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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Pawlenty’

Think Progress-  By Scott Keyes and Travis Waldron  on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Two years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down longstanding restrictions on corporate money in American elections, paving the way for super PACs and major third party spending.

Since January 21, 2009, the Citizens United case has had a major effect on money in politics. Already in this year’s Republican presidential primary, we’ve seen a number of freespending super PACs play a major role in the race, including the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future PAC, financed in large part by hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, and the pro-Newt Gingrich Winning Our Future, for whom casino mogul Sheldon Adelson recently cut a $5 million check. In fact, the total amount of money spent by outside groups thus far has outpaced spending by the campaigns themselves.

Despite the proliferation of super PACs and massive uptick in outside spending, former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty still sees our campaign finance laws as too restrictive.

MORE HERE

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One of the most often-overheard refrains from the Republican Party and its far-right base is that President Obama is the worst president in American history. Others say he “pals around with terrorists.” They say he’s destroying America. They say that he’s weak, that he dithers and that he’s effete — implying either that he’s gay or effeminate or both. Around half of all Republicans have told pollsters that he’s not even constitutionally eligible to be president, which ought to mandate an immediate removal from office.

But what does all of this say about the men and women who are noticeably hesitant to officially announce their candidacies for the Republican nomination? Not a single one of the well-known frontrunners has declared anything more than “exploratory committees” — quite literally the presidential campaign equivalent of dithering.

At this juncture in the 2008 cycle, most of the major Democratic and Republican candidates were underway with their official campaigns. And yet…

Michele Bachmann, a would-be frontrunner, called the president “even worse” than President Carter. She accused him of being “infantile” and suggested he wouldn’t even run for a second term because the “floor has dropped out” from his support. However, tough-talking Michele Bachmann hasn’t officially declared her candidacy to run against this allegedly unpopular weakling.

Mitt Romney said that his “worst fears” about the president have come true and that the chief executive is pushing an “extreme liberal agenda.” Romney also accused the president of being “tentative, indecisive, timid and nuanced” on Libya. However, tough-talking Mitt Romney hasn’t officially declared his candidacy to run against such a timid and indecisive extremist. How would Mitt react when confronted by actual extremists? Hopefully not with the same timidity he’s exercising in his run for president.

Sarah Palin has screeched nearly every imaginable insult at the president (often while she’s utterly botching commonly-known facts about the Constitution). She accused him of “dithering” on Libya. He’s a “spectator-in-chief,” she said. She’s accused him of being a socialist. She told Sean Hannity that she “fears for our democracy” due to the president’s agenda. She’s famously accused him of being a terrorist sympathizer — this alone ought to compel her to run for president if only to rid the executive branch of an obvious terrorist. However, pit bull Sarah Palin appears to be “dithering” when it comes to her campaign to run against this alleged terrorist, socialist ditherer.

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The Republicans shouldn’t be taken seriously anymore.

It seems obvious, but in order to be taken seriously, politicians have to be, you know, serious. Not just in terms of personality or behavior, but primarily in terms of policy and lawmaking. If a politician refuses to propose serious ideas and only pumps out nonsensical bumper-sticker sloganeering, fear-based histrionics or symbolic legislative measures that pander to kneejerk interest groups, then he or she ought to be summarily refused the privilege of our deference, respect and, especially, our vote.

Very few modern Republicans and conservatives qualify. They fail the seriousness test at almost every level — from the Republican leadership on down the line.

Take Eric Cantor, for example. The House Majority Leader. The second most powerful Republican in Washington. Whenever I write about Eric Cantor, I’m generally met with the reaction of crickets chirping. He’s not as well-known or as incendiary as Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck. But he’s exponentially more important, and so we have to pay attention to what he’s doing.

You might recall how Cantor, along with 228 House Republicans, permanently attached their names to proven scam-artist James O’Keefe by voting to de-fund NPR in reaction to O’Keefe’s latest sting video. Like all of O’Keefe’s work, the NPR video was selectively and deceptively edited to make it seem as though an NPR executive was expressing personal views about tea party Republicans. Within days of the release of the video, Eric Cantor publicly embraced O’Keefe and expressed outrage at the dubiously-attained videotape. In his public remarks, Cantor announced the effort to de-fund NPR. Later, the House successfully voted to codify the work of a known fraud.

Should Eric Cantor really be taken seriously? No way. And it gets worse.

Yesterday, Cantor announced a piece of legislation that might as well legalize hobbit marriage and cut the budget for time-traveling DeLoreans. It’s just that fantastical.

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CPAC 2010 Straw Poll RESULTS: Ron Paul Wins Big

Huff Po– Sam Stein

First Posted: 02-20-10 05:40 PM   |   Updated: 02-20-10 06:00 PM

In a strong reflection of just how strong his standing remains within the die-hard conservative community, Texas Republican and 2008 presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning nearly one-third (31 percent) of the entire vote. The crowd, however, booed heavily when the results were announced.

Paul was far and away the most widely anticipated speaker at the three-day conference, with his base of “Paulites” streaming into the main auditorium to hear him rail against government overreach and neoconservativism on Friday afternoon. In many respects, his win in the CPAC poll seemed pre-ordained — his band of followers having a well-earned reputation for flooding polls and forums like these.

What it portends for a possible 2012 presidential run is anyone’s guess. Paul had a similar cult-like following during the 2008 election, only to garner a relatively small chunk of the actual vote.

The other potential candidates who scored well and are more “mainstream” picks for the Republican nomination include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who earned 22 percent of the vote, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who came in third with seven percent. Romney had won the last three CPAC polls. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, another talked about 2012 aspirant, tied “undecided” for fourth place at six percent.

The results provide an interesting reflection as to where conservative hearts lie nearly three years before the next presidential elections take place. But with so much time before formal campaigning begins – and with no White House aspirant even officially announcing a bid- its best to resist the temptation to read too deeply into the numbers. For example, last year, disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford polled at four percent, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — no longer even on the straw poll — came in second at 14 percent.

Nevertheless, the CPAC poll can provide a nice boost (or, at the very least, attention) to prospective candidates. In 2007, Romney etched out a win over former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani by a margin of 21 percent to 17 percent. Sen. John McCain, who wound up winning the nomination, came in fifth with 12 percent of the vote.

Several of the candidates polled attended CPAC in the days, and even hours, ahead of the results being released. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a keynote speaker on Saturday, preceded by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (Penn.). Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke on Friday followed by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Paul. Romney addressed the audience on Thursday. All others were not in attendance during the three-day affair.

Here are the official results:

Texas Rep. Ron Paul – 31 percent
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — 22 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — 7 percent
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty – 6 percent
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – 4 percent
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — 4 percent
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence – 5 percent
South Dakota Sen. John Thune — 2 percent
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — 2 percent
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — 2 percent
Mississippi Gov. Hailey Barbour – 1 percent
Other – 5 percent
Undecided – 6 percent

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