Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.
On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.
But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.
Senator John Walsh, Democrat of Montana, second from left, at a Senate National Guard Caucus breakfast in Washington. He was appointed last month to the seat vacated by Max Baucus and is running for election in November, hoping that his career in uniform remains an asset.
Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.
Interactive Graphic: How Senator John Walsh Plagiarized a Final Paper
Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.
In his third recommendation, for example, Mr. Walsh writes: “Democracy promoters need to engage as much as possible in a dialogue with a wide cross section of influential elites: mainstream academics, journalists, moderate Islamists, and members of the professional associations who play a political role in some Arab countries, rather than only the narrow world of westernized democracy and human rights advocates.”
The same exact sentence appears on the sixth page of a 2002 Carnegie paper written by four scholars at the research institute. In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote or reference to it. In addition, significant portions of the language in Mr. Walsh’s paper can be found in a 1998 essay by a scholar at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a research institute at Harvard.
For example, Mr. Walsh writes: “The United States will have an interest in promoting democracy because further democratization enhances the lives of citizens of other countries and contributes to a more peaceful international system. To the extent that Americans care about citizens of other countries and international peace, they will see benefits from the continued spread of democracy.”
The Harvard paper, written in 1998 by Sean M. Lynn-Jones, a scholar at the Belfer Center, includes the same two sentences.
Mr. Walsh does not footnote or cite Mr. Lynn-Jones’s essay, titled “Why the United States Should Spread Democracy,” anywhere in his paper.
Both the Carnegie and Harvard papers are easily accessible on the Internet.
In an interview outside his Capitol Hill office on Tuesday, after he was presented with multiple examples of identical passages from his paper and the Carnegie and Harvard essays, Mr. Walsh said he did not believe he had done anything wrong.
“I didn’t do anything intentional here,” he said, adding that he did not recall using the Carnegie and Harvard sources.
Asked directly if he had plagiarized, he responded: “I don’t believe I did, no.”
On Wednesday, a campaign aide for Mr. Walsh did not contest the plagiarism but suggested that it be viewed in the context of the senator’s long career. She said Mr. Walsh was going through a difficult period at the time he wrote the paper, noting that one of the members of his unit from Iraq had committed suicide in 2007, weeks before it was due.
The aide said Mr. Walsh, who served in Iraq from November 2004 to November 2005, “dealt with the experience of post-deployment,” but acknowledged he had not sought treatment.
The master’s degree in strategic studies from the War College has benefited Mr. Walsh’s career: In a military evaluation the year after Mr. Walsh received it, his commander praised him for it, writing that he “leads his peers and sets example in maintaining continuous military education and training subjects pertinent to today’s leadership challenges.”
In September 2008, Mr. Walsh, a recipient of the Bronze Star, was appointed adjutant general of Montana’s National Guard by the governor. A subsequent military evaluation said his prospects for the post had been “bolstered” in part by his degree from the War College.
Located in Carlisle, Pa., the Army War College is a coveted career stop for ambitious officers, and its graduates since its 1901 founding include Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton and Norman Schwarzkopf. As with most military institutes, the War College emphasizes honor and integrity: Its current student handbook states that plagiarism will result in disenrollment and that discoveries of academic violations have led to degrees being rescinded and names being scraped off the bronze plaques honoring graduates on campus.
“Sooner or later, academic dishonesty will be discovered,” the handbook, known as the Communicative Arts Directive, warns.In 2012, Mr. Walsh stepped down as the head of the state’s National Guard after winning his first bid for elected office to become Montana’s lieutenant governor. From that position, he was appointed to the Senate this year by Gov. Steve Bullock.
The Senate vacancy arose after President Obama nominated Max Baucus, the veteran Democrat who planned to retire from Congress, to be ambassador to China. Democrats hoped that installing Mr. Walsh in February would strengthen the party’s position and efforts to retain the seat.
Mr. Walsh’s military record and centrist politics were seen as assets in the independent-minded state, and, as an incumbent senator, he would be better positioned to raise money for this fall’s election. Still, Mr. Walsh is trailing Representative Steve Daines, his Republican opponent, strategists on both sides say, and has trailed Mr. Daines in fund-raising.
Questions have previously been raised about Mr. Walsh’s résumé and conduct, though they were comparatively minor.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that he was reprimanded in 2010 for using his role as adjutant general to urge other guardsmen to join a private advocacy group, the National Guard Association of the United States, in which he was seeking a leadership role.
As a result he was denied a promotion from colonel to general, he acknowledged in January. In response to the matter, Mr. Walsh released about 400 pages of his military records, which detailed his service awards and was full of effusive praise from his commanding officers.
There has also been a discrepancy about where Mr. Walsh earned his undergraduate degree. He was listed in the biographical directory of Congress as having graduated in 1990 from the University at Albany, State University of New York, but actually earned his bachelor of science from what was then known as Regents College, an adult learning institute that issued degrees under the umbrella of the University of the State of New York.
Mr. Walsh changed the listing after the newspaper Roll Call ran an article about the matter, but did not offer an explanation publicly.The breadth of Mr. Walsh’s apparent plagiarism, however, is startling – and rivaled by few other examples in recent political history. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, was found last year to have presented the work of others as his own in a newspaper opinion article, a book and speeches. And Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. dropped his 1988 presidential bid when it was revealed that in campaign speeches he had used language similar to that of the British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock without attributing the remarks.
Mr. Walsh appears to have gone considerably further.
About a third of his paper consists of material either identical to or extremely similar to passages in other sources, such as the Carnegie or Harvard papers, and is presented without attribution. Another third is attributed to sources through footnotes, but uses other authors’ exact – or almost exact – language without quotation marks.
The senator included 96 footnotes in his paper, but many of them only illustrate this troubling pattern. In repeated instances, Mr. Walsh uses the language of others with no quotation marks, but footnotes the source from which the material came. In other cases, the passages appear in his paper with a word or two changed, but are otherwise identical to the authors’ language.
For example, in the first paragraph of his paper, Mr. Walsh writes of President George W. Bush: “During the 2000 presidential campaign Bush and his advisors made it clear that they favored great-power realism over idealistic notions such as nation building or democracy promotion.”
At the end of this sentence, which Mr. Walsh included without quotation marks, he footnoted a reference to a 2003 article in Foreign Affairs by Thomas Carothers, a prominent and highly credentialed foreign policy expert. Mr. Carothers’ essay read: “During the 2000 presidential campaign Bush and his advisers had made it clear that they favored great-power realism over idealistic notions such as nation building or democracy promotion.”
The only difference is that Mr. Walsh wrote “advisors” rather than “advisers” and did not use “had,” as Mr. Carothers did in his article.
In other instances, Mr. Walsh swaps a synonym for a word in the original document, and condenses sentences.
He writes on his second page: “There are deep disagreements about the appropriate theoretical framework, about whether democracy is simply an institutional arrangement for choosing rulers or an end in itself, about how to measure and evaluate democracy, and about the importance of prerequisites for democracy.
The footnote at the end of this sentence, presented without quotation marks in Mr. Walsh’s paper, is to a chapter by Robert L. Rothstein in a 1995 book of essays, “Democracy, War, and Peace in the Middle East.”
Mr. Rothstein’s sentence is slightly longer and uses “profound” rather than “deep,” but is otherwise identical.
Such copying of a footnoted source without quotation marks is specifically prohibited in the War College’s handbook.
“Copying a segment of another’s work word for word, then conveniently ‘forgetting’ to include quotation marks, but ‘remembering’ to cite the source,” is described as the second example of academic fraud in the handbook.
The first is: “Directly quoting another author’s work without giving proper credit to the author.”
“Plagiarism,” the handbook notes, “is a serious form of cheating that carries serious consequences.”
H/T Right Scoop
I know it’s not fun to pick on people for their age. Unfortunately, Thad Cochran’s refusal to let go of power all too long past his prime mitigates my concern in that regard. Sources on the ground in MS tell me the Cochran campaign is looking increasingly cartoonish in trying to eek out a win in what most are coming to realize is a lost cause. So, no, it doesn’t surprise me that Team Cochran would hire a Democrat named “Scooby Doo” to work for him at this point.
This is just getting sad…
A Democratic political operative says he is working with Mississippi Conservatives PAC to drum up votes for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.
James “Scooby Doo” Warren said he has put together a get-out-the-vote GOTV plan and is “putting it in place across the whole state.” Warren said he is not working with the Cochran campaign itself but for the PAC and Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr.
Crudup is the pastor at New Horizon Church, which shares an address and chief financial officer with a newly formed super PAC that ran print advertising in the primary supporting Cochran.
More via The Clarion Ledger.
From Right Wing Watch:
In an appearance on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” yesterday, Sen. Jim Inhofe deliberated whether President Obama is a terrorist supporter or a buffoon, and decided that he president is intentionally “supporting the enemy.”
“Never in my political career in my memory did it ever occur to me that we would have a president of the United States who would be doing things supporting the enemy,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “Our system isn’t set up for Congress to deal with this kind of a situation.”
Inhofe told FRC president Tony Perkins that he is even comfortable leaking information from classified briefings: “All of these hearings, these classified briefings like the one we had this morning, I almost don’t mind talking about what they said because they are all so orchestrated, they always have five or six people from the administration, all of them agreeing with the president.”
“People now are calling in on a regular basis and saying, you know what I knew this administration was incompetent but I believe this goes beyond incompetence, I believe some of it’s intentional, either they are working intentionally to undermine America or they simply have no clue whatsoever,” Perkins said.
Inhofe suggested that he agrees with Perkins that Obama is deliberately harming America.
“If I were to agree with that, I’d lose all credibility in going on because that is the first thing they’d accuse me of,” Inhofe responded. “But I’d have to tell you, those people have every reason to believe what they are believing now. This couldn’t just keep happening over and over again.”
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) provided his latest head-scratching comment in public, this time joking he engaged in illicit activities with animals as a child.
“[We’d] get back [to the Pine Belt-Hattiesburg area of Mississippi] as often as we could because it was fun – it was an adventure to be out there in the country and see what goes on,” Cochran said of his childhood and how parts of his family lived in the central part of the state. “Picking up pecans, from that to all kind of indecent things with animals.”
The audience laughed at that point, video published by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger shows. Cochran’s facial expressions did not change, nor did his stance or demeanor. “I know some of you know what that is,” he continued. “The whole point of the story is not just coming here to visit cousins and get to know aunts and uncles better, you absorb the culture and you know what’s important to people here. I feel very comfortable here and have an identity with this area of the state that’s different than any other.”
Cochran made the speech at the Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, an area of the state known as the Pine Belt where his primary challenger, conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel, massively over performed in last Tuesday’s primary.
The Clarion-Ledger’s Geoff Pender described Cochran’s comment as “a joke, apparently about harassing wildlife or livestock.”
Cochran’s campaign spokesman Jordan Russell didn’t return a request for comment about specific details on what types of “indecent things” Cochran did “with animals” as a child, but Russell did brush it off to the Daily Caller. “I’ll check with my political correctness department and get back to you,” he told that publication.
This could hurt other Republicans, Tea Party News Network’s Scottie Hughes said in an email to Breitbart News. “It’s funny, politicians like Cochran would have been the first to scream foul at this type of comment,” Hughes said. “They would have said he was insensitive, an embarrassment and cruel to animals. Yet do we see those like the senators who raised funds for Cochran at the NRSC this week coming out and denouncing his comments and withdrawing their support? Of course not. Maybe birds of a feather do flock together.”
FreedomWorks, a Tea Party group backing McDaniel, has argued that the GOP establishment’s support of Cochran in the runoff could jeopardize the entire effort to win back the majority in the U.S. Senate.
The night after McDaniel got more votes than Cochran in last Tuesday’s primary, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe called on the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) to ask Cochran to concede the election to avoid a runoff.
“If the NRSC’s mission is for the Republican Party to win in November, they should encourage Thad Cochran to concede,” Kibbe said then. “Last night’s primary numbers proved that Mississippians want new leadership in the Senate. Why don’t we all focus our resources on defeating Democrats in November?”
In response to that statement, NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring told Breitbart News that while the GOP establishment group agrees that its “focus is on defeating Democrats” and its “goal is winning a Republican majority,” he argued that FreedomWorks’ “goals are at times at odds with that.”
“Differences of opinion are fine and part of the process,” Dayspring said in an email at the time. “Look, last night’s result was basically a statistical tie which results in a runoff. It is surprising that a ‘grassroots organization’ based in Washington DC seemingly wants to discount voters and the election process. Instead demanding any candidate concede, grassroots organizations typically encourage voters to participate in the process. It’s weird.”
The NRSC has – with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s blessing – doubled down and gone “all in” for Cochran in the runoff. McConnell held a fundraiser for Cochran at the NRSC where several senior Republican senators attended earlier this week, raising more than $800,000 for Cochran.
A leading senator has charged that Hillary Clinton’s State Department broke the law by intentionally obfuscating and downplaying to Congress the terror threat posed by the Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram, which recently gained international infamy for violently kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls.
Sen. David Vitter (R., La.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, petitioned Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday to explain why Clinton’s State Department misrepresented and downplayed key information about Boko Haram’s terrorist activities in its annual reports to Congress.
Former Secretary of State Clinton lied to Congress when she said that the State Department lacked the necessary information to designate Boko Haram as a terror group, according to Vitter’s letter, which presents new information about the State Department’s purported efforts to downplay the terror group’s impact.
Clinton’s State Department fought against efforts to designate Boko Haram for nearly two years, a move that likely limited U.S. efforts to confront the group earlier and allowed it to grow in strength.
Vitter charges that officials working under Clinton intentionally manipulated words and mislead Congress in its annual reports to create the impression that Boko Haram posed little to no threat.
Clinton’s State Department “repeatedly stated in the year leading up to the designation that it did not have data available or the necessary understanding to make the determination,” Vitter wrote to Kerry, according to a copy of unreleased letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
However, “recent evidence suggests Secretary Hillary Clinton and the State Departments not only knew of the extent, but also deliberately attempted to obfuscate the issue in order to avoid having to make the designation of Boko Haram as a [Foreign Terrorist Organization], including downplaying the State Department’s own Country Reports on Terrorism (CRT),” Vitter writes.
“Inaccuracies within official documents make it clear that the State Department misled Congress and the American people,” the letter states. “Evidence suggests that there was an internal decision by the Office of Coordinator for Counterterrorism to downplay official, legally required, intelligence data in order to purposefully avoid making the determination.”
Vitter demands in a series of questions that Kerry provide answers as to why the State Department “ignored data and misrepresented its legal requirements to Congress.”
U.S. law stipulates that the State Department provides Congress with “statistical information supported by data” in its annual reports on terrorist activities in foreign countries.
Officials in Clinton’s State Department failed to uphold this mandate, Vitter charges, citing evidence that reports of Boko Haram’s activity by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) were intentionally ignored.
The NCTC in 2011 “provided the State Department with the statistical information necessary to determine that Boko Haram was engaged in terrorist activity,” Vitter writes. “However, in completing the official annual CRT provided to Congress” at that time “the State Department chose not to include this information.”
New evidence suggests that NCTC information about Boko Haram’s terrorist activities was intentionally left out of the State Department’s reports to Congress, a move that effectively left lawmakers in the dark about the extremist group’s growing influence.
“In multiple cases, where the NCTC clearly labeled and claimed that Boko Haram was engaged in terrorist activity against foreign nations, Secretary Clinton’s office in their own report minimized the attack and separated the issue from Boko Haram,” according to Vitter’s letter.
A 2012 NCTC report, for instance, stated that Africa experienced 978 attacks in 2011, representing an 11.5 percent increase from 2010 levels.
This uptick was attributed “in large part to the more aggressive attack tempo of the Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram,” according to a portion of the NCTC report included in Vitter’s letter.
The NCTC further reported in that year that Boko Haram had conducted a terror attack against Western targets, accounting for “the largest terrorist attack in the country to date,” according to the report.
Yet Clinton’s State Department deemphasized this data and “only chose to include loose evidence” in its own terrorism report to Congress, Vitter states.
“The conflict in Nigeria continued throughout the northern part of the country with hundreds of casualties as indigenous terrorist attacks increased,” the State Department wrote in its report to Congress at the time. “The Nigerian extremist group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for some of these attacks.”
Vitter says that this phrasing is proof of the State Department’s bid to create the impression that Boko Haram was a minimal threat.
“It appears that this variation in wording fails to meet the legal requirements based on information it received, and inserts a higher degree of doubt about whether Boko Haram is directly engaged in terrorist activity,” Vitter writes.
The State Department report issued under Clinton “ignores the NCTC labeling Boko Haram as a ‘terrorist group,’ instead suggesting that there may be a loose connection,” Vitter further adds.
“These facts are troubling considering multiple official reports between 2010 and 2012, including the Global Terrorism Database, concluded that Boko Haram was improving their capability to coordinate on an operational level with al Qaeda affiliates, including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Shabaab.”
Boko Haram has a long history of terrorism, having detonated a car bomb at a United Nations headquarters in Abuja, an attack that killed 23 and injured 81 others.
The State Department’s own reports from 2009 to 2013 further demonstrate that Boko Haram “steadily increased in deadliness and its connectivity to terrorist organizations,” according to Vitter’s letter.
Boko Haram has even gone on to top al-Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as the leading regional terrorist group, having killed nearly 4,000 people from 2009 to 2013.
Independent terrorism analysts have determined that Boko Haram and al Qaeda have been linked for more than a decade, and that the extremist group has ties to a least six al Qaeda affiliates, according to a recent report by the Henry Jackson Society (HJS).
There is also evidence that Boko Haram has taken direct orders from al Qaeda, according to HJS.
Yet the annual report to Congress “goes out of its way to downplay the effectiveness or lethality of the group.” Boko Haram’s connections to al Qeada were clear to U.S. authorities from at least 2010 on, according to information from the NCTC.
Following Boko Haram’s successful and deadly attack on the U.N. – an incident the NCTC dubbed “the largest terrorist attack in the country to date – Clinton’s State Department “largely dismissed the events and that data, claiming” in its report to Congress that “no terrorist attacks occurred in the Southern states of Nigeria.”
Independent terrorism analyst Olivier Guitta, research director for HJS, warned in a recent statement that “the international community has been underestimating Boko Haram, even though it is in the top 3 of the bloodiest terrorist groups in the world.”
Vitter is seeking answers as to why the State Department “manipulated words” and misled Congress.
“The State Department’s documents may have failed to explicitly label Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, in almost complete disregard of specific [National Counterterrorism Center] data, but my concern goes deeper to address the internal decision to manipulate words and mislead Congress,” he states in the letter to Kerry.
“The evidence suggests that the office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism may have intentionally exploited the statistical information provided to them by law in an attempt to neglect Boko Haram’s terrorist activity,” he adds.
Vitter has given Kerry until July 10 to respond to his queries about the issue.
Sen. Ron Johnson tears into Sen. Rockefeller for calling Obamacare opponents racists, explaining very substantive reasons why he opposes Obamacare. And Johnson makes clear he doesn’t like being called a racist.
But make sure you watch all the way to the end because that’s where Rockefeller and Johnson get into it directly after Rockefeller tries to smear Sen. Johnson’s ideas over what healthcare should be.
It’s been over eight months since Senator Ted Cruz requested unanimous consent to Senate Resolution 225, calling for a joint select committee in Congress to investigate the attacks on American facilities in Benghazi.
Cruz notes how, in spite of assurances from B. Hussein Obama, the perpetrators have not been caught and the confusion surrounding the events that night has only gotten worse, with many questions remaining unanswered.
He brings up the altered talking points, the stated political goal of the Ben Rhodes email, and the statement of Gen. Lovell which indicated we did not try to intervene when we should have.
Senator Cruz posed ten questions regarding the Benghazi attacks which are vitally important and yet still remain unanswered. They are:
1) Why was the State Department unwilling to provide the requested level of security to Benghazi in the summer of 2012?
2) Do President Obama’s daily intelligence briefings in the run-up to September 11, 2012, support the assertion that there was no credible threat of a coordinated terrorist attack on Benghazi during the time? And do the daily intelligence briefings following that date support the claim the administration made that the cause was an Internet video? And why hasn’t the White House declassified and released those briefings, just like President George W. Bush did with his pre’September 11, 2001 briefings?
3) Why did we not anticipate the need to have military assets at the ready in the region on the anniversary of September 11th, of all days?
4) Did President Obama sleep the night of September 11th, 2012? Did Secretary Clinton? Neither has answered that very simple question – were they awake or asleep while Americans were under fire? When was President Obama told about the murder of our Ambassador?
5) If the Secretary of Defense thought there was “no question that this was a coordinated attack,” why did Ambassador Susan Rice, Secretary Clinton and President Obama all tell the American people that the cause was a spontaneous demonstration about an Internet video?
6) Why did former deputy CIA Director Mike Morell edit the intelligence community talking points to delete the references to Islamic extremists and Al Qaeda?
7) Why did the FBI not release pictures of the militants taken the day of the attack until eight months after the fact? Why not immediately, as proved so effective in the Boston bombing?
8) Why was Secretary Clinton not interviewed for the A.R.B. [Accountability Review Board] report? And if all the relevant questions were answered in the A.R.B. report, as our friends on the other side of the aisle often like to say, why did the State Department’s own Inspector General office open a probe into the methods of that very report?
9) Why have none of the terrorists who attacked in Benghazi been captured or killed?
10) What additional evidence that the White House engaged in a partisan political campaign to blame the Benghazi attack on the Internet video is contained in the additional emails requested by Judicial Watch but withheld by the White House on the grounds that it would put a “chill on internal deliberations?”
Cruz says that in his mind what is truly chilling is that now, twenty months after the attack, we have four dead Americans and no dead terrorists. He has a list of other things that chill him as well.
Senator Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recites the same talking points of a partisan politically-motivated witch-hunt, and exposes a critical weakness in the Democrat argument against a committee, which Cruz is quick to follow-up on.
Sen. Ted Cruz went after FBI Director James Comey, who promised a year ago that the IRS investigation would be a very high priority. Yet today, as Comey sits before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he won’t answer whether a single person has been interviewed or, really, much else about the investigation, hiding behind the fact that it’s an ‘ongoing investigation’.
What I like about this clip is the passion with which Cruz questions the FBI Director.
He also hits back at Leahy, the committee chair, when he’s basically told to accept the witness’ non-answer. Cruz pretty much tells Leahy that he can accept the FBI Director’s answer if he wants, and he understand the non-answer might be good enough for them because many Democrats don’t really care about getting answers in the IRS investigation. Leahy noted that his motives had nothing to do with it, but that the non-answer given by Comey was appropriate. Cruz fired back, to make his point, that when he sought to criminalize the targeting of anyone by the IRS based on their political views, Democrats on that committee voted it down.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz released a definitive list Wednesday of 76 “lawless” Obama administration actions and abuses of power.
Cruz’s “The Legal Limit Report No. 4,” obtained by The Daily Caller, delves into little-known and little-reported details of President Obama’s executive actions. Cruz was set to discuss his report at the Federalist Society in the Promenade Ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington at 2:15 PM Wednesday.
“Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat,” Cruz stated in the report’s introductory remarks.
“President Obama has openly defied [rule of law] by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act,” Cruz wrote. “In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.”
Cruz details 76 specific actions over eight chapters. We’ve listed eight of them, as chronicled by Cruz, below:
1. “Obama implemented portions of the DREAM Act by executive action”
2. “Ended some terror asylum restrictions”
3. “Recognized same sex marriage in Utah despite a Supreme Court stay on a court order allowing the institution”
4. “Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation”
5. “Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies”
6. “Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union”
7. “Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.”
8. “Government agencies are engaging in ‘Operation Choke Point,’ where the government asks banks to ‘choke off’ access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like – such as ‘ammunition sales.'”
See the full report:
THE LEGAL LIMIT: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ATTEMPTS TO EXPAND FEDERAL POWER
Report No. 4:
The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power
By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution,
Civil Rights and Human Rights
Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.
The President’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.
Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one – and especially not the president – is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.
For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.
That would be wrong – and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.
GOVERNING BY EXECUTIVE FIAT
1. Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). (1)
2. Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action. (2)
3. Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists. (3)
4. Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status. (4)
5. Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. (5)
6. Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same-sex marriages performed before the stay. (6)
7. Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums. (7)
8. Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes. (8)
9. Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository. (9)
1 Caroline May, Obama administration ‘guts’ welfare reform with new HHS rule, Daily Caller, Jul. 13, 2012.
2 Mark Krikorian, Today is A-Day, National Review Online, Aug. 15, 2012.
3 Reid J. Epstein, Obama administration ends some terror asylum restrictions, Politico, Feb. 5, 2014.
4 Julia Preston, Immigrants Closely Tied to Military Get Reprieve, N.Y. Times, Nov. 15, 2013.
5 Matt Apuzzo, More Federal Privileges to Extend to Same-Sex Couples, N.Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2014.
6 Charlie Savagejan, U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriage Despite State Stance, N.Y. Times, Jan. 10, 2014.
7 Pete Williams & Michael O’Brien, Holder: ‘New Approach’ to reduce mandatory drug sentences, NBC News, Aug. 12, 2013.
8 Charlie Savage, Obama Takes New Route to Opposing Parts of Laws, N.Y. Times, Jan. 8, 2010.
9 Joel B. Pollak, Nuclear fallout: Yucca decision would affect immigration, obamacare, Breitbart, Aug. 14, 2013.
1. Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube video, (10) and then lied about the White House’s involvement. (11)
2. Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation. (12)
3. Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S. (13)
4. Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process. (14)
5. Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup. (15)
10 Bill Flax, Benghazi: Four Americans Died, Obama Lied, and the Press Complied, Forbes, Oct. 18, 2012.
11 Michael D. Shear, Email Suggests White House Strategy on Benghazi, N.Y. Times, Apr. 30, 2014.
12 Mike Levine, President Obama’s Surprise Revelation of Sealed Benghazi Indictment, ABC News, Aug. 9, 2013.
13 Obama’s Magnitsky Walkback, Wall St. J., Jan. 5, 2014.
14 Karen DeYoung & Peter Finn, U.S. acknowledges killing of four U.S. citizens in counterterrorism operations, Wash. Post, May 22, 2013.
15 White House says U.S. has not cut off aid to Egypt, Reuters, Aug. 20, 2013.
1. Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant. (16)
2. Delayed the individual mandate for two years. (17)
3. Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare. (18) Extended this delay until 2016 – past the mid-term elections. (19)
4. Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare. (20)
5. Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate. (21) Twice. (22)
6. Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs. (23)
7. Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments. (24)
8. Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies. (25)
9. Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate. (26)
10. As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force). (27)
16 Margaret Talev & Alex Wayne, Obama Lifts Health Mandate for Those With Canceled Plans, Bloomberg.com, Dec. 20, 2013.
17 ObamaCare’s Secret Mandate Exemption, Wall St. J., Mar. 11, 2014.
18 Stephanie Condon, Obama letting people keep canceled health plans for another year, CBSNews.com, Nov. 14, 2013.
19 Louise Radnofsky, Obama Gives Health Plans Added Two-Year Reprieve, Wall St. J., Mar. 5, 2014.
20 David Martosko, Busted! After promising ‘no delay’ in final Obamacare sign-up deadline, Obama administration unveils new ‘honor system’ extension through mid-April , Daily Mail, March 25, 2014.
21 Sarah Kliff, White House delays employer mandate requirement until 2015, Wash. Post, July 2, 2013.
22 Juliet Eilperin & Amy Goldstein, White House delays health insurance mandate for medium-seized employers until 2016 , Wash. Post, Feb. 10, 2014.
23 Ezra Klein, In 2014, Congress gets Obamacare. Here’s how they’ll pay for it., Wash. Post, Aug. 1, 2013.
24 Avik Roy,Yet Another White House Obamacare Delay: Out-Of-Pocket Caps Waived Until 2015, Forbes, Aug. 13, 2013.
25 Avik Roy, Not Qualified for Obamacare’s Subsidies? Just lie – Govt. To Use ‘Honor System’ Without Verifying Your Eligibility, Forbes, July 6, 2013.
26 Joel Gehrke, Little Sisters of the Poor sue over Obamacare fines, contraception requirement, Wash. Examiner, Sept. 24, 2013.
27 Milton Wolf, Obamacare waiver corruption must stop, Wash. Times, May 20, 2011.
1. Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union. (28)
2. Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium. (29)
3. Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy. (30)
4. Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy. (31)
5. Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws – but no charges were filed. (32)
6. Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like – such as “ammunition sales.” (33)
28 Steven Greenhouse, Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law, N.Y. Times, Apr. 20, 2011.
29 Frederic Frommer, Government takes third attempt at drilling moratorium, Associated Press, Jul. 13, 2010.
30 An offer you can’t refuse, The Economist, May 7, 2009.
31 Emails: Geithner, Treasury drove cutoff of nonunion Delphi workers’ pensions, Daily Caller, Aug. 7, 2012; Report: Obama administration played key role in GM Bankruptcy as pensions cut for salaried workers, not unionized ones, Associated Press, Aug 16, 2013.
32 Deborah Zabarenko, Gibson Guitar CEO slams U.S. raids as “overreach”, Reuters, Oct. 12, 2011.
33 Frank Keating, Justice Puts Banks in a Choke Hold, Wall St. J., Apr. 24, 2014.
EXECUTIVE NOMINEES AND PERSONNEL
1. Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess. (34) Ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.
2. Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd (35) and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold. (36)
3. As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes. (37)
4. As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes. (38)
34 Timothy Noah, Cordray’s Recess Appointment Sure Doesn’t Look Constitutional to Me, New Republic, Jan. 4, 2012.
35 John Bresnahan, Byrd: Obama in power grab, Politico, Feb. 25, 2009.
36 Jordan Fabian, Feingold questions Obama ‘czars’, The Hill, Sept. 16, 2009.
37 Andrew Malcolm, 36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes, Investors Business Daily, Jan. 26, 2012.
38 Richard Rubin, Number of Tax-Delinquent Government Workers Up 11.5%, Bloomberg, Mar. 8, 2013
FREE SPEECH AND PRIVACY
1. Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny. (39)
2. Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities” – and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all. (40)
3. Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases. (41)
4. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions. (42)
5. Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak. (43)
6. Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press. (44)
7. Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements. (45)
39 Greg Sargent, Conservatives have themselves a real scandal on their hands, Wash. Post, May 10, 2013.
40 Mark Tapscott, ‘Most transparent’ White House ever rewrote the FOIA to suppress politically sensitive docs, Wash. Examiner, Mar. 18, 2014.
41 Ellen Nakashima, Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011, Wash. Post, Sept. 7, 2013.
42 Richard Pollock, CFPB’s data-mining on consumer credit cards challenged in heated House hearing, Sept. 13, 2013.
43 Another Chilling Leak Investigation, N.Y. Times, May 21, 2013.
44 Mark Sherman, Gov’t obtains wide AP phone records in probe, Yahoo News, May 13, 2013.
45 Eric Lichtblau, Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists, N.Y. Times, June 24, 2010
OTHER LAWLESS ACTS
1. Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws – as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.” (46)
2. Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious, (47) and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation. (48)
3. Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election. (49)
4. Argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012. (50)
5. Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools. (51)
6. Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown. (52)
7. Muzzled the speech of military chaplains. (53)
8. Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory. (54)
9. Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA. (55)
46 Stephen Dinan, Border Patrol helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the United States, Wash. Times, Dec. 19, 2013.
47 DOJ Inspector General, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, Sept. 2012.
48 Jerry Seper & Stephen Dinan, GOP sues to force Obama, Holder compliance on Fast and Furious, Wash. Times, Aug. 13, 2012.
49 Kevin Bohn, Justice Department drops charges in voter intimidation case, CNN.com, May 28, 2009.
50 Senator Ted Cruz, The Legal Limit: The Obama Administration’s Attempts to Expand Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz,Addendum – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz, Addendum 2 – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power.
51 Obama, Holder Stand in Louisiana Schoolhouse Door, Investors Business Daily, Aug. 30, 2013.
52 Alex Pappas, Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown, Daily Caller, Oct. 4, 2013.
53 George Neumayr, Muzzling Military Chaplains, The American Spectator, Jan. 9, 2013.
54 Editorial: Firehouse flunkies, Wash. Times, Mar. 7, 2011.
OTHER ABUSES OF POWER
1. Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee, (56) who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s. (57)
2. Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. (58)
3. President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.” (59)
4. Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism. (60)
5. Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives, (61) and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses. (62)
6. Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign. (63)
7. Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office. (64)
8. Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms. (65)
9. Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble. (66)
10. Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work. (67)
11. Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools. (68)
12. Nominated Timothy Geithner – who had significant tax issues (69) – to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws. 13. Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN. (70)
14. Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office). (71)
15. Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order. (72)
16. Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration – purportedly saving $18,000 per week – even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before. (73)
17. Adopted pro-union “mbush election”rules. (74)
18. Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad. (75)
19. Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests. (76)
20. Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel. (77)
21. Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown. (78)
22. Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI. (79)
23. Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines. (80)
24. Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet. (81)
25. Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16. (82)
26. Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento). (83)
55 Terence Jeffrey, IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address, CNSNews.com, June 21, 2013.
56 U.S. judge orders release of mentally ill Guantanamo prisoner, Yahoo News, Oct. 4, 2013.
57 The Guantanamo Docket: Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris, N.Y. Times.
58 Jason Allardyce & Tony Allen-Mills, White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, The Australian, July 26, 2010.
59 Alex Pepper, White House, NASA, Defend Comments About NASA Outreach to Muslim World Criticized by Conservatives, ABCNews.com, July 6, 2010.
60 Aaron Goldstein, Obama Still Doesn’t Get 9/11, American Spectator, Sept. 11, 2012.
61 Dana Bash & Ted Barrett, Bonuses allowed by stimulus bill, CNN.com, Mar. 18, 2009.
62 Helene Cooper, Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses, N.Y Times, Mar. 16, 2009.
63 Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin, Daily Caller, Sept. 1, 2011.
64 Josh Gerstein, 5 unmet promises of President Obama, Politico, Oct. 16, 2012.
65 Mark Knoller, National Debt has increased more under Obama than under Bush, CBSNews.com, Mar. 19, 2012.
66 Prashant Gopal, Boom-Era Property Speculators to Get Foreclosure Aid: Mortgages, Bloomberg, Mar. 5, 2012.
67 Washington Elitists Want to Take Over the Family Farm, Investors Business Daily, Apr. 26, 2012; Dave Jamieson,Child Labor Farm Rules Scrapped by White House Under Political Pressure, Huffington Post, Apr. 27
68 Maxim Lott, Critics Assail Obama’s ‘Safe Schools’ Czar, Say He’s Wrong Man For the Job, FoxNews.com, Sept. 23, 2009.
69 Jonathan Weisman, Geithner’s Tax History Muddles Confirmation, Wall St. J., Jan. 14, 2009.
70 Chip Reid, Obama Reneges on Health Care Transparency, CBSNews.com, Jan. 7, 2010.
71 Jim Harper, The Promise That Keeps on Breaking, The Cato Institute, Apr. 13, 2009.
72 Ed Henry, Obama to sign executive order raising minimum wage for federal contractors, FoxNews.com, Jan. 28, 2014.
73 Tom Blumer, Our Petty, Country-Be-Damned President, PJ Media, Mar. 8, 2013.
74 Senator John Thune, NLRB’s ambush elections would hurt local businesses, The Hill, Apr. 19, 2012.
75 Daniel Howes, WH Pressures Ford to Pull Bailout Ad, FoxNews.com, Sept. 27, 2011.
76 Documents Obtained by Judicial Watch Detail Role of Justice Department in Organizing Trayvon Martin Protests, Judicial Watch, July 10, 2013.
77 George Will, When the looter is the government , Wash. Post, May 18, 2012.
78 Update: Let’s Move Website Works Fine – Obama plays Politics with Lost Children, shuts down Amber Alert website, The Right Scoop, Oct. 6, 2013.
79 JW Forces Release of DHS Report on Illegal Alien Charged with Killing Virginia Nun in August 2010 Drunk Driving Incident, Judicial Watch, Mar. 4, 2011.
80 Stephen Dinan, Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk, Wash. Times, Feb. 13, 2012.
81 Nick Schulz, How Effective Was The 2009 Stimulus Program?, Forbes, July 5, 2011.
82 Thomas Cloud, Shovel Ready in San Fran: $205,075 to ‘Translocate’ One Shrub from Path of Stimulus Project, CNSNews.com, Apr. 12, 2012.
83 Susan Crabtree, Allies of official fired by Obama mount defense, The Hill, June 24, 2009.
Office of Senator Ted Cruz
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
H/T Right Scoop
Rather than work to fix Obama’s healthcare bill like other Democrats, Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) pressured a state agency to change the way its estimated healthcare cancellations because of Obamacare. Udall wanted the state Department of Insurance to downgrade its estimate of Obamacare-related insurance cancellations from 250,000 to just 73,000, because while the plans they liked were cancelled some Colorado residents were offered replacement plans.
Udall is broad brushing and assuming that because Anthem and Kaiser offered early renewals, the people who received that option after receiving a cancellation notice should not be counted. Commissioner Salazar would like to tell Sen. Udall that 250,000 people were in fact affected by cancellation notices,” insurance department director of external affairs Jo Donlin wrote in November, according the emails.
Emails originally obtained by CompleteColorado.com in January created controversy for the Senator and his vote for President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In one of those emails, Donlin said Udall’s office was trying to “trash” the cancellation numbers as tallied by the DOI. In another email, Donlin complained that she received a “very hostile” call from Udall’s deputy chief of staff after she had informed the Senator’s office that the DOI was unlikely to change or modify their calculation of 250,000 policy cancellations in 2013.
Udall’s office did eventually issue their own press release, which netted them a significant story in the Denver Post. In another email, Donlin sent a link of the online Denver Post story to her colleagues, pointing out that the story quoted “Sen. Udall staff,” which seems to highlight that the story did not name an individual directly. Furthermore, Donlin said the online comments were “interesting.” Many of those online comments were critical of both Udall and the Post‘s story. For example, commenter dwschulze said, “So a Democrat who supported Obamacare says that most of the cancelled policies aren’t really cancelled. And you support that with a statement from another Obamacare supporter. You need to provide some independent verification of Udall’s statement for it to be anything but another dubious statement about Obamacare.
Can’t really blame Senator Udall, like other Democrats who worked to pass Obamacare, he is desperately trying to to put lipstick on the failed pig of the President’s signature program.
California State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, have been indicted on political corruption charges resulting from an FBI investigation, the Los Angeles Daily News/Whittier Daily News reported Friday, citing what officials call “the largest insurance fraud case to date in California.
“Sen. Ron Calderon was charged… with fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns,” the report explains. “His brother, Tom Calderon, a former Assemblyman, was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.
“The charges seemed certain to tarnish the Calderon clan, a political dynasty that’s long held power in southeast Los Angeles County,” the report predicted.
That power within the Calderon’s “political web” is further elaborated by The Los Angeles Times in a report yesterday detailing “The Calderon family’s connections,” and featuring not just Tom and Ron, but also brother Charles, a former assemblyman and state senator, and his son Ian, 27, “who became the assemblyman representing Whittier in 2012.”
In a development tangentially related to the corruption charges, a $25,000 contribution last year by “Yes We Can,” a political committee tied to the California Latino Legislative Caucus, a group Thomas Calderon was vice chair of, to Californians for Diversity, a nonprofit group that in 2011 listed him as president, was “raising eyebrows around the Capitol,” The Los Angeles Times reported in October. Not only had Calderon’s group not filed tax returns for 2012 at the time of that report, but concerns were raised over the inordinate amount of expenditures for “travel and food and beverages [and] entertainment for public officials.” That prompted Kathy Feng, executive director of the “progressive” advocacy group California Common Cause, to assess “that Californians for Diversity is a nonprofit that does not have a clear charity or social benefit purpose. I am also concerned that this nonprofit may have been created just to serve as a pass-through for money.”
One connection “Authorized Journalists” writing for “mainstream” outlets have not, and will not explore, is the affinity the Calderon clan has for using their political power to impose citizen disarmament edicts.
Among his many anti-gun votes, Ron Calderon supported prohibiting semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, expanding the list of crimes to disqualify individuals from firearms ownership, prohibiting lead ammunition for hunting, and expanding loaded firearm restrictions.
When he was in power, indicted brother Thomas earned an “F” rating from NRA, a “0%” score from Gun Owners of America, and a “100%” approval from the Jack Berman Advocacy Center, a group “created… to work on violence reduction and gun control.” Likewise, brother Charles was given an “F” by NRA in 2010, and young Ian also appears to be insatiable on the gun issue, supporting magazine capacity limits and all the other restrictions Uncle Ron demands.
While the charges have yet to be proven in a court of law, and while the Calderons deserve a presumption of innocence, there’s a pattern emerging here that is familiar to gun owners, especially those who have noticed an unmistakable connection between the politically powerful, the connected, the special interest panderers and the corrupt, and how many of those types always seem to take the lead in demanding “ordinary citizens” be disarmed.
That such types always appear to have a lock on power in their districts, no matter how they conduct themselves and in spite of all the red flags they raise, points to factors other than strictly politics in play. It more than hints at cynical, self-interested exploitation of human issues to advance the larger agenda for what Barack Obama calls “a fundamental transformation,” currently blocked in part by a major obstacle “progressives” need to overcome: an armed citizenry that will not be ruled by men such as these.