Vilsack & the DLC
Governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA) is wrapping up his first year as chairman of the
moderate Democrat Leadership Conference. Vilsack has Sen. Hillary Clinton
(D-NY) as his teammate in this endeavor . Hillary’s husband, Bill, used the
DLC to launch his candidacy for president.
Vilsack first year is best characterized as seeking to try to achieve unity
with liberal Democrat groups like the unions through policy.
"I think it's important for our party, specifically as we enter the fall
elections, for candidates at every level to have innovative and creative
ideas," Vilsack commented to the Des Moines Register before going to the
annual conference in Denver.
Des Moines Register reported in its article on Vilsack’s efforts with
In April, Vilsack convened the council's top leadership and the heads of
some of the nation's largest labor unions to ask for cooperation with the
council's policy efforts.
Gerry McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees, said labor's relationship with the council had "never
been good" before that meeting, which McEntee attended.
Out of the meeting came an agreement that the council would support one of
the labor movement's top legislative priorities: to allow a majority of
employees at any workplace who sign union cards to form an officially
recognized union. Under current U.S. law, however, even after a union
collects a majority of cards, it then has to win an election, giving
anti-union companies an opportunity to derail the vote.
During the DLC conference Vilsack also steered away form the traditional
central liberal government controls, stating: "The reality is that many of
the great solutions to the problems that we face as a nation today are not
going to be found on K Street. They are going to be found on the main
streets of our communities, and it is going to be important to have state
and local officials involved in this national conversation to shape better
Vilsack & Hillary also rolled-out their new plan, American Dream Initiative,
for America at the Denver conference. The plan offers incremental health
care improvements - such as helping to provide health insurance after
individuals have been laid off between jobs.
Another goal of the plan is to create 1 million more college graduates than
would have been expected by 2015. More details of the American Dream
Initiative are expected this weekend.
Here are the tenants of the plan:
• Every American should have the opportunity and responsibility to go
to college and earn a degree, or to get the lifelong training they need.
• Every worker should have the opportunity and responsibility to save
for a secure retirement.
• Every business should have the opportunity to grow and prosper in
the strongest private economy on earth, and the responsibility to equip
workers with the same tools of success as management.
• Every individual should have the opportunity and responsibility to
start building wealth from day one, and the security and community that come
from owning a home.
• Every family should have the opportunity to afford health insurance
for their children, and the responsibility to obtain it.
• In order to expand opportunity for all Americans, we must demand a
new ethic of responsibility from Washington: to put government’s priorities
back in line with our values—and its books back in balance—by getting rid of
wasteful corporate subsidies, unchecked bureaucracy, and narrow-interest
loopholes; collecting taxes that are owed; clamping down on tens of billions
of dollars in improper payments and no bid-contracts; and restoring
commonsense budgeting principles like pay-as-you-go.
Vilsack’s breach of contract
Analysis by Roger Wm. Hughes
Governor Tom Vilsack has breached an unwritten contract with New Hampshire.
A breach of contract that is certain to eventually end Iowa’s supremacy in
the presidential nominating process. New Hampshire has complained of Iowa’s
recent betrayal of the two states' long-standing deal to not allow others to
intervene in their dual beginning presidential roles.
Vilsack has tried to spin the situation by stating, "At this point we
continue to preserve our first-in-the-nation status and that's important,"
However, Vilsack also said he would abide by the Democratic National
Committee’s decision to add Nevada between Iowa and New Hampshire.
Vilsack's spin is that New Hampshire keeps their first in the nation primary
and Iowa keeps the first in the nation caucus. However with the DNC
establishing that they can arbitrarily avoid tradition, the strength of Iowa
and New Hampshire’s position no longer has gravitas. It is only a matter of
time before the DNC or RNC sets up some other system, now that tradition no
Another problem facing Iowa’s governor is that New Hampshire is likely to
move its date ahead of Nevada. This leaves Iowa in the precarious position
of whether to move its caucus date ahead as well. With Vilsack’s betrayal of
New Hampshire, it is unlikely that New Hampshire will cooperate in giving
Iowa advance notice to enable Iowa to pull off an earlier date for their
It is also a pretty good bet that Governor Vilsack will not do well in the
New Hampshire primary if he still foolishly believes he has any chance of
being the Democrat nominee after this Judas act.
Iowa would precede the New Hampshire by eight days, as it long has. But
Nevada’s caucus would be placed five days after Iowa and just three days
before the first-in-the-nation primary under the recommendation of the
Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee.
The dates set by the committee are for Iowa to be on Monday, Jan. 14, Nevada
for the following Saturday, Jan. 19, followed by New Hampshire on Jan. 22
and South Carolina a week later on Jan. 29.
So, Minority Leader Harry Reid’s home state of Nevada is now the object
floating in the punch bowl of the traditional Iowa – New Hampshire party.
The Washington Times’ column "Inside Politics" reports on Pete du Pont’s
article on how Democrats have lost their way on taxes:
"John F. Kennedy believed that 'an economy hampered by restrictive
tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance our budget, just as
it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.' So he proposed income
tax rate reductions, which the Democratic Congress enacted the year after
JFK's death. Back then, Democrats were for them: More than 80 percent of
Democratic senators and representatives voted for the Kennedy tax cuts,"
Pete du Pont writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.
"My, how times have changed. Today the Democratic Party is so vehemently
opposed to income tax cuts that when President Bush's reached their
final vote in May 2003, only 4 percent of Democratic legislators (2 of 48
senators and 7 of 205 representatives) voted 'yes,'" Mr. du Pont said.
"Opposing tax cuts has become the mantra of the liberal left. Sen. John
Kerry wants to roll back Bush's 'unaffordable tax cuts.' Sen. Mark
Dayton (D., Minn.) called the cuts 'dangerous and destructive and
dishonorable.' Bill Clinton in 2003 said the cuts were 'way too big
to avoid serious harm.' And various New York Times editorials called them
'economically unsound,' claimed that 'they will increase the deficit by
hundreds of billions of dollars' and said they were unlikely 'to stimulate
the wallowing economy.' Earlier this month House Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi promised that the election of a Democratic House in November
would result in a 'rollback of the tax cuts.'
"Of course they have it backwards. President Bush's personal income, capital
gains and dividend tax rate reductions have created economic growth,
significantly increased government tax receipts, and reduced the federal
deficit by nearly $130 billion. As the New York Times was forced to admit in
its front-page headline on July9, a "Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Curbs
U.S. Deficit." But it isn't surprising at all; the truth is that when tax
rates go down, economic activity goes up."
Harkin votes to void Iowa law
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) voted to allow pregnant teenage girls to be
transported outside of Iowa so that they would not have to notify a relative
that they were having an abortion. The Senate passed the legislation 65 to
34 with 14 Democrats voting for the legislation prohibiting the violation of
state laws. Presidential hopeful Evan Bayh (D-IN) supported the legislation
prohibiting interstate transportation of a minor without consent.
To view roll call votes follow this (link).
Israel: stop arms supplier
The Guardian Unlimited reports that Israel is demanding the stopping of
Syria’s role in supplying Hizbullah arms:
Israel is demanding that any peace deal with Lebanon includes agreement on
international control or monitoring of the country's border crossings with
Syria to block the delivery of weapons to Hizbullah fighters.
Katyusha rockets and other equipment are still being sent from Damascus into
Lebanon as fighting continues in the south, a senior Israeli foreign
ministry official told the Guardian yesterday.
Nevada Republicans not sure
The Nevada Republican Party may not go along with the Nevada Democrats in
holding their caucus in-between Iowa and New Hampshire. Such action would
certainly take away from New Hampshire’s current role in the nominating
"We're going to look at whether we want to change (the date), but it's not
going to be a real priority for us to jump up and down about until after the
November election," State Republican Party Chairman Paul Adams said.
Gays' P.R. campaign
LA Times reports on the Gays launching a new public relations campaign
to gain support for gay marriages:
In upholding bans on same-sex marriage this month, judges in New York and
Nebraska relied on the same legal argument: Gays and lesbians do not have a
right to wed because their relationships are fundamentally different from
Stung by that reasoning, gay and lesbian leaders have set out to convince
the public that it's not true.