|September 20, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under gop, Republicans|
By Joe Gruters
One thing is now perfectly clear for all to see: Partisan politics are alive and kicking in Sarasota government.
Within a few days, the Sarasota City Commission voted to raise taxes in a weak economy and then to urge the Florida Legislature to repeal the Stand Your Ground law. Those were both 3-2 votes and they were along party lines.
But wait, you say, you thought city elections were nonpartisan? Think again. That’s a ruse by the minority party in our county to try to win elections. You simply cannot get rid of partisanship simply by obfuscating party affiliation with a different label.
Worldviews matter. And the parties roughly represent those world views.
But Democrats want to obscure those worldviews by making county elections “nonpartisan” for one reason: There are 122,000 registered Republicans in Sarasota County and only 89,000 registered Democrats.
So first, the city commission voted 3-2 to increase taxes by 8.5% even though property values are shooting up and putting more money in the city’s coffers without the tax rate increase. The combination will mean a much higher tax bill for city residents.
The three Democrats on the commission said the city was so cash-strapped that it had no choice but to raise taxes on struggling families in the Obama economy, even while increasing property values were already going to raise tax bills.
And yet they found $500,000 for their homeless program — more than one-third of the money the tax rate increase is expected to raise.
And people say there is not a left-right divide on city issues? That’s just not honest.
And then, the same three Democrats were the majority vote to urge the Legislature to repeal Stand Your Ground.
Of course, this comes after George Zimmerman was unanimously acquitted by a jury in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin — a trial in which Stand Your Ground played no role. The trial verdict was merely a whipped-up ruse with which to further erode the rights of law-abiding citizens and tip the scales to the criminals and thugs.
Democrat Commissioner Suzanne Atwell tried to back-peddle after the vote and the public outcry, saying her vote was to have a “conversation about a highly charged issue.” She told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “I just want to start a conversation.”
Right, because no one had been talking about Stand Your Ground until the city commission brought it up. How disingenuous, and weak.
Newly-elected Democrat Commissioner Susan Chapman also walked it back a bit, saying her vote was to “revisit” the issue.
But here’s the language: “The City Commission requests that the State Legislature repeal the Stand Your Ground statute and establish a more civil approach to governance than afforded under the current statute.”
They voted to have the Legislature repeal the law, not revisit a conversation.
So for the record, the Democrats who voted to raise your taxes and deny your self-defense rights were:
• Vice Mayor Willie Shaw, Willie.Shaw@sarasotagov.com
• Commissioner Suzanne Atwell, Suzanne.Atwell@sarasotagov.com
• Commissioner Susan Chapman, Susan.Chapman@
The Republicans who supported lower taxes on hard-working Sarasotans and to maintain self-defense rights were:
• Mayor Shannon Snyder, Shannon.Snyder@sarasotagov.com
• Commissioner Paul Caragiulo, Paul.Caragiulo@sarasotagov.com
Let them know how you feel about their votes. And never forget that our core principles are represented in the Republican Party, and attempts eliminate that is an attempt to eliminate our core principles from triumphing.
Thanks for being informed and engaged.
|September 9, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, 2016, American Renaissance|
This review was first published at Big Jolly Politics:
Mark Levin’s newest book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, is a different sort of attempt at a national dialogue than any we have seen in recent history.
As national dialogues go, in 2011 President Obama disgraced himself in his attempt at a “dialogue,” which escalated into demagoguery, after the horrific shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. As you will recall, the president spoke that month in Arizona at a mini-DNC rally disguised as a memorial service, where he quickly resorted to typical left-wing tactics, attacking the Second Amendment and calling for tighter gun laws, restrictions and bans. The Presidents attempt at a “national dialogue” was short lived, poorly planned and altogether un-serious.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich has attempted to initiate a few dialogues, including one in 2010 where he spoke to the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan and suggested ways for Michiganders to save Detroit. Gingrich was attacked, as usual, and earlier this year, well, we all know what happened to Detroit.
Congressman Paul Ryan authored the Roadmap to Prosperity, a plan to reform some aspects of government and start to reverse negative trends while providing the chance for individuals to choose an alternative to the failing social security system. As usual, the Left went on the attack, lying their way into history as defenders of the failing status quo. You may recall the commercial where a faux Paul Ryan pushes a senior citizen in a wheelchair over a cliff. Yes, that was “Leftist Dialogue for Dummies” if there ever was such a title.
Fast forward to 2013 and Mark Levin has authored a very important book that since its release two weeks ago has taken me some time to read, comprehend, appreciate, embrace and now fully advocate. This attempt at a national dialogue is more serious and substantive than anything attempted by the permanent campaigner. Levin begins his premise from the United States Constitution, where he takes Article V (not to be confused with the Fifth Amendment) and shines a new light on it. (the underlined portion is the aspect that The Liberty Amendments focuses on).
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
This look at federalism is refreshing and modern, and Levin is a great writer with a pristine intellect, as he demonstrates here:
Clearly there is much political, social, and economic diversity among the states. Some states respect the individual more than others. Some are downright oppressive in their imposition of regulatory and tax schemes. But people can move from state to state, and often do, to escape one state’s burdens for another state’s opportunities. Federalism is not about any single state or small faction of states imposing their will on the nation. It is about states serving, in the aggregate, as an essential buffer between the central government and the people, safeguarding the citizen from authoritarianism’s consolidated rule, thereby preserving and promoting self-government. After all, self-government is a fundamental feature of a constitutional republic. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “It was by the sober sense of our citizens that we were safely and steadily conducted from monarchy to republicanism, and it is by the same agency alone we can be kept from falling back.
We can all agree to disagree on the specifics of Levin’s actual proposals (not that I personally disagree with any of these). Things like term limits for members of Congress and the Senate. Term limits for members of the Supreme Court. Having state legislatures, those officials most responsible to the people, go back to selecting the United States Senators. Significantly reducing out of control and unregulated bureaucracy. Calling for a 30 day period between the time a bill is completely written and the time it is voted on. Strengthening voter ID laws. Reforming the tax system.
The bigger issue is this idea, an idea as old as the Constitution itself, that the people can take back power from the federal government and return it to the states when they have had enough of the oppressive, heavy hand.
The founders did not intend that politicians would make a career out of “serving the people.” They reasonably figured someone would be elected from their community, would serve a short time, and would then return back home to their community, and their career. The idea of the career legislator, the professional politician, serving 20, 30 or 40 years, would have been a foreign concept to those great men. As Levin points out though:
“History demonstrates that republics collapse when demagogues present themselves as their guardians to entice the people and cloak their true intentions.”
What Levin is advocating for will not happen overnight. It will not happen in the next election cycle, or the election cycle after that. This will be a long, time-consuming effort. The effort will be frustrating. Is this endeavor worth the effort? Levin offers this thought in Chapter 1, for those not willing to undertake the challenge or even consider doing so:
“Still more may be resigned to a grim future, preferring lamentation to the hard work of purposeful action.”
Let that sink in.
The Liberty Amendments is chock full of notes and references, including much high praise for founders like James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and George Mason. The book is well researched, the writing is very good, it is not hard to understand or comprehend but on the contrary, it is very informative.
Pick up a copy of The Liberty Amendments. Give it a chance. If you agree with the underlying idea, that Article V provides a way out, get involved locally. Take “purposeful action.” Have meetings with small groups. Share ideas and get people thinking and talking. When you meet legislators or candidates, educate them and demand they consider these ideas. Those who refuse to listen, there is always another election cycle. Mark Levin is on to something here, and those ready to take part now have a guide.
As a note on modern politics, campaigns will have to go on as usual. Politics will still exist. We will still debate, argue and converse. This new concept that Levin is promoting will not take hold after 2014, or after 2016. But the slow work, the longer task, is to build up a grassroots army of individuals and legislators willing to take this next step. So, while you are preparing for 2014 and 2016, find a way to also advocate for Article V and a return to federalism. For in the end, it may be the last best hope at controlling Leviathan.
I will end this review with the words Levin used to close out his book, for he can say it much better than I ever will:
In the end, the people, upon reflection, will decide their own fate once their attention is drawn. As President Reagan stated, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope for man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us that we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
Let us do all that can be done. Let us be inspired by the example of our forefathers and their courage, strength, and wisdom. Let us be inspired by the genius of the Constitution and its preservation of the individual and the civil society. Let us unleash an American renaissance in which liberty is celebrated and self-government is cherished. Let us, together – we, the people – restore the splendor of the American Republic.
Time is of the essence. Let us get started today!
|August 31, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under congress, gop, International, prime minister, Republicans|
By Joe Gruters
Everything is upside down and backwards for Democrats from 2003, and it screams of management incompetence at the top and philosophic corruption on the Left.
Recall that in 2001 and in 2003, President Bush requested and received Congressional approval for the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq. We did not find the WMD that every nation said was there — which has since colored the Iraq war — but it was 100% constitutional and legal.
Code Pink, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore and the rest of the Left cast howled about Bush’s illegal war. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama inveighed against the Iraq surge — which turned out to be wildly successful — and questioned the legality of the war.
Fast forward. President Obama ordered U.S. military forces to attack Libya last year in support of insurgents there wanting to overthrow Col. Muammar Gaddafi. He did so under the NATO umbrella, but without Congressional approval, albiet by “leading from behind,” according to a spokesman.
So far the results have been an apparent Al-Quaida takeover of Libya and the Benghazi slaughter — and following coverup — of our Ambassador to Libya.
The response from the Dixie Chicks anti-war Left that bleated constantly about Bush’s illegal war? Nothing. Quiet as mice.
Now Obama is planning again to order the military to intervene in the Middle East with some sort of strike against Syrian dictator Assad. More than 100,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war and we did not propose acting. But 100 die from a chemical attack and we are planning a military strike. Obama’s reckless comments about a red line put him in the position of using the military to save face, which is just wrong.
And again, Obama feels no compunction to get any approval or consent from Congress. He may back off after Britain’s Prime Minister was rebuffed in a vote of Parliament — yes, the country we broke away from to create our democracy had a vote on their countrymen going to war.
The response from the traditional, college-kid anti-war Left? Nothing. Everything is fine — except forgive all my loans!
Candidate Obama railed against Gitmo and promised to close it because Code Pink and Hollywood the rest of the anti-war left were screaming (laughably) about the abuses and illegalities there. Well, Gitmo is still open because Obama has seen the very obvious need for it. Basically, Bush was right.
And the anti-war Left that heckled Bush relentlessly? Crickets. It’s there guy, so it’s OK. That’s ideological corruption.
What little credibility any of those folks may have had is long gone. They are philosophically weak partisans rooting for their team and against Republicans. And that’s the depth of it. It’s just a shame the media gives them any air time, because they are vacuous.
It’s hard to know what they really believe. Sure, they generally want more government control, higher taxes, weaker laws for criminals, racial strife, welfare dependency, mothers and doctors free to kill unborn babies, a centrally planned economy and making the institution of marriage meaningless. But they will cave anytime for political gain.
This is what most of us conservatives refuse to do. We call our leadership when it travels non-conservative routes and demand an explanation. We make full use of the First Amendment and even go after incumbent officeholders sometimes. If we elect them based on conservative promises and they break those promises, we don’t meekly stay quiet.
It’s why the media thinks it is always seeing division and strife in the Republican Party. It’s because we are full of vibrant ideas and deeply held values and if Mr. Smith goes to Washington and becomes part of the system of destructive, rights-denying big government, we seek someone else to represent the cause of freedom.
This may at times appear to hurt us in a political moment, but it makes us stronger at the core in the long run. Because if we don’t retain our principles…then never mind
It’s obvious, we still do.
Thanks for being informed and engaged.
|August 26, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, 2016, gop, jack kemp, Republicans, ronald reagan|
By Steve Parkhurst
As you know from this website, I have read The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic and I have been advocating the ideas presented within the book. While we must continue to work within the system that exists today, we must begin educating and running candidates that will understand, embrace and advocate for the idea that Levin has presented and even the idea put forth by THE Coolidge Project.
With that in mind, and realizing that 2016 will be here as scheduled, along with a Presidential campaign and election, these final words in The Liberty Amendments…these words should be the closing words for the nominee as he or she accepts the nomination at the Republican National Convention in 2016:
In the end, the people, upon reflection, will decide their own fate once their attention is drawn. As President Reagan stated, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope for man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us that we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”Let us do all that can be done. Let us be inspired by the example of our forefathers and their courage, strength, and wisdom. Let us be inspired by the genius of the Constitution and its preservation of the individual and the civil society. Let us unleash an American renaissance in which liberty is celebrated and self-government is cherished. Let us, together - we, the people - restore the splendor of the American Republic.
Time is of the essence. Let us get started today! - p. 208
Yes, I realize Levin does not want to run for President, or be President. But, the conclusion of his book is a tremendous clarion call for action worthy of each and every conservative Presidential candidate in 2016. At the very least, Mark Levin should be consulted by the person writing that nominees speech.
As a final note, Jack Kemp was a huge believer in what he hoped would be an “American renaissance” leading up to and following the Reagan Revolution. I like and appreciate Levin’s reference to “an American renaissance.” We got the Reagan Revolution, but we did not achieve the needed renaissance in the following years, one could even argue we went backward.
This needs to be the mission now. Let us get started today.
|August 22, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, 2016, artemio muniz, gop, Immigration Reform, jack kemp|
We are proud to be sponsoring the grassroots forum in Houston on Saturday being hosted by the Federation of Hispanic Republicans.
We are excited for people to hear the discussions and dialogue that is planned. The Republican party is making gains in connecting with the community locally, but this needs to be a widespread movement. As Jack Kemp used to say, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ The Federation of Hispanic Republicans is leading the way in bridging that gap. And this forum, with its great lineup, should be evidence of that.
If you are in Houston, stop in and enjoy some of the panels, the entire event is free and will include food and drinks.
Be sure to also follow @FederationHR on twitter and the hashtag #FHRforum on Saturday for updates.
|August 19, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, 2016|
Mark Levin, in his latest book The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic has cast a bright light on an aspect of the Constitution that has never been utilized before; Article V. Not to be confused with the Fifth Amendment. For reference, Article V reads this way:
Levin uses chapter one (read for free) of his book to describe the processes that Article V advocates. To be clear, this is not an easy process. Levin had said as much, as we agree with him. But, there also may not be an alternative, and there may not be enough time left to wait for “plan B.”
As Ronald Reagan liked to say, and we like to say today, The Time Is Now.
We are here, as a political consulting firm, to facilitate the liberty-minded campaigns of those who seek to pursue this road. We are looking for candidates for state representative, state assembly, state senate and the like (as some states have varying names) to run in 2014 on the grassroots ideas that Levin has presented, along with the similar thinking of The Coolidge Project. It takes We The People, it takes a grassroots army, to affect change at this level.
One neighborhood, one community, one precinct, one person at a time.
We must also specify here that we are not necessarily advocating for the eleven amendments that Levin proposed in the book. What we are specifically advocating is the return to what our friends at The Coolidge Project refer to as (f)ederalism. A state level movement where the people of each state slowly rein back powers that the federal government has taken upon itself.
Again, as Levin has pointed out many times, this is not easy work. The change needed will not happen overnight, it will not happen in one election cycle. This is a liberty movement. It takes time. We have been here to help and we will continue to be here during this struggle to push back against the leviathan. If 2014 is not right for you, perhaps 2015 and 2016 is better. We are here to help you begin the work now, as there are ways to prepare and groundwork to be laid.
Political campaigns are difficult, but they should not be, especially if you’re waging a campaign on ideas. There are effective things you can do, and ineffective things: you need to know which is which. That’s why we are here. We can help train candidates and fine-tune their message.
Looking around our website will show you we are not more of the same. We are different from other consulting firms. We want the hard races, we want the challenges. Candidates willing to go door-to-door advocating freedom, liberty and the real American dream – that is what we are looking for.
Are you that person? Do you know someone who is? If you answer yes to either of these, it’s time we talk.
|August 16, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, 2016, congress, gop, Republicans|
By Steve Parkhurst
You must watch this. Yes, it’s 41 minutes long. So what? Bypass this week’s episode of American Idol or bypass an hour worth of Big Bang Theory re-runs. Invest 41 minutes in the future of your country.
I wish schools across this country would show this 41 minutes to their students during one school day.
Be sure to stay in touch with us as we reveal ideas and plans related to the concepts Mark Levin proposes.
|August 5, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, 2016|
By Steve Parkhurst
Earlier today Mark Levin, on his Facebook page, made available the first chapter of his upcoming book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic. This looks to be a very interesting book, and I for one am really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy. You can download the first chapter of the book (pdf) for free at the link Levin provided or we have also uploaded the pdf to our server for download.
We are interested in your thoughts after you read this chapter. Will you buy the book in a couple of weeks?