Powered by Max Banner Ads
Desperate Ed Royce has been coming out with what seems like one mailer for every day that mail gets delivered. The effects of supersaturating voters like this will be the subject of a later post, where I shall make fun of Desperate Ed somewhat mercilessly for doing more to get people to think of him as “Desperate Ed” than I ever could. Those suckers have been piling up — and ideally I’ll get to them all before Election Day, but — boy, howdy, his mailer on economics truly and totally sucks! Here, if you don’t believe me, ask his cover boy.
By the way, because I am putting up Ed Royce mailers here — OK, with a few added speech bubbles, admittedly — I’m going to have to put up some Jay Chen mailers too to balance things out. There are fewer of them, but there’s much less to criticize.
The brunt of this mailer is on the economy. The meat of it — this middle two pages (which I’m combining into one long page) — deals with three themes of the economy. Better have some coffee, alcohol, or whatever else will help you get through this experience, because I’m going to go over them with a fine-toothed ball-peen hammer.
OK, let me grab my shovel. First up:
Royce says that he:
- is a fiscal watchdog
- voted no on all bailouts
- voted no on all stimulus spending
- led the Congressional “Porkbusters Caucus”
- was named a “Taxpayer Hero” by Citizens Against Government Waste
In fact, Royce
- voted for the hugely expensive War in Iraq
- – - (and he’s now stiffing returned veterans on paying for their health care and other needs)
- voted for the budget-busting gift to pharmaceutical companies, Medicare Part D
- voted for the budget-busting Bush Tax Cuts, slanted towards the wealthy
- voted for the budget-busting repeal of the estate tax
- refuses to allow consideration of extending tax cuts for the middle class unless the rich get theirs too
- voted to possibly let the economy crater into a full-blown Second Depression
- – - (and does he deny stories from others, including many Republicans, that this was so?)
- voted against an auto bailout that saved 1 million manufacturing-based in this country
- voted against stimulus spending that
- – - gave tax breaks to middle-class families of students in college, among many others
- – - is calculated to have saved another 3 million jobs at a time when they were needed most
- was the chair of the Committee charged with regulation of financials services
- – - that’s the sector of companies that was his biggest contributor before the economic collapse — and now is even more so!
- - - the failure of these poorly regulated companies is what blew up the economy in the first place!
- - - for which Royce has made sure financial executive and companies didn’t suffer!
- chaired the caucus that pretended to stop pork but in fact allowed all of the above huge budget abuses
- received his fake-named award from a group that basically just supports the Republican Party, so …
- - - this is no surprise, and
- - - there’s no reason to believe that it’s true rather than just PR!
Royce says that Chen:
- supported the bailouts and stimulus
- - - thus preventing a Second Depression that would have even more badly hurt the poor and middle classes
- favors making stimulus spending a permanent part of the budget, an unexplained statement that is either
- - pointless (because all federal spending is stimulative to some degree)
- - or wrong (because extra stimulus spending is needed in recession or depression, not times of inflation)
Royce leaves out that Chen:
- would have opposed the unnecessary, foolish, and budget-busting Gulf War
- would have favored concentrating on finishing the job in Afghanistan when it was easier and cheaper
- would have demanded a less expensive and more rational Prescription Drug bull
- would have favored targeted tax breaks to the middle class and truly small businesses, not to the wealthy
WHEW! Let me replace this now-dented shovel and move on to …
Royce says that he:
- believes that hard-working American families pay enough in taxes
- supports keeping low tax rates in place
- wants to make the tax system simpler
- wants to close loopholes for special interests and lobbyists
In fact, Royce:
- is standing in the way of of extending tax breaks to the middle class!
- - - Royce refuses to do so unless tax breaks are also extended to the wealthy
- - - Most “hard-working” families are in the broad middle class. Royce protects his wealthy donors
- - - The wealthy tend not to make their money through “hard work” but from investments.
- - - Royce should claim that he believes that “hard-investing American families pay enough in taxes!”
- cares about keeping low tax rates in place for the wealthy
- - - while states and localities have to make up the shortfall of federal money with regressive sales taxes and fees
- wants “tax simplification” because it’s code for “the rich pay no higher tax rates than the poor and middle class”
- hasn’t proposed closing loopholes for wealthy special interests, at least unless they have no chance of passing
- - - politicians always propose this — but it keeps on not happening
- - - what has Royce done in his powerful committee position to make this happen? Nothing! It’s just hot air!
Royce says that Chen:
- wants to see a higher tax rate on the middle-class next year
- wants higher tax penalties on those who don’t join government health care
Royce leaves out that Chen:
- is the one who wants to see the tax cut for the middle class made permanent
- - - the problem is that Royce is holding it hostage until it is tied to extending unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy!
- - - it is Royce’s position, not Chen’s, that could endanger middle-class, and ONLY middle-class, tax relief
- doesn’t want to see people penalized, he wants to see people insured
- - - people who can’t afford the penalty are either subsidized to receive insurance or are exempted from it
- - - Chen knows that when people aren’t insured, they use emergency rooms for their medical care
- - - this costs the rest of us much more than we’d spend if we provided people care before their problems worsened
- - - but Royce — and Romney — favor the use of emergency rooms by the uninsured for primary medical care! Nutty!
Time for another new shovel! Let’s move on to …
Royce says that he:
- is working to bring down gas prices
- wants the U.S. to be more energy independent
- wants to use more oil, gas, and coal
- wants to use more nuclear power
- wants to use more renewables (wind, solar, hydroelectric)
- wants to build the Keystone pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands oil (the dirtiest kind) to the U.S.
In fact, Royce:
- stands in the way of lowering gas prices by opposing the lowering of demand through improved fuel efficiency
- wants to contribute to environmental carnage by pushing for the dirtiest energy sources
- – - using up our limited oil, which is a theft from future generations, no matter how
- – - natural gas that poisons your tap water when extracted through “fracking”
- – - coal that now largely requires blowing off mountaintops and polluting our water
- – - all of which also contributes to disastrous climate change directly by putting more CO2 into the atmosphere …
- – - and indirectly by giving other countries an excuse not to cooperate with global efforts to reduce this trend
- doesn’t seem to care that safety problems at San Onofre threaten the lives of people in his own district
- doesn’t get that the Keystone pipeline would not help lower U.S. gas prices …
- – - because the pipeline wouldn’t carry oil TO the U.S., but THROUGH it to our ports, for the international market!
- – - and because refining this dirty, sandy oil sludge takes much more energy that processing normal oil
- – - and because we’ll have to pay (in dollars and sickness) for the inevitable spills in the middle of the U.S. anyway!
Royce says that Chen:
- doesn’t want to build the Keystone pipeline
- wants higher taxes on energy producers
- favors policies that would lead to higher prices at the pump
Royce leaves out that Chen:
- is correct that the Keystone pipeline (getting Canadian oil to Asia) won’t help reduce U.S. gas prices
- knows that Big Oil has been deeply undertaxed and insanely subsidized …
- – - and is making record profits, and paying enormous profits to its execs, meaning that it can afford more taxation
- knows that we lower domestic gas prices by increasing fuel efficiency and lowering demand
- – - both of which Ed Royce has opposed
- knows that our overseas competitors in Germany, China, and elsewhere have been way ahead of us in clean energy technology
- – - which means that their gas prices — or prices for auto fuel and power, including electricity – will go down …
- – - while, under Royce policies, they won’t …
- – - and that clean fuel technology that ought to be produced here in the U.S. will instead have to be bought from others …
- – - and that Royce’s choice to keep things as they are is ridiculous and short-sighted …
- – - and is extremely damaging to the world’s environment — including in OC and LA!
WHEW!!! On to the last page!
(Again, the speech and thought bubbles are mine, not Royce’s. You probably already knew that.)
“Citizens Against Government Waste” is just another word for “Republicans fronting for big corporate interests” –especially tobacco companies who prefer Republican deregulators for reasons that have nothing to do with “waste” and everything to do with their own profits and defeat of consumer protection regulation — who are using their greater financing and superior power of marketing to bamboozle the public. Here’s a bit from Wikipedia on this group that awarded Royce this “honor” he that brags about. (Don’t trust Wikipedia itself, go to the links themselves!)
CAGW and tobacco
The St. Petersburg Times reported that CAGW “got at least $245,000 from the tobacco industry”, and subsequently lobbied on its behalf. Internal tobacco industry documents made available by the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement indicate that CAGW and its affiliates supported the tobacco industry in several instances. Specifically, in 2001, when an industry-sponsored bill entitled the “Youth Smoking Reduction Act” was introduced in Congress, CAGW sent a letter supporting this legislation. On the contrary, most public health and medical organizations, wrote a letter strongly opposing the legislation. They stated that despite the name of the bill, if enacted, “would do more harm than good to the public health.” CAGW was also contacted by Phillip Morris to include ASSIST, a federal tobacco control program, in their Pig Book. ASSIST was considered an imminent threat to industry activities at the time.
Asked about his group’s tobacco work, CAGW president Tom Schatz said, “We have always welcomed contributions to support the issues we support. Many of them have to do with fighting higher taxes and more regulations.” 
Throughout its history, CAGW has been accused of fronting lobbying efforts of corporations to give them the appearance of “grassroots” support. In part, this is because CAGW has accepted donations from Phillip Morris, the Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, Microsoft, Merrill Lynch, and Exxon-Mobil.
According to the St. Petersburg Times in 2006, the Pig Book has been used to benefit corporate donors, specifically health clubs who donated to CAGW. The Pig Book listed federal grants to YMCAs who compete with those health clubs as waste. CAGW’s president countered that “The Ys are there because they qualify as pork. Period.”
A Senate Finance Committee investigating ties between CAGW and other non-profits and Jack Abramoff in 2006 stated in a report that the non-profits: ‘probably violated their tax-exempt status “by laundering payments and then disbursing funds at Mr. Abramoff’s direction; taking payments in exchange for writing newspaper columns or press releases that put Mr. Abramoff’s clients in a favorable light; introducing Mr. Abramoff’s clients to government officials in exchange for payment; and agreeing to act as a front organization for congressional trips paid for by Mr. Abramoff’s clients.”‘
In 2009, CAGW had been lobbying against the F136 alternate engine for the F-35 JSF made by GE/Rolls Royce. A GE Aviation spokesperson said it was always a strong suspicion that CAGW was funded by Pratt & Whitney(which manufactures the F135 engine for the JSF) but a Pratt & Whitney spokesperson said they weren’t funding CAGW’s lobbying efforts.
In October 2010, CAGW introduced a television attack ad suggesting that economic stimulus spending, health care reform, and other actions characterized as “turning their back on the principles that made them great” would lead to the downfall of the US and an economic takeover by China.
But that’s not the best part. The best part is the part in yellow at the bottom right.
Royce goes on a rant because a group that won’t disclose its donors, America Shining (which seems to support Asian politicians of both parties), is putting out independent expenditures for ads against him. A few points:
I haven’t seen the America Shining material, but I doubt that their charges against Royce are any more false than what you’ve seen above. The cool thing is that they’re obviously getting to him. And note that he doesn’t rebut any charges in particular, as I do here — but only in general! He wants you to trust him. (You’d have to be nuts!)
Ed Royce isn’t getting independent expenditures so far — because he implied that he didn’t need them based on the bogus primary outcome — but if you look at his campaign donations (AND WE WILL DO SO SOON!), you’ll see that he has piles and piles of donations from shadowy groups that ultimately can’t be traced back to individual donors. But that’s not the funniest thing about this:
The Existence and Secrecy of America Shining is Due to Citizens United — WHICH ROYCE FAVORS!!!
Jay Chen would like to see Supreme Court Justices appointed who would get rid of the travesty of Citizens United, which gives so much anonymous power to these independent groups — which are beyond his control. I presume that he’d favor seeing them have to disclose all of their donors. DOES ED ROYCE FAVOR THAT?
Come on, Ed — if you favor requiring SuperPACs to release their donors, please say so! Say so in a joint press conference with Karl Rove, the master manipulator, and then watch out because he might stab you in the back right then and there. Republicans are getting the brunt of the benefits from these anonymously funded SuperPACs — but it’s only a problem for Ed Royce if it affects him personally!
Some people wonder why Ed Royce won’t debate — or even appear publicly with — Jay Chen.
Everything that I’m saying here, Jay Chen already knows. He’s also really good at explaining it in person. That’s why Cowardly and Desperate Ed Royce won’t debate him.
This fear to stand next to his opponent is pathetic — and, worse for Ed Royce, it’s obvious. And voters are taking note of it. (Poor Desperate Ed! He’s been exposed!)
[Disclosure: I'm a candidate for State Senate in the district largely overlapping Jay Chen's, but I have intentionally not let Jay or anyone connected to his campaign see this or hear about its specific contents before publishing it. I have planned to do a piece on each of Ed Royce's blizzard of campaign mailers, but -- as you can tell, it takes a lot of time to do even one of them!]