Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
by Matt Gertz
Media Matters has confirmed that noted propagandist Andrew Breitbart will provide analysis for ABC News during their election night coverage.
After Breitbart's BigJournalism.com website reported that Breitbart would "be bringing analysis live from Arizona" for ABC, Media Matters confirmed his participation in a town hall meeting anchored by ABC's David Muir and Facebook's Randi Zuckerberg that will be featured in the network's coverage.
Asked about Breitbart's history of unethical behavior and misinformation, ABC News' David Ford told Media Matters: "He will be one of many voices on our air, including Bill Adair of Politifact. If Andrew Breitbart says something that is incorrect, we have other voices to call him on it."
Media figures and outlets from across the board rejected Breitbart's race-baiting lies after he smeared former USDA official Shirley Sherrod as a "racist," using as "proof" a heavily edited video of comments she made during a March NAACP event that he posted on his site BigGovernment.com.
ABC's Terry Moran subsequently reported that "Breitbart had released only a clip of her speech, which distorted her real meaning, that she was wrong and had learned from her error," while Donna Brazile said that Breitbart "should apologize" to Sherrod. Both Brazile and Moran will also be featured during ABC's election night coverage.
Breitbart has repeatedly appeared on ABC to explain his false smears. In a July appearance on Good Morning Ameria, George Stephanopoulos called out Breitbart for pushing claims about Sherrod that are "clearly not true." During Breitbart's joint interview with James O'Keefe on the June 1 edition of Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos revealed a clip that had been excluded from an O'Keefe video posted on Breitbart's website of New Jersey census supervisors that undermined O'Keefe's contention.
Other highlights of Andrew Breitbart's recent career of authoring and promoting falsehood-laden journalism include:
The League of Women Voters has filed complaints with police in Evanston, IL and the FBI saying that one of their officials has been targeted by death threats relating to a candidatess debate she moderated last week. Kathy Tate-Bradish was a volunteer moderator at the October 21 debate in the state’s 8th District and sparked conservative outrage when she expressed what was perceived as “lukewarm” support for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Just as the debate was about to
Within a few days, Tate-Bradish went from an unknown local League official to a right-wing villain, thanks to Fox News host Glenn Beck, who devoted a significant portion of his October 25 show to attacking her personally:
BECK: We wanted to look at the moderator, Kathy Tate-Bradish, from the League of Women Voters. Oh, she sounds so neutral and everything. I mean, she’s even neutral on the Pledge, apparently — just a typical woman voter trying to get the truth out. No, not so much — not so much.
She is on fire for Obama. She is a big-time Obama supporter. In fact, so much so, she’s part of his Organizing for America arm. Hmm. She’s even hosted campaign event in her home in 2007, part of her post on OFA’s, Organizing for America Web site, “Hope Action Change.”
The FBI told the Arlington Heights Daily Herald that Tate-Bradish’ complaint has been received and “is receiving due consideration.” League of Women Voters Illinois Executive Director Jan Czarnik, who filed the complaint, told the FBI that Tate-Bradish had been “turned into a cause celebre by Glenn Beck and Fox News.” Czarnik provided the FBI death threats posted on the Internet against Tate-Bradish, and “reported menacing posts on Fox News Channel’s Facebook page and Beck’s website, The Blaze.”
Joel Cheatwood, an executive who oversees Beck’s show, issued a statement yesterday saying, “We’re not going to comment on something that’s hypothetical as we have not heard about this complaint.”
For more on right-wing violence, see yesterday’s Progress Report.
275 Investors Demand U.S. Chamber Disclose Funds And Stop ‘Punitive Campaign’ Against Health Care Law
But not all of the Chamber’s members are happy about its opaque political activities. Last week, a coalition of 275 institutional shareholders with $100 billion in
The Interfaith Center on
Corporate Responsibilityand its members…are writing to express our profound concerns about our company’s potential role in furthering the highly politicized agenda of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the 2010 mid-term election and the Chamber’s continued hostile opposition to health care reform. [...]
The Chamber’s punitive campaign, a veritable “hit list” of health care supporters, is counter-productive and explicitly partisan. … As [our company]‘s board representative to the Chamber, it is vitally important to ensure that the company is not seen to be the unwitting supporter of this initiative. We strongly believe that the media attention this issue has generated, particularly surrounding allegations of the co-mingling of foreign monies, poses significant risk to our company’s reputation. Further, we fully expect that you will use your influence to encourage other Chamber members to abandon this ill-conceived strategy.
As concerned shareholders, many of us working in the health care industry, we ask that you take steps to eliminate any risks associated with this issue, and make available all information regarding the use of our membership dues to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for review no later than October 30th. Further, as we believe that dues to the Chamber support the infrastructure which coordinates this campaign, we request that you publicly declare your opposition by either withholding your dues until the Chamber refrains from further investment in negative advertising, or if necessary, withdraw your membership in protest.
This is the ICCR’s second appeal to Chamber members on health care reform. In November 2009, ICCR members “called on Chamber members with stated positions similar to ICCR’s Health Care Reform principles to challenge the Chamber’s lobbying efforts against the passage of health care legislation.”
While the ICCR issues final warnings, Chamber members like Nike and Apple have left the Chamber altogether. In a newly-released comprehensive investigative series, Harry Hanbury and GRITtv reveal the ubiquitous role the Chamber plays in American politics and why companies may blanche at its secretive activities.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
This week David Brock, founder and CEO of Media Matters for America and Michael B. Keegan, president of People for the American Way, wrote a piece for the Huffington Post urging Sarah Palin, as a leading figure in the conservative movement, to condemn Glenn Beck's reckless and extreme rhetoric. Brock later appeared on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell and said,
Bill Buckley, back in the `60s, divorced the conservative movement from the John Birch Society, and called it idiocy and paranoia. So, there`s precedent for this.
We`re now going to find out what kind of leader, what she`s made of, and whether she`s going to do it. And I`m telling you, we`re going to find out.
Today Palin gave her answer, telling Beck on his radio show: "I stand with you, Glenn."
During the show, Beck claimed that he has been the most outspoken opponent of violence "since Martin Luther King," and suggested that Media Matters was "setting something up," saying, "They know that violence is coming as much as I do, because the pressure on this country and its citizens is becoming overwhelming." Beck insisted, "I'm going to be relieving some of that pressure" and "we will be the group of people that stand together in peace and in love ... when the whole world is freaking out." Beck went on to compare Media Matters to "the smelly kid in the third grade"; label MSNBC "barely a network"; and call George Soros "pathetic and sad."
Beck said during his show that it's "totally fine with me" if Palin and Fox News decide to distance themselves from him. But Beck's producer got Palin on the phone and she said: "I stand with you, Glenn" and "I support what you're doing." She called Brock's plea, "ironic," and accused Media Matters of "twisting and perverting" Beck's message about "respecting our nation's history so that we don't lose what makes America exceptional." As Beck sarcastically begged Palin to change her mind, she made it clear that she sees Beck as a teacher of the people, "explaining to Americans what the threats are to our peace and to our opportunities and to our freedoms":
PALIN: Glenn, you know I abhor violence. I know you do. Hating war, hating civil war, and praying for peace, and wanting peace and freedom for our kids in a civil society. That is the mission here, is explaining to Americans what the threats are to our peace and to our opportunities and to our freedoms in America.
PALIN: That is what I see you doing, and that is why I support what you are doing.
Brock released the following statement in response:
"On Tuesday, I asked Sarah Palin to use her influential voice to stop attempted incidents of domestic terrorism incited by right-wing extremists like Glenn Beck. By telling Beck, 'I stand with you,' Palin -- Fox News' star contributor -- now associates herself with acts of violence and the insane conspiracy theories and hate speech behind them.
Rather than seize the opportunity to act in the national interest and do her part to prevent a major tragedy like the Oklahoma City bombing, Palin called into Beck's show to call me 'pathetic.' While Palin and I don't agree on much, I honestly believed we shared the view that the incitement to violence by a powerful media outlet was a national crisis that transcends the partisan divide. Sadly, I was wrong."
For lifelong Republican Joe Errigo, deciding to cross party lines and support a liberal Democrat for New York governor wasn't nearly as difficult as one might expect.
Republican candidate Carl Paladino -- backed by the conservative Tea Party movement -- raised such political hackles he spawned a "Republicans for Cuomo" movement supporting Democrat Andrew Cuomo.
Similar groups can be found in heated races elsewhere nationwide, often those featuring Tea Party-endorsed candidates, attacked by Democrats and some moderate Republicans as extreme."When I saw his website, I said nobody could be that dumb," said Errigo, an upstate New York Assemblyman, of Paladino, a Buffalo developer and political newcomer.
"He has alienated every group that I could think of," said Errigo. "He should write a book on how to lose an election."
In Delaware, where Christine O'Donnell has Tea Party support, Republicans backing Democrat Chris Coons include a former state judge and former U.S. Congressman. A "Republicans for Coons" Facebook site reads: "Because we just can't support Christine O'Donnell."
In Arizona, "Republicans for Giffords" are backing Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords over conservative Iraq War veteran Jesse Kelly.
In Nevada, incumbent Democrat Sen. Harry Reid, who faces Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, counts among his Republican supporters an array of influential gaming and casino executives.
"Mainstream Republicans are refusing to support the latest crop of insurgent candidates in the Republican Party because of their extremist beliefs," said Deirdre Murphy, spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington.
"A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR REPUBLICANS"
In New York, Paladino has riled fellow Republicans, from his view that average Americans cannot understand adjustable mortgages, his spat with a reporter that went viral on the Web, to his plan to "take a baseball bat" to the state capital.
"This was a tremendous opportunity for the Republicans this year," said Onandaga County, New York, Executive Joanie Mahoney, a Republican whose support for Cuomo marks the first time she has supported a Democrat.
"But we can't just have fighting and rhetoric," she said. "I just didn't have the sense, knowing what I know about state government, that sending somebody there with a baseball bat was going to move the ball forward."
Other names in "Republicans for Cuomo" are former state party chairman J. Patrick Barrett and hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, who handled finances for Republican Rick Lazio, who was defeated by Paladino in the primary.
Plenty of Republicans are supporting Cuomo but keeping quiet, said Mahoney.
"I have had people tell me things privately that I don't think they're willing to say publicly," she said.
The latest poll, released on Wednesday, showed Cuomo with a 20-point lead over Paladino, with 7 percent undecided.
Mahoney earned criticism from state Republican Chairman Ed Cox, who called her endorsement of Cuomo a "shallow act" that showed "poor judgment."
"It was a very difficult decision personally," she said. "I knew I would take some heat from my party which I have."
What came as more of a surprise, she said, was the number of Republicans who got in touch to say: "We know why you did it, and we're with you."
Responding to our posts, the Chamber launched a massive smear campaign using its large in-house communications staff and a network of well funded public relations firms:
– Manipulating Google And Blogs: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce retains public relations giant Fleishman-Hillard for much of their online communications work. Fleishman-Hillard VP Pat Cleary posts on the Chamber’s blog, and says he works closely with conservative bloggers through RedState. Other Chamber lobbyists collaborate routinely with conservative bloggers through the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing to help get the message out for business lobbyists. As Cleary has told conferences of business lobbyists, he helps trade associations like the Chamber buy AdWords to promote the business lobby’s message. For example, when anyone Googles the words “US Chamber” and “foreign,” they see a link to the Chamber’s false response that it receives only $100,000 from foreign affiliates.
– Paying For Television Pundits: GOP lobbyist John Feehery has appeared on cable television to attack ThinkProgress’ reporting, taken to Twitter call President Obama a “business-hating socialist” for calling attention to this story, and even penned an article in The Hill newspaper to defend the Chamber and lie about our investigation. Feehery never mentioned the foreign corporate direct donations to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6). But more importantly, neither The Hill nor any of television outlets Feehery appears on disclosed the fact that Feehery’s public relations firm, The Feehery Group, counts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of its clients. Shortly after our story broke, Feehery was hired by another public relations/lobbying firm, Quinn Gillespie, which is also a client of the Chamber. Moreover, Fox News’ parent company is an active member of the Chamber, and hate-talker Glenn Beck met with the Chamber’s second in command earlier this year to plot the 2010 election. While Fox hosts and Beck have endlessly defended the Chamber’s secret money, there has been no disclosure of the network’s financial ties to Chamber lobbyists.
– The Chamber Owns Fake News Sites: As the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard reported, the Chamber owns a variety of news websites in West Virginia, Illinois, and elsewhere, while also maintaining a wire service called Legal Newsline. All of these websites posture as independently owned and objective journalism outfits, and do not disclose that they are fully owned subsidiaries of Chamber lobbyists.
Unfortunately, the Chamber’s sophisticated smear campaign deceived many reputable media organizations into distorting our reporting. Reporters from the New York Times (Eric Lichtblau), the Associated Press (Alan Fram, Jim Kuhnhenn), McClatchy (David Lightman), Time (Mark Halperin), and other outlets misrepresented ThinkProgress’ reporting by refusing to acknowledge any of our key revelations about the Chamber’s foreign fundraising (the fundraising documents we published, the Bahrainian or Indianian corporate donations). None of these reporters directly contacted ThinkProgress, and instead opted to only interview Chamber lobbyists.
In many cases, these traditional reporters reprinted the Chamber’s lie that it only fundraises from foreign affiliates called AmChams, and that AmChams are composed of only American companies (this has been thoroughly debunked). Ignoring ThinkProgess’ reporting, these journalists reprinted the Chamber’s unproven assertion that it only accepts $100,000 from foreign affiliates. In other cases, these reporters reprinted the Chamber’s false claim that it’s political operation is equivalent to labor unions. In fact, labor unions face double disclosure because they must reveal their donors to the public through both the Department of Labor and the Federal Election Commission. The Chamber, on the other hand, refuses to disclose both its American and foreign donors to anyone. Although ThinkProgress has demonstrated that the Chamber receives at a minimum of $885,000 in foreign cash every year to its primary 501(c)(6) campaign account, few journalists have bothered to cover the thrust of our story.
With veteran GOP operative Karl Rove at its back, and a little help from the Citizens United decision, the conservative PAC American Crossroads and its 501(c)(4) counterpart Crossroads GPS bombarded the airwaves with over $16 million in attack ads this campaign season. With 5 days to go until the election, American Crossroads announced $6 million worth of ad buys yesterday in its final blitz to defeat Democrats. But, while a GOP victory might be the Crossroads groups’ top priority, one ad proves that accuracy is certainly not.
This season, Crossroads created a one-size-fits-all ad slamming targeted Democrats for supporting the Recovery Act. Running in different races across the country, the ad claims that while whichever state’s “economy is reeling,” whoever the Democrat happens to be is “making [the economy] worse” by supporting the “stimulus boondoggle.” Confident that this “fill-in-the-blank” issue ad fits every state, Crossroads ran the ad against Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D) in North Dakota. “North Dakota’s economy is reeling and Congressman Earl Pomeroy is making it worse,” the ad warns.
The ominous ad, however, fails to mention one important detail: North Dakota’s economy is not reeling. In fact, it’s booming. This summer, North Dakota saw employment rise from 362,100 in December 2007 to 371,300 last month — a record in job creation for the state. Indeed, along with Alaska, North Dakota is the only state “to have created jobs since the onslaught of the Great Recession.” And with the highest rate of personal income growth and the nation’s lowest unemployment rate of 3.7 percent — well below the 9.6 percent national average — this state’s economy “sticks out like a diamond in a bowl of cherry pits.”
But truth in advertising isn’t exactly Crossroads’ modus operandi. According to Factcheck.org research, American Crossroads regularly makes “false and misleading claims” in their “blizzard” of attack ads in states like Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Nevada, Missouri, and New Hampshire. And while American Crossroads must disclose its donors, Crossroads GPS is a 501(c)(4) organization and therefore does not have to. Thus, like its “kissing cousin” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Crossroads GPS can take advantage of legal loopholes to inject massive funds into this year’s election without ever having to disclose its funders.
Pomeroy’s campaign ripped into Crossroads today for the “phony,” “cookie-cutter” ad. “Next time Karl Rove wants to funnel secret money to North Dakota to influence our elections, he ought to visit our state first or at least pick up one of our newspapers,” said Pomeroy’s spokesman Brenden Timpe. “If he did, he would know that North Dakota’s economy is doing quite well thank you very much, and Earl has been a strong partner in that progress.”
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Right-wing media baselessly claim SEIU rigged machines to cast votes for Reid
Conservative media hype claims of voter fraud in Nevada to baselessly suggest SEIU is stealing votes for Reid. Several conservative media figures, including the co-hosts of Fox & Friends, The Washington Examiner, the Fox Nation, HotAir, Jim Hoft, and Michelle Malkin all promoted a Fox5 Las Vegas story highlighting claims from early voters that when they went to vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's name had already been checked on the electronic ballot. They cited this story to baselessly suggest that because the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) represents the technicians to repair the voting machines, SEIU is engaged in a conspiracy to fraudulently cast votes for Reid.
However, Fox5 Las Vegas also reported Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax called claims of fraud "patently false." Fox5 also reported that although "some voters complained that Sen. Harry Reid's name had been pre-selected" in Clark County voting locations, "election officials insisted on Tuesday that electronic voting machines were not malfunctioning." The article quoted Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax as saying "those claims were 'patently false' " and "at no time did any of those voters report the incident to staff at their polling location." From the article:
Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said those claims were "patently false" and said at no time did any of those voters report the incident to staff at their polling location.
"In fact, although over 160,000 people have voted early in Clark County, those allegations that have been made have gone directly to the media as opposed to election board officers," he said.
Lomax advised voters to be aware that touch-screens on the screens are sensitive. For that reason, a person may not want to have their fingers linger too long on the screen after they make a selection at any time.
"Especially in a community with elderly citizens (they have) difficulty in (casting their) ballot," Lomax said. "Team leaders said there were complaints (and the) race filled in."
Lomax previously called for an investigation into allegations that ACORN engaged in voter fraud. In 2009, The New York Times reported that Lomax called for an investigation into allegations that ACORN had engaged in voter registration fraud, noting that Nevada's Secretary of State "investigated Acorn at the behest of the Clark County registrar of voters, Larry Lomax, who noted a high number of forms turned in featuring the names of famous football players and cartoon characters."
Right-wing media hype Angle's fabricated claim that Reid is stealing election with bribes of free food
Angle campaign attorney: Reid "intends to steal this election" by offering free food in exchange for votes. The Las Vegas Sun reported that Nevada GOP senatorial candidate Sharron Angle's campaign attorney, Cleta Mitchell, wrote a fundraising letter to supporters in which she asserted that "Harry Reid intends to steal this election if he can't win it outright" and that "Harry Reid has been offering free food" at "voter turnout events." Mitchell went on to say: "What Harry Reid is doing is clearly illegal. Nevada law (NRS 293.700) provides that, 'A person who bribes, offers to bribe, or use and other corrupt means, directly or indirectly, to influence any elector in giving his or her vote or to deter the elector from giving it is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.' "
Conservative media picked up and ran with the Angle campaign claim. Several conservative media figures advanced Mitchell's claim. For example, Sweetness & Light blogger Steve Gilbert linked to the Sun article and added: "If Democrats didn't buy their votes, you have to wonder if they would win any elections anywhere." Similarly, the Fox Nation linked to the Sun article with the headline, "Reid 'Intends to steal this election.' "
NV Secretary of State: Angle's campaign "fails to cite any evidence of 'vote buying' "; offering voters free food regardless of who they voted for does not violate election law. In a statement responding to the Angle campaign's allegations, Nevada's Secretary of State Ross Miller wrote that the campaign "fails to cite any evidence of 'vote buying.' " Miller added that activities such as offering free food to voters "irrespective of how and for whom they voted" does not violate state law so long as "it is not connected to any specific candidate and does not compromise the will of the elector." Miller also wrote that actions which "promote the act of voting," such as offering food to voters, "support the democratic process." Additionally, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State reportedly noted that despite Mitchell's allegations, the office "has not received a single report of voter fraud from someone who experienced it personally."
Right-wing media distort Arizona court ruling to suggest it will influence election
Scarborough falsely claimed "a judge ... overturned an Arizona law that would actually require people to have a photo ID to vote." From the October 27 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
JOE SCARBOROUGH (co-host): By the way, I just -- a judge, I understand, overturned an Arizona law that would actually require people to have a photo ID to vote. I mean, seriously, how low does the bar have to go? Seriously? That is such a joke.
HAROLD FORD JR. (former Democratic congressman): We do have a history in the country where people were denied the right to vote because they had [inaudible] --
SCARBOROUGH: Well, yeah, sure we do. So you let -- so you let people steal votes now? A photo ID, Harold, a photo ID.
FORD: Right, but you don't actually have to have one. If you show up and you have proof of ID and you sign something saying it's yourself -- these are just federal rules that we have, so, I don't disagree with you, having someone there at the polling booth or polling place -- should not intimidate voters, but to suggest that we don't have an ugly -- which I know you know -- and pernicious history in this country of people, particularly blacks and minorities and even women --
SCARBOROUGH: Well, but why are you bringing that up when all I want to do is make sure that whoever goes and votes is who they say they are, and they have a photo ID. What is so wrong with that?
In fact, a three-judge panel overturned an AZ state law that required proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote and upheld the portion of the law requiring voters show ID. As reported by Reuters and The Associated Press, the panel of the 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals found that a portion of the Arizona law, which required residents to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, is inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act, which, according to the AP, "allows voters to fill out a mail-in voter registration card and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but doesn't require them to show proof as Arizona's law does." In addition, as the AP reported, "The ruling left in place a requirement that voters provide proof of identity when casting ballots."
Conservative bloggers linked court ruling to other examples of alleged voter fraud, suggest ruling will affect 2010 elections. In an October 27 post on her blog updating a previous "voter fraud round-up," Malkin wrote: "[T]he 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just undermined Arizona's citizenship proof rules for voting -- sabotaging efforts to ensure that only legal U.S. citizens vote in U.S. elections." An October 27 post on RedState on its "recap" of "some of the 'coincidences' leading up to next week's mid-term elections" includes the Arizona ruling. In fact, the ruling will not take effect until the next election. According to Reuters, "The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' invalidation of requirements for proof of citizenship comes too late for any prospective new voters who were barred from registering before the deadline for the November 2 U.S. mid-term elections."
North Carolina voting machine problems exaggerated by conservative bloggers
Right-wing blogs promoted reports of irregularities with voting machines in North Carolina. An October 23 article in the New Bern (NC) Sun Journal reported that a Craven County voter "pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked." An October 25 report from local station WITN noted that the State Board of Elections said at the time that "only 2 counties have reported early voting problems with the touch-screen Ivotronic machines." On October 26 and 27, right-wing blogs Gateway Pundit, the Jawa Report, Ace of Spades, and BigGovernment all included links to the reports of irregularities with voting machines in North Carolina. Indeed, BigGovernment highlighted several accusations of voter fraud:
But, according to the county's Board of Elections chairman, "in each case the voter was able to cast his or her ballot as desired." According to the Sun Journal article, M. Ray Wood, Craven County Board of Elections chairman, "issued a written statement saying that the elections board is aware of isolated issues and that in each case the voter was able to cast his or her ballot as desired." WITN noted that in the two counties where problems were reported, the deputy director of the state Board of Elections said that "the machines were recalibrated when voters reported the problem, and everyone was able to cast votes of their choice."
Like clockwork, conservatives cry voter fraud in advance of elections
Conservative media have repeatedly issued baseless claims of voter fraud in previous elections As Media Matters has noted, conservative media have consistently made baseless claims of voter fraud during the past six years.
Yes, you read that right. Hundreds of thousands of jobs. Here. In Michigan. Why Michigan? Because we hustled for them and beat out other states. Oh, and Mr. Snyder? Might want to pay attention to these words from Ford and Chrysler. They are more than willing to pick "winners and losers" - and at this point, we are the winners.
Auto officials said the $2 billion in investments wouldn't have happened without the tax incentives.
Chrysler will be investing $850 million at Sterling Heights, once slated to be closed, and $150 million at the Dundee engine facility. That's over 90,000 retained jobs right there, with the economic activity surrounding these facilities predicted to retain another 72,000 indirect jobs. Without our incentives, they would have gone to Ohio.
GM has to submit plans for a "successful, competitive business case", whatever that means. But when they do, they will be adding 900
Ford's investment of $850 million will create 1,200 new jobs, and the work will retain thousands more in plants across the state. This is where the major competition came into play. MEDC lists competing sites in India, South Africa, Europe and Asia as vying for the business - and keep in mind, Ford doesn't have any strings on them. They could pack up and go anytime. And they picked us.
Other companies from today's announcement, job totals, and who got the beat down:
Business leaders might find they have a problem with Snyder's attitude towards MEDC and our incentives. While they all admit that the process could be made better (even MEDC admits that), his plans to severely curtail the credits and not go after large companies doesn't sit well with some folks. Regional economic development officials got together in August to urge the retention of incentives, correctly stating that without them, we're toast. Low tax rates just won't cut it anymore - if they ever did in the first place.
Birgit Klohs, CEO of The Right Place Inc. in Grand Rapids, says the present policy of targeting high-growth sectors, such as life sciences and alternative energy, is a proper strategy.
And as far as targeting the big fish...
Klohs says the state cannot turn away from recruiting large employers that can create jobs in greater volumes through a single win than small businesses.
Why is it that Republicans are supposedly better for business? They have spent the past four years creating uncertainty, first by throwing out the SBT, then dragging their feet on the MBT, and now we are looking at changing both tax rates and incentives AGAIN, with no clear plan on how it would all work. John Engler tried this same trick with MEDC when he was elected, disarming us in the race for jobs, and he set us behind when the economy picked back up in the 90's. That could be why Blanchard ended up with a better jobs record than Engler did.
Sure hope we don't have to learn that lesson again - but sure glad to see the automotive jobs stay here in the meantime. If the Republicans screw this all up, we are going to need them. Go Big 3!
A new report by the liberal group Media Matters claims that in more than 600 instances Fox News personalities have "endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or organizations."
Some of the personalities are Fox News contributors that have been Republican candidates or worked for Republican administrations in the past. It's probably no surprise that Monica Crowley, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Dana Perino, Karl Rove and Rick Santorum have endorsed or otherwise supported Republican candidates.
Huckabee alone has endorsed 113 candidates. Palin has endorsed 93 and Gingrich has endorsed 41.
Media Matters notes that Sean Hannity has lent his support for eight candidates as well as a March fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee and a book signing at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
Eric Bolling, Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, Andrew Napolitano and Stuart Varney were other personalities mentioned that regularly host or guest host shows on Fox News or Fox Business Network.
The report will most likely add fuel to the argument that Fox News is a biased organization. In October 2009, the White House briefly stopped doing interviews with the channel.
Among the 30?
Fred Barnes, Fox News contributor Glenn Beck, host of Fox News' Glenn Beck Eric Bolling, host of Fox Business' Follow the Money John Bolton, Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce, Fox News contributor Elaine Chao, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley, Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich, Fox News contributor Sean Hannity, host of Fox News' Hannity Mike Huckabee, host of Fox News' Huckabee and Twentieth Television's The Huckabee Show David Hunt, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham, Fox News contributor John Kasich, former host and contributor Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox News' Fox & Friends and host of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends William Kristol, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin, Fox News contributor KT McFarland, Fox News national security analyst and host of FoxNews.com's DEFCON 3 Angela McGlowan, Fox News contributor Dennis Miller, Fox News contributor Dick Morris, Fox News contributor Rupert Murdoch, CEO and chairman of News Corp., parent company of Fox News Andrew Napolitano, Fox News
seniorjudicial analyst and host of Fox Business' Freedom Watch Sarah Palin, Fox News contributor and host of Fox News' Real American Stories Dana Perino, Fox News contributor Dave Ramsey, listed Fox Business personalityand former host of Fox Business' The Dave Ramsey Show (through June) Sandy Rios, Fox News contributor Karl Rove, Fox News contributor Rick Santorum, Fox News contributor Doug Schoen, Fox News contributor Andrea Tantaros, Fox News contributor Stuart Varney, Fox News contributor and host of Fox Business' Varney & Co.
"Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party," said White House communications director Anita Dunn.
Later that month, a Pew poll found that Americans believed the network to be the most ideological channel with 47 percent saying it was "mostly conservative."
In January, Public Policy Polling survey found that Fox News was the most trusted of all news networks. 49 percent said they trust Fox News while 37 percent said they did not.
Here are some
It’s odd that Paul would refuse to return the relatively insignificant $2,000 donation — he raised over $1 million in the last quarter alone — considering that rejecting the money would send a clear signal that the campaign wants nothing to do with Profitt. Moreover, this seems to be a reversal for the Paul campaign. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes that last night Fox reported that campaign said it would return Profitt’s donation.
“The Paul campaign condemned the incident far before Conway’s camp ever addressed it and decisively severed all ties with the supporter in question,” said Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign manager. “To suggest otherwise is nothing but a desperate attempt to distract voters from the issues facing Kentucky.”
But Benton said the campaign would not return Profitt’s contributions.
Despite a chorus of support, GLAAD’s anti-bullying message is falling on deaf ears in
McCance wrote the following message on his Facebook page: “Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”
Initially, six people “liked” McCance’s message. He also received supportive comments, though some challenged his statement. A commenter wrote, “Because hatred is always right.” That led McCance to write, “No because being a fag doesn’t give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it.”[...]
“I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.”
Still, as the Daily Kos diarist Michael Hendricks notes, “the man is a disgusting individual but sadly he has the freedom to say what he says. He can not be fired. He is an elected official. Short of him resigning only the people of the community can fire him the next time he is up for re-election.” But, should efforts like the “Fire Clint McCance” facebook page raise enough awareness, Arkansans may have the last word.
In the wake of the attack on a MoveOn.org worker apparently by supporters of Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, Media Matters provides a list of some of the right-wing violence and attacks on progressives that have occurred in the past year.
MoveOn worker attacked at Rand Paul rally
MoveOn.org worker reportedly received concussion from attack at event for Rand Paul. As media outlets have reported, a MoveOn.org worker who attempted to approach Paul at an October 26 rally in Lexington, Kentucky was attacked, apparently by Paul supporters. The woman was thrown to the ground and then stepped on, causing her head to be smashed into the pavement. According to MoveOn.org, the victim was diagnosed with a concussion at a local hospital.
Attack on MoveOn worker was the latest in string of violence and threats against progressives
White powder and swastikas mailed to Rep. Grijalva. On October 21, an envelope containing "a plastic bag of white powder and two pieces of paper with swastikas written on them" was reportedly mailed to Rep. Raul Grijalva's (D-AZ) campaign office. The powder was determined to be non-toxic.
Byron Williams set out to kill people at Tides Foundation and ACLU. On July 18, Byron Williams was stopped by California Highway Patrol and engaged in a shootout with law enforcement. He later said he planned to murder individuals at the Tides Foundation and ACLU and his mother said he was angry about "Congress railroading through all these left-wing agenda items." As reporter John Hamilton documented, Williams said he saw Fox News' Glenn Beck as "a schoolteacher" and that "it was the things [Beck] exposed that blew my mind." Indeed, the gunman, Byron Williams, was driven by belief in conspiracy theories that have been pushed by Beck and other members of the right-wing media.
AZ federal judge threatened, Grijalva office fired on after ruling on AZ immigration law. Politico reported in July:
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said in a statement he shut down his Yuma district office after staff members discovered a bullet had shattered a window there Thursday. And authorities said U.S. Judge Susan Bolton received hundreds of threats at her downtown Phoenix court offices after issuing the injunction, according to news reports.
Phoenix man indicted for alleged murder threats against Grijalva and his aides. The Yuma Sun reported on June 14 that a Phoenix man was indicted on federal charges for "allegedly threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva in late April, over Grijalva's opposition to the state's new immigration law." The article added: "Prosecutors say Haynes is accused of calling Grijalva's office in Tucson twice on April 23 and threatening to 'come down there and blow the brains out' of Grijalva and his employees."
Man arrested for allegedly threatening to kill Sen. Patty Murray. Politico reported on April 6:
Charles Alan Wilson, 64, was arrested at his home in central Washington after he allegedly called Murray's office on numerous occasions over the last few weeks saying that she "had a target on her back, " and "I want to [expletive] kill you," according to court documents. The alleged phone calls stretched over almost two weeks and were said to be in relation to Murray's vote to pass health care overhaul legislation.
Wilson, who was arrested in Selah, Wash., also allegedly told undercover FBI agents that he carries a concealed firearm with a permit, and said he was "extremely angry" with the passage of health care legislation, according to the news release. If convicted, Wilson could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Members of right-wing militia group arrested for allegedly plotting overthrow of the U.S. government. Nine members of the "Hutaree militia" were arrested in March and charged with plotting a violent uprising against the U.S. government, a plot that was to begin with an attack on law enforcement personnel. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the Hutaree militia as a member of the radical right-wing patriot movement.
AP: Man arrested for allegedly making threatening phone calls to Pelosi. The AP reported that in the days after the vote on the health care reform bill, "The FBI arrested a California man Wednesday for allegedly making threatening phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi."
Threats made against Rep. Betsy Markey. A Denver television station reported that Rep. Betsy Markey's (D-CO) chief of staff "said the calls came on Saturday before the House cast its final vote on health care reform. She said in the first, the caller said to one of Markey's staff members, 'better hope I don't run into you in a dark alley with a knife, a club or a gun.' In another instance, a caller said something like 'better tell your boss that she better be careful when she comes back here to Colorado.'"
Gas line outside the house of the brother of Rep. Tom Perriello was cut. Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-VA) brother's address was erroneously posted online by a Tea Party blogger who invited activists to descend on the house. In March, a gas line outside the brother's house was cut.
Threats made against Rep. Stupak after he voted for final version of health care bill. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was the target of threatening faxes and phone calls, including death threats. Some of the faxes included "racial epithets used in reference to President Obama," according to CBS News.
Picture of a noose faxed to Rep. Clyburn. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the Majority Whip, said in a March interview on CNN that his office had received a fax of a noose after he voted in favor of the health care reform bill.
Brick thrown at Democratic county headquarters in Rochester, NY. New York Daily News reported on March 22 that, after the House health care vote, a "brick, to which a piece of paper bearing the message "Extremism is defense of liberty is no vice" was attached with a rubber band" was thrown through the headquarters of the Democratic county headquarters in Rochester, New York.
Rep. Slaughter threatened with brick and "snipers." CNN reported on March 24: "Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York, said her Niagara Falls district office had a brick thrown through one of its windows and a message that referred to 'snipers' was left on one of her campaign offices."
Rep. Giffords' office window shattered. CNN reported that in March, "a glass panel at the Tucson office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, was shattered, spokesman C.J. Karamargin said. It wasn't clear how the window was shattered, but visitors have to go through a gated courtyard to enter the office, and staffers suspect someone may have shot a pellet gun at the glass, he said."
White powder mailed to Rep. Weiner with "drop dead" message. NBC News reported on March 26:
Authorities are investigating a package with white powder and an angry letter that referenced the health care legislation that was sent to Congressman Weiner's Kew Gardens office today.
The letter said the Congressman should "drop dead" and complained about the historic health care legislation passed by Congress this week.
Preliminary field tests showed the white powder was harmless.
Rep. Driehaus threatened and right-wing blogger publishes his home address. Politico reported on March 24 that a right-wing blogger had published the home address of Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) and asked protestors to show up at his house. In addition, Driehaus reportedly received death threats.
Brick thrown through window of Witchita County Democrats' offices. The Kansas City Star reported in March:
Mike Vanderboegh of Pinson, Ala., former leader of the Alabama Constitutional Militia, put out a call on Friday for modern "Sons of Liberty" to break the windows of Democratic Party offices nationwide in opposition to health care reform. Since then, vandals have struck several offices, including the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita.
"There's glass everywhere," said Lyndsay Stauble, executive director of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party. "A brick took out the whole floor-to-ceiling window and put a gouge in my desk."
Stauble said the brick, hurled through the window between Friday night and Saturday morning, had "some anti-Obama rhetoric" written on it.