Tag: U.S. Senate

U.S. Senate Amesty Bill is a Wasteful Diversion from Making Real Fixes to Immigration and Border Security

The Comprehensive Immigration Bill now being debated in the U.S. Senate is doomed to fail. We can only hope that it fails to pass in the House, so that its failure as a law will not be inflicted upon America.

We currently have a problem with 10+ million illegal immigrants now living in the United States, but the problem is not that they are illegal, that they lack the proper paperwork. The problem is that some are dangerous, and have slipped in through a porous border. The problem is that we had no control over the type of immigrants that have arrived; too many are unskilled and uneducated to benefit our economy. The problem is that they are not integrated into our employment and tax systems, and are paid “under the table” or have committed identity theft to get employment. The problem is that they overtax our social safety net; despite prohibitions they consume billions of dollars in educational, health care and social benefits.

Democrat supporters of the Senate bill promise that it will address all these problems, but all it is really designed to do is grant papers to illegal immigrants allowing them to remain in the United States. (These are the same people who promised that the Affordable Patient Care Act will make health insurance cheaper, won’t add to the deficit, will produce jobs, won’t force anyone to change their health insurance and will decrease the number of uninsured.) There is a reason why the Democrats insist the bill does this first, and negotiate fixes to the immigration system second: they know that once the aliens are given provisional legal status, all of the measures to correct our immigration system will be completely ineffective. The purpose of this bill is not an effective immigration system; it is to create a perpetual dependent underclass of voters to keep the Democrats in power.

What is needed to fix our immigration system is not a mystery: fence the southern border, implement the E-Verify system, re-vamp the visa system to keep track of those in the county on visas, enact more rational legal immigration policies, streamline the deportation of criminal and undesirable aliens, and restrict social benefits to those not in the country legally.

If the Senate bill passes, millions will flow across the border to take advantage of it, long before a fence can be built; and a visa to enter the United States will be the equivalent of a free pass to stay as long as you like. Criminal aliens will use the new law to evade deportation for years by claiming to apply for the new status. Any non-citizen will effectively have the right to stay here undisturbed for years while “their application is being processed”, even if they never actually applied. This new law would send the clear message to the world – “The US is not serious about controlling immigration, in fact you would probably be better served to slip into the country illegally rather than following the Byzantine legal process.”

As for social benefits, what legal reasoning allows the government to deny schooling, or health care, or welfare, or unemployment, or the Earned Income Credit to individuals that it has permitting to reside within our borders?

There is discussion right now in the Senate over whether the new provisional immigrants will be covered by ObamaCare. If they do, we’ve just added tens of billions of dollars a year to the costs. If not, employers will have incentive to fire Americans and hire the newly legal aliens and avoid the fines/taxes for not providing health insurance.

The debate over “triggers” controlling “a path to citizenship” is meaningless. Our immigration system is badly in need of reform, but if any provisional status is granted before the fixes are in place, it will effectively and permanently end any chance of immigration reform.

 

[featured image used under Creative Commons license, credit: jonathan mcintosh]

Bloomberg TV Anchor Phillip Yin Confirms Interest in Senate Run to Unseat Cantwell in 2012

For most of the summer, speculation about a Republican mystery candidate who might be contemplating a run against U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has circulated with precious few real clues about who Candidate X might be. The waiting is over.

NW Daily Marker has learned that Phillip Yin – news reporter and anchor for Bloomberg Television and Washington native – is the latest to join a small field of Republicans to set their sights on unseating Cantwell next year.

It was 2:00 p.m.Wednesday for me and 5:00 a.m.  Thursday, when Yin spoke to me by phone from Hong Kong. (Yin has lived between Hong Kong and Seattle for career reasons.) During our brief conversation, Yin confirmed his interest in running to become Washington State’s next U.S. Senator and said the he will make that choice soon.

“We are in the final process of making a decision to run for the United State Senate,” Yin told me. Yin foresees making a firm decision about entering the race in mid-October.

Yin’s candidate toolkit is also impressive. MBA from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Strong record of local civic involvement. Hefty private sector experience with overlapping careers in investments and media. In fact, his level of personal achievement might elicit questions about why he would leave a successful career to run for public office. For Yin, improving the economic state of the nation is a necessity worth putting it all on the line.

“The track that America is on is certainly wrong, and we’re not going to fix the problems overnight but I think we can get moving at least in the right direction,” Yin said.

Yin’s name now sits among the comfortably small list of official “maybes” and speculated candidates.

State Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) recently announced his intention to form an exploratory committee as early as next month.

Former White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel confirmed in July his interest in the race and committed to making a decision sometime after his late summer wedding that took place last weekend.

Finally, persistent talk about a possible entry into the race by Congressman Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) could continue because of developments in Washington State’s redistricting process. Three of the four proposed congressional maps released Tuesday by Washington State’s Redistricting Commission pushed a large part Reichert’s 8th Congressional District – currently situated in Eastern King County and portions of Pierce County – into Eastern Washington, changes that could affect Reichert’s decision to stay put or seek higher office.

Those sitting on the fence might also be emboldened to jump in after a recent poll of statewide voters found that only 38 percent of respondents felt that Cantwell deserves re-election. Washington State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur shared the results from a Moore Information poll that was taken of 500 people in Washington State over September 10-11.

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Baumgartner Said to Be Organizing Exploratory Committee to Run Against Cantwell in 2012

Washington State Republicans are being treated to a welcome bit of news this week.  To date, the Republican Party’s search for a high-value candidate to run against incumbent U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell in 2012 has come up empty, to the point that some have despaired of ever finding a suitable entrant. Others have resigned themselves to the idea of giving Maria a pass, suggesting that the lack of a contested Senate race might avert the specter of out-of-state DNC money hurting the chances of other Republicans running for state-wide offices.

But in Sunday’s Everett Herald came the rumor that State Senator Michael Baumgartner is considering entering the 2012 Senate race against Maria Cantwell. It now appears that it is more than a rumor, with an exploratory committee perhaps in the works.

Despite his relative youth (Baumgartner is 35) he already has compiled a resume that is diverse, international and impressive. A WSU economics grad who grew up in Pullman and Spokane, he holds a Masters in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University and has been to more than 70 countries and worked extensively in both the private and public sector.

He has taught economics both as a volunteer in Mozambique after WSU, and as a Teaching Fellow in Economics at Harvard. Baumgartner is extremely knowledgeable about the Middle East, having served as an Economics Officer with the US State Department during the Iraq Surge, later worked as an embedded advisor to an Afghan Government counter-narcotic team helping farmers to grow wheat instead of opium, and he is frequently asked to advise senior members of the US military on the economics of counterinsurgency.

The Boston Globe dubbed Michael the “Architect of Hope” for his role in the Iraq Surge and those who have had heard Michael speak on his experiences working on the ground in Afghanistan trying to assist a feudal, tribal narco-state develop a modern economy know that this is not a man who finds our current fiscal difficulties particularly daunting. Michael has also displayed a natural talent at campaigning, winning the most expensive legislative race in Washington history by 7.5% against an extremely well-funded incumbent in his first run for office in 2010.

Baumgartner made the most of his first session in Olympia, serving as the Ranking Republican on the Economic Development Committee, and as a member of the Ways and Means and Higher Education Committees. Focusing on jobs, the budget and education sounds like a pretty good preparation for addressing the highest priorities of today’s voters. As a result of Republican gains in 2010, Democrats in the State Senate found it necessary to include the Republican minority in many negotiations; so despite being a freshman, Baumgartner had the opportunity to have real influence on the budget as well as passage of key reform bills.  He helped shape the bi-partisan state budget, and his bill to reform state government and allow more contracting of non-essential services was called the most significant reform of Washington government in the last 20 years by Gov. Christine Gregoire when she signed it into law.

While some might believe a few more years experience in Olympia might benefit Baumgartner, it’s important to keep in mind that he already has more legislative experience than 11 of the 13 Republican candidates in our last Senate contest in 2010. This may end up more a feature than a bug; considering the current ratings of Congress, 2012 might well prove to be even more anti-government and anti-incumbent than was 2010.

Taking the Senate seat from two-term incumbent Maria Cantwell will be no easy task.  But Baumgartner’s entrance into the race adds an element that has been sadly absent from Washington State contests in recent years: Excitement. Michael Baumgartner is exactly the type of extraordinary young candidate that has the potential to capture the imagination of voters, in the manner of a Scott Brown or Marco Rubio.  Principled/Pragmatic Conservative, WSU, Harvard, Volunteer with children in Africa, State Department Diplomat,  Iraq/Afghanistan, major government reform and a bi-partisan approach to fiscal responsibility – Baumgartner might be just what it takes for the Republicans to finally retake a U.S. Senate seat in Washington State.

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Dana Perino Warns Democrats to Beware Taking Stanzel Lightly Against Cantwell

Though Seattle public relations consultant and former White House deputy press secretary is postponing any official decision to enter Washington’s U.S. Senate race against Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) until after his September wedding, support from Republican luminaries has already begun to coalesce around the mere mention of his potential candidacy.

Stanzel’s former boss, former White House press secretary Dana Perino, gave a glowing assessment of the man and his chances to The Daily Caller Tuesday, saying about a possible Stanzel for Senate campaign, “I’m in.”

Perino said that she has known Stanzel for 10 years and regards him highly — both personally and professionally.

“I think he could organize an excellent campaign, raise money, and give the incumbent a hell of a race,” Perino said.

“As a member of the White House Press Office team, he shined,” Perino added. “He is governed by a solid set of conservative principles, and he also understands how best to communicate ideas.”

Perino pointed to the tax initiative as one example of his electoral prowess. “He turned around the proposition to increase taxes on just a few in the state — the campaign wasn’t going that well until he kicked them into gear, and then the proposition failed big-time,” she said.

A spokesman for Cantwell’s office was not immediately available for comment. But Perino offered a word of caution to naysayers: “Sure, he may be a ‘dark horse’ candidate – but that’s what you want in an election year like this one. Beware Democrats at the DSCC before you scoff at the notion of a Stanzel candidacy.”

The news of Stanzel’s possible challenge to 10-year incumbent Democrat Cantwell was first broken by NW Daily Marker last Friday and confirmed by the Associated Press by Monday morning. Since the AP story, Stanzel’s ‘maybe’ has begun to sound more yes-ish:

“I have spoken with leaders in this state and my former White House colleagues about the idea of running for the United States Senate,” Stanzel told The Daily Caller Tuesday.

Even the left-wing response seems to admit that Stanzel’s local political work could form a good foundation with Washington State voters. Beyond the typical snark is an admission that Stanzel possesses a track record of sound fiscal guardianship that polling indicates Republicans and Democrats are longing for. From Horsesass.org Tuesday:

If you recognize the name Scott Stanzel at all, it is probably because he was the campaign manager for Defeat 1098, the group credited with defeating the Washington state high earner’s income tax initiative (I-1098). The up-side for Stanzel is that he has a track record on a “populist” issue in Washington state.

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