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DNC chair: Republicans think illegal immigration should be illegal, or something

From Hot Air:

This is what happens when political correctness distorts clear and descriptive language. Immigration reform activists have insisted on removing the phrase illegal immigration from the political lexicon, despite the fact that the term is both accurate and objective. Once that happens, it’s easy for the weak-minded to forget that we have a fairly generous legal immigration system that illegal immigrants bypassed and violated on their entry into this country. And by “the weak-minded,” I mean Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, as Doug Powers notes at the Boss Emeritus’ site:

I think the president was clearly articulating that his position — the Democrats position — is that we need comprehensive immigration reform. We have 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country that are part of the backbone of our economy. And that is not only a reality but a necessity. And that it would be harmful if — the Republican solution that I’ve seen in the last three years is that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries, and that in fact it should be a crime and we should arrest them all. I mean that was the legislation that Jim Sensenbrenner advanced a couple of years ago.

Oh noes! Republicans want to make a crime … a crime crime! Maybe Rep. Wasserman-Schultz should familiarize herself with the law before attempting to change it, and certainly before she attempts to demagogue Republicans on the issue of crime and punishment as well as immigration.

Indiana Dems getting a little ahead of themselves?

From HoosierAccess:

With Joe Donnelly’s announcement that he would be running for the U.S. Senate, the Indiana Democratic Party immediately sent an e-mail announcing that he would be “our next U.S. Senator.” Aren’t they getting a little ahead of themselves? It’s normal for political parties to announce their nominee as “our next (fill in the blank)” but Donnelly is not the nominee yet. He is not even on the May 2012 primary ballot yet. That will not happen until next January.

It is possible, after all, that Donnelly will have a challenger in next year’s primary election. Shouldn’t the Democrats wait and see before anointing Donnelly? Do Democrats have a problem with allowing their own voters to choose their nominees in a contested primary election? History indicates that is the case.

Read the rest at HoosierAccess.

Democrat Walkout 100% Funded by Unions

From Angry White Boy:

Indiana Democrat Party Received $139,000 from Unions During Walkout

The most recent campaign finance filing by the Indiana Democrat Party shows what we knew all along: special interest unions footed the entire bill for House Democrats’ thirty-six day self-imposed exile.

Spokespeople for the Indiana Democrat Party, including Chairman Dan Parker, repeatedly refused to answer media questions regarding the source of contributions to the committee during the walkout.Now, according to public filings we know the truth.  The entire $84,953.70 hotel bill at the Comfort Suites Urbana was paid for unions – many of them out-of-state – that contributed a whopping $139,000 during the five-week walkout.

“What were Democrats hiding from?  The truth,” said Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb.  “The proof is now in writing.  Democrats were not only fighting for narrow special interests, but were also bankrolled by those same entities.  Their walkout wasn’t focused on helping Hoosiers.  Their walkout was focused on keeping the status quo.”

The relevant pages of the finance filing are accessible here.

Fast Facts
• Contributions from Unions During Walkout: $139,000
• Contributions from Out-of-State Unions During Walkout:  $112,000
• Percentage of Contributions from Out-of-State Unions During Walkout:  80
• Percentage of Total Contributions from Unions During First Quarter: 42
• Hotel Bill at Comfort Suites Urbana: $84,953.70

Indiana Dems Gained Little From Standoff

From National Review:

After a 36-day stay in Illinois, Indiana House Democrats came back tonight.  And while they’re touting certain compromises the GOP made as proof that their standoff was successful, it’s not so clear they won much more than would have been achieved if they had never left the state.

“The only real concession is the right-to-work bill is dead,” says Mike O’Brien, a blogger at Capitol & Washington and a former legislative director for Gov. Mitch Daniels. “But that bill was declared dead 24 hours after the walkout began. The cap on vouchers, the limits on project labor agreements — those were all in play before the walkout began.”

“What Democrats did today is they took a bunch of compromises that were already in progress before the walkout and declared them the reason that the walkout ended,” O’Brien adds.

What might have swayed the Democrats return home: public opinion was against them.  A poll released last week by the Indiana Republican party found that 66 percent of voters disapproved of the Democrats’ flight to Illinois.

Taxpayers may also have not been thrilled about the cost of the Democrats’ absence. Republican House speaker Brian Bosma estimated that the Democrats’ flight had cost taxpayers nearly $500,000, when lost time and salaries were taken into account.

In a statement, Indiana GOP party chair Eric Holcomb said that Indiana House Democrats now “need to stay.”

“Valuable time has already been lost on crucial legislative items important to Hoosier taxpayers and families,” Holcomb said.

Democratic minority leader Pat Bauer said in a statement that “the principled stand by House Democrats forced concessions by the House Republicans.”

O’Brien sees it differently. “At the end of this day,” he observes, “it cost taxpayers a heck of a lot of money and it lost time, but it didn’t cost Republicans anything in terms of a policy standpoint. The agenda is still the agenda.”

Record Breaking & INDemsGPS.com

From HoosierAccess:

This month’s Indiana House Democrats’ walkout will mark the longest one of its kind in US history. If the Indiana State House Democrats do not return for a quorum tomorrow, it will have broken the record for the longest State House walkout knocking out the 2003 Texas legislature walkout.

Along with shattering horrid records, denying legislative pages in their districts a learning experience, and halting progress and innovation, the Indiana House Democrats have landed on the prestigious INDemsGPS.com, a project of the Indiana Republican Party, where Hoosiers can track Where In the World Carmen San Diego Pat Bauer, Scott Pelath and his buddies really are, along with their contact information.

While we hope they return soon, it’s a pleasant thought that their 2012 election results are inversely proportional to the amount of time they spend in Illinois hot tubs.

 

House Democrats on the Lam: By the Numbers

From Angry White Boy:

It has been twenty-four days since Indiana’s House Democrats first packed their bags and headed west to Urbana, Illinois.  Now in the fourth week of their self-imposed exile, we thought it was time to take a look at the past month…by the numbers.

Key Dates in the Legislature
With the absence of Democrats, the General Assembly is losing valuable time to pass crucial legislative items including a balanced budget and education reforms.

November 2, 2010 House Democrats lose 52 seat majority and fall to 40 seat minority
November 16, 2010 Members take Oath of Office to do their job
January 15, 2011 Legislators got paid first half their annual salary
February 15, 2011 Legislators got paid second half of their annual salary
February 21, 2011 Indiana House Democrats walked off the job
February 22, 2011 Indiana House Democrats began exile in Urbana, IL, hotel
April 29, 2011 General Assembly scheduled to adjourn
June 30, 2011 End of the fiscal year
July 1, 2011 State government will shut down if Democrats don’t return to pass a budget

Key Numbers on the Democrats
Democrats have cost Hoosier taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars during their exile while some Double-Dipping Democrats have skipped out on two taxpayer funded jobs!

1 Democrat standing up to his party and not participating (Rep. Stemler)
1 Democrat caught visiting the Illinois House of Representatives (Rep. Reardon)
1 Democrat comparing exile to a game of tag (Rep. Reske)
1 Democrat who won’t share her Barbie’s (Rep. Klinker)
1 Hot Tub at the Comfort Suites Urbana (Hotel Site)
2 Democrats visiting the Lincoln Library in Springfield and misleading Hoosiers to validate their flight to Urbana (Link)
7 Editorial pages telling Democrats it’s time to come back
(Indianapolis Star, NWI TimesEvansville Courier & PressFort Wayne News-Sentinel, South Bend Tribune, Lafayette Journal & Courier, Tribune-Star)
11 Double-Dipping Democrats with two taxpayer funded jobs (and absent from both)  (Indiana Transparency Portal)
23 Days public has been cut out of House testimony
24 Days Democrats have been AWOL
37 Democrats holed up in Urbana at any given time
$250.00 Daily fine imposed on AWOL Democrats beginning March 7, 2011 (Link)
$2,400.00 Cost per night to house Democrats in Urbana hotel (Link)
$300,000+ Total Cost of Democrats’ exile to Hoosier taxpayers so far (Link)

Key Policy Numbers
Indiana is a leader in education funding, yet more needs to be done to improve the system.

#1 Indiana’s National Rank in terms of budget used for education, 50 percent (Indiana Transparency Portal)
Note: While most states cut education during these tough times, Indiana has protected Hoosier students.
3,500 Hoosier families on the charter school waiting list
25,000 Hoosier students drop out of school every year

Key Polling Numbers That Highlight Support from Hoosiers
Polling shows Hoosiers strongly support the education reforms being debated in the General Assembly.

58 Percentage of Hoosiers who believe “teacher compensation should be based on students’ improvement on standardized tests” (CEEP Survey)
66 Percentage of Hoosiers who favor allowing “state education dollars to be used by parents to select the best possible educational options for their children”
(American Viewpoint Survey)
71 Percentage of Hoosiers supporting paying outstanding teachers more
(Bellweather Research & Consulting)
75 Percentage of Hoosiers who believe student achievement should be among the factors considered in teacher compensation (CEEP Survey)

Other Numbers
Democrats and their union friends have gone above and beyond to manufacture stories lately.

1 Fake IDOE memo e-mailed out to school officials (Link)
8 States where protesters were bused in from for Thursday’s protest (Link – IL, MO, MI, OH, KY, CA, WV, GA)
8 Percentage of workers in private sector unions in Indiana
20+ Days Indiana Democrat Party has refused to disclose who is funding their efforts to pay for the Democrats’ stay in Urbana
1,000′s Teachers being misled by union leadership on educational reform
7,500+ Teachers State Superintendent Tony Bennett has met with this school year
$1,000,000+ ISTA spent in 2008 to support Indiana Democrat legislators
$1,000,000+ ISTA spent in 2010 to support Indiana Democrat legislators
800-382-9842 How to contact Indiana Democrats and tell them ‘Enough is Enough!’

Let’s see if I have this right…

A Letter to the Editor by Terry Smith:

Dear Editor:
 
Let’s see if I have this right.  I pay taxes to the Government.  The Government gives my tax money to Teachers.  Teachers give my tax money to their Union.  The Union gives my tax money to Democrats.  But I am a Republican and I never give money to Democrats.  Something is not right about this picture.  This cycle needs to be broken one way or the other.
 
I can stop paying taxes.  The Government can stop giving my money to Teachers.  Teachers can stop giving my money to their Union.  The Union can stop giving my money to Democrats.
 
If Obama can pass a law making me give my money to a health insurance company, surely we can pass a law making Unions give their money to Republicans.  This should be House Bill 1002 next year.
 
Bye the Bye, if Governor Daniels has to call a special session of the General Assembly because of the Democrat walkout, I fully expect my representatives to insist that the cowardly Democrats pay for it.
 
Terry L. Smith

Contempt for the Democratic Process

From HoosierAccess:

Some have said Daniels is not being hard enough on the Democratic members of the Indiana House, when he is only guilty of having a little cooth. Yes, he’s called out the Indiana House Democrats but with class. How? He’s merely asked them to do their jobs.

INDIANAPOLIS (February 23, 2011) – Governor Mitch Daniels today said the actions by House Democrats to abandon the state during a key time in the 2011 legislative session show “complete contempt for the democratic process.”

Here are the governor’s opening comments during a media briefing today. Audio from the briefing and question-and-answer session follows.

“The House Democrats have shown a complete contempt for the democratic process. The way that works—as we all learned in grade school—is that if you seek public office, you come, do your duty, you argue, you debate, you amend if you can, you vote ‘no’ if you feel you should. If you are not successful, you go home and take your case to the voters. You don’t walk off the job, take your public paycheck with you, and attempt to bring the whole process to a screeching halt. You know, if they persist, the Democratic Party of Indiana will need a rebranding effort because this is as anti-democratic as behavior can be.

“All that said, I think they deserve another chance. Let the heat of the moment cool, I hope. Maybe if their leadership doesn’t have a conscience about the unconscionable things they’ve done, maybe individual members do. But I do hope that having made their point, scored one victory on the big issue, they will decide to come back to work. Let’s do the people’s business, together.

“I can tell you that I don’t know what will happen; I don’t know how we’ll proceed. I can tell you what won’t happen. We will not be bullied or blackmailed out of pursuing the agenda we laid in front of the people of Indiana. That agenda is going to get voted on.

“If it takes special sessions from now to New Year’s, we will hold them and we will send the bill to Leader Bauer and to the Democratic Party of Indiana. I see no reason for that to be necessary. They can come back, and I hope they will tomorrow. We can just get on with business, and that is what I would appeal to them to do. I hope as a whole group, if not then, perhaps individuals in the caucus who have gone along — because that is what good caucus members do — may decide their conscience tells them they should do their duty instead.”

Call these people and tell them to DO THEIR JOBS!

Note:  This post is sticky, so it remains at the top of the page until further notice.

UPDATE:  The Indiana Law Blog has documented how Indiana’s legislators are paid, and other pertinent House rules.

Our AWOL Indiana State Senators have holed up in a Comfort Suites in Urbana, Illinois.  The address is:

Comfort Suites
2001 North Lincoln Avenue
Urbana, Illinois  61801
Telephone (2170 328-3500)

Call the hotel and leave a message at the desk.  We know they are there, but the hotel won’t confirm this or transfer us to the room phone, per hotel policy.

Or if you like, we have a few cell phone numbers for you to try:

  • Phil Giaquinta – 260-385-6412
  • David Niezgodski – 574-532-6691

A Facebook group has been started –>Tell Indiana House Democrats to get back to work

Here’s the entire list of AWOL members:

Indiana House
District State Representative’s Name (Residence)
36. Terri J. Austin (Anderson)
25. Jeb Bardon (Indianapolis)
95. John Bartlett (Indianapolis)
64. Kreg Battles (Vincennes)
6. Pat Bauer (South Bend)
3. Charlie Brown (Gary)
12. Mara Candelaria Reardon (Munster)
69. Dave Cheatham (North Vernon)
98. Bill Crawford (Indianapolis)
100. John Day (Indianapolis)
86. Ed DeLaney (Indianapolis)
17. Nancy Dembowski (Knox)
13. Chet Dobis (Merrillville)
8. Ryan Dvorak (South Bend)
5. Craig R. Fry (Mishawaka)
80. Phil GiaQuinta (Fort Wayne)
66. Terry Goodin (Austin)
42. F. Dale Grubb (Covington)
2. Earl Harris (East Chicago)
43. Clyde Kersey (Terre Haute)
27. Sheila Klinker (Lafayette)
1. Linda Lawson (Hammond)
10. Chuck Moseley (Portage)
81. Win Moses (Fort Wayne)
7. David L. Niezgodski (South Bend)
9. Scott Pelath (Michigan City)
56. Phil Pflum (Milton)
61. Matt Pierce (Bloomington)
96. Gregory W. Porter (Indianapolis)
94. Cherrish Pryor (Indianapolis)
37. Scott Reske (Pendleton)
77. Gail Riecken (Evansville)
14. Vernon G. Smith (Gary)
71. Steven R. Stemler (Jeffersonville)
11. Dan Stevenson (Highland)
97. Mary Ann Sullivan (Indianapolis)
99. Vanessa Summers (Indianapolis)
34. Dennis Tyler (Muncie)
19. Shelli VanDenburgh (Crown Point)
60. Peggy Welch (Bloomington)

Our thanks to Gary Snyder of Angry White Boy for the numbers and the list.

I will add intel to this post as we get it.

Mitch Daniels on Indiana “right to work” law: This isn’t the right time

From Hot Air:

Alternate headline: “Apparently, Mitch Daniels not running for president.”

Gov. Mitch Daniels signaled this afternoon that Republicans should drop the right-to-work bill that has brought the Indiana House to a standstill for two days and imperiled other measures.

Daniels told reporters this afternoon that he expected House Democrats will return to work if the bill dies. It would be unfortunate if other bills are caught up in the turmoil, he said.

He will not send out state police to corral the Democrats, the Republican governor said.

Daniels claims the Star mischaracterized his comments, insisting that he didn’t tell the legislature to drop the bill but merely said that, in his opinion, they should wait until next term. Why wait? Because, according to Daniels, the right-to-work bill is a big enough deal that it shouldn’t be taken up unless voters are expecting a debate on it. And because the GOP didn’t campaign on it last fall, voters aren’t expecting it this term. Which … is an interesting “good government” principle, but not a convincing one. If you have a legislative advantage, why not press it to advance your agenda and let the public deal with you at the polls next cycle? That’s precisely how the Democrats passed ObamaCare. And yes, they paid dearly for it, but while congressional majorities may come and go, our new health-care law will quite possibly be with us forever. Mitch the Knife, as he’s known for his budget-slashing ways, should be especially prepared to act on big-ticket items when he has the chance, whether they’ve been fully debated in a campaign or not. If he faces off with Obama next year as the nominee, there’s no telling what issue will drive the election: Maybe it’ll be entitlements (in which case we’ll lose) or maybe it’ll be the Middle East or maybe it’ll be something else entirely. If the Medicare debate gets crowded out during the campaign, would a President Daniels refuse to address it because he and The One didn’t talk much about it on the stump?

Mind you, one of Daniels’s very first acts as governor in 2005 was to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights, which is proof enough that he’s not a squish on labor. (He also expressed support for Scott Walker just yesterday.) Still, it’s unfathomable to me that he’d decline to press hard on unions at a moment when (a) conservatives are hoping to build nationwide momentum against PEUs and (b) the Democratic caucus in Indiana has decided to skip town to obstruct the process there too. At the very least, he could have phrased this as, “I’d prefer to wait until next term to take this up, but if Democrats can’t be bothered to show up, let’s go forward.” Instead, you’ll hear him promise in the clip not to send any state troopers after them, which already has Geraghty (among others) questioning his toughness. Does this guy want to be nominated, despite his apparent willingness to alienate social conservatives and now fiscal conservatives? Or is this final proof that he’s not running after all? Click the image to listen.

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