Editor’s note: United Liberty recognizes the divide amongst libertarians over the abortion issue and that there are strong, but thoughtful feelings coming from both sides. This piece covers an important issue that has been neglected by the mainstream media. It does not necessarily reflect the views of United Liberty or every contributor.
Murder. Exploitation. Blood money. Intrigue. The story of Kermit Gosnell has all of this and more, a story which is filled with horrifying and sensational details, a story of such heartless depravity and gory death that it could have been a George Romero film. So why it that you are almost guaranteed to have never heard of Gosnell? That is an excellent question, and one that anyone who believes in a strong and independent free press should be demanding answers to. If there was ever a case of clear-cut media bias and cover-up, this is it.
I first learned about Gosnell in January 2011 from a link to an article in Philly.com, reporting on his arrest and formal indictment on eight counts of murder and related charges. The trial of Gosnell began last month, and other than conservative websites and news sources, it is almost impossible to find a story in the mainstream print press until a few days ago, and as of the time of this writing, there has been ZERO coverage of the story by the major broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS). The travesty of the media black-out was captured in an article in Investors Business Daily, which wrote:
It’s election day. We’re finally here. This grueling, seemingly non-stop campaign ends today. President Barack Obama made his last campaign stops yesterday. Mitt Romney hopes to pickup what undecided voters remain during visits to Ohio and Pennsylvania today.
Despite public polls showing a close race in swing states, though Obama has a slight advantage, Romney’s campaign says that their internal polls show him leading in Ohio and tied in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Writing at National Review yesterday, Jim Geraghty saw reason to hope that Romney will pull off a win tonight. And Aaron Blake surmised that the early voting numbers suggest that the race will be tight. However, Blake points out that “[i]n basically every state, Democrats’ early vote edge is between four and eight points less than it was in 2008.” That could mean trouble for Obama, especially in Colorado, Iowa, and Pennsylvania.
Senate candidate Tom Smith, a former Democrat, is an accomplished businessman and a Tea Party conservative. Tom still lives on the farm in Armstrong County where he grew up. After high school, he postponed college to help his father tend that farm and supplemented his income by driving a school bus. After a few years, Tom married his high school sweetheart, Saundy, started a family, and went to work in a local surface coal mine.
In 1989, Tom entered the coal business himself. He succeeded, building a series of companies in a highly regulated industry. When he sold the companies in 2010, they were mining more than a million tons of coal each year.
Now, Tom wants to re-claim for Republicans the seat Sen. Bob Casey took from Rick Santorum in 2006. Follow him on Twitter @TomSmithforPA.
Matt Naugle: You were a registered Democrat from age 18 until August 2011. As a Democrat, you were elected official Plumcreek Township and were a member of the United Mine Workers. Now, you’re a major donor to Republican candidates and a Tea Party leader. How did you become a conservative?
Tom Smith: I’ve always been a conservative and supported pro-growth and pro-freedom candidates and causes. My father and mother were registered Democrats, so when I was 18 I registered the same out of respect for them. It was over the years, while building a family and starting a business I became more and more vocal with my conservative views.
MN: You went from working on your father’s farm and driving a bus to running a 100,000 tons/month coal mining operation. Do you agree with President Obama that you did not build the company?
Continuing the Liberty Candidate Series, Brett interviews Jake Towne, discussing his campaign, positions on issues, and his candidacy. Towne is running for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District as an unaffiliated candidate.
This special edition podcast is the fourth in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide. Towne talks about his fiscal economics-driven campaign against an incumbent Republican in Pennsylvania (in a seat previously held by Pat Toomey).
Congressman Kelly has been quickly building a name for himself on The Hill. While not nearly as interesting as Darrell Issa, Trey Gowdy, or Rand Paul to many people, the substance of what he’s been saying in various hearings of late has been worth a great deal of attention. And now, it seems he’s getting at least a little:
Obviously, Megyn Kelly from Fox News is impressed with that enlightened speech from the Pennsylvania Congressman. But that is just one of many these days. Kelly has regularly been catching the attention of conservatives and libertarians with his pro-limited government tirades, and calls for accountability in the Obama Administration.
“Isn’t it incredible what you’re going through to maintain your First Amendment rights? This is not a problem that’s in Cincinnati — this is a problem that’s deep in the bowels of this government.”
“If at some point we cannot stop this culture of fear – this government-sponsored fear – then we are really coming up short on what the oath is that we took. We took an oath of office not to defend the rights of Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians … We took an oath to defend our Constitution.”
PA State Rep. Jesse White
After the Citizens United Supreme Court case, loud advocates protested that corporations will have exessive influence in our politics. But as we saw on election night, campaigns with nearly unlimited budgets still can not win if voters don’t approve of the candidates.
However, there is something pernicious about campaign donations, that politicans often avoid, as it involves their own fundraising practices.
This case out of Pennslyvania is a fascinating, but not unique example of how fundraising often happens:
An ardent critic of the impact of gas drilling, state Rep. Jesse White of Washington County once enjoyed a cozy relationship with Range Resources Inc. — asking for a corporate plane ride to a Super Bowl and complaining the driller didn’t give him enough campaign money, emails between the lawmaker and company show.
In late 2011, White and Range executives in Cecil began battling publicly over Marcellus shale gas drilling. Just last week, Range canceled a private meeting with Cecil officials when White said he would attend.
Range says it wants to expose a lawmaker who tried to strong-arm the company and continues to challenge its Pennsylvania business dealings. This month, White urged several agencies to investigate the state’s handling of contamination tests at a Range drill site.
If you’re pulling for Mitt Romney, you can’t be excited with what exit polls reported. Sure, exit polls aren’t definitive, but they do provide an indicator of what to expect. Based on what we’re seeing, the 2012 electorate is roughly the same as 2008, especially in swing states. This is an ominous sign for Romney’s campaign.
Currently, Romney is trailing President Barack Obama in Ohio, which is a must win. He’s ahead in Virginia, but the northern part of the state hadn’t reported at last look. Exit polls show each of these states to be very close, but Ohio may be too far gone for Romney, which means that the night could end early.
Here’s the Electoral College as of 9 PM. Polls have close in Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, but no projections have been made.
Looking at some of the Senate races, Richard Mourdock is trailing Rep. Joe Donnelly in the Indiana race. Josh Mandel is down to Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio by a hefty margin. Sen. Scott Brown is losing in Massachusetts, though it’s still early. George Allen is currently leading Tim Kaine in Virginia. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) was projected to win re-election.
Despite Obama’s nearly 5-point advantage in Pennsylvania, which a Republican hasn’t won since 1988, Mitt Romney’s campaign has purchased ad time in the state, hoping to pick its 20 electoral votes off on Tuesday:
Mitt Romney will soon run campaign advertisements on Pennsylvania television, a Republican source told CNN on Tuesday. The Romney campaign later released an energy-themed ad which specifically mentions Pennsylvania. Romney’s campaign plans to go up next week in Philadelphia on Monday and Tuesday - Election Day, the source said, adding that the buy could be expanded.
The Philadelphia suburbs are key counties and could determine who wins the state. They are home to middle-income and affluent voters who are conservative on fiscal issues but liberal on social issues, including abortion and gun control.
The ad, which can be viewed below, opens with footage from 2008 of then-candidate Obama explaining his views on coal, which is a big industry in Pennsylvania. Obama said, “If someboday wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” A narrator explains that Obama “kept that promise, and Pennsylvania coal paid the price,” as graphic flashes on the screen noting that 22 coal plants in the state will either close or be forced to convert.
The ad then turns to debate footage featuring Romney and Obama, who is looking down, as the Republican nominee explains that “people in the coal industry feel like its getting crushed by your policies”:
With the remnants of Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc across the northeast, there has been talk of postponing Tuesday’s election in affected states. If such steps do happen to be taken, they couldn’t be done at by executive fiat, but rather the individual states that are in a state of emergency, assuming their constitutions give either the governor, chief election official, or election board authority to do so.
Congress could, theoretically, change the statutory provision (3 USC §1) that sets the presidential election date as the “Tuesday next after the first Monday in November,” making it uniform across the country. However, this doesn’t seem to be any stomach for it nor is it realistic with Congress currently out of session and six days to go until election day.
Suspending an election isn’t exactly unheard of. On September 11, 2001, the day the World Trade Center buildings were targeted by terrorists, a state judge took such an extraordinary action to suspend New York City’s primaries. They were rescheduled two weeks later.
But that’s a just a city election — granted New York is America’s largest city. Writing at the National Journal, Billy House explains that postponing a presidential election across several states may be too difficult and polarizing a task: