American Bridge Submits FOIA Request For Gov. Corbett’s Phone Records

It isn’t every day that the chief executive of a state admits that he expressly operates in a manner to skirt transparency laws. But that’s exactly what Governor Corbett has done. 

As the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported last week, Corbett has gone to incredible lengths to conduct business outside of the public eye:

“The governor said he rarely uses email because he knows reporters would file Right-To-Know requests to get them. Instead, he said, he uses the telephone. He said he needs the freedom to be able to express opinions that he may later want to change. Mr. Corbett said he deletes his emails about once a week.”

That’s a stunning concession and one that demonstrates contempt for the spirit of open democracy. As such, American Bridge is issuing a FOIA request for Governor Corbett’s official phone records. The people of Pennsylvania deserve to know exactly what their governor has made such a concerted effort [...]

Read more after the jump.

Jack Hunter, Rand Paul’s Race Relations Defender

Jack Hunter, Rand Paul’s former new media director, has authored a piece in Politico espousing that Senator Paul is the Republican Party’s new “Jack Kemp,” calling him a “revolutionary” when it comes to outreach to African Americans. Hunter, who has strong ties to Paul and co-authored his 2011 book, is an interesting one to talk about race relations, given his ties to neo-secessionist and confederate groups. In fact, Hunter has a long history of preaching extreme positions on racially charged issues, including comparing Abraham Lincoln to Hitler and saying of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, that his “heart was in the right place.” In his writings, Hunter has gone so far as to decry that “it’s a shame that” white Americans “are always denied fair treatment” because of the color of their skin. This is Rand Paul’s defender on race relations, ladies and gentlemen.

Background

“The Southern Avenger” Alter Ego

Jack Hunter, Paul’s New Media [...]

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A Rick Scott Dodge So Bad That We Decided To Launch A New Site

If you’re reading this post, you probably already know that Rick Scott won’t answer questions. After all, you are the very people asking them and receiving the same canned responses over and over and over and…let’s just cut to the chase.

Today, American Bridge is launching AskRickScott.com, a site dedicated to cataloging the ever-growing collection of Rick Scott dodges.

And our newest Scott-ism added to the site comes from his press avail this morning. Scott was asked about one of his least favorite topics — his shady trips to King Ranch — and, well, he proceeded to Rick Scott harder than he’s ever Rick Scotted before:

Happy Akin-versary!

Zero score and two years ago today, Todd Akin shook the political world with his now infamous claim that “[in the case of] a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
 
We could go on for hours mocking Akin’s asinine comments and his recent attempt to rehabilitate his image, which included a retraction of his apology and a slew of evidence that he still doesn’t understand why anybody was offended in the first place. 
 

But at this point, Akin is nothing more than another extreme Tea Party has-been. What’s far more important is that, while Akin may have had a unique flare for the offensive, his extreme positions on women’s health are anything but unique within the Republican party.
 

Supporting so-called “personhood” is the de facto position in today’s GOP — a position that could make common forms of birth control like the pill illegal. Many [...]

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Senate

Colorado’s Coffman and Gardner Are Two Peas in an Extreme, Bad for Colorado Pod

Last week, Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman couldn’t for the life of him remember the phrase “birth control,” while his colleague Congressman Cory Gardner unflinchingly pledged to a constituent that, if elected Senator, he would once again vote to restrict women’s access to health care services. Indeed, Colorado Congressmen Forgetful and Affirmative are two peas in a pod when it comes to limiting women’s health care rights.

In his bumbling attempt to appear sensitive to women’s issues, Coffman did manage to verbalize that he supports the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, which allows certain employers to limit women’s access to birth control, as previously required by the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. Setting aside, of course, the fact that forgetting birth control is not a luxury millions of women who rely on contraceptives for family planning and health reasons can afford, consider also that Coffman’s debate blank out is coming from [...]

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Senate

New Web Ad: Thom Tillis Forgot To Tell You A Few Things

Thom Tillis released a new TV ad today telling you a few things about his background and his record. The only problem? He forgot the facts. Nearly everything Tillis says in the ad is completely undermined by the truth about his record as Speaker of the North Carolina State House. From massive education cuts and budget shortfalls to tax cuts for the wealthiest North Carolinians in a perfectly Koch-aligned agenda, one thing is clear: Tillis does not want to talk to you about his record in the legislature. It’s a record he’s obviously so proud of that in this new ad he conveniently fails to mention that he has anything to do with the very legislative body he presides over.

So we decided to help Speaker Tillis out and fill in some of the crucial context he was unable to fit into his new ad.

GovernorsRapid ResponseThe Wire

Oops

Once upon a time, there was a belief that Republican governors like Rick Perry and Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie and Scott Walker, represented a bright future and a new direction for the GOP. 

Well it’s a new direction alright — courtward. Bob McDonnell may have started the scandal train, but now everybody is hopping on board. Chris Christie is jamming bridges as political retribution and Scott Walker is allegedly at the “center of a criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate campaign spending. With his counterparts embroiled in scandal and hogging attention, Rick Perry damn near lost relevance… until today.

Not to be outdone, Perry went ahead and abused his power as governor, finally getting back in the spotlight with a couple felony indictments. Phew, that was close.

There was a time when these four governors were celebrated for charting a new vision and speaking with conviction.

These days, the closest thing they have to a new vision is Rick Perry’s hipster glasses. And the closest thing they have to conviction is…well, conviction. But not the good kind.

Being a Corbett “ghost employee” is nice no-work, if you can get it

Make one call a day, send five emails a year, pass “Go,” and collect $140,000. That’s the Monopoly-esque carte blanche that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett presented to his former state education secretary Ron Tomalis.

Reports have surfaced that Tomalis has been a “ghost employee” for the past fourteen months, collecting his former cabinet salary while doing precious little work as a higher education adviser to Governor Corbett.

Pennsylvanians are understandably frustrated that taxpayer dollars have continued to pay Tomalis’ salary to do little to no work, especially in the midst of a state fiscal crisis. Tomalis is now resigning his phony post, but not after taking in more than double the median income in the Keystone State, leaving us with two questions: when is Corbett going to issue taxpayers a refund for Tomalis’ salary, and where can we sign up to become “ghost employees”?

Watch local press take Corbett to [...]

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Scott Brown: “Open” and “Unfettered” (VIDEO)

Scott Brown says a lot of things that he thinks people want to hear. Like, “I’m from New Hampshire,” for example. But unfortunately for Scott Brown, reality matters.

Recently, Brown has been touting the openness and unfettered-ness of his open and unfettered town halls. The only problem, as BuzzFeed recently reported, is the actual town halls seem to be a bit more closed and fettered than the former Massachusetts senator let on.

American Bridge had up close and personal experience. And the reality certainly didn’t match Scott Brown’s rhetoric about his town halls.

Check out our new video: