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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Snyder is trying to divert attention
Mayberry Campaign 10/26 - Republican challenger Andy Mayberry said today (10/26) that Rep. Vic Snyder is trying to divert people's attention away from Snyder's voting record by accusing Mayberry of "picking on" Snyder's wife. The controversy centers around remarks about gay marriage that were made during Tuesday's debate on AETN.
"I have not said a single negative word about Rev. Singleton, and Vic Snyder knows that," Mayberry said. "This is the standard 'I'm offended' line that Rep. Snyder often offers up when he is backed into a corner trying to defend his unpopular stance on an issue or a vote of his that is not reflective of his constituents' beliefs."
Snyder's wife, Betsy Singleton, is the senior pastor of Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church in Little Rock, where Snyder attends. Snyder originally brought his wife into the discussion earlier in the debate when he said, "My wife is a minister. She believes in second chances and redemption," and went on to imply that he, too, follows those same beliefs held by his wife and pastor.
Later, when discussing the issue of gay marriage, Snyder said that he voted against a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage because states have traditionally handled marriage law. Mayberry has said a federal amendment is needed because state laws are at risk of being stricken down by judges. (Note: New Jersey's highest court ruled on Wednesday that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples. The New Jersey Supreme Court gave the state's Legislature 180 days to either expand existing laws or come up with new ones.)
Following Snyder's statement of why he voted against the federal marriage amendment, Mayberry said, "(Congressman Snyder) says his personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, that is not what is preached in his church by his pastor -- by what you would consider his spiritual leader -- who also happens to be his wife. She has preached sermons that say that homosexual marriage should be blessed. This is available on their web site. I only bring this up because I know that my wife, and my pastor, my spiritual leaders influence how I think about things, and I think that takes place with most people. And how you think about things, you can?t separate that when you go to do your job. And part of your job is to vote on issues, and to vote the way that the people of your district would have you vote on those issues. I want to be a better representative for the people of the Second Congressional District and I want to stand up for what's right, and what?s right is that marriage is between a man and a woman."
Snyder said, "I tell you what, the only response I'm going to make to you, Mr. Mayberry, is I'm going to give you just a little bit of advice: You don?t get very far in Arkansas politics picking on a man?s wife or spouse." "That absolutely, certainly, is not my intention," Mayberry said. "I think that it?s only relevant, though, to see how someone?s mindset is in terms of how they vote on issues. I have nothing against -- at all -- Rep. Snyder?s wife, the Rev. Singleton. She can preach and teach whatever she wants to preach and teach in her church. That?s her right under the Constitution of the United States, the freedom of religion. I respect that."
Snyder followed up in a television interview on Wednesday to say that Mayberry "misquoted" his wife?s sermon on homosexuality. The sermon, as it appears on the Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church Web site (www.qqumc.org), states, "The problem for readers (of the Bible) today is that we also take into account that homosexuality may be 'natural' for some and thus not chosen, sinful behavior." Rev. Singleton?s sermon goes on to say, "? I believe that the church must find some way to offer blessings to committed gay and lesbian couples ?" "If Vic Snyder believes that gay marriage is OK, then he should just say so -- instead of giving voters some political double-speak about states' rights. Federal judges are continuing to take away states' rights in this matter, so we are forced to turn to the federal government for protection of traditional marriage," Mayberry said. "I encourage Rep. Snyder to let voters know, in a straightforward manner, how he stands on the issue. Give voters all the necessary information to make an informed decision, and let them decide who best represents their own ideas about this and other issues. I believe voters would just like a straight answer regarding whether Vic Snyder agrees with the full text of the sermon that is preached in his church by his pastor and his wife. Voters are waiting on an answer."
It's time to take Mayberry thinking to Washington, D.C.!
1st Cong. District Debate Reveals Berry's Poor Performace
In the 1st US Congressional District debate on AETN, Wednesday, Oct 25, Stubby Stumbaugh clearly would be the winner if one were selected. Berry plugged his usual mantra of send me back to Washington and President Bush is terrible. Stumbaugh accused the incumbent of ineffectiveness but Berry tried to ignore his opponent and claimed that he was proud of his accomplishments in office and that he would do better if he returns to Congress as part of a potential Democratic majority.
Stumbaugh said that Berry's lack of effectiveness, particularly in getting approval for a highway bill that benefits the 1st District, stems in part from how he deals with other members of Congress. He referred to Berry calling another lawmaker on the floor of the Congress a "Howdy-Doody-looking nimrod." Howdy Doody was the freckled-face, grinning star of a children's marionette-puppet show on television in the 1950s. "No wonder we can't get anything done," Stumbaugh said. "Our congressman is busy out there calling other congressmen names." Stumbaugh presented documented statistics of Berry's failure to bring home even a fraction of what the other three Arkansas Congressmen have in highway funding. The 1st District continues to be the poorest district in the State under Berry's tenure in Congress.
Berry wouldn't respond but said he was proud of the work that had been accomplished, with federal help, on improving the infrastructure of the district in eastern Arkansas. He alleged that this helped attract Hino Motors manufacturing plant at Marion. Unfortunately it was Republican Governor Huckabee, not Berry, who worked to secure Hino Motors.Berry said he was proud of having voted for the strongest anti-illegal-immigration measure ever approved by the House of Representatives but did not identify that he had also failed to support limiting illegal aliens, is in favor of amnesty and only voted for the latest bill because he had an opponent for office. Then Congress failed to appropriate adequate funding for this bill.
On immigration, Stumbaugh accused Berry of acting to benefit himself in a way contrary to what Berry says he believes. Berry had knowingly employed illegal immigrants in his Arkansas County farming operations. "Berry says he doesn't support amnesty [for illegal immigrants], but he continues to support illegal immigration because it is a dollar in his pocket," Stumbaugh said, and then identified that Berry Farms had received close to a million dollars in farm subsidies.
In his closing statement, Stumbaugh said "we need new leadership, and Stubby Stumbaugh is that leader." Berry's closing statement focused on his party affiliation. Stumbaugh sharply criticized Berry's record, saying he puts politics above the needs of the district. Among other things, he has faulted Berry for his vote against adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare in 2003, not obtaining enough federal dollars for highway projects for the district and not doing enough to try to reduce gas prices and create jobs in the district.
In Tuesday's 2nd District congressional debate on AETN, U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder (Democrat) and Andy Mayberry (Republican) actively trading heated comments on gay marriage and abortion.
Mayberry said the marriage issue is a "defining difference" he has with Snyder. He said a federal amendment is needed because federal judges could strike down Arkansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage.Snyder said he disagreed with a 2004 proposal for a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage because states have traditionally handled marriage law. He said some gay people want to be able to pass job benefits to a partner. He advocated civil unions for gays.
Mayberry noted that Snyder voted against "indicting" Saddam Hussein and that he has an F rating from the National Rifle Association. Mayberry has an A rating by the NRA. Snyder said, "That vote in 1997 was not to indict Saddam Hussein. That was a vote to say he's a bad guy but we're not going to do anything about it." Snyder said he would not vote for anything that takes away weapons from "law-abiding" citizens.
On abortion, the candidates positions were at odds. Mayberry is "100 percent pro-life" and would like a "life at conception act" to prevent abortions. He criticized Snyder's vote against bans on partial-birth abortions. After warning parents to protect their children's ears, Mayberry described the practice of partial-birth abortion. 4,000 abortions occur each day. Snyder said there should be fewer abortions but that most medical decisions should be made between a patient and doctor. Snyder also voted against parental notification to take a their minor child across state lines for an abortion.
Mayberry is endorsed by the National and Arkansas Right to Life. Snyder has the most liberal voting record of any Arkansas congressman. Snyder has a career grade of "F" in addressing immigration problems and even voted against securing our nation's borders and supports amnesty for illegal aliens.
In Tuesday's very short ( and most boring) 4th District congressional debateon AETN, the choice was between Ross and Ross: U.S. Represenative Mike Ross (D) from Pescott and Joe Ross (R) from Eldorado. Joe Ross said, "I think freshness and new ideas. Our whole country was built on new ideas. Seems like we ran out of them." but then offered none for the voters to consider or reasons for voters to vote for him. Congressman Ross reminded the voters that "During my short time in congress I have helped secure over a quarter of a billion dollars for highway, road, and infrastructure improvements." Mike Ross could only lose this race is if the democrat voters were also so bored that they accidently voted for Joe Ross by mistake.
On Monday's AETN 3rd District congressional debate candidates on significant issue was on how the U.S. can succeed in Iraq. U. S. Rep. John Boozman (Republican) said he trusts the word he's gotten from the military on the ground in the five trips he's taken to Iraq. "Do we need to be fluid? Do we need to change strategy? Of course we do. But we need to get that from our military people," he said. "They're the ones that are there, fighting the battle."
Woodrow Anderson, (Democrat) said U. S. troops should be out of Iraq in 18 months, with troops beginning a pullout in no more than 12 months. "We have to do something different. We cannot continue to talk about Iraq in generalizations." He offered no basis for his timeline to remove troops.
On border security, both candidates opposed "amnesty" for illegial aliens.On importance of social issues, Anderson said such issues can show the values of a candidate, but he said they're overdone by Republicans. "I don?t know why we continue to debate that particular topic. We?ve got to move on and address ... more important issues... ." Boozman said the federal government can talk about both. He said he gets a lot of mail from constituents who are worried about the definition of marriage. On energy policy, Boozman said the U.S. needs to build more oil refineries to protect against volatility in gas prices. He said the nation needs to do more toward energy conservation, produce more nuclear power and drill for oil in Alaska. Anderson said more oil refineries won't end the nation's dependence on foreign oil and the U.S. should focus more on its coal reserves and alternative fuels.
Beebe's Involvement in Nick Wilson's Corruption Scam
El Dorado, Ark. - Governor Mike Huckabee today disputed claims by Attorney General Mike Beebe that he was Nick Wilson's "biggest opponent" when Wilson was bilking the state of millions, a corruption conspiracy that resulted in felony convictions for Wilson and his accomplices in 1999. Huckabee pointed out that Beebe helped to override the Governor's veto of the legislation setting up the scam; opposed efforts to censure Wilson and other colleagues in the Senate; and opposed efforts to evict Wilson and the others after they were convicted.
Huckabee was particularly disturbed that Beebe is now trying to claim he was actively involved in trying to stop Wilson, "Mike Beebe helped ensure that this scam became law. Today he claims he didn't know what he was voting for. I don't know what that says about his leadership, but even Nick Wilson says everyone knew. How could somebody who is campaigning on his record as a leader of the Senate also claim he was utterly oblivious to one of the worst political scandals in the history of the Legislature taking place right under his nose?"
Huckabee was also surprised by Beebe's latest claims, issued yesterday, to have led the effort to evict Wilson and the other guilty senators from the Senate. Beebe opposed calls to censure Wilson and the other senators, and, after their felony convictions were handed down two years later, opposed calls to evict the senators from the Legislature immediately. "Back then, Beebe said it was 'un-American' to censure Wilson and his gang," Huckabee said. Beebe said that "evicting Wilson from the Senate after he was convicted would be like running up the score in the football game." Today he says he was Wilson's biggest opponent. This is revisionist history at its best - or worst."
Huckabee noted that while Nick Wilson emerged as the most notorious of the senators in the fraud, he wasn't the only one. Other senators included friends and colleagues of Beebe's when he was in the Senate. "There was a powerful political machine that dominated the Senate, and Beebe wanted to control that machine. He ruffled as few feathers as he could."
Martha Shoffner Criticized for Poor Record on Civil Rights
At a news conference in the state Capitol, Chris Morris said, "It's very important, again, for African-Americans to know who they need to vote for." Chris Morris, the only black candidate in the General Election for a statewide race in Arkansas, criticized his opponent Martha Shoffner for voting against legislation important to civil rights.
Dale Charles, chapter president of the NAACP, even recalled Shoffner being particularly hostile to a civil rights' bill in her questions and statements and that she "went out of her way" to tell crime victims that they hadn't experienced what they said they experienced.
"My party, the Republican Party, actually has the doors open, they've been open for African-Americans to come home," Morris said. "This is the party of Lincoln, the original party that African-Americans first joined." Read More
Little Rock, AR - Eagle Forum of Arkansas today (10/24/06) voiced strong opposition to the issue of same sex civil unions while reaffirming staunch support for traditional marriage in Arkansas. "When 75 % of Arkansans voted in favor of the marriage amendment, it is difficult to comprehend why the Democratic Party removed language from their party platform regarding the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman" stated Randy Minton, chairman of Arkansas Eagle Forum.
Minton continued "Obviously the latest move regarding the issue and promotion of same sex civil unions is an effort on behalf of the democratic ticket to force the people of Arkansas to accept homosexual unions, regardless of the overwhelming majority of Arkansans opposed to it." Referring to statements to the press by democrat candidate for attorney general Dustin McDaniel that he would be supportive of same sex unions for Arkansas, Minton said "McDaniel and the entire ticket for the democrats are simply out of touch with every day people in our state when it comes to the issue of gay marriage, gay adoption and gay civil unions."
Eagle Forum President Betsy Hagan said that Arkansans "spoke with a loud and clear voice regarding the issue of gay marriages and so called same sex unions. For a statewide candidate to promote actions that would undermine traditional marriage in our state is a slap in the face of the voters. Arkansas is a conservative state with conservative values and morals; the voters are smart enough to see through this effort from left field by the Democratic Party to promote civil unions, which in fact would provide gay couples with many, if not all of the same rights and privileges that are and should be offered only to traditional married couples.
The people of Arkansas have never had a clearer choice regarding leadership in the area of protecting traditional marriage; it is simply wrong to promote acceptance of same sex civil unions. We strongly urge the voters to send a message on Election Day that we will stand strong and not yield to the liberal ideals being promoted by the democratic slate of candidates whose values are better suited to Vermont and not Arkansas."
The AP reports the Republican National Committee "will begin airing a hard-hitting ad this weekend that warns of more cataclysmic terror attacks against the U.S. homeland." The below ad portrays Osama bin Laden and quotes his threats against America dating to February 1998. "These are the stakes," the ad concludes. "Vote November 7."
To vote early, visit the County Clerk's office at your county courthouse during regular business hours to get your ballot. And remember: You can vote on Saturday, as well. Once you?ve cast your vote, be sure to tell your friends, family and co-workers about early voting, so they can vote for the Republican candidates - see the voter's guide posted on Oct 21 for Arkansas State & National offices.
But the job's not done when you?ve cast your vote! With two weeks to go till November 7, the candidates still need volunteers to help out at county headquarters with phone calls, mailings, and distributing yard signs. Contact your local County Republican Headquarters / Committee. If you need help finding the number or location, call the Asa campaign at 501.978.4334 and ask for the contact in your county.
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