Grassley re-introduces bill to apply health care reforms to White House and administration leaders, and equitably in Congress

WASHINGTON - January 26, 2011 - Senator Chuck Grassley today renewed his effort to apply the health care reform law to the President, Vice President, cabinet members, top White House staff, and the congressional staff who worked for passage of the massive overhaul enacted in March 2010.

Previous legislative initiatives by Grassley to establish accountability in Congress and the administration were rebuffed, both in 2009 and 2010, by the Democratic Majority Leader in the Senate.  "As a result, the health care reforms driven by President Obama and Senator Reid do not apply to President Obama and top administration officials or to the powerful congressional leadership staff who helped to make the overhaul the law of the land," Grassley said.  "The message to grassroots America is that health care reform is good enough for you, but not for us."

Grassley said that now that a new Congress has started, Senate leaders have another chance to make things right and should act immediately to pass his Health Reform Accountability Act.  "Until the health care overhaul is repealed and replaced with reforms that have broad-based support, the majority leadership in the Senate and the administration ought to make sure they are required to live under the health care law they put on the books."

Grassley started his accountability effort in September 2009, when the Finance Committee, where he served as Ranking Member, was acting on its reform proposal.  Committee members approved a Grassley amendment to have members of Congress and all congressional staff obtain their health insurance through the same health insurance exchanges where health plans for the general public would be available.  After the bill left committee and during the closed-door reworking of the legislation in the Senate Majority Leader's office, Senate committee and leadership staffs were exempted from the requirement.

In December 2010, when the carve-out was discovered, Grassley and Senator Tom Coburn offered an amendment to restore the requirement for all congressional staff and also to statutorily require the President, the Vice President, top White House staff and cabinet members to get their health insurance through the newly created exchanges.  The amendment did not apply to federal employees in the civil service.  The Grassley-Coburn amendment was never brought up for a vote.  The legislative fix also was not included in the final manager's amendment, controlled by the Senate Majority Leader, on Christmas Eve, when the Senate passed the legislation that ultimately became law.  Grassley made another attempt to have the special carve-out removed during Senate consideration of the health-care reconciliation bill in March 2010.  Again, he was rebuffed.  Grassley filed the same free-standing legislation introduced today immediately following final passage, but it has never been brought up by the Senate Majority Leader, who controls the calendar and Senate businesss.

Grassley said the motivation for his initiative is simple:  public officials who make the laws or lead efforts to have laws changed should live under those laws.  "It's the same principle that motivated me to pursue legislation over 20 years ago to apply civil rights, labor and employment laws to Congress," Grassley said.

That previous Grassley crusade met success in 1995, when President Clinton signed into law Grassley's Congressional Accountability Act.  Before then, Congress had routinely exempted itself from major laws, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Veteran's Employment and Reemployment Rights at Chapter 43 of Title 38 of the U.S. Code, and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1989.  All 12 of those laws now apply to Congress, thanks to Grassley's reform legislation.

Today, Grassley also is working to make sure Congress lives up to the same standards it imposes on others with legislation such as his Congressional Whistleblower Protection Act.

As far as the health care law, as it stands today, because of the amendment Grassley included in the Finance Committee bill, at least members of Congress and their personal office staffs will be required to obtain their health insurance coverage through the newly created health care exchanges, when the law takes full effect in 2014, instead of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.

In March 2010, the White House announced that the President planned to participate in the health insurance exchanges in 2014.  Grassley said at the time that the move effectively endorsed his legislation.  "I appreciate it, but the principle of living under the law shouldn't be voluntary for political leaders."

The companion bill to the legislation filed today by Grassley was introduced last week in the House of Representatives by Representative Michael Burgess of Texas.  It's H.R.360.

 

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WASHINGTON - January 26, 2011 - Senator Chuck Grassley is an original cosponsor of a bill by Senator David Vitter of Louisiana which permanently eliminates the automatic pay raise for members of Congress that exists in current law.

"There is definitely a lack of accountability to the American people when members of Congress receive an automatic pay raise without a yes-or-no vote," Grassley said. "If members of Congress think they deserve a raise, they should have the guts to vote publicly for it."

Grassley has consistently worked to stop automatic pay raises for members of Congress since he has been in Congress.  Grassley has also recently been part of the successful efforts to block the scheduled congressional pay raise for 2010 and 2011.

The legislation would eliminate the automatic pay increase and require any provision included in a bill that would increase congressional pay to receive a roll-call vote in the Senate before it can pass. Under current law, members of Congress automatically receive an increase each year based on a cost-of-living-adjustment, unless the Congress takes action otherwise, as it did for 2010 and 2011.

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Statement by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley regarding the State of the Union Address by the President, Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The top priorities have to be job creation and fiscal discipline, and there ought to be broad-based political support for those goals.  It seems like the President has come to this realization after last November's election.  The new seating arrangement for tonight's State of the Union address is symbolic, but it can't do as much as the tone set by the President in his remarks and, even more so, the follow through after the speech.

I had constituent meetings in 24 Iowa counties last week and heard employers say they need long-term tax certainty and tax reforms to enhance competitiveness and enable job creation.  They need relief from costly mandates and regulations that undo any benefit they're supposed to get from the federal government, especially in rural America.  The President's goal to look at contradictory or unneeded regulations is welcome, and I intend to give him some common sense ideas from Iowa to get started.  Washington also should foster innovation and the resulting economic opportunities with initiatives such as patent reform.

American manufacturers, farmers and service industries need new markets for exports.  International trade leads to higher paying jobs and new opportunities for workers.  It's time for the administration to match its rhetoric with reality by getting the United States off the sidelines and finalizing valuable trade agreements that have been pending for years.  The rest of the world is moving forward without us, at the expense of America's workforce.  For example, Caterpillar is waiting to export more bulldozers made in Illinois to Colombia under a free-trade agreement signed in 2006 but never implemented.  If U.S. companies can't get access to foreign markets, companies in other countries will.  The President's stated goal of doubling exports will be hard to achieve on the margins, without trade agreements.  I want to work with him to achieve those agreements, if he's willing to back his words with action.

A positive outcome of the 2010 election must be fiscal restraint.  That needs to include spending freezes, spending reductions, and beefed up efforts to stop fraud, waste and abuse of tax dollars.  The renewed effort to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution is very good news for taxpayers and good government.  It should be accompanied by line-item veto authority for the President.  Both measures would result in greater accountability in Washington.

Senator Grassley will serve as Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee in the new Congress.  He has been either Ranking Member or Chairman of the Finance Committee for the last ten years and will continue to serve as a senior member of the Finance Committee.  Grassley also is a senior member of the Senate Budget and Agriculture committees.

Harkin Statement on President Obama's Second State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 25, 2011 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's second State of the Union address.  Harkin chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, as well as the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

"Last year, I listened as the President laid out in real terms the state of our economy and the tough road ahead.  He spoke of the need for job creation to restore our economy.  In the past year, Congress and the White House worked together to make our economy work again for hardworking Americans.

"We brought health care costs under control with the new health reform law, which I was proud to help craft.  We also took action on a long-overdue effort to make college more affordable.  And Congress passed and the President signed into law a new financial reform effort to help stabilize our economy, make future bailouts less likely and protect families on Main Street from abusive financial practices.   

"In the upcoming year, Congress will continue the effort to create jobs, restore the economy and reduce our deficit.  Tonight, President Obama laid out a number of steps on which Congress and the President can work together to achieve that goal.

"As Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, I was encouraged by the President's strong focus on education reform as an engine for economic growth.  Teachers across the country work hard every day to educate our children. It's past time for Congress to do its job and fix the No Child Left Behind Act and I look forward to leading this bipartisan effort.  Advancing education reform through a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will help ensure that all students can attend high-quality schools that equip them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in college, careers and the global economy.

"The recently passed health reform law, something I have long believed was a starter home from which to continue to build, put health decisions back in patient's hands - not the insurance companies.  That important bill provided new protections to consumers by ending discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, allowing parents to keep their kids on their insurance until age 26 and investing in prevention efforts to keep Americans healthy.  I was pleased to hear the President defend these important protections and suggest we build on them as we move forward.  

"The health reform bill was also a deficit reduction bill, saving the federal government over $1 trillion over the next 20 years.  Just two weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the House Republicans' repeal effort will drive up the deficit by nearly a quarter trillion dollars over ten years.  Health reform was the first of many efforts Democrats will take to reduce our deficit and rein in spending.   We will continue these efforts in this Congress.  There is room for significant but smart cuts in both domestic spending and defense programs.   And we also have to have a real conversation on fair taxation, which includes making sure higher income Americans and corporations pay their fair share.

"Budget cutting rhetoric is one thing, but reality is much more difficult.  That is why it is so important that our deficit reduction efforts be done in a smart way.  These cuts should not impede our recovery or be borne disproportionately by working Americans.  And they should still allow us to invest in our future.

"The economy is slowly getting back on track.  With bipartisan cooperation, Congress and the Obama Administration can accelerate that recovery."

Braley Reaction to State of the Union

Washington, D.C. - January 25, 2011 - Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement tonight on President Obama's State of the Union address to a Joint Session of Congress:

"In tonight's speech, President Obama presented an ambitious vision for our country's future - it's a vision that I've been fighting for since I came to Congress.

"I fully support an innovation agenda for America. In Iowa, we are already leading the way in new energies like biofuels - with help from legislation like the New Era Act, which I introduced and passed into law, Eastern Iowa Community College and Hawkeye Community College are training the next generation of biofuels technicians right now.

"And I commend the President for recognizing the state of Iowa when he talked about expanding high-speed Internet to rural communities. It's great to hear that this is high on his priority list, because it certainly is on mine.

"But even as we work to create the jobs of tomorrow, we cannot forget about jobs today - and the people who depend on having jobs today. American manufacturing is hurting - I've seen it in companies like Wilbert Plastic Service in Winthrop which has been open since the 1960's. They employed over a hundred people. And they had to close down last year. This is unacceptable to me - and I won't stop working until we can bring about a resurgence of American manufacturing. Because if we want families to make it in Iowa - or anywhere in America - we need to make things in America once again.

"I look forward to working with the President, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create jobs, to cut the deficit in a responsible way, to simplify government, to take care of our veterans and military families - and to give hard-working Americans in all of our districts a chance to succeed."

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Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on President Obama's State of the Union Address

CHICAGO - January 25, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech:

"We in Illinois applaud President Obama's vision for American innovation, education, fiscal responsibility and bipartisanship. As our country recovers from the worst recession in decades, we must be visionaries, with our sights set on the global economy.

"In Illinois, we are investing in the infrastructure, new industries, and education that will continue to make our state competitive - for the jobs of today and tomorrow. From building high-speed rail to attracting foreign investment from China, from helping online-innovator Groupon grow to working with Ford to build the new fuel-efficient Explorer, Illinois stands poised to take advantage of the jobs of tomorrow and the next technological revolutions.

"We commend the President on his vision, and look forward to working together as a nation to keep American innovation at the forefront of the global economy."

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Jacksonville, IL (January 24, 2011) In recognition of his outstanding leadership skills and ability, State Representative Jim Watson (R-Jacksonville) has been chosen to serve on the Illinois House Republican Caucus Leadership Team as the Caucus Chairman.

 

"It is an honor to serve as State Representative of the 97th District and now to be chosen to serve as a member of the House Republican Caucus Leadership Team," Watson said.  "This new leadership role gives me, and those I represent a stronger voice in Springfield.  I look forward to working with other caucus leaders to develop an agenda that reflects what is best for the people of Illinois and our state."

 

Rep. Watson has served as State Representative of the 97th District since December 2001.   His legislative district covers all or portions of seven counties, including Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Madison, Macoupin, Morgan, and Pike counties.  He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp.  Watson served a tour in Operation Desert Storm, and more recently Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he assisted the Iraqi people during their transition to a representative form of government.

 

"Not only is Jim Watson a hardworking legislator, who is well-respected by his peers, but he cares deeply about the direction our state is headed.   Jim knows how to unite people and understands that it will take a bipartisan effort to fix our state's fiscal problems and get people back to work.  I am proud he will be serving on our leadership team," said House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego).

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Mica Matsoff to Oversee State Communication Operations; Ashley Cross Heads to Department of Juvenile Justice

SPRINGFIELD - January 4, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Mica Matsoff will join the Governor's Office as the new director of communications. She will work closely with the Governor and senior-level staff as the Quinn Administration begins a new term of office. Matsoff will replace Director of Communications Ashley Cross, who will leave the Governor's Office at the end of the current term to become the chief of staff at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. 

"Mica Matsoff has become one of my most valued advisors, and I am confident that her experience in strategic communications will help us take our office to the next level," said Governor Quinn. "I would also like to thank Ashley Cross for her tireless work and dedication. I respect her desire to embark down a new path, and I look forward to her continued service with some of the state's most vulnerable young people."

As director of communications, Matsoff will be a key advisor to Governor Quinn, planning and overseeing the execution of the administration's internal and external communications. She will work closely with senior members of the Governor's staff and cabinet as they develop policies that impact the people of Illinois.

Matsoff earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has experience working in both the public and private sectors. She has vast expertise in strategic communications, crisis management and public relations.

Previously Matsoff worked as the director of communications at Quinn for Illinois where she managed all press operations. She also served as the director of public relations for Chicago 2016, Chicago's Olympic and Paralympic Games bid. She returns to state government after previously working as a spokesperson for the Departments of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Employment Security. Prior to that, she spent several years at the public relations firm Edelman.

Cross has been with the Governor's Office since March 2009 and was named director of communications in July. Previously, she served as the director of communications for DCEO. She earned her bachelor's degree from Butler University and a master's degree in nonprofit administration from North Park University. During her time in the Governor's Office, Cross served as an advisor on issues related to the state's juvenile justice program and has become an advocate for youths in the system.


 

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Bob Tallitsch seeks seat on Moline School Board  --  Quality of education & future of Moline children at heart of run.

(Moline, IL) Former Moline School Board President Bob Tallitsch feels so strongly about the future challenges and opportunities facing the Moline Public School District that he is throwing his hat in the ring for a seat on the school board - a seat he's held before.

"The challenges and opportunities are too great to stay away from this arena of public service," said Tallitsch, a biology professor at Augustana College.  Tallitsch said his past experience on the board was "both the most rewarding and the most frustrating experience of his life."

"I am running because I feel I can make a positive difference in the quality of education and because we can't waste the talent of any child in Moline," said Tallitsch, who has more than a decade of prior service on the Moline School Board including five years as president.

Tallitsch said the major priorities of his candidacy represent what has motivated him to run again.  "Taken together, these priorities represent the foundation of my candidacy.  They represent my desire to improve the educational policies in this district.  They represent my core commitment to putting children first in this district.  That is why I'm running," he said.

"The basis of my candidacy rests on the notion that we have to run a smarter school board, a board that puts children first, in both tough economic times and at all times," he said.  "As a fiscal conservative I think every decision and expenditure of tax dollars should be guided by this principle:  are we spending wisely and are we strengthening the curriculum needed to provide every child a high-quality education?"

Tallitsch said the Moline School Board needs to be more curriculum-minded.  "As the school board navigates tough budget decisions ahead, I will be a voice that puts the impact on curriculum first and foremost," he said.

Tallitsch said the school board needs to be more proactive.  "Now is the time to be proactive," he said.  "With difficult budget conditions and with tough curriculum choices, we face challenging days ahead.  These challenging times call for board members ready to ask the tough questions at board meetings, ready to review the budget line by line, and ready to make trips to Springfield to lobby our legislators to live up to the Illinois Constitution's commitment to funding schools adequately.  We all have to step it up.  We have to do better."

Tallitsch also feels the Moline Board of Education needs to be more responsive to the people within the district.  A great first step, he said, would be updating the policy that governs questions-and-answers when members of the public come before the school board to make comment.  "At the present time, when the public comes to a school board meeting to speak there is no time for questions and no time for a give and take with that person.  While this policy might have been appropriate in the past, we need to change the policy governing the 'public comment' section of Board of Education meetings so that some discussion and debate is allowed," said Tallitsch.  He would also like to see the school district do more on media outlets such as Facebook

The school board candidate also recommends the following belt-tightening measures to save tax dollars:  1) the school district should move toward 100 percent paperless meetings throughout the district; 2) any board member or employee of the district in his/her last year on the board or employment within the district should forego attending conferences that require the school district to reimburse registration, travel and lodging expenses; 3) the new school board should continue conducting a "top-to-bottom review of every line item in the budget" to look for new ways to cut wasteful spending; and 4) the administration should seek out budget-saving suggestions from the employees of the district - teachers and staff - just as is done in industry today.

Tallitsch, who plans to issue specific policy proposals during the course of this campaign, has a strong record of community service that includes the following:

*  Moline Board of Education, 1991-1999, 2001-2005
*  President, Moline Board of Education, 1997-1999, 2001-2005
*  Chair, District Bond Referendum Committee, 1992
*  District Teacher Negotiations Team, 1991-1998
*  District MESPA Negotiations Team, 2001-2005
*  Board of Directors, Moline Junior Symphony, 1993-1996

He earned a B.A. in biology from North Central College, and a P.h. D. in physiology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, before joining the faculty at Augustana College.
He has published several articles and textbooks during his tenure at Augustana College and was recently selected to serve as Principal Investigator on a grant awarded through the National Science Foundation.

Tallitsch and his wife, Mary, are the proud parents of Steven, 27, and Molly, 25, both graduates of Moline Senior High School.

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CHICAGO - December 13, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Jack Lavin as his Chief of Staff. Lavin previously served as the state's Chief Operating Officer. Current Chief of Staff Michelle Saddler will resume her position as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS).

"Jack Lavin has helped my administration accomplish many of our top priorities and I have full confidence that he has the vision and ability to lead my office into a successful new term and will tackle the many serious issues facing our state," said Governor Quinn. "Michelle Saddler has done an excellent job as Chief of Staff. However, I wish to honor her preference to return to the work she began at the Department of Human Services. She is a key leader in my administration."

Lavin has served as Governor Quinn's Chief Operating Officer since February 2009, where he has led implementation of the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program and directed the state's federal stimulus program. Lavin, who also leads Governor Quinn's job creation efforts, worked to keep Ford, Navistar and Chrysler in Illinois.

Throughout his career, Lavin has focused on economic development and job creation. Prior to his appointment as the state's Chief Operating Officer, Lavin served as the Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, where he completed hundreds of business transactions which generated billions of dollars in private investment and created thousands of jobs. Lavin also spent four years working for then-State Treasurer Pat Quinn. As Deputy Treasurer, Lavin led the office's job creation efforts by ensuring the availability of loans to create and expand small businesses.

"I am honored to serve the people of Illinois as Governor Quinn's Chief of Staff," said Lavin. "As our state continues to emerge from this historic economic downturn, I look forward to continuing to work to create jobs and build our economy, while ensuring that state government is more efficient, effective and accountable to the taxpayers of Illinois."

Throughout his career, Lavin has been active in the community, advocating for people with disabilities and working to solve education issues, particularly for children with special needs. Lavin is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has a master's degree in business with a specialization in finance, as well as a master's degree in international relations from the University of Chicago. He resides in Chicago with his wife, Kathy, and their three children.

"It has been a privilege to serve as Governor Quinn's Chief of Staff," said Saddler. "Returning to the Department of Human Services will allow me to pursue my truest passion and continue to address the immense challenges and needs facing human services in Illinois."

Saddler was appointed by Governor Quinn to be Secretary of DHS on Oct. 11, 2009. On Aug. 24 Governor Quinn appointed her as his Chief of Staff. Last week the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless honored Governor Quinn and Saddler for their work in creating and implementing the Put Illinois to Work program. More than 26,000 workers have been hired since Put Illinois to Work was launched last April.

Previously, Saddler held a number of policy and management positions in both the public and private sectors. She received her bachelor's degree from Princeton University and has a master's degree from Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

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Des Moines, Iowa - House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines has appointed three local legislators to top posts in the Iowa House for the 2011 legislative session. Rep. Cindy Winckler will be the lead democrat on the House Education Budget Committee, Rep. Jim Lykam will be the top democrat on the House Transportation Committee, and Rep. Phyllis Thede was appointed to lead democrats on the Environmental Protection Committee.

"The Quad Cities will be well-served with these key legislators in top posts in the Iowa House," said McCarthy.  "These dedicated representatives will be key to keeping the state budget balanced while maintaining the key priorities of Iowans."

"I look forward to continuing my leadership role for House Democrats on state education issues," said Winckler. "We will continue to strengthen Iowa's educational system and make sure our kids graduate with the skills needed to land a good-paying job."

"A world-class transportation system is essential to growing Iowa's economy in the 21st Century.  I will do all I can to modernize our transportation infrastructure and keep our roadways safe for Iowans," said Lykam, who will also serve on Commerce, Natural Resources, and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.

"I look forward to my new leadership role on the House Environmental Protection Committee.  Iowans in cities and rural areas deserve clean air and water," said Thede.

Rep. Winckler will also serve on Appropriations, Education, and Human Resources.  Rep. Thede was also appointed to serve on Ethics, Local Government, Natural Resources, and the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.   The 84th General Assembly will convene its first day of session on January 10, 2011.

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CHICAGO - November 24, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today approved 20 and denied 48 clemency petitions. This action marks another step in a series of clemency decisions aimed at ending a massive backlog of nearly 2,500 cases that built up during the previous administration.

The 68 clemency petitions acted upon by Governor Quinn are from the October 2003, January 2004, April 2004 and July 2004 dockets.  Each person granted clemency has recently undergone a criminal background check through the Illinois State Police's Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS).

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has acted on 810 clemency petitions. Governor Quinn has granted 317 pardons, authorized eight persons who had already received pardons to seek expungement of their convictions, granted one commutation and denied 425 petitions.

For further information on the approved clemency cases, please contact the Prisoner Review Board at (217) 502-0948.

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TEA PARTY EXPRESS CELEBRATES VICTORIES

Turns Attention to 2012 Elections and Holding 2010 Victors Accountable

 

The Tea Party Express issued the following statement regarding the 2010 election victories by tea party candidates across the nation:

 

"The Tea Party Express congratulates the scores of tea party candidates who won campaigns across this country, including hundreds of candidates who were supported by the Tea Party Express and our membership.

 

"The biggest victory might be the fact that the impact of the tea party movement was so strong that everyone - even many Democrats - started adopting the messaging  and positions of the tea party movement.

 

"There weren't all that many candidates running on the platform defending tax-spend-bailout policies or big government excess, such as ObamaCare.

 

"In one race where a candidate turned against the tea party principles, and was closely linked to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the candidate lost.  That candidate was Congressman Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) who had been endorsed by the Tea Party Express in the primary.  After he turned against the Tea Party Express, rejecting our endorsement, accepting the endorsement instead of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and refusing to commit to the repeal of ObamaCare, the Tea Party Express endorsed his Republican challenger, Raul Labrador.  After a late blitz of radio and TV ads by the Tea Party Express opposing Minnick and supporting Labrador, Minnick found himself voted out of office once the election returns came in.

 

"There were a few races where tea party candidates came up short including Senate races in Delaware and Nevada.  In those races, the tea party candidates had to battle both the Republican and Democrat political establishments during their quests for election victory, and this is exactly as it should be.

 

"We cannot simply say that the Republican Party's preferred candidate should be the tea party candidate.  Winning Republican control of the Senate at the expense of the platform and principles of the Republican Party is no victory.  Our nation got itself into the mess we face because Republicans sold out their principles and joined Democrats in supporting the policies of tax-spend-bailout.

 

"The tea party movement will continue to hold both political parties accountable as the 2012 elections approach, and we at the Tea Party Express look forward to building on the election gains of Tuesday, to further strengthen and build the constitutional conservative constituency in the House, Senate and White House in 2012."

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