Friday, September 18, 2009

WWE's Linda McMahon to Run for Senate

WWE's Linda McMahon to Run for Senate

Following former Colorado Lt. Governor Jane Norton, Linda McMahon became the second Republican woman to announce that she would run for a United States Senate seat this week. The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO announced on Wednesday that she'd be entering the race to unseat current Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. McMahon would run as a Republican in what's quickly becoming one of the biggest political races in the country.

In a statement, she said,

"Washington is out of control, and sadly, Senator Chris Dodd has lost his way and our trust. I can't sit by on the sidelines anymore knowing that I have both the experience and the strength to stand up to special interests and bring badly needed change to Washington."

McMahon's campaign financing will come mostly from the wealth she and her husband, Vince, have accumulated through their wrestling empire. Running as a fiscal conservative, she has pledged not to take cash from any political action committees or special interest groups and has put a $100 limit on any private donations made to her campaign. There are several other prominent people running for Dodd's seat including former Congressman Rob Simmons, former ambassador Tom Foley, state Senator Sam Caligiuri, and former Ron Paul advisor Peter Schiff.

McMahon has been involved with the Connecticut Republican Party for several years and appointed to Connecticut State Board of Education by Governor Jodi Rell earlier this year. She was nominated in the State Senate with an overwhelming 34-1 vote. She has given money to a number of political candidates - both Republicans and Democrats - including Joe Lieberman and Rahm Emanuel.

As for her duties as CEO of WWE, McMahon's husband will be taking over, effective immediately. The couple's two children, Shane and Stephanie McMahon are also involved in WWE operations and are expected to help with their mother's duties.

Linda Marie Edwards-McMahon was born October 4, 1948 in North Carolina. She graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in French. She is also a certified teacher. She and Vince McMahon met at church when they were just thirteen and sixteen and after dating throughout high school, they were married in 1966. The couple has resided in Connecticut for the last 30 years.

McMahon is committed to public service and supports a number of organizations including the USO, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Starlight Foundation and Community Mayors. She also supports the Connecticut Grand Opera and its arts education program. She is also responsible for creating the Get R.E.A.L. initiative for education and literacy. She has served on the Governor's Council for the World Special Olympics and in 2004, she was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart University.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jane Norton to Run for Colorado Senate Seat

Jane Norton to Run for Colorado Senate Seat

Add former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton to the list of Republican women looking to run for office in 2010. On Tuesday, September 15, the native Coloradan traveled the state to announce that she would be entering the race to unseat Democrat and current United States Senator Michael Bennett. During her announcement speech, she was not hesitant to tackle Washington D.C.'s "giant hand,"

"Seizing control of our car companies, banks, insurance companies - exploding the national debt - and chipping away at individual liberty. And now, the federal government is attempting a take-over of 17% of our nation’s economy in the form of government-run health care. They have unleashed a tidal wave of spending unprecedented in American history... That is why I have decided that I cannot and will not sit by and do nothing."

Norton also addressed illegal immigration and a subject that has been a big part of her own life: health care. With a Bachelor's degree in health sciences, Norton has served in a number of prominent health care-related positions. Not only did she serve her home state as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, but she also served under President Reagan as the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. On health care, she had this to say,

"We need to reduce the cost of health insurance by promoting choice and competition. We need to provide tax equity so that people who buy their own insurance receive the same tax benefits as those who get insurance through their employers. We need real tort reform that limits expensive and frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs. And we need to tell President Obama and Senate Democrats that cutting Medicare for seniors as a way to pay for health care reform is immoral and wrong. And as the daughter of two Medicare recipients, I will not allow this to happen."

So who exactly is Jane Norton?

She was born October 12, 1954 in Grand Junction, Colorado, to Walter "Bus" and Elinor Bergman. After graduating from Grand Junction High School and Colorado State University, she began teaching middle school and would eventually work for Medical Group Management Association, heading its Office of State Government Relations and Office of Strategic Relationships. She also holds a Master's degree from Regis University. Norton is married to Mike Norton, former United States Attorney of Colorado, is the mother of two children and two step-children, and grandmother to seven.

Norton has been involved with Republican politics for most of her adult life and has served in countless leadership roles. She was a member of the Colorado General Assembly from 1986-1987. In 2003, she became the 46th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado where she achieved a number of accomplishments including appointing a state court judge, signing legislation into law, and hosting the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the Jordanian Armed Forces. She also convened a Committee to Promote Adoption, was chair of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, co-chair of the Colorado Space Coalition, worked tirelessly to help small businesses to purchase lower health care plans, restored funding to the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program, oversaw the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, and was recognized for her countless other efforts in matters such as veterans affairs, education, community preparedness, strengthening families, and numerous other health care-related services. She also served as part of a Council of State Governments delegation to Mexico that worked to promote dialogue between American leaders and their Mexican counterparts on trade, cross border cooperation, and immigration policy.

Jane Norton currently works to support law enforcement as the executive director for the Denver Police Foundation, a group that reaches out to police officers and their families in times of crisis and also, provides equipment, training and technology. She also serves as as President of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership. Norton has participated in a tour of the nation's missile defense operations, the West Point Combating Terrorism Center and National Homeland Defense Foundation Symposium training sessions. She is also a graduate of the FBI's Citizen's Academy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nancy Nix: Butler County, Ohio Treasurer

Nancy Nix: Butler County, Ohio Treasurer
Nancy Nix is currently the Treasurer for Butler County in Ohio and is seeking the endorsement of the Butler County Republican Party so that she can run for County Commissioner. Nix, a CPA, says financial issues are closest to her heart. She is fiscally conservative and feels we need less government in our lives. As a mother of three children ages 11, 13, and 14, she says she doesn't yet know what her political future holds, but she isn't ruling anything out. Regardless of what office she holds, one thing is certain; Nix has a very bright future ahead.

We had the opportunity interview Nix, recently. Here is what she had to say:

Can you tell us about your personal and professional background? Family? Where did you grow up/go to school? What did you do before getting involved with politics?

Nix: I grew up in Palmyra, Missouri, as the second daughter of a very middle class, Catholic family. My parents worked hard to provide for my sister and me. I was Student Council President in both middle school and high school.

I went to Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State) in Kirksville, MO, and received a B.S. with double majors in Marketing and Accounting in 1992. I sat for and passed the CPA exam 6 mos later and have spent 12 years working in accounting and banking.

Why do you consider yourself a Conservative/Republican? What issues are most important to you?

Nix: As an accountant and banker, fiscal issues are most important to me. I consider myself a Conservative/Republican because I don't believe in citizens being dependent upon their government from cradle to grave. The United States Constitution was built upon this concept. The more entitlements our society provides to its citizens, the more they will demand. This is not be financially sustainable over the long term.

The current levels of government debt and spending are completely unacceptable.

As a long time volunteer of many community service organizations, I believe in most cases people will take care of people. Yet, there must be a safety net in place, especially for children and the elderly. Safety nets go too far, in some cases, and as a result, the entitlement class grows.

There is also duplication of services and too much bureaucracy. We need smaller, more efficient government, and people should be able to keep their own hard-earned money instead of many times paying for the poor choices of others. There should be adequate regulation to keep the "winners" in our society in check, so they cannot take advantage of the poor.

Why did you decide to become personally involved with politics?

Nix: My dad successfully ran for county office when I was in high school, and it left an impression on me. However, I never took it seriously until I had three children of my own and became more interested in my community. I served a term on City Council and learned a great deal in the process. Since 2007, I have been the County Treasurer and am still learning a great deal about government, elections, and most of all, human nature.

What are some of the things you have accomplished as Treasurer and as a city council member?

Nix: When I was Vice Mayor in 2003, I managed a bond issue campaign for new schools. For ten weeks, I worked on that campaign full time, and our city now has 6 new and 2 renovated elementary school buildings. This was the first time I realized I could truly make a difference.

Also on City Council, I led the initiative for the Direct Election of the Mayor and town hall meetings called "Conversations with Council," which continue still today. My term on council was tumultuous, as our city has been in drastic decline with thousands of jobs going oversees or being eliminated. Only recently my city was named one of the "Ten Most Dying Cities" in America, so one can imagine how difficult it has been for all council members the past several years.

As Treasurer, we have cut 30% of our staff and over 20% of our budget, with no loss in service or quality. Through working with the State of Ohio, we have hosted outreach programs to people in foreclosure, as well as offered Seniors & Money and Rebuilding Credit seminars. Through the rough economy, we have kept our delinquencies within a manageable and stable percentage. We have bid out banking services, saving taxpayers thousands in fees.

You're considering a run for the Butler County Board of Commissioners. What would you like to accomplish at that position? What sort of changes would you like to see in Butler County?

Nix: I am currently seeking the endorsement of the Butler Co Republican Party to be County Commissioner. The endorsement would be the nomination for the Primary in May 2010 and the General Election in Nov 2010. This is a long process!

If successful, I would like to work to help get Butler County back on firm financial footing, just as I did during my tenure on Middletown City Council. I would like to promote regionalization, transparency throughout the county, and establish an Office of Management and Budget, that would provide accountability for all taxpayer dollars that run through the county.

Butler County has been ripe with scandals and nepotism, and I would like to be the Commissioner that restores faith in public servants to Butler County residents.

Do you have political aspirations beyond the local level?

Nix: My children are still young enough (14, 13, and 11) that I don't spend a great deal of time contemplating my future past the next five years. I will keep working hard and learning, and believe opportunities will present themselves, as they always have. I've never been one to shy away from opportunity. Having said that, I don't see myself reaching for a higher office for another 8 years.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Life of Nancy Reagan

The Life of Nancy Reagan

A quick search of the internet and it's hard to find very many pictures of Nancy Reagan without her husband, President Ronald Reagan by her side. But then again, the former first lady has been quoted as saying, "My life really began when I married my husband."

While the President and Mrs. Reagan were seemingly one of the closest couples to ever reside in the White House, life for Nancy Davis Reagan actually began on July 6, 1921 in Manhattan. She was born to Kenneth Robbins, a car salesman, and actress, Edith Luckett. Her parents split up shortly after she was born, and Mrs. Reagan would spend a few years living with her aunt and uncle in Maryland, but in 1929, her mother married Loyal Davis, a neurosurgeon, the man she would refer to as her father. The family moved to Chicago where she attended Girls' Latin School and spent her time swimming, playing tennis and dancing.

Mrs. Reagan attended Smith College in Massachusetts where she studied English and theater. Upon graduation, she returned home to Chicago where she worked as both a nurse's aide and a sales clerk in a Marshall Field's department store, but soon the acting bug bit and Reagan moved to New York City to follow in her mother's footsteps, becoming a professional actress. There, she gained roles in Zasu Pitts' 1945 road tour of Ramshackle Inn and the Broadway musical Lute Song before moving to Hollywood and signing a seven year contract with MGM. During that time, Reagan appeared in eleven feature films including Hellcats of the Navy in which she starred opposite her husband. Mrs. Reagan's acting received mixed reviews but in an 1975 interview, she claimed, "I was never really a career woman but became one only because I hadn't found the man I wanted to marry. I couldn't sit around and do nothing, so I became an actress."

The Life of Nancy Reagan
Despite dating several Hollywood leading men, including Clark Gable, Mrs. Reagan would go on to marry President Reagan on March 4, 1952, three years after they met and she then retired from acting. The couple had two children, Patti and Ron, in addition to the President's children, Michael and Maureen, from a previous marriage. Throughout the years, the couple was known for being particularly attentive with each other and very much in love. Each spoke very fondly of the other in public letters and interviews and Mrs. Reagan was often thought of as a huge influence on many of her husband's political decisions. Actor Charlton Heston even referred to their relationship as "the greatest love affair in the history of the American Presidency."

As her husband became involved with politics, Mrs. Reagan devoted much of her time to various causes and charity organizations. She visited and worked with veterans, the elderly, and handicapped and she was appointed to the California Arts Commission. As the first lady of California, she was voted "Woman of the Year" by the Los Angeles Times.

In January 1981, Mrs. Reagan became First Lady of the United States. Many say she brought a glamour and formality back to the role that had been missing for many years. Mrs. Reagan was very interested in fashion; her wardrobe consisted of many designer gowns and suits and she employed two private hairdressers. She also attended the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana and hosted over 56 state dinners during her eight years in Washington DC. One of her first tasks was fixing up the White House, which, at the time, had been described as being "in a state of disrepair" by an aide. Mrs. Reagan renovated and redecorated many parts of the White House with privately donated funds, claiming, "This house belongs to all Americans, and I want it to be something of which they can be proud."

The "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign is perhaps one of the most notable aspects of Mrs. Reagans's legacy. She traveled over 250,000 miles around the world and the United States to inform people of the dangers of drug abuse. She spoke to schoolchildren, visited drug abuse prevention programs and drug rehabilitation centers, and appeared on several television talk shows. She even made several guest appearances on television shows such as "Dynasty" and "Diff'rent Strokes" and spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, becoming the first First Lady to do so.

Once the couple left Washington DC, they returned home to California where they split their time between their ranch in Santa Barbara and a home in Bel Air. Mrs. Reagan continued to stay in the public eye. In 1989, she established the Nancy Reagan Foundation and continued to speak out against drug and alcohol abuse. She also authored a book about her time as First Lady. When the President was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 1994, she often appeared publicly on his behalf, and became very involved with the National Alzheimer's Association. Since her husband's death in 2004, she has made appearances at a number of national events, despite her deteriorating health.