Tag Archives: Senate

VIDEO: Watch this Democratic Senate nominee refuse to associate with Obama

LOUISVILLE, October 9, 2014 – In Kentucky this morning, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alison Lundergran Grimes met before the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board to seek their endorsement. Grimes will be facing off against incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

During her interview, Grimes was asked multiple times rather she voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, and she continuously refused to answer the question.

Obama’s most recent national approval rating is at 38% according to Gallup in September of this year. In fact, Obama is even less popular in Kentucky than he is in the rest of the country.

Grimes has sought to distance herself from the Obama camp and has instead relied on the Clintons, longtime family friends of Grimes, to aid in her campaigns.

You can watch the full exchange here:


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Exclusive: Fake “Honest” Candidate Raises Over $70K Running Against Mitch McConnell and Allison Grimes

KENTUCKY, July 23, 2014– Gil Fulbright may soon change America. Due to a viral campaign featuring his “honest political ads”, the entire country will soon know who Gil Fulbright is. “People of Kentucky, you deserve complete honesty, so here it is. I don’t care about you,” says Fulbright in an ad. Fulbright declares that unless you’re a lobbyists- don’t expect him to work for your best interest.

In only 10 short days, Gil Fulbright has raised almost $70k from more than a thousand donors to run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. In less than two weeks, Fulbright’s campaign ads have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube. However, Fulbright isn’t on the ballot. In fact, he’s not even real.

Fulbright is a satirical politician created by Represent.Us, an independent, not-for-profit organization. The organization’s advisory board consists of Tea Party leaders, Occupy Wall Street activists, Democratic and Republican strategists, former lobbyists, investment bankers, former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, a Harvard Law professor and more.

Their mission is simple. Run a pseudo candidate against Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Allison Grimes in the Kentucky 2014 U.S. Senate race to expose how crony corporatism has overthrown the American political system through the process of lobbying. Democrat, Republican— It doesn’t matter.

Represent.Us cites that about 87 percent of the donations funding McConnell come from out of state, and Grimes’ out of state supporters have contributed 75 percent of her funds.

Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race between Grimes and McConnell, the Senate’s minority leader, is expected to reach a $100 million price tag and become the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history.

Fulbright was kind enough to provide BenSwann.com an interview:

What are your thoughts on the Constitution? 
Constitution… That sounds familiar. Whatever it is, it’s got some weak name recognition. They should invest in better lobbyists! 
Grimes and McConnell both accept millions in special interest dollars. Do you find this unethical? 
Heck no. Special interest dollars are the lifeblood of American politics. If selling your constituents up the river in order to stay in office and eventually retire to a lucrative lobbying career is wrong, I don’t want to be right. 

What inspired you to run for office?
When I heard the Kentucky Senate race was on track to cost 100 million dollars — 100 million! — making it the most expensive race in US history, only one thought came to mind: “Old Gil needs to get a piece of that action.” Running for office means a chance to become even richer and more powerful. I’d like to be both of those things. 

What do you plan to change if elected to the United States Senate?
Whatever my financial backers want! Need a tax loophole? Done. Competing business nipping at your heels? I’ll regulate them back to the stone age. Need to bump up your bottom line? I’ll send as many federal dollars as you want your way. If you’ve got money to give, I’ll return the favor.  
My campaign advisors would like me to include a few more patriotic buzzwords in this interview. Jobs! Working class! Freedom! Eagles! 
Yup, that should cover it. 
Are you a Republican or Democrat? 
Depends on who’s buying. 

Mansur Gidfar, Represent.us Communications Director, answered the following questions concerning the campaign:

What’s your plan of attack?
Now that we’ve smashed our crowd-funding goal (we’re nearly 330% funded with 19 days left), we’ll definitely be sending Gil to Kentucky. He’ll be running ads, working the press, and making high-profile campaign stop appearances at major political events to make the unprecedented amount of money corrupting our political system a top story. The campaign is already a runaway success on that front — Gil has already generated more than 100 national and local news stories (highlights here), and he hasn’t even been to Kentucky yet. His campaign will officially launch on August 2 at Fancy Farm, a major event in Kentucky politics.
Do you plan to continue the campaign after the November election? 
Gil’s staying tight-lipped about his future for now. Who knows? If things go well in Kentucky, we might just have to run him for president.

Visit Gil Fulbright’s crowd-funding page to follow his progress.
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Sebelius Considering Run For United States Senate?

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2014– In this town, one rarely stays gone for long. Only a week has passed since former Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius stepped down from her cabinet position. The departure has largely been credited to the failed Obamacare roll out.

According to a report by Jeremy Peters of the New York Times, Sebelius is now weighing a possible bid for United States Senate. Democrats believe that incumbent Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) is vulnerable and Sebelius is the one to take him out.

However big Democrats may dream, it does not seem likely that Sebelius can take the seat. Democrats haven’t held a U.S. Senate seat in Kansas since the late 1930s. In fact, Kansas has only elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate three times since it achieved statehood. In addition, many believe that Republicans will regain control of the Senate this year due to multiple scandals that have been executed throughout the Obama presidency.

Roberts’ true concern is not with Sebelius. His tea party challenger Dr. Milton Wolf presents the most dangerous obstacle to reelection. Reporting $313,000 from individual donors, recently released quarterly fundraising totals show that the Wolf campaign could be gaining some traction. In contrast, Roberts only raised $274,000 from individual donors. Meanwhile, he raised an additional $260,000 from special interest super PACs.

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Cold Welcome For Scott Brown’s Exploratory Committee Announcement

Nashua, N.H. —  After just recently moving to New Hampshire, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown announced at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference that he is forming an exploratory committee to explore the option of running for Senate in New Hampshire.

He plans on touring New Hampshire in what he calls his “Main Streets & Living Rooms Tour”, saying, “Starting tomorrow morning, and for the next several weeks, Gail and I will be traveling around the state to introduce ourselves, to ask questions, to speak with everyone of every background – Republicans, independents and Democrats alike – and above all to listen to them and learn of their concerns,”

His announcement was welcomed by GOP insiders and establishment. However, his announcement was not so welcomed by New Hampshire GOP grassroots. Facebook groups and pages lit up with groans and disapproval of Scott Brown’s not-so-Republican voting record.

One Facebook group in particular seemed to stream nothing but disappointment. A picture posted on the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire’s feed summed up the disappointment:
Many GOP grassroots pointed out that they feel Brown is anti-gun, making reference to Brown’s role on an advisory board of a gun manufacturer that wants to install RFID tracking devices on firearms.

Brown’s top two competitors in the primary are not going to just lay over.

“This primary campaign will draw a clear contrast between the voices of the voters in New Hampshire, and the one-size fits all, top-down approach from those in Washington,” Jim Rubens spokesman James Basbas said.

Meanwhile, Bob Smith challenged Brown to 10 debates in the 10 counties adding he would even supply Brown with a map.

A Suffolk University general election poll shows Brown far behind incumbent Shaheen, trailing her 52% to 39%.

“If he manages to survive a Republican primary against Republicans who are actually from New Hampshire, he’ll have an even tougher general election against Jeanne Shaheen, whose common sense leadership makes a difference for New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein.

House of Cards: Highly ranked Army general pleads guilty to multiple sex crimes, Senate reacts

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina, March 17, 2014– At a Fort Brag military court the United States reached a deal with defense attorneys of U.S. Army brigadier general Jeffrey Sinclair Sunday. The United States agreed to drop charges of sexual assault and two other charges, which would have forced him to register as a sex offender, in exchange for a plea deal.

Sinclair has been charged with forcible sodomy according to allegations by a female U.S. Army captain, which could have landed the Army veteran to life in prison.

The Army captain accused Sinclair of forcing her to engage in oral sex when she tried to break off a former relationship with him. According to the accuser, Sinclair threatened to kill her if she tried to report him.

Sinclair will plead guilty to “mistreatment” of one accuser, a junior Army officer, his lawyer said.

According to the Reuters report:

Sinclair already had pleaded guilty this month to [additional] military crimes of having an adulterous affair, asking junior female officers for nude photos and possessing pornography on his laptop while deployed in Afghanistan. Those offenses carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and possible dismissal from the Army.

Sinclair is expected to enter his plea today. Military prosecutors are withholding comment for now.

Last week the Senate unanimously (97:0) passed a bill cracking down on how the U.S. Defense Department manages cases of sexual misconduct. It has moved to the House where it is likely to pass. The bill was sponsored by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

Senator Kristin Gillibrand (D- N.Y.) attempted to push a competing bill by filibuster, which she argued went further than the one that passed. The filibuster failed.

Gillibrand’s bill would have taken the prosecution of sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and transferred it to the Judge Advocates General Corps. She argued that roughly a quarter of all sexual assault cases are perpetrated by someone in the chain of command, making reporting obviously difficult. Of the estimated 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact in 2012, only 3,000 were reported and 300 prosecuted.

A report from National Center for Victims of Crime validates Gillibrand’s claims. According to the report, men are more likely to experience some form of unwanted sexual contact than women. Men are also three times as likely not to specify the incident.

Not all were satisfied with the outcome of the Senate vote.“Service members deserve a professional and unbiased justice system equal the system afforded to the civilians they protect. It is a travesty that this very practical, conservative measure, supported by a substantial majority of the Senate and 60% of Americans was blocked by a procedural filibuster,” Nancy Parrish, president of Protect our Defenders, said of Gillibrand’s bill in an interview with TIME.

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It’s official: Kentucky legislators move to clarify law so Rand Paul can run for President and Senate in 2016

FRANKFORT, March 13, 2014– Kentucky lawmakers are moving to change state law, which could prohibit a federal candidate from appearing on the same ballot twice in a general election. Primary elections appear to be excluded from the current state law, so much ambiguity has surrounded US Senator Rand Paul’s (R) options.

“What this simply does is clarifies that when you have a candidate in the federal delegation who is either seeking the presidency or is chosen to run for the vice presidential seat, that person can also run at the same time for their seat in the United States Senate or the United States Congress,” Sen. Damon Thayer said of his revised bill in an interview with Kentucky.com.

One Democrat, State Sen. Morgan McGarvey (Louisville), joined Republicans on the Senate State and Local Government Committee in voting to send the proposal to the full Senate for a vote. “One thing about this bill that I think is important to point out is it only allows federal officeholders in Kentucky to run for president or vice president,” said McGarvey.

Holding a majority, House Democrats have promised to block the bill.

Paul and his allies continue to cite that Kentucky’s existing law wouldn’t stop him from running for both offices because U.S. Supreme Court precedent dictates that federal law supersedes state law with regards to federal elections.

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Poll: If Republicans Want To Keep KY They’ll Have To Vote McConnell Out, Bevin In


A recent Ramussen poll shows that Kentucky US Senator Mitch McConnell (R) is in serious trouble.

According to the poll, McConnell (42%) runs dead even with his democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes (42%).

However, Matt Bevin, McConnell’s tea party challenger, leads Grimes by 4% in the same poll.

McConnell is running scared. His campaign has recently released a series of attack ads calling Bevin a big government, bailout proponent. McConnel also tried to pass off claims that Bevin didn’t pay his taxes. Multiple fact checking organizations have proved McConnell’s claims about Bevin to be false.

If Republicans want to keep the Kentucky federal Senate delegation red their only choice may be to vote tea party.

The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Kentucky was conducted on January 29-30, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

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Exclusive Interview: Lawsuit May Put Libertarian in South Carolina Senate Seat

A South Carolina election law may put a Libertarian Party candidate in a Charleston-area (District 42) Senate seat.  The seat was left vacant on May 31, when Democrat Robert Ford resigned due to a scandal surrounding the use of public funds at adult establishments.  A special election was held on October 1 and won by Democrat Marlon Kimpson, who garnered 79.6% of the vote.  See article.

Republican Billy Shuman Jr. got 19% of the vote, while Libertarian Party candidate Alex Thornton got just 1.2%.

jeremywaltersJeremy Walters, Chairman of the Libertarian Party in York County, S.C., though, filed a lawsuit on September 26 contending that both the Republican and Democrat candidates violated a state election law.  According to Section 8-13-1356 of the S.C. Code of Laws, political candidates must file their Statements of Economic Interest (SEI, an income disclosure form) for the previous calendar year along with their declaration of candidacy or petition for nomination.

Both Kimpson and Shuman listed 2013 on their SEIs, and Thornton was the only candidate to fill out the form correctly.  The same law got 250 candidates kicked off the ballot in 2012, and though Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill this year attempting to mitigate the effects of this legislation, those changes had not yet taken effect because they had yet to be approved by the Department of Justice.

Alex ThortonIf the lawsuit is successful, Thornton may be declared the winner of the election.  She would be the only Libertarian State Legislator in the country, and one of the higher ranking Libertarian politicians in any state.  There are many Libertarians nationwide who have been elected to local offices – such as Municipal Court Judges, School Board members and Water Board members – and these are positions where they can make a direct impact and gain more support for the party.

The first Libertarian candidate was elected to a state legislature in Alaska in 1976, and he became a popular politician, even winning 15% of the votes in a gubernatorial election.  Thornton is clearly in a “progressive” area of the state, where Robert Ford served for nearly 40 years and where the Democrat candidate to be his successor won almost four times as many votes as all the other candidates combined.

The Libertarian Party has been in the spotlight in the past few years, and if Thornton wins the lawsuit and goes on to become a legislator, she could become the standard that other

people look to when deciding whether or not to vote Libertarian.  She would provide a tangible representation of how Libertarians can be expected to vote and act in any elected office, and while this would invite a type of scrutiny the party has not been exposed to, it would also move Libertarians closer to an even playing field.

Though the thought of Libertarian Senators and Congressmen is an appealing one to liberty-minded voters, the Libertarian Party must build its base by winning local elections and then moving on to state and national ones.  It holds a number of local positions, but if Alexandra Thornton wins her lawsuit and both she and other party members use the victory wisely, she

could help other party members to attain state positions.  This could be a very beneficial victory for the Libertarian Party statewide, and later nationwide.

Listen to the exclusive interview with Chairman Jeremy Walters:


Breaking: John Boehner and Harry Reid Secret Meetings To Protect Their Own Healthcare Subsidies

As the debate rages on over whether or not Congress should continue its attempt to defund Obamacare, Politico has released leaked emails that indicate Speaker of the House John Boehner’s and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s staffs worked secretly to continue federal subsidies for members of Congress.

The emails first released by Politico, indicate that over a five month period, Boehner’s and Reid’s staffs worked together to create a legislative “fix” for the issue of whether Congressional members and their staffers could continue to receive between $5,000 and $12,000 a year in employer contributions from the Federal Government.

“As part of the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers and aides are required to join insurance exchanges that begin operating on Tuesday, the same day the government shut down.”

At its core, the issue surrounds the Office of Personnel Management and its decision that lawmakers and staff members could not receive those employer contribution subsides any longer once they were enrolled into healthcare exchanges. After pressure from Congress, top White House aides and even the President himself, the OPM reversed its position and issued a regulation saying that the subsidies would continue after October 1st.

So how is this newsworthy? Because during the debate over the government shutdown, Speaker Boehner included a measure that would end those very same subsidies. Subsidies that, again according to the leaked emails, the Speaker of the House fought secretly for.

Among the multiple attempts to create a fix for these subsidies, the emails indicate that Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid attempted to get a private meeting with President Obama to appeal for his help. Whats more, the emails between Speaker Boehner’s chief of staff Mike Sommers and Majority Leader Reid’s top aide David Krone agree that the reason for meeting with President Obama must remain secret.

“We can’t let it get out there that this is for [Boehner] and [Reid] to ask the President to carve us out of the requirement of Obamacare,” Sommers told David Krone, Reid’s top aide in a July 17 e-mail obtained by POLITICO.

That email conversation between Krone and Sommers goes on to claim that the cover story for the meeting with the President could be floated as “next steps on immigration” to which Sommers reportedly says, he isn’t concerned about the cover story so long as the real reason for the meeting remains a secret.

By the way, the meeting with President Obama never materialized. Neither did the legislative “fix” for the subsidies, which Boehner himself reportedly suggested. That suggestion included just hiding the language into another bill.

“‘When I was in the state legislature, we used to stick things in [bills] and no one would notice,’ Boehner said during a private meeting with Reid in July to discuss this issue, the sources said.”

What this story goes to demonstrate is the harsh reality of the false left/right paradigm in Washington. The reality of what is happening in our nation’s capital is so much political theater, so little attempt at actually representing the public.

Is The “Old” Talking Filibuster The “New” Way To Reach The Public?


21 hours. That is how long Sen. Ted Cruz was able to last after beginning his talking filibuster over the defunding of Obamacare, Sen. Cruz has captured headlines across the nation as his filibuster was over a bill that would fund the government through the rest of the year but would defund the Affordable Care Act. That bill passed the House but has virtually no possibility of passing the Senate.

Which raises the real question… if the Cruz filibuster cannot actually change the course of the House bill or the institution of Obamacare, then what is the point? Is this not a lot of wasted time?

Sen. Cruz is taking a page out of the Sen. Rand Paul playbook. Sen. Paul of course held a nearly 13 hour talking filibuster over the CIA nomination of John Brennan. Sen. Paul said he was not trying to prevent the actual nomination of Brennan but was using the opportunity to educate the public on the issue of drone strikes.

Sen. Paul did so very successfully. One month after the Paul filibuster, the New York Times reported a 50 point swing in public opinion on the issue of drone strikes. This was only possible because the Senator was willing to use his filibuster not as a procedural roadblock but as a way of bringing the issue into the public discourse.

Which brings us back to Sen. Cruz’s filibuster. Right now, polls show a majority of the American public are not happy with Obamacare for a number of reasons. The Wall Street Journal is reporting huge jumps in premiums for young Americans. Forbes magazine is reporting that premiums for young males will increase by nearly 100%:

“Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.”

So how does Ted Cruz, “talking until I can’t stand anymore” actually help the situation? Simply put, Cruz is rallying the American people and attempting to expose sides of the the ACA that have been lost in the media. Here are some excerpts from that filibuster:

“James Huff, the president of the Teamsters, has said ObamaCare is destroying the 40-hour workweek. It is destroying the backbone of the American middle class. That is not me saying that, that is not any politician from Washington saying that, that is the Teamsters.”

“A few weeks ago UPS sent a letter to 15,000 employees and it said: We are terminating spousal health insurance because of ObamaCare. Their husbands and wives were told: Sorry, your health insurance is gone. Remember, the promise was: If you like your health insurance, you can keep it. For those 15,000 UPS employees–for their husbands and wives–that promise has been disproved by reality.”

“Just last Friday we saw Home Depot–one of America’s great companies, one of America’s great success stories, one of America’s great employers–announce that 20,000 employees will be losing their health coverage. How many more stories like this will we have to hear before Congress does something to protect Americans from the harmful effects of this law.”

“Why 29 hours a week? Well, just like the 50-employee threshold, ObamaCare kicks in and counts an employee if he or she works 30 hours a week. One of the things that is forcing small businesses all over the country to do is to force their employees out of good full-time jobs into 29 hours a week because they don’t get hammered with the costs and burdens of ObamaCare.”

“Do you believe that Members of Congress should be exempted from ObamaCare, that we should have a special rule, that we should disregard the language of the statute and not be subject to ObamaCare the way the American people are, the answer would be overwhelmingly no. And it doesn’t matter where in the country you are or what your party is.”

So was the the filibuster a success? While that remains to be seen, one thing is assured, the talking filibuster to raise these important discussions won’t end here.

Senate Bill Attempts To Make The “Right” of Free Press a “Privilege”

The Senate Judiciary committee has moved forward a bill that would offer “Shield Law” protections for journalists and prevent them from having to testify about their work. The bill, moved forward on Thursday after members of the committee took it upon themselves to define who is a journalist and who is not.

Senator Charles Schumer says that this bill “balances the need for national security with that of a free press.” Though wouldn’t that beg the question, if the press (media) is restricted (balanced with security), how could it be free?

Of course the real story here centers around Senator Dianne Feinstein who has for weeks insisted that the committee must create and limit a definition for the title of “reporter”. Feinstein says that she cannot support everyone who has a blog with “special privilege”, going on to say “If Edward Snowden were to sit down and write this stuff, he would have privilege. I’m not going to go there.”

Senator Feinstein

Some groups like The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are supporting the bill which was approved by a vote of 13-5 as being a step in the right direction. The group supports a Feinstein amendment to the bill which allows it to cover journalists on several levels including freelancers, part-timers and student journalists. Though the bill itself doesn’t actually cover anyone because it goes on to allow the Feds to “compel disclosure” from journalists who have information that could stop or prevent crimes, prevent acts of terrorism or information that could cause “significant harm to national security.”

So lets go back for a minute to what Senator Feinstein said about Edward Snowden. The Senator believes that the shield law should be limited because if it is not, Snowden could start his own website and be protected? But if the Feds believe that what Snowden shares with a reporter is a danger to national security, even under the structure of this law, the shield law would be ineffective.

Of course, through all of this, the biggest issue is that Congress is attempting to pass a law to “define a privilege” that is not a privilege at all. Freedom of the press is a right. According to Black’s Law Dictionary “a constitutional right is a right that has been guaranteed by the United States Constitution that cannot be violated by laws or by Congress.”

Freedom of the press is a Constitutional right and cannot be revoked, even for national security purposes. You likely already know this, so why is it important? Because please notice that Senator Feinstein above refers to extending shield law protection as “special privilege”.

Go back to Black’s Law Dictionary. A privilege is defined as “A particular and peculiar benefit or advantage enjoyed by a person, company, or class, beyond the common advantages of other citizens.”

The biggest difference between a right and a privilege… one can be revoked and the other cannot. Consider for a moment the men who helped to frame revolution for the colonies at the birth of the country. No single person was more influential in sowing the seeds of revolution than Thomas Paine, who in 1776 self-published a pamphlet titled “Common Sense.” Paine, was not a “professional journalist” in fact, he was a corset maker by trade. And yet it was Paine who was among the first to openly reject the idea of the colonies subjecting themselves to the British government thousands of miles away. During the early battles of the Revolution when the Continental Army suffered humiliating defeats, it was Paine who published papers titled “American Crisis”.

Poet Joel Barlow might have best described the role of Thomas Paine, one of the original “alternative journalists” in America by saying “Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain.”

When Senator Feinstein claims that protecting a “real reporter” is important but protecting the rights of a “17 year-old with a website” is not, she and other members of Congress are attempting to define who has permission to speak and who does not.

US Senate Candidate on Global Gun Control: Send the U.N. to Qatar and free up some NY real estate

On Friday, Joshua Cook of BenSwann.com asked US Senate candidate Lee Bright a few questions via Google Hangout about the UN Small Arms Treaty and the UN. In the interview, Bright discussed recent attacks on the Second and Fourth Amendments, the UN and primary opponent Lindsey Graham.

Regarding the recent NSA and DOJ revelations, he echoed an opinion whose popularity transcends party lines when he said “the Fourth Amendment is absolutely under assault right now,” going on to say “we’re definitely not being granted our due process rights. We’re not criminals, so they have no right to that information.”

He emphasized the need for Americans to protect their gun rights, not limiting his discussion to simple self defense issues. “The Second Amendment defends all the rest … our founders intended those rights to protect us from a tyrannical government,” he said, adding that though Republican willingness to “acquiesce to the demands of the Democrats on gun rights is very disturbing,” he would act as an uncompromisingly pro-Second Amendment Senator.

The biggest gun control battle being waged at the moment, though, isn’t a traditional legislative battle at all. It’s a UN Small Arms Treaty supported by Barack Obama, Samantha Power and John Kerry alike, the three people with the strongest ability to subordinate US interests to the international organization. When asked about the treaty, Bright said he would filibuster any such treaty, and supported the idea of a US exit from the UN in general. “I think we can communicate with other nations if need be, and if we’re going to have a global organization, I’d like it to be somewhere else, because I don’t want it trying to micromanage the US or trying to take away our rights.”

Bright also said that he had tried to give Lindsey Graham the benefit of a doubt, but that he had ignored the will of the people, had not been the conservative voice South Carolina wants and needs, and that his actions in Egypt had been the last straw.
Lee Bright is one of Graham’s three conservative challengers in the South Carolina primary. The senator hasn’t been up for re-election since 2008, so this will be his first campaign since the rise of the Tea Party.


Rep. Gowdy Says He Won’t Vote for the Patriot Act

Thousands of privacy violations made by the NSA is making Congress reconsider the Patriot Act. South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy recently said that he wouldn’t vote for its reauthorization.

According to the Washington Post, the NSA has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and top secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to UK’s The Guardian newspaper.

Recently, Congressman Trey Gowdy appeared on the Fox News Channel. FoxNews.com reporter Dana Perino asked the congressman about his constituents’ concerns:  “You voted for the legislation that was put forward that would have adjusted the NSA funding and — to try to do something about what is perceived by some as privacy violations. Since you’ve been home on the August break, are you hearing about this from people? Like, what — is this on top of mind for them, that they want this issue addressed?”

Gowdy responds, “Yes, ma’am. And I’m hearing about it, because I’m a former prosecutor who usually balances the scale towards public safety. I voted for the Patriot Act reauthorization. I heard about that when I came back home. In fact, I helped some of the leaders in Congress convince colleagues a year ago to vote for the reauthorization. But I’m not going to do it anymore. And Dana, I’m not going to do it anymore because the author of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensenbrenner, says it’s being used a way that he never envisioned.”

According to Gowdy, his voters are connecting with him and sharing their concerns: “I had a town hall last night, and if I had to tell you the dominant theme, is people are scared and they are distrustful. And that is across party lines. It’s across ideological lines. They just don’t trust government, and we’re not going to make it if we don’t get that fixed.”

Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, the author of the Patriot Act, wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing his issues with the interpretation of the Patriot Act. He writes, “As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the FBI’s interpretation of this legislation. While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses. The Bureau’s broad application for phone records was made under the so-called business records provision of the Act.  I do not believe the broadly drafted FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.”

Congress is thinking twice about its recent Patriot Act reauthorization. Earlier this year, Congress passed a four-year extension of expiring Patriot Act provisions, which won’t expire until June 1, 2015.

South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan turned to social media with his outrage over the lack of protect of citizens’ privacy.

He wrote on Facebook: “A few weeks ago, I joined with a coalition of Republicans and Democrats to end the NSA’s current domestic spying program and protect the 4th Amendment. Our effort failed by a vote of 205-217; however, none of the information in this news report was made available to Congress at the time. How can Congress conduct proper oversight if we aren’t given all the facts? This should concern everyone across the political spectrum and I’m hopeful that armed with new facts that we’ll have the votes needed for our initiative to pass. I’m also hopeful that we’ll have seen some bipartisan outrage for being denied important oversight information.”

Duncan is one of the supporters of the LIBERT-E-Act, which stands for the “Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act.”

The purpose of this legislation is to shine a light on the secret processes of the federal government to spy on its citizens and it will also raise the standard by which any federal agency can engage in surveillance activities to prevent the mass collection of private information.

He’s In! Lee Bright Launches U.S. Senate Campaign Website

Today the anti-establishment, pro-second Amendment, pro-life, pro-civil liberties state senator Lee Bright launched his campaign landing page. Conservatives and liberty activists throughout the state have been waiting for a sign to settle everyone’s mind about whether or not he’s running against Lindsey Graham or not. Well that day is here. His formal announcement will be coming soon, but this move is to signal those in the grassroots that he is indeed running.

This morning the Bright team has launched his official campaign landing page: www.BrightForSenate.com

bright - website

“Conservatives and those in the liberty movement are excited about Bright running because he is the only challenger with an impeccable voting record, and we will stress this throughout the campaign,” one Bright supporter said.


Talbert Black with Campaign for Liberty and founder of the Palmetto Liberty PAC which monitors S.C. legislators’ voting records said,


“Lee Bright has been an outstanding state Senator, standing up against corruption, for life, for the right to keep and bear arms, for fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government. He has not been afraid to stand against his own party leadership when they are wrong. He has a proven record. I have no doubt his past actions are an accurate predictor of what Lee Bright will do as a US Senator.”

Recently theGreenvillePost.com asked Bright why he thought there was so much passion to replace Lindsey Graham with a true conservative?

lee-brightConservatives feel that South Carolina should be a state that helps and not hurts. And they expected a U.S. Senator from a “Red State” to help the conservative cause and not be an impediment to it. And we let them down on that front…Graham has let us down on so many issues. A lot of folks thought he would follow in the footsteps of Strom Thurmond (R), but instead, we got another Fritz Hollings (D). Except I would argue that Hollings was more conservative on fiscal issues than Lindsey Graham is. He has not done what we thought he would do. He is not the Graham that went after Bill Clinton at the impeachment hearings. He is the Graham that has fallen under the tutelage of John McCain,” Bright said.

Bright’s website is just another warning shot across the bow for Lindsey Graham. Bright will be the 3rd candidate to enter the race to unseat Sen. Graham following small business owners Nancy Mace and Richard Cash.

War Hero Considers a Run for Sen. Graham’s Seat: Exclusive Interview with Lt. Colonel Bill Connor

This week I contacted Lt. Colonel Bill Connor to ask him a few questions about a potential run against Sen. Lindsey Graham. Currently Lt. Colonel Connor is on active duty and cannot campaign due to military restrictions. Connor is a well-known and respected Constitutional Conservative in South Carolina and won the Bronze Star for his efforts in Afghanistan.

Joshua Cook: There are rumors that you are considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat to replace two-time incumbent Lindsey Graham. Tell me where you are at on that decision.

Connor: I am strongly considering a run for Sen. Graham’s seat.  I do not believe that Graham has provided the “consistent” conservative leadership expected by South Carolinians (particularly conservatives).  He is “hit or miss” on the issues.  I appreciate his strong stance on national defense and issues like Benghazi.  I am disappointed with his record on the TARP bailout, immigration, spending/taxing (internet sales tax, etc.), foreign aid and importantly his decision to vote to nominate Sotomayor and Kagan for the Supreme Court.  That vote for those two radical justices is inexcusable.  That is a reason the SCOTUS struck down DOMA, and we may see an end to traditional marriage as we all know it.

Cook: When you ran for S.C. Lieutenant Governor, you said that you were “The Ultimate Outsider.” What did you mean by that?

Connor: When I ran for Lt. Governor, I was a 41-year-old military guy just back from war who had never run for office.  I have never worked in the political world as a consultant (Nancy Mace with Fitsnews) or elected official (Lee Bright).  I have never had a family member run for office, and I don’t have political connections.  I discovered my situation of running as a Tea Party candidate without any political background/connections made me the ultimate outsider.  I lost the race for Lt. Governor in the runoff, so I can no longer say I’ve never run for office.  However, I believe I remain an outsider.  A conservative who just wants to defend the Constitution in a different manner from the way I defended it as an infantry officer in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Egypt (Sinai), etc.

bill connor-hero

Cook: Why did you feel called to volunteer for the 218th infantry brigade that was called into combat to Afghanistan? You were not in the 218th but you decided to volunteer anyway.

Connor: I was not in the 218th Infantry when they were alerted to deploy to Afghanistan.  I volunteered because I felt the call to defend our great nation and my family.  I had been trained as an Airborne Ranger, had commander Light Infantry and Ranger Tng units and had almost 2 decades of experience in the Army combat arms.  I believed in the mission, as we were attacked on 9/11 from what was planned and supported by Bin Laden and Al Qaeda from Afghanistan (and the Taliban would not give up Bin Laden to justice).  I love our Constitution and would give my life for that document.  I feel the same passion to fight for it back home.

Cook: Why do you think there is so much excitement to replace Lindsey Graham not only in SC but throughout the U.S.?

Connor: Sen. Graham has ceased to be a South Carolina conservative leader and sought the public spotlight as a national figure.  In doing so, he is praised by the liberal media for “reaching across the aisle.”  He spends his time around John McCain attempting to garner that “aura” of the national spotlight.  Therefore, Graham has generated support among moderates nationally and the ire of conservatives, particularly in S.C.

Cook: One of the big issues in the U.S. is immigration. The Chamber of Commerce-types want cheap labor, democrats want new voters, but the majority of Americans want secure borders. How can we expect that passing new laws will help when we don’t follow the laws we currently have on the books? What is the answer to our immigration problems?

Connor: In the 1950s, General Eisenhower (after the Presidency, he asked to be referred to as General and not President) did the right thing by enforcing our laws.  It may have seemed hard, but he rounded up those who broke the laws and deported them.  We now have a situation in which Sen. Graham and many others have been very weak on the enforcement of our laws and allowed us to come to this point.  Now, they argue we cannot enforce the law and seek ways to reward lawbreakers.  I take a tough approach to this issue.  Before any discussions, we must secure our border properly.  Graham is against that being the top priority.  He patronizes conservatives by claiming that the new political reality (created by his negligence) forces the GOP to back off of the tough line on immigration.  Bottom line:  We cease to be a nation if we cannot control the borders.  We have people from throughout the world following our laws and watching the laws being selectively enforced due to pressure from interest groups.  We need to secure the border and enforce the laws.  Period.

Cook: Should the 2nd Amendment be limited? What are your thoughts on the recent attempt to ban “assault” rifles (M-4, AR-15 variants) and weaken the 2nd Amendment?

Connor: Having had to defend my life with my personal weapons (including 9mm pistol) in war at close range with those seeking to kill me, I will NEVER back down on the 2nd Amendment rights.  All this seems theoretical, until one needs a weapon for self defense.  Someone may only need it once in their life, but that one time determines if they live or die.  Our founders and the Constitution is 100% clear about this right.  It cannot be taken.  That includes so-called “assault” rifles, which are no different beyond cosmetics.

connor 50 caliber

Cook: Sen. Lindsey Graham and John McCain have criticized Senators like Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. McCain even referred to them as “Wacko Birds” and then later apologized. How do you view them? Are they doing a good job?

Connor: I believe John McCain and Graham need to go back home, get real jobs and be forced to understand they are no longer conservatives.  Mike, Rand and Ted are the true conservatives to most conservatives in America.  McCain calling them “Wacko Birds” is ironic.  McCain’s various statements and decisions, while maintaining the GOP/conservative label (his label), is pretty wacky.  Those conservatives are doing an excellent job and exactly what conservatives want.  McCain and Graham seem to be doing what the liberal media want done.

Cook: One of the biggest issues for business owners is Obamacare. What is the best way to defeat Obamacare?

Connor: Obamacare should be defunded and repealed at the earliest opportunity.  The defunding seems to be taking place, but I suspect Graham will support Obamacare (claiming that “elections have consequences,” and that’s what he must do).  This is a huge reason I want conservative leadership in Graham’s seat.

Cook: Rep. Jeff Duncan recently noted that oil production is booming in North Dakota because the drilling is on state-owned or private land. He spoke of the potential benefits to South Carolina by opening up drilling opportunities 70 miles from our coastline.  The drilling rigs would not be seen from the beaches and coastal communities, and 37% of the revenue generated from such drilling would come back into the South Carolina economy.  The federal government controls the permitting of offshore drilling. Obama ended offshore drilling within 125 miles of our coast.  Rep. Duncan has introduced legislation to allow oil, exploration and drilling off the South Carolina coast. Is this something you can support? Are regulations killing creativity and our economy? What is the solution?

Connor: I support Jeff Duncan and believe he is going in the right direction.  We should allow oil exploration in S.C. and anywhere else we can begin domestic production.  Regulations are killing us, and in a bad economy, the first priority must be the economy and jobs.  Not Obama’s plans to fight “global warming” as the top priority.

Cook:  What is the best strategy to promote peace in the Middle East, instead of arming the Muslim Brotherhood? We want more peace, but what is the best way to do it? Should we be involved in helping the rebels in Syria? Where is Lindsey Graham going wrong?

Connor: We should never have supported the Muslim Brotherhood.  It is against our national interest, and they are clearly attempting to use the ballot box to end the Constitution and Democratic systems.  They are openly for the oppression of Christians and other non-Muslims and seek to build a Caliphate that can eventually attempt to conquer the West for Sharia law.  I understand all this, having served in the Middle East a number of times (something neither Graham, McCain nor the other candidates have done).  We should not be funding and supporting Islamist groups as we did with Libya, and we should not be funding/supporting Islamist groups in Syria.  American interest should be the number one factor in foreign policy not attempting to remake other countries and not supporting governments opposed to our interests like we have done in Egypt.

Cook:   You have stated that our rights come from God and not from the government. You said that in the Bill of Rights – the “pursuit of happiness” meant economic freedom and property rights, and that they come from God and not from government. You also note that we must stay true to our founding values of a constitutional republic that our founders gave us. How do we destroy the chains of socialism that are suffocating America and get back to a Constitutional Republic that you embrace so much?

Connor: We must fight to regain our Constitutional Republic and that will not happen with men like Sen. Graham.  We are at a crisis, and we must have leaders in D.C. willing to forgo the acclaim of the mainstream media and be willing to be lampooned if necessary.  Men like Graham have allowed the desire for national acclaim to overshadow their duty as conservatives.  We must fight the democrats’ agenda to remake America.  We must fight it with every fiber of our being.  We are “one nation under God,” and only have secure rights if America collectively acknowledges we believe rights come from God and not government.  General Eisenhower understood this necessity and inserted “Under God” in the pledge and changed our national motto to “In God we Trust.”  The media is generally liberal and will call such rhetoric “right wing.”  However, it is what made America the nation we have become.


To find out more, please visit his website: www.billconnoronline.com.