Friday, October 20, 2006

Annie Northup -- Yarmuth should be criticized for benefiting from something I support

Annie's latest attack ad (note.... still no recent ads telling us what she's going to do or where she stands that weren't paid for by special interests) criticizes John Yarmuth for saying he believes we should raise the minimum wage when he profits from a restaurant chain that pays its employees minimum wage.

Yarmuth has countered that the restaurants he personally owns pay the higher minimum wage in Florida and that any restaurants paying lower are franchise owners who are free to pay the prevailing wage.

The tone of the ad seems to say is that Annie believes Yarmuth shouldn't profit from the minimum wage. But what Annie "Hey, I'm still olympic champion Mary T's sister" Northup doesn't say is that she is all for $5.15 an hour and thinks that if it is raised, it should be in conjunction with tax cuts for businesses. In other words, she thinks it is perfectly okay for businesses to pay a poverty wage and make lots of money doing so unless they're owned by John Yarmuth.

Lost in all of this is that Anne's got more money than John, and one would have to guess that her investments and personal profits were gained in some part by people who will make less in a lifetime than Anne spends in a couple of weeks on attack ads.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Northup Exposure -- Fighting fire with humor

Anne Northup gets what she deserves in the Northup Exposure, John Yarmuth's humorous but factual account of Anne's record.

Visit it today. Let's get it the national attention it deserves.

Maybe it's better that Anne didn't hear from the big Dick

Anne Northup was left out during a recent Republican fundraiser at a Prospect home. Reading the article below, maybe Anne should count her blessings. I'm sure that Anne, in her desire to continue supporting Bush's secret war on the Constitution, believes that the Executive branch should be able to do whatever the hell it pleases. Thank goodness there is a judge who feels otherwise.

I'm guessing they'll accuse the judge of legislating from the bench. Doesn't he realize that's the job of Bush/Dick?

Judge orders Cheney visitor logs opened By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 11 minutes ago

A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to release information about who visited Vice President Dick Cheney's office and personal residence, an order that could spark a late election-season debate over lobbyists' White House access.

While researching the access lobbyists and others had on the White House, The Washington Post asked in June for two years of White House visitor logs. The Secret Service refused to process the request, which government attorneys called "a fishing expedition into the most sensitive details of the vice presidency."

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina said Wednesday that, by the end of next week, the Secret Service must produce the records or at least identity them and justify why they are being withheld.

The Secret Service can still try to withhold the records but, in a written ruling Thursday, Urbina questioned the agency's primary argument — that the logs are protected by Cheney's right to executive privilege.

Republicans have suffered a spate of bad news lately. Ohio Rep. Bob Ney (news, bio, voting record) pleaded guilty in the Jack Abramoff lobbying investigation, Florida Rep. Mark Foley (news, bio, voting record) resigned after reports of his sexually explicit Internet conversations with teenage House pages, and the FBI intensified its corruption investigation into Pennsylvania Rep. Curt Weldon (news, bio, voting record).

If Cheney's visitor logs show meetings with lobbyists, releasing them just weeks before Election Day could provide ammunition to Democrats.

"The political price is very high," said L. Sandy Maisel, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College. "Even more than that, Cheney has a vested interest in keeping them out of public eye at a time when people will pay attention to them. After the election, they will pay much less attention."

The newspaper sought logs for anyone visiting Cheney, his legal counsel, chief spokesman and other top aides and advisers.

The Secret Service had no comment on the ruling Thursday. In court documents, government attorneys said releasing the documents would infringe on Cheney's ability to seek advice.

"This case is about protecting the effective functioning of the vice presidency under the Constitution," attorneys wrote.

A lawsuit over similar records revealed last month that Republican activists Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed — key figures in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal — landed more than 100 meetings inside the Bush White House.

The Post cited those records, which were released to the Democratic Party and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, as evidence that the documents should be released.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Close to 3 weeks later, still no

Anne released a new old attack ad in the past day or so that again attacks John Yarmuth for Social Security, SUVs, taking Under God out of the pledge, and doubling the payroll tax. Rather than give you another repeat of what I've already said about Anne's misrepresentation of these issues, I'll just point out that her campaign registered and has yet to put a single thing up on it.

If you can't stand on your own positions, why not falsely attack those of your opponent?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Anne supported Veterans Benefits in the 2004 campaign. But now..... NO COMMENT!

A recent article in the CJ details how the new VA Enrollment policy means many veterans will lose their VA health benefits.

All you need to know about Anne Northup is in the quote below:

U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, a Republican who has been championing Louisville's new VA hospital, had no comment on the enrollment policy, except to say, "our office would be glad to work with veterans on a case-by-case basis regarding VA medical care."

Good work Anne, rather than investigate the issue and do something for all the men and women who were brave enough to fight for the country, you say you'll deal with it on a case by case basis. Which, in my experience, means you'll reply with a form letter that doesn't address the issue.

Why is it that just two short years ago she was touting how she would take care of Veterans in her campaign website:

Veterans Affairs

As President Calvin Coolidge once said, "The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten."

America's veterans understand the truest type of patriotism and selflessness that comes with defending freedom. The commitments of the nation's men and women in uniform have often meant spending long months away from loved ones, executing dangerous missions, and placing a higher priority on the country's safety than on their own lives. Millions of Americans have performed their military duty quietly and all too often without enough recognition. Anne thinks it is only appropriate that veteran heroes are honored, since they have ensured the freedom that their fellow citizens enjoy.Anne Northup believes that because veterans have made sacrifices of the highest order, this country has a duty to take care of them -- particularly those who have suffered long-term physical or mental disabilities as a result of their service.

Congresswoman Northup has been a member of the Veterans Affairs / Housing and Urban Development (VA-HUD) subcommittee since 1999, which oversees the annual budget for the Veterans Administration (VA) and allocates funding for various veterans programs. Through her position on the subcommittee, Anne has led improvements to health care and other services for veterans in Kentucky and across the country.

Of particular interest to local veterans is the availability and accessibility of quality healthcare right here in our community. During her first year serving on the VA-HUD Subcommittee, there were indications that mental health services would be moved to Lexington, KY. Recognizing the unfairness in requiring Louisville veterans to travel to Lexington to receive those services, Northup included language in a bill that directed the VA to keep mental health services in our community. In the same measure, Anne included language that encouraged the VA to establish a new Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Louisville at a location that is nearer to many Louisville veterans than the VA hospital on Zorn Avenue. After several years of steady persuasion and a specific appropriation, a VA clinic opened in Shively.

Moreover, Congresswoman Northup has personally worked on countless veterans' casework issues; persuaded the VA to approve the use of an expensive but effective medicine to help cure veterans with Hepatitis C; and worked to ensure the renewal of a federal grant for Interlink Counseling's homeless-to-work veterans program.

In addition, since Anne has been a member of the VA-HUD subcommittee, she has voted for appropriations that have increased funding for veterans nursing care by a figure that is larger than any proposal made by the Clinton Administration. Since 1997, Northup voted to increase overall funding for veterans benefits by more than 20 percent. More specifically, over the past several years Northup has supported an annual increase of $1 billion in health care benefits for veterans.

This year, Anne supported the U.S. House of Representatives' budget plan, which includes an increase of $2.8 billion in funding to enable the VA to provide care to more than 5 million veterans. This funding will also allow the VA to begin six additional major construction projects on facilities that are vital to the VA's future. Furthermore, the VA will provide care to almost 300,000 veterans with serious mental illness and to an estimated 60,000 homeless veterans. The VA will spend an additional $3.6 billion for veterans in need of various types of long-term care.

In the post-September 11 climate, every American citizen should renew his or her commitment to the values of the nation -- liberty and democracy. In doing so, the national community will remember that veterans, who put their lives on the line for the nation's values, have earned the community's support in their retirement years. As the daughter of a World War II veteran, and as the Congressional representative for over 70,000 veterans who call Louisville home, Anne is especially committed to America's veterans. Congresswoman Northup has and will continue to work to ensure that Congress is dedicated to providing the support for veterans that they deserve.

The Republican-led 107th U.S. Congress has done tremendous work for the nation's veterans. Click here to read about some of the legislation Anne supported that helps veterans in Kentucky's Third District and across the country.

CJ article on the Yarmuth Northup Race. My comments in BOLD>

My comments in bold on Northup's comments on the race in today's Courier Journal.

Northup, Yarmuth claim different turf
Choices are distinct in 3rd District House race

By Kay Stewart
The Courier-Journal

To Vincent Walker, the difference between Anne Northup and John Yarmuth is readily apparent, even if he's not sure which one will get his vote.

"It's clear that you've got two distinct choices to make," said Walker, 44, a senior vice president at JPMorgan Chase.

Northup, the five-term Republican incumbent in the 3rd Congressional District, and Yarmuth, founder and former editor of the weekly alternative newspaper LEO, disagree on just about every major political issue -- the Iraq War, education, tax cuts, Social Security and raising the minimum wage.

Donna Walker Mancini of the Libertarian Party and W. Ed Parker of the Constitution Party also are seeking the seat.

With 23 days before the Nov. 7 election, the Northup and Yarmuth campaigns are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars hammering home their opposing themes in attack ads.

Yarmuth portrays Northup as a rubber-stamp for President Bush's unpopular policies, and Northup, while citing local projects she has helped fund, criticizes Yarmuth for liberal opinions he's expressed in public appearances and in newspaper columns.

Yarmuth says Northup "is a big part" of national policies that have made the economy great for big corporations and millionaires, but not so great for working-class people. He says 90 percent of Americans haven't achieved a higher economic status in the past five years.

"I believe government has a role in making lives better for everyone. … Conservatives don't believe that government has a role in changing social and economic outcomes," Yarmuth said.

Northup says Yarmuth "thinks the government is the first, best answer to every single problem we have in this country." And Anne thinks the government is the first best answer for the people of Iraq at the expense of the people here at home.

She argues that the economy is strong, with the number of jobs and incomes rising, and says that's largely the result of 2003 tax cut legislation she supported that was passed by Congress. Yes, a tax cut wiped out by rising interest rates and rising gas prices that inflate the price of everything.
She's called Yarmuth a "tax and spend" liberal with "extreme" positions on a variety of subjects, including Social Security and the minimum wage, positions she says he's shifted to a more moderate stance now that he's a candidate for Congress. Yes Anne, he's a writer of opinions. You know, like Rush Limbaugh, only smart. That means that occasionally he'll raise ideas that are radical to spur thought on the matter. That doesn't mean that as a representative he'll adhere completely to those ideas.

Yarmuth claims she's misinterpreted his words or taken them out of context. Read my blog further to see how.

In one exchange about minimum wage at a debate Friday, Northup said Yarmuth wanted a "living wage" at $10 an hour, based on a proposal of 2006 legislative initiatives posted on the Web site of an organization he founded, the Center for Kentucky Progress. She said that would cause an economic "crisis." But she doesn't say how. And she doesn't explain why the mininum wage is still so low.

Yarmuth countered that he was for working toward that goal, and said in an interview he favored raising the $5.15 minimum hourly wage to $7 over the next two years.

Northup says her position on the powerful Appropriations Committee would not be filled by Yarmuth if he were elected, noting that those seats are granted based on seniority.

Yarmuth said if Democrats take back control of the U.S. House, as he believes they will, he'll have more influence than Northup would.

Yarmuth the'liberal progressive'
Yarmuth, the founder of the weekly newspaper LEO, where he wrote an estimated 800 columns over 15 years, says he takes a "liberal progressive position" on most issues.

He was opposed from the start to the Iraq war. He favors national health care coverage and raising the minimum wage, and is against tax cuts for the richest Americans.

If elected, Yarmuth said health care, the Iraq war, national security and funding education would top his national priority list.

Yarmuth said he believes expanding businesses in Louisville's West End, keeping jobs in Louisville and funding the two new bridges across the Ohio River are the top local concerns.

Northup the conservative
Northup, who favors making across-the-board tax cuts permanent, opposes raising the minimum wage without corresponding tax relief and believes that the United States needs to stay the course in Iraq.

Special-interest groups ranking Northup's voting record paint her as solidly conservative. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for example, gives her a 93 out of 100, while the League of Conservation Voters gives her a zero.

Northup cites her priorities as winning the war on terrorism, keeping the economy strong, making the country less dependent on foreign oil and closing national borders to illegal immigrants. And yet she criticizes John Yarmuth for having ideas on how to address dependence on foreign oil.

Locally, she says completing two new bridges across the Ohio River, building a new veterans hospital and continued enhancement of the waterfront, including a pedestrian Big Four Bridge, top her list. Again, future projects. What have you done for me lately?

Iraq war
The Iraq war, which Yarmuth called the "dark cloud" over the race, is a prime example of their opposing views.

Yarmuth wants America to get out of Iraq, beginning immediately, with some troops remaining in the region in case they need to be deployed.

Citing recent national intelligence reports that say the U.S. presence is inciting insurgents and that violence will worsen, Yarmuth said: "Nobody has been calling the shots for the U.S. and Iraq right at any juncture in the last 3 1/2 years."

There is just as much reason to assume things will get better if Americans leave than if they stay, he said, adding, "It's the provocative nature of our presence that everybody says has made things worse."

Northup, who supported the invasion of Iraq, said there have been mistakes, citing bad U.S. intelligence on deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. While she said Saddam is not linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, he is linked to terrorism and "we went to war against terrorists." So there's no connection but there is? She knows that this statement is false, but figures misleading is better than telling the truth.

She says intelligence reports don't conclude things would improve if the United States leaves. The mission to bring stability and democracy to Iraq is vital to national security, she maintains, adding that a U.S. departure now would allow terrorists to refinance, increase recruits and training and attack America again.

"We will not win the war on terror unless we are on offense and we go after these guys," she said. So essentially, the 583rd position of the Republicans on Iraq is that now it's a Roach Motel for terrorists. We'll bait 'em into the lawless hellhole and then kill 'em.

Safe borders
Northup said she supports closing the borders to illegal immigration, which would improve national security, by building a fence on the Mexican border and increasing electronic surveillance.

Until the border is secured, she said, she's not willing to consider immigration reform measures such as amnesty and worker-guest programs for illegal immigrants.

If I can't keep a neighbor's kid out of my 1/4 acre yard, how does a fence spanning the length of our southern border do it? Besides, who is going to keep the damned thing painted?

Yarmuth said he agrees the borders need to be closed for security and that employers who hire illegal immigrants should be stopped. But he said a guest-worker program for the roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the country should be addressed at the same time.

Northup said immigration is an example of times when she has opposed President Bush, whose proposals include a worker-guest program along with closing the border with Mexico. So Anne is against the many fine Mexican restaurants we have here in Louisville? My fajitas are at stake here!

Northup also said she supports importing cheaper prescription drugs from other countries, which Bush opposes. And she favors offshore oil drilling near Florida, in opposition to the president.

On America's energy problems, Northup said that long term, she supports energy conservation measures but in the short haul she supports expanding oil and natural gas exploration by drilling in both the Gulf of Mexico and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

While she said that could be done safely and would make gasoline cheaper, Yarmuth called the approach a "Band Aid" that would not adequately address the short-term problem and would be detrimental to the environment.

Reporter Kay Stewart can be reached at (502) 582-4114.

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