Category Archives: Senator Evan Bayh

Deficit Neutral FMAP Stimulus Moving Through Congress Despite Lugar and Other Obstructionist Rs

We’ve discussed the FMAP stimulus legislation here at ALO before (http://aloyalopposition.in/2010/06/18/fmap.) Well, it is coming to a head and despite the fact that cuts have been made to make the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment to the FMAP/edujobs bill completely deficit neutral, Senator Dick Lugar and the rest of Governor Mitch Daniels anti-teacher brigade continue to oppose it solely to bring failure to the Obama administration.

"Seriously Dick. Gimme some rock." "No way Bam-Bam."

Learn about this bill yourself and then call Senators Bayh and Lugar to encourage them to vote for the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment to the FMAP/edujobs legislation.

Hear State Senator Vi Simpson (D-Elletsville) discuss the stimulus needed in the FMAP bill here on The Dave Crooks Show. And here are just a few of the key points to know about this legislation that will help keep Hoosier schools from closing, keep teachers in the classrooms and keep class sizes from ballooning:

•  The economic collapse created a disaster for states and schools across the country, and it’s going to take a long time for them to recover, even after we turn the corner.
•  States and schools are facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis. While the economy is starting to improve, states face a cumulative budget gap of $200 billion in fiscal year 2010 and $180 billion in fiscal year 2011.
•  A recent report by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers found that 35 States cut funding for K12 education and 37 States did so for higher education in Fiscal Year 2010, with 31 States planning to impose additional K12 and higher education cuts in Fiscal Year 2011.
•  Education jobs and services have already been slashed to the bone. Schools have raised class sizes, instituted unpaid furlough days, laid off teachers, and cut back on programs our kids need to be successful.
•  According to a study by the University of Washington, even though ARRA prevented an education catastrophe, 87,019 K12 jobs were eliminated this past school year.
•  Overall, since August 2008, State and local governments have eliminated 242,000 jobs.
•  Up to 400,000 workers could lose jobs in the next year as states, counties and cities grapple with lower revenue and less federal funding, says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com.
•  Schools are facing as many as 300,000 layoffs of teachers, counselors, school nurses, and other critical staff.
•  A recent Center on Education Policy report, School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package, found that “While nearly two-thirds of all school districts have used the federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to save or create teaching jobs in the 2009-10 school year, as many as three quarters of the nation’s school districts expect to cut teaching jobs in 2010-11 due to budget decreases…”
•  Losing these education jobs wouldn’t just affect the individuals getting pink slips. It would have a catastrophic ripple effect across communities, dragging our economy downward again.
•  For every 100,000 education jobs eliminated, 30,000 other jobs, including those in the private sector will also vanish.
•  The $10 billion education jobs fund in the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment is fully offset (without the House-passed education offsets) and will not increase the deficit.
•  According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), spending $10 billion to save education jobs will only have a net impact on the deficit of only $4.75 billion, after accounting for an increase in GDP. Thus, since the entire $10 billion is offset, the education jobs fund will actually reduce the deficit by $5.25 billion.
•  According to the Education Commission of the States, a $10 billion education jobs fund would save at least 136,758 education jobs.
•  President Obama on June 12th said that an education jobs fund is “among the most cost-effective ways of promoting economic growth, as measured by the Congressional Budget office and numerous independent experts.”
•  Even those advocating for long-term deficit reduction recognize the need for an education jobs fund. “Right now, I think that there’s still a case to be made for some aid to the states if it is a pretty direct form of injecting stimulus.” Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition.
•  According to a recent Gallup poll, the American public, by a 60-38 percent margin favor “additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”
•  Morton Kondracke, Roll Call Executive Editor, on June 17th strongly urged Congress to approve an education jobs fund, “At long last, Congress is getting serious about containing deficit spending, but it would be ridiculous to show it by allowing more than 100,000 teachers around the country to lose their jobs… So it’s time for Congress to do what it’s hired to do: set priorities. Keeping teachers working should be close to Job One.”
•  Just as we start to see signs that our economy is turning around, there could be nothing more short-sighted than ripping a gaping hole in our schools and communities.
•  These are jobs at the core of our communities – teaching our kids, keeping class sizes manageable, providing summer school, preparing students to enter the workforce, and providing the foundation of our economic future.
•  We can’t afford not to do the right thing, to keep teachers in our classrooms, our schools on track, and our education system improving.
•  We can’t improve the economy and reduce unemployment by increasing public sector unemployment.
•  Ensuring quality education for children pays off. Individuals without a high school diploma are three times as likely to be unemployed as those with a college degree.
•  The language in the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment prohibits states from using funds for rainy day funds or to reduce state debt obligations.
•  The funds may only be used to save or create jobs for teachers and other educators.

Also of note here are some key points for thoise who doubt stimulus has helped the economy. Note the following charts from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:


Advertisements

My Malicious Mitch

As we at ALO have tried to see what needs written about, we have looked again and again at the Evan Bayh abdication and sought to provide words wise and soothing and found ourselves lacking anything to add that has not already bound-up the internet ether.

Seriously?

But, as he reliably does, Governor Mitch Daniels stepped up to seek attention like the schoolboy who repeats his jokes ad nauseum hoping for attention at recess. We don’t know if it was from having nothing of consequence to discuss at his state-of-the-state or all Evan Bayh’s attention, but we think it might have been this Ron Elving NPR piece entitled Presidential Futures Market Downgrades Stock Of Current Governors:

Members of the National Governors Association are meeting with President Obama today after a weekend black tie affair at the White House. It’s fair to guess that more than a few of the guests took the opportunity to check out the place with an eye toward future occupancy.

One or more of them may live at 1600 someday. Before President Obama, four of the previous five presidents were governors. As recently as the last presidential cycle, the major Republican contenders included two former governors: Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. A sitting governor, Sarah Palin, wound up as the vice presidential nominee.

But if the NGA has long been a forest of presidential timber, the current crop seems suddenly rather sparse.

Over the weekend, this gang of governors looked more like a battered raft of refugees than presidential contenders. Hard times are no kinder to governors than they are to presidents, and right now the sputtering recovery and stubborn unemployment numbers are weighing heavily on the state’s most visible leaders.

Consumed with problems close to home, the governors have not been big players in the health care debate or other national issues in the past year. And the same dynamic affects their own personal ambitions.

Beyond the bad economic numbers, intraparty unrest and just plain bad timing seem to be putting the ultimate political prize beyond the gubernatorial grasp.

When this piece was brought to his attention it had to bring he and his cult of impersonality to the brink of derision when it then goes on to name almost all the Republican governor’s by name and doesn’t even think to mention him. Neither as a good candidate or a bad one. Actually they didn’t even mention him as a governor.

So, in a matter of minutes he finds his way to making a coy, even dainty flip-flop for attention by dipping his toe into the 2012 pond. Never mind that he has been wholly adamant and even pointedly campaigned on never running for another office.

Key Daniels for President 2012 Campaign Strategies

We at ALO will let all that go for now. But we will, however, take a little time to list just a few of the crowning achievements of which this Governor can proudly boast all the way to the 2012 convention:

He will want to discuss all these virtues and more.

As will we.

Soon.

Johnny Cougar for Senate?

When FOXNews says it, it has to be true right?

John Mellencamp, the iconic rocker made famous by his songs about growing up in a small town, may be ready to move to the big city.

Speculation is swirling that the liberal Mellencamp may put down his guitar and run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh.

The Indiana Democrat announced Monday that he will not seek election to a third term in November, sending party leaders scrambling for a viable replacement and boosting Republican hopes of winning the seat. Indiana is generally considered a Republican state, though it went for Barack Obama in 2008.

Support for a Mellencamp bid is gathering momentum; a “Draft John Mellencamp For Senate” Facebook page has emerged with more than 200 members.

Mellencamp is no stranger to politics or to Washington. He asked John McCain to stop using his music during the 2008 presidential campaign. He performed at President Obama’s inauguration and has played at the White House, most recently last week at a celebration in honor of the civil rights movement.

He initially backed John Edwards in the 2008 Democratic primaries, then shifted his support to Obama after the former North Carolina senator bowed out.

Mellencamp has generated a lot of goodwill among potential voters with his participation in Farm Aid concerts. Among his  hits are “Small Town,””Jack and Diane,” “Hurts So Good,” and “Our Country.”

There’s no rush for Mellencamp to announce his intentions. A May primary was scrapped after cafe owner Tamyra d’lppolito, the only Democrat seeking to run for the Senate seat, missed out on qualifying for the primary ballot by Tuesday’s deadline.

The Democratic state central committee now has until June 30 to pick someone to replace Bayh on the ballot.

U.S. Reps. Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth are among the other names being floated. But so far, Mellencamp’s name is drawing the most attention.

Mellencamp’s publicist did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Now over at a very pissed-off blog going by the name The White Sepulchre, they already have their knives out for The Cougar especially his working-class, Farm-Aid image as compared to the $1.14 million dollars in corn subsidies his family apparently takes in.

Politics is a dirtier business than the record companies ever were John. Beware.

The Evan/Gopher Connection (w/ Cartoon)

ALO Central is finding very little to report on the Senator Evan Bayh exit story that you likely haven’t seen already.

The list of those saying they are not going to seek the seat apparently includes Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel and 2nd District Congressman Joe Donnelly.

Facebook and Twitter reports seem to have died down that 9th District Congressman Baron Hill and/or Joe Hogsett have secretly secured the signatures to get on the ballot and will file for the primary tomorrow, most likely due to the patent absurdity that one could secretly collect 500 signatures of registered voters from each of the nine congressional districts without raising any suspicions.

But our favorite right now is this Bret Hayworth column in Iowa’s Sioux City Journal that notes similarities in Bayh’s exit and that of Congressman Fred Grandy. You may remember Grandy better as Gopher of Love Boat fame.

Some are  jumping on Bayh for quitting, and putting him in the same category with Sarah Palin. But there’s a big difference between stopping your quest for re-election less than a year from the vote and how Palin quit as Alaska govenor mid-term last summer. Instead of Palin, I can’t stop thinking about former Congressman Fred Grandy, who represented Northwest Iowa through 1994, until giving up a safe seat in an unsuccessful  quest to bump off fellow Republican Terry Branstad in the 1994 governor race.

As Jackson (who tweets at hjacksonAP) noted, Bayh was “unusually candid for a seasoned politician” when, in talking out his decision today, he said, “I do not love Congress.” That’s where I hear Grandy loud and clear.

When the former “Love Boat” actor left the U.S. House  he talked about having no more passion for going through the motions in D.C. Grandy held forth about how just getting a bill moved out of committee was a minor victory, and there was no use  pretending that most members of Congress were major players pushing big accomplishments for the people back home.

Yes, Bayh, 54, is a major guy in the Senate, but he’s apparently seen the limits of what enjoyment he can get out of the job. Yes, these federal lawmakers serve their constituents, but they also get locked into the Beltway Bubble, and some perhaps find it an untenable situation for their inner selves. Others love the power game of politics — think someone like Iowa 5th District Congressman Steve King.  It seems Bayh isn’t one of them.

Judge him a quitter if you want, or afraid of a November loss in a time of waning President Barack Obama and Democratic Party popularity, but it seems the guy honestly recognizes he doesn’t have the passion to go through the motions. Like Grandy, who now works as a radio show host on the East Coast.

Bayh Leaving to Captain The Love Boat

There may be something here. The other rumor surfacing is that the good Senator who said he is at heart an executive and has no love of Congress, is planning a run for Governor in 2012. Rather, we think he plans to captain the Love Boat.

Bye the Bayh…

We at ALO have got to get better timing or an iPad or something. We missed two weeks worth of posting during all the Buyer vacancy and Coats candidacy hullabaloos and now we were on a playdate with some wee little young-uns as the wildfire announcement of Senator Evan Bayh’s decision to not seek re-election flashed across the airwaves and tubes.

Our initial thoughts were that there would not likely be a way for the party to name a nominee with the passing of the deadline, but upon further study we concur with our friend over at iPOPA that this announcement would trigger Indiana Code 3-13-1-3:

IC 3-13-1-3
United States Senator or state office
Sec. 3. Except as provided in IC 3-10-8-7, a candidate vacancy for United States Senator or a state office shall be filled by the state committee of the political party.
As added by P.L.5-1986, SEC.9. Amended by P.L.10-1989, SEC.17.

Therefore, Indiana state law permits the state central committee to appoint someone to fill a ballot vacancy, but the person’s name connot appear on the primary ballot.

That settled this does open a fat can of nightcrawlers for virtually every Democrat in the state, and some outside. But mostly WHO? I am certain that we won’t mention any names that haven’t already been mentioned one every other blog. Although it is interesting that according to each blog you read the list attributed to unnamed outsiders is usually a clue as to who the outsiders are.

The list as we have heard it now and you might guess is exhaustive runs a little something like this but in no particular order:

Former Governor Joe Kernan

Former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson

Bart Peterson

Congressman Baron Hill

Congressman Baron Hill

Congressman Brad Ellsworth

Former Indiana Health Commissioner, New York City Health Commissioner and 2008 candidate for the 7th Congressional District Dr. Woody Myers

Dr. Woody Myers

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel

Former Secretary of State Joe Hogsett

Joe Hogsett

Former Lieutenant Governor Kathy Davis

Kathy Davis

Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson

Sheriff Frank Anderson

Former Senator and Senator Bayh’s Father Birch Bayh

Birch Bayh

Don’t scoff at that last one. Bayh Sr. (actually the second) is a wise and savvy man with tons of energy and three congressional amendments to his credit. We remember people begging him to enter the 2004 gubernatorial race following the tragic passing of Governor Frank O’Bannon and after Kernan’s  initial bow out.

There is a lot to sort out here, but the most important thing to sort through is why, if Senator Bayh has been harboring such doubts, would he wait so long and put the party at such a disadvantage.

But lets look on the bright side:

1.  First, this belief that it is written in stone that the Republicans are going to have a landslide year is, as yet, wishful thinking. The comparisons to 1994 while compelling, at least so far are strained. While there was an upheaval against the Clinton administration, there was not such an overwhelming dislike of gridlock as polls are showing now. Disapproval ratings of Republicans in congress are higher than any disapproval of the President and his party’s congressional membership and as yet no one seems to have heard any central theme coalescing for the R’s as Newt Gingrich’s Contract with on America did then. Sidebar: Wasn’t one of the main planks the signers of the Contract vowed to adhere to a pledge to term limits and to serve no more than 4 terms? Wasn’t 3rd District’s Congressman Mark Souder a signer of that? How many years has he served?

2.  This is now an open seat and whoever our side picks will not be too far behind a four person Republican primary that will likely prove expensive and provide a great deal of fodder against the ultimate Republican nominee.

3.  What will Evan Bayh do with the $13 million sitting in his committee. He is limited in who he can give it to and how much he can simply keep, but he could set-up a PAC. ALO thinks he is most likely to sit on it. But even just one million of it could be spent to very great use across the state.

It is a profoundly surprising political year and the Brett Favre-ness of this late exit is certainly of concern, but there is so much more yet to happen.

Stay tuned. Please feel free to offer comments.

Coats Would Fail Bopp’s Purity Test

ALO recently covered Terre Haute uber-conservative Jim Bopp’s ultimately failed attempt to place a purity test into the RNC’s 2010 platform which would make sure that candidates would be sufficiently right-wing before receiving party resources.

Well now CNN reports that two of the other right-wing seekers of the Republican nomination for Senate, State Senator Marlin Stutzman and former 8th District Congressman John Hostettler are challenging the conservative props of the newly anointed darling of the RSCC former Senator Dan Coats.

Since Republican Dan Coats entered the Indiana Senate race earlier this month, Democrats have unleashed a torrent of opposition research against the former senator, making hay of lobbyist work and a video showing Coats calling North Carolina “a better place” than Indiana. But before Coats can take on Democrat Evan Bayh this fall, the former senator must survive a Republican primary – and his two GOP opponents are now raising doubts about Coats’ voting record while in the Senate.

His Republican rivals – former Rep. John Hostettler and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman – are calling attention to Coats’ votes on judicial confirmations and gun control, while he served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999.

“I guess I would consider him a conservative, but there are votes that people are raising their eyebrows over and saying, ‘Is this the conservative we are looking for?,” Stutzman told CNN.

Stutzman said Coats cast several votes “against” the Second Amendment, including one in favor of a tough 1991 crime bill that banned several types of semi-automatic weapons. He was also one of seven Republicans to vote in favor of the so-called “Brady Bill” in 1993, which instituted background checks for firearm purchases.

Hostettler promised to highlight Coats’ vote to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993 (even though only three senators opposed her nomination). Ginsburg replaced retiring conservative justice Byron White.

“Sen. Coats voted to replace one of the most legendary pro-life voices with probably the most pro abortion nominee ever presented to the Senate,” Hostettler said. “You can’t be voting to replace pro-life votes with pro-abortion votes.”

Hostettler said his campaign will also emphasize Coats’ vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998.

A spokesman for Coats did not respond to a request to comment on his Senate votes.

Both GOP candidates groused about the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s endorsement of Coats.

“The Tea Party movement is incensed that Washington, D.C. is just going to name an heir apparent,” Hostetler told CNN. “The folks in Washington, D.C. want to get a big name and someone that they believe can raise the money to beat Evan Bayh. Washington, D.C. doesn’t get it and unfortunately my party doesn’t get it.”

Stutzman said Hoosiers are “frustrated” with Coats “trying to come back and run now after he has been in Washington and served as a lobbyist.”

“Washington is trying to cram down a health care bill on us, cap and trade, card check, and now it’s the same attitude for Dan Coats and the NRSC,” Stutzman said.

UPDATE: The NRSC insists they aren’t trying to coronate Coats as the GOP nominee.

“While the NRSC agrees with a number of Hoosier State officials such as Congressman Mike Pence and Mark Souder that Senator Coats would be a strong candidate, we also recognize that it’s the voters of Indiana who will choose the nominee and their next Senator,” said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. “Our focus is on holding Evan Bayh accountable for his record which includes providing the 60th vote for the boondoggle stimulus and the President’s health care bill.”

UPDATE 2: Coats’s spokesman Kevin Kellems brushed off the shots at Coats.

“Dan Coats’ record as a solid conservative who handily won two statewide races for the U.S. Senate is well established and widely recognized throughout Indiana; suggestions to the contrary are unfounded and in some cases politically motivated,” Kellems said in an e-mail to CNN.

But wait. Jim Bopp is a key supporter of Dan Coats. That purity plank may come back and slap your boy down Jim.

But isn’t it great to see all the GOP candidates launching themselves so far to the right that they will all have difficulty getting back to the middle, where all elections are won.


Coats “Crap Sandwich”

Really trying to not just be a clips service but this particular bit from the latest Alex Isenstadt Politico.com piece on what is more and more looking like a Dan Coats debacle just needs to be read:

From the moment word spread that Coats was planning a run against Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, surprised numerous state Republican activists and local leaders greeted the news with something short of enthusiasm.

When Indiana Republican National Committeeman James Bopp, a prominent Coats supporter, sent a late-night e-mail to a string of party officials linking to a news story detailing Coats’s interest in the race, state committee member Barbara Knochel wrote back: “Please excuse my naivete, but why would Coats, who retired once, come back? What am I missing here?”

For some state and local Republicans, there is frustration caused by the perception that the Washington GOP establishment — particularly the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which helped to woo Coats and has played an active and public role in promoting and defending his candidacy — is intruding in Indiana politics. And the populist conservative grass roots in the tea party movement feels it most acutely.

One day after Coats announced his interest in the race, a Huntington, Ind., tea party group circulated an e-mail with the subject line, “NO to RNC/Coats for force feeding us this crap sandwich,” while Emery McClendon, a Tea Party organizer, has distributed an e-mail to activists declaring that the push for a Coats candidacy “is the Republican Party’s way of slapping we the people in the face …”

A coalition of 10 state-based tea party groups, meanwhile, are set to launch the “Indiana Patriot Coalition,” which will be taking part in an e-mail and phone call campaign directed toward the Indiana Republican Party and the Republican National Committee, asking Washington to stay out of state races.

“We have our own state, we have our own candidates, and we have some darned good candidates,” said Mark Leyva, a tea party organizer who is involved with the effort.