shouldn't have that power. when ...
hey, mike, who's turf are you standing up for?
"we are getting more authoritative," said rep. mike simpson (r-idaho), an appropriations committee member who behind closed doors ... that last quote is from the same mike simpson who insisted that pork projects are a constitutional right.
Jim represents Idaho citizens, not PACS
We also need to be aware of the 2nd Congressional District race between Representative Mike Simpson and Jim Hansen.

Gooding County Democrats website

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Senator Larry Craig: Hypocrite?

It is too sad that our fellow citizens are more afraid of homosexuals than they are of hypocrites and liars...

Press Release: Gay activist calls on Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig to "be proud of who you are" {gee, I think I missed it being published in the Times-News...}

"...let the people decide on their politicians based on truth, honesty, and openness." {Includes interviews from 1982 scandal news coverage}

It's being discussed everywhere but Idaho, it seems...

"Scads of right-wing bloggers are scandalized and outraged today because it has been reported that GOP social conservative Senator Larry Craig routinely engages in anonymous sex with men. Why, they are just furious that anyone would introduce issues of someone's private sexual affairs into the public arena, and particularly can't believe that someone would try to use a person's homosexuality as a political weapon. Most movingly, they lament that exploiting private sexual behavior this way will drive good people out of political life."
Well, gee, how hypocrital can they get? For more, see what Glenn Greenwald has to say...

In addition, I highly recommend watching the response from Barney Frank (D-MA) when Bill Maher directly asked him about it. It's PRICELESS!! It's also discussed here...}

I've previously posted how I feel about hypocrisy, so this isn't meant to be an attack against Larry Craig specifically... just hypocrites in general:
Family Values? Or Homophobic?
"God's Politics: Why the right gets it wrong, and the left doesn't ...
Heterosexuals ONLY
The Perfect Wife
Politicians: PLEASE prioritize!
Bigots and Hypocrites Don't Represent ME!
Idaho Laws That We Ignore (Part 2)
The Colbert Report: Idaho Known For...
Brokeback Utah

Monday, October 30, 2006

What Republican's think of Bill Sali (R)

Bummer! Doesn't include U.S. Representative Mike Simpson's(R) threat to throw Sali out a third-floor window at the statehouse!

Idaho Democrats - it's time for a change!

Idaho Democrats - It's Time For A Change!

Be an informed voter...

Honor those who served by casting a vote
While America sacrifices dollars and bodies for Iraq’s “democracy,” it’s inexcusable that our own elections reflect dismal voter turnout and votes based upon political party rather than the candidates themselves, generating a governmental system (local, state and national) lacking checks and balances and poor representation of our citizens.

Honor those who have gone before us — starting with Pilgrims and our founding fathers, continuing with our great-grandmothers and civil rights workers and our own recent fallen heroes — with informed selections at the polls. Don’t betray them by staying in the comfort zone of your own political party or simply voting for the incumbent because you haven’t researched the challenger.

A vote without serious contemplation is treasonous to the future of America. It would be pathetic and insulting to America’s principles if voters discount a candidate’s skills and qualities simply based upon politics. The future of our country depends on the earnest efforts and sincere consideration of our citizens at the polls — without blind loyalty for political parties.

Be a true patriot! Honor our nation and those who have fought and died for our freedoms — educate yourself about your candidates and make an informed vote at the polls.

Watch candidate debates at the Idaho Public Television website .