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GOVERNMENT TAKEOVERS, THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Bookmark and ShareAs Democrats begin to feel their oats, with control of all three branches of government, there has been a renewed interest inantfairnessdoctrine_front1 what liberals smartly, but improperly, call  the Fairness Doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine seeks to insure that the media allots equal time to both liberal and conservative viewpoints.

That sounds innocent enough on the surface but a cursory look under the surface reveals a twisted and tangled web of deceit and chicanery.

First of all, the Fairness Doctrine is anything but fair.

Is it fair to tell you what you must listen to or see? Is it fair to dictate what a private company sells outside of illegal trade?

Well the so called Fairness Doctrine does just that. It tells privately owned media outlets what they must air.

So if you are a liberal themed radio network, now you must change your format and become both a liberal and conservative network.

Attempts to reinstitute any type of Fairness Doctrine are attempts to undermine free speech, the free market and freedom of choice.

Liberal cries for a new Fairness Doctrine stem from a fear of conservative talk shows dominating the airwaves and over the years, they have become a thorn in the sides of liberal advocates. So much so that left leaning activists have tried and failed at creating their own liberal talk show ventures.

One such progressive station recently closed on February 5th. It was an AM station located at 1260 on the dial and called Obama 1260.

One of the most recent big liberal ventures was Air America. That went over so well that it went bankrupt in 2006.

Yet it seems that every day there is a new conservative oriented radio or television program cropping up. Be it Glenn Beck on t.v. or Mark Levine on WABC am radio, conservative hosts are increasing in popularity. They are getting more time on the air, more listeners and more money. Rush Limbaugh recently signed on to a decades long contract which made him one of radio’s richest hosts in history.

Why is that? Is it because the liberal oriented media moguls like these guys, or is it because they like the money that these guys bring in for them? Do they give these conservative hosts more time because their ratings are slipping or do they give them more time because when these hosts articulate the conservative cause, ratings go up?

The truth is that there are more people in America yearning for a comprehensive, logical, conservative oriented approach to government. Such an approach is not what they always see from their so-called political leaders. Voters are often disappointed by their political leaders who cave in on any number of political issues or votes. Yet conservative talking heads are able to  remain consistent in their views without having to bend to political compromise. So more often than not, conservative hosts are even more popular than some conservative legislators.

This popularity irks the left. They are frustrated by an articulation of conservative ideas that people listen to and want to listen to without having any desire to hear Al Franken, Randi Rhodes or Rachel “madcow’ Madow on Air America.

It is the free market which leads to the preponderance of conservative viewpoints that exists. It is driven by what is popular. Like any other commodity, radio and television is geared to what the people like. Would Milton Bradley keep on producing Monopoly if it didn’t sell? Would it be right for the government to come in and demand that Milton Bradley continue to make it if no one wanted to buy it?

Unless the government intends to confiscate the airwaves and all other forms of media, they have no constitutional right to control programming that does not violate the bounds of legal decency and ethics.

In the former Soviet Union the Fairness Doctrine had a different name. It was called Pravda. It was an official state sponsored radio and television agency which aired only what was approved or written by the government. It was an effective way to help maintain thinking in line with the way that the communists wanted the people to think.

If a Soviet Premier suddenly had a heart attack while having sex with a mistress, no one would ever know. In fact it could be weeks before the government decided to let anyone know that their leader was dead.

For communist Russians, it worked. But this is America. And in America, whether you call it fair or equal or anything else you might, it is not right. It is government control.

Government control seems to be the trend during this era of “spreading the wealth” but just how much government control do we want and where does the Fairness Doctrine draw the line?

Does the Fairness Doctrine eventually apply to the internet? Perhaps it will someday limit the internet to only a certain amount of conservative and liberal comments . Maybe servers such as aol or platforms such as wordpress can only be online at times of parody between Republican and Democrat commentary.

Will the Fairness Doctrine be strictly enforced in schools where every good word said about President Barack Obama is required to be followed by a good word about the Republican Senate Minority leader?

How far do we go?

I do know one thing for sure and that is that whenever government encroaches into new territory, they keep on going. When government creates a new tax that they promise to keep at a certain rate, they inevitably increase it.

When government regulates something, they rarely, if ever stop there. They regulate it more and more.

The saddest part of this whole discussion stems from the fact that the Fairness Doctrine is no where near being a sincere minded effort. It is a politically driven, partisan attempt to make censorship legal. It is an attempt to censor a free market society by the same people who try to claim that conservatives ban and burn books .

It is just another example of liberal hypocrisy.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow

But to add insult to injury let us look at liberal Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Stabenow recently stated that she has begun the push for the Fairness Doctrine and feels that hearings on the matter are in the works.

That is interesting. Particularly in Stabenow’s case.

You see, you wouldn’t know it but Debbie Stabenow is also Mrs. Tom Athans.

Tom Athans is her husband and he is a radio executive.  A failed one but one who is still struggling to make his mark in liberal radio.

Athans is the co-founder of Democracy Radio and after failing as Vice President of Air America he founded another liberal talk show network called TalkUSA Radio.

For the sake of full disclosure I will add that, last year, Tom Athans was also arrested for hiring a prostitute for $150 bucks but that had nothing to do with Stabenow. However; for the the same sake of full disclosure, will Senator Stabenow disqualify herself from participating in measures that would in essence force demand for her husbands networks on to national airwaves and produce a great deal of personal wealth and benefit for the Athans-Stabenow family if those measures are approved?

Senator Stabenow with Husband Tom Athans

Senator Stabenow with Husband Tom Athans

Does anyone else not see the conflict of interest in Stabenow’s rush to push for the so called Fairness Doctrine?

Stabenow’s push to censor conservative talk shows and to call it a Fairness Doctrine is anything but fair or decent. It is censorship and in her case it is also an obvious conflict of interest.

Just as the infidelity of Stabenow’s husband is none of my business neither is radio or television any of Stabenow’s governmental business.

When I watch the Obama network, otherwise known as NBC or MSNBC, I do not believe that the government needs to intervene and needs to control their programming, I just do what most Americans do. I turn off MSNBC.

The same can be done with Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity or any other host or program that someone does not wish to see.

It just so happens that when it comes to liberal radio, few have been able to make a good case for liberalism. Hence the failure of Stabenow’s husband’s liberal programming career. It is a result of the free market. It is a victim of supply and demand. There is very little demand for a great deal of liberal propaganda so there is a limited supply of it coming from a market that is based on profit.

The funniest aspect to this whole hypocritical legislative initiative is that there are few people who will argue with the fact that most of the media already has a liberal bias. Even Hillary Clinton had a hard time containing her disdain for a liberal media that turned on her in favor of an even more liberal Barack Obama. Yet that is not good enough for greedy liberals like Stabenow.

Liberals like Stabenow want to stifle speech and profit from it too.

 

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A capitalist and a socialist are working on the side of a road when a rich fellow drives by in a Cadillac.

The capitalist says, “Someday, I’ll be driving a Cadillac.”

The socialist replies, “Someday, that guy won’t.”

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FRANK RALEIGH LAUTENBERG AND NEW JERSEY…PERFECT TOGETHER?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was quite active in New York politics. He served on many a presidential campaigns and was the campaign voice for several local and statewide officials in New York. He has long since retired and moved away but during this conversation I mentioned Frank Lautenberg’s name and he said “Lautenberg, is he still around?” I chuckled and explained that you wouldn’t know it but he is still there. I really had no obvious evidence to point to his existence but I assured him that Frank was still there and that he was running to stay there.

After that conversation, I got to thinking , why did Frank Lautenberg run again? I mean back in 1982 Lautenberg ran for the United States Senate and he started off as a major force. During his first term he was the impetus behind the raising of the legal drinking age to 21 in all states by linking federal funding for their highways to their raising the legal age. He also revolutionized the airline industry by successfully authoring legislation that eliminated smoking on planes. But since then his, legislative activism and personal leadership has waned, In 2001, after 3 terms in office, he fittingly retired, only to come out of retirement to replace Senator Bob Torricelli on the ballot in his doomed re-election effort. Although state and party laws deny anyone the ability to replace a nomination within days of an election, the New Jersey Supreme court decided that laws do not matter and allowed Torricelli , who was under investigation for criminal conduct, to be taken off the ballot and replaced by someone who had a better chance to win the election. That person was Lautenberg.

Lautenberg didiwon that election, but what did Lautenberg’s return from retirement bring us? Aside from proving that the law did not matter and that he was above it, his six years since then have produced little, very little.

Oh Frank is a reliable liberal vote in Washington. He was counted on to support opposition to the efforts to combat terrorism. He was counted on to vote for any and every tax hike that came out of the collective congressional agenda. But aside from being a reliable vote for the liberal agenda, Frank did little for New Jersey and he did even less when it came to bringing any new energy for new ideas or directions. It seemed that Frank’s only major accomplishments were achieved back in the early 80’s when his once fresh voice led the way to sensible reforms that in some cases saved lives.

Credit must be given when and where credit is due and so, Lautenberg’s two landmark initiatives are to his credit. But after 24 years of legislating in the federal government on behalf of New Jersey, where is the credit that he once deserved to be re-elected for today. Since his 1982 -1988 stint, there is little merit that warrants electing Lautenberg to any of the terms since then.

The only level of increased activity that Lautenberg has demonstrated exists within his staff. It is a staff that has one of the largest numbers and highest payrolls in the senate. His chief of staff earns one of the highest salaries offered on Capitol Hill to any other colleague with the same title and responsibilities. As Lautenberg’s Chief of Staff, Daniel Katz has earned $81,183.59 just between October 2007 and March of 2008. Compared to others this is no measly sum of money. Yet, I do not begrudge Daniel Katz the money. He earns it.

He must work hard to control and motivate the other 52 staffers that account for Lautenberg’s senate activity. Daniel Katz must also work twice hard to make his inactive Senator appear busy and productive. It is a job that cannot be done alone. That is why Lautenberg’s staff includes 12 legislative assistants, aides and directors, who between October of last year and March of this year have been paid a combined total of three and a quarter hundred thousand dollars or to be exact $324,786.75.

Oddly enough along with having state directors and deputy state directors Frank also has a South Jersey Director and two Deputy South Jersey Directors and an assistant to the South Jersey Director. Now we all know that that New Jersey is famous for it’s extraordinarily large size. At 7,418 square miles it ranks as the 46th largest state in the nation. But these South Jersey, patronage, posts reflect less of a legislative need than a political need. Congressman Rob Andrews who challenged Frank for the democrat nomination is from South Jersey and most of the rumblings to replace Lautenberg come out of South Jersey.

These South Jersey directors have earned a combined $58,437.42 during the five months between October ‘07 and March ‘08. Add to this another $99,579.61 which has been paid to state and deputy state directors during the same time period.

The rest of Lautenberg’s staff consists of a rarely used speech writer along with an executive director, press secretaries, schedulers, constituent service directors, specialists, handlers and assistants, legal counselors, legislative directors, assistants and specialists. It also includes a legislative correspondent, director of correspondence, systems administrator, special project coordinators and numerous staff assistants.

In total, Lautenberg’ 53 staffers, and five month, nearly one and a half million dollar payroll ($1,437497.80), must work hard to make a sitting Senator who has little initiative to point to, look active and productive.

Everyday, leading up to his race for the nomination against Andrews, Lautenberg’s staff has produced countless press releases staking a position on an issue. In fact his staff has been responsible for the Herculean task of trying to demonstrate Frank Lautenberg as a constructive part of government in the face of his lack of real initiatives.

Let’s face it. Since Lautenberg’s first term 27 years ago, he has nothing to show for it. His latest claim is that he insured that the federal Homeland Security money provided to New Jersey is doled out on the basis of need. Accept for a press release, Frank did not correct the problem that existed in this area. Republican state legislators brought up a lawsuit against the state after revealing that Homeland security money was being given out only to districts that had Democrat lawmakers representing them. The Corzine administration was allocating money meant to shore up security in our state based on politics, not need. Frank Lautenberg’s press releases did not change this immoral activity, the threatened lawsuit brought about by Republicans did. But I guess if you have little effort or action of your own to point to, your staff must take every opportunity to make their boss look good.

Making Frank look good is a hard job though. In his days since 1982, Frank bitterly clings to his only major accomplishments, raising the drinking age and prohibiting smoking on airplanes.

His subsequent representation of New Jersey since then has not produced much else. In fact due to the democrats representing us in the U.S. Senate, New Jersey continues to be one of the lowest ranked states in terms of our return on the tax dollars that we send to Washington. Together, Lautenberg and Menendez have been unable to get much bang for our buck and through it all they maintain their liberal mantra that helps to continue the crisis of affordability that exists in New Jersey.

Perhaps the greatest shame in all this is not, the lack of initiative or leadership that an 84 year old man has in Washington, DC. but rather that the state of New Jersey does not have the ability to produce a citizen that can provide leadership in D.C.

Republican nominee Dick Zimmer is a worthy candidate. He has a good, proven twelve year record serving in congress as a representative from New Jersey. He has commendable views on policies pertaining to energy and the economy. His views on foreign policy are more attuned to the times and better suited for the times than the liberal, tea with terrorists approach that Lautenberg liberals take. But in New Jersey, none of this matters. The Republican party of this state has yet to get it’s act together and put forth an agenda that offers a clear difference from today’s ruling class liberals.

Even Dick Zimmer, as capable as he is, can not wage a decent campaign against Lautenberg.  The state G.O.P. has been unable to raise sufficient funds for our candidates. Current fund raising records show that Dick Zimmer has raised a few hundred thousand dollars, while the aging, millionaire, founder of one of the nations largest payroll companies, Frank Lautenberg, has a couple of million for his campaign.

It is also a shame that New Jersey operates under such a shroud of hypocrisy. The hypocrisy of a candidate who first took office in 1982 by attacking his opponent, Millicent Fenwick, for her age which at the time was in her low 70’s. The hypocrisy of a man who came out of retirement and was resurrected by breaking laws that switched his name in place of a candidate that was losing. The hypocrisy of a man who is elected to office to do things for New Jersey but has actually accomplished little for New Jersey in over two decades.

It is all a shame but it is a shame that New Jersey deserves. We deserve what we get and in Frank Lautenberg what we get is an aging fat cat, devoid of ideas and drive and propped up by an over million and a half dollar staff that is occupied by patronage posts that are charged with making Lautenberg look productive.

There is one thing New Jersey will accomplish when it keeps Lautenberg on the job for us. It will break a record and make Lautenberg the longest serving United States Senator in New Jersey’s history. That s something but it doesn’t mean much when it comes to the benefits we have gotten out of that long service, or should I say lack of benefit.

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SARAH CINCHED IT

For over two months I have done all that I can to help influence John McCain’s vice presidential selection.You see, I did not support John McCain for president. I supported Mitt Romney for President. Then Fred Thompson entered the race and I backed him but although I was their for Thompson’s campaign, Thompson didn’t show up to his own campaign. So I went back to Mitt Romney. I felt that Romney offered more of a true adherence to conservative principles than did McCain. I liked his freshness on the national stage, his positions on the issues, his integrity, history of success and his ability to articulate the issues and his positions on them.

However, when the battle for the nomination was over and the dust settled, I knew I would be supporting John McCain’s candidacy for president. For me the starkly different directions that our choices offer made my support unquestionable. I could not ignore the facts and sacrifice the next four years of our nation‘s future by letting Barrack Obama, (or as his running mate calls him, “Barrack America) take hold of the reigns of power.

Although I was convinced of my support, I was leery. Immigration and taxes were my most pressing concerns with McCain and I was not enthusiastic. The one thing I needed for him to do to convince and energize me was to give a sign, a sign that he was willing to embrace the Reagan Republican conservative principles that we need to enforce in government.

For me that sign was in the selection of his vice president. In the first official debate, which was actually more a well done forum and less a debate, McCain said all the right things but I was still not convinced. His first major decision, the one for vice president, was what I really looked to for the assurances that I needed.

As a political consultant I wanted someone that would help him to help republicans win. That type of help would come by having someone selected as running mate that would reinforce McCain’s maverick image as a reformer. Such a quality would help win over those much treasured and important independent voters. I also knew that his choice must be someone that would also energize McCain’s base, the conservative base, people such as myself.

Scanning the political scenery, there was my man Mitt. He would still bring to the table all that we need and was right on the issues. However his wealth would be hung around the neck of our party and he did not have the cross over appeal that McCain needs.

There was Huckabee, an articulate guy with an ability to endear himself to people and a southerner that could help lock up the south. But by all rights, McCain should not have much trouble delivering the south and it’s electoral votes. In my eyes Mike Huckabee was good but still lacking the oomph that McCain needed.

For me, that left Haley Barbour of Mississippi or John Thune of South Dakota. But again both of these deserving men lacked the edge we needed. So with my consulting hat on I tried to look for the illusive “oomph” that we needed combined with the Reaganesque philosophy that I want in a potential president.

In the face of a candidate running on “change” I know we need to highlight one of McCain’s greatest characteristics……his maverick, reform minded image. I also wanted to match the sense of historic value that Obama’s color had running for the Democrats.

As someone who is not just a casual observer of politics, but in fact, an obsessed student of it, all roads led to one person. A governor, a woman governor named Sarah Palin.

I was aware of her activity and her experience. I knew the natural progression of events which led to her ability to turn Alaska politics on it’s ear.

She was a successful Mayor, small town or not. She rooted out corruption on an Alaskan oil commission and the fact that the corruption she saw was being carried out by fellow Republicans did not prevent her from rooting it out. Actually it was the impetus for her being able to take on the powerful, Republican, Alaskan Governor Frank Murkowski and defeat him in a primary election battle for his own seat.

I was aware of the fact that this first term, Alaska, governor championed reform, knew that taxes were a burden that need to be alleviated and not implemented as a solution and I knew that she was the most convincing and strongest voice on an issue of utmost importance in this election…energy.

Combining all this with the fact the she embraces the ideology I want implemented in government along with her record of doing so and the fact that she was a she, well I just knew that this woman was the right woman at the right time. She fit the logistics of this campaign, and of this time, better than anyone else, including Mitt Romney.

Now that I found the right piece of the puzzle I could only hope and pray that John McCain would see how well it fit too. I wanted him to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate and prove to me that he has the judgment that we need and that he was the conservative that he claims to be.

As we all now know, last Friday, John McCain did so and in doing so the hell gates opened and the slander mongers went into overdrive. In subsequent blogs we will get into this but for now let us deal with the fact that our inevitable nominee did the right thing by choosing Sarah Palin and rejoice.

With all the left wing attacks, their double standard, blatant disdain for Republicans and relentless scrutiny of her family, there was just one hurdle to cross….the first impression, her acceptance speech.

Well tonight we heard it and the left, including the drive-by media, got it and got it good.

Sarah Palin lived up to her nickname Sarah Barracuda, and she did so with precision, dignity and conviction. Her acceptance speech allowed me to let out a deep sigh of relief before I jumped to my feet with jubilation, enthusiasm and gratitude. I was relieved that she passed the first major test of her worthiness for the job . I knew that she had the qualities, record and ability for the job but could she convey it all in one speech that would provide for her first national impression.

She did!

And so tonight I am convinced. I am convinced in John McCain and his being a hero that will provide us with a heroic administration of leadership as our president. I am convinced and I am energized.

Hence the creation of this blog.

John McCain has won me over and Sarah Palin has inspired me. So much so that
I vow to not allow these two people or my party to be discredited by the radical left anymore. No longer will I allow the dirty deeds of democrats to go ignored. I shall not fight fire with fire. I will take a lesson from the leader of the next generation entrusted with the conservative agenda, the lady I call Fire and Nice, Sarah Palin, and I will not act like democrats. I will not lie and cheat. I will not distort the facts but I will present the facts. This will be much to the dismay of today’s liberal Democrats because the facts are not kind to them but armed with those facts I can and will tell the truth. I will not need to stoop to the level that the liberal media and party hacks do in their politics pursuits. That does not mean I will not hurt their feelings. It just means that in light of the left wing media and the party they openly make allegiance to, I will speak the truth that they do not.

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