Friday, October 9, 2015

Liberals Rely on Misinformation to Attack Voter ID

The state of Alabama is facing an $11 million cut to its general fund budget. In an attempt to cut costs, the state will close at least 31 part-time, non-state owned satellite driver license offices. This may seem like a rather mundane piece of news, but, thanks to critics on the far-left, the story has gotten national attention. The country's liberal wing, not wanting to let an opportunity for manufactured rage go to waste, has attacked the closings as being racially motivated and an attempt to keep low-income minorities from obtaining the necessary voter ID for election participation.  Jesse Jackson even said "Of course it's a new Jim Crow."

It takes very little effort however to see that these criticisms are completely without merit. As Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill pointed out: "[a]ll 67 counties in Alabama have a Board of Registrars that issue photo voter I.D. cards. If, for some reason, those citizens are not able to make it to the Board of Registrars, we'll bring our mobile I.D. van and crew to that county. By Oct. 31, our office will have brought the mobile I.D. van to every county in Alabama at least once."

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley also pushed back on the dishonest criticism. Hillary Clinton was quick to jump on the issue and Governor Bentley responded saying: "[t]he one that I'm really angry about is Hillary Clinton. You know Hillary Clinton never lets the facts get in the way of a good political sound bite and that's exactly what she has done criticizing the state of Alabama."

Regarding access to the ballot, Governor Bentley was clear that state officials are doing everything possible to ensure that anyone who wishes to legally vote can do so: "[w]e will go to people's houses to have their picture made if they don't have a photo ID in the state of Alabama. We're not ever going to do anything to keep people in the state of Alabama from voting. And for them to jump to a conclusion like that, that is politics at its worst."

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Election Reform: Who's Paying?

Localities in Massachusetts are coping with an issue facing election officials nationwide: how to finance state mandated election reform. Massachusetts, like other states, has recently set new requirements for extended hours at polling locations, early-voting, and pre-registration.

The problem? These new rules don't come with funding. Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump chastised lawmakers saying that the new regulations "increased the financial burden on cities and towns...and this is the responsibility of the state." Massachusetts already has a law on the books requiring that the state pick up the cost of extended voting hours, but obtaining reimbursement is an annual struggle.

RNLA has previously addressed the high cost of early voting and other reforms. This issue is by no means unique to Massachusetts. Nationwide states are enacting costly new election requirements which offer little return on the investment. In Massachusetts alone the cost of extending polling location hours is expected to run more than $2.76 million in addition to the $3-6 million cost of early voting as estimated by the Massachusetts State Senate Ways and Means Committee. If these new requirements were effective in increasing voter turnout, perhaps the cost would be justified. However, as the Pew Research Center points out, expensive early voting programs are actually associated with lower turnout. From the Pew study: "[t]his result upends the conventional view that anything that makes voting easier will raise turnout."

Geoff Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association summed it up nicely when he said: "[e]arly voting will mean additional costs for cities and towns that are already cash-strapped. So, the funding needs to follow."

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Legal and Illegal Aliens are Disenfranchising Voters

By now it should be recognized as fact that vote fraud is real and it needs to be fought.  Right before the elections last fall, no less than the liberal Washington Post published an article declaring that Obamacare, the signature accomplishment of the Obama Presidency, was passed by vote fraud from legal aliens voting illegally.  Now just a little over a year from the next Presidential election the similarly left leaning Politico declares:

Illegal immigrants—along with other noncitizens without the right to vote—may pick the 2016 presidential winner. Thanks to the unique math undergirding the Electoral College, the mere presence of 11-12 million illegal immigrants and other noncitizens here legally may enable them to swing the election from Republicans to Democrats

Unlike the case in Minnesota for Obamacare where vote fraud disenfranchised people by an affirmative and criminal act of illegal voting, the mere presence of illegal aliens is changing the electoral math to favor the Democrats.  It puts in perspective the possible real reason behind the vehement fight, by at least some of the Democrats, in support of illegal aliens. It is allowing them to effectively disenfranchise legal non-Democrat voters.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Politicization of the Department of Justice Must be Stopped

J. Christian Adams has an excellent article discussing a recent speech by former Attorney General and RNLA Advisory Committee Member Michael Mukasey.  The article focuses on the extreme politicization of the Department of Justice under the Obama Administration.  

The key quote from Mukasey's speech according to Adams is:

One lesson to draw from all this is that personnel is policy. If you examine the resum├ęs of people hired into the DOJ beginning in 2009, you will find that the governing credential of new hires was a history of support for left-leaning causes or membership in leftist organizations.

Adams goes on in detail to amplify Judge Mukasey’s point stating:

Mukasey is right.  Every single one of the attorney hires was a partisan or ideologue.  (You can access the PJ Media series here.)  Again, this outcome was no accident.  It was driven by a desire of those doing the attorney hiring to self-replicate their worldview inside DOJ.

These new hires are career civil service slots.  Contrary to the assumption of many who have read the Every Single One, these individuals cannot be easily dislodged, even by an aggressive attorney general in 2017.  Many hired in 2009 through 2014 will have already vested past their probationary period and will be all but impossible to remove.  Those still on probation will be defended from removal by nearly every layer of the DOJ bureaucracy.

This is not a problem just for conservatives or Republicans.  The Department of Justice’s own Inspector General recognized the problem

The Department of Justice Inspector General recommended that the Civil Rights Division change the criteria it uses to hire attorneys in light of the facts uncovered by PJ Media.  As noted by the Inspector General, Tom Perez (then the Assistant Attorney General) refused to follow the Inspector General’s suggestion.

Judge Mukasey and Mr. Adams have it right.  It is imperative to elect a President who will respect the rule of law and bring back an understanding that the administration of justice should not be partisan.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

House Republicans Continue to Hammer Planned Parenthood

This summer, the Center For Medical Progress released video footage of Planned Parenthood executives seemingly discussing the sale of baby body parts. Since the release of the first video, there has been a steady stream of new, equally unsettling, footage. Republicans in Congress have taken the allegations against Planned Parenthood seriously and are endeavoring to find out which laws may have been broken and how culpable various Planned Parenthood executives may be.

Just this week, Cecile Richards, who is the president of Planned Parenthood, was called to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The committee, one of four congressional panels looking into the matter, questioned Richards on a variety of topics. 

Chairman Chaffetz began by simply questioning Planned Parenthood's need for federal funding. "I could be here a long time listing out fairly exorbitant salaries" he said before drawing attention to the fact that heading the non-profit group earns Richards $520,000 a year. Democrats, who love to criticize large CEO salaries, seem to have no problem with Richards' compensation even as they claim federal funding is critical to Planned Parenthood's continued existence.

Referencing repeated claims that the videos released by the Center For Medical Progress amount to nothing more than entrapment, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio asked Ms. Richards "[i]f this was all entrapment, why'd you apologize?" After continual push-back from Ms. Richards including such evasive answers as "agreeing to disagree" Congressman Jordan was forced to let up only because his time ran out. 

Congressman Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee followed up with a poignant statement saying: "It seems to me that the apology you offered was like what some criminals do. They're not really sorry for what they have done. They are sorry they got caught and it seems to me that your apology is more because you got caught on these videos."

Intensive Congressional inquiries are not likely to taper off any time soon. There are several, as of yet unanswered, questions about the legality of Planned Parenthood's actions. Has Planned Parenthood obtained any illegal profits from the sale of aborted baby body parts? Are Planned Parenthood doctors altering accepted abortion procedures in order to ease tissue collection from the aborted children? Lastly, are any illegal partial-birth abortions taking place in Planned Parenthood facilities? These are important questions that deserve answers, and Congressional Republicans are working tirelessly to obtain them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Senator Chuck Grassley: Tacking Tough Issues as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee

The RNLA is pleased to announce the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley will address our October DC Luncheon.

Senator Chuck Grassley holds the record for the longest record of not missing a vote of any senator in office, showing respect for the public trust he holds.  Grassley serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where he works for a competitive marketplace with antitrust enforcement and tort reform, to reward innovation and invention with an updated patent system, and for legal immigration that will help America’s economy grow.  Grassley has led a campaign to open up the federal judiciary by allowing cameras in courtrooms, and he is unmatched in his legislative and oversight work to protect whistleblowers, both in and out of government, who speak up about wrongdoing for the public good.  Grassley is an advocate for victims of crime and a leader in the fight to keep illegal drugs out of the hands of young people.  He leads efforts to safeguard America’s freedom with effective anti-terrorism and domestic security policies. Grassley also serves as a senior member of the Senate Committee on the Budget, where he applies his personal frugality to the public purse, and on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, where he brings real-life experience as a family farmer to farm policy.

Some key issues:

Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal

Senate Judiciary Committee and Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee chairmen Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson are considering next steps to obtain the testimony of former State Department and Clinton family employee Bryan Pagliano, who was reportedly paid to maintain Clinton’s personal server in New York while she was Secretary of State.  Chairmen Grassley and Johnson indicated that these next steps may include, if appropriate, seeking an immunity order.

Improving Oversight of the DOJ

[Senator Grassley] introduced legislation creating an Inspector General for the judicial branch to provide greater oversight and uphold the constitutional checks and balances on the federal judiciary. The Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement Act would establish an independent office to investigate claims of fraud, waste and misconduct, and ensure that the judiciary is carrying out its duties free from corruption, bias and hypocrisy.

State Department ethics officials ere not included on recently-released emails in which top Clinton aides debated potential conflicts that former President Bill Clinton’s speaking engagements may have posed for Hillary Clinton in her role as the nation’s top diplomat.  In some emails, Bill Clinton aides and State Department officials agree to direct speaking fees to the Clinton Foundation in an attempt to mitigate any conflict concerns.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is asking the State Department about its agency ethics official’s involvement in the potential speech and consulting vetting process.
Grassley Pursues Inquiry into Planned Parenthood Fetal Tissue Transfers

Senator Grassley previously made an inquiry to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and more recently has requested information from each of the Planned Parenthood affiliates regarding each affiliate’s fetal tissue policies as well as copies of documents such as policies, presentations, guidance, and communications related to its facilitation of the procurement and distribution of fetal tissue.
Please join the RNLA on Wednesday, October 7 where Senator Grassley will discuss issues before the Judiciary Committee and take RNLA members' questions.Purchase your ticket here. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Do Democrats Defend Planned Parenthood So Vehemently Because Planned Parenthood Supports Them?

Planned Parenthood funding is outrageous.  Chairman Chaffetz released a memo that outlines some of the outrages of the funding of Planned Parenthood just from a fiscal responsibility standpoint.  A few highlights from the memo are below. 

1. Planned Parenthood services are available elsewhere and covered by Obamacare:

Obamacare makes federal funding for Planned Parenthood duplicative.   Under Obamacare, individuals should be getting their health care via Medicaid or a Qualified Health Plan.

2.  Planned Parenthood is wasting taxpayers’ money as it parties and traveling like kings.  An example of the latter is:

Planned Parenthood spent $5,109,997 on travel in 2013.19 That is nearly $14,000 a day on travel. . . Tax returns show Planned Parenthood books first class or charter travel.

3.  One of the reason Planned Parenthood is so fervently defended by the Democrats is that Planned Parenthood spends millions of dollars supporting liberal and Democrat political causes!

Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood has given the Planned Parenthood Action Fund $21,567,629 in grants.  It has also given other 501(c)(4)s a total of $1,099,932.

While much of the outrage over Planned Parenthood has been focused on the immoral and possibly illegal activity of the videos, the fact of the matter is federal funding of Planned Parenthood is an outrage in and of itself that needs to stop.