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Posts tagged ‘Reince Priebus’

RNC Building Database of Obamacare Cancellation Victims.


Republican National Committee data scientists are building a list of the millions of Americans who lost their insurance policies through Obamacare in hopes of aiming campaigns at those people this year and in the 2016 presidential election, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said.

“Getting that information and having good data as to who votes, who doesn’t vote, voter registration, party affiliation, consumer characteristics, cross-referenced with that kind of information, I think, is important for us to have,” Priebus told the Washington Examiner  after participating in a Conservative Political Action Conference panel talk on Saturday.

Priebus said the RNC has not had difficulty finding tech staffers, and has brought in some top engineers from sites like LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Facebook to work on the data projects.
The cancellations stand to play a key role in this year’s midterm elections, with many Democratic Party leaders urging candidates to talk openly about Obamacare issues while offering their own solutions to fix them.

The new approach, Democrats say, is based on polls such as a CBS News survey in January, which showed people agree the healthcare law has some good aspects, but changes are needed to make the law better.

In Colorado, where Fox News reported late last year that 250,000 people received cancellation notices, Obamacare is expected to make a huge impact on elections.

Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in November, and Udall has been arguing about whether the figures are valid, The Denver Post reports.  But Jo Donlin, director of external affairs for the state insurance division, insisted the figures are right, saying many people have renewed policies, but “regardless, they received cancellation notices.”

The Obama administration also eased some election pressure on Democrats about a week ago when it announced a directive allowing insurers to keep offering health plans that did not meet minimum Obamacare coverage requirements, reports The Hill.

Without the delays, another wave of health insurance cancellations would likely have hit this fall, just before voters headed to the ballots in November.

“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one consultant in the health insurance industry said. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Police Laud Senate for Rejecting ‘Cop Killer’ Justice Nominee.


Image: Police Laud Senate for Rejecting 'Cop Killer' Justice Nominee Debo Adegbile

By Todd Beamon

Police organizations on Wednesday praised the Senate — and the Democrats who broke ranks — for blocking President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division after strong lobbying against Debo Adegbile, who once helped overturn the death sentence of a convicted “cop killer.”

“We were most gratified,” Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, told Newsmax. “We’re ecstatic – and we’re very grateful to the Democratic senators who voted ‘no’ on this nomination.”

The vote was 47-52, with eight Democrats joining Republicans to end debate on Adegbile’s nomination and send it to a full floor vote.

With 51 votes needed to proceed with the nomination, the move represented the Democrats’ first major defeat since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked “the nuclear option” regarding presidential appointees in November.

“There’s a whole bunch of other things that he can do well,” Johnson said of Adegbile. “There are a ton of other men and women who are very well qualified who can serve as the assistant attorney general for civil rights who don’t have this baggage of having defended a cop killer.”

Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he was “very proud and pleased that a majority of the Senate agreed with the FOP and other law-enforcement organizations on this nominee.”

“Many of our closest allies and champions . . . were conflicted between their belief that the president should be allowed to have his choice lead the civil rights division and the nearly unanimous opposition from the law-enforcement community,” he said.

“But I was very pleased and heartened that all of our allies, regardless of their vote today, listened to our earnest arguments and objections.”

Adegbile, 46, was working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund when the organization intervened on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1981 and sentenced to death by a Pennsylvania court for brutally killing Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner after Abu-Jamal’s brother had been stopped by police.

The organization first became involved in the case in 2006, filing a court brief on Abu-Jamal’s behalf. Adegbile argued the case as the Legal Defense Fund’s head of litigation in 2011.

The death sentence was vacated by a federal court in a ruling that was later upheld by an appellate court and then allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court. Abu-Jamal is now serving life in prison.

The fund’s actions were strongly opposed by dozens of local and national police organizations — though they attracted such Hollywood celebrities as Ed Asner, Whoopi Goldberg, and Martin Sheen.

The slain officer’s widow, Maureen Faulkner, cheered Wednesday’s vote.

“I am very relieved that the Senate vote turned out the way it did,” she said in a posting on a website devoted to keeping her late husband’s memory alive. The headline on the statement read, “We Won.”

“I want to thank all of the senators that listened to their conscience and voted to block this nomination,” she said. “While this is a great result for my family, the law enforcement community and myself included, we know that we need to remain vigilant to ensure that this decision is not reconsidered.”

Seven Democrats broke ranks to vote with the Republicans. They were Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, John Walsh of Montana, and Chris Coons of Delaware.

Reid, who represents Nevada, then cast the eighth vote, which allows him to bring Adegbile’s nomination back for reconsideration. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination last month on a 10-8, party-line vote.

Adegbile is senior counsel to the committee’s chairman, Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Even though White House officials hinted that Adegbile’s nomination might be withdrawn, President Barack Obama quickly condemned the vote, calling it a “travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.”

Republicans hit the ground running in the Senate floor debate, with Pennsylvania’s other senator, Pat Toomey, reading a letter from Maureen Faulkner.

“Today, as my husband lies 33 years in his grave, his killer has become a wealthy celebrity,” the GOP legislator read.

“Old wounds have once again been ripped open, and additional insult is brought upon our law enforcement community in this country by President Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile,” Toomey read.

Other senators charged that Adegbile’s connection to the Abu-Jamal case disqualified him from holding higher office and that his appointment would lead him to “politicize” the civil rights division.

“Everyone deserves a fair trial and a zealous legal defense,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said before the vote. “Lawyers aren’t personally responsible for the actions of their clients. But lawyers are responsible for their own actions.

“In this case, the nominee inserted his office in an effort to turn reality on its head, impugn honorable and selfless law-enforcement officers, and glorify an unrepentant cop killer,” the Kentucky Republican added. “This is not required by our legal system. On the contrary, it is noxious to it.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, noted that Adegbile’s nomination was opposed by Seth Williams, a Democrat who is Philadelphia’s district attorney.

He added that Adegbile had “a long history of advocating legal positions far outside the mainstream.”

“It’s a record that demonstrates he is simply too deeply committed to these liberal causes to be an effective and fair leader of the civil rights division,” Grassley said.

After the vote, Coons, the Delaware Democrat, called his vote “one of the most difficult I have taken since joining the Senate, but I believe it to be right for the people I represent.”

He said he supported the nomination at the committee level because it “should be debated and considered by the full Senate. As a lawyer, I understand the importance of having legal advocates willing to fight for even the most despicable clients, and I embrace the proposition that an attorney is not responsible for the actions of their client.”

“The decades-long public campaign by others, however, to elevate a heinous, cold-blooded killer to the status of a political prisoner and folk hero has caused tremendous pain to the widow of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and shown great disrespect for law-enforcement officers and families throughout our region,” Coons said.

Toomey said the vote represented “a good day for Pennsylvania, for America, and for those who believe in justice. It was a hard-fought victory to the end.”

“Today, the Senate affirmed that our criminal justice system must never be abused to propagate a dishonest, radical agenda,” Toomey said. “The American people, especially law enforcement and Maureen Faulkner, deserve better.”

Casey’s office released no statement on Wednesday’s vote, but the senator said on his website last week that he would not support Adegbile’s nomination.

“The vicious murder of Officer Faulkner in the line of duty and the events that followed in the 30 years since his death have left open wounds for Maureen Faulkner and her family as well as the city of Philadelphia,” Casey said.

Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus even hinted strongly that the vote would factor into this fall’s congressional elections.

Priebus called Adegbile “a convicted cop-killer’s most ardent defender,” and noted that several Democrats seeking new terms in swing states had voted to advance the nomination.

One such vulnerable Democrat, Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, declined to comment on her vote for Adegbile, Politico reports.

Two other “red-state” Democrats facing tough challenges this fall, Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Begich of Alaska, also voted for the nomination.

Besides Coons, two other Democrats on the ballot this fall, Pryor in Arkansas and Walsh in Montana, voted against Adegbile’s nomination.

In a statement to Newsmax later Wedneday, McConnell slammed the nomination as an example of Reid’s abuse of the Senate rules when he invoked “the nuclear option” last year.

The move lowered the number of votes needed to end filibusters on presidential nominees from 60 to a simple majority.

“This particular nominee would likely not have been nominated at all but for the majority leader breaking the rules of the Senate last November,” McConnell said. “This nominee was so unfit that even seven Democrats couldn’t support it.

“You begin to get the picture here: part of the reason for lowering the threshold was so that the president could send up anybody he wanted to, and presumably get them confirmed,” McConnell added. “He was too difficult for even seven Democrats to swallow.”

In sizing up the Senate vote to Newsmax, NAPO’s Johnson echoed McConnell.

“We figured that Sen. Casey would vote ‘no’ because Officer Faulkner was from Philadelphia, but we were really wondering which Democrats would come around.

“The bottom line was that this was just a poorly-thought-out nomination,” Johnson said. “Some of the most sensitive cases out there fall within his purview at the Department of Justice.

“It really just demands the highest level of implicit trust — both ways, between law enforcement and the attorneys at the Justice Department — in order to prosecute these cases.”

Based in Alexandria, Va., NAPO represents more than 250,000 sworn police officers.

“It really could have saved a lot of energy and heartache for the family and coworkers of Officer Faulkner” if Adegbile had not been nominated, Johnson told Newsmax. “To have this case dragged through the press again and again, it never ends.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Boehner Snub at CPAC Highlights Party Rift.


Image: Boehner Snub at CPAC Highlights Party Rift

By Elliot Jager

The absence of an invitation to House Speaker John Boehner to take part in this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference reflects a rift between “movement ” and “establishment” conservatives, The Washington Times reported.

The conference, which takes place in Maryland on March 6-8, will hear from establishment figures such as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, among others.

Boehner, though, seems to symbolize the rift between movement and government conservatives who are increasingly divided over tactics for promoting the conservative agenda, according to the Times.

He last addressed the gathering in 2010.

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Tea party activist Jenny Beth Martin has initiated a “Fire the Speaker” petition that has garnered 93,000 signatures.

Party strategist Ford O’Connell said, “There are not enough curse words in the English language to describe how movement conservatives think of John Boehner.” He added, “They see him as only slightly better than President Obama.

“John Boehner is wise not to attend CPAC because he does not want to become a distraction and fodder for the news media by highlighting the rift between establishment conservatives and the movement conservatives,” O’Connell said.

Republican strategist Mike McKenna said Boehner’s opponents are overwrought.

“In about two years, folks on the right are going to be complaining about whoever the next speaker is and remembering Boehner fondly. They are angry at the world. For some reason, they have focused some of this anger at Boehner. I have no clue why.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Priebus Calls for GOP Boycott of MSNBC Over Cheerios Tweet.


Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus is calling for a boycott of MSNBC unless its president apologizes for a Twitter message the network posted slamming Republicans over Cheerios’ new advertisement featuring a biracial family.

“Unless you personally and professionally apologize for this behavior, I have banned [Republican National Committee] staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC,” Priebus wrote in a letter to MSNBC President Phil Griffin Thursday.

The video shows a biracial family discussing the heart benefits of Cheerios.

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Story continues below video.

The MSNBC tweet, which read “Maybe the rightwing will hate it but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” drew outcry shortly after it was posted on MSNBC’s account late Wednesday.

Shortly after it was posted, the network backtracked, tweeting an apology and saying the live tweet had been removed.

In the first tweet, MSNBC says it regrets the tweet:

One minute later, the network apologizes:

And MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe also chimed in, tweeting:

But the tweets over the Cheerios ads come just weeks after MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry had to apologize to former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for mocking his adopted black grandson.

In addition, host Martin Bashir was forced to resign after calling former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a “world-class idiot” and suggesting she receive the same “disgusting” treatment given to slaves as described in a slaveholder’s diary.

Also, the network fired Alec Baldwin in November after he made a gay slur against a photographer on the street.

Priebus said Thursday that the network’s statements and its stars are showing a “pattern of behavior.”

“Sadly, such petty and demeaning attacks have become a pattern of behavior at your network,” Priebus wrote. “With increasing frequency, many of your hosts have personally denigrated and demeaned Americans — especially conservative and Republican Americans — without even attempting to further meaningful political dialogue.”

Priebus said he enjoys appearing on “decent shows” such as “Morning Joe” and “Daily Rundown,” but said MSNBC is “poisoned” because of its recent behavior.

Cheerios’ newest 30-second ad, which is set to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, is a follow up to a spot for the cereal company last May, featuring Grace “Gracie” Colbert as the young daughter of an interracial couple. In the newest ad, little Gracie uses her dad’s announcement that she is getting a baby brother to lobby for a new puppy.

The first advertisement received so many racist comments after it was posted on YouTube that General Mills, which makes Cheerios, pulled down the comment section for the video.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Priebus: GOP Must Add, Not ‘Divide and Subtract’.


The Republican Party should focus on basic mathematics to build its base, Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday.

“We have to grow our party through addition and multiplication. We can’t divide and subtract,” Priebus told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

The Republican Party game plan should involve working on all aspects within it to move forward, Priebus suggested. Republicans need to work on strengths to build “where we’re strong,” while also “building our party where we’re weak,” he said Wednesday.

Story continues below video.

The GOP has been engulfed in divisions between conservative and moderate factions regarding its direction. Conservative tea party members, who want smaller government, have been at odds with more moderate party members.

Priebus said the door to the party should be wider to welcome “all aspects of our party.”

Traditionally, a Republican offers a single response to a president’s State of the Union address. This year, Republicans aired three responses after President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday evening.

House GOP Conference Chairwoman Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state;  Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; and Utah Sen. Mike Lee offered three separate Republican counterpoints to Obama’s address.

Priebus said the tea party response by Lee was good for the party as a whole.

“I think it’s a positive thing for the Republican Party, for the tea party, to put in a good Republican, giving a good Republican response. Saying this president isn’t delivering on his promises, and that there’s a better way. And there’s a Republican senator that’s explaining the better way. How is that not good for our party?” Priebus asked.

When a party is “five years out of the White House,” it’s expected there will be “a lot of voices,” Priebus explained. He said his challenge is “to keep all of those different voices in the same room and speaking out of same hymnal.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers

Priebus: Christie More Transparent Than Obama.


Image: Priebus: Christie More Transparent Than Obama

By Audrey Hudson

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday said Gov. Chris Christie showed more transparency and openness about the temporary lane closure on the George Washington Bridge than Barack Obama has about numerous scandals that have engulfed his presidency.

“Americans are a forgiving people, but they’re forgiving when you take ownership, when you admit mistakes you take corrective action, and that’s what Chris Christie showed,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“He stood there for 111 minutes in an open dialogue with the press,” Priebus said of the New Jersey Republican’s press conference after the revelation this week that an aide had participated in the decision to shut down numerous bridge lanes for several days last year.

“Now if only Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would give us 111 seconds of that, would we find out some things we want to find out about Obamacare, Benghazi the IRS — I mean Chris Christie has been open here,” Priebus said.

NBC Host David Gregory argued that if Obama set the tone for the IRS scandal, as his critics have maintained, then the same should hold true for Christie.

The difference is that “Chris Christie gave us almost two hours of open dialogue and really, cross examination with the press (wherein) you can judge a person’s character, and we had an opportunity to do that,” Priebus said.

“The president never offered that open dialogue so the people could determine the character with the president,” Priebus said.

Gregory also questioned whether Christie had set the tone for petty political retribution within the governor’s office. Emails revealed that the lane closures were for political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, for refusing to endorse Christie’s reelection last year.

The lanes were closed without notice, slowing emergency vehicles and school buses, and were blamed for the death of a 91-year-old woman whose transportation to a hospital was delayed in the traffic.

“He trusted people that lied to him, and he fired those people. The president doubles down on Eric Holder, he doubles down on Hillary Clinton and Lois Lerner and Susan Rice, it’s the opposite,” Priebus said.

The Republican chairman also addressed the new tell-all book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates called “Duty,” and an assertion that Clinton’s opposition to the 2007 surge in Iraq was purely political because she was facing Obama in the primary.

“I think she’s a political person,” Priebus said.

“And I think what this country is starving for, are real authentic people who want to serve this country with a pure heart. And when they read these things about Hillary Clinton, when they examine her life, they question it … is she real, is she authentic, is she genuine, does she want to serve this country with a pure heart?” Priebus said.

“I think she’s political and I think Robert Gates’ book shows that once again.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

RNC Considering Big Changes for 2016 Nominating Process.


The Republican National Committee is considering sweeping reforms to its presidential nominating process in a bid to improve the party’s electoral chances in the 2016 election.

According to CNN, a select group of RNC members has been conducting a series of closed door meetings with party Chairman Reince Priebus to discuss a number of ideas to revamp the process, including a plan to condense the primary calendar.

The 17-member special rules subcommittee is also considering a system to institute harsh penalties for states that move the date of their primary or caucus. For example, states that interfere with the order of nominating contests could see the number of delegates they send to the convention cut by up to one-third for small states or slashed to as few as nine members for larger states.

Other proposals under consideration include a plan to move the party’s convention date to late June instead of its traditional August slot, as well as ways to limit the number of Republican primary debates in 2016 to a concentrated group of sanctioned events with a shortlist of specific moderators.

“There is definitely a consensus for Reince’s objective to have less debates and have control over how and who we have run our debates, rather than just turning it over to X,Y, or Z network and having a guy moderate who’s going to just dog you for two hours,” one Republican familiar with discussions told CNN.

The moves were prompted by the view among party insiders that the party’s nominating process in 2012 may have damaged the chances of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Moving the date of the convention, for instance, would allow a future candidate to unlock the campaign’s general election war chest much earlier so as to gain greater momentum against the Democratic challenger for the crucial run-up to the November vote.

Asked about the proposed changes, RNC Communications director Sean Spicer told CNN that the measures “reflect the chairman’s conversations with the grassroots of our party and are intended to give the next nominee the financing and resources necessary to win in 2016.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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