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An Open Letter To All Republican Office Holders And Candidates For Office:

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posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:36 AM
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An open letter to All Republican Office Holders And Candidates For Office:

Gentlemen and ladies who hold office as elected officals in the Republican Party

To hold public office is a trust, an honor, bestowed upon you by the citizenship that you are elected to serve, or seeking election from. This is a solemn and earnest trust that exists between the people and our chosen representatives in office.

A President must take the following oath upon inaguration:


"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."


And any member of the House or Senate must affirm to this oath:


I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Source

Further, the United States House of Representatives Code of Official Conduct states:


14. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not, with the intent to influence on the basis of partisan political affiliation an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity–
(a) take or withhold, or offer or threaten to take or withhold, an official act; or

(b) influence, or offer or threaten to influence, the official act of another.


In addition, the Senate Code of Offical Conduct clearly states:


4. No Member, officer, or employee shall knowingly use his official position to introduce or aid the progress or passage of legislation, a principal purpose of which is to further only his pecuniary interest, only the pecuniary interest of his immediate family, or only the pecuniary interest of a limited class of persons or enterprises, when he, or his immediate family, or enterprises controlled by them, are mem bers of the affected class.


So. How is it that the vast majority of you are beholden, contractually to Grover Norquist who is the President of a private ( 501(c)(4) — Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees ) non-profit called Americans For Tax Reform and its subsidiary ( 501(c)(3) — Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations ) branch, Americans For Tax Reform Foundation. Both tax exempt lobbying groups? Mr. Norquist, additionally is a member of the Council On Foreign Relations, on the board of The National Rifle Association[, and also on the board of American Conservative Union

Mr. Norquist holds no public office and has not been elected to such by any voter in the United States of America. Yet he holds levels of power in Washington that no private citizen should posses.

Regarding his association with the Council on Foreign Relations. Its own Mission Statement says the following:


Mission Statement



The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. CFR carries out its mission by:

Maintaining a diverse membership, including special programs to promote interest and develop expertise in the next generation of foreign policy leaders;
Convening meetings at its headquarters in New York and in Washington, DC, and other cities where senior government officials, members of Congress, global leaders, and prominent thinkers come together with CFR members to discuss and debate major international issues;
Supporting a Studies Program that fosters independent research, enabling CFR scholars to produce articles, reports, and books and hold roundtables that analyze foreign policy issues and make concrete policy recommendations;
Publishing Foreign Affairs, the preeminent journal of international affairs and U.S. foreign policy;
Sponsoring Independent Task Forces that produce reports with both findings and policy prescriptions on the most important foreign policy topics; and
Providing up-to-date information and analysis about world events and American foreign policy on its website, CFR.org.


And, yet, Mr. Norquist is by the very definition of the word partisan. Therefore his involvement in a supposedly nonpartisan entity is very suspect. And your association with this man is therefore suspect as well.

Many of you signed a pledge to Mr. Norquist and his two corporations. An example of which, the version for the House of Representatives I have reproduced below:



The fact that an estimated 95% of the Republican party have signed this contract with a private citizen, and a privately held business interest - a contract which dictates and controls your behavior as a public servent is despicable, deplorable, and in my opinion criminal. Those of you who are beholden to Mr Norquist, contractually, are in violation of not only your oaths but are doing so in direct contempt for the people who elected you. We the people choose who runs this country and who makes our laws. And we did NOT elect Mr Norquist.

The guilty among you are not secret. You are listed in the following links:

The 112th House and Senate
2012 Campaign Signers
Those In State Level Government Who Have Signed

Some information about the man you have beholden yourself to:


Early in his career, Norquist was executive director of both the National Taxpayers Union and the national College Republicans, holding both positions until 1983. Afterward, he served as Economist and Chief Speechwriter at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1983 to 1984.


~Continued...




posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:36 AM
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Norquist traveled to several war zones to help support anti-Soviet guerrilla armies in the second half of the 1980s. He worked with a support network for Oliver North's efforts with the Nicaraguan Contras and other insurgencies, in addition to promoting U.S. support for groups including Mozambique's RENAMO and Jonas Savimbi's UNITA in Angola and helping to organize anti-Soviet forces in Laos.

Norquist was listed as one of the five primary leaders of the post-Goldwater conservative movement by Nina Easton in her 2000 book, Gang of Five. Working with eventual Speaker Newt Gingrich, Norquist was one of the co-authors of the 1994 Contract with America, and helped to rally grassroots efforts, which Norquist later chronicled in his book Rock the House. Norquist also served as a campaign staff member on the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Republican Platform Committees.

Norquist was instrumental in securing early support for the presidential campaign of then-Governor George W. Bush, acting as his unofficial liaison to the conservative movement. He campaigned for Bush in both 2000 and 2004. After Bush's first election, Norquist was a key figure involved in crafting Bush's tax cuts. John Fund of the Wall Street Journal dubbed Norquist "the Grand Central Station" of conservatism and told The Nation: "It's not disputable" that Norquist was the key to the Bush campaign's surprising level of support from movement conservatives in 2000.

He has long been active in building bridges between various ethnic and religious minorities and the free-market community through his co-founding of the Islamic Free Market Institute, and his involvement with Acton Institute, Christian Coalition and Toward Tradition.

In 2010, Norquist, whose wife was born into a Muslim family, emerged as an outspoken Republican foe of politicizing the mosque-in-Manhattan issue, calling it a "distraction".
He has also "announced his plan to assemble a center-right coalition to discuss pulling out of Afghanistan to save hundreds of billions of dollars."

Norquist is active in Tea Party politics. Talking at a Florida rally he said "tea party groups should serve as the 'exoskeleton' that protects newly elected Republicans" from pressures to increase government spending.

According to a 2011 memoir by former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Norquist was one of Abramoff's first major Republican party contacts.[35] Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform were also mentioned in Senate testimony relating to the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal which resulted in a 2006 guilty plea by Abramoff to three criminal felony counts of defrauding of American Indian tribes and corrupting public officials. Records released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee allege that ATR served as a "conduit" for funds that flowed from Abramoff's clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns. Norquist has denied that he did anything wrong, and has not been charged with any crime

Norquist serves on the boards of directors of numerous organizations including the National Rifle Association, the American Conservative Union, the Hispanic Leadership Fund, the Indian-American Republican Caucus, and ParentalRights.org, an organization that wishes to add a Parental Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 2010, Norquist joined the advisory board of GOProud, a political organization representing conservative gays, lesbians, transgendered people, and their allies, for which he was criticized by the Family Research Council. Norquist also sits on a six-person advisory panel that nominates Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

In business, Norquist was a co-founder of the Merritt Group, later renamed Janus-Merritt Strategies

Source

But let us see the man through his own words:


Our goal is to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub.

Every time you cut programs, you take away a person who has a vested interest in high taxes and you put him on the tax rolls and make him a taxpayer. A farmer on subsidies is part welfare bum, whereas a free-market farmer is a small businessman with a gun.

The statists want to control the economy.

Obsessions turn people off.

Source for Grover Norquist quotes

It seems that Mr Norquist is obsessed with wanting to control the economy - and is succeeding through his the contractual servitude he has convined many of our elected officials into. His past is colorful and questionable. How long are we to allow a single person so much influence and control? While many may simply see his stance against taxes, the fact that Mr Norquist uses this as a power base is severely antithetical to the American ideals. NO LOBBYIST SHOULD BE ABLE TO WEILD POWER SO PUBLICLY AND FLAGRANTLY.

~Continued...
edit on 10/2/12 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:37 AM
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Sirs and madames of the Republican Party. If your name appears in the above links as a servant of Mr Norquist and his agenda, then I implore you to recuse yourself from holding public office - or to disassociate yourself from his illegal control of our party by publicly stating so.

To do any less is to violate your office, its nobility, and the citizens of this great country. This man is part of the problem that is dividing this nation, and not a force of unity. He is a disease blighting the tree of liberty and he must be removed from influence. To allow any citizen this much authority and power is unjust and morally repugnant. Now more voters are aware of this. Make the right decision before the voters of this great nation make it for you.

Thank you for your time.

A concerned American.

~Heff



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:49 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 





These are the people, behind the curtain. I wonder what the equivalent is, to the Democratic Party?


S&F



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:51 AM
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Excellent work, Brother Heff. We can only hope....



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by sonnny1
 


I could be wrong, but I don't believe there is an equivalent to Norquist in the Democratic party. If such a contract exists on the Dem side and is signed by such a majority for something like protecting welfare/social security I am not aware of it.

This thread is ironic to me because I was just talking to my Mom today about Norquist. She had never heard of him. I'm willing to bet a pretty good percentage of America don't know of him, despite the fact that he is sometimes cited as the most powerful man in Washington.

His contract creates a serious problem, especially with the deficit/debt issue as is. It should be common sense that some form of revenue increase for the government is needed, which would have to come from taxes. With a GOP majority, congress is mostly bound to oppose any tax increase.

Romney has said that he wants to close loopholes and limit deductions, I wonder where the opposing tax decreases would come from?


Grover's tactic could come in handy, though. For example, maybe a few years down the line a similar contract will come out that asks EO's to pledge never to accept money from lobbyists. If the majority were aware of how corrupt the lobbying system is, it could happen.
edit on 10/2/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:59 AM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 


I'm restating this plainly, since you tabled it, and I am not sure if it gets lost in the OP or not... but Norquist is, himself, a lobbyist - and president of a lobbying organization.

It's totally twisted. And the associations with so many controversies, going all the way back to Reagan? It's mind numbing how deep this guy is. He is like Kissenger on steroids.

~Heff



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:04 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 





The Republican party just like the Democratic party have been infested with progressives. It is to late the money is flowing to strong to make any sort of impact.



The fix is in and we the people can do nothing about it at this point. Look how both parties attacked Mr. Paul it should tell all if us one simple truth. We are screwed.




They will tell us what we want to hear to get elected and then fall to the dark side. The Democrats are exactly the same remember what the president said in his campaign. Both parties are run by the same money. And we the people sit and argue back and forth while they laugh at us.




The progressives were smart and invaded the education system. We will look back at 2012 and think wow how free we were.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:04 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


At some point were going to need the ironic anti-lobbying lobby to overtake the rest of them and then step aside.

I saw Norquist on CNN recently with Fareed Zakaria (who also happens to be a CFR member)




posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:06 AM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 


I have looked, but alas couldn't find a certain "pledge" that Democrats have signed. I am thinking more to the likes of Lobbyists who have Democrats under their control. There has to be a Democrat curtain also.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by sonnny1
 


I am sure there is. But I don't think that the Democratic party has a singular influence as strong as Norquist. And this guys been at it a LONG time. Even during the Clinton and Obama years.

And there is no reason to think that he's not influencing Dems as well. They just may be less inclined to be so public with their affiliations and under the table deals - including those they might have with Norquist and whoever his handlers are.

~Heff



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Yeah.

I see he even had a few Democrats sign the Pledge.


Crazy.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:16 AM
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Bravo, well said, Hefficide.

It is absurd the level of influence Norquist has over elected officials, which affects their ability to do their job effectively, and certainly it played a role in the downgrading of the nations credit which tacked on billions in debt in increased rates. But Norquist is still one among many such inordinate influence-wielders in Washington that have corrupted and debased our political structure, and he is not the worst of them.

Norquist's influence is ideological, as opposed to purely monetary. The billionaires (and most of us know them by name now) have a far more debilitating effect on Washington's ability to make rational, sound decisions for the nation.

Even religion has it's 'Norquists'. When was the last time a president was sworn in without a Billy Graham or Rick Warren presiding? The GOP in particular has been unduly influenced by far-right evangelicals seeking to supplant sane governance with contorted biblical passages. (Pat Robertson is of that ilk)

It's no wonder Washington is so fractured and divided. These cliques have become entrenched and all we, the citizens, do is oscillate between them depending on who gains the slim majority.

The GOP itself is fracturing in different directions - Billionaires seeking a plutocracy, Dominionist Evangelicals seeking a theocracy, Norquist with his pledge to his ideals, and so on - all they've done is eliminate the moderates in the Republican party.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by sonnny1
 


The Dems accept a ton of lobbying money for sure. But Norquist is a little different, he doesn't just pass them a bribe to sway policy he actually makes them sign a contract to make sure his way is how it will be.


In 2011, there was 3.33 Billion$ in official lobbying spending. Which is of course, proof that lobbyists represent the devil, 333 being half of 666. www.opensecrets.org...

I'm trying to find out which interests go mostly to Dem's. Obviously pro-choice is one, but they don't spent all that much relatively. Most of the big lobbying sectors spend on each party pretty equally - pharmaceuticals, insurance, banks, etc.

If I had to guess, I'd say environmental groups and teacher unions give more to Dems. A lot of the big business interests stand to gain more by Republican policy, but I think they give to both sides to ensure favorability.

In my state, NY, the top lobby was a group called the Committee to Save New York, which played a huge role in electing Gov. Cuomo and pass a budget on time. I've been meaning to get into that group for a while now but there doesn't seem to be a ton of details easily available on the web. To me they seemed like a fundraiser specifically devoted to Cuomo, and their spending trumped the next highest spender by almost double.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:24 AM
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I agree with your sentiments for the most part, Norquist is a shady fellow. But lets be factually correct here.

The pledge is clearly to "the taxpayers" of "district__, state__, and to the American people", and not to Mr. Norquist or his organization.

I still don't like it, but lets call a spade a spade.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by METACOMET
 


Then why does Mr Norquist not then mail those pledges to the respective Attorney Generals of the states, or of the nation - as applicable. The answer is, IMO, that they are illegal contracts. Everyone who signs one has already pledged an oath to serve the best interest of those in their stewardship. Legally speaking I am sure they cannot be used in any sort of civil litigation. So whatever value they posses must be between Mr Norquist and the signatories of the contracts.

In my opinion, it's paramount to giving Mr Norquist the ability to extort elected officials into voting his interests, whatever they might be. This literally gives him the ability to control the economics of this country.

In thread after thread I see the same argument over the deficit... Blaming Bush or blaming Obama.

Well... here's one of the main guys to blame, in Mr Norquist.

~Heff



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 

Dear Hefficide,

I'm of two minds about your truly impressive OP. I think signing the pledge is a bad idea. As another poster noted, it can be dangerous to throw away any tool, even if you think you're not going to need it. Look at all the trouble caused by "Read my lips, no new taxes."

What I don't yet understand (and maybe I should re-read the OP) is why you think it's criminal (I think that was one of your comments) or a violation of their code of conduct, or even, for that matter, why you think it's a contract.

The most obvious question is why, if Norquist has been pushing this pledge for 20 years, hasn't some opposing politician filed a complaint?

The House Code of Conduct you provided talks about the representative intending to influence a private entity's employment decision. I don't understand how that's being violated.

The Senate Code of Conduct prohibits Senators from pushing legislation with the principal purpose of getting money out of the deal. According to that section, he can vote against anything he wants (including a tax bill).

And is it a contract? Maybe in the same way a gentleman's agreement is a contract, but it's certainly not enforceable. Who is the contract between? It looks like it's between the politician and the "people of the State." What "consideration" did "the people" give the candidate? Are they bound by the contract to vote for him? Of course not. And if there's nothing that the people give for the promise, there's no contract. What court would give any time to someone who said "My representative broke his promise, he voted to raise taxes, I want to sue him." I'd wager that the judge would say "You want me to take action against a politician for breaking a campaign promise?" Hilarity would ensue.

But again, I agree that signing the pledge is a bad idea, and I'm really impressed with your work.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:33 AM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 


If and when you find out, I would like to see a thread on it.
hint:hint


But obviously, this man is in a league by himself.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:40 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


I cited those two particular aspects of the codes of conduct to illustrate limitations of undo personal influence upon a public official.

It is, IMO, a form of extortion. Plain and simple.

If one reads through the codes of conduct it is actually frightening how lax the rules are about conflicts of interest. There are obvious statements regarding bribery - but none that address the issue of using ones office to engage in the same behavior, but with power as the motive.

IE I can't mail my elected official a $500.00 check and ask him to vote a certain way. Mr Norquist should not be able to use political pressure and a contract to accomplish it either.

When one voice gets too loud, then the Republic is endangered. Athens had an elegant way of dealing with this. issue through the process of ostracism - in that culture a synonym for what we'd now call exile.


Each year the Athenians were asked in the assembly whether they wished to hold an ostracism. The question was put in the sixth of the ten months used for state business under the democracy (January or February in the modern Gregorian Calendar). If they voted "yes", then an ostracism would be held two months later. In a section of the agora set off and suitably barriered, citizens scratched the name of a citizen they wished to expel on pottery sherds, and deposited them in urns. The presiding officials counted the ostraka submitted and sorted the names into separate piles. The person whose pile contained the most ostraka would be banished, provided that an additional criterion of a quorum was met, about which there are two principal sources:

According to Plutarch, the ostracism was considered valid if the total number of votes cast was at least 6,000.
According to a fragment of Philochorus, the "winner" of the ostracism must have obtained at least 6,000 votes.
Plutarch's evidence for a quorum of 6,000, on a priori grounds a necessity for ostracism also per the account of Philochorus, accords with the number required for grants of citizenship in the following century and is generally preferred.

The person nominated had ten days to leave the city. If he attempted to return, the penalty was death. Notably, the property of the man banished was not confiscated and there was no loss of status. After the ten years, he was allowed to return without stigma. It was possible for the assembly to recall an ostracised person ahead of time; before the Persian invasion of 479 BC, an amnesty was declared under which at least two ostracised leaders—Pericles' father Xanthippus and Aristides 'the Just'—are known to have returned. Similarly, Cimon, ostracised in 461 BC, was recalled during an emergency.


~Heff
edit on 10/2/12 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)
edit on 10/2/12 by Hefficide because: said "actually" too many times actually and actually needed to fix it
Actually



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 02:27 AM
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reply to post by sonnny1
 


The best site I can find on lobbying disclosure is by far www.opensecrets.org.... It's okay, but frankly leaves much to be desired.

Americans for Tax Reform has spent a little over a million 2011-12 in lobbying, which ranks 381st among lobbying groups. They have spent 446K in "outside spending" as well. Majority of outside spending appears to go toward anti-Dem candidate ads. Americans for Tax Reform

Clearly, this firms punch comes primarily from the contract and not from spending.

Here's some info on money raised by sector and party (2012):

Agribusiness- 38.8mil to Republicans, 14.1mil to Democrats.

Energy and Natural Resources - 59.3 mil to Republicans, 15.9 mil to Democrats
-Oil and Gas - 31.6 mil to Republicans, 3.7 mil to Democrats

Communications and Electronics - 61.7mil R, 36.9mil D

Construction- 40.6mil to R, 16.8 to D

Defense - 11.8mil to R, 7.9mil to D

Finance/Insurance/Real Estate- 221.9mil to R, 116.6mil to D

Health- 71.6mil to R, 56.7mil to D

Lawyers and Lobbyists- 52.3mil to R, 107mil to D

Transportation 35.1mil to R, 11.9mil to D

Misc Business 115.6mil to R, 81.2mil to D

Labor- 4.9mil to R, 43.4mil to D (there's the major democratic advantage we were looking for.

Ideology/Single Issue 73.6mil to R, 76.7mil to D


Those numbers are money raised by interest groups, PACs, and lobbyists. That's what I meant by the site being incomplete, I couldn't find specifics on lobbying by party. Probably could have been a thread in itself, oh well.

Total Raised for each party is

Democrats- $668,273,783

Republicans- $639,895,595


Good God, the money in politics!






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