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07 November 2010

Comments

Russ Steele

George,

Thanks for the excellent report. I have Karl's book and have read most of it. Every candidate for local, state or national office should read his book. The Rove process of studying the numbers and then focusing on where it is possible make a difference and pay less attention where change in voter choices would only come at a great cost, is very valuable advice. When Karl is on any of the Cable Channels, especially Fox News I put down my laptop and listen, especially when he brings his little hand scribble white board to the discussion. There is aways a lesson to be learned for those willing to listen and watch.

Karl has an excellent web site where you can sign up for a weekly newsletter here: http://www.rove.com/

Kim Pruett

I wish we could have been there! Thanks for the wonderful report! We have been so fortunate to have Sam as our representative, he will be missed.

Martin

Goerge, an excellent description of last night. Karl is the real deal, a statesman who loves this country and is able to articulate it without the use of a TelePrompTer. Erica and I enjoyed listening to Karl, Dan and Sam as well as seeing so many conservative friends together sharing the experience. It was a great event and turnout.

Todd Juvinall

I have heard Karl on C-SPAN speaking to AEI and others over the years. He has great stories and great advice. I especially like that he engineered the defeat of many democrats and took out Gore and Kerry, two worthless pieces of C***. You can always tell how effective someone like Rove is when the liberals attack him so vociferously.

Russ Steele

Here is another point of view in the Marysville Appeal-Democrat of the Karl Rove visit to Northern California.

Below are some comments by our our left leaning middle of the road blogger who was not at the meeting.

Rove: Why GOP wave stopped in California
November 8, 2010 by jeffpelline

“It’s a tough state, and you need good candidates. The Republicans have got to keep fighting.”

So said Karl Rove in explaining why the GOP wave stopped at California at a fundraiser with Dan Logue in Sutter on the weekend. (Rove also sold copies of his book).

The write-up — including Rove’s comments on Obama and the GOP — were in an article in the Marysville Appeal-Democrat. It is here.

On the GOP: “The Republican Party is on probation. (Republicans) have to do in office what they said they’d be doing on the campaign trail.”
On Obama: “Obama came in with goodwill. And instead he’s been very partisan, very negative.”

Exit Question: Who’s been more negative? President Obama or the tea party.

Jeff Peline

Wait. I thought George said this event was "off the record," with "no press people present." why is the Marysville paper reporting on it then?

Barry Pruett

"The event was off-the-record with no press people present, and only an occasional itinerant blogger there with his pen, madly scribbling away."

Apparently someone from the Marysville Appeal-Democrat likes Karl Rove too and came to the event.

Paul Emery

George

I'm amazed you're cuddling up with the advisor to the worst President in modern history. If he was a football coach he would have been fired mid season. Exactly what advice did he give to Bush that makes him worth you adornment?

George Rebane

The "off the record" appellation to the evening was given from the podium. If someone from the Marysville Appeal-Democrat was there who chose not to honor it, then the curious should appeal to the appropriate Democrat to find out why and report on their answer.

While never having marched in lockstep with W's policies Paul, I believe you and I would most likely have a dramatically different ranking of America's presidents.

Paul Emery

It's pretty hard to beat the Bush, so to speak. He inherited the fourth of four balanced budgets and left us with massive deficit and the worst financial mess since the great depression. Add two endless wars and the and you have a record that's hard to beat.

Todd Juvinall

Yeah Paul, that littlr thing called 9-11 happened and the stock market lost 1 trillion bucks in a few minutes. Yep, you are just a hoot.

RL Crabb

It used to be that Republicans were elected to clean up messy wars started by Democrats (Truman-Ike and Johnson-Nixon) but this time around Obama got the bad end of the bargain. During the Bush regime the economy bounced back from 9/11, but the Republicans in congress chose to cross their fingers and hope the housing balloon would slowly deflate instead of blowing up. They guessed wrong. The Dems were no better.

Todd Juvinall

I agree.

Russ Steele

Am I wrong, as I recall the Bush administration tried to put a cap on Fanny and Freddy, but Barney Frank would have none of it. Bob, was that Bush Administration hoping the housing bubble would deflate, or were they trying to solve the problem? Did they not try hard enough? As I recall we had a Democratic Congress from 2006 on, and it was their budgets, not Bush's budgets that got passed. I think there was enough blame to go around, the whole government was spending more money than it had coming in. Yes, the Republican were involved. Now we have a shot at correcting the situation, but I am not that sure the old guard can pull it off, we may need one more election cycle.

RL Crabb

Well, after reading about the favors that are being offered to Nelson and that new fellow from West Virginia, I think his name is Weakchin, it sounds like bizniz as usual. I thought that was the kind of thing the Tea Party wanted to squelch.

Paul Emery

Russ
Bush could have always used the veto if he was that concerned about the budget.

Russ Steele

Paul,

I agree.

Kim Pruett

Very true Paul. That is why many of us who supported GWB were extremely disappointed in his fiscal policies. Let's move forward and stop blaming each other and try to fix the mistakes of the past. Obama did inherit somewhat of a mess, but that shouldn't have given him a green light to dig the whole deeper than any administration has ever done in history. But RL is correct in wondering if those mistakes of the past are going to be repeated, it concerns me deeply that the backroom deals are already beginning. I think that the American people will not stand for business as usual anymore, and those on the dem and rep sides of the aisle will need to remeber that if they want to keep their seats in 2012 they better do the right thing. Russ, you are correct that it will take one or two more cycles to recycle the old guard.

Paul Emery

Well spoken Kim. No matter what your persuasion Washington is a tough nut to crack and is used to having Populist eruptions during election cycles and then everyone going home till the next one comes around. With unlimited international corporate influence now allowed in the election process, because of recent Supreme Court decisions, we may be closer to world government than we realize.

George Rebane

Paul, recent Supreme Court decisions do not even come close to supporting "unlimited international corporate influence in the election process". However, maybe a future more progressive Court will allow that as, perhaps, the fastest way to implement Marx and Andy Stern's "workers of the world unite". As Lenin said, large-scale capitalists (those that require government help to operate) can be duped into selling the socialists the rope that will be used to hang them.

Dixon Cruickshank

The Bush admin did warn and try to rein Mr Frank and FNMA and yes theems did control congress. I don't know whether they really couldn't do much because of that or not or they didn't try hard enough. I will not give the Bush Admin a pass as they may have been able to do something - maybe. You have to understand everybody was giddy during that perod and to try slowdown that wave from even republican members of congress amy have been difficult to get support.

I was in the business and will at least confirm it was the Dems pushing pushing pushing - Countrywide was not the devil - only doing what it was told as were all the others. As a business when the Gov says they will buy your mortgages on these underwriting guidelines its not their place to get rightious and say no we won't write them.


The biggest problem was FNMA, thats were the actual fraud was-miss labeled sub-prime as prime and sold them. If the buyer knew they would not have bought them certainly without the proper risk premiums.

RL Crabb

How is it that the right demonizes George Soros for using his billions to influence elections, but doesn't see anything wrong with an anonymous million dollar donation to the Tea Party Patriots? Can you admit that if the shoe was on the left foot you would be going nuts with conspiracy theories?

Also, about the press at the Rovefest...Peggy Noonan had a good comment in the Wall St. Journal about the new reality in politics. There is no such thing as a private conversation when everybody and their dog has a hand held camera/recorder. Guess it's not even safe to sing in the shower anymore.

Todd Juvinall

The TPP are not a political party so they are under no requirement to disclose regardless. Soros is funding many political organizations and 527's. He also bet against the pound and almost wrecked the British currency. He is an evil person and an ungrateful person. America saved his sorry ass from the NAZI's and this is his response.

Greg Goodknight

The 1M bothers me a little, the $7B Soros has reportedly 'given away' bothers me about seven thousand times as much.

Paul Emery

How about the billions spent lobbying by the medical industry?

George Rebane

Paul, I believe it would be a mistake to confuse a large industry sector like healthcare or big pharma with a free market capitalist ideology. These corporations are huge monoliths which have grown to their present cumbersome configurations through being maintained by a framework of government supports. Fundamentally they are whores that will follow any scent that leads to a market environment which maintains their status quo and/or eliminates competition.

I'm not sure you're picking up on this nuance of most of the conservatives of a libertarian leaning who comment on these pages.

Paul Emery

My involvement in this post started with me questioning why you would express such fondness for the ideas of the chief advisor of a failed President, I completely disagree with your assessment of the effects of the recent Supreme Court decision that allows corporations the same freedom of speech as individuals therefore allowing them the same rights to contribute towards influencing elections . This is a huge topic that needs more discussion. In general the ability of big money from all over the world to control our government and our elections must be looked at by freedom loving people of all persuasions.

George Rebane

Paul, you raise TWO independent and important points that do require more examination. 1) American corporations having the same first amendment rights as American citizens, and 2) is "big money from all over the world" actually able to control our government through wrongful exercise of first amendment rights? It should be easy to determine the answer to 2), and we would all agree that foreign corporations have no more first amendment rights than do illegal aliens.

Paul Emery

What I'm referring to specifically is last January's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that gave corporations the same freedom of speech rights as persons and allows them to contribute unlimited amounts of money not to candidates directly. Here's a description that clarifies the effects of the decision

"Citizens United is a landmark ruling for corporations, unions and groups of individuals interested in participating in any aspect of the federal political debate. The ruling is particularly relevant because it is predicated upon a recognition that corporations, tax exempt groups and unions have a First Amendment right to use unlimited corporate funds for independent expenditures that expressly advocate the election or defeat of federal candidates."

This is taken from a Citizens United website on the topic. So my question is and I don't have an answer is how does this ruling apply to multinational corporations such as Walmart and Exxon for example and where in the ruling does it define what is an American corporation. I'd appreciate any insight into this question because I don't have a clue.


Michael Anderson

If it's a Delaware corporation, you can be pretty sure that anything goes. Just ask Joe Biden, 35-yr. Senator from that state.

Just to put things into perspective, Delaware has 885,000 living there and Alaska has 698,000. Vast difference in sq. miles but very similar numbers.

Delaware, the First State. Not insignificant.

Paul & George, regarding the Karl Rove issue, perhaps you know that he got his start with CRP, later to be known as CREEP. A pretty creepy start in life, given that one of Tricky Dick's unauthorized campaign slogans was as follows:

“Don’t Change Dicks In The Middle Of A Screw – Reelect Nixon in ’72.”

But I digress...

Michael Anderson

Then there's also this:

"Other prominent members of CREEP included G. Gordon Liddy, E. Howard Hunt, Charles 'Chuck' Colson, and a very young political intern named Karl Rove. Many of these men were considered to be top secret bag men who carried out the illicit orders of Nixon and other top administrators. The money to carry out these operations would be laundered through CREEP, then paid out to the operatives in untraceable cash. On the surface, CREEP would appear to be exactly what it claimed; a legal committee to re-elect the president.

The inner workings of CREEP were exposed when five of its operatives were arrested after breaking into the offices of the Democratic party at an office complex known as Watergate. These burglars, or 'plumbers,' had many of their legal expenses paid out of laundered CREEP funds originally earmarked for the Nixon campaign. This money trail would later become a major part of the Watergate investigations."

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-nixons-committee-to-re-elect-the-president.htm

And just to pile on, how about these bizarre items:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxtm5RF_6Ow

http://www.velvetrevolution.us/prosecute_rove/

RL Crabb

It should be noted that the Progressive movement that conservatives love to bash was born out of the desire to end corporate dominance over government. In California the problem was Southern Pacific Railroad, which had a stranglehold on the economy by controling all forms of the transportation and distribution of goods.

In the California Assembly, Grove Johnson was SP's point man. When the anti-railroad newspapers led by WR Hearst began to turn the tide of public opinion, Johnson and Senator William Morehouse introduced several anti-newspaper measures. The signature bill required reporters to sign their names to any articles they wrote that "might blacken the name of anyone living or dead." Another made the crime of killing a newspaperman man who had libeled a citizen an act of justifiable homicide. A third banned the publication of editorial cartoons that reflected adversely upon "the honor, integrity, manhood, reputation or business or political motives" of any individual.

These laws were actually passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. Of course, none could pass muster in the courts, but they certainly show how money can influence legislation.

Ironically, it was Grove Johnson's son, Hiram, who spearheaded the movement to end SP's dominance of California politics.

Todd Juvinall

Thanks for the history.

Paul Emery

Again

Anyone have any insights on how the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission court ruling deals with multi-national corporations? I don't have a clue and it's really bugging me.

Todd Juvinall

The Supreme Court left in place the ban on foreign corp donations.

Paul Emery

Does that include the multinationals? A pretty important question

Mikey McD

I think campaign finance reform should be a high priority. I think a limit on contributions amounts regardless of the check signer (PAC, Corp, Individual, employee union, out of country, etc) makes a ton of sense. Say a max of $5,000 per TID/SS#. Done. Next problem?

Paul Emery

Mikey

I can't agree with you more. Take away the influence of big money. Unfortunately we seem to be going in the other direction.

Sean Parnell

Mr. Paul Emery asks the following question:

"...how does this ruling apply to multinational corporations such as Walmart and Exxon for example and where in the ruling does it define what is an American corporation."

Regarding multinational corporations, it depends on where they are headquartered. Exxon and Wal-Mart are both American corporations (most likely Delaware), and thus are able to spend money on independent expenditures. Ditto, by the way, for international unions like the SEIU, IBEW, etc.

A corporation domiciled in, say, China, is not able to engage in independent expenditures, because US law very explicitly bars foreign nationals (the definition of which includes a foreign corporation, or foreign union) from making expenditures in US elections. Citizens United did not change this, and in fact the Supreme Court very specifically said they were not undoing this prohibition.

Now, for a US company that is a subsidiary of a foreign corporation (think Toyota USA), they can make expenditures, BUT there are very specific restrictions - the funds must come from US operations (so a foreign corporation can't just "invest" a ton of money in a US subsidiary and have them make expenditures), and the decisionmaking on such expenditures MUST be made by US nationals.

The ruling didn't define what is a US corporation, because that's pretty well established already in US law. It's a corporation that is incorporated under the laws of any of the 50 US states (territories too, I'd assume).

Hope this helps.

Sean Parnell
President
Center for Competitive Politics
http://www.campaignfreedom.org
http://www.twitter.com/seanparnellccp

Sean Parnell

Also, Mikey McD makes the following suggestion:

"I think a limit on contributions amounts regardless of the check signer (PAC, Corp, Individual, employee union, out of country, etc) makes a ton of sense. Say a max of $5,000 per TID/SS#."

As someone who opposes pretty much all campaign finance limits, I'd be thrilled to see what you propose, at least at the federal level (many states too) as this would be more generous than current limits ($2,400). Also, only individuals and PACS are allowed to contribute to candidates now, but opening up the law so corporations, unions, etc can give as well would be an improvement. Not so keen on allowing foreign nationals to give, though.

I'd suggest a different limit though (well, no limit is my first choice) - I don't particularly believe that Barack Obama was corrupted at all by the special fundraising rules he operated under in 2004 for his Senate race, where he was allowed to receive $12,000 per contributor. How about if we set federal limits at $12,000?

Sean Parnell
President
Center for Competitive Politics
http://www.campaignfreedom.org
http://www.twitter.com/seanparnellccp

Sean Parnell

Whoops - PACs can already give $5,000, not the $2,400 limit that applies to individuals. My bad.

Sean Parnell
President
Center for Competitive Politics
http://www.campaignfreedom.org
http://www.twitter.com/seanparnellccp

Mikey McD

Crabb, I don't buy it: "It should be noted that the Progressive movement that conservatives love to bash was born out of the desire to end corporate dominance over government." The progressive movement in the USA (like all socialist movements) are born out of a love for power by a group willing to promise 'equality' to the masses (at the expense of liberty of the masses). The Robber Barons of our past would not have attained their power without government paving the road to 'Monopoly Town'. Without a heavy handed government there are no Robber Barons. Thus, the problem has never been the power of corporations (or employee unions for that matter),but, the absolute power of government run by immoral, corrupt and selfish politicians.

RL Crabb

Yeah, it's true that the Big Four got their start from US seed money. (The grisly details are revealed in Stephan Ambrose's 'Nothing Like It In The World'.) And once they had the big money they could buy politicians and do anything they damn well pleased. So I'd agree that govt. welfare should be banned.

It still doesn't change the fact that even a self made corporation can buy influence if it gets big enough. It's the government's responsibility to keep them from rolling over us peons.

Mikey McD

I would contest that it is our responsibility to insure that government does not get powerful enough to be 'for sale to the highest bidder' (or the provider of seed money) I believe that competition would keep "them from rolling over us peons"- not government planning/laws/power.

Who does a self made corporation buy influence from? Why allow the government to sell indulgences/get out of jail free card/monopoly town/etc to ANY entity corporation or otherwise? As long as the tanks are for sale to the highest bidder (to corporations or unions) all peons are screwed.

Todd Juvinall

I read Ambrose's book too and I came away with a different view than you Crabb. The Big Four put it all on the line and even Lincoln was on board to get the bonds approved to make it happen. The nation needed the railroad and this was a true partnership that worked. Was it perfect? No. Were all the people perfect? No. But it is a fact it completed manifest destiny.

Regarding the First Amendment. I cannot seem to find within the Amendment any thing the says speech is assigned only to one kind of entity. Speech is speech. I favor no limits with 24 hour, widespread public disclosure. All this other stuff has proven unworkable. When I ran for Assembly the disclosure rules were incredibly difficult.

Michael Anderson

The Big Four were products of their time. I agree with Todd that the result was magnificent and necessary, but we are still dealing with those weird square-mile checkerboard tracts in the western United States after all these ~150 years.

I also agree with Todd that disclosure is the only way to deal with $$ and free speech. I also happen to believe that insider trading should be legal, as long as it is disclosed. I guess this is the libertarian in me speaking.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the disclosure rules when running for the Assembly, Todd. I guess in-house rules are just like legislation, building codes, and computer code--it keeps piling on and the redundant/obsolete stuff never goes away.

George Rebane

Thank you Sean Parnell for weighing in. [FYI Paul, Jo Ann and I support the Center for Competitive Politics. It was Jo Ann who requested that Mr Parnell give a definitive answer to your good question.]

Paul Emery

It's an interesting I would have to study to be able to comment on. I take it you are a supporter of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision

RL Crabb

Corporate vs. government power has always been a balancing act to contain the excesses of human nature. Progressivism in Ca. WAS born out of the need to end the dominance of the Southern Pacific "octopus". Are not the bizarre examples I cited before evidence enough? Give Big Biz enough power and they'll become the government. Give the people too much power and they'll empty the coffers to enrich themselves.

George Rebane

With limited success in these pages I have tried to point out that big business cannot succeed without big government. Both become inefficient bureaucratic organizations that have to use force to create/maintain an environment in which they can survive. For the rest of us it is a circus to convince us that big biz and government are at odds, and our schools have carefully taught us that that is the situation.

The inefficiencies of both are due to the breakdown (intended and unintended) of the feedback paths in large organizations that separate reward from performance. Management knows intrinsically how to play that game, the workers franchise themselves through unions and participate with equal vigor. Both sides successfully lobby to a fare-thee-well the intent to pass on the unrequited costs to the third-party consumer ‘out there’.

Many of us still believe that corporations pay taxes – a myth promulgated by socialist and big capitalist alike. While a little study shows that such taxes are nothing but another way for government to stick their hand into that consumer’s pocket. Meanwhile we continue to go through these debates about a dichotomy that really does not exist.

Mikey McD

"Corporate vs. government power has always been a balancing act to contain the excesses of human nature." "Always" is a very long time. I strongly disagree. The struggle has "always" been the individual vs. government. It has never been Corporate vs. government. Over the past 100 years it has been corporations in collusion WITH government which creates the disparity in power between the individual and the institution(s). Thus, "big business cannot succeed without big government".
Robber Barons (read mean corporations) can only exist amidst the company of a powerful government. Limit the power of government and you will limit the power of corporations. Choose is between competition (free market) OR collusion (government/tanks for sale to the highest bidder.

Michael Anderson

George,
When does "small business" become "big business?" I have my ideas but I'd love to read your take on this conundrum.

Mikey,
I don't agree that "small gov't" goes hand in hand with reduced power of "big corporations." Let's take Mexico for example--a small, dysfunctional federal gov't has been effectively replaced by rival narco "big corporations" that run the various regions.

George Rebane

Good question MichaelA. I venture that small becomes big when they go public and require a 'government relations' department at the VP level and a permanent K-street presence. That does not mean that smart VCs don't bet on small companies positioned to take advantage of government mandated markets.

Re size of Mexican federal government. I have no idea where the notion that it is small comes from. The fraction of people in government employ in Mexico is at least as large as that of the US - recall that they also have nationalized industries. The fact that their people may be mis-deployed is a separate topic.

Mikey McD

Maybe if you consider drug cartels to be 'corporations'- I don't :). I would argue that Mexico's 'forever blundering economy' is a direct result of too much government; not the result of too little. Ironically, their impressive health care system (cheaper than USA and equal in care to USA = better value than USA) is one of only a few free market sectors in their blundering economy.

Michael Anderson

George,
Mexican gov't expenditure per capita is $861 and ours is $6,282. But it's probably doubtful that if Mexico increased it's per capita spending by 7x they would get rid of the drug cartels anytime soon.
I like your definition of "big business."

Mikey,
Mexico's 'forever blundering economy' is due to corruption in all 3 branches of the federal gov't, as well as at the state and local levels. They just simply do not have a level playing field in any sector of their economy. But I am not at all versed in their health care industry, and your comment makes me want to dig further into that subject. Thanks for your reply.

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