I heart Chris Christie
Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) announced this morning through his spokesman that he will not be seeking re-election for his 17th term. And there was much rejoicing in the land.
Frank is the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee. In 2003, he commented on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, stating, “These two entities…are not facing any kind of financial crisis…” He also said “I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness [in the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] that we have in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidised housing.”
He is also the co-author of the Dodd-Frank bill, a 2300-page bill they claimed would end “too big to fail.” However, Dodd-Frank has granted the federal government unprecedented regulatory powers. Economic writer and real estate investor Jeff Harding says that “the new financial overhaul bill is the greatest government takeover of the financial sector of the economy since the National Recovery Act of 1933 when Franklin Roosevelt attempted to introduce central planning in America.” It will eventually create at least 17 new bureaucracies with powers to regulate small businesses and consumers including the so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It would also seem that every Republican currently running for office is advocating its repeal.
Frank won his 2010 re-election with 53% of the vote, the smallest margin he’d ever had. His opponent was Marine Sean Bielat who ran his campaign on a shoe-string and still came within striking distance of unseating a powerful incumbent.
On Friday, police in riot gear hit student protestors in the face with pepper spray. Told explicitly by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi that violence should be avoided at all costs, officer John Pike is seen nonchalantly spraying students as they sat on the ground blocking the sidewalk.
Chancellor Katehi told a student assembly yesterday that “Because encampments have long been prohibited by UC policy, I directed police only to take down the tents,” she said. “My instructions were for no arrests and no police force.” Officer Pike has been placed on administrative leave.
Caught on video by a number of bystanders, the casual use of pepper spray for students who posed no physical threat to police is frankly an embarrassment and an affront to our nation’s belief in free speech. I don’t agree with the Occupy protestors – but I support their right to express their point of view. I’m offended by Westboro church members protesting military funerals – but they have the right to do so (at a distance). The list goes on and on. Escalating into violence, however, is not acceptable from any side.
I appreciate the freedom for me not only as a blogger, but a public official, to be able to express MY views and not worry about being executed for disagreeing with the “powers that be.” Freedom of speech is a fundamental right for all human beings. It is not bestowed by government, but we must be ever-vigilant in safeguarding it – all of us.
See for yourselves the pepper spray incident – and tell me what you think. Even if you disagree.
State Senator Dan Liljenquist recently returned from Washington DC where he received back-to-back awards for his courage and innovation tackling the complex problems of exploding pension and Medicaid costs.
Governing Magazine called Senator Liljenquist the “Change Agent” for his reforms. Each year, Governing chooses only one state legislator, out of over 7000 nationwide, one Governor and a handful of others involved in government at the local level. This year, they also honored the Governor of Arkansas, Mayor of Atlanta, a county executive, a police chief, a judge, a couple of very cool techie innovators working with the city of Boston and the Chancellor from CUNY, the City University of New York. Governing, a non-partisan group, does not appear to care which political party their honorees belong to and in fact, they gave more awards to Democrats than to Republicans. There was one consistent theme however – fiscal reforms. The presenters repeatedly mentioned we were “standing on a burning platform” financially and it was way past time to start addressing the real problems. The award winners were, for the most part, public officials willing to step up and tackle thorny problems head-on.
In addition to the award from Governing, Senator Liljenquist was named the “Legislative Entrepreneur of the Year” by FreedomWorks. The award – given out only a handful of times – has been given to people like now-Senator Marco Rubio, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and then Georgia House Rep Tom Graves, now in Congress. “Legislative entrepreneurs are tenacious political leaders who challenge the status quo and take bold action to advance liberty and limited government. We can thank Senator Liljenquist for the ground-breaking pension and entitlement reforms in Utah that are now the envy of states across the country, and serve as a model for the nation,” read the press release. “The fact of the matter is, while states like New York, Illinois and California are headed for bankruptcy, the financial future of Utah is secure because of Liljenquist’s reforms.”
FreedomWorks praised Liljenquist’s legislative innovation as he introduced free market principles into the “most difficult spending issues in government.” Senator Liljenquist, widely rumored to be challenging Orrin Hatch, caught the eye of a number of national media peeps as well. Check out some of the press he picked up this weekend: Daily Caller, CNN, National Journal, Red State’s Erick Erickson, Politico, the Rising Republican and all over the AP wire.
He felt the love here too. Daily Herald, SL Trib, DNews, Fox 13 and the Standard Examiner all carried stories about his awards and his potential run for the US Senate. Stay tuned – things are getting interesting!
One of the biggest gaffes in a national debate came when Rick Perry couldn’t remember the 3 agencies he would cut.
And the attempt to put it back together….poke fun at yourself (but I’m thinkin’ it’s not gonna work – how ’bout you?)
Pension reform, Medicaid reform and …….. a little bit more.
I heart campaign ads…..
Governing Magazine recently named Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist (R-Bountiful) the legislative Public Official of the Year. Dubbed “The Change Agent” by Governing, Liljenquist was honored for his work as the architect of two of Utah’s most significant pieces of legislation in recent memory – pension and Medicaid reform.
The Public Officials of the Year awards – given out to a handful of national leaders every year since 1994 – have become the nation’s preeminent honor for state and local officials. Congratulatory messages came from all over the state and the nation, including Governor Gary Herbert, Senator Mike Lee and Congressmen Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop.
Senator Liljenquist was quick to praise his fellow legislators. “I’m proud of all my colleagues who put long term financial responsibility above short term concerns,” he said. “This is a victory for the State of Utah.”
His colleagues were equally quick to praise him. Senate President Michael Waddoups, (R-Taylorsville), who said “This recognition says a lot about Dan, but it also says a great deal about the State of Utah. In other places, innovators like Dan are relegated to the back bench. Here, smart ideas carry the day.” Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero offered his congratulations and remarked: “Senator Liljenquist’s leadership, attention to detail, and focus on fiscal sustainability has served the State of Utah well.”
Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins stated the obvious – that Senator Liljenquist was willing to tackle some of the “sacred cows” in today’s political arena. “Dan has crafted articulate solutions to intractable problems – said by some to be political suicide – and he has done so in a
way that has become model legislation for others to replicate,” said Senator Jenkins. “Fiscal responsibility is an issue that is at the forefront of every state in the nation right now. We can find solutions. All we need is the courage and good will to make them work.”
The Standard-Examiner ran a story with the headline “Sen. Liljenquist tabbed “Best and Brightest” while the Trib noted that “State Sen. Dan Liljenquist was named the top legislator in the United States.” The Deseret News ran a glowing editorial about Utah’s success story, saying in part that “Utah has managed to take care of long-term systemic problems in ways that make other states envious.”
It is this type of real reform and forward thinking that make Utah the best-managed state in the nation. It’s time we had that kind of political courage and leadership in DC.