Tea Party

Live from #FreePACAZ

The National FreePAC Tour continues this afternoon in Phoenix, Arizona. In just a few minutes, a few thousand Tea Partyers will fill up there room here at the Phoenix Convention Center to learn the basics of grassroots activism, including GOTV training and ways to hold both Democrats and Republicans accountable.

Later this afternoon, activists will hear from a variety of speakers — including Matt Kibbe, Deneen Borelli, Dana Loesch, Rev. C.L. Bryant, and Glenn Beck — during the “Call to Action Rally.”

You can watch FreePAC Arizona live here. You can also follow me on Twitter to see photos and keep up with everything else going on.

Cato Institute releases biannual report card on nation’s governors

Sam Brownback

The Cato Institute has released its biannual Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, a useful tool that can help voters determine whether or not their chief executives are acting responsibly when it comes to taxation and spending.

The report this year, authored by Chris Edwards, should come with some interest, given that some of the governors graded in this round ran on Tea Party-themed platforms. This is the first real look into whether or not they’ve delivered on the rhetoric they espoused on the campaign trail.

Looking through the list, the nation’s best governors on fiscal policy — those receiving an “A” — do indeed have a Tea Party influence, or at the very least they ran on fiscally conservative platforms. Here’s a look at the cream of the crop:

  • Sam Brownback (R-KS)
  • Rick Scott (R-FL)
  • Paul LePage (R-ME)
  • Tom Corbett (R-PA)

The highest scoring Democrat, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, received a “B,” and was among the best in the nation on fiscal policy. His grade is up from two years ago, when he received a “D.” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who followed Mitt Romney in the Bay State, also received a “B.” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam takes home the prize of being the lowest scoring Republican in the report, with a “D.”

Who are the nation’s worst governors on fiscal policy? Well, here they are — all of five received an “F” in the report (starting with the worst):

  • Pat Quinn (D-IL)
  • Dan Malloy (D-CT)
  • Mary Dayton (D-MN)
  • Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
  • Chris Gregoire (D-WA)

Some other names of interest with summarized comments:

FreePAC tour headed to Arizona this Saturday

FreePAC

FreedomWorks, a DC-based grassroots organization, will host its third FreePAC event this Saturday at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona to be followed by similar gatherings in Florida and Illinois.

Hoping to motivate activists in advance of the next month’s presidential election and congressional races, FreedomWorks, which has regularly endorsed fiscally conservative challengers to incumbent Republicans, is hoping to repeat the enthusiasm that saw at its FreePAC held in Dallas, Texas. That first FreePAC was held just days before Ted Cruz, who was a featured speaker in at the event, went on to defeat the establishment-backed David Dewhurst.

While the afternoon will be dedicated will be dedicated to training grassroots activists, covering everything from yard sign blitzing to phone banking to how to use social media to how to write a “letter to the editor.”

In the late afternoon, activists will have the chance to attend the “Call to Action Rally,” which will, according to the press release on event, include:

Ron Paul hints that he’s voting for Gary Johnson

It’s no surprise that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who is retiring from elected office at the beginning of the year, isn’t a fan of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The two seemed friendly during the race for the GOP nomination as Paul defended Romney when other candidates were attacking his tenure at Bain Capital. There was even speculation that a deal was in the works between the two campaigns.

While his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), endorsed Romney, the elder Paul made it clear during the summer that he was unlikely to do the same. The treatment endured by Paul supporters at the Republican National Conventon may have sent Paul over the edge, as he recently hinted that he may vote for Gary Johnson, via Buzz Feed:

In a Fox Business interview Wednesday, Rep. Ron Paul refused to say who he was planning on voting for — but ruled out voting for Mitt Romney or President Obama, leaving only one plausible option.

“I obviously haven’t announced in support for Romney, so that means that’s very unlikely,” Paul said. “And I don’t think anybody think’s I’m going to vote for Obama. So it’s back to that frustration level in not seeing a dramatic choice in how the system works.”

Tea Time with Max Pappas: Senator Mike Lee, Episode 3

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Tea Time with Max Pappas: Senator Mike Lee, Episode 2

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Tea Time with Max Pappas: Senator Mike Lee, Episode 1

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How GOP Freshmen Voted on Continuing Resolution

Written by Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. It was originally posted on Friday, September 14th, and is cross-posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

Yesterday, the House passed a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded for the next six months. Republicans and Democrats were eager to avoid a budget fight—and possibly a government shutdown—with little more than a month to go before the elections. With that potential distraction out of the way, the two sides can now focus on convincing voters that their brand of big government is the superior choice.

Politico has a good breakdown of the CR’s contents. Here are a couple of snippets:

[The continuing resolution] restores the higher spending targets set in the Budget Control Act—and with such haste and pique—that billions will go out without any distinction between the merits of different programs. Labor, health, and education spending that’s so often targeted for cuts by the GOP will grow by close to $1 billion. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission budget, the bane of anti-regulatory forces, inches up again, albeit far less than the White House requested…

The new top line for non-emergency appropriations will be $1.047 trillion, an $8 billion increase over what the Congressional Budget Office estimates is the current rate of spending… But in their desire to keep the bill simple—and move fast—Republicans opted to distribute most of the increase, $5.9 billion, through a mechanical formula that automatically ups most accounts by 0.612 percent.

Sen. Mike Lee to take on executive power

Mike Lee

The House Republicans will continue to try to shake things up in the Obama Administration. They’re already launched inquiries and investigations unto the Solyndra and Operation Fast and Furious scandals, finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress on the latter issue for his failure to comply with information requests.

According to The Daily Caller, Republicans aren’t done. Concerned about the expansion of executive power, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who once served as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, will go before the House Judiciary Committee today to testify on several examples of abuse of presidential authority:

The House Ways and Means Committee is drilling into how the Treasury Department terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi salaried retirees during the 2009 auto bailout. House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa remains intent as ever on his quest for justice in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. And, House Energy and Commerce committee Republicans are planning on continuing to draw attention to the failures of Obama’s green energy programs – with emphasis on Solyndra — as they’re moving forward with new “No More Solyndras” legislation.

FreedomWorks’ Matt Kibbe discusses Paul Ryan & third party candidates

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