Fred Thompson-N-Mo

From the Missouri House of Representatives’ Former Speaker Pro Tem

  • About Carl Bearden

    Carl is the former Speaker Pro Tem of the Missouri House of Representatives and one of the earliest supporters of Fred Thompson for President. Initiating a petition for his fellow caucus members to sign, the Speaker Pro Tem garnered the support of over half of the Republican House members (63%, to be exact). More information about Carl can be found at his wikipedia page. Simply search "Carl Bearden".
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Why I Endorse Fred Thompson for President

Posted by tommyd4 on December 27, 2007

While Fred Thompson is not leading the polls, Thompson does have a majority of endorsements from prominent conservative bloggers. Here are some of the higher profile conservatives on the Internet who have come out and endorsed or support Thompson (H/T to Josh Painter):

Polipundit, IMAO, Pejman Yousefzadeh on Red State, SayAnything blog, Rick Moran of rightwingnuthouse and the American Thinker, Rightontheright, Bob Krumm, Eugene Volokh, Beldarblog, FloppingAces, The DailyPundit (Bill Quick), David Hinz (The Hinzsight Report), Alo Konsen (, Gamecock ( and The Hinzsight Report), John Hawkins (Rightwingnews), Jonathan Adler (NRO and the Volokh Conspiracy), TraderRob (Opinipundit), Haystack (hick politics, Redstate), Erik Erickson (Redstate), Professor Steven Brainbridge,

There are many more, but not enough space or time to mention them all. Blogger endorsements obviously don’t have a large impact on the actual voting process, but what is important is that all of these pundits follow the race and the candidates closely, and make up their minds not only on soundbytes, but on substance and record. Some of these bloggers have been on board since the beginning, while others have only endorsed Thompson recently.

Well, it is time to officially add my name to the list. Of course, our readers here are well aware of who I support and I even work with the campaign, but I realized I have never really officially said “I endorse (insert candidate’s name) for president).” I’m not in the same league as some of these prominent bloggers, but this site has its share of readers and we hold our own against many on the web.

So, now it is time to officially announce that I, Tommy Oliver, contributor to and a member of the Federalist Society, will throw my endorsement and support behind………….

No surprise………. Fred Dalton Thompson for President of the United States.

How did I come to this decision? Well, since I actually have supported Thompson from the beginning of the draft campaign in March, it wasn’t a very hard decision. My endorsement is based on this criteria (in no particular order): philosophy, trust, policy, and the ability to appeal across the board to conservatives. However: before today, I thought that since everyone who reads my posts on the internet would obviously have a pretty good idea of which candidate I supported and I didn’t see any point in saying anything official, but today Rick Moran said that the bloggers who have a good size audience need to stand up and make your pitch explaining why they support Thompson, if they haven’t done so already. Time is running short, and this post is not only for our regular commenters here, but for those who just read this site for updates and those who might just be passing through.

Let me explain why Thompson is the candidate that measures up the best to my standards:

  • Philosophy:
  • My personal philosophy is deeply rooted in federalism. I am a member of the Federalist Society, and that principle is what guides me politically. Fred Thompson is supported by a majority of the founders of the Federalist Society, and for good reason. He is the most conservative viable candidate for the nomination, and there is little dispute of that. He has been a voice for federalist principles long before he decided to run for President this year. His views on the role of government have been consistent since the early 1960’s. Although his book, 1975’s At That Point in Time, was not necessarily about political ideology, one could have an understanding of his beliefs after reading it. From the time he was elected to the Senate in 1994 until he left in 2002, he was always guided by his principles. He was the author of the Federalism Accountability Act, which he introduced in 1999. He was the first to introduce a bill for defining term limits for members of the House and the Senate in 1994. In 2000, Thompson was the recipient of the “Restoring the Balance” Award from the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is awarded to national policymakers committed to federalism and its impact on issues involving state legislators. The following is from the press release announcing the award:

    Thompson’s dedication to the principles of federalism and sound government policy has resulted in the Committee’s advancement of the Federalism Accountability Act, and Senate passage of the Regulatory Right to Know Act, the Federal Financial Information Assistance Management Improvement Act, the Truth in Regulating Act, and revision of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

    In 2000, Thompson authored a report that was aimed at specifically reducing the size of government and wasteful spending in DC.

    On his website, Thompson wrote at length about the need for federalism in today’s atmosphere:

    When you hold firm to the principles of federalism, there’s another advantage: our federal government can better carry out its own defining responsibilities – above all else, the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens. Sometimes I think that our leaders in Washington try to do so many things, in so many areas, that they lose sight of their basic responsibilities.
    We saw some improvement in the post-1994, “Contract with America” takeover of Congress – strings to federal programs were cut, more federal programs were being turned over to states, historic legislation to reduce unfunded mandates became law, and we rolled back the Clinton anti-federalism executive order. But in recent years we’ve seen backsliding.


    It is not enough to say that we are “for” federalism, because in today’s world it is not always clear what that means. What we are “for” is liberty for our citizens. Federalism divides power between the states and government in Washington. It is a tool to promote freedom. How we draw the line between federal and state roles in this century, and how we stay true to the principles of federalism for the purpose of protecting economic and individual freedom are questions we must answer. Our challenge – meaning the federal government, the states, our communities and constituents – is to answer these questions together.

    Out of the viable candidates for the Republican nomination, this is one area where Thompson is clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field, with the exception of Ron Paul. No other candidate has outlined a clear set of principles that would guide their presidency, and among some of them, those principles that guide them are not exactly clear. After Thompson, Rudy Giuliani probably has spoken about the need for federalism the most and spoke at the Federalist Society Lawyers Convention, but he was not a known believer in federalist principle during his time in office, and didn’t claim to be at the time. John McCain’s beliefs are rooted in federalism and when he has voted on the issue in the past, more often then not, he came down on the right side of the argument. McCain has a record that, more often than not, strengthens his case. At the same time, McCain is famous for his maverick tendencies, which makes it harder to pin him down to a consistent set of beliefs. Mitt Romney has spoken about federalism during his run for the nomination, but Romney is also a pragmatist and a manager. While there are obvious advantages to that type of experience, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to identifying a philosophy that guides a politician. Romney is a candidate who would likely govern conservatively, but what his definition of conservatism is cannot be readily identified. Mike Huckabee’s candidacy is not based upon the need for federalism, and though that is not a negative in some areas, it is at odds with my values. Ron Paul is a strong, principled candidate, but there are too many areas of concern for him to be my pick.

  • Trust:
  • This is another area where I feel Thompson is the best representative of the Republican nominees. Thompson has become known for his refusal to pander or fudge on his facts. If one checks after every debate, Thompson is the one candidate whose facts check out each time. He is not afraid to tell the truth about what is going wrong and what he believes is the best remedy to fix the problem. His policy proposals are strong and firm. Even those who do not support Thompson for the nomination don’t question his substance. With Thompson, what you see is what you get, and his word is firm. He doesn’t weasel his way around an issue, for he has shown that he will tackle the toughest problems head on. No other GOP candidate has touched an issue as politically dangerous as social security besides Thompson, and he has done it repeatedly throughout the campaign. According to NumbersUSA, Thompson introduced the toughest immigration proposals, and although he didn’t recieve Tom Tancredo’s endorsement, the majority of Tancredo’s staff has gone with Thompson, as has Steve King, the immigration hawk from Iowa.

  • Policy:
  • Once again, when it comes to conservative policy proposals, Thompson comes out on top. Thompson has been the leading voice for reducing the size of government (with the exception of Ron Paul). For a more detailed outline on Thompson’s policies, check out his proposals on his website here, and read this article from NRO:

    Fred Thompson may have started his presidential campaign late, but he is the first candidate in either party to come out with solid plans to reform Social Security and immigration. And while most candidates have called for increasing the size of the military, Thompson laid out a detailed plan to achieve that end in a Tuesday speech at the Citadel Military College. On these issues, Thompson has set a standard for specificity, conservatism, and soundness that we would like to see the other Republican candidates measure up to.

    It’s obvious why conservatives see something to like in Thompson. He has offered clear, conservative ideas on fixing Social Security, policing immigration, and expanding the military. We encourage the other candidates to follow his lead.

  • Across the board Appeal To Conservatives:
  • Thompson has the advantage over his rivals is that he is the one candidate that can unite the base. Every other candidate either has issues with certain segments of the base, or has questions that remain unanswered. Rudy Giuliani would have real problems uniting the social conservatives. John McCain has angered many on the right, making it more difficult for him to enjoy universal support inside the party. Mitt Romney has been saying the right things, but the questions about his movement towards the right remain. Mike Huckabee has a very strong base of support among social conservatives and the Religious Right, but has real problems outside of his core support. Ron Paul? I like the guy, but he can’t realistically unite the GOP around his candidacy. In the end, all of the candidates have their strengths, and each one is strong in their own right, but only Fred Thompson has the ability to unite the conservative movement completely behind his candidacy.

  • Foreign Policy Experience:
  • This is an area where the republicans have more than one solid choice. Out of the top tier candidates, two have extensive experience in dealing with foreign policy, and one could make a legitimate claim that Rudy Giuliani would make three. Most who follow the race closely would agree that John McCain is probably the most experienced candidate in this particular area, but the gap between him and Thompson is not that large. One would only have to look at Thompson’s resume to realize this:

  • Chairman of the International Security Advisory Board of the Department of State currently; a high-level panel charged with evaluating long-term threats to U. S. security
  • Served on the US-China Economic Review Commission
  • AEG Scholar specializing in Diplomatic Relations and Foreign Intelligence
  • Special Counsel to both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations under President Reagan
  • Member of the powerful Senate Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over, among other things, international trade
  • Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Member of the National Security Working Group, which observes and monitors executive branch negotiations with foreign governments
  • Member of the American Enterprise Institute for Policy Research, studies national security and intelligence, with a focus on China, North Korea, and Russia
  • Member of the U. S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • U.S. Senate Finance subcommittee- Member, International Trade
  • In 2008, the United States needs a President who has experience dealing with affairs on an international level, and Fred Thompson’s resume is quite impressive.

  • National Security:
  • Once again, more than one candidate has experience dealing with national security. John McCain and Fred Thompson both have the experience of being legislators during 9/11 and the build up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rudy Giuliani served on the Baker Committee and was the Mayor of New York during 9/11, performing admirably. Mitt Romney has experience dealing with security from his time running the Salt Lake City Olympics and serving on the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

    Since McCain’s credentials match any of the other candidates, I am taking it for granted that everyone feels that he is strong in this area. Fred Thompson’s resume is impressive in its own right. Note that some of these overlap with his foreign policy resume:

  • Chairman of the International Security Advisory Board of the Department of State currently; a high-level panel charged with evaluating long-term threats to U. S. security
  • Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Member of the National Security Working Group, which observes and monitors executive branch negotiations with foreign governments
  • Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee 1997-2001 (which covered Homeland Security)
  • Chairman of the Youth Violence Committee in the Senate
  • Member, Technology, Terrorism and Gov’t. Information Committee in the Senate
  • Special counsel, Senate Committee on Intelligence, 1982
  • Important Proposals, bills and Inclusions Introduced while in the Senate:

  • Nuclear Proliferation Act
  • Aviation Security Bill Amendment
  • Homeland Security Workforce Act
  • Homeland Security Education Act
  • Thompson Amendment to the National Homeland Security and Combating Terrorism Act
  • The Federal Emergency Procurement Flexibility Act
  • The Government Information Security Reform Act (GISRA)
  • The Thompson Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act
  • The Truth in Regulation Act
  • The Thompson Amendment Requiring Stricter Performance Standards for Aviation Security
  • The China Regulation Act
  • co authored the Homeland Security Act
  • Thompson served as Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee from 1997-2001, and then as the Ranking Minority Member from 2001-2003, when it was renamed the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The committee has always been responsible for national security measures in the federal government, and had an even greater role during Thompson’s tenure, before the creation of the Homeland Security Department.

    Here are some words from people I respect on Fred Thompson:

    “Fred Thompson has, over his career, much better defined federalism than almost anybody else in Washington. He is one of very few people voting against feel-good popular legislation that was not the proper domain of the federal government.”
    -Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth

    “the genuine moderate as opposed to conservative aspects of three of the top-tier, four of the top-tier candidates were on full-fledged display last night. There was one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism or have any of his past forays into those areas displayed, and that candidate was Fred Thompson.”
    – Rush Limbaugh

    “he shows great political courage in taking on half of the single most important long-term economic issue facing this country (the other half being the long-term Medicare mess). On this proposal, conservatives ought to be rallying to Thompson’s defense, not greeting him with silence.”
    -Quin Hillyer

    ”Good for Fred. Good for his excellent, broad based, tax-cut plan — including a flat-tax option and a corporate tax cut… Good for Fred for mentioning National Review and Investor’s Business Daily for speaking positively about his candidacy… Good for Fred for showing fire, energy, and animation throughout the interview. It’s the same fire in the belly that I witnessed in our CNBC interview earlier this month.

    I vastly prefer positive policy visions to down-in-the-mud trashing. (I know, I know, criticizing each other on the issues is a key part of politics.) But my great hope is that the Republican contenders will emphasize their key policy visions as the race heats up.”
    larry kudlow

    ”That’s why I’m pleased that Fred Thompson has thrown his hat into the ring. Thompson has been talking and writing about his belief in federalism. In a recent speech, he argued that “centralized government is not the solution to all our problems…this was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007. Thompson rightly argues that the abandonment of federalism has caused a range of pathologies including a lack of government accountability, the squelching of policy diversity between the states, and the overburdening of federal policymakers with local matters when they should be focusing on national security issues. Federalism “is a tool to promote freedom” as Thompson puts it. So for the supposed heirs to Ronald Reagan who are running for president, let’s hear more about expanding our freedom by cutting the federal government down to constitutional size.”

    – Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policies at the CATO Institute

    “Fred Thompson says that he will base his campaign on the ‘first principles’ of ‘individual freedom and limited government.’ If he follows through, he will have an opportunity to position himself as the only small-government conservative in the race. … Does Fred Thompson, then, offer an alternative for small-government conservatives? While he is not quite the second coming of Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan, a look at his record shows that he has generally supported limited government. … Of course, spending the last several years in Hollywood has enabled Thompson to avoid taking positions on many current issues. Now that he is in the race, he’ll have to be much more specific about his positions. But, given the fact that McCain, Romney, and Giuliani are clearly big-government conservatives, Thompson has an opportunity to seize the small-government mantle.”

    – Michael D. Tanner, Director of Studies at the CATO Institute

    One reason President Bush has lost the trust of the American people is his secrecy and the extension of the executive arm. Out of all the Republican candidates, only Thompson has clearly made the case of a more open White House. Thompson is a candidate who holds a cautious view of executive secrecy. Matthew Nather, of Congressional Quarterly, thinks this has everything to do with his professional experience.

    According to Nather in the 12/20/07 issue of CQ:

    ”As the counsel in the 1970s to the Republicans on the Senate Watergate Committee and as the Chairman in the 1990s of what is now the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Thompson has much more experience than any other candidate in leading congressional investigations of presidents. He has spent much of his career, in fact, thinking like a prosecutor and standing up for Congressional oversight responsibilities.”

    Nather also reminded readers that it doesn’t mean that Thompson would necessarily give away presidential power:

    As one of the main authors of the 2002 legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security, Thompson defended Bush’s insistence on having maximum flexibility on hiring and salary decisions for the departments employees. He claimed that a Democratic alternative would “actually diminish the president’s national security authority that other presidents have had.”

    In his 1975 memoir, Thompson wrote that “He (Nixon) undoubtedly felt that the institution of the presidency, and he as the holder of that office, were so powerful that no force on Earth was strong enough to make him relinquish the tapes. In this, the master politician misjudged Congress, the Supreme Court, and the American people.”

    From his past experiences, from serving on the Watergate Committee to his investigations in the Senate, out of all the Republican nominees, Thompson is the one who seems to have an understanding of the responsibility of the President to the Constitution and the American people.

    I endorse Senator Fred Thompson for President.

    To Join me in helping Thompson win the White House, click here. Now is the time to step forward.

    Crossposted from:

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    Why Fred Thompson Part II

    Posted by Brandon on December 26, 2007

    Cross posted from Conservative Superiority

    The next topic I wish to address in explaining my reasoning for supporting Fred Thompson is taxes and tax reform.  Some candidates, Huckabee most recently, have supported the fairtax proposal.  Please go to their website and spend some time, read it thoroughly.  When you have most of you will come to the same conclusion I have which is that this is just another expansion of government that will become the single biggest entitlement program we have.  It puts everyone on the government entitlement program so that the ever efficient government will dole out checks to everyone each month.

    Now let’s contrast that with what Fred Thompson proposes.  There are many people in this country that are resistant to change, Fred recognizes that and has come up with a plan that addresses the problem of tax reform without forcing everyone into a new system they don’t support.  Details of Fred’s plan are here but below are some highlights:

    1. Permanently Extend the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts. Tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003 has proved critical to generating a strong economy that has experienced growth despite the war on terror, the collapse in the housing market, and other economic challenges over the last six years. Unless action is taken, every American taxpayer will see a massive tax increase after December 31, 2010.

    2. Permanently Repeal the Death Tax. Current law provides death tax relief, but only through 2010. The death tax is inherently unfair. Under the Thompson Plan, the death tax would be permanently repealed, thus protecting millions of American families, including small business owners and family farmers, from double taxation at rates ranging as high as 55 percent.

    3. Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT is a separate tax system that was intended to ensure that a few high income Americans could not use deductions and credits to eliminate their tax liability. However, because the AMT is not indexed to inflation, it is penalizing Americans it was never intended to affect. While in the U.S. Senate, Fred Thompson authored legislation that would have repealed the AMT. Consistent with that earlier proposal, the Thompson plan will eliminate the AMT as part of broader tax and spending reform. Until comprehensive reform is feasible, the Thompson plan would index the exemption amounts annually so that millions of middle class families will not become subject to this tax.

    4. Reduce the Corporate Tax Rate. The United States has one of the highest rates of tax on businesses of the industrialized nations, second only to Japan. EvenJapan is currently considering reducing its corporate tax rate. Economic studies suggest that the U.S. Treasury is actually losing tax revenue by keeping the corporate tax rate so high. In order to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies in the global marketplace, the Thompson plan would reduce the U.S. top corporate tax rate (including the corporate capital gains tax rate) from 35 percent to no more than 27 percent, which is the approximate average of the world’s leading economies—the nations of the Organization on Economic Cooperation and Development. This tax reduction will promote U.S. competitiveness, encourage companies to keep their operations (and jobs) in the U.S., and spur continued economic expansion and growth.

    5. Permanently Extend Small Business Expensing. Small businesses create two-thirds of all new jobs in America, and employ nearly 59 million Americans — more than half of the nation’s private-sector workforce. Women own a quarter of all small businesses, minorities are nearing the 20% mark, and Hispanic Americans are opening their own businesses at a rate three times the national average. Current law allows small businesses to write-off purchases of equipment of up to $125,000 per year, rather than depreciating those assets over time. Making expensing of equipment and other small business items permanent will encourage greater investment and growth.

    6. Update and Simplify Depreciation Schedules. The current depreciation schedules are outdated and in many cases do not reflect the realistic useful life of an asset. This is particularly true for investments in high technology. For example, computers must be depreciated over three years, even though they become obsolete in half that time. The Thompson plan would simplify and update these schedules to allow American businesses to make the investments they need to compete and create more high-quality jobs.

    7. Expand Taxpayer Choice. The Thompson plan would give Americans greater choice about how to pay their federal taxes. This plan is based on a proposal developed by the House of Representatives Republican Study Committee that would provide taxpayers the option of remaining under the current, complex tax code or opting for a simplified, flat tax code. The simplified tax code would contain two tax rates: 10% for joint filers on income of up to $100,000 ($50,000 for singles) and 25% on income above these amounts. The standard deduction would be more than doubled to $25,000 for joint filers and $12,500 for singles. The personal exemption amount would be increased to $3,500. Therefore, a family of 4 would be exempt from income tax on the first $39,000 of income. The simplified tax code would contain no other tax credits or deductions. It would also retain the 15% tax rate on capital gains and dividends. This approach would dramatically simplify taxes for tens of millions of Americans. In addition, the larger standard deduction and personal exemption amounts will still provide significant tax relief to families with children. This proposal would serve as a stepping-stone to fundamental tax reform.

    Now, this shows that not only has Fred drafted a plan that appeals to individuals in terms of fixing the punitive nature of the tax code but he understands economics today better than the so called experts that seem to be surprised at all the positive things we have in today’s economy.  Now I would wager that 99% of the public has no idea that this country has the 2nd highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation.  After all we constantly hear how evil corporations are taking advantage of workers, or polluting the air and water, blah blah blah.  Yet while many European countries have high individual tax rates they have smaller corporate tax rates.  Is it any wonder the Euro is doing so well against the dollar?

    As for Fred’s plan for expanding taxpayer choice.  His approach couldn’t be better, he has put this out in terms that everyone can understand and in a way that Democrats will look like idiots to criticize.  A basic flat tax rate for everyone with joint incomes of under $100,000.000 per year that is 10% and a family of four exempts their first $39,000.00 in income.  This means that a family of four with a joint income of $100k pays $6,100.00 in federal tax.  For those of you that get paid every two weeks that breaks down to roughly $254.00 per pay check (assuming $100k income).  If you’re making $100k per year I urge you to go get your last pay stub and see what your federal confiscation was for the last pay period.  For 95% of you I would bet that it was higher than $254.00

    Again we are getting close to election time and I urge people, even if you have made up your mind on what candidate you support, do your homework.  What plan does your candidate have to address tax reform.  Does that plan make sense, can you easily figure out how that plan will impact you?  Research the plans of the other candidates, research what all the candidates have said not only today but what have their positions been over their life in public service?

    This election is too important to make our judgements based on how a candidate packages not only himself, but also how he packages his message and his past record.

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    Why Fred Thompson Part I

    Posted by Brandon on December 26, 2007

    Cross posted from Conservative Superiority

    As we get close to Iowa several people have begun asking for details about Fred Thompson and where he stands on issues so over the next week I will detail the case for Fred Thompson.  I will pull this information from Fred’s website, interviews, etc.  Fred is really the only candidate who has detailed where he stands on the issues.  The others tend to talk in Clintonspeak about what they believe, or what they say now is different than their record.

    I begin with immigration.  I refer to parts of the “Securing the Border and Enforcing the Law” section of Fred’s plan.

    1. No Amnesty. Do not provide legal status to illegal aliens. Amnesty undermines U.S. law and policy, rewards bad behavior, and is unfair to the millions of immigrants who follow the law and are awaiting legal entry into the United States. In some cases, those law-abiding and aspiring immigrants have been waiting for several years.

    2. Attrition through Enforcement . Reduce the number of illegal aliens through increased enforcement against unauthorized alien workers and their employers. Without illegal employment opportunities available, fewer illegal aliens will attempt to enter the country, and many of those illegally in the country now likely will return home. Self-deportation can also be maximized by stepping up the enforcement levels of other existing immigration laws. This course of action offers a reasonable alternative to the false choices currently proposed to deal with the 12 million or more aliens already in the U.S. illegally: either arrest and deport them all, or give them all amnesty.

    3. Enforce Existing Federal Laws. Enforce the laws Congress has already enacted to prevent illegal aliens from unlawfully benefiting from their presence in the country:

        A. End Sanctuary Cities by cutting off discretionary federal grant funds as appropriate to any community that, by law, ordinance, executive order, or other formal policy directs its public officials not to comply with the provisions of 8 USC 1373 and 8 USC 1644, which prohibit any state or local government from restricting in any way communications with the Department of Homeland Security “regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an alien in the United States.”

        B. Deny discretionary Federal education grants as appropriate to public universities that violate federal law by offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens without also offering identical benefits to United States citizens, regardless of whether or not they live in the state, as required by 8 USC 1623.

        C. Deny discretionary Federal grants as appropriate to states and local governments that violate federal law by offering public benefits to illegal aliens, as prohibited by 8 USC 1621(a).

    4. Reduce the Jobs Incentive. Ensure employee verification by requiring that all U.S. employers use the Department of Homeland Security’s electronic database (the E-Verify system) to confirm that a prospective employee is authorized to work in the U.S. Now that the technology is proven, provide sufficient resources to make the system as thorough, fast, accurate, and easy-to-use as possible.

    5. Add to the Cost of Hiring Illegal Aliens. Deny a tax deduction to employers for the wages they pay to illegal aliens, thereby dramatically increasing the real cost of employing illegal aliens. Businesses that do not play by the rules should not be rewarded under our tax system.

    6. Bolster Border Security. Finish building the 854-mile wall along the border by 2010 as required by 8 USC 1103. Extend the wall beyond that as appropriate and deploy new technologies and additional resources to enhance detection and rapid apprehension along our borders by 2012.

    7. Increased Prosecution. Deploy the additional assets outlined above to prosecute alien smugglers (“coyotes”), alien gang members, previously deported felons, and aliens who have repeatedly violated our immigration laws much more vigorously.

    8. Rigorous Entry/Exit Tracking. Complete the implementation of a system to track visa entrants and exits, as has been required by federal law for more than ten years, and connect it to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), in order to curb visa overstays and permit more effective enforcement.

    Now it is clear that Fred has a grasp of the issue that is not seen in many of the other candidates.  Fred goes further and details some changes to the legal immigration process.  From the “Improving the Legal Immigration Process” section of Fred’s plan.

    The United States is a nation of immigrants. We must continue to welcome immigrants and foreign workers who come to our country legally, giving priority to those who can advance the nation’s interests and common good. Immigrants and foreign workers who play by the rules need to be rewarded with faster and less burdensome service, not delays that last years. Advancing the following initiatives will require close cooperation between all levels of government, the business community, and concerned citizens:

    1. Maximize Program Efficiency. Reduce the backlogs and streamline the process for immigrants and employers who seek to follow the law. Also, simplify and expedite the application processes for temporary visas. This can be accomplished by hiring more personnel at Citizenship and Immigration Services and the FBI. Caps for any category of temporary work visa would be increased as appropriate, if it could be demonstrated that there are no Americans capable and willing to do the jobs.

    2. Enhanced Reporting. Improve reporting to the government by businesses that rely on temporary workers so that the government can track whether the visa holder remains employed.

    3. Modernize Immigration Law/Policy. Change the nature of our legal immigration system to welcome immigrants who can be economic contributors to our country, are willing to learn the English language, and want to assimilate.

        A. Reduce the scope of chain migration by giving family preference in the allocation of lawful permanent resident status only to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, and no one else (no siblings, no parents, no adult children, etc.).

        B. Eliminate the diversity visa lottery.

    4. English As Official Language. Make English the official language of the United States to promote assimilation and legal immigrants’ success, and require English proficiency in order for any foreign person to be granted lawful permanent resident status.

    5. Freedom from Political Oppression. Preserve U.S. laws and policies to ensure that the United States remains a beacon and a haven for persons fleeing political oppression, while assuring appropriate admission standards are maintained.

    6. Service to Country. Place those foreign persons who are lawfully present in the country and who serve honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States on a faster, surer track to U.S. citizenship.

    I urge you to read Fred’s plan in detail, immigration is one of the single biggest issues of this campaign.  We know that Democrats have no meaningful plan on fixing this, or anything else, because they have been promising to fix it since the 60’s and have proven that they aren’t interesting is solving the problem only making people afraid of Republicans that actually want to fix the problem.

    Part II will focus on Fred’s plan for reforming the tax system.

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    Huckabee and Green

    Posted by tommyd4 on December 10, 2007

    From the Arkansas News Bureau in 2004:

    Gov. Mike Huckabee said Wednesday that his religious background and belief in redemption played a key role in the high number of state prisoners he has pardoned or turned loose early.

    “I would not deny that my sense of the reality of redemption is a factor,” the former Baptist pastor said in a radio interview with KUAR in Little Rock. “And I don’t know that I can apologize for that because I would hate to think of the kind of human I would be if I thought people were beyond forgiveness and beyond reformation and beyond some sense of improvement.”

    The governor has been criticized publicly by prosecutors in Pulaski and Saline counties for his release of violent criminals.

    “Let’s face it, I give a reason every time I do one of these, but it may not be as extensive as a publicity-seeking prosecutor is going to want,” Huckabee said. “How much information do they give when they plea bargain?”

    Why is it that Huckabee always attacks the messenger?

    In 2004, the Arkansas Board of Parole reviewed 77 clemency cases, and 74 of them were considered to be without merit. Included in the 74 cases considered to be without merit was the case of Glen Green. Here is the link to the ARBOP report that includes Greene’s case.

    Governor Huckabee, at the time, rejected the Boards opinion and decided that he would grant Green Clemency. Eventually, pressure forced Huckabee to relent on his decision. If this was an isolated case, then it could be considered a grave oversight, but it is just one out of many cases where Huckabee used questionable judgement when deciding whether to grant clemency.

    Huckabee’s criteria for granting clemency was, at the minimum, unclear:

    Until Tuesday, Huckabee didn’t even demand that these killers admit their guilt before asking for clemency. The Rev. Johnny Jack-son, who had arranged the aborted clemency deal for Glen Green with his friend the governor, describes Green as a humble Christian man – apparently one of Huckabee’s criteria for clemency.
    But the state requires that a killer express remorse for his actions, which Green refuses to do, calling the murder “an accident.” The Rev. Jackson says he accepts Green’s “account of the incident”

    How can one express remorse over a crime this brutal and be believed?

    Green, a 22-year-old sergeant, kidnapped Helen Lynette Spencer on Little Rock Air Force Base, where he beat and kicked her as he tried to rape her in a secluded area. She broke loose and ran toward the barracks’ parking lot, where he caught up with her and beat her with a pair of nunchucks.
    He then stuffed her into the trunk of his car and left her there while he cleaned up. Several hours later, he drove down Graham Road, past Loop Road and stopped near a bridge in Lonoke County. Green told investigators he put her body in the front seat and raped her because her body was still warm.
    He dragged Spencer out of his vehicle and put her in front of the car and ran over her several times, going back and forth. He then collected himself long enough to dump her body in Twin Prairie Bayou.

    Huckabee eventually had to rescind the clemency from pressure he was facing; DuMond deja vu?

    After weeks of pressure from victims’ families, prosecutors and this column, Gov. Huckabee has changed his mind about granting clemency to several murderers, including a psychopath who killed a Gravel Ridge woman.

    “I’ve thought about it a great deal and now realize that the greater good is served if a more detailed reason is provided,” said Huckabee, who will face a hostile Legislature next year that will almost certainly clip his clemency powers.

    It’s a humiliating retreat for a governor who thought he was unstoppable. Until yesterday, he said his critics were politically ambitious prosecutors, but when prosecutors from his own party spoke out against his clemencies, Huckabee realized that if he didn’t back down, he’d hurt the Arkansas Republican Party for a generation.

    The DuMond case could possibly end in a he said/she said stalemate. The Democrat parole board vs. Huckabee’s word. The problem is that Huckabee, as governor, used the same line of defense until even the republicans turned on him in 2004. Today, he has gone back to that same line of defense with the media picking up on the DuMond story. With Green, maybe his change of mind is enough to silence some critics, but the fact is that it took pressure from his own prosecutors, lawyers, and party to finally say that enough is enough.

    Posted in GOP Primary | Leave a Comment »

    Thompson Proposal Rooted in Flat Tax

    Posted by tommyd4 on November 26, 2007

    Hat tip to mornincoffee

    Fred Thompson’s tax plan, released this morning, seperated his position from some of the other contenders. Thompson is one of the few GOP hopefuls that offers the flat tax. The plan is a qualified endorsement of the Taxpayers Choice Act, or the “flat tax.” With this plan, which is outlined here, in pdf, Thompson has taken a pretty bold step, as he did with his social security plan.

    From the AP:

    Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson proposed an income tax plan Sunday that would allow Americans to choose a simplified system with only two rates: 10 percent and 25 percent.
    Thompson’s proposal, announced on “Fox News Sunday,” would allow filers to remain under the current, complex tax code or use the flat tax rates.
    Asked whether the plan would cut too deeply into federal revenues, the former Tennessee senator and actor said experts “always overestimate the losses to the government” when taxes are cut.

    “We’ve known for years any time we have lowered taxes and any time we’ve lowered tax rates, we’ve seen growth in the economy,” Thompson said.
    Thompson added that money would be saved by his Social Security reform plan. He proposed that workers younger than 58 receive smaller monthly Social Security checks than they are now promised. Individuals could contribute 2 percent of their paycheck to a personal retirement account, an amount that would be matched by the Social Security trust fund.
    The retirement plan “faces up to the fact that Social Security is going bankrupt and we’re going to have to do something about it,” he said.

    The fact is that he has followed up on his promise of overhauling the current tax code. The plan has been supported by the Heritage Foundation, Steve Forbes, the Club for Growth, the CATO Institute, Chief Justice John Roberts, Sam Brownback, and Dick Armey, to name a few.

    Among the other GOP contenders, John McCain has been supportive of it. Mike Huckabee favored the tax, but has now become an advocate of the FAIR Tax, which is not the same thing (see below). Tancredo and Ron Paul support it (he supports no tax). Rudy Giuliani’s position on the issue is not that clear, but I was late to the whole debate on his position. He seems to favor a more moderate form of revision, but does not endorse the tax. Romney also favors a simplification, but has criticized the flat tax as recently as April, and has said that he is opposed to it. Sam Brownback proposed a very similar plan to Thompson’s before he departed from the race.

    However, according to CNBC, no major Republican candidate was, as of 10/9:

    currently running on a flat income tax,though Mike Huckabee is pushing a flat consumption (sales) tax to replace the income tax altogether

    Well, I guess we have one now.

    The Flat Tax was originally authored by Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka in this book, published and assisted by the Hoover Institute.

    In arguing for the proposal, Race42008 contributor DeRoy Murdocke, in April of this year, wrote that:

    Americans deserve a voluntary flat tax. Those who love this gargantuan Tax Code, its multiple rates, and baroque intricacies, should be free to keep filing form after form, if that makes them happy. Meanwhile, those who prefer a flat rate with few if any deductions should be free to choose a postcard that would ask one’s name, address, and income, and a simple calculation for, say, 17 percent thereof.

    Politically, a voluntary flat tax would let issue-starved Republicans and conservatives avoid a wrestling match with Democrats and liberals over keeping or scrapping the charitable or home-mortgage deductions. Instead, the Right can argue for giving Americans the freedom to select between two available systems. The sales slogan is simple: “It’s your tax. It’s your choice.” Let the Left argue against granting Americans that option. The Right can win that fight.

    Next year, Utahans will choose between either a traditional, six-bracket tax (from 2.3 to 6.98 percent) with exemptions and write-offs, or a simple 5.35 percent flat tax without deductions. The Beehive State will join flat-taxing Estonia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, all of which have seen their economies energized by a single tax rate on income. Even Russia has jettisoned its three-bracket system and its 30 percent top rate on incomes above $5,000. Instead, it has embraced a 13 percent flat-rate tax.

    “Before the flat tax, most salaries were paid as cash under the table. That almost has disappeared,” said Yuri Mamchur, director of the Real Russia Project at Seattle’s Discovery Institute. “It’s easier to pay 13 percent than to avoid it.” The former Muscovite added: “The flat tax contributed to economic growth, but more importantly, it sped Russia’s return to the rule of law.”

    Hoover Institution economist Alvin Rabushka concurs. “The low flat rate contributed to the decline in capital flight [and] improved taxpayer compliance [in Russia],” he said. In fact, tax evasion in Russia has gone the way of the Gulag. Since the Kremlin adopted the flat tax on January 1, 2001, revenues have swelled 128 percent after inflation.

    If the flat tax is good enough for the former Evil Empire, it’s good enough for America’s embattled taxpayers.

    Posted in Sen. Thompson | Leave a Comment »

    Mitt Romney’s Social Distortion

    Posted by tommyd4 on November 15, 2007

    crossposted from here

    Mitt Romney’s Social Distortion: Is He Being Honest With the American People About His Position Regarding the Human Life Amendment?
    Tommy Oliver

    In February of 2007, James Bopp, who had endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination, wrote in the National Review that Romney “has fought for a federal marriage amendment and McCain and Giuliani oppose one.”

    This was, at the time, seen as damage control after Governor Romney had given an interview with Marc Ambinder for the National Journal. Here is the transcript of that interview:

    Ambinder: You would favor a constitutional amendment banning abortion with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest. Is that correct?

    Romney: What I’ve indicated is that I am pro-life, and that my hope is that the Supreme Court will give to the states over time or give to the states soon or give to the states their own ability to make their own decisions with regard to their own abortion law.

    Ambinder: If a state wanted unlimited abortion?

    Romney: The state would fall into restrictions that had been imposed at the federal level, so they couldn’t be more expansive in abortion than currently exists under the law, but they could become more restrictive in abortion provisions. So states like Massachusetts could stay like they are if they so desire, and states that have a different view could take that course. And it would be up to the citizens of the individual states. My view is not to impose a single federal rule on the entire nation — a one-size-fits-all approach — but instead allow states to make their own decisions in this regard.

    Now, this type of retraction happens on a fairly regular basis in politics, where a spokesman has to clarify a candidate’s statement. Opponents will regularly catch one candidate misspeaking, and then try to capitalize on their misfortune. Mr. Bopp, a lawyer, helped write the 2004 Republican Party Platform which supports the Human Life Amendment. It was later revealed that Mr. Bopp advised the governor that,“ there are a wide range of possible human life amendments; ranging from a total ban on abortion to an amendment that let states make the decision. On top of that, getting both houses of Congress and 38 out of 50 states to support a constitutional amendment is unrealistic.” Ramesh Ponnuru (NRO) recently said that Romney does support a constitutional ban.

    Later on in the summer, when Governor Romney gave an interview with ABC News, he went further in stating his support for the amendment to outlaw abortion on a federal level when he indicated that he supported the pro-life plank of the GOP platform, which means he would support establishing legal personhood for all unborn children in all 50 states.

    The date of that story was August 8, 2007. Since then, Romney’s advisers and supporters have used this to champion their candidate in numerous instances- riding it to strong showings in straw polls and surveys. The campaign has used the momentum to define its “3 legged stool” of conservatism, and Governor Romney, himself, has claimed to speak for “The Republican Wing.” The candidate’s numbers have risen in the polls, and he is now seen as possibly the most conservative candidate in the field. When Fred Thompson received the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee this week, the Romney campaign was up in arms, and his supporters cried foul. They wondered why the leading grassroots pro-life organization would snub their favored candidate for someone who refused to support a federal ban on abortion.

    Romney supporters truly believe that he supports a Human Life Amendment, but at the same time, it was always advisors or supporters who were actually saying that. Paul Weyrich, the co-founder of the Moral Majority, stated that he believed Romney’s recent conversion to the pro-life cause to be “sincere.” Romney also won the endorsement of Bob Jones III, the president of the evangelical university that carries his name.

    However, besides Romney’s interview with ABC news, the candidate has never actually stated that he supports the amendment. The actual interview transcript says:

    “You know, I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform and I’m pro-life.”

    The former Governor said that he would support the platform of the party, as has all the other candidates. The question is… “ Just how up front is Romney actually being with the voters?”

    The answer may lie in a statement he made in South Carolina, on April 13, 2007. This date was well after James Bopp’s clarification in February that Romney does support the amendment. On that day, while speaking to a small group of business owners, Romney said:

    “I would like to see each state be able to make its own law with regard to abortion. I think the Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.”

    Let’s repeat that again…

    I think the Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.”

    The question remains… When I read the statement, he says that a one size fits all approach is wrong. One could make the argument that Romney is saying that Roe Vs. Wade is wrong, but then he used the words “one size fits all is wrong.” He didn’t have to go this far, but he did. In April, while James Bobb and Hugh Hewitt were arguing that Romney was a supporter of this amendment, the candidate said the opposite.

    Somebody was not being up front with the voters. It was either Romney, or his advisors/high profile supporters. The real problem is that it further muddies how much one can trust the candidate, or the people who either represent or speak for him. If Romney was disavowing Bopp’s claim, then how is one not to suspect that he changed his mind when he saw that it only hurt him more, opening him to attacks from then-candidate Sam Brownback.

    It’s difficult for the Governor to distance himself from a statement this blunt. Of course, one could consider that he meant “Roe vs. Wade” is a one size fits all approach that is wrong, and a human life amendment would not be. The problem with this theory is that it directly contradicts the sentence before it. Let’s look one more time at the statement.

    “I would like to see each state be able to make its own law with regard to abortion.”

    First, he said that he would “like to see each state be able to make its own law with regard to abortion.” That’s a pretty straight forward, federalist approach:

    “I think the Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.”

    Strict Federalism. Romney says that a “one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.” That he would say “one-size-fits-all” when making a statement about Roe vs. Wade, but then turn around a support the Human Life Amendment, is very unlikely, at least on that date.

    What happened? Only Governor Romney really knows, but it’s a direct contradiction that dates from 2007, not 1994 or 2002. Other than saying he wouldn’t overturn the platform in his ABC interview, he didn’t say that he would support a Human Life Amendment. If he has said that since, it would seem to have been a political calculation.

    Posted in GOP Primary | Leave a Comment »

    Huckabee favored Bush immigration proposals before it became unpopular

    Posted by tommyd4 on November 13, 2007

    from the Washington Post:

    On immigration, Huckabee aligns himself with President Bush rather than more conservative elements of the Republican Party, favoring a pathway to citizenship for those who at one time entered the United States illegally.
    To think that we’re going to go lock up 12 million people or even round them up and drive them to the border and let them go might make a great political speech but it’s not going to happen, said Huckabee.
    He downplayed the political consequences of the issue, insisting that while there is a segment of people who are “truly exercised about this and virtually nothing but this,” the vast majority of voters are not up in arms over the idea of offering illegal immigrants a chance to be citizens. “I just don’t believe that at the breakfast table in most homes in Arkansas the first thing that happens is the man throws his cereal spoon down and says: ‘Let’s talking about immigration, honey, said Huckabee.

    Posted in GOP Primary | Leave a Comment »

    National Right to Life Will Endorse Fred Thompson

    Posted by tommyd4 on November 12, 2007

    From Carl Cameron:

    Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson has won the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee, the largest U.S. antiabortion group, three sources tell FOX News.
    The announcement is scheduled to be made Tuesday in Washington D.C.

    Posted in Sen. Thompson | Leave a Comment »

    Mitt Flips Again

    Posted by tommyd4 on October 24, 2007

    Check out this winning quote from Mitt Romney in 2005, courtesy of the New York Observer:

    And it was Mr. Romney, making the very same calculation, who traveled the G.O.P. circuit this past winter and spring warning about the compromise legislation Mr. McCain had crafted to create a 13-year path to citizenship for undocumented workers. Of course, Mr. Romney simply called the plan “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, making sure to refer to the legislation as “McCain-Kennedy.”

    What infuriated Mr. McCain may not have been Mr. Romney’s opportunism as much as his hypocrisy: As recently as 2005, before Mr. McCain got in his way and before he realized the value of immigration-bashing, Mr. Romney called Mr. McCain’s plan “reasonable” and made a point of correcting those who equated it with amnesty.

    Posted in GOP Primary | Leave a Comment »

    Conference Call Recap with Bill Lacy

    Posted by tommyd4 on October 9, 2007

    This morning, I participated in a live blogger conference call with Fred Thompson’s campaign manager, Bill Lacy. There were quite a few people participating, including David Brody, Jim Geraughty, Erick Erickson, and even a representative from IMAO. Here is a recap of the conversation:

    New Media Consultant, John Henke, will be live blogging the debate at the Fredfile. In opening, Lacy said that the reason the debate was being held at 4 pm is because it is when the markets close, which ties it in to it being broadcast on cnbc. Lacy said that the campaign feels that they are in a strong position, and the challenge is to translate that into the early states. One point he made is that Thompson polls best in states that Bush carried in 2004, which are awarded over 300 bonus delegates for the convention. He repeatedly brought up the fact that although the MSM has been critical, Thompson has seen an upswing in Iowa, according to the last few polls. He noted that it doesn’t matter if Thompson walked on water at the debate, the MSM would still be critical of him. He needs a strong showing in the debate, but doesn’t need to showboat. He will emphasize on his small town roots and his record on financial and management abuse/waste while in the senate.

    Points made during the questions:

    Lacy, speaking for himself, believes that the Republican Party is at a crossroads, and Thompson believes in taking in a “Goldwater direction,” with emphasis on government reform. He has done a number of mock debates and a lot of prep. He said that he learned in 1994 that one good thing about Thompson is that he was a very successful trial lawyer and knows how to prepare himself for debates.

    Lacy doesn’t see him directly going after Giuliani or Romney tonight. It’s going to be focused on defining him, and may not be a time to throw darts.

    On Chris Matthews: Lacy said that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, including Matthews, but there isn’t a need for the candidates to attack the moderator.

    They were extremely pleased with the fundraising for the third quarter. Lacy pointed out that the campaign raised over 5 million dollars in the three weeks after he announced, and more importantly, signed up over 80,000 new donors. He reiterated that the campaign was focused on financial responsibility in getting Thompson’s message out.

    On Dr. Dobson’s comments, he said that they have been very encouraged by the support they have gotten. He said that “Thompson has a set of principles, and that he doesn’t compromise on those ideals.”

    The organization is very focused on the South Carolina primary. The challenge is going to be having momentum going into it. They plan to “build a strategic bridge” to South Carolina by being competitive enough to still be considered a viable candidate. He stated that he doesn’t have to win the earlier primary states, but that they need to do well enough to still be considered a factor in the race going into the south, where Thompson is his strongest. Note: Their internal polling must be producing some very solid results in the region.

    There are no dates set to unveil specific plans, but they are coming. He said Thompson will eventually begin taking part in the Sunday morning talk shows, but that Thompson is at his best when he is among voters.

    They are happy Darrell Hammond is playing Fred on SNL.

    Overall, it seemed to go well. After the conference was over, David Brody told me that it was “very genuine and real” and he enjoyed it.

    Posted in GOP Primary, Sen. Thompson | Leave a Comment »