Dan Borsch is president of the Louisville-Jefferson County Young Democrats. No one has filed against Anne Northup yet. The goal of this blog is to encourage support of Dan Borsch in a potential run for Congress.

Monday, January 30, 2006

KY-3: Yarmuth IS IN

We will have a primary between Col. Andrew Horne and John Yarmuth. It has been in a while since we've had a primary but it will be a spirited campaign, I'm sure. There is actually a third candidate, Burrel Farnsley, I think, but I don't know if that person has a legitimate chance.

According to the Bluegrass Report, Yarmuth is definitely in.
Just got off the phone with LEO founder and former publisher John Yarmuth (D) and he decided that he's in and filing his candidacy papers tomorrow to take on Rep. Anne Northup (R)! Folks, we got ourselves another race.
I am in the process of trying to arrange another blog interview, this one with John Yarmuth.

Many people have asked me who I support. I'm waiting til tomorrow's filing deadline to officially make an endorsement.

I do have a statement from Dan Borsch:
After taking a hard look at the race, I am not going to run this time. I am going to dedicate my energies to helping elect John and to strengthening the Democratic Party. I am quite confident that John is the best candidate and that he will finally hold Northup accountable for her votes in Washington. Thank you very much for your support of my campaign, it means a great deal that you were willing to support me. Hopefully someday soon you will have an opportunity to start another Draft Dan site!!!


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

And another one...

Another one that Dan wrote:

Coincidence or malfeasance?
Coincidence: A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.

Malfeasance: Misconduct or wrongdoing, especially by a public official.

That is a question that must be answered by our Congresswoman, Anne Northrup. Recently the Congresswoman issued a press release that identified several of the projects that she has recently secured funding for. These include $2.4 million for Kentucky Trailer, $ 1 million for Ashland Corporation (Formerly Ashland Oil Company), and $1 million for Fellon- McCord & Associates. The money she has "secured" came from within the Defense Appropriations bill and appears to be an earmark. These appropriations raise troubling questions about the connection between campaign contributions, no bid government contracts/grants, and actions taken by our elected officials.

In the 2006 Defense Appropriation Bill Congresswoman Northrup has "secured" $2.4 million for Kentucky Trailer to research and build a mobile command center that is capable of being flown by a C-130 Transport Aircraft. From all available information it appears that the Congresswoman has secured $2.4 million for a large campaign contributor’s company for work that will be done in Michigan rather than here in Louisville. The president of Kentucky Trailer is Larry Hartog. Mr. Hartog is quoted in the press release issued by Congresswoman Northup raving about the contract his company has just received. Larry Hartog and his wife live in Georgetown, IN.

Together they have donated $12,000 dollars to Congresswoman Northrup’s campaigns and another $8,750 to the Republican party and President Bush’s campaigns. One of the largest owners of Kentucky Trailer has also donated another $3,900 to Congresswoman Northrup’s campaigns. And even though the Hartogs live in Congressman Mike Sodrel’s very competitive congressional district in Indiana, they have never donated to his or any other congressional campaigns.

Kentucky Trailer was known as Kentucky Manufacturing until a 2002 acquisition of Trailer Technologies, a specialty trailer manufacture based in Walled Lake, MI. To this day Kentucky Trailer’s manufacturing facilities for specialty trailers remains in Walled Lake, MI. Kentucky Trailer is one of numerous companies that have attempted to compete in the rapidly growing mobile command center market. Press releases from the merger indicate that Trailer Technologies already was marketing their products to the military, homeland security, and local law enforcement agencies prior to the 2002 merger.

Congresswoman Northrup calls the money she "secured" for Kentucky Trailer, to research and develop a light weight mobile command center that could be transported by a C-130, "invaluable." How is anyone except a large campaign donor receiving much value for this no bid giveaway of government money, especially when other companies already have developed a variety of mobile command centers that are currently rated for transport on a C-130 Transport Aircraft. The "Defiant AT Series" is a mobile command product of L3 Communications/Wolf Coach that has "a variety of applications in military and other law enforcement agencies" and as part of an ongoing program they are building a series of similar vehicles. If you visit the L3/Wolf Coach website you can quickly find a picture of the Defiant AT Series being driven into the belly of a C-130 Transport Aircraft. Another major defense contractor, General Dynamics C4 Systems, was recently awarded a contract to build 50 additional "Unit Operations Centers," the military term for an integrated, mobile, command and control center consisting of shelter, power, cabling, processing systems, and trailers. So far General Dynamics has cumulatively been awarded more than $187 million to build hundreds of such centers. These command centers have received rave reviews and have "set the stage for consistent technology acquisition." These "UOCs" are transportable by C-130s and the feedback has been "overwhelmingly positive." A quick web search also reveals several other companies are also already producing various mobile command centers that are commercially available.

With so many companies competing for potential government contracts, why did the Congresswoman believe it was appropriate to secure a no bid appropriation for Kentucky Trailer to create a product that substantially already exists? Where is the free market competition for contracts? Who in the Army requested this product? Why would the Marines order so many of General Dynamics C4 "UOC" command centers and rave about them in the process and yet the Congresswoman wants to spend $2.4 million (originally she asked for $4 million) on reinventing the wheel? Why is the "Defiant AT Series", a mobile command center that is already rated for transportation on a C-130, or numerous other alternatives, not adequate for the job? Will this contract even benefit local workers or will the manufacturing and research take place in Walled Lake, MI and not in Louisville, KY?

Taken alone this may seem like only an anomaly to some, however, when examining other companies that Congresswoman Northrup secured funding for in the 2006 Defense appropriations bill a disturbing pattern appears. Congresswoman Northrup secured no bid funding of $1 million for Fellon- McCord & Associates to investigate energy purchasing management strategies for the military. The founder of Fellon-McCord & Associates is Andrew Fellon. Andrew Fellon has made federal political donations to only Anne Northrup ($5,000.00) and Bush/Cheney and the National Republican party ($2,250.00).

Again, why not a bided contract? Why $1 million dollars? Is Fellon-McCord the only company capable of performing this work? Will this money actually result in any new jobs in Louisville? How many?

Congresswoman Northrup also secured no-bid funding of $1 million dollars for Ashland Corporation, formally Ashland Oil, to do research into nanotechnology. Ashland Corporation will make BILLIONS of dollars in profit this year. Why wasn’t this research based on competitive bidding? Will the research be performed in Louisville and if so how many jobs will be created? Is it surprising to learn that Ashland Corporation’s PAC has given $44,000 to the Congresswoman and hundreds of thousands to other mostly republican incumbents?

While it is important to help and support local companies, none the less there are thousands of companies in Louisville that would love to receive millions of dollars in work from our federal government, there are hundreds of worthy non-profits in the community struggling to pay their utility bills while performing valued services to the public, and thousands of Louisvillians are just struggling to get by day to day. And by happenstance the Congresswoman has focused her very limited time and energy "securing" taxpayer money to be given without competitive bidding to companies that happened to have donated tens of thousands of dollars to her re-election campaigns. This is appalling and appears to be part of the "pay to play" mentality that has infected Congress. Without some quick and detailed explanations from our Congresswoman, it would appear that our Congresswoman has caught the "pay to play" bug and rewarded some of her largest campaign contributors with no bid government contracts.

Monday, January 09, 2006

And another...

This one from May of 2005. It was also originally posted at KentuckyDems.com.
The Real 'Crisis' in America is Not Social Security
Written by Dan Borsch

With all the numbers being thrown around in the discussion about the "crisis" facing Social Security, there is only one number that everyone should be focused on -- $10 TRILLION . That will be the amount of the national debt if President Bush's and Anne Northup's Social Security plan comes to pass. This number is the combined amount of the current national debt of $7.7 TRILLION plus the approximate $2 to $3 TRILLION dollar transition cost of creating so called "private" accounts. This exploded national debt will be financed by borrowing money that future generations will have to pay back either with higher taxes or devastating cuts in spending.

Someone will have to pay at the end of the day and that is going to be the young Americans who will inherit a crippling debt and be left holding an empty bag.

Maxing America's "credit cards" to this level will result in a crippling yearly interest payment of over $455 BILLION. And, we must not forget to account for the $825 BILLION we are adding to the National Debt every year. And keep in mind that in part due to un-funded federal mandates numerous states are running up huge deficits, including Kentucky where $2.1 BILLION in debt is being issued this year. Unfortunately, there is more bad news. On top of all that debt, our trade deficit reached a RECORD $618 BILLION in 2004. This debt is a crippling inheritance that every new member of this society will have to pay off. This is not smart policy and potentially will lead to a financial breakdown or crisis.

We cannot continue along this path much longer before we will be faced with the painful ramifications of our spending binge. To even consider adding $2 to $3 TRILLION to the national debt only to finance a risky unproven scheme that will undermine Social Security and reduce guaranteed benefits, is absurd and idiotic.

What gall to hype a fake "crisis" facing Social Security when Social Security, with no changes, will be able to pay all of the benefits it has promised until 2042 based on conservative estimates. Yes, the "crisis" is 37 years away. To solidify Social Security take three simple steps: (1) pay down our national debt; (2) roll back the early retirement age; and (3) adjust the cap on payroll taxes upward. The product you are selling, Mr. President and Congresswoman, is no more a cure to what ails us than snake oil.

As a nation, we had faith that President Bush was a straight shooter when he said that massive tax cuts that mainly benefited the wealthiest among us would stimulate the economy; we still had that faith when he proclaimed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs; we found faith to believe that Bush's changes in Medicare would cost $400 BILLION when the true cost is north of $724 BILLION.

Now, once again, President Bush is traveling the country asking us to have faith in his proposal to borrow trillions of dollars in order to create private accounts. I am sorry, but I have no more faith in you Mr. President. As you famously tried to say once, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Well today, young and old alike, are tired of having faith in you and your administration's proposals only to be made a fool. No more will we give you the benefit of the doubt.

What you have proposed can only be described as the intentional bankrupting of America. While this has been a stated goal of right-wing "Goldwater" Republicans for years, few believed we would ever live to see these destructive policies carried out. The day of reckoning is soon to arrive, and history has shown, it is not the wealthy and well-connected that pays the price, but the hardworking folks who are just trying to get a small piece of the American dream that bear the brunt of Washington's follies.

Mr. Bush I took the time to listen to your "pep rally" while you were here in Louisville and I was sadly disappointed. With your scripted and focus tested message, your pre-screened audience, and a folksy presentation, your sales job lacked any substance. You did not touch on any of the risks or costs and presented only the rosiest of fairy tale scenarios. And to add insult to injury, our Congresswoman, submits an article to the Courier Journal that would make Ken Lay of Enron fame proud to have Mrs. Northup's gift for fudging numbers. How convenient that in her calculations of future benefits, she forgets to account for any inflation. I guess Social Security privatization will magically eliminate inflation also.

Under Mrs. Northup's plan she says benefits will be paid in today's dollars forty years in the future. However, if your calculations include inflation in the next 40 years will average the same rate as during the last 40 years, then Mrs. Northup's $22,500 in yearly benefits will actually be the equivalent of only $3,805 a year today. How can the Congresswoman ask Americans to gamble trillions of dollars to get $3,805 a year?

Some people believe that only a lucky few should have a secure retirement. If you believe that every American, no matter their background or means, is entitled to the dignity of a secure retirement, then it is not possible to support a proposal that begins the destruction of one of the most successful programs ever devised as a guarantor of a secure retirement and eliminator of the devastating effects of poverty that this country has ever known.

To propose a $10 TRILLION national debt, ongoing budget deficits decades into the future, growing trade deficits, an unsustainable Medicare program, forcing un-funded mandates on the states, and a WAR with no end in sight, this is no inheritance to leave the young people of this country.

Another article

This one from July of 2005 at KentuckyDems.com.
What's $45,000 amongst friends?
Written by Dan Borsch

What would you do or not do for $10,000? For $45,000? Would you spare the rod to someone that had given you more than most people make in an entire year? What if the source of all that money was one of your largest campaign donors? Over the years Tom Delay and his political action committees have now donated at least $45,000 directly to Congresswoman Anne Northup and directed who knows how much more to her campaigns. When you have been accused of multiple ethical complaints and have already been admonished repeatedly by the House Ethics Committee it is smart business to ensure that no members of your party are itching to dig deeper to seek the truth.

With a recent gift of $10,000 dollars from the Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee, a "PAC" that Tom Delay controls, our Congresswoman has now received at least $45,000 to help in her always competitive re-election campaigns. If you gave someone $45,000 would you expect a quid pro quo relationship to exist? What if that same person had the ability to direct even more money into your pockets? So far in 2005 our Congresswoman has received nearly twice as much money from PACs than from individual donors. A large percentage of the PAC money has come from fellow members of Congress and specifically from some of the most conservative members. What do they expect in return? Are they being directed to give money to fellow members by the Republican House Leadership of which Tom Delay is a member?

How can a member of Congress take $10,000 from a fellow member of Congress's PAC while the same member has been accused of numerous ethical violations and then still remain neutral towards establishing an ethics investigation into that same member? I don't know the answer, but I believe this community is owed an answer to this question by our Congresswoman.

An old article

This was an article that Dan wrote in June of 2005 and originally posted at KentuckyDems.com:
Anne Northup's Choice
Written by Dan Borsch

One would think that our elected congresswoman would always vote with the best interests of Metro Louisville at heart. Today Congresswoman Northup has to decide if she is going to side with the average person in Louisville who wants honest leadership in Congress or is she going to side with those who have given large campaign donations to her campaigns.

The current leader of the House of Representatives is Tom Delay (R-TX). Unfortunately the House Ethics committee reprimanded Congressman Delay three times last year and now he has been accused of taking $100,000 golf trips overseas at the expense of lobbyists and foreign interests. Congressman Delay’s former staffer has been accused of bilking millions from clients and one of Delay’s political action committees is being investigated by a Texas Grand Jury.

When Republicans and Anne Northup came to power in 1994 based largely on the "Contract with America" they promised to change the way Washington was run and to elect leaders with no taint of scandal. If Congresswoman Northup is still committed to those principles then she should take action and ask for the resignation of Tom Delay from any leadership position, for a non-partisan ethics committee investigation, and, should Delay be found guilty of any violations, his immediate resignation from Congress.

This should be a clear cut case of putting the interests of all Americans to have ethical representatives before partisan interests; however, Rep. Northup is deeply indebted to Congressman Delay, his leadership buddies, and his cronies.

Congresswoman Northup has accepted $35,000 in contributions from Tom Delay and the political action committees he has created. And I am sure that the $14,000 from Tom Delay’s compatriot Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Il), and the $14,000 from majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), will be remembered when Congresswoman Northup decides whether to continue supporting the ethically challenged Delay. Maybe if Congresswoman Northup has any doubts about her decision she can talk to some of her fellow representatives such as Debroh Pryce (R-OH) who has directed over $52,000 to Congresswoman Northups campaigns (and in doing so faced FEC complaints); Dick Armey (R-TX) $35,000; Trent Lott (R-MS) $15,000; Newt Gingrich (R-GA) $10,000; Bill Frist (R-TN) $10,000; John Boehner (R-OH) $20,000; Rob Portman (R-OH) $17,000; Jim McCrey (R-LA) $16,000; Jerry Lewis (R-CA) $15,000; Don Nickles (R-OK) $14,500; David Dreier (R-CA) $13,500; Mike Rogers (R-MI) $10,000; Tom Reynolds (R-NY) $10,000; Bill Thomas (R-CA) $10,000. Maybe even Mitch McConnell, $15,000, or Hal Rodgers, $16,000, can offer some home-grown advice.

These representatives, and many others, have invested tens of thousands of dollars in helping to elect Anne Northup, I am sure they will be more than willing to offer some unvarnished advice to help her make a decision. If she still needs to ask the advice of some other power players in Washington she might want to ask the Realtors and their PACS first. Collectively they have only given or spent on her behalf around $1.2 million dollars, maybe, they even know Tom Delay personally and will vouch for how outstanding a citizen he is. I am sure they will at least return her call.

If Congresswoman Northup just doesn’t feel the need to get involved with this dirty business, maybe she will have extra time to look into what is going on with gas prices. However, my advice is to call some friends first: Ashland Inc., $35,000; Chevron-Texaco, $12,500; Exxon, $12,500; Occidental Petroleum, $9,500; Conoco Phillips, $4,500; BP, $2,000; and Haliburton, $7,000.

With all the tough business of being a Congresswoman, Northup may just want to go to a nice relaxing restaurant. Maybe Outback, $17,500, or Cracker Barrell, $11,000, will give her a discount.

Unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the money our Congresswoman has taken from fellow representatives, fortune 500 companies, and other special interests. And all since only 1998! I guess it is wishful thinking that all this money has not influenced the Congresswoman, but something seems rotten when Federal Express, $20,000, gives huge amounts of money to the Congresswoman from the district with UPS’s shipping hub.

Anyways, here is to hoping that Mrs. Northup still represents Louisville’s best interests and that she has not been swayed by a few million dollars amongst friends and that Tom Delay and his friends have not bought political protection for himself.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

An Update

The only update I have right now is that I'm not likely to have an update until the filing deadline (January 31st).