The Worst Kind Of Deja Vu: GOP Senators Reject Common Sense Gun Safety Bills

Today, the following GOP senators voted against legislation that would help prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing guns:

Roy Blunt, Missouri
John Boozman, Arkansas
Richard Burr, North Carolina
Chuck Grassley, Iowa
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
John McCain, Arizona
Rand Paul, Kentucky
Rob Portman, Ohio

Marco Rubio, Florida

Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

These GOP senators also voted against closing the background check loophole for guns bought online and at gun shows:

Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire
Roy Blunt, Missouri
John Boozman, Arkansas
Richard Burr, North Carolina
Chuck Grassley, Iowa
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
John McCain, Arizona
Rand Paul, Kentucky
Rob Portman, Ohio

Marco Rubio, Florida

Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

“These are common sense measures, but Senate Republicans refuse to take action against gun violence,” said American Bridge President Jessica Mackler. “Instead of supporting legislation that could make real change, GOP leaders introduced sham legislation that will do little to prevent another mass shooting and will still make it possible for suspected terrorists to get their hands on guns. The GOP should be ashamed that they continue to cower and risk Americans’ safety rather […]

Read more after the jump.

??For Mardi Gras, AB21 Presents the Krewe of Fat Cats? ?

Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday“, is a time of excess, revelry, and celebration. These GOP Senators are backing special interests all year long, but today AB21 wanted to make sure they got the proper roll out on their Krewe of Fat Cats. The Senate GOP “throws” include votes to fill the pockets of Wall Street, chaos in financial markets, and knocking down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

While the middle-class suffers, expect a full on second line from these Senate GOPers as they celebrate with Wall Street campaign cash and the Koch brothers:  Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Joe Heck, Mark Kirk, Richard Burr, Roy Blunt, and John Boozman.

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte has received nearly $1 million from the securities and investment industry. Ayotte has also received more than $1 million in support from the Koch group Americans for Prosperity. In 2015, Ayotte voted against an amendment that would have helped protect consumers from […]

Read more after the jump.

Senator John Boozman Won’t Stand Up For Arkansas’s Working Women

On the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, working women are still fighting to close the gender wage gap — and Republicans, including Senator John Boozman, are standing in their way.

Boozman voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2012, 2014, and 2015.
As a representative in the House, Boozman voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2007 and 2009.
As a representative in the House, Boozman voted against requiring employers to prove unequal pay was job instead of gender related in 2009.

“Today in Arkansas, women make 26 percent less than men for the same work. Instead of supporting equal pay for equal work and ending discriminatory practices that harm families and the economy, Sen. Boozman has stood in the way of creating equal opportunity for women,” said American Bridge President Jessica Mackler. “The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a step in the right […]

Read more after the jump.

Trump Koozies Bolster John Boozman’s Senate Race

 

The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s newly minted Donald Trump koozies are being hocked to fundraise on behalf of their slate of Senate candidates for 2016, including Senator John Boozman. This is the second time in two weeks that the NRSC’s Trump strategy has been revealed.  Last week, a leaked confidential NRSC memo detailed instructions to Senate incumbents and candidates on implementing Trump-like strategies for their 2016 campaigns.  Trump called the NRSC candidate guide a “compliment.”

“Donald Trump’s hateful, divisive rhetoric and policies are as un-American as they are incendiary. Fundraising on Trump’s hate speech to re-elect Sen. Boozman is desperate and outrageous. Sen. Boozman has refused to condemn Trump’s candidacy, even after his call to ban Muslims. Trump and Sen. Boozman’s policies would hurt the state. Their agenda would make it harder for Arkansasans to get a quality education, crush women’s access to healthcare, and take away insurance coverage for children of low income families,” said Jessica Mackler, president […]

Read more after the jump.

National Republicans’ Arkansas Worries Emblematic Of GOP’s Larger 2016 Senate Challenges

A year out from election day, national Republicans already have at least half a dozen Republican incumbents in trouble. And the Senate map continues to grow. A new poll out this week shows Arkansas’ John Boozman with an approval rating of just 38%.

 

Alongside Boozman’s low poll numbers is his completely lackluster fundraising — and the combination has national Republicans nervous and sounding the alarm bells. 

 

CNN reports the NRSC has made it clear it’ll cut its losses if his campaign continues its downward slide:

 

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has also flatly warned Boozman that it will not spend a penny in Arkansas if he gets into trouble, according to several people familiar with the situation.

 

But for now, the Committee is roping in Mitch McConnell to help Boozman raise some money — and turning the screws on its donor network:

 

At a recent closed-door summit with party donors in Sea Island, Georgia, […]

Read more after the jump.

Rubio Shows Support For Discriminatory RFRA Laws With AR State Chairman Pick

Marco Rubio has been repeatedly criticized for his outdated ideas and policies on issues such as energy and women’s health. Now, Rubio is doubling down on his out-of-touch positions on LGBT rights with the appointment of Arkansas state Sen. Bart Hester as his new state chairman.

 

In response to the announcement, American Bridge President Jessica Mackler released this statement:

 

“Marco Rubio’s choice for Arkansas state chairman underscores his support for bigoted and discriminatory religious freedom laws. State Sen. Bart Hester was a co-sponsor of a RFRA law that has been called ‘anti-gay’ and is considered harmful to LGBT rights. There is no doubt that Rubio’s endorsement of Hester makes sense — they are a perfect match when it comes to extreme right-wing positions.”

Read more after the jump.

GOP Civil War Brewing Over Discriminatory “Religious Freedom” Bills

After a week of disastrous headlines, Republicans are at each other’s throats over controversial “religious freedom” legislation.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who ignored public outcry to sign the bill in a secret ceremony with anti-gay activists, caved to overwhelming public pressure– including from Mitch Daniels— and asked for a “fix” only to see GOPers in the business community tell him that wasn’t enough, either.

The damage doesn’t stop with Pence, though.  The 2016 Republican presidential field backed Pence’s original law (well, depending on what room they were in), further highlighting just how far the party has to come from their now-farcical 2012 autopsy.

Read more after the jump.

Ain’t No Party Like A Shutdown Party: Your 2014 GOP

A year ago today was a dark day for Washington. Like, literally dark — the Republican Party turned off the lights to the federal government, holding the economy hostage to try to score political points. It didn’t work.

In fact, all the government shutdown did was suck $24 billion out of the US economy, while leaving the Republican Party deeply damaged. It’s easy to associate the shutdown with the likes of Ted Cruz, the man who drives the GOP strategy. But it’s not just Ted Cruz who supported the shutdown. It’s nearly every Republican Senate candidate in key races and a slew of 2016 frontrunners.

Their support manifested itself in different ways. Cory Gardner voted for the shutdown, risked default by voting against raising the debt ceiling, voted to prolong the shutdown, and then hobnobbed with Karl Rove and his big-money donor friends while America paid the price for his actions.

View supporting research after the jump.

Breaking: Koch Industries’ Outsourcing and Job Loss

In a recent television advertisement Koch Industries touted the growth of the company to create “60,000 American jobs.” The true story paints a picture of Koch Industries’ long history of job losses and outsourcing, resulting in nearly 3,000 American jobs sent overseas.

Outsourcing

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal job training program that provides assistance to workers who lose their jobs as a result of competing foreign imports or direct outsourcing.  An analysis of TAA cases, news articles, shipping records, and layoff notices revealed examples of outsourcing at 13 Koch Industries facilities, and potential outsourcing at additional facilities.

  • In 2003, Koch laid off 150 employees at a KoSa plant in Shelby, North Carolina.  In 2004, the Department of Labor certified that a portion of 150 employees who had been laid off at a plant in Shelby, NC, were eligible for TAA as a result of outsourcing to Mexico.  Former employees at the Shelby facility later filed suit against Koch claiming that the company pushed workers to, according to a former worker, “leave gracefully” or “be victims of downsizing.” (Source)
  • In 2004, Koch outsourced 175 jobs from an Invista plant to Mexico, less than a month after purchasing the plant. Koch Industries had promised to retain all employees.  In late 2006 and early 2007 more workers jobs were outsourced to Mexico, as detailed by the US Court of International Trade. (Sources 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • In 2004, some 35 workers were laid off at an Invista plant in Athens, Georgia.  In 2006, they were certified eligible for TAA because of outsourcing to Mexico. In 2008, the plant laid off an additional, 50 employees. (Source)
Read more after the jump.

A Thursday Morning Koch Hangover For GOP Senate Candidates

Yesterday morning, newly released audio recordings from a secretive Koch brothers summit earlier this year offered an even clearer window into just how cozy today’s Republican candidates are with the Kochs and their powerful network.

Speaking with rare candor, key Republican senate nominees thanked the billionaires for getting them to where they are today, lavished the entire Koch community with praise, and doubled down on their adherence to the Kochs’ extreme, anti-working family agenda.

Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, and Tom Cotton all gave speeches at Koch summit in June. Yesterday, they had less to say. But the coverage spoke for itself, and it wasn’t pretty — check out the brutal headlines and key passages below from Wednesday’s reporting:

At Koch Retreat, Top GOP Senate Candidates Credited Koch Network For Their Rise
Huffington Post // Sam Stein

None of the three candidates returned a request for comment for this article. But their attendance at the retreat offered both reward and risk.
A few days after Ernst’s appearance, Charles Koch, his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law each gave the Iowa candidate the legal maximum contribution of $2,600.
Cotton, meanwhile, took heat for backing out of the local Pink Tomato Festival to attend the Koch affair, with his opponent, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), all but accusing him of lacking home-state sensibilities. A willingness to go against the prevailing winds at home has endeared Cotton to the Koch brothers’ crowd, however.

Caught on Tape: What Mitch McConnell Complained About to a Roomful of Billionaires (Exclusive)
The Nation // Lauren Windsor

To put that in perspective, Mitch McConnell’s thirty-five-year career in the Senate saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans, the 2008 housing meltdown that threatened the entire economy and Barack Obama’s election, to cite a conservative bête noire. But it was McCain-Feingold, the bill that banned soft money and unlimited donations to party committees, that constitutes the worst day of his political life.

Secret audio nails Mitch! Endangered McConnell busted humiliating himself on tape
Salon // Joan Walsh

This year Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chose to spend Father’s Day with two GOP political sugar daddies, Charles and David Koch, at their annual retreat, this time at the lovely St. Regis Monarch Bay resort in Orange County, California. As befit the day, McConnell brought the love: “I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David, for the important work you’re doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you.”

Read more after the jump.