Nel's New Day

October 16, 2014

How Outrageous Can GOP Politicians Get? Part II, or It All Hit the Fan

The Arkansas Supreme Court unanimously overturned the state’s voter suppression law when it confirmed the decision of an appeals court. The decision may be final because the reversal related only to a violation of the state constitution in exceeding its voter qualifications.  The state requires only U.S. citizenship, state residency, an age of 18 or more, and being duly registered. The decision between incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor and his GOP challenger, which is very close right now, may be impacted by this decision.

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor’s opponent, has supported Rep. Doug Hunter’s (R-CA) falsehoods about ISIS infiltration across the southern border, and found himself on the losing end of a Washington Post fact-check. Cotton even mis-quoted his sources to make his statement. All he wanted to do was frighten people, but the publicity he received wasn’t particularly positive.

Cotton also thinks that “many people were happy” before Obamacare when they couldn’t get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Pryor, however, talked about having cancer and being in a high-risk pool. “It’s like throwing sick people to the wolves.” In the states that used high-risk pools, they were extremely expensive and highly limited in offerings. In Arkansas, for example, people in these pools had to pay as much as $20,000 and wait six months for care.

fanThe strangest occurrence of the fall campaign—thus far!—occurred last night in Florida. GOP Gov. Rick Snyder almost refused to debate opponent Charlie Crist because he had a fan under his podium. Snyder waited over six minutes to come out example: “Are we really going to debate about a fan? Or are we going to talk about education and the environment and the future of our state? I mean, really.” Crist uses at least one fan and sometimes two in all his speeches.

Snyder may learn that his childishness resulted in more publicity about “Fangate” than about his desirability as a candidate. Asked about trending early into the debate, Naples Daily News executive editor Manny Garcia reported, Well, the fan.”  In this debate, the … really hit the fan.

When someone asked Snyder why he objected to the fan, Scott said he delayed going out on the state because “we feared [Crist] wasn’t going to show up. So why come out until he’s ready?” He must not have noticed Crist behind the podium and talking for over six minutes.

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Ed Gillespie, GOP candidate for U.S. senator from Virginia, wants women to think that the Affordable Care Act stands in the way of their getting birth control. The law provides for free contraception to all women from their insurance unless a business declares itself too religious to allow this, but Gillespie thinks that over-the-counter birth control will solve all their problems. He’s not addressing the fact that insurance will not pay for OTR medications; women who don’t need a prescription will not only get good health care for this oral medication but will also be required to pay whatever the pharmaceutical companies think they can get for the product.

Thom Tillis, the GOP candidate for U.S. senator from North Carolina, tried to wipe out his opponent, incumbent Kay Hagan, by stating that she had  missed over half the hearings on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Hagan patiently remained silent during his harangue and then replied when he had finished, “Let me clarify something … I am not on the Foreign Affairs Committee. I serve on the Armed Services Committee.”

Texas’ attorney general and GOP gubernatorial candidate, Greg Abbott, thinks that same-sex marriage will encourage heterosexuals to have children out of wedlock. His brief reads:

“First, Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in encouraging couples to produce new offspring, which are needed to ensure economic growth and the survival of the human race. Second, Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births. By channeling procreative heterosexual intercourse into marriage, Texas’s marriage laws reduce unplanned out-of-wedlock births and the costs that those births impose on society.”

His brief also indicates that he doesn’t need “evidence” in his opinion.

“The State has no obligation to produce evidence to sustain ‘the rationality of a statutory classication’ and may rely on ‘rational speculation’ unsupported by evidence or empirical data.”

The GOP talks about wooing women, particularly single women, but Jeff Bell, the GOP opponent to New Jersey’s Sen. Cory Booker doesn’t quite understand the process. At 20 points behind Booker, Bell declares that he’s losing because of single women, but they would vote for him if they had a man. In an interview, he also portrayed the women as moochers.

“I’ve done a lot of thinking about this and looked at a lot of different polls, I think it has more to do with the rise in single women. Single mothers particularly are automatically Democratic because of the benefits. They need benefits to survive, and so that kind of weds them to the Democratic Party. But single women who have never married and don’t have children are also that way. If you take married women, they aren’t that different from married men. So it’s really a problem with the decline in marriage rates. The Democrats do benefit from that.”

Bell’s opposes college affordability, equal pay, minimum wage increase, and access to women’s health care. His statements match GOP candidate TV ads that show Democrats as ugly wedding dresses or an abusive boyfriend.

Gov.Scott Walker (R-WI) also opposes the minimum wage because he thinks it doesn’t serve a purpose. His administration has determined that $7.25 is a living wage because a state statute requires that the minimum wage amount to a living wage. According to Walker’s Department of Workforce Development, people can live on this pittance because they can receive public assistance. A living wage in Wisconsin’s capital city is more than $21 an hour for a single parent, and the federal wage would be over $10 if it had kept up with inflation. The hourly wage would be more than $20 if it had kept up with gains in workers’ productivity

South Carolina’s GOP governor, Nikki Haley, supports the Confederate flag so strongly that she objects to its removal—unless corporate CEOs think it’s a good idea. When her opponent, Vincent Sheheen, said that the racist flag should be taken down and put into a museum, Haley implied that it was still flying because CEOs hadn’t told her to do so. She claims that the state is no longer racist because she, and Indian-American, was elected governor. And to prove that the state isn’t racist, she appointed a black to the U.S. Senate. Next, Justice Anthony Scalia will claim that there should be no separation of corporation and state because it isn’t in the U.S. Constitution. Of course, there were no corporations in existence when that document was written.

The GOP is known for opposing immigration, but Carlos Curbelo, the GOP opponent for Florida’s Rep. Joe Garcia, is a paid lobbyist to protect fugitive wealthy brothers Roberto and William Isaías who were convicted in Ecuador for embezzling over $660 million from federal banks. Curbelo avoided disclosure laws by listing his lobbying firm under his wife’s name and calls his protection of the brothers a “PR project.” In introducing the brothers to influential legislators such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI), Curbelo said, “They were just sharing information.” Thus far, he has kept the brothers from being extradited to Ecuador for trial.

As one of many conservatives opposed to marriage equality, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) claims her opposition is because the U.S. was “founded on” marriage between a man and a woman. Civil unions are okay for Ellmers, sort of that old “separate but equal.”

It’s been peaceful in Congress with everyone gone for months. Now, however, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is leading a group of GOP senators including Sens. John McCain (AZ), Rand Paul (KY), and Ted Cruz (TX) in writing House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to stop any spending legislation for a program that could be part of the Affordable Care Act. Their objection is a balancing of risks across insurance companies, an idea that Republicans developed in passing Medicare Part D for medications. The result could be a government shutdown after the election. New spending legislation must be passed by December 11, and Boehner has refused to comment.

Meanwhile, six U.S. senator races and 10 gubernatorial races are tied, just 19 days before Election Day.

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