The Best Ticket Dirty Money Can Buy

This morning, we awoke to news that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be Mitt Romney’s running mate. 

I am sure the Koch brothers are smiling this morning because they have been cultivating Congressman Ryan since he set foot on Capitol Hill, giving him one of his first donations in 1999.

Koch Industries, owners of one of the largest petrochemical companies in the world, has been the 6th largest contributors to Cong. Ryan during his career, giving him $65,500.  In fact, the oil and gas industry has given him $244,250 since 1999.  Now sure, the Koch Brothers are behind Philip Morris, and the NRA, but they played the long game with this career-politician pick and Ryan as VP will solidify their support.

The fossil fuel industry was already sitting pretty even before the Ryan selection.  The Romney campaign has already benefited from the overwhelming spending of outside groups, like Restore our Future, a well known Koch-funded entity, that has already spent $14,011,137  in a brazen effort to buy the White House.

What has this money bought for the polluters?

Romney went from standing in front of a coal plant talking about how they kill people in 2003 to standing with one of the most radical members of the Senate, James Inhofe (R-OK) to stop EPA’s efforts to reduce mercury from power plants.  As my colleague at NRDC, John Walke, says, “It’s appalling that anyone would vote to expose our children to more mercury, a dangerous brain poison, and over 80 other toxic air pollutants that power plants in the U.S. spew every day.”  John goes onto note that these standard are projected to prevent 11,000 premature deaths; nearly 5,000 heart attacks, 130,000 asthma attacks, 5,700 hospital and emergency room visits; and 540,000 days when people miss work and school. 

For his part, Cong. Ryan, with his abysmal 16% League of Conservation Voters score, has voted to delay long-overdue air pollution control standards for industrial boilers and incinerators that also emit mercury.  He voted against efforts to protect communities from coal ash - the toxic byproduct of burning coal that contains arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals - metals that when some are ingested have devastating results like lower IQ

As someone who spent much of her youth in towns in Appalachia surrounding these coal facilities, I can tell you that the devastation is enormous and the fact that Ryan took the side of the polluters instead of children with learning disabilities caused in some part by that pollution is astonishing.  Add on top of all of this, the cuts that Ryan’s budget proposed - cuts that would’ve devastated community water systems and kept enforcement cops off the street who keep companies from breaking laws that protect our communities.  Heck, his budget would’ve even eliminated programs for sidewalks, not to mention public transportation infrastructure

Yes, Koch Industries is sitting pretty today.  Let’s hope that the voters see in November see that a Romney/Ryan ticket isn’t about protecting their families or helping us get on the right track - it is the best ticket dirty money can buy.  Look no further than the record to see for yourself. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Palin Already Losing the 2012 GOP Primary

Along with the superb numbers for Obama (a 53 to 40 lead) in the latest Newsweek poll, we find more bad news for John McCain's VP nominee:

Sarah Palin continues to be a major drag on the McCain ticket. For the first time since McCain picked Palin as his running mate, more voters, 46 percent, have an unfavorable opinion of the Alaska governor, than have a favorable opinion, 44 percent. Nearly a third of voters, 31 percent, say that McCain's choice of Palin makes them less likely to vote for him, while 19 percent say the Palin pick makes them more likely to choose McCain (49 percent say it makes no difference). Perhaps most concerning for the McCain campaign is that 34 percent of independents say the Palin pick makes them less likely to support McCain, compared to 45 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of Republicans.

Of course, that's nearly conventional wisdom by now - Palin is making McCain bleed independents and helping give Obama an edge as we enter the final stretch. But buried near the end of the poll is this fascinating question, asked only of Republicans and Republican leaning voters...

If John McCain is not elected president, which one of the following three possible candidates would you be most likely to support for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012?

The topline results are an amazing repudiation of the McCain/ Palin ticket:

Mitt Romney 35%
Mike Huckabee 26%
Sarah Palin 20%
Other Candidate 10%
Don't Know 9%

Among "traditional" Republicans, it's:

Mitt Romney 42%
Mike Huckabee 23%
Sarah Palin 19%
Other Candidate 9%
Don't Know 7%

Even among "social conservative" Republicans, Sarah still trails Mittens and Huckabee:

Mitt Romney 30%
Mike Huckabee 31%
Sarah Palin 23%
Other Candidate 8%
Don't Know 8%

Now, it's always been assumed that even if Palin had lost moderate and swing voters, she still had the support of the base. And by a 38-9 margin, Republicans say Palin makes it more likely that they will support McCain. But it may be that many Republicans LIKE Palin, but that that doesn't translate into a desire to see her as the presidential nominee in her own race. Quite frankly, it may be that many Republicans see the writing on the wall as much as everyone else and simple believe Palin is not the most qualified candidate. It's also not great news for Giuliani, who apparently is already in the early stages of launching his 2012 effort.

So, while this election is clearly not over, and obviously a lot can happen in 4 years, we're left with an interesting take away - at the moment, Republicans clearly prefer McCain's primary rival, Romney, over his chosen successor, Palin, for 2012.

There's more...

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED! pbs poll on Palin for VP!

From a friend in Alaska:

PBS is conducting an online poll right now which asks people to vote on whether or not they believe Sarah Palin is qualified to run for Vice President of the US.  It seems the Republican machine has flooded the poll w/"yes" votes and we have a urgent need for everyone to hurry and put in a reality check.  

Here's the website:  

Vote and spread the word!

There's more...

Yes, she actually said this - !!

Katie Couric: Why isn't it better, Gov. Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

Gov. Sarah Palin: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the -- it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

I swear I Am not making this up. This was Sarah Palin's actual press statement. Sept. 2008

There's more...

VP Debate

Here's the thing. Bush was obviously an idiot, but he had a way of coming across as an average guy and therefore, attacking him usually did not work well. Furthermore, he was enough of a politician that he could roll with the punches. What strikes me about Palin is she really can't. She can't answer the most softball questions without getting defensive and flaring her nose like the popular girl at school getting hit with a spitball.

There's more...

Diaries

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