Monday, July 27, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Just two weeks ago, New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte announced she was leaving office to explore running for a seat in the United States Senate, replacing Republican Senator Judd Gregg who is not planning to seek re-election. Upon announcing her resignation, she said, "Recently, many New Hampshire citizens have urged me to run for United States Senate. I appreciate their confidence in me." Ayotte, the state's first female Attorney General, has served and been supported by both Republican and Democratic governors.
As of today, just three days after leaving the Attorney General's office, it looks as though Ayotte is taking her desire to run a step further. In a press release, she announced that she has filed a United States Senate campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission, which will allow her to begin raising money to explore and pursue running for office, "Today I filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in order to form a candidate committee for the United States Senate. This is the next step in the legal process as I explore my potential candidacy for the race in 2010."
While a number of prominent citizens of New Hampshire have expressed their interested in running for Senator Gregg's seat, Ayotte is thought to be a front-runner in the race, which could be why the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already released an ad attempting to compare Ayotte to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The ad insists both women are simply abandoning their constituents for their own personal gain. New Hampshire State Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley told the Associated Press, "We now know that she is deserting the people of New Hampshire in favor of personal ambition. Not unlike Sarah Palin, Kelly Ayotte has broken her promise to the people she represents and put politics before public service."
"I would let my record of public service speak for itself," Ayotte responded to the criticism. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has also responded, reminding Democrats that President Obama once promised serve a full six-year term in the Senate.
Kelly Ayotte graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1990 with a B.A. in Political Science and from Villanova Law School in 1993. A member of both the New Hampshire and Maine state bars, Ayotte spent a year as a law clerk for the New Hampshire Supreme Court followed by four years working as a litigation associate with the firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson, and Middleton. She joined the Office of the Attorney General in 1998 as a prosecutor, handling white collar, public integrity, and homicide cases. In 2003, she was appointed Deputy Attorney General and in 2004, Attorney General. Throughout her legal career, she has been the recipient of many rewards and honors. Kelly Ayotte currently lives in Nashua, New Hampshire with her husband, Joseph Daley, and daughter, Katherine.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
When you think of Republican Women, Susan Myrick may not be the first person who comes to mind. But the Congresswoman has been serving North Carolina's Ninth District proudly since 1995. Here is a look at the life of the first and only female Republican to serve Congress from North Carolina.
Sue Wilkins Myrick was born August 1, 1941 in Tiffin, Ohio. While living in Ohio, Myrick graduated from Port Clinton High School in and attended Heidelberg College for two years. She began her career by starting an advertising and public relations firm and later went on to serve on the Charlotte City Council in North Carolina. She would later become the first and only female mayor in Charlotte's history, serving two terms. During her time as mayor, Myrick focused on removing drug dealers from Charlotte neighborhoods, and managed to improve the city's transportation without raising taxes.
During her eight terms in Congress, Myrick has had many accomplishments. Perhaps, the one most near and dear to her own life is serving as the co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus and championing legislation for breast cancer that called for increased research, education, early detection, and development of promising new therapies. Myrick, herself, is a breast cancer survivor. Her own experience has prompted her to become a strong voice against socialized medicine and the health care system currently being pushed by the President and Democrats in Congress. On her website, she states, "I don’t believe in a government run health care system. Do you really want the same government that responded to Katrina, and who can’t seal off our borders, to run and control your healthcare?"
Two other issues Myrick feels strongly about are disaster relief and the war against terror. She is the founder of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus which works to educate the public about the dangers of Islamofascism and meets with experts on terrorism. Her experience dealing with North Carolina's floods, hurricanes, and torandoes in recent year has taught Myrick that federal government can't always be depended on to respond efficiently in times of emergency. For this reason, Myrick appreciates the importance of depending on private groups and as a leader, has worked extensively with them on-site during times of disaster.
Myrick currently serves on the oldest, broadest and most powerful committee in the House: the Energy and Commerce Committee. There, she is also a member of the Health subcommittee, and the Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection subcommittee. In 2009, she was elected to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. From 2002 to 2004, Myrick served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, an organization of House Republicans who work to advance a Conservative economic and social agenda. It was this role that allowed her to become a national voice for Conservatives. In 2003, she was appointed as Deputy Whip and continues to serve in that capacity, today.
When she's not busy taking care of her constituents in North Carolina, Sue Myrick is a wife and mother to two children and three step-children. She and her husband, Ed, also have twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Last night, Sean Hannity called her the GOP's "second most hated woman." He was, of course, talking about Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District. After Governor Sarah Palin, Bachmann is perhaps the most recognizable and outspoken female member of the Republican Party and much like Governor Palin, Bachmann is a target of liberals in Washington DC and within the media. Each week, we see her on numerous news programs or holding press conferences on every issues from abortion to wasteful spending, but just who is Michele Bachmann?
The third female and first Republican to represent Minnesota in Congress, Michele Bachmann was born on April 6, 1956 in Anoka, Minnesota. She graduated from Winona State University, received her J.D. from Oral Roberts University and her LL.M. degree in tax law from William and Mary. Bachmann, who is a mother to five children, began her political activism in the 90's by getting involved with her local school system. In 1993, Bachmann along with other parents opened a Charter School that's Christian leanings were the source of much controversy. She also loudly opposed Minnesota's "School-to-Work" program.
In 2000, Bachmann officially entered the political arena, becoming a State Senator representing Minnesota's 56th District. During that time, she proposed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In 2004, she was appointed Assistant Minority Leader in charge of Policy for the Senate Republican Caucus. In 2006, Bachmann successfully won the election to her current seat in Congress. She currently serves on the Financial Services Committee and on several subcommittees including: Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises; Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology; Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
During her short time in Congress, Bachmann has been outspoken on everything from the war in Iraq to energy. She was a strong opponent of the federal bailout and introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, insisting the government should not be in the business of telling consumers what they can and can't buy. In October, 2008, during a controversial appearance on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" she not only questioned Barack Obama's patriotism but called for an investigation into several Democratic members of Congress' patriotism. Bachmann has taken a strong position on several other current, hot-button issues including favoring the privatization of Social Security and constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and opposing minimum wages increases and abortion.
Bachmann, not one to stray away from controversial topics or stand up what she believes in, is currently under fire for refusing to fill out the 2010 Census. Bachmann told The Washington Times she would only answer the question about how many people lived in her household, claiming the Census is becoming far too personal, "I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home, we won't be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that." Several House Republicans have been urging Bachmann to reverse her decision.
Bachmann currently lives in Stillwater with her husband Marcus. The couple has five children: Lucas, Harrison, Elisa, Caroline, and Sophia. They currently own a small mental health care practice. Bachman, who was yesterday appointed to be a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's advisory board has parented 23 foster children.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
On Friday, July 3, 2009, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced her intention to resign from office at the end of July. (The transcript of Sarah Palin's resignation speech can be found here.) On what would have normally been a slow news day, a Friday leading into a holiday weekend, the world was taken by surprise by the news and reacted accordingly. Accusations flew and speculation surfaced everywhere from within the media to online social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. As imagined, those on the left side of the political aisle, for the most part, used the opportunity to fire more accusations and insults towards Palin and many on the right were left disappointed. But not everyone responded negatively. Several big name Republican pundits, though somewhat suprised, stepped in and defended Palin and her decision.
Radio giant Rush Limbaugh took a break from his 4th of July golfing trip to talk about not ruling out Palin's potential for a 2012 presidential run, "I don't think this precludes her running for office down the road, the presidency, in 2012, at all. I think these people saying she's an instant target because she quit is just inside the beltway formulaic. And she's not that... If anything, this woman's M.O. is outside-the-box, not formulaic, so until we know what this is all about, I think it's just everybody being the smartest person in the room. All I know she is going to continue to fire up people."
Former Governor Mike Huckabee sang a different tune, insisting he is a fan of hers, he insinuated that if Palin cannot handle current attacks as Governor, she certainly would not be able to handle them as President of the United States, "The danger that Sarah Palin faces, and let me be very quick to tell you -- in the way of full disclosure -- I am a Sarah Palin fan. I like her personally. I like her points of view. I think she's right on the issues. The challenge that she's going to have is that there will be people who say 'Well, look if they chase you out of this, it won't get any easier for you at other levels of the stage.'" It should be noted that many believe Governor Huckabee is planning his own run for President in 2012 and Palin is often seen as one of his biggest competitors.
Former adviser to President George W. Bush, Karl Rove, called Palin's move "risky," but also conceded that it's "not clear what she's doing and why."
Other top-name Republican pundits and strategists weighed in and were very supportive of Palin's decision. Mary Matalin called into CNN over the weekend and described the decision as "brilliant." "Well, I think it’s really brilliant, with two caveats, one being that there’s nothing else, ala the Sanford fiasco. There’s nothing else that we don’t know. If all that’s there is what we see right now, it’s brilliant. And, secondly, that she has a plan and people have a plan to put up with the conventional wisdom, chatterati and the political class saying how stupid it is, because it’s brilliant.
The ever-controversial Ann Coulter appeared on "Hannity" on Monday night and not only defended Palin but lashed out at her critics saying, "They're talking about her like an ex-girlfriend. They're totally over her but they just can't stop talking about her. 'No, I'm over her. She's history, I feel more sorry for her than I do for me,' but they can't stop talking about her. I mean who is the last politician they said was a hick, wasn't going any place, was stupid? I think that's Ronald Reagan. She has this amazing ability to connect with people. And you know, as Nixon said, they're not going to have Palin to kick around anymore."
Governor Palin, herself, decided to avoid her critics and the media and instead turned to Twitter and Facebook to get her message to those she really wanted to reach: the American citizens. She has been furiously standing up to rumors and speculation via the social networking websites and posting messages such as "Critics are spinning, so hang in there as they feed false info on the right decision made as I enter last yr in office to not run again...." and "We'll soon attach info on decision to not seek re-election... this is in Alaska's best interest, my family's happy... it is good, stay tuned."
While no one knows for sure what's in store for Palin's future, no one can argue that we will be hearing about her from both supporters and critics for a long time to come.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
When President Barack Obama asked Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to step in as Secretary of Homeland Security, Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer was appointed to run The Grand Canyon State, becoming Arizona's fourth female governor.
Jan Brewer was born in 1944 in Hollywood, California and holds a degree in radiology from California Community College. She is married to John Brewer, who is a chiropractor. They have three sons, one of whom died in 2007, and Brewer accredits her political career to her interest in her sons' education. When she took office, Brewer told the Arizona Star that even though she has big plans for the state, she hopes she can maintain her normal daily life including her Saturday trips to Costco, putting her favorite meals in the crockpot before heading out to work in the morning, "getting in the dirt" of her garden, and enjoying her daily Coke Zero. She claims that staying in touch with the people she serves is key to successful governing:
"They do the same thing every day that you do. They face the same problems with their children. They face the same things with education and paying to send them to college. And you bring that with you, and you feel like you're their voice."
Brewer moved to Arizona in 1970 and has since spent 26 years serving the people of the state. She was supervisor of Maricopa County, a member of both houses of Arizona legislature, and was serving her second term as the state's Secretary of State when she stepped in as Governor in January. As Secretary of State, Brewer worked to help taxpayers keep more of their money and make the election process more accessible. She consolidated assignments, eliminated staff overtime, and had the state legislature update laws to rid the state of unnecessary expenditure and to help address the state budget deficit. She also compiled the Help America Vote Act State Plan which eliminated punch card voting systems, created centralized and uniform voter registration system and put touch-screen voting devices for disabled voters in each precinct. She also introduced and passed legislation that allowed men and women in the military to register and vote via fax or internet, which allowed hundreds of Arizona's military members to vote in the 2008 elections.
As Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Brewer turned the county around from being deep in debt to becoming one of the most fiscally sound counties in the United States. Brewer also worked to secure better salaries for sheriff's deputies, secure thousands of acres of land away from development and into county parks, and improved the Maricopa Medical Center Burn unit which today is one of the best health care facilities in the nation. As a member of the Arizona State legislature, Brewer served as the Majority Whip for three years, leading the way in reform that continues to help millions of Arizonans with tax relief, budget reform, truth in sentencing, open enrollment, school report cards, charter schools, clean air and water, and state trust land preservation. She also created the first Living Will statue in the nation.
In addition, Brewer has many other accomplishments and professional and community affiliations. She has served on the Governor's Military Task Force, as vice-chairman of the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, vice-chairman of WESTMARC, which focuses on economic development and growth issues, as Chairman of the Board of Directors for RIAZ, Inc. (Recovery Innovations of Arizona), and as Co-Chairman of the Continuum of Care organization dealing with homeless issues. She is also a charter member of Luke Fighter County Partnership which is dedicated to preserving the missions of Luke Air Force Base. She is also a member of Hope and a Future, Child Help USA, Arizonans for Children, the Arrowhead Republican Women's Club, the Maricopa County SMI Commission, the Arizona Rifle and Pistol Association, the Japanese-American Citizens League, and the Life in Christ Lutheran Church in Peoria.