Friday, June 12, 2009

Candidates' Reactions On Tough Issues Tell You What Kind Of A Senator They Are Likely To Be-- Kendrick Meek And Jennifer Brunner


Senators need to be leaders, not followers

Funny, how different candidates for the Senate react when the rubber meets the road. When Kendrick Meek, who no one has ever accused of having a courageous bone in his body, was worrying that progressive Dan Gelber could give him trouble in the Florida Senate primary, he was inching left. Uncharacteristically, he voted against the war supplemental. (When's the last time Kendrick Meek has ever not voted with his mentor Debbie Wasserman Schultz on anything?) Now that Gelber is running for Attorney General, Meek was the first weak link to jump off the anti-war bandwagon. As soon as Rahm Emanuel started barking, candidate Meek abandoned any pretense of principle. He's now a firmly committed "yes." Or am I wrong? Is it possible that he likes the idea of a $108 billion bailout for European banks through the IMF that was added onto to the bill since he voted no? Is that why he changed his vote-- because he thinks Florida voters want their tax dollars going to bail out European banksters?

Doesn't Florida have one of the hardest hit economic situations in the country? That was rhetorical; it does. How is Meek going to hope to go up against Charlie Crist or Marco Rubio, whose policies helped acerbate the economic downturn in Florida, if he looks like the candidate supporting bailouts for foreign banks? Rubio's going to eat him alive.

Meanwhile, Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (also a Senate candidate) studied the IMF proposal and issued this press release today.

Brunner Urges Congress to Reject IMF Bailout
Candidate Says Government Should Not Use Taxpayer Dollars to Bail Out European Banks

COLUMBUS -- Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner today called on the U.S. Senate to reject the Obama Administration’s request for $108 billion in bailout funds for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Many of the European banks made a series of risky and speculative loans in central and eastern Europe that are likely to go into default,” Brunner said. “We are looking conservatively at more than a trillion dollars in bad loans, loans that the United States had no part in, and we simply cannot afford to step in now and bail them out through the IMF. We have too many families and our own institutions struggling here at home who need our help first.”

Some have argued that the money is necessary to help provide a global stimulus and to help people in poverty in countries with poorer and less sophisticated economies. But the actual amount of money that will go to assist these countries is indirect and minute. Most of the money would aid struggling European banks that are facing potential losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars. That money would be sent via the IMF, which, unlike TARP funds, would not be subject to any semblance of oversight of or accountability to the U.S. Congress.

“American taxpayers are weary of business bailouts, especially ones that do not help create American jobs,” Brunner added. “And as we speak, some American banks are chafing at the regulations placed on them by the latest in bailout funding and want to repay it quickly to have a say in their own operation and to attract the best talent to their operations. Bailing out European banks through the IMF, without even the minimal regulations placed on American banks, only increases the potential for a wider imbalance in trade, giving away American wealth and self-sufficiency, and jeopardizing not only our economy but our traditional sense of American self-determination. Before aiding foreign banks, Congress must demand a thorough auditing of the Federal Reserve by the Government Accounting Office. We must protect our American tax dollars and ultimately the wealth of our country for now and for future generations. No bailouts without transparency and accountability,” stated Brunner.

Brunner also criticized the idea of putting American taxpayers deeper in debt. “We have had to borrow money from other nations to bail out our own financial institutions. In our current delicate situation, we should not borrow to lend and perpetuate the ‘house of cards’ that put us here in the first place. Nor should we burden our children and grandchildren with more debt and higher deficits to let European financial institutions off the hook with no consequence and with potential further deepening of our existing trade deficits with other nations,” Brunner said. “Russia, China, Brazil and India are not giving any money to the IMF. Nor should we.”

Brunner has been endorsed by national and local labor unions for her commitment to labor issues and working families. She is currently running in the May 2010 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate to replace retiring Senator Voinovich.

She's also been endorsed by DownWIthTyranny. Does Emanuel really think that anyone in America wants to see billions and billions of dollars that are needed at home-- desperately needed at home-- going to bail out European bankers who took foolish and irresponsible risks? We should demand that our elected representatives care.

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