Category Archives: Florida

Grayson Gets His Street Creds Back

Taking hyperbole to a whole new, if not criminal level, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is in denial about the Republican alternative health care reform plan, which happens to be H.R.3400, and then some. Tuesday on the floor of the House, he comes out with charts that say Republicans want you do die quickly if you get sick. If that’s not desperation I don’t know what is.

No apologies or retractions coming. Not from him or Speaker Pelosi. That their reaction is what it is speaks volumes about their character and that of their leadership. The very same leadership that promised an open and ethical administration. As for Grayson, he must be feeling pretty secure in his district to think he can get away with a stunt like that. Or, he is rehabilitating himself under the thumb of Nancy Pelosi for his criticism of the administration last summer in an attempt to find out where trillions of taxpayer dollars have gone.

And isn’t it also instructive to see the media sit back and watch, as if marveling at the tactic. For them, and the Democrat leadership in Washington, the end justifies the means.

Trial Lawyers' Quid Pro Quo

Here comes the payback for the trial lawyers. When I say that taking away the tax hammer from the politicians in Washington, which is exactly what would happen if the FairTax were to become law, there is one other change for the better that the FairTax would do. It would end the manipulation of the tax code to favor special interests, like what Democrats in Washington are trying to do today for their most favored group of lobbyists, trial lawyers.

It’s about senate bill  S.437. Its purpose is to amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow attorneys a tax deduction in the current taxable year for reimbursable expenses and court costs which they pay or incur in connection with contingency fee cases.

It is not a coincidence that tort reform is not mentioned in Washington by Democrats when it comes to reducing costs of health care. Its absence in the health care bills, both real and imagined, is no accident. S.437 demonstrates just how much the administration is in bed with the slip-and-fall lobby.  And look who they get to sponsor it, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA).  Also note that Mel Martinez (R-FL) is one of eight primary sponsors.

Tough economic times are usually no problem for trial lawyers. Pain, suffering and liability abound even in a bad economy. Vioxx, defective products, bad hip replacement joints, video games that “cause” violence, perhaps even foods that “make” people fat — you name it.

Even so, the trial lawyer lobby is looking for a bailout of sorts. In exchange for the billion dollars that the legal profession has contributed to lawmakers since 1990 — the vast majority of it to Democrats — trial lawyers are gunning for a tax break that applies only to them, worth some $1.6 billion.

Their top lobbyist, Linda Lipsen of the American Association for Justice, remarked at a recent conference in San Francisco that the provision would have to be attached to another bill.

“You cannot have a stand-alone bill to help lawyers,” she explained, “so we have to tuck it into something.”{emphasis added}

So watch for the bill that they try to hide it in. It will most likely be a bill, like all others we’ve witnessed since January 20th of this year, that will be touted as an emergency. Another of those that won’t be read and shoved down America’s collective throat.

Everybody gets their payback in Obama’s administration. Especially the  lobbyists he said he would distance himself from when he was a candidate. You simply have to wait your turn. AIG, Freddie and Fannie, Wall Street, the UAW, and now the trial lawyers.

Where is the quid? Well, aside from the billion dollars of donations since 1990, there is this . . .

An Examiner analysis of National Law Journal’s “2008 Plaintiff’s Hot List ” shows that in the first six months of 2009, employees of the top 15 trial firms contributed $636,305 to federal politicians and political action committees.

Only $4,875 of that went to Republicans, meaning that trial lawyers at the nation’s top firms are giving more than 99 percent Democratic this year. Similarly, AAJ’s PAC gave Democrats 96 percent of its $627,000 in contributions in the first half of this year.

Trial lawyers are concentrating on the Senate, with the top 15 firms giving $236,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $54,000 to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a former trial lawyer who faces a potentially difficult re-election. Reid collected $978,000 from the legal industry as a whole between January and June.

You may have heard a lawyer joke or two. Like 99% of lawyers give the rest of them a bad name. It’s hard to engender any sympathy for the slip-and-fall, mass tort class of attorneys when . . .

Their political standard-bearer, former Sen. John Edwards, admitted to cheating on his cancer-stricken wife, and is being investigated for his presidential campaign’s $100,000 payment to his mistress.

Last spring, four senior partners of Milberg Weiss, formerly New York’s pre-eminent class action securities firm, were fined and imprisoned for bribing plaintiffs in cases that had netted them $250 million in fees. (The firm since reorganized, and its remaining partners and employees have made $36,537 in political contributions this year, all to Democrats.)

And Dickie Scruggs of Mississippi, a master trial lawyer and architect of the billion-dollar tobacco settlement in 1998, received a seven-year prison sentence earlier this year for bribing a judge.

related link:  Trial lawyers’ gun for their own loophole

Bu Bye Mel

Considering the state of the Republican party these days, Mel Martinez did the right thing to resign. The Lunch Counter is fully supportive of his decision to get out of Dodge, although not for the reason that he articulates.

Martinez, 62, had already announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. He said Friday that the next phase of his life will be in the private sector, but he didn’t have any specific plans.

Martinez’s term in the U.S. Senate was a waste of a Republican senate seat. It is ironic too that he is leaving to go into the private sector. Then again, by the time he is ready to retire, there won’t be a private sector left (if the current trend in Washington continues), so what would it matter, to him?

link: Fla. senator to resign, clear path for Crist

Fair Tax Advocates At Tea Party

Though not widely publicized, there was a ‘Tea Party’ at 9th Ave. & Creighton Road today. Lest there be any doubt, I am a supporter of the Fair Tax. It alone would begin a lasting economic recovery on into the future, without adding to or piling on the current national debt.

The crowd of somewhere between 300-400  people were all, at least the ones I saw and spoke to, well behaved and passionate about what they believe, that the country is going in the wrong direction, in so many ways. Trying to spend our way to prosperity and borrow our way out of debt, taking over private companies and industries all add up to economy killers. Markets pull back at the fear of being next on the hit list. Risk-taking and investment stop. Jobs end. Exactly what we are seeing happen right now.

That’s why most people were there, home-made signs and all. They sang patriotic songs along with a PA system that someone had set up. This is what grassroots looks like.

I, and a few other Fair Tax advocates were there to answer questions about the Fair Tax and to enlist Fair Tax supporters. I am happy to report that we picked up 41 new supporters in those two hours today.

Thanks to two of our newest members Mr. Brown and Mr. Doyel, and to Community Coordinator Jim Whatley, for their help and participation at our Fair Tax table. We handed out pamphlets and spoke to a lot of people. Everyone we spoke to that had questions or were just curious, liked the Fair Tax once they learned more about it.

Special thanks to Lee for the umbrella. We were offering FREE SHADE for people that signed up to join us.

Part of building our grassroots support includes recruiting Community Coordinators and County Coordinators. To learn more about the FFTEA and the above positions,  please check out our website.

I was interviewed by PNJ reporter Thyrie Bland for an article that will be in tomorrow’s paper.

Pictures will be posted here as well as on our FFTEA Panhandle website as soon as I get them.

Update 07/05/09: PNJ article, Protesters take aim at taxes, socialism

related links:

Who Is Marco Rubio?

He was the Speaker of the House in the Florida legislature in Florida’s 111th district. Now Marco Rubio is running for the senate seat currently being wasted by Sen. Mel Martinez.

If all I know about Marco Rubio is what I see in these two videos, this is the kind of republican that conservatives appreciate. And as an added bonus, he can communicate conservatism well. And with a passion that does not come from a teleprompter.

The first video is his farewell speech on the floor in the Florida House. The second is a TV interview on MSNBC. In these videos, his principle core beliefs are laid out in a sincere and heart-felt manner. The third video is a big endorsement for Rubio, Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Unlike his challenger and current favorite Gov. Charlie Crist, from what I’ve seen here, I feel I can trust that Rubio will cast votes consistent with those principles.

MSNBC TV interview . . .

Mike Huckabee sees the good in Rubio too and is endorsing his candidacy.

Update 06/25/09: My Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) District 1 came out today and also endorced Marco Rubio. And for all the right reasons.

“This race has tremendous implications for the future of Florida and the very foundation of conservatism in America. Marco Rubio possesses an impressive combination of idea-driven, principled leadership and the ability to communicate conservative values in ways that resonate at the kitchen table. Americans deserve better than the current big government, borrow-and-spend road we are on, and I believe Marco Rubio will be a compelling voice to lead us to a stronger and more prosperous America.”

link: PNJ, Jeff Miller backs Rubio