Category Archives: GOP Governors

The GOP’s governor problem

Politico.com-

By: Nathan Daschle

Kevin Bacon’s opening argument in “A Few Good Men,” the 1992 movie about the fictional prosecution of two Marines charged with murder, is a shining moment in the history of Hollywood. After rattling off a series of statements that, if true, would appear to doom the defendants, Bacon places his argument in the seemingly unbreakable frame: “These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed.” Set aside for a moment that Bacon ended up losing the trial, the oratory is a reminder of the raw power of simple facts.

Recent political news has been dominated by the Massachusetts Senate race and its meaning for the Democratic Party. Buried by the coverage, however, is a bit of bad news for the GOP. The government released the December jobs report, and once again, four of the five states with the highest rates of unemployment were those with Republican governors, the self-proclaimed leaders of the so-called GOP Comeback.

Taken in isolation, that fact might seem trivial, like hundreds of other talking points that make their way around Washington on a regular basis. But this one is different because it’s part of a larger trend: Republican governors, as a whole, vastly underperform their Democratic counterparts on virtually every economic or fiscal score. In addition to high unemployment numbers, states with Republican governors are far less likely to be on the Forbes list of “Best States for Business” (only one of the Top 5 has a Republican governor), score a AAA rating from the major credit rating agencies (only two of the seven have GOP governors) or make a real investment in clean technology (only two of the Top 10 clean-tech states have Republican governors).

Perhaps most telling, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, is that throughout the past decade, the size of state governments actually grew more under Republican governors than under Democratic ones. This is true for both traditional ways of measuring the size of government: spending growth and the number of state employees.

These are the facts. And they are undisputed.

These facts are important because they give us an indication of what a “GOP Comeback” would actually look like. We can’t look to the epically vapid congressional Republicans sitting in the cheap seats, because they are enjoying the relief of any obligation to come up with an affirmative plan for this country. While we could look to our former president — whom a real-life Bacon would already have convicted on charges of fiscal negligence — voters are tired of hearing about him. Thus, the only relevant data set is the records of Republican governors.

And while the party seems bent on burying these records, the facts are tough to hide. When Republicans are in charge, government is more likely to grow, investors are less likely to have confidence and people are more likely to lose jobs. This is the record of a party in which dogma and rhetoric continue to trump people and results.

Governors are the weak spot for the GOP, not because they are different from the rest of the party, but because they don’t have their congressional brethren’s privilege of inaction. The governors’ recklessness is a matter of public record, a record replete with indisputable facts that impugn the national party’s efforts to portray itself as ready to assume authority. Voters interested in making a comparison this fall ought to ask the GOP how it would be different than the record of its governors, though I doubt the party can handle the truth.

Nathan Daschle is executive director of the Democratic Governors Association.

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Filed under Democratic Party, GOP Comeback, GOP Governors, Nathan Daschle, Politico.com, undisputed facts

Jobless Angry at Possibility of No Benefits

If Southern GOP Governors such as Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, Mark Sandford or Texas’s Rick Perry truely think that they can get away with turning down the extended unemployment benefits that are being offer to the States through President Obama’s economic stimulus package, then they may have another thing coming.

It seems as though many people that are unemployed and would benefit most from the money being offer to the States are outraged at the prospect that their governors are will to play petty partisan politics with their well being and they are letting them know about it.
I have been saying all along that the Governors will have to take the stimulus money, they have no choice if they or their legislatures expect to be re-elected.  It is a pocket book issue that effects people now, the unemployed don’t care what it would do to future state budgets. They care about putting food on the table and being able to turn on the lights when it is dark out.
The New York Times has the full story:
As governors in nine states, mostly in the South, consider rejecting millions of dollars in federal stimulus money for increased unemployment insurance, there is growing anger among the ranks of the jobless in those states that they could be left out of a significant government benefit.

The stimulus bill recently passed by Congress includes incentives to states to expand benefits to many more jobless people, including part-time workers and those who have cycled in and out of the work force, who are not covered in many states.

The Republican governors of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas, along with Alaska and Idaho, have raised protests, saying that expansion could eventually require them to raise taxes.

On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee became the first Democratic governor to express reservations on the issue.

For people like Henry Kight, 59, of Austin, Tex., the possibility that the money might be turned down is a deeply personal issue.

Mr. Kight, who worked for more than three decades as an engineering technician, discovered in September that because of complex state rules, he was not eligible for unemployment insurance after losing a job at a major electronics manufacturer he had landed at the beginning of the year.

Unable to draw jobless benefits, he and his wife have taken on thousands of dollars in credit-card debt to help make ends meet.

Read more >>>Here
  

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Filed under Bobby Jindal, Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan, GOP Governors, Haley Barbour, Mark Sandford, Mississippis, NY Times, President Obama, Rick Perry, Texas, unemployment benefits

Schwarzenegger To GOP Governors: Give Me Your Unwanted Stimulus Money

I have to give to the California Governor Arnold, at lest he’s honest enough to admit that he will take California’s share of the President Obama’s economic stimulus package, as well as  any that might be leftover if any of his fellow GOP governors turn down theirs.

Govs. Mark Sandford of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal of Lousisiana and Haley Barbour of Mississippi have all made it known that they are thinking and leaning very strongly against taking stimulus monies. I find this very disingenuous and nothing more than grand-standing. 
If the money is available to the States, these governors have to take it. They will have no choice but to take it, their respective state assemblies will make sure that they take it. It is as simple as that.  The states need money to fund all kinds of programs, from unemployment and health benefits to education and transporation projects. They’ll take it. 

   
Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger giddily embraced the idea that more money would be available for California should his GOP colleagues — like Govs. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — refuse stimulus funds.

“Well, Governor Sanford says that he does not want to take the federal stimulus package money. And I’ll say to him, I’ll take it,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’m more than happy to take his money or any other governor in this country that doesn’t want to take this money. I’ll take it, because we in California need it. I think it’s a terrific package. I think if you ask a thousand people for their opinion, what is their ideal stimulus package, you will have a thousand different answers. So everyone’s is a little different. I think he’s done a great job and I think California benefits tremendously from that $80 billion of tax benefits there, for around $35 billion. There are other advantages: $45 billion of money that go to transportation, to education, to health care, all those different areas. There’s even some money that could benefit our revenues or, I should say, our budget itself….” – Huffington Post 

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Filed under ABC News This Week, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bobby Jindal, Economic Stimulus Package, George Stephanopoulos, GOP Governors

Schwarzenegger To GOP Governors: Give Me Your Unwanted Stimulus Money

I have to give to the California Governor Arnold, at lest he’s honest enough to admit that he will take California’s share of the President Obama’s economic stimulus package, as well as  any that might be leftover if any of his fellow GOP governors turn down theirs.

Govs. Mark Sandford of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal of Lousisiana and Haley Barbour of Mississippi have all made it known that they are thinking and leaning very strongly against taking stimulus monies. I find this very disingenuous and nothing more than grand-standing. 
If the money is available to the States, these governors have to take it. They will have no choice but to take it, their respective state assemblies will make sure that they take it. It is as simple as that.  The states need money to fund all kinds of programs, from unemployment and health benefits to education and transporation projects. They’ll take it. 

   
Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger giddily embraced the idea that more money would be available for California should his GOP colleagues — like Govs. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — refuse stimulus funds.

“Well, Governor Sanford says that he does not want to take the federal stimulus package money. And I’ll say to him, I’ll take it,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’m more than happy to take his money or any other governor in this country that doesn’t want to take this money. I’ll take it, because we in California need it. I think it’s a terrific package. I think if you ask a thousand people for their opinion, what is their ideal stimulus package, you will have a thousand different answers. So everyone’s is a little different. I think he’s done a great job and I think California benefits tremendously from that $80 billion of tax benefits there, for around $35 billion. There are other advantages: $45 billion of money that go to transportation, to education, to health care, all those different areas. There’s even some money that could benefit our revenues or, I should say, our budget itself….” – Huffington Post 

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Filed under ABC News This Week, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bobby Jindal, Economic Stimulus Package, George Stephanopoulos, GOP Governors

Obama Gains G.O.P. Support From Governors

If  the 22 GOP Governors understand how important it is to our country and our economy that President Obama’s economic stimulus bill be passed and signed into law, then how come their counter parts in congress didn’t get it? 
Jackie Calmes of the NY Times does her best to answer that question in her article that was posted online a short while ago:

WASHINGTON — President Obama must wish governors could vote in Congress: While just three of the 219 Republican lawmakers backed the $787 billion economic recovery plan that he is signing into law on Tuesday, that trifling total would have been several times greater if support among the 22 Republican state executives counted.

Leaderless after losing the White House, the party is mostly defined by its Congressional wing, which flaunted its anti-spending ideology in opposing the stimulus package. That militancy drew the mockery of late-night television comics, but the praise of conservative talk-show stars and the party faithful.

In the states, meanwhile, many Republican governors are practicing a pragmatic — their Congressional counterparts would say less-principled — conservatism.

Governors, unlike members of Congress, have to balance their budgets each year. And that requires compromise with state legislators, including Democrats, as well as more openness to the occasional state tax increase and to deficit-spending from Washington.

Across the country, from California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger to Florida’s Charlie Crist and New England’s Jim Douglas in Vermont and M. Jodi Rell in Connecticut, Republican governors showed in the stimulus debate that they could be allies with Mr. Obama even as Congressional Republicans spurned him.

Read More >>>Here

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Filed under Arnold Schwarzenegger, Connecticut, Economic Stimulus Package, Florida, GOP Governors, Gov. Charlie Crist, Jackie Calmes, Jim Douglas, M.Jodi Rell, NY Times, President Obama, the White House, Vermont

>Obama Gains G.O.P. Support From Governors

>

If  the 22 GOP Governors understand how important it is to our country and our economy that President Obama’s economic stimulus bill be passed and signed into law, then how come their counter parts in congress didn’t get it? 
Jackie Calmes of the NY Times does her best to answer that question in her article that was posted online a short while ago:

WASHINGTON — President Obama must wish governors could vote in Congress: While just three of the 219 Republican lawmakers backed the $787 billion economic recovery plan that he is signing into law on Tuesday, that trifling total would have been several times greater if support among the 22 Republican state executives counted.

Leaderless after losing the White House, the party is mostly defined by its Congressional wing, which flaunted its anti-spending ideology in opposing the stimulus package. That militancy drew the mockery of late-night television comics, but the praise of conservative talk-show stars and the party faithful.

In the states, meanwhile, many Republican governors are practicing a pragmatic — their Congressional counterparts would say less-principled — conservatism.

Governors, unlike members of Congress, have to balance their budgets each year. And that requires compromise with state legislators, including Democrats, as well as more openness to the occasional state tax increase and to deficit-spending from Washington.

Across the country, from California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger to Florida’s Charlie Crist and New England’s Jim Douglas in Vermont and M. Jodi Rell in Connecticut, Republican governors showed in the stimulus debate that they could be allies with Mr. Obama even as Congressional Republicans spurned him.

Read More >>>Here

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Filed under Arnold Schwarzenegger, Connecticut, Economic Stimulus Package, Florida, GOP Governors, Gov. Charlie Crist, Jackie Calmes, Jim Douglas, M.Jodi Rell, NY Times, President Obama, the White House, Vermont