Hirono response to Commerce support for Lingle

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Hirono response to Commerce support for Lingle

  1. 1. REPUBLICAN US SENATE CANDIDATE LINDA LINGLE & THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE— TWO PEAS IN A POD OPPOSING PRESIDENT OBAMA’S TOP PRIORITIESLingle Launches StatewideTour To Tout U.S. Chamber of CommerceEndorsement…. According to a Lingle campaign press release, “We‟re VERY excitedabout what‟s in store this week: Gov. Lingle is making neighbor island visits to talkabout the important endorsement of her campaign by the pro-small business U.S.Chamber of Commerce. Tuesday and Wednesday, Governor will be on Maui, Thursdayshe‟ll be in Kona, and on Friday she‟ll be on Kauai to talk about her vision for improvingthe economy and creating more jobs.” [Lingle for Senate, 7/16/12]….On The Same Day U.S. Chamber Launches Third Round Of Ads In SupportOf Lingle’s Candidacy For U.S. Senate. According to the Huffington Post: “Thenations biggest business lobby launched an ad campaign on Tuesday supporting whatit calls "Friends of the U.S. Chamber" candidates in four competitive Senate racesacross the country. The 30-second television spots will air in Hawaii, Nevada, NewMexico and North Dakota, according to a chamber press release. The new batch of adswill focus on candidates positions on domestic energy production, health care andgovernment spending…The remaining two spots feature chamber-backed Senatecandidates Linda Lingle, a former GOP governor of Hawaii, and Heather Wilson,formerly a Republican congresswoman from New Mexico.“The Fresh Ad Blitz Announced On Tuesday Marks The Latest Episode In AnUnprecedented Year Of Political Advocacy For The GOP-Friendly Group…Chamber spokesman Ryan Goettel told Roll Call in March that the pro-businessorganization is wading into national contests earlier than it ever has in its 100-yearhistory.” [Huffington Post, 7/17/12; emphasis added]U.S. Chamber Ad Tries To Rebrand Lingle As “Bipartisan…..”…..BUT: Lingle Is Embracing An Organization That Has Been One OfPresident Obama’s Harshest Critics: According to Honolulu Civil Beat: “In aligningherself with the U.S. Chamber, however, Lingle is embracing an organization that hasbeen one of President Barack Obamas harshest critics. Under president and CEO TomDonohue, Obama has been castigated over health care, renewable energy and jobgrowth, to name just a few hot-button issues.” [Honolulu Civil Beat, 5/18/12]
  2. 2. US CHAMBER IS PART OF $1 BILLION GOP SUPERPAC CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT PRESIDENT OBAMAU.S. Chamber An Integral Player In Republican SuperPACs’ $1 Billion EffortTo Defeat President Obama. According to Politico, “Republican superPACs and otheroutside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives-including KarlRove, the Koch Brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commercie- plan tospend roughly $1 billion on November‟s elections for the White House and control ofCongress, according to officials familiar with the groups‟ internal operations.” [Politico,5/30/12]U.S. Chamber Plans To Spend $100 Million On 2012 Election-Will HelpRomney In Several States With Competitive Senate Races. According to Politico,“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a goal of $100 million, according to outsidersfamiliar with the plans. All of that will be focused on congressional races, with theHouse as the top priority-what organizers call “the first insurance policy” if Obama wereto get reelected. But the Chamber‟s message, which includes attacks on Obama‟shealth-care plan, can be expected to help Romney in several states with competitiveSenate races that are also presidential battlegrounds- Florida, Ohio, Virginia, NewMexico, Nevada and Wisconsin.” [Politico, 5/30/12]“And, while [US Chamber CEO] Donohue and Obama are reported to haveworked to improve relations in recent months, the reality is that the U.S.Chamber is supporting a slate of candidates that would work to oppose manyof the presidents policies and goals.”[Honolulu Civil Beat, 5/18/12; emphasisadded]“During the past three years, [The U.S. Chamber] has emerged as one ofPresidents Obamas most persistent critics.” [Honolulu Civil Beat, 5/18/12]FLASHBACK HEADLINE 2010: “U.S. CHAMBER PLEDGES TO STOP OBAMAAGENDA, PLAY BIG ROLE IN NOV. ELECTIONS” [USA Today, 1/12/10] US CHAMBER HAS SPENT MORE THAN $500K AND COUNTING ON BEHALF OF REPUBLICAN US SENATE CANDIDATE LINDA LINGLEU.S. Chamber Launched $275,000 Pro-Lingle Ad Buy In May 2012: “The U.S.Chamber of Commerce today launched a new ad blitz in Hawaii in support of formerGov. Linda Lingle in the race for Hawaiis open U.S. Senate seat….Similar to an ad runby the Chamber in the islands in February, the 30-second television spot highlights theformer Republican governors stance on a plan to improve tourism to create jobs andher ability to work in a bipartisan manner. The Chambers ad buy was estimated atabout $275,000, a source said. An email to the Chambers headquarters in Washington,D.C., was not immediately returned. Februarys ad buy cost the Chamber about
  3. 3. $250,000, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.” [Star Advertiser,5/9/12]February 2012: US Chamber Spent $250,000 In Ads On Behalf Of Lingle. “Thequestion arises because the U.S. Chamber plans to spend at least $500,000 this year insupport of Linda Lingles bid for the U.S. Senate. About half that amount has alreadypaid for a television advertisementthat ran statewide in February. The ad touted what itdescribed as the bipartisan credentials of Lingle, a two-term Republican governor andformer Maui mayor, to promote tourism.” [Honolulu Civil Beat, 5/18/12] US CHAMBER AND REPUBLICAN US SENATE CANDIDATE LINDA LINGLE OPPOSE MAJOR TENETS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S AGENDAU.S. CHAMBER AND LINGLE OPPOSED THE BUFFETT RULEU.S. Chamber Opposed Buffett Rule. “The Chamber of Commerce on Mondayurged lawmakers not to vote for legislation pushed by President Obama that wouldensure that the nations wealthiest pay a minimum tax rate. The powerful businessgroup said it would score the vote on S. 2230, also called the „Buffett Rule.‟” [TheHill, 4/16/12]Lingle “Would Have Sided With Senate Republicans Who Blocked The So-Called Buffett Rule.” In April 2012, Honolulu Civil Beat reported, “It appears Gov.Linda Lingle would have sided with Senate Republicans who blocked the so-calledBuffett rule on Monday. In a press release over the weekend, Lingle‟s campaignreferred to the proposal as a „gimmick.‟ „Knowing full well the measure does not havethe support it needs to pass, the procedural vote was deliberately set up to let thismeasure fail,‟ Lingle said. „Once again, Congress was presented with an opportunity toprovide meaningful bipartisan tax reform to the people of Hawaii and our nation, butinstead it chose to squander this time for political gain.‟” [Honolulu Civil Beat, 4/17/12]U.S. CHAMBER ANDLINGLE SUPPORTED PRIVATIZING SOCIAL SECURITYLingle Was “Impressed” By Bush’s 2005 Plan To Privatize Social Security. InFebruary 2005, reacting to the 2005 state of the union speech by President George W.Bush in which the President “made clear the White House plans to ramp up thecampaign in an effort to pass… his proposal to partially privatize Social Security,” Linglesaid she “was impressed with the presidents plans to continue building on theeconomic momentum of the last few years, including details to strengthen and saveSocial Security to ensure future generations will have a secure retirement.”[MSNBC.com, 2/4/05;Associated Press, 2/4/05]
  4. 4. Chamber of CommerceSupported Bush-Style Social Security PrivatizationPlan. According to the Chamber of Commerce‟s website, “The only way to permanentlystrengthen Social Security is to transform the system into a program with real savingsto back its promises to future retirees. The best way to do this is with a personalaccount component as President Bush and others have proposed.” [USChamber.com,accessed 5/9/12]DOES LINGLE AGREE WITH THE U.S. CHAMBER ON THE RYAN BUDGET? SHEWON’T SAY…March 2012: Lingle’s Campaign Refused To Answer Whether Or Not LingleWould Support 2012 Ryan Budget. In March 2012, The Hill reported, “When askedwhere former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) stood on the Ryan provisions, a spokesmanemailed her statements on healthcare from the website that called for „a long-termMedicare system that provides future beneficiaries with early and advance notice ofchanges‟ but did not mention Ryan‟s provisions. Numerous emails and phone callsasking for clarification were not returned.” [The Hill, 3/28/12] October 2011: Lingle Would Not Say Whether Or Not She Would Vote For Paul Ryan’s Budget, Said She Had Not Read It. In October 2011, Lingle “did not provide a straight yes or no answer” on whether or not she supported the Paul Ryan budget, saying “she had not read the bill.” Lingle added, “I havent read Paul Ryans bill, but I can tell you as an individual, I dont spend money I dont have.” [Hotline OnCall, National Journal, 10/12/11]U.S. Chamber Supported Ryan Budget. “At a breakfast with reporters this morning,Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the U.S. Chamber ofCommerce, praised House Budget chair Paul Ryan and his „Path to Prosperity‟ budgetoutline, which was released earlier this week. „We think it is exactly the pathway to atrajectory to get the federal budget spending down to where it‟s under control,‟ Jostensaid. „This is not just touching the third rail, this is grasping the third rail.‟” [WeeklyStandard, 4/8/11]U.S. CHAMBER AND LINGLE OPPOSED OBAMA’S HEALTH INSURANCEREFORM PACKAGELingle Would Vote To Repeal Health Care Reform In Up And Down Vote. InJuly 2012, the Star Advertiser quoted Linda Lingle: “if it is a straight „repeal or notrepeal of the (federal law) as-is without any changes, I would vote to repeal." [StarAdvertiser, 7/4/12]Lingle Opposed Federal Health Insurance Reform. In March 2010, GovernorLinda Lingle issued a press release in which she said, “The health care legislationapproved by the House tonight will force Hawaii and all the other states into a one-size-fits-all program that is financially unsustainable. The $1.2 trillion governmenttakeover of health care will cost Hawaii residents, conservatively, an estimated $300
  5. 5. million over five years in added costs to our Medicaid programs, which are alreadyhemorrhaging red ink. This legislation will impose new taxes totaling $569.2 billion thatwill burden Americans for generations to come. It will also raise premiums, necessitatethe rationing of health care, impede economic growth and job creation as well asrequire cuts to Medicare. Governors across the country have consistently stated thatstates need the flexibility to adjust their Medicaid programs so they can deliver qualityhealth care to patients at a reasonable and sustainable price.” [Governor Linda LinglePress Release, 3/21/10] Lingle “Defended The Heated Exchanges And Vigorous Protests” At Town Hall Events Focused On Health Care Reform, Claimed People Were Scared Because of “Hundreds of Billions of Dollars In Cuts On Medicare.” In August 2009, Politico reported that “three leading Republican governors on Monday defended the heated exchanges and vigorous protests taking place at health care town hall events across the country. „I think you see a heightened emotion and passion and, you say anger, because people are scared,‟ said Hawaii GOP Gov. Linda Lingle, during a conference call with reporters organized by the Republican Governors Association. „You‟re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts in spending on Medicare, and that‟s why you see members of the AARP separated from their leadership on this issue, because they‟re scared,‟ the Hawaii governor said. „The heightened anger is out of fear for what it‟s going to mean for their lives and the lives of their families.‟ Lingle was joined on the call by fellow GOP Govs. Sonny Perdue of Georgia and Haley Barbour of Mississippi, the RGA‟s chairman.” [Politico, 8/10/09]Health Insurance Industry Gave Over $86 Million To U.S. Chamber to KillHealth Care Reform. In November 2010, Bloomberg reported “Health insurers lastyear gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. $86.2 million that was used to oppose thehealth-care overhaul law, according to tax records and people familiar with thedonation. The insurance lobby, whose members include Minnetonka, Minnesota-basedUnitedHealth Group Inc. and Cigna Corp. of Philadelphia, gave the money to theChamber in 2009 as Democrats increased criticism of the industry, according to aperson who requested anonymity because laws don‟t require identifying fundingsources. The Chamber got the money from the America‟s Health Insurance Plans as theindustry urged Congress to drop a plan to create a competing government-runinsurance plan.” [Bloomberg, 11/17/10]U.S. Chamber Agenda Includes Repealing Major Tenets of Health CareReform: According to its website, the Chamber‟s agenda includes: “The new healthcare law creates new mandates and taxes on businesses and individuals. While theChamber supports the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),we recognize that total repeal in the 112th Congress is unlikely. Therefore, we standready to work with Congress to repeal the most egregious provisions, including theemployer mandate and the many new taxes that will be passed on to employers and
  6. 6. employees in the form of higher premiums.” [US Chamber of Commerce, accessed7/15/12]U.S. CHAMBER AND LINGLE OPPOSED EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORKU.S. Chamber“Strongly” Opposed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Threatened toCount it As Key Vote. In April 2008, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “strongly” urgedmembers of Congress “to oppose H.R. 2831, the „Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.‟” The Chamberturned to a tort reform refrain, arguing that “subjecting employers to such claims wouldliterally lead to an explosion of litigation second guessing legitimate employment andpersonnel decisions.” “Nor is it clear how an employer would defend itself from such aclaim without the ability to go back in time and make the types of robust statisticalanalyses necessary for a defense.” The Chamber‟s head lobbyist, Bruce Josten,concluded the letter, “For these reasons, the Chamber strongly urges you to opposeH.R. 2831 and may consider votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual HowThey Voted scorecard.” [U.S. Chamberof Commerce “Key Vote Alert!” Letter, April 22,2008] U.S. ChamberOpposed Paycheck Fairness Act. According to USA Today, Paycheck Fairness Act “languished in Congress for several years… and it has been stalled by opposition from some Republicans and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” In July 2010, President Barack Obama announced he would “press Congress…to pass pay-equity legislation that would make it easier for women to sue employers who pay them less than their male counterparts…” [USA Today, 7/20/10]2004: Governor Lingle Vetoed Wage Discrimination Bill. In June 2004,theHonolulu Advertiser reported that Lingle vetoed a bill “prohibiting employers fromdiscriminating on the basis of gender by paying wages to an employee at a rate lessthan the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee of the oppositesex for equal work if gender is the only consideration. Lingle said the bill is unnecessarybecause federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis ofgender.” [Honolulu Advertiser, 6/26/04] Lingle Appointed Interim Department of Public Safety Head Who Had Been Found Guilty of Unlawfully Discriminated Against Female Employees. In May 2007, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that Clayton Frank, who Lingle had chosen as interim director of the Department of Public Safety after her nominee to head that department had been rejected, had been found guilty by a jury in 2001 of having “unlawfully discriminated and retaliated against female employees.” According to the paper, the women were awarded a total of $4.1 million as a result of the lawsuit. [Honolulu Star- Bulletin, 5/25/07]

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