Saturday, September 30, 2006
Horn (Constitution Party) Says: Vote Walberg
More news this week from the Battle Creek Enquirer:
It's not often that you have a candidate that comes out publicly to say that he doesn't want the job he's running for, so of course this caught my attention. There are, of course, two forgotten candidates for Congress in our 7th District. Robert Hutchinson is the Libertarian nominee for Congress (in 2004, Libertarian Ken Proctor got 3,034 votes, or 1 percent), and David Horn is the U.S. Taxpayers Party nominee. Horn ran for Congress in 2004 as well, earning 9,032 votes, or 3 percent-- many of whom were disaffected Walberg supporters.
The U.S. Taxpayers Party is the state affiliate of the Constitution Party. I'll come back to that in a moment. But first, why won't David Horn campaign for Congress?
Yes, that's right. David Horn agrees with Tim Walberg on 90 percent of the issues. Or, conversely, one could say that Tim Walberg agrees with the Constitution Party on 90 percent of the issues.
So what do David Horn and the Constitution Party stand for? They say that they support returning to a strict interpretation of the Constitution, and a focus on Christian values as the basis for American laws. No Separation of Church and State for these folks. Let's look at a few issues.
I support abolition of the income tax and repeal of the 16th Amendment. I wish to restore taxation to that prescribed by our Founders: tariffs and excise taxes.Not quite the same as Tim Walberg, who instead supports a national sales tax. But still, just as constricting and regressive.
How about "family values"?
That bit does sound a lot like Tim Walberg, actually.
Then, there's federal spending:
While not exactly what Tim Walberg has said, it has the same tone to it. Walberg and his supporters advocate a small, disengaged government, which does as little as possible for its citizens. The Constitution Party, by the way, also calls for the elimination of the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the gradual elimination of Social Security, and a host of other important government programs.
Feel free to browse the party platform and Horn's issue position. It's interesting, to say the least. Also check out the Wikipedia entry on the party.
And apparently David Horn, Constitution Party candidate, agrees with Tim Walberg on 90 percent of the issues.
To moderates in the Republican Party and Democrats unsure of Renier's chances of winning, I ask that one considers the type of government Tim Walberg and those like him hope to create. Religious intolerance becomes part of the law, government ceases to provide essential services, and state governments struggle to cover the needs of their citizens. True, we have strayed from the original text of the Constitution in some areas-- but then, a lot has changed since 1789. Do you really want to go back to that?
And to those who have been unsure whether to vote for Tim Walberg, a Republican, or David Horn, the U.S. Taxpayers/Constitution Party candidate, I say: go ahead and vote for Horn, the one who you agree with 100 percent of the time. Don't vote for Walberg.
Labels: 2006 Election
VP Cheney is Coming to Town
The Jackson Citizen-Patriot reports that next week will feature a visit from Vice President Dick Cheney, fundraising on behalf of Tim Walberg.
Now, at this point, there are a lot of things I could say about Vice President Cheney. Lots of jokes could be made at his expense. But I'm not going to do that, because it's just too easy.
As is always the case with this sort of thing, a lot of money will be raised by a lot of rich donors-- the same sort of folks that fund the Club for Growth. After all, who else would have the money?
The invitation-only shindig isn't cheap. It takes $1,000 to buy a photo with Cheney at an 11:30 a.m. reception. Lunching at noon will cost another $250.(Emphasis added)
I don't know about you, but the last lunch that I bought cost a lot less than that. And I personally think that a $1,000 photo is a little overpriced, no matter who's in it. Compare this posh fundraiser to Democratic nominee Sharon Renier:
"I don't have any more pennies anywhere else," the congressional candidate said. "I took in pop cans and beer bottles yesterday to get gas. I'm poor. I'm very poor. But it doesn't mean I'm not smart."Of course, the Walberg-Cheney fundraiser isn't even being held in our Congressional District... which is perhaps troubling on its own:
The fundraiser also isn't in the 7th Congressional District. Walberg said security reasons forced organizers to move the locale from Jackson to Hawk Hollow Golf Course & Banquet Facilities in Bath, a Lansing suburb.Sharon Renier offers her take on the fundraiser, noting that, as the weak candidate many consider her to be, the GOP seems to be working hard to defeat her.
Schwarz Files FEC Complaint
It's been a busy week in my personal, non-blogging life, so there are a few brief posts coming today. If you're interested in ensuring timely reporting of 7th District-related events and Tim Walberg (R) and his radical conservative policies, e-mail me if you'd like to start blogging.
From a few days ago, emptywheel has a diary on Michigan Liberal about Congressman Joe Schwarz filing a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission about Tim Walberg and his questionable relationship with the Club for Growth. Quoting from an AP article:
The FEC complaint contends the Club for Growth coordinated expenditures from its political action committee and 527 organization, listing common political strategists and pollsters who were paid by the Club for Growth, Walberg and three other campaigns: Senate candidate Steve Laffey in Rhode Island, and congressional candidates Sharron Angle in Nevada and Bill Sali in Idaho.It's up to the FEC to decide if Walberg and his allies violated election laws. However, it is worth pointing out that some of the Club for Growth's ads (thanks to the Adrian Insider) followed Tim Walberg's talking points pretty closely.
Read the whole article, and make up your own mind. Frankly, even if there weren't any violations of the law, the fact that groups like the Club for Growth support Walberg is enough to give Sharon Renier my support.
On another, completely nonpolitical note, I'd like to express my sympathy for former State Rep. Walberg, whose grandson passed away last Sunday following complications from a three-month premature birth (Battle Creek Enquirer; again, via the Adrian Insider). While I might have harsh words for Mr. Walberg's politics, this sort of tragedy is tough for any family to work through. If you're religious, consider including Walberg and his family in your prayers.
If I may, I'd like to also say that I'm disappointed with the Battle Creek Enquirer's Andy Rathbun for using Walberg's grandchildren's health as justification for Walberg's political positions, just as I'd be disgusted if someone were to use them to attack Walberg. There should be a line drawn between what should and should not be used in political discussions. Family members-- especially grandchildren-- are decidedly on the "should not" side.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Sharon Renier on Taxes and The Economy
Not much time tonight, but I promise a more in-depth look at this soon. Via the Adrian Insider, an article in the Battle Creek Enquirer in which Sharon Renier discusses the economy, taxation, and her own personal finances.
Just a nice little quote to get you interested...
Just a note: under the Renier plan, 18.3% of 7th District households would no longer have to pay taxes, as they earn under $20,000 per year. Who would have their taxes raised? Well, only 1.5% of households in the district earn more than $200,000 per year. (Based on 1999 statistics).
So who's really pro-taxpayer? Or is Tim Walberg (R) just for the wealthy?
I'd argue that the most important part of blogging (especially political blogging) is the fact that readers can comment. Sure, anyone can stand out on a street corner with a "Walberg=Bad" sign, and anyone can go ahead and post that on the internet as well. But with blogging, there's instant feedback from those hearing your message, and that forces you to work harder-- either to convince those with negative comments or to keep up the good work for the folks with positive comments.
Now, I'll admit, this is an area I need to work harder on. What I ought to do is post well-reasoned, insightful responses to all of your comments in the comments section. And I hope to do that in the future. But lately, I've been kind of busy and kind of lazy. I haven't taken advantage of the dialogue opportunity.
There are, however, some really great comments from the last couple weeks that I'd like to point out. My one complaint: Why so many "Anonymous"'s? Come on, guys, give me a name to work with!
In my brief link to the Sharon Renier interview, there's been a bit of a discussion on Renier's message. One Anonymous writes:
This is the first of any "substance" I have found on Sharon Renier. So far her campaign has been lackluster at best, I was hoping for much more from her, especially facing a wingnut like Walberg. He can be defeated.And another anonymous responds:
You guys are the ones who sound like a cliche machines, not Sharon Renier. How is supporting the troops but not the war a cliche? Maybe you're not old enough to remember the aftermath of Vietnam, but when those soldiers came back home, they were directly blamed for what had happened. They were shunned, spit on, ignored. Renier's point is that it is not the fault of the soldiers that they're fighting a destructive pointless war and getting killed for nothing, worse than nothing. She is a strong supporter of the military, including expanded access to jobs and education, for those coming home. If you call that having it both ways, fine.When Joe Schwarz launched an editorial attack on the far-right in the Washington Post, I asked anyone with links to some of the pre-primary attack ads to let me know. The Adrian Insider answered:
To see some of those ads, check out this page: http://adrianinsider.blogspot.com/2006/06/tv-radio-ad-wars.html
After Lincoln Chafee won his primary over a Club for Growth challenger, one anonymous commenter suggested that the Club was doomed to defeat nationwide, and MI-07 was the exception, not the norm.
CFG's defeat of Joe Schwarz was for all intent and purpose...a fluke.I hope s/he is right... Incidentally, another commenter on the same subject reminds us:
Bouchard is also endorsed by Club for Growth.That being Michael Bouchard, Republican opponent to Senator Debbie Stabenow.
When an article appeared quoting some harsh rhetoric against Tim Walberg by Schwarz, one anonymous commenter reminded us:
Let no one forget that Walberg refused to endorse Schwarz after the last primary. He encouraged people to vote for the Constitution Party candidate in 2004 when he lost to Schwarz.With that, today's Comment Roundup concludes. If you're upset that yours wasn't included, don't take it personally. I have no doubt it was interesting and insightful.
Labels: 2006 Election
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Tim Walberg and James Dobson
If one ventures over to Tim Walberg's campaign website, the endorsements page is an interesting read. In addition to naming supporting organizations like the Club for Growth and Right to Life, he includes a list of "community leaders" that support him:
Dr. James Dobson? A "Community Leader"? Considering he was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and broadcasts out of Colorado, the Walberg campaign has a pretty broad definition for "community." But obviously he must be an important leader, being at the top of Walberg's list. And Dobson must think Michigan is a pretty important state, too. From Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:
So let's take a closer look at James Dobson.
Dobson is best known for his "Focus on the Family" radio broadcast and published materials advising parents on how to, supposedly, build strong families and raise productive children. It sounds like a noble goal, and one that wouldn't necessarily be political in nature. However, the issues which Dobson focuses on (and the positions he takes) are cause for some concern.
Mind you, it isn't that he's not a compassionate man-- when it comes to corporal punishment, he says:
"It is not necessary to beat the child into submission; a little bit of pain goes a long way for a young child. However, the spanking should be of sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely."Just hard enough to cause genuine tears. No more than that.
I admit, that wasn't entirely fair of me. Lots of parents have lots of techniques on raising children, and certainly firm authority is sometimes useful. That said, the quote is a bit troubling, I think.
Dobson, like many others in the Religious Right, has had his share of controversial statements. Perhaps most memorable was his feud with SpongeBob Squarepants and homosexuality. That subject in particular seems to be very important to him, having been quoted in the The Daily Oklahoman (Oct. 23rd, 2004) saying:
"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."Destroy the Earth? Really? Here I was, worried about weapons of mass destruction and bird flu. The real threat is that my neighbors might be gay.
According to Dobson, homosexuality is a condition which can be treated and cured with proper parental involvement throughout childhood. He offers a lot of "information" on the subject here (link found via the Wikipedia article). I would quote from it, but frankly, I don't know where to begin. I would wish, however, that we would become a society more tolerant of one another. If you don't want to let same-sex couples marry, that's fine. But to try to "cure" them? That's a little disturbing, in my humble opinion.
Of course, controversy surrounds more than just his stance on homosexuality. James Dobson also gained some attention for his opposition to stem cell research. On that subject, he commented:
But I have to ask this question: In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind. You know, if you take a utilitarian approach, that if something results in good, then it is good. But that's obviously not true. We condemn what the Nazis did because there are some things that we always could do but we haven't done, because science always has to be guided by ethics and by morality. And you remove ethics and morality, and you get what happened in Nazi Germany. That's why to Senator [Senate Majority Leader Bill] Frist [R-TN] and the others who are saying, "Look what may be accomplished." Yeah, but there's another issue, there's a higher order of ethics here.(From Media Matters; emphasis included from source)
Hm. Incidentally, Tim Walberg opposes stem cell research as well, being "100% pro-life". As a side note, Media Matters has all sorts of information on Dobson-- my personal favorite is when he compared the Supreme Court to the KKK.
But political involvement aside, Dobson still wants to promote strong families. That's why he advocates a household dominated by the husband, with the wife playing the "submissive" role. Wikipedia leads one to an article on his organization's website (though not written by him) that has some interesting thoughts on the subject:
This may be shocking news to you, but an overwhelming majority of wives in my survey said they want to submit to their husbands. They want their husbands to be the head of the home, and they have no desire to usurp that God-given position of leadership. They know what the Bible says on the subject, and discerning wives want to do what God wants because they understand that God’s ways work best.And...
If you feel that your wife is not submissive, pray for her to have a submissive heart, first toward God and then toward you. Then ask God to help you love her the way He does. I guarantee that you will see her submission level rise in direct proportion to the unselfish love you exhibit for her. And let her see that you are seeking God for guidance. If she knows that you are asking God to show you the way, she will follow you anywhere.Oh, and then there's the "Prayer Power" portion of it:
Lord, I submit myself to You this day. Lead me as I lead my family. Help me to make all decisions based on Your revelation and guidance. As I submit my leadership to You, enable (wife’s name) to fully trust that You are leading me. Help her to understand the kind of submission You want from her. Help me to understand the kind of submission You want from me. Enable me to be the leader You want me to be.
I don't know about you, but I happen to know certain women that would object to total submission to their husbands-- especially if that means giving up their careers.
Religious faith is an important part of American society, and helps define who we are as individuals. But men like James Dobson aren't interested in creating the loving, peaceful society faith should lead to. Instead, they exploit faith and use select passages from the Bible to advance their hateful political views.
And, of course, Dobson supports Tim Walberg.
Support Sharon Renier for Congress
Labels: 2006 Election
Friday, September 22, 2006
Sharon Renier Interview
Meant to mention this yesterday, didn't quite get to it...
Over at Who Got The Gravy? (part of Michigan's fantastic and growing progressive blogosphere), Nirmal interviews Sharon Renier, Democratic nominee for Michigan's 7th Congressional District, and opponent of radical conservative Tim Walberg (R).
I'm in a bit of a rush, so I'm not going to give you any highlights. Besides, it's an interesting interview, with plenty of candid thoughts on the race and issues facing America. Definitely worth reading in full.
Labels: 2006 Election
Saturday, September 16, 2006
More Harsh Words From Schwarz
Congressman Joe Schwarz picked up his pen once again for a column in Sunday, September 17's Washington Post (apparently available early online).
I am the political equivalent of a woolly mammoth, a rarity heading for extinction. Yes, I'm a moderate.I can't tell you how important it is to read this column in full. I'm going to offer a few highlights and some commentary, but you really should go and read it yourself.
Our plight today is dire. Even though more than half of all American voters consider themselves centrists, the Republican and Democratic parties are finding themselves controlled to an ever-greater extent by their more extreme elements. On the Republican side, the "religious right," the quasi-theocrats, are infiltrating the party power structure quite effectively. On the left, the moneyed Eastern establishment and California liberals shrilly tell Americans that the sky is falling, that the world hates us and that Republican policies are all wrong. Yet they offer no viable alternatives. As a result, they have managed to alienate much of the traditional working-class Democratic base, good people caught between Republicans they don't like and Democrats who have abandoned them. What's a moderate to do?(All emphasis added)
Schwarz does not mention Tim Walberg, the radical conservative that defeated him, by name-- to do so would invite criticism that he's just a "sore loser"-- but we all know who he's talking about. The interest groups that helped Walberg win the nomination are not what the Republican Party once was. They are not the ones that knew how to govern through so many administrations since 1860. The religious right now controls the GOP, one of many reasons why a unified Republican government, with the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court, can't govern effectively. They've alienated intelligent, dedicated moderates that knew how to get things done.
[...]I'm sure everyone in the district remembers the ads that Walberg's associates ran during the primary. I wish that I had been forward-thinking enough to save a few of them when they were available online-- especially the ads run by the Club for Growth-- as evidence of their negative campaign. If anyone out there did save them, or might perhaps be able to find them online, let me know.
From a Republican endorsed by President Bush, John McCain, and prominent GOP interest groups like the NRA and the US Chamber of Commerce, these are some pretty harsh words for the dominant forces of the Republican Party.
It was a classic example of a motivated minority -- just 7.8 percent of the Republican electorate districtwide -- nominating a congressional candidate. The moderates stayed home in droves, felt horrible the next day, and vowed never to miss another vote. They will. The hard right won't. And fewer and fewer sensible "let's take the broad view" candidates will have any chance of being elected.It isn't about seeking a "sensible center" as some Washington consultants seem to believe. Instead, it's about a willingness to work with others, regardless of party, in creating an effective government that works for all its citizens. For example, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) embodies many liberal values. Yet he is able to reach across the aisle on countless issues in order to get things done. Why? Because he listens to his constituents.
Tim Walberg and the extremists of the GOP don't do that. Instead, they listen to the groups that dump $50,000 into the campaign on their behalf just days before the election. Isn't it nice to know that there's an alternative?
If "Joe Schwarz is a liberal," then surely any 7th District Democrat must be wildly leftist, right? Well, let's look at Democratic nominee Sharon Renier on the issues.
SHARON RENIER, Democrat: Says she believes women should have a choice, but wants abortion to be as rare as possible. Renier says she has a different perspective on the issue than other candidates because she is a woman.Energy and the Environment:
RENIER: Says she “absolutely” believes in tax breaks for alternative energy, and also wants to look at incentives to homeowners who use efficient technologies to reduce energy usage. Opposes drilling in ANWR, saying: “Can’t we just leave our hands off something?”Iraq:
RENIER: Believes the U.S. needs to begin pulling troops out of Iraq and allowing the Iraqis to concentrate on rebuilding their country. Favors a staggered plan of withdrawal.Guns:
RENIER: Says she is a card-carrying NRA member who supports gun rights.... And so on. Is that really so radically liberal? Actually, it sounds like a lot of common-sense, moderate positions. It also sounds a lot like some of what Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz has said. So who's really out of step with Michigan's 7th District?
Joe Schwarz may be "the political equivalent of a woolly mammoth" in the Republican Party, but moderates are alive and well in the Democratic Party. Sharon Renier would be a fair representative of Michigan's 7th District, certainly moreso than the Radical Right's Tim Walberg.
Support Sharon Renier:
Labels: 2006 Election
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Club for Growth Defeated In RI
Lincoln Chafee is the kind of Republican that used to be common in this country. He's a social moderate, reflecting the views of his left-leaning state as best he can, and a fiscal conservative in the traditional, Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller sense.
Of course, this wasn't good enough for the Club for Growth. They spent a significant sum of money in support of Mayor Steve Laffey, a far-right conservative in the mold of Tim Walberg, in his bid to defeat Chafee for the Republican nomination.
Happily, there's still a place for moderates in the GOP... but only in Rhode Island.
Yes, Lincoln Chafee succeeded, defeating Steve Laffey by a significant margin. But who are the big losers?
Club For Growth: The Club made no secret that defeating Chafee was its No. 1 priority this cycle. And despite funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to Laffey's campaign and spending similar amounts on advertising to knock off the incumbent, its efforts came up short. Laffey's defeat keeps the Club from claiming the prize it wants most -- defeating a sitting senator who fails to hew to its free-market agenda. That said, the Club has had an extremely successful run so far this cycle -- playing a major role in the loss of moderate Rep. Joe Schwarz (R) in Michigan and winning a number of contested Republican primaries in other states. Still, the group's inability to beat Chafee takes some of the shine off '06 cycle for the Club.In the coming days, I hope to offer a detailed look at the Club for Growth and what they really stand for. But as good news as it is for Senator Chafee, it's not over by any means. The Club for Growth will still support Tim Walberg between now and November, and will presumably be taking an active role in Michigan. A quick look at their website will show who one of their other endorsed candidates is: Michael Bouchard, Republican nominee for US Senate.
As always, support Sharon Renier in the 7th District (contribute; volunteer), and support Senator Debbie Stabenow against Club for Growth candidate Michael Bouchard (contribute; volunteer).
In other, unrelated news, a major victory for tolerance and progress: the first Muslim member of Congress may soon be headed to Washington. Regardless of political leanings, State Rep. Keith Ellison's victory represents the best of America. After September 11, Muslims have been subject to harsh and terrible discrimination. One day after the five year anniversary, Minnesota primary voters chose him as their next representative. Racism has no place in America, and Ellison's victory is a step forward for our country.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Schwarz: "There are people out there who believe that that this country should be a theocracy."
Congressman Joe Schwarz, having been defeated by Tim Walberg (R-MI-07) in August 8th's primary, has been largely silent about his plans for the future. However, it's becoming increasingly clear what he does not intend to do:
WASHINGTON -- In the wake of his loss in the primary last month, U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz says he won't endorse or vote for the Republican pastor who defeated him and accused "right-wing intimidators" of running moderates like himself out of the party.That's right. Joe Schwarz-- a prominent Republican from Battle Creek, who served in Michigan's legislature for years, served Michigan's 7th District in Congress, and even ran for governor in 2002-- will not even vote for his party's nominee, Tim Walberg.
The Detroit News article continues:
Schwarz accused Walberg of running a "character assassination" campaign, which was aided by a series of "moral absolutist" votes on the U.S. House floor in mid-July -- three weeks before the primary.While Schwarz has had some harsh criticism of Tim Walberg and the religious right before, this is the closest he's come publicly to switching parties. But just when you thought his criticism couldn't be more harsh, you read this:
This stunning statement is sure to catch people's attention, as it should. Tim Walberg does not represent the political views of Michigan's 7th District. He represents the views of a small yet influential minority of the Republican Party.
The race also earns the attention of Jack Lessenberry in a column for the Toledo Blade. The relevant portion:
Now, Mr. Schwarz is returning the favor. “I’ve lost elections before, and after each one I could invite my opponent out for a beer. Not this time. I can’t endorse Walberg. His campaign tactics were reprehensible, consisting of one lie and mischaracterization after another.”(Emphasis added)
Help Sharon Renier defeat Tim Walberg-- contribute, volunteer, and tell your friends to support the candidate that really represents the district.
Labels: 2006 Election
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Tim Walberg and the Minutemen
Tim Walberg's plan for immigration is clearly extreme and misguided, and would lead to tough punishment of the wrong people. But what about his other connection with the immigration issue?
During the primary campaign against Congressman Joe Schwarz, Minuteman PAC (the "political arm of the Minuteman Movement") was a major presence in support of Tim Walberg. On their website, he is listed as one of their four endorsed candidates.
Their involvement didn't go unnoticed. As reported by The Adrian Insider on August 3rd (five days before the primary):
The Minuteman PAC plans to pour $150,000 into a media blitz on Tim Walberg's behalf to oust incumbent Joe Schwarz, R-Battle Creek.Although they now say they only spent $50,000, high spending in the final days of a tight election is more than a little significant. What do we know about the Minutemen?
The "founder" of the Minuteman movement is Jim Gilchrist. Gilchrist, a failed third-party candidate for Congress, is associated with the far-right Constitution Party, and has political views which largely match those of Tim Walberg-- "strongly pro-life," supports tax cuts, and opposes same-sex marriage. He also wants to boycott the Ford Motor Company because of a single television ad.
The head of Minuteman PAC and the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps is Chris Simcox. Under his leadership, the Minutemen have begun building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. The "wall," and the leadership of Simcox, haven't been without controversy. From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
The Southern Poverty Law Center goes into considerable detail regarding the lack of financial accountability in the Minuteman organization-- the "wall" is just a small part of the problems Simcox faces. But what kind of people are motivated to join the Minutemen? Well, the Southern Poverty Law Center can tell us that as well.
Of course, it's not just the immigrants they hate; sometimes, you can be anti-immigrant, but too soft on them:
The woman, who said she was with a Pennsylvania anti-immigration group, had outraged Johnny and Michael that afternoon by reporting for duty with a Star of David pendant dangling below the neckline of her "I Survived the Minuteman Project" t-shirt. She also squabbled with them over the morality of pit bull fighting, and expressed her belief in animal rights and no-kill dog and cat shelters. They started calling her "Jew bitch" behind her back.But that's not all...
While Gilchrist is newly prominent on the anti-immigration front — he recently joined the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, a hate group whose leader routinely describes Mexicans as "savages" — Simcox has been active since 2002, when he founded Civil Homeland Defense, a Tombstone-based vigilante militia that he brags has captured more than 5,000 Mexicans and Central Americans who entered the country without visas.And...
These are the people that support Tim Walberg enough to spend $50,000 on his behalf. I don't intend to accuse Walberg himself of anything. However, the policies he supports, which earn him the affection of the Minutemen, should be seriously questioned.
Labels: 2006 Election
Tim Walberg on Immigration
This post relies heavily on Migra Matters: Progressive Immigration Reform, a blog dedicated to analyzing illegal immigration and the politics surrounding it. My selective quoting and not-so-witty commentary doesn't come close to the comprehensive information collected at that site, and anyone interested in the issue should spend a great deal of time there.
We all know Tim Walberg (Radical Conservative) is anti-abortion, anti-marriage equality, and anti-taxation. But what about the divisive issue of 2006, immigration?
The Adrian Daily Telegram reported this:
WALBERG: Says the proposal passed by the U.S. House of Representatives has been the closest to his ideal plan. First, Walberg says, borders need to be secured. No amnesty will be offered, but the legal immigration process must remain open. Immigrants must have clear documentation. “As we find them, then we must deal with the illegals that are here and deal with the employers that knowingly hire illegal aliens,” he says.It sounds straightforward enough. Secure borders, but allow legal immigration. Then we "deal with the illegals" and their employers. He says it's all put together in the proposal passed already by the US House of Representatives, but that stalled in the Senate and the White House.
This is what the House bill would do (courtesy of Migra Matters, an immigration reform blog):
It would require the border patrol to pick up and deport, without any administrative hearing, anyone within 100 miles of the border that an agent thinks is an undocumented immigrant who has been present less than 14 days. How the officers are to determine the legal status of the deportees is not addressed in the legislation. The de facto result of this legislation is that anyone within 100 miles of the border (north or south) who is suspected of being here illegally could by deported without any sort of hearing or reviews.Anyone can recognize the danger in this-- an agent's own prejudices and suspicions could lead to legal residents being deported without an opportunity to argue their case. But what about the rest of the bill?
The mandatory detentions?
Under current law, individuals who arrive without documents, including asylum-seekers, are subject to mandatory detention. Again this applies mainy to those arriving at airports or by sea. 60% of detainees are held in local jails under contract to the federal government, where they are generally not segregated from the criminal population even if they are asylum-seekers and others with no criminal record.Any non-citizen, not just those without documentation, detained for any reason ends up in jail. That's quite a friendly welcome to the land of the free.
When the bill was passed, a great deal of attention focused on the provision making illegal immigration a felony. Many, I'm sure, would argue in support of that tough-on-crime stance, since they are, after all, breaking the law. Right? Well...
As defined in the bill it includes any violation, even technical, of any immigration law or regulation. Even if the immigrant was to fall “out of status” unintentionally, or do to paperwork delays. In essence, the bill makes every immigration violation, however minor, into a federal crime. As drafted, the bill also makes the new crime of “illegal presence” an “aggravated felony” for immigration purposes.(Emphasis added)
How is an "aggravated felony" usually defined? Here's a sample, but a full definition is available if you follow the link.
I'm a little old-fashioned, but I never thought of paperwork delays as quite this serious.
Migra Matters continues...
HR 4437 would permit indefinite detention of an increased broad class of non-citizens, including:
Immigration reform is a serious issue facing the country today, and ought to be addressed. But the bill that Tim Walberg supports doesn't address the issue. It creates new standards for punishing immigrants without regard for guilt or innocence, and gives broad new powers to border patrol agents-- powers that police and the military aren't trusted with.
And on top of that, it counts on the government always having its information organized. Is that something you'd bet money on?
The problem with all of HR 4437 (outside of its possible unconstitutionality, racist overtones, and a lack of judicial checks and balances) is that all of these new programs are predicated on the government having a reliable, accurate and easily accessible information management system to ensure that those who don't "belong" here are kept out, while those who do belong are not penalized.This is the kind of immigration reform Tim Walberg wants. Is it really what Michigan's 7th District wants?
August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008