Posted: October 31, 2010 at 4:48 pm
GARY PETERS IMPLICATED IN EXPOSE BY PULITZER PRIZE WINNING NEWS GROUP
(Birmingham, MI) – Despite His Mega-million-dollar ad campaign to the contrary, Gary Peters is not as he seems. In his bid to hold on to his first-term congressional seat in a race that’s been handicapped as one of the closest, most competitive in the nation, Mr. Peters is projecting himself to be the champion of Main Street and the tough watchdog protecting our interests against big banks, Wall Street and other assorted “sinister” outside influences.
But Mr. Peters is not as chaste as he would have you believe. Just in time for Halloween comes an expose (http://www.propublica.org/article/new-democrat-coalition) from the Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization, ProPublica that is ripping off his masquerade as the guardian of mainstream America against the excesses of greedy banks, Wall Street, Big Pharma and special interests.
ProPublica published a blockbuster investigation of the 69 New Democrats, of which Peters is a member. The expose documents how the New Democrats have raked in millions from the very same “fat cat” lobbyists they decry in public and how they have wielded their congressional clout as payback, weakening important financial and consumer reforms.
“In the past year and a half, New Democrats have pulled in more than $18 million in campaign contributions from their lobbyist fundraising network. The lobbyists, in turn, have mingled with lawmakers and their staffers at least 850 times during fundraising events and informal get-togethers,” ProPublica reports. In the past two years, since the start of the 2008 election cycle, the financial industry has donated $24.9 million to members of the New Democrats, according to a Business Week profile of the New Democrats. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34644156/ns/business-businessweekcom//.
Peters himself has profited handsomely from his membership in the New Democrats, pulling in close to half of his PAC donations (from 1/1/2009 through 09/30/2010) from interests which also donated to the New Democrats. Peters and his New Democrat colleagues refused to be interviewed for the story, the reporters note.
At the bidding of these special interests, according to the articles, the members of the New Democrats Coalition, several of whom, like Gary Peters, sit on the House Financial Services Committee, have watered down financial regulatory reform, fought to ensure that banks receiving TARP money didn’t have to trim executive bonuses and helped block a proposal to allow bankruptcy judges to adjust home mortgages — a move many experts say could have mitigated the wave of foreclosures. Records show The National Association of Realtors PAC donated more than $403,000 to the New Democrats according to ProPublica.
The New Democrats tapped Peters because he had the perfect resume, having made his living as a Wall Street insider with 23 years combined experience as an executive at Merrill Lynch and Paine Webber. But nowhere is this background to be found in Peters’ ads or on his campaign website where his focus paradoxically is “cracking down on Wall Street.”
Peters was also named as one of three House conferees selected to hammer out the final financial reform bill while the leadership of the New Democrats “worked behind the scenes to make sure the interests of the New Democrats and their allies were represented” ProPublica reported.
Both the ProPublica and Business Week accounts chronicle how the New Democrats also played a decisive role during the healthcare reform debate, delivering a win for Big Pharma and biotechnologies on a class of medicines called biologics used to treat cancer, anemia and arthritis. At stake was the period of patent protection during which cheaper generics would be prevented from competing. The biologics industry wanted to keep the patent window at 12 years; the Administration pressed for seven years following a Federal Trade Commission report concluding that the 12-year monopoly was “too long.” Ultimately, the New Democrats threw their “full weight” lobbying their party leadership and prevailed for Big Pharma, sliding through the 12-year patent protection.
The New Dems were also instrumental in shaping regulations for over-the-counter derivatives, the largely unregulated, complex financial products that were at the epicenter of the global financial meltdown. According to the Business Week report, a full-court press by the major investment banks and a consortium of businesses leaned hard on the New Democrats to ease up on the Administration’s insistence that derivates be moved to regulated trading platforms to prevent “reckless behavior on Wall Street.” The recommendations advanced by the New Dems “created a loophole that would allow risky and unregulated derivates trading” the head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission warned, ProPublica reported.
Despite pitched back-room dealing, the New Dems’ derivatives exemptions were scrapped in House/Senate conference. And while the New Dems didn’t produce for Wall Street as it had hoped on this particular issue, “the group helped make the overall bill more palatable to the financial industry by forcing concessions on multiple fronts,” ProPublica reports.
So, even though the New Democrats — including Gary Peters — “helped block or water down measures proposed by the White House and Democratic leaders, many of its members are receiving cash infusions and strong support from party institutions like the DCCC,” ProPublica explains. It’s no wonder that the DCCC has just dumped $497,000 in last minute advertising buys for Peters, making him among the top 10 recipients of the DCCC’s 11th-hour giving.
It is troubling indeed that Peters, who portrays himself as a crusader for “Main Street” against the excesses of “Wall Street” is himself compromised by these apparent conflicts of interest, as exposed by ProPublica. Mr. Peters needs to come clean to his constituency immediately about his role in the New Democrats bloc.
ROCKY CONDEMNS TERROR PLOT TARGETING U.S. SYNAGOGUES
Posted: October 31, 2010 at 2:43 am
(Birmingham, MI) – Last week’s news of an intercepted terror attack targeting Chicago synagogues is a chilling reminder that we are still very much at war against enemies who seek to destroy us and our way of life. Intelligence points to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror network based in Yemen affiliated with Osama bin Laden and American-born cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki. This latest plot comes on the heels of the release of a recent tape from American-born al-Qaida spokesman, Adam Gadahn, calling on Muslims in Detroit, London and Paris to launch violent jihad against “Zio Crusaders.” Detroit is the only U.S. city mentioned by Gadahn, who in the video also praised Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspect involved in the attempted bombing of an airplane bound for Detroit, whose case is now being tried in federal court in Detroit.
“Having served my last deployment in the War on Terror just a year ago in the Horn of Africa, I am keenly aware of the dangers and the dynamics of radical-fundamentalist Islam in this most volatile part of the world and the alarming threat it poses to the western world,” stated Rocky Raczkowski. “No longer are these threats isolated to terror groups operating in foreign soil.”
This past year America has seen an unprecedented increase in domestic terrorism, including such well-known incidents as the Fort Hood shooting, the Times Square bombing attempt and the foiled Christmas Day bombing, which occurred aboard an airliner over the Detroit skies.
“I am committed to ensuring that America’s citizenry and interests are protected against this insidious global threat,” stated Rocky. “As a military veteran and as a representative of the people, I will work to assure that our military troops and our law enforcement personnel have the resources and support necessary to effectively fight the war on terror and keep America safe.”
INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE BOB GRAY: “PLEASE VOTE FOR ROCKY”
Posted: October 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm
Today, Bob Gray, independent candidate for U.S. Congress in the 9th District, dropped out of the race and endorsed Rocky Raczkowski. Gray joins Adam Goodman, the Libertarian candidate, who endorsed Rocky on Thursday.
“To Bob Gray, his family, campaign team and supporters, I welcome your help, your prayers and your votes,” said Rocky. “We stand together for the common cause of defending the Constitution and the common sense conservative principles that made America great. What Bob is all about is freedom, and I am proud to have his team join our campaign.”
A statement from Mr. Gray follows:
“The best interest of the 9th District has always been my main concern. As a realist, my chances of winning are slim to none. Thus, I am officially dropping out of the election and endorsing and supporting Rocky Raczkowski. Rocky shares my belief that Obamacare needs to be repealed and de-funded. We both believe in lower taxes and smaller government.
“My conscience could not allow the Pelosi-led, liberal left to destroy our district. For the good of America, I must step aside. As long as Rocky continues to protect and defend our great Constitution, the 9th District is in good hands.
“To all my supporters: please vote for Rocky. Do not fret; 2012 is right around the corner. Bob Gray for Congress will be a major player in the political scene. Please support me in 2012. Our journey has just begun. My strong conservative roots and family values make this decision easy. Thanks to my wife, Cindy; my children, Bobby and Leah; and all my hard-working supporters. I’ll be back!
“God Bless America and God Bless the 9th District.
“Remember, ‘What About Bob?’”
LATEST POLL SHOWS ROCKY WITH 5-POINT LEAD OVER PETERS
Posted: October 29, 2010 at 11:43 am
MIRS Capitol Capsule
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A new poll conducted by Great Lakes Strategies shows Republican 9th District Congressional candidate Rocky Raczkowski with a 5-percentage point lead (48 percent to 43 percent) over U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-West Bloomfield).
The sample size was 700 and the poll has a margin of error of 4 percent.
“This poll shows that Rocky has gained serious momentum heading into the final days and hours of the campaign, but the race still could go either way,” said Matt Golden of the Great Lakes Strategies Group.
LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE, ADAM GOODMAN, DROPS OUT OF RACE AND ENDORSES ROCKY
Posted: October 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm
Just got off the phone with Charlie Crumm from the Oakland Press. I am humbled and honored that the Libertarian candidate for the Michigan Ninth Congressional District, Adam Goodman, has officially dropped out of the race and has endorsed our campaign. Adam will be a valuable voice in our effort to get America back on track after we win on Tuesday.
7 DAYS TO FREEDOM
Posted: October 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm
ROCKY’S NEW COMMERCIALS
Posted: October 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Rocky’s Commercial – Choice
ROCKY STRONGLY SUPPORTS AUTO INDUSTRY
Posted: October 26, 2010 at 7:28 am
Rocky Strongly Supports Auto Industry
[Birmingham, MI] — Today, Rocky Raczkowski reiterated his stand strongly supporting economic policies that help the auto industry create jobs here in Oakland County. He also made it clear that he supported action to bailout GM and Chrysler but that direct investment by taxpayers was not the best option. In addition, Raczkowski said that he is concerned nothing has been done to relieve the burden of regulations that contributed to the crisis.
“Loan guarantees would have been a better approach that protected both auto jobs and retiree pensions,” said Raczkowski. ”In Congress, I will fight to make sure the American auto industry has a fair and level playing field, with low taxes and less red tape. That’s the key to long term job growth and security.”
Raczkowski explained that excessive rules and regulations, especially arbitrary fuel economy and “greenhouse gas” standards, hurt the U.S. auto industry.
“While one arm of government invests in the auto industry, another arm tears it down with new regulations that defy common sense,” said Rackowski. ”Our workers are the best most productive in the world yet government regulations hold us back by raising costs and taking jobs away.”
IS GARY PETERS A MAN OF HIS WORD?
Posted: October 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm
Is Gary Peters a man of his word?
During the health care debate, Gary Peters stressed that he would not support Obamacare if it would weaken the Medicare system. The incumbent wrote the following to a constituent in his district, “Medicare is a sacred trust with America’s seniors, and I have always said it is essential that Medicare is preserved. These measures not only improve the quality of the program, they also protect the long-term solvency of Medicare and ensure it is available for years to come and to lower the deficit.”
While Gary Peters assured Oakland County voters that he would oppose any bill that would compromise Medicare, the sad truth is that the final bill that he voted for actually weakens the Medicare system and undermines its “sacred trust” with seniors.
Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster recently reported that Obamacare will result in Medicare recipients replacing Medicaid recipients at the bottom of the health care barrel as early as 2019. That’s when fees Medicare pays to providers will be slashed to below Medicaid rates, which are already below market prices, and will lead to a reduction in the number of health care facilities, providers, services and products. That means longer waits for care, rationing of care and lower quality care.
Even worse, with cuts like the $550 billion reduction in Medicare funding being used to pay insurance subsidies for 32 million new people, how can anyone possibly believe that Obamacare — as crafted and passed by Nancy Pelosi and Gary Peters — will preserve the integrity of health care for senior citizens?
It is time to elect someone who listens and works for us. It is time to vote for Rocky Raczkowski and begin repealing and replacing Obamacare. Our health depends on it!
CAN WE TRUST GARY PETERS TO “IMPROVE” OBAMACARE?
Posted: October 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm
Can We Trust Gary Peters to “Improve” Obamacare?
In mid-August, liberal Democrats started a full-blown retreat from their core arguments about cost and deficit reductions in the new health care law because “they are not resonating with voters.” Based on advice from prominent liberal politicians and health care activists, Democratic candidates are being advised to discontinue messaging that focuses on health care costs and deficit reduction, and to move instead to disingenuous talk about “improving” the bill.
Just what do Democrats like Gary Peters, who voted to make Obamacare the law of the land, mean by “improving the bill?” We can only guess. But here is one probable explanation: Democrats want to add features they were not able to pass the first time around, notably the so-called “public option.”
Note that during an interview in Washington, D.C. while engaged in earlier Obamacare debates, Gary Peters stressed that his top priority was having a public option in the bill. In this regard, he clearly stated at that time, “I think the public option is very important … . It is a critical component of the health care bill.”
In all probability, given the ham-fisted way Gary Peters and his Democrat colleagues previously forced Obamacare on an unwilling American electorate, any “improvements” to the current legislation will result in our having to pay higher taxes for a new public option. This is simply a chance we cannot take by leaving control of the House in the hands of Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Gary Peters and their ultra-liberal colleagues.
That is why we must vote for Rocky Raczkowski, a principled conservative leader who will listen and work for us to repeal and replace Obamacare.