Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Adam Putnam: Howdy Doody Carries Big Oil's Water


It isn't a race the DCCC is targeting and it isn't on any Inside the Beltway radar screens. Many of us first met Doug Tudor here at DWT early in July when he came out swinging against Bush's anti-Constitutional FISA bill which encompassed warrantless wiretaps and retroactive immunity for corporate executives who had been illegally spying on American citizens. What makes Doug's stand doubly interesting is that he is running against the third ranking member of the Republican House hierarchy, Adam "Howdy Doody" Putnam, in a district centered on Polk County east of Tampa, Florida. Putnam was one of the foremost backers of Bush's FISA plan to strip American citizens of a right to privacy.

More recently Doug has been tangling with Puntam over energy policy. In his short time in Congress, Putnam has already taken $70,300 from Big Oil, while pushing billions of dollars worth of tax breaks for them and pushing policies that have led to high prices at the pump. The latest example was on July 24 when a bipartisan majority of congressmen (268 of them) tried easing prices at the pump by releasing some of the strategic petroleum reserve. Putnam was one of the Republicans who refused.

Although he refused to do anything at all to help ease the burden of high gas prices during the congressional session, Putnam was one of the clowns running around Capitol Hill during the summer break waving an air tire pressure gauge over his head and whooping and hollering. This morning Doug sent me something related that he wrote about Adam Putnam's energy "policies." Doug Tudor:

Today I received a “Congressional Update” from my Representative, Adam Putnam, detailing his energy policy. It was a slickly produced piece of campaign literature with a disclaimer “This mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense.” No matter how misleading the piece was, what really caught my attention was the single quote he included.

“Our goal is for our children to be able to point to the Middle East on a map and say, ‘That region is irrelevant to America’s economic stability.’”
 – Congressman Adam Putnam

My very first thought was that our friends in Israel probably do not share Mr. Putnam’s goal.  As with so many areas in America’s relationship with Israel, our continuing interest in the region underlies Israel’s economic viability and overall security.

In fact, Israel was the very first country with which America entered into a free trade agreement back in 1985.  Since signing the FTA, U.S. exports to Israel have grown from $1.8 billion to more than $9.7 billion, an increase of 335 percent. Roughly one-fourth of all Israeli imports now come from the United States. Meanwhile, U.S. imports from Israel have jumped from less than $2.2 billion in 1984, to more than $16.9 billion in 2005, an increase of 598 percent. The overall volume of trade between the two countries has risen 471 percent, from less than $4 billion in 1984 to more than $26.6 billion in 2005. Israel is now America's 19th leading trade partner.

Two major areas in which our Israeli friends might disagree with Mr. Putnam involves foreign assistance and military sales, which total approximately $5.5 billion per year. Israel has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance from the United States since 1976, and the largest total recipient since World War II.
For the third-ranking Republican in the House to make such an outlandish statement about an area in the world that has a population nearing 325 million, should be cause for alarm for all Middle East inhabitants. Despite our invasion of Iraq, American military bases in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, and Qatar, America has played a vital role in keeping trade lanes open. These lanes bring food to a region that has virtually no chance of feeding itself.  This freedom of trade benefits nearly every nation on Earth.
It is obvious that Mr. Putnam intended for his comments to reflect the fact that he will continue to carry Big Oil’s water in the U.S. House, as it clamors for its final land grab before the Bush Administration slithers into the history books. Fair enough. With $70,300 of their money in his pocket, they bought Mr. Putnam’s vote fair and square.  If he wishes to defy his constituent’s wishes, he does so at his own political peril. When his asinine words insult hundreds of millions of people, including our Jewish friends in Israel, he should leave the foreign policy predictions to those who understand the damage words can do.

-Doug Tudor

If you'd care to contribute to replacing Putnam in Congress, you can donate at Doug's ActBlue page here. Even $5 and $10 contributions will help him get his message out, even if they're not the size of the donations Putnam regularly gets from Big Sugar ($374,436), the insurance industry ($203,675), the real estate industry ($145,501), commercial banks ($113,800), lobbyists ($77,540), the telecoms (for whom he sold out the Constitution-- $69,750) and the alcoholic beverages industry ($73,000). You see, Adam Putnam doesn't just work for the special interests of Big Oil; he works for the special interests of any big corporation willing to "donate" to his career.

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At 5:38 AM, Blogger Susan S said...

Putnam is an embarrassment to our community (as most of the rest of our Congressional delegation is). Doug would be such a good representative for the people of West Central Florida.

Howie, thanks for helping us get the word out about Doug.

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me that people would continue to consider voting for Putnam when they have such a great alternative in Doug Tudor. face it, if you don't care for George Bush, you don't like Adan Punam either. It's time for change. Vote for Doug Tudor!

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some new YouTube videos regarding Putnam, his votes on energy and some of his political allies....

Looks like it is an ongoing series and the Part I is funny. Check them out.



At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug Tudor has proven himself to this country - serving proudly and walking away from high$$ private contractors to represent the people of the district, and Veterans - all Veterans.

The video links - OMG they are awesome! Some really creative folks working hard to send Howdy Doody Putnam home!

At 10:33 AM, Blogger DodgerBlue said...

Are you better off than you were eight years ago? That message is ringing loud and clear to voters in District 12 - and it is coming from a great candidate - Doug Tudor!
Check out Team Tudor and join the movement!

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug Tudor is NOT a good replacement for Adam Putnam! Putnam is one of the best things that has happened to District 12. In EVERY straw poll thus far, Putnam has an overwhelming majority over Tudor. All he and his "supporters" are doing is taking stabs at Adam. Mudslinging. It's pathetic. Get over yourselves, and come to a political rally once in a while, and you'll hear what Tudor really isn't saying!


At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only Adam Putnam is saying is it's all the Democrats fault. What he isn't saying is that he was in the majority party for six years and did nothing helpful -- well, there was National Watermelon Month, as the rest of the country debated the surge. What he isn't saying is that he has voted with Shrub well over 96% of the time. What he isn't saying is that it was his job to oversee the financial markets, and he couldn't do it, because of all the bribe PAC money he takes from them.

Adam should be very ashamed of the way he has squandered what is a very safe Republican seat. He could have made positive changes, instead of putting party before people, and self before country.

He's an embarrasment to family's good name.


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