#NotIntendedtoBeaFactualStatement

Kudos to Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert for keeping the pressure on Arizona Senator John Kyl for his gross indecency on his non-factual claim made on the Senate dais during last week's budget showdown that abortion services are "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” In fact, abortion represents only three percent of Planned Parenthood services.

After Think Progress pointed out the glaring factual error, a Kyl spokesperson said that the Senator's remark on the dais of the Senate "was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions of taxpayer dollars, does subsidize abortions.”  How a Senator, and who as the Minority Whip is the number two in the Republican leadership in the Senate, could go on the dais of the Senate make such an outlandish statement and then hide behind the even more buffoonish defense that such a falsehood was not intended to be a factual statement is reprehensible. Senator Kyl merits a formal reprimand from the Senate. Facts are not just stubborn things, they should be sacrosanct.

After skewering Senator Kyl on his show, The Colbert Report, the comedian has taken to Twitter with a series of non-factual statements about the junior Senator from Arizona.

No less egregious, boy I am overusing this word these days but what isn't egregious these days, was the claim made by the anchors of Fox & Friends that Planned Parenthood's services could be found at any Walgreens. While the right has long been prone to untruths, the lies are getting more desperately and patently absurd. Let's hope the American people are paying attention.

Still I've been monitoring the Arizona press and while the story has been carried in both the Phoenix and Tuscon newspapers, neither paper has come out with an editorial lambasting the Senator Kyl for his blatant disregard for facts. It's a sorry state of affairs when late night comedians have to do the work that the media should be doing, lambasting what is clearly unacceptable in a political debate. If we abandon the truth, what else have we?

(Not So) Fair and Balanced

Today, I received an e-newsletter from my opponent, Congressman Lamar Smith. On the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act, he outlines the failure of this legislation with partisan sarcasm highlighting only wasteful spending in "The Top 12 Spending Lowlights." Wasteful spending is a huge problem with our government, both during Republican and Democratic majorities and Presidents. We must have accountability for all these programs to assure there are not abuses.

But, as usual, Lamar Smith isn't telling the whole story of the Recovery Act. He omits everything related to our own Congressional District. He has left out the most important information for our own community...What has this Recovery Act done for us here in Central Texas? The highest amount of awards in Texas came into our district, obviously without any assistance from Representative Smith. $2,481,005,612.00 was pumped into our local economy. Our Congressional District also tops the list with the highest amount of jobs created in Texas from the Recovery Act, 20,500 new jobs, just in our district alone.

I know that you've heard our Republican leaders say that we don't need that Federal Government money, there are too many strings attached. But actions speak louder than words, and they didn't turn away this economic assistance when they knew how much they needed it. The top recipients from Texas are The Texas Department of Transportation ($1,410,360,584.00), The Texas Governor's Office of Economic Development & Tourism ($685,067,516.00), The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs ($601,510,586.00), Texas Education Agency ($494,781,927.00), and the Texas Water Development Board ($493,479,770.00).

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the Austin and San Antonio region continues to benefit from low unemployment rates, only 6.9% in December 2009, below the State average of 8.3%, and well below the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December of 10%. In 2009, 697,252 people received their initial Unemployment Insurance payments in Texas, more than double the amount of unemployed in 2008. Tom Pauken, the Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, credits the Recovery Act with the crucial funding boost that immediately helped their agency to meet this challenge. He says that "Texas is now prepared to lead the recovery by encouraging the growth of private sector employment that will ensure Texas’ future economic success."

I am not a big supporter of the Recovery Act, or TARP, or any of the big business bailouts. Those were hard decisions that were not about being popular, or about getting re-elected, and there may be some consequences for those who voted for any of them, like Lamar Smith. But I won't use my position to tell you only the part of the story that my party wants you to hear. Voters are intelligent and it's time our Representatives treated us that way.

Please look at the information yourself, the data can be found at http://www.recovery.gov and http://www.twc.state.tx.us

Don't forget to vote early! It's time for your voice to be heard.
--
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Lainey Melnick
Candidate for US Congress
Texas 21st District

http://www.LaineyForCongress.com
On Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lainey-Melnick/93817644292
On Twitter http://www.twitter.com/lmelnick
Paid for and authorized by the Lainey Melnick for Congress Committee

(Not So) Fair and Balanced

Today, I received an e-newsletter from my opponent, Congressman Lamar Smith. On the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act, he outlines the failure of this legislation with partisan sarcasm highlighting only wasteful spending in "The Top 12 Spending Lowlights." Wasteful spending is a huge problem with our government, both during Republican and Democratic majorities and Presidents. We must have accountability for all these programs to assure there are not abuses.

But, as usual, Lamar Smith isn't telling the whole story of the Recovery Act. He omits everything related to our own Congressional District. He has left out the most important information for our own community...What has this Recovery Act done for us here in Central Texas? The highest amount of awards in Texas came into our district, obviously without any assistance from Representative Smith. $2,481,005,612.00 was pumped into our local economy. Our Congressional District also tops the list with the highest amount of jobs created in Texas from the Recovery Act, 20,500 new jobs, just in our district alone.

I know that you've heard our Republican leaders say that we don't need that Federal Government money, there are too many strings attached. But actions speak louder than words, and they didn't turn away this economic assistance when they knew how much they needed it. The top recipients from Texas are The Texas Department of Transportation ($1,410,360,584.00), The Texas Governor's Office of Economic Development & Tourism ($685,067,516.00), The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs ($601,510,586.00), Texas Education Agency ($494,781,927.00), and the Texas Water Development Board ($493,479,770.00).

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the Austin and San Antonio region continues to benefit from low unemployment rates, only 6.9% in December 2009, below the State average of 8.3%, and well below the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December of 10%. In 2009, 697,252 people received their initial Unemployment Insurance payments in Texas, more than double the amount of unemployed in 2008. Tom Pauken, the Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, credits the Recovery Act with the crucial funding boost that immediately helped their agency to meet this challenge. He says that "Texas is now prepared to lead the recovery by encouraging the growth of private sector employment that will ensure Texas’ future economic success."

I am not a big supporter of the Recovery Act, or TARP, or any of the big business bailouts. Those were hard decisions that were not about being popular, or about getting re-elected, and there may be some consequences for those who voted for any of them, like Lamar Smith. But I won't use my position to tell you only the part of the story that my party wants you to hear. Voters are intelligent and it's time our Representatives treated us that way.

Please look at the information yourself, the data can be found at http://www.recovery.gov and http://www.twc.state.tx.us

Don't forget to vote early! It's time for your voice to be heard.
--
--
Lainey Melnick
Candidate for US Congress
Texas 21st District

http://www.LaineyForCongress.com
On Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lainey-Melnick/93817644292
On Twitter http://www.twitter.com/lmelnick
Paid for and authorized by the Lainey Melnick for Congress Committee

Early Voting Starts in Texas

After 8 months of tireless campaigning, the first major milestone is finally upon us. It will be such an honor to walk into the voting booth and see the names of so many of my friends and colleagues along with mine on the Democratic Primary ballot. I know that I'm unopposed and so just one vote will make me the winner of my race, but I am still filled with anticipation. I can't wait for the evening of March 2nd to see the results.

There are many Democrats in Texas who feel that they must vote in the Republican primary in order to have any say in their local politics, but the Democratic party needs your vote. Remember that if you signed a petition for any Democratic candidate, you must vote in the Democratic primary to have that signature count.

There are close elections where every vote will matter. Bill White is ahead in polling for the Governor's race, but it's not a sure thing. Linda Chavez-Thompson has the national union organization behind her, but they can't vote here. Hank Gilbert is very popular in Travis County, but Kinky has name recognition throughout the state. It is up to each and every one of you to choose the candidate that you feel will best represent the Democratic party and will have the best chance of winning in November. Voting is a privilege, and we, candidates, are extremely grateful for your support and determination to check the best box and hit submit.

Not only am I waiting with baited breath to see the Democratic results, but also there are some very important races on the Republican side. For the first time in 16 years, Lamar Smith has a Republican challenger, Stephen Schoppe. He's another David to Smith's Goliath, but his results could show just how much anti-incumbent anger there is among the Republicans in TX-21. That race will decide whether or not I will face the 22-year incumbent.

I am inviting all my supporters, volunteers, friends and family to join me on the evening of March 2nd for a Big Tent Election Watch Party and Victory Celebration along with many other Democratic candidates at Serrano's in Austin. More information to come.

In the meantime, go out and vote!

--
--
Lainey Melnick
Candidate for US Congress
Texas 21st District
http://www.LaineyForCongress.com
lmelnick@laineyforcongress.com
On Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lainey-Melnick/93817644292
On Twitter http://www.twitter.com/lmelnick
Paid for and authorized by the Lainey Melnick for Congress Committee

Early Voting Starts in Texas

After 8 months of tireless campaigning, the first major milestone is finally upon us. It will be such an honor to walk into the voting booth and see the names of so many of my friends and colleagues along with mine on the Democratic Primary ballot. I know that I'm unopposed and so just one vote will make me the winner of my race, but I am still filled with anticipation. I can't wait for the evening of March 2nd to see the results.

There are many Democrats in Texas who feel that they must vote in the Republican primary in order to have any say in their local politics, but the Democratic party needs your vote. Remember that if you signed a petition for any Democratic candidate, you must vote in the Democratic primary to have that signature count.

There are close elections where every vote will matter. Bill White is ahead in polling for the Governor's race, but it's not a sure thing. Linda Chavez-Thompson has the national union organization behind her, but they can't vote here. Hank Gilbert is very popular in Travis County, but Kinky has name recognition throughout the state. It is up to each and every one of you to choose the candidate that you feel will best represent the Democratic party and will have the best chance of winning in November. Voting is a privilege, and we, candidates, are extremely grateful for your support and determination to check the best box and hit submit.

Not only am I waiting with baited breath to see the Democratic results, but also there are some very important races on the Republican side. For the first time in 16 years, Lamar Smith has a Republican challenger, Stephen Schoppe. He's another David to Smith's Goliath, but his results could show just how much anti-incumbent anger there is among the Republicans in TX-21. That race will decide whether or not I will face the 22-year incumbent.

I am inviting all my supporters, volunteers, friends and family to join me on the evening of March 2nd for a Big Tent Election Watch Party and Victory Celebration along with many other Democratic candidates at Serrano's in Austin. More information to come.

In the meantime, go out and vote!

--
--
Lainey Melnick
Candidate for US Congress
Texas 21st District
http://www.LaineyForCongress.com
lmelnick@laineyforcongress.com
On Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lainey-Melnick/93817644292
On Twitter http://www.twitter.com/lmelnick
Paid for and authorized by the Lainey Melnick for Congress Committee

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