Friday, March 6, 2015

Congresswoman Susan Brooks to Speak At the RNLA's 2015 National Policy Conference

The RNLA is pleased to announce that Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) will be one of our featured speakers for the 2015 National Policy Conference.  She currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Ethics Committee and the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Susan as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. Serving as the chief federal law enforcement officer for a majority of the Hoosier state, she received bi-partisan acclaim for efforts to battle mortgage fraud, gun violence, drug trafficking, gangs, child exploitation and identity theft.

After receiving her undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio, Susan pursued a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. In May of 2013, Susan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Marian University in Indianapolis.

Recently, Brooks has been making waves since serving on the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.  She is the only freshman on the panel, and one of only two who doesn't serve on any of the four House committees that have already investigated the attack.

"I do think it's a good thing to have some fresh perspectives," Brooks said in an interview with IndyStar.com.  "Maybe some different questions, or maybe a different manner in which we ask the questions will produce some answers."


For more information on the RNLA’s 2015 National Policy Conference and to register, please visit our events page here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

RNLA HONORS HEATHER HEIDELBAUGH WITH THE BETTY MURPHY AWARD


The Republican National Lawyers Association is pleased to honor Heather Heidelbaugh with the Betty Murphy Award.  The award will be presented to Ms. Heidelbaugh during the RNLA’s 2015 National Policy Conference on March 21, 2015.  The press release with biographical information may be found here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Why Mayday PAC 2.0 will fail



Exciting times are here for Larry Lessig’s Mayday PAC. The Harvard law professor that doesn’t know the difference between a PAC and a 501(c)(4) is revamping his irony-embracing Super PAC to end all Super PACs. In about a week, Mayday PAC 2.0 will go live and Lessig is no doubt hoping for better results. 

Mayday PAC’s initial rollout was an unmitigated disaster despite celebrity spokesmen, fawning media coverage, Silicon Valley millions, top-dollar consultants, and a volunteer army. Unfortunately for Lessig, cosmetic changes won’t ameliorate Mayday’s structural deficiencies. Lessig’s political obliviousness and thinly veiled progressive-policy goals will once again sink Mayday on the rocks of political reality.   

Lessig must manufacture a constituency that simply doesn’t exist. Blue-district candidates already agree with him, Red-district candidates don’t. Money spent in either will be in vain for, respectively, lack of credit or results. Therefore he must find a critical mass of persuadable voters in swing or Red-leaning districts who will vote for his issue and against their other political instincts. And according to his plan he must do it all in one cycle—an impossible task.

Lessig thinks he can create this constituency by buying them off (paying the ransom) with slick, hipster adverts. But as radical environmentalist Tom Steyer found, most people can’t be bought. And despite the Left’s successful demonization of the wealthy and seemingly promising poll numbers, the citizenry won’t vote on this issue. If voters thought public financing would magically infuse virtue into public policy they would have vigorously supported the moribund presidential financing system.

Moreover, Lessig’s notions of corruption through access, influence, or the ‘money primary’ are too abstract, and as the recent Moritz study noted, already ‘baked in’ to voter calculus. More importantly, the corruption they can see has nothing to do with private campaign funding; it is big government run amok. When the public sees the IRS targeting conservative groups for ideology, Cabinet members and agency heads using personal emails to evade disclosure laws, the EPA lying about its activity, the President bypassing the will of the people through executive order, and the Justice Department stonewalling investigations, their thoughts don’t include ‘if we only we had taxpayer-funded candidates.’

Lessig’s quest gives short shrift to this type of blatant public corruption because it doesn’t comport with his aim to increase the administrative state’s power over the citizenry. One of Lessig’s favorite refrains is voters must “reclaim our democracy.” What he means of course by “democracy” is government—empowering government with ever more control over the lives and decisions of the individual. He displays his fondness for government by quoting Montesquieu: “Now a government is like everything else . . . To preserve it we must love it. Everything, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a Republic.” Writes Lessig: “It is this love that will fuel our fight.

This is progressive pabulum: Every problem real or imagined requires ‘fixing’ and the government must be the one to do it—at the expense of the private sector or individual. Thus it is unsurprising Lessig supports initiatives like Net Neutrality.

A generation ago Harvard law professor John Hart Ely sought to emasculate the Constitution of substantive values—at least those that contravened Warren Court sensibilities. According to Ely, majorities should have near limitless power, with a few discreet and insular exceptions. Lessig’s plan to juice the tax code to enliven democratic participation is in some sense a paradigmatic fulfillment of Ely’s vision.  

But large swaths of the country oppose this Marxian-influenced view of public power. They believe, whatever its intentions, government’s decades-long expansion has failed its citizens and now operates for its own benefit rather than the people. Lessig must convince these voters further sapping private-sector vitality will benefit them. He won’t, no matter how many actors or hipsters make his pitch. Mayday PAC won’t be getting a lifeline in 2016.

By Paul Jossey

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Real Cause of the 2008 Financial Crisis

In a new book out by AEI scholar Peter J. Wallison titled "Hidden In Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World's Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again" suggests that the US’ lack of regulation of housing policies played a crucial role in the financial crisis of 2008.
In a Q&A with AEI Wallison explains that there is still widespread belief that it was the banks and the private sector that caused the financial crisis, and to combat that myth is the reason that he wrote “Hidden In Plain Sight.”
Wallison evidences that by 2008, before the financial crisis, there were 55 million mortgages in the US. Of these, 31 million were subprime or otherwise risky. And of this 31 million, 76% were on the books of government agencies, primarily Fannie and Freddie. This shows where the demand for these mortgages actually came from, and it wasn’t the private sector. When the great housing bubble (also created by the government policies) began to deflate in 2007 and 2008, these weak mortgages defaulted in unprecedented numbers, causing the insolvency of Fannie and Freddie, the weakening of banks and other financial institutions, and ultimately the financial crisis.
Having a Republican Congress, according to Wallison, improves the chances of eliminating the government’s involvement in the housing finance system. This would permit the creation of a stable mortgage system based on sound underwriting standards. However, in light of his most recent action, it seems unlikely that President Obama would agree to a reform of this kind. Much depends then on the election of a Republican president in 2016. If that occurs, Wallison thinks the record of the government’s activities in the housing market makes a strong case for returning over time to a completely private system.
On Thursday, March 12, please join the RNLA for a conference call featuring former RNLA Board Member and White House Counsel to Ronald Reagan, Peter Wallison. To RSVP for the conference call, where you may have the chance to ask Mr. Wallinson questions regarding his new book or the financial crisis, email confcall@republicanlawyer.net.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Investigating Vote Buying in Tennessee Will get you Fired

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is probing allegations of vote-buying in last year's controversial Monroe County sheriff's election.  
According to the lawsuit, the two learned of a vote-buying scheme before the election and alerted prosecutors who, in turn, enlisted the TBI. The legal action does not specifically accuse White in the scheme. Manning says in the lawsuit he has proof votes were being bought.
“Manning recorded a conversation with a Monroe County citizen who stated on the recording that his vote had been purchased for $20,” the lawsuit stated.
Not only is this a possible example of the ongoing nature of vote fraud, it once again proves how difficult it is to even investigate. The investigators were allegedly fired for even pursuing these allegations.

The pair claims White fired them in that interim period between his election and his ouster because of their political allegiance to Bivens and their participation in the TBI vote-buying probe.
While there is a lot of other allegations involved in this race outside vote buying, once again it those investigating vote fraud that are punished instead of those who commit the fraud.  While in New York the Election Board asked investigators to be prosecuted for investigating vote fraud, in Tennessee apparently such investigations can get you fired.  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Will Lorreta Lynch Be the Next DNC AG?

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to report Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch out of committee and to the floor.

The vote was 12-8 with all Democrats voting in favor of Lynch and all Republicans voting against, except that Senators Hatch, Graham and Flake voted in favor of Lynch.  The Senators voting against were Chairman Grassley, and Senators Sessions, Cornyn, Lee, Cruz, Vitter, Perdue, and Tillis.

Chairman Grassley explained his vote in detail hereChairman Grassley is concerned that she will continue to politicize the Justice Department.  As he stated:

Now, I’m confident that if she had demonstrated a little more independence from the President, she would’ve garnered more support here today.  To illustrate why, we need to look no further than the recent confirmation of Secretary Carter to the Department of Defense.  When he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary Carter demonstrated the type of independent streak that many of us were hoping we’d see from Ms. Lynch.

Most of the media reporting on the two nominations seemed to agree.  Consider these headlines from several major news outlets regarding the Carter nomination:
•    “In Ashton Carter, Nominee for Defense Secretary, a Change in Direction,” The New York Times•    “New Defense Secretary airs differences with Obama over Ukraine, Gitmo,” Washington Times•    “Obama Pentagon pick Carter says he won’t bend to White House Pressure to release Gitmo prisoners,” Fox News•    “Defense nominee Carter casts himself as an independent voice,” The Washington Post
Compare those headlines to these regarding Ms. Lynch, from some of the very same news outlets:
•    “Lynch Defends Obama’s Immigration Action,” The New York Times•    “Loretta Lynch Defends Obama’s Immigration Actions,” Huffington Post•    “Loretta Lynch Defends Obama’s Executive Action, NSA Surveillance,” Newsweek•    “Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch defends Obama Immigration policies,” Washington Times
Secretary Carter was confirmed with 93 votes.  Only 5 Senators voted against his nomination.  That lopsided vote was a reflection of his testimony before the Senate, which demonstrated a willingness to be an independent voice within the administration.
I suspect Ms. Lynch will be confirmed, but I doubt she’ll garner 93 votes in support of her nomination.  And to the extent her support isn’t as broad as Secretary Carter’s, it will reflect a reluctance to take the department in a new direction, and her unwillingness to identify meaningful limitations on executive power.


Eric Holder was the DNC Attorney General, let’s hope Ms. Lynch is not as well.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More Hypocrisy on the Government Takeover of the Internet


President Obama’s unprecedented attempts at a government takeover of the Internet have another element, Hypocrisy.

A key Republican lawmaker in Congress called for Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to make proposed net neutrality regulations public before a planned Thursday vote on the measure.

[House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason] Chaffetz urged Wheeler to publicly release the 332-page draft order that was given to the other four commissioners nearly three weeks ago and appear at a House Oversight hearing Wednesday before a vote at the FCC's monthly meeting Thursday.

Also today, FCC commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly too asked for Wheeler to release the proposal to the public and postpone the Thursday vote to allow for 30 days of public comment.

Chairman Wheeler is refusing to do so even amid allegations of undue influence by the White House.  This is particular ironic in light of what then Senator Obama stated in 2007:

A senator who supported the FCC's postponement back then, Chaffetz notes, was then-senator Barack Obama. "He specifically noted while a certain proposal 'may pass the muster of a federal court, Congress and the public have the right to review any specific proposal and decide whether or not it constitutes sound policy. And the commission has the responsibility to defend any new proposal in public discourse and debate,'" Chaffetz said citing the original letter sent by Sen. Obama to Martin.


In 2007 the proposed rules for a less important FCC matter were made public so there could be a debate.  Not now.  

[Note:  RNLA is pleased to announce that both Republican Commissioners of the FCC will be speaking at our March 20 National Policy Conference.]