With less than a week to go until voters in South Carolina’s First Congressional District head to the polls, Mark Sanford is getting some much needed last-minute help. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has gained notoriety and popularity among Republicans, and FreedomWorks PAC, a grassroots organization known for backing fiscally conservative candidates in primary races, both endorsed Sanford on Tuesday.
“More than anything, Washington needs strong and consistent voices for fiscal responsibility and liberty,” said Paul in the press release sent out by Sanford’s campaign. “Mark has proven during his time in office that watching out for taxpayers and holding the line on spending are his top priorities.
“What we absolutely cannot afford is someone like his opponent, who will be yet another vote for a return to the Pelosi speakership, for disastrous programs like Obamacare, and for more spending and debt,” he added. “I am pleased to endorse Mark and stand with him in this race.”
Paul is following in the footsteps of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who endorsed Sanford on Thursday.
FreedomWorks PAC noted only endorsed Sanford, but is also planning a voter outreach effort in the district this weekend.
The media still seems shocked that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was elected last year with substantial Tea Party and grassroots support, is taking on the political establishment, even if it includes members of his own party.
Back in February, Cruz defended his style after many Senate Democrats criticized him. “I have to admit I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do,” Cruz told Reuters during a visit to a Texas-based gun manufacturer. He also gained some coverage over his questioning of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who was pushing the Assault Weapons Ban. And though he did cross a line during the confirmation hearing of then-Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, Cruz has been generally spot thus far.
But Cruz has raised eyebrows once again. During a surprise talk last week at the FreedomWorks summit in Texas, the freshman Senator explained that the grassroots activists are winning and criticzed “squishes” inside the Republican Party, pointing to the gun control issue as an example.
The Senate moved closer to passing the Internet sales tax on Thursday. The chamber had already started debate on the measure, dubbed the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” but the vote last week bypassed any hope of a filibuster. Some conservative groups are increasing their efforts in opposition to the tax.
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), headed by Grover Norquist, presented the constitutional case against the Internet sales tax. The case is in response to recent comments by David French, a lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, who said, “The industry is evolving very rapidly, and the law today is a 20th-century interpretation of an 18th-century document that is holding back the entire retail industry as it adapts to 21st-century consumer preferences and demand.”
“The Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution affirms that states cannot tax across their borders. Physical presence within a state’s boundaries is required for a state to be able to tax a business, a consumer, or a sale,” John Kartch wrote at ATR’s blog in response to French. “The Constitution is clear: a person or business must be physically present within a state’s borders in order to be taxed. By suggesting the Constitution is outdated, Internet tax pushers align themselves with the rhetoric of far-left judicial activists.”
On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation backed by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) that would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require that law enforcement obtain a warrant before it can search Americans’ e-mails and other online file:
A Senate committee today backed sweeping privacy protections requiring the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain e-mail and other content stored in the cloud.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the package on a voice vote after about 30 minutes of debate, and sent the measure to the Senate floor, where it faces an uncertain future.
The legislation, (.pdf) sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the committee’s chair, and Michael S. Lee (R-Utah) nullifies a provision of federal law allowing the authorities to acquire a suspect’s e-mail or other stored content from an internet service provider without showing probable cause that a crime was committed if the content is 180 days or older.
Under the current law, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government can obtain e-mail without a warrant as long as the data has been stored on a third-party server — the cloud — for 180 days or more. The government only needs to show, often via an administrative subpoena, that it has “reasonable grounds to believe” the information would be useful to an investigation.
“I think these big defined benefit programs from the New Deal, the Great Society are really showing their age. They don’t give you a good deal, they’re poorly designed. Market forces work so much better, and, you know, this America, why shouldn’t people be free?” — Dean Clancy
Today at noon, FreedomWorks will host grassroots activists at the New Fair Deal Action Day in the Upper Senate Park at the United States Capitol. The day is dedicated to the ideals that are being rolled out as part of the “New Fair Deal” plan, which is based on four basic principles — end corporate welfare, tax fairly, stop overspending, and empowering individuals. The New Fair Deal Action Day will include a number of speakers, including Reps. Justin Amash, Mick Mulvaney, Tom Price, Sen. Mike Lee, Rev. C.L. Bryant, and Julie Borowski.
On Friday, I sat down with Dean Clancy, Vice President for Public Policy at FreedomWorks, to discuss the four pillars of the New Fair Deal and the legislation that will be introduced by the team of House members who are working together to try to get the dozen bills that will be introduced to the floor for a vote.
“The New Fair Deal is a suite of legislation to try to reform and improve our country,” Clancy told United Liberty. “This is not just a ‘Tax Day’ protest — this is a positive reform agenda rally. And we do have folks getting on buses from all over the country and coming to it.”
FreedomWorks, one of the right’s foremost grassroots organizations, has unveiled a new legislative action plan — dubbed the “New Fair Deal” — that seeks to return power back to the American people.
Working with a team of fiscally conservative House members, FreedomWorks is pushing to restore free market principles and individual freedom through the New Fair Deal, a plan that has four facets:
- No Corporate Handouts
- A Fair Tax Code
- Stop Overspending
- Empower Individuals
In the video below, Whitney Neal and Dean Clancy explain the points of the plan and invite activists to come to the New Fair Deal Action Day, which will be held on April 15th at the Senate Upper Park in Washington, DC.
Who said the left and right can’t come together on an issue? FreedomWorks and former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), perhaps one of the most leftist members of Congress in recent memory, certainly have over the issue of drones.
Kucinich and Malou Innocent, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute, joined Jackie Bodnar and Reid Smith of FreedomWorks to discuss Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster earlier this month, the foreign use of drones, and the constitutional ramifications of drones inside the United States.
Check out the full conversation below:
Over at the FreedomWorks blog, Emily Zanotti dives into to one of my favorite issues — cigarette taxes. Smokers in Washington have apparently realized that it’s cheaper for them to purchase their cigarettes from Idaho, Oregon or on the black market rather than pay the $3.02 in-state tax for a pack of smokes.
While Washington’s excessively high cigarette tax has been a boon to its neighbors, Zanotti notes that Oregon is considering an increase to discourage smoking, not realizing that the increased sales are coming from out of state:
Oregon is now also considering a state tax, the thought being that this sudden boom in cigarette sales could line their pockets as well. Of course, Oregon is conveniently ignoring that the cigarette sales boom is actually the result of more expensive cigarettes to the north, and that Idaho to the East would just as quickly turn into a destination vacation for Oregon’s smokers as Oregon did for Washington’s.
The Republican primary for Georgia open Senate seat is sure to be an interesting one to watch. It doesn’t seem like anyone currently announced or expected to announce have really done a lot to drive support. This provides a more Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), who has set a mid-May deadline for a decision, has apparently spoken with the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) about the race, according to Politico:
Republican Rep. Tom Price met Monday with senior officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to two sources.
The Georgia congressman continues to mull a run for the seat opened up by Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ retirement.
Price, a former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, raised more than $300,000 in the two weeks after Chambliss retired and had $1.6 million cash on hand at the end of the year.
There are no details as to what exactly was discussed, but Price would be a formidable candidate if he decided to throw his hat in the ring. But Politico does note something that has been mentioned from people I’ve spoken to in Georgia politics. Price, who was elected to Congress in 2004, currently serves as Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee, behind Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), and would presumably be next in line to lead the powerful committee.
Backed by $674 million in federal grants, California’s slick new ObamaCare exchange site for purchasing PPACA-approved health coverage starting January 1, 2014 is now up and running. You can tour this marvel of government-driven healthcare at CoveredCA.com. Only 288 days until “coverage” begins!
Some of the highlights:
- The exchange materials refer to Covered California as a “marketplace” rather than an “exchange.” This is a recent policy change directive from HHS. As FreedomWorks’ director of healthcare policy Dean Clancy stated in response to the change, “They could call them motherhood or apple pie, but it wouldn’t change our feelings about them.” We subsequently learned that the real motivation for the change is that is that there isn’t a good Spanish translation for “exchange.”