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Final Details: Mitt Romney in Idaho Falls

June 21st, 2007 by Halli

Yes, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will arrive at Idaho Falls airport at approximately 4:20pm, MDT, Friday, June 22. There will be a rally organized by College Republicans in one of the hangars – just follow the crowds!

Riverbend Ranch will be the location of a photo-op reception and fund-raiser dinner to follow, with Frank VanderSloot as host. Then Mitt will appear at the home season opener for the Idaho Falls Chukars at the newly remodeled Melaleuca Field at 7pm.

It’s a great opportunity to meet one of the leading presidential candidates, right here in Idaho Falls.

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Posted in Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Left Not Giving Up on Public Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

June 21st, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

The left, despite the president’s second veto of taxpayer funding for life-destroying embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), is so committed to the culture of death that they are planning to insert funding language into a budget bill for several executive branch departments.

However, the president to his credit has announced he will veto any appropriations bill that contains such language.

Among GOP hopefuls for the presidency, Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani support expanded federal funding of ESCR, and both would have signed the bill.

Both former Governor Mitt Romney – who has repeatedly stated that his conversion to the pro-life position was triggered by a conservation about ESCR – and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson both oppose federal funding for ESCR. Romney vetoed an ESCR funding bill as governor of Massachusetts.

The second tier of Republican candidates – Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter are united in their opposition to using public money to fund such destructive research.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Clinton indicated that she can’t wait to be president so she can sign a bill funding ESCR, and Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards had similar responses.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Press Release: Rep. Sali Asks GAO to Perform a Major Study of Federal Barriers to Highway Construction

June 19th, 2007 by Halli

WASHINGT ON, D.C. – Congressmen Bill Sali of Idaho and Tom Davis of Virginia have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to determine how the federal government’s regulations are increasing delays and costs of highway projects. Sali and Davis, members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said they are concerned about the decline in federal funds for highway construction and the continued demand to meet a series of federal government environmental, labor and contracting restrictions.

The request follows Sali’s meeting last month with Idaho transportation leaders, local officials and construction companies.

“We are concerned that these requirements result in slower design and construction of needed highway improvements and increase the cost of projects, without commensurate benefits,” Sali and Davis write in their letter to the GAO. “We are also concerned that the delays in these projects affect the ability of states to make important safety and mobility improvements.”

Sali said he’s concerned that the federal government is hindering Idaho’s ability to make major repairs and improvements to Interstate 84. He said he’s also concerned that federal funding is being diverted to conduct federally-mandated studies rather than construct highways that are vital to Idaho’s rural communities.

“Many of Idaho’s highways are dangerous, inadequate, or plain worn out, and yet the federal government’s mandates slow down the state’s ability to fix those problems,” Sali said. “The longer it takes repair or widen a highway, the more money it costs to build. Construction costs go up, traffic problems worsen, people’s lives are placed at greater risk, and opportunities to expand the economy are lost. I’m hopeful that the GAO will be able to identify where the federal government is a barrier so that we can eliminate unnecessary hurdles to highway construction.”

Sali and Davis asked the GAO to:

* Identify all statutes, regulations and requirements related to accepting federal aid and highway grants and how they are applied to highway projects.

* Determine, either nationwide or for a selection of states, the extent to which these federal statutes, regulations and requirements go beyond state requirements.

* Determine the extent to which cost/benefit analysis or regulatory impact analysis has been applied to these requirements and any results.

* Determine, subject to data availability, the costs that these requirements add to a state Department of Transportation’s operations and highway projects.

“One big problem is that, while the federal portion of highway funds continues to go down, the mandates from Washington do not,” Davis said. “Idaho and Virginia are both fast-growing states that need solutions to their transportation problems in a timely manner.”

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Property Rights, Taxes | No Comments »

Reach Out and Touch Senator Trent Lott

June 18th, 2007 by Halli

As a man with his own problems speaking his mind, you’d expect Senator Trent Lott to be sensitive to the American public and their treasured forums for discussion. But then you’d expect something that isn’t.

In case you haven’t yet heard, as he voiced support for bringing back the widely (and wildly) unpopular “amnesty” immigration bill, Lott said,

“Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.”

And what problem would that be? That we have one last bastion of free speech? That when the American people hear the truth on the radio about proposed legislation, they actually voice their opinions? That congressmen feel uncomfortable when the public speaks?

Perhaps it’s time to reach out and touch Senator Lott with our own free speech. Let us assist you. Email him or call him at (202) 224-6253.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Idaho Politics – Is Rand Lewis the Left’s New Choice to Take on Bill Sali?

June 18th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer of Idaho Values Alliance

Adam Graham makes a perceptive observation on his blog about Dan Popkey’s recent and seemingly uncharacteristic attack on fellow liberal Larry Grant, the Democrat who ran against Bill Sali for a seat in Congress last November. Grant lost to Sali, 50%-45%.

Graham suggests that the hit piece is a likely indication that the left has anointed already-declared candidate Rand Lewis as its choice to take on Sali in ‘08, and Popkey’s piece is part of an effort to put a large enough dent in Grant’s plans to scare him off to avoid a primary challenge for Lewis.

If so, expect puff-pieces in the not-too-distant future from Popkey celebrating the virtues of Mr. Lewis.

Statesman Opinion

Adam Graham Article

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Guest Posts, Politics in General | 2 Comments »

Mitt Romney Appearing in Idaho Falls June 22

June 18th, 2007 by Halli

As previously reported, Mitt Romney will visit Idaho once again Friday, June 22nd.

Romney has surprised some by raising more cash in Idaho than any other Republican presidential hopeful. His latest visit to the Gem State will only add to the total.

Poll watchers claim Romney has built a solid lead in the early primary states. His campaign plan – a combo of good organization, comprehensive advertising and lots of hard work – and to be yielding results.

Romney will land at the Idaho Falls airport at approximately 4:30pm, to be greeted by a rally organized by area College Republicans. A private reception will follow, and the evening will be capped off with a dinner at Riverbend Ranch, owned by Frank VanderSloot.

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Posted in Politics in General | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: With So Much to be Grateful For, Why So Much Negativity?

June 18th, 2007 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

There is a negativism that seems to be growing like a cancer in America. Criticism of the government has digressed to the level of vitriol and acrimony. Not just of the government in general, but more specifically directed toward the President and those who work for him. But it has surpassed even that level of degradation, as the country itself is apparently caught in a negative vortex of public opinion where the country is “headed in the wrong direction,” and we are perceived to be hated throughout the world, and we can do nothing right.

Perhaps much of this perception is shaped by a public media that promulgates nothing but negativity. News broadcasts are replete with pejoratives, which seem to play well to the “glass half empty” philosophy, rather than the “glass half full” mentality. This is not necessarily a condemnation of mass media, for they have to market news that sells, and regrettably bad news and sensationalism sell much better than good news.

As the third most populous nation in the world with over 300 million people, it is inevitable that there will be something bad happening every day. But most of us here in “fly-over country” enjoy a quality lifestyle with greater peace and prosperity than our fathers or grandfathers saw in their times. Our lives our filled with a relative sameness from day to day; not the degree of trudging through mortality like our forebears endured, but a routine filled with less time in the workplace than at any time in history, being paid more for that time than at any time in history, and able to return home spending more leisure time with family than at any other time in history.

What makes so much of this possible is the remarkable free-enterprise system that our economy is based on. There is great angst by some over how powerful China is becoming, and certainly they are an economic force to be wary of, considering their history of civil rights abuse, their communist roots, and their bellicose past. The U.S. economy has grown more over the past three years than the entire size of the Chinese economy. America’s share of global GDP in 1980 was 20%, and it now is over 29%.

Not so long ago, economic matters were of primary concern to Americans. If there were enough jobs to go around, and decent pay associated with those jobs, and we had relatively low inflation that wasn’t doubling prices every couple of years, and interest rates were not at usurious levels, and government wasn’t taking most of our income for taxes, we were generally a pretty content people. Maybe the economy has been too good, since we find so many other things to be critical of.

Consider the incredible freedoms we have in this country: we can live where we want to, travel, work in a chosen field, purchase goods, enjoy varieties of plentiful food, and even say what we want to. In light of these things and all other bounties we enjoy in this great land, it’s hard for me to understand how it’s possible that over 60% of Americans feel we’re going in the wrong direction.

There are even many among us who not only seem to hate America and think we’re heading the wrong direction, but who seem to think that the rest of the world hates us as well. Those who think it’s never been worse obviously don’t remember the massive demonstrations all across Europe in the 80’s. They also fail to acknowledge that before Ronald Reagan was President, there were fewer than 40 democracies in the world, while now there are nearly 150. America has been the standard-bearer for democracy since our inception over 200 years ago, and America still leads the charge for increased freedom, individual liberty, and trumpeting of human rights. France and Germany recently elected leaders who are pro-American, and if the polls are to be trusted, Spain will elect new leadership that is more pro-American than many of our fellow Americans are. President Bush was greeted in some areas of his visit to Europe last week like a rock star, or perhaps more appropriately, the leader of the free world that he is.

Sure we have our issues to deal with. What nation doesn’t? Does that make us awful? No, for this is still the greatest land and bastion of liberty for the entire world. Does this make us imperfect? Absolutely, for as long as we have a nation established on principles that are eternal in nature, endowed by our creator, and idyllic in nature, we will come short of our ideals. Nations, like nature, are never in a condition of stasis; we are ever changing and evolving.

Even if you don’t like the President, and there are a lot who don’t with his approval rating now at 29%, you can still love America and all that she stands for. Even if you don’t like Congress, and there are a lot of us who don’t with their approval rating now at 22%, you can still love America and all that she stands for.

I read something recently that is ascribed to Jay Leno; I don’t know if that’s correct or not. His observation was that perhaps we’re just a nation of ingrates; the largest collection of spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves America and what we stand for, yet has such disdain for Americans. Maybe the world sees us for what we are; the most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have and what we hate about the country, instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

And what about the President who took us into war and no plan to get us out? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The President that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The Commander in Chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

This is still the greatest nation on God’s green earth. Sometimes we just need a little perspective on the good that Americans have done for our nation, our posterity, and the nations of the earth in spite of our shortcomings.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Moderate Republican Admits Stepping Down Because Idaho GOP Becoming Too Conservative

June 18th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

In an encouraging sign, former state representative Bob Ring – a relentless opponent of the family and the sanctity of life – acknowledged this week that he retired early from the Idaho state legislature because he became frustrated with the state Republican Party for becoming too conservative.

He was replaced by Curtis Bowers, who will prove to be a strong advocate for religious liberty, the sanctity of marriage and the family and the sanctity of life.

Ring expressed disapproval of the Idaho Republican Party’s move to close its primaries. This, of course, is a simple common sense move that allows registered party members to decide who their candidates for office will be. It’s always struck us as a form of political insanity – whether you happen to be a Democrat or a Republican – to allow members of the opposition to help you select your starting lineup.

The Red Sox would love to help Joe Torre make out the Yankees’ starting lineup, but it ain’t gonna happen, because the Yankees aren’t that dumb.

But when a political party opens up its primary to voters who do not share its values, it is in effect doing the same thing.

Moderate and liberal Republicans – many of whom comprise the party’s elite in Idaho – know that a closed primary will make it easier for pro-family, pro-life candidates to win the party’s nomination for general election slots, and that’s why they want open primaries. It makes a little easier for them to weed out social agenda conservatives who make them nervous..

We believe the IVA’s “Gem State Voter Guide” was instrumental in the 2006 election cycle, both in the primary and the general election, because it gave voters enough non-partisan information to identify those candidates who shared their values.

We distributed almost 75,000 copies of the print version of this guide for the fall election, and the online version of the guide likewise was heavily used, both in the primary and in the general election season.

One of the reasons conservatives were successful in ‘06 is that voters could identify them without having to rely for information on a media biased against the pro-family movement.

The combination of closed primaries and accurate, non-partisan voter information will mean good things for Idaho families at the ballot box in coming years.

With your help, the IVA intends to produce the “Gem State Voter Guide” in the 2008 election cycle as well.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: What Shall We Do?

June 18th, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

The top tier Republican candidates for president all suffer from serious defects.

It is well known that Rudy Giuliani is a proud defender of abortion rights. He is, therefore, unacceptable as a leader to replace President Bush. And while we can respect his understanding of the national security challenges facing this nation – and even his candor in maintaining his pro-abortion position – the fact that he doesn’t appreciate the fundamental value of human life simply disqualifies him to hold such immense public power.

And there have always been suspicions regarding John McCain. His record in the Senate is generally pro-Life; however, the “Right to Life” scorecard is based upon relatively easy votes. He has never displayed the kind of commitment and leadership on the issue that, say, Sen. Brownback has over the long haul. And McCain’s stubborn campaign to destroy grass roots lobbying efforts is deeply troubling. But as things now appear, his historical moment has come and gone.

That brings us to Mitt Romney. His campaign has generated the most interest and dynamic momentum. The guy obviously knows how to look and sound great in front of a camera. But it is well known that his conversion to the pro-Life cause is a bit too convenient. When it suited his personal ambition, he was proud to defend abortion rights. Now that he seeks a national Republican office – well, those positions have become a liability. Whalah! Now he’s a committed pro-Lifer.

Most of us have been sitting on the sidelines, praying that a Duncan Hunter or Sam Brownback might find the money to generate a competitive campaign. So far – not enough from either.

That frustrating dynamic has led some in the conservative movement to look forward to the likely candidacy of Fred Thompson. But just who is this guy?

Apparently he has a pro-Life record from his days in the U.S. Senate. That offers some hope – though he too suffers from the McCain “reluctant bride” syndrome. Where, for example, are the bills he carried to help stem the bloody tide?

But last week, Thompson confirmed that his candidacy is not a panacea for social conservatives. During an interview on Hannity & Colmes, Thompson declared that he didn’t agree with Roe v. Wade. But then he went on to say that he would not support criminalizing abortion.

Obviously, Thompson’s pro-Life values need more scrutiny and development. To say that abortion should not be a constitutional “right” – but that it should still be allowed is to engage in moral babble. The only reason to interfere with a woman’s pregnancy is the pre-existing moral and legal rights of the preborn child. These precious souls are either human beings – or they are not. And if they are, then it logically follows that they must be protected with the same laws that the rest of us enjoy.

And all of that leaves us with dimming prospects for holding the presidency. As things stand now, we are likely faced with a weak Republican candidate who will almost certainly fail to mobilize the rank-and-file. This person will therefore lose.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Boise Statesman Downplays Illegal Status of Murder Suspect

June 18th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

The Idaho Statesman, evidently aware of the potential damage the facts could do to its support for amnesty, cleverly postponed mention of the illegal alien status of a Boise murder suspect until the last paragraph in its story on the case.

The suspect, Jesus Vasquez Sanchez, was arrested yesterday and charged with first degree murder in an April killing.

The Statesman describes him in the first line of the story as a “Mexican citizen,” and doesn’t mention that he is being held on an immigration detainer for being in the country illegally until the final sentence of the piece.

The headline of the story could easily have read, “Illegal alien charged with April murder.” Instead, it reads, “‘Person of interest’ charged with April murder,” as if the Statesman had a considerable degree of reluctance to inform readers of a noteworthy fact in this story.

Sanchez’s victim, Fernando Bayesteros, was strangled and stabbed multiple times in the chest, and the suspect was found driving Bayesteros’ car the day after the he was found dead in his Boise Bench apartment.

Sadly, it appears that Bayesteros would be alive today if our southern border was secure. There is nothing compassionate about a border policy that results in the murder of American citizens, whose safety and protection is the number one God-given responsibility of government.

This illustrates the truth that opposition to amnesty legislation and open borders for most Americans has nothing to do with racism or bigotry – it has to do with public safety, public health, national security, and preserving a culture which, as tarnished as it has become, is still regarded by most American citizens as a gift from God, a gift to be tended, nurtured, treasured and protected for future generations to enjoy.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty | No Comments »

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