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Friday, October 08, 2010

Boucher's Betrayal Gains National Attention

He can try spinning his cap-and-trade vote all he wants, Rick Boucher stabbed his coalfields constituents in the back.  And the entire world now knows it, thanks to the Wall Street Journal:
The Cap-and-Trade Crackup
A Virginia Democrat with a 'safe' seat angers constituents with his anti-coal vote.
By Kimberley A. Strassel

Even as Speaker Nancy Pelosi twisted arms for the final votes to pass her climate bill in June 2009, Democrats feared they might be "BTU'd." Many of them recalled how Al Gore had forced the House to vote in 1993 for an energy tax, a vote Democrats later blamed for helping their 1994 defeat.

The politics isn't the same this time around. This time, it's much, much worse.

Ask Rick Boucher, the coal-country Democrat who for nearly 30 years has represented southwest Virginia's ninth district. The 64-year-old is among the most powerful House Democrats, an incumbent who hasn't been seriously challenged since the early 1980s. Mr. Boucher has nonetheless worked himself onto this year's list of vulnerable Democrats. He managed it with one vote: support for cap and trade.

Anger over the BTU tax was spread across the country in 1994; the tax hit everything, even nuclear and hydropower. And the anger was wrapped into general unhappiness with Clinton initiatives. Some Democrats who voted for BTU but otherwise distanced themselves from the White House were spared. Mr. Boucher, for instance.

Cap and trade is different. The bill is designed to crush certain industries, namely coal. As coal-state voters have realized this, the vote has become a jobs issue, and one that is explosive. It is no accident that Democrats face particularly tough terrain in such key electoral states as Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. They are being laser-targeted for their votes to kill home-state industries.

Nowhere is this attack more pronounced that in Mr. Boucher's district. It isn't a natural home for a Democrat; John McCain won it with 59% of the vote. Mr. Boucher has held it for 14 terms by keeping tight with local mining unions, delivering pork, and carefully tending to the district's culturally conservative leanings. He voted for the Iraq War; he gets top grades from the NRA. (It was his opposition to the Clinton "assault" weapons ban that helped him in 1994.) He beat his 2006 opponent with 68% of the vote. The GOP didn't bother in 2008.

Mr. Boucher felt so invulnerable that last year he made the mindboggling decision to join with green purists to craft the cap-and-trade dagger aimed at his own district—home to thousands of coal jobs. He is a powerful member on the House Energy Committee, and his support helped pull along other reluctant Democrats, earning him a shout out from the White House. It also earned him a target on his back.

Republican Morgan Griffith, the 52-year-old Virginia House majority leader, has so successfully made Mr. Boucher's cap-and-trade vote an issue that he's moved the race into toss-up territory. In ads, at campaign stops and in discussions with coal miners, Mr. Griffith taps into public unease over unemployment and pounds away at the Democrat's vote to make it worse by "killing coal jobs."

Splashed across the district are signs that cry out: "Boucher Betrayed Coal." The free-market Americans for Job Security has been up with ads blaming Mr. Boucher for putting Mrs. Pelosi's "job killing agenda ahead of Virginia coal." The National Republican Campaign Committee's TV spot, called "Big Numbers," states: "56,000: the jobs Virginia could lose thanks to Boucher's cap-and-trade plan."

Mr. Boucher sensed danger earlier this year and has run right: He voted against ObamaCare and has a newfound love for Bush tax cuts. But he's in a defensive crouch on the main issue, reduced to excuses for his cap-and-trade vote. A top one is the old chestnut that he got involved to make the bill better. He points to money he had inserted for "clean coal," and has somehow spun his work into an ad claiming he "took on his own party" to "protect coal jobs" in the, ahem, "energy" bill.

Yet as the race has tightened, the Boucher campaign has looked more desperate. It nitpicked the Americans for Job Security ad and demanded TV stations pull it. The union bosses for United Mine Workers of America had to step up, inviting Mr. Boucher to keynote a picnic to try to shore up coal workers. He's newly passionate about reining in an anti-coal EPA.

Mr. Boucher appears to still lead, but with a GOP wave building, no Democrat with an anti-job vote against his own constituents is safe. Virginia's ninth has already delivered one of the lessons of 2010: Cap-and-trade policy is terrible. Cap-and-trade politics is deadly. [link]
Rick Boucher has always claimed that he sold his soul to the environmentalist devil for his coalfields constituents.  That's why he helped craft cap-and-trade in the House.  To get them the best "deal" under the circumstances that he could.  A deal that would have resulted in the termination of employment of thousands of good solid citizens - every one of whom looked to him for protection, not betrayal - if his effort had gone into law, in Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties.

There's no putting lipstick on that pig.  Boucher did the voters of Southwest Virginia grievous harm.  And for that he deserves to be ridden out on a rail.

Morgan Griffith Reponds To Rick Boucher

From an email communication:
Statement by Republican Congressional Candidate Morgan Griffith on Rick Boucher's new TV ad:

"I am flatly amazed that Rick Boucher thinks the economy is doing just fine in Southwest Virginia. It clearly show how out of touch 28 years in Washington has made Rick.

"According to the July unemployment figures, there are roughly 33,700 unemployed people in the 9th District, a 9.2% unemployment rate. Six counties have unemployment rates of over 10%, and that's just the people who are still looking. Over the last decade alone, the district has lost 18,570 jobs. If that's what Rick Boucher calls a success, what does failure look like?

"There are only two statements in his ad that are true. First, his name actually is Rick Boucher. Second, there may be 28,000 more people working in the 9th district than there were in 1982. But that's lying with statistics, and he knows it. What he doesn't bother to mention is that the district includes five more counties than it did in 1982 and 100,000 more people.

"The important statistic is the unemployment rate, and that's abysmal, and will get worse if Boucher gets his Cap and Trade bill through Congress. Cap and Trade will kill coal jobs and cost everyone more in higher energy prices.

"Believe your own eyes. Unemployment is a real problem here. Happy talk is not going to change that, action will.

"If we want Washington to help create jobs rather than destroy them, we need to change Congress."
"Happy talk is not going to change that, action will." That should be on every yard sign in the 9th Congressional District.

Jeremiah Heaton Responds To Me

I received in email form the following response from 9th District congressional candidate Jeremiah Heaton to my post from two days ago that I entitled, "I Smell a Rat."

I post his correspondence here completely unedited:
Mr. Fuhrman,

I just finished reading your post about me on 'From On High'.

Who do we have to blame for 27 years of Rick Boucher? 9th District Republican Leadership. The continual selection of improper Republican challengers has allowed Boucher to remain in office for 14 terms. I fully
believe Morgan Griffith will be continuation of unsuccessful challengers to Boucher. I can't stand Rick Boucher. Rick is terrible for the district and should have left Congress 20 years ago.

Having said that, lets be honest about Griffith. At the start of September he held 40% and Boucher held 50% of the vote, I had 5% with 5% undecided.  Thirty days and $500,000 dollars worth of Boucher attack ads later.... Griffith is LOWER in the polls. (Griffith 38%, Boucher 53% and me 5%).  Based on the polling I am pulling from both Democrats and Republicans. So if you were to take me out of the race....Boucher would be at 55.5% and Griffith 40.5%. A loss for conservatives yet again.

As for hidden agendas of Congressional candidates in the 9th, I believe there is a stronger argument that Morgan Griffith is a RINO than me working for the Dems (which makes me laugh every time I hear it).

Think about this for a moment...

Griffith was married in Salem's East Hill Cemetery, he's a 20 year DUI lawyer, defends an alleged child murder, gets immigrants out of trouble when they have a shootout in Valley View Mall parking lot, allows Mexican Nationals to take former VDOT jobs.... Griffiths actions demonstrate some pretty liberal leanings.

Morgan Griffith = John McCain

Had there been the proper combination of conservative leadership with the proper candidate, Boucher would have been gone years ago. We need to place the blame where it belongs...RPOV leadership.

Am I to blame for RPOV not fielding a challenger in 2008 which in turn allowed Boucher to amass a $2 million dollar war chest for the 2010 race?  Sadly, the rats you smell are the ones feeding on the carcasses of nearly three decades worth of fallen weak Republican campaigns.

To answer your question, who am I working for? I am working to earn the votes of 9th district citizens. Rick Boucher and Morgan Griffith are BOTH my opponents in this race and they will be treated accordingly.

Boucher's turn in 'the Heaton spotlight' will come soon enough. Jerry, I promise you and the conservative voters this, when I turn the focus to Boucher it will make Griffith's "93% Pelosi/Obama/Boucher" comparisons
look like elementary school name calling.

With Highest Regards,
Jeremiah
There you go.

* Grammar, spelling, syntax from the original.

Reader Responds To NRA Myopia

First read "What Is The NRA Thinking?"

Then read this I received from another concerned citizen via email:

My own opinion to what’s going on with the NRA is simple. I consider it the same as what has been going on for generations in Congress, and finally Americans have had to recognize it and say enough is enough. Power, greed, back room deals, politics after politics, instead of by the people for the people it is all about themselves and their own securities. Omission of themselves, from policies of government, that they claim are for the good of the people.

I sure hope gun owners are paying attention. I hope gun owners are getting involved to voice there opinion. So many times I have heard of someone saying they pay their NRA dues, other than that they have faith the NRA will do the right thing. If that is the case, then what is happening now?

I could say it’s a common sense idea, or even voices in my head and gut that is saying something is not right here. Just think the less laws and issues the NRA has to deal with, the less people they need to have on hand, and the less money they will have. When they have a second amendment issue that is job security for them.

I have to ask, if all Americans are truly tired of all the political crap, and really want to get back to basics with the Constitution, where will this leave the NRA? Is it possible that they want to keep some anti-gun issues running for their security as a large size national rights organization? Just a thought, corruption isn’t just limited to government.

While this is only my opinion, as I am reading into their actions on a personal view, I will continue to support local gun rights groups, leaving the NRA on the sidelines. There are many pro 2a groups to choose from, and as well take better time and care in addressing the needs of its members. 
Someone at the NRA needs to be thinking these decisions through.

Memo To Jeremiah Heaton Supporters

I received several emails yesterday that defended 9th District independent congressional candidate Jeremiah Heaton's effort to ferret out possible illegal Mexicans working on road crews here in Virginia.  (For those not aware of the issue, go here.)  To them I have this response:

When we take it upon ourselves - as law enforcement or especially as civilians - to confront those who look different from us under the assumption - without any justification - that they are not Americans, how American are we?

At Least He's Harmless

The goofiest vice president in American history to his loyal supporters:

"You’re the dullest audience I’ve ever spoken to."

Their response will be recorded come November.

Throw The Bums Out

We must put an end to this:


For an example of the kind of corruption that is commonplace in Washington these days, see my post (here) on Representative Rick Boucher's regular campaign "meetings" he holds at a fabulous resort hotel in the land of Hollywood elites, paid for by those who spend their days in the halls of Congress with their hands out looking for favors from ... Rick Boucher.

Why do we put up with this?

Obama Is a Gift

He's so appreciated in West Virginia that he's quoted on yard signs.

Republican yard signs ...