Sunday, April 30, 2006

Another Time of Choosing

Our Founding Fathers were citizen legislators; men and women who considered governing a privilege. They did not come from bastions of Political Science. They did not feel that governing was their right; they considered it a privilege. They came, did their job, and went home. They did not consider government a career, but an act of service. We have a man running for Senate right now who is of that same mold...a teacher, a businessman, a man with a servant’s heart. I am talking about Bill Pierce.

As a lifelong conservative born in the late 1970s, my benchmark for service and patriotism is Ronald Reagan. He called our nation a shining city on a hill, referring to what James Winthrop said almost 400 years ago when the Pilgrims landed. President Reagan believed that so long as we were faithful stewards, that city would remain shining. Bill Pierce was among the first in southwest Ohio to join Reagan’s revolution, heading up the Warren County campaign for The Gipper when he was not the favorite. Bill was right on it then, he is right on it now.

Bill Pierce wants to go to Washington to serve, to lead, not to be led. He wants to get things done, not dither and dawdle while resources crumble, as the incumbent does. He is not about gaining a reputation, but about building the nation. Bill Pierce has worked as an entrepreneur, an engineer, a small businessman, and as an educator. He has been out in the trenches, not in the ivory towers of Washington or corporate America.

Bill Pierce has lived in this state for over 30 years. I, for one, believe that each state is different. This is a man who is an open book, on his past, on his present, on his future. He is right up front in talking about his beliefs, even when they may not be popular with some. He has been frank, and direct when answering questions.

I urge you, as a fellow American, as a teacher, as a pastor, and as a member of the Brown County GOP Central Committee…I ask you to vote for Bill Pierce for US Senate on May 2nd. Reignite the torch of Government by, of and for the people.

God bless you all, and God bless America!

Sincerely,

Mark E. Garbett, Jr.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Review of a Campaign of Principles

With your help, we can replace the liberal ideals, liberal philosophy, and most importantly the liberal votes which Senator DeWine has exhibited over the past eleven years with our shared conservative principles, to:

  • Protect and Defend the Sanctity of Life. I oppose abortion in all cases with the rare exception of protecting the life of the mother when the decision must be made as to which life will be saved. I also oppose human cloning;


  • Protect Traditional Marriage. I feel that marriage is a sacred bond between one man and one woman and that states should not be forced to recognize same-sex unions.


  • Protect and Defend the Constitution. As your Senator, you have my solemn word I will protect and defend the Constitution with special assurances to protect America’s “first freedom” – the 2nd Amendment;


  • Less taxes and less regulation. Let’s renew the Reagan Revolution and free the spirit of American enterprise. We must make permanent the tax cuts enacted earlier and revise the Tax Code, and stay the hands of unelected federal bureaucrats who hamper small business creation and


  • Reign in federal spending. Pork, earmarks, uncontrolled growth in entitlement programs, and unnecessary spending will enslave our children into an intolerable level of debt. I will join Senators Coburn, Ensign, and DeMint to form a foursome of former small business owners who understand the need to balance the budget to reverse the fiscal “bad habits” of the past;


  • Develop a real national energy program. America needs to be energy independent and will require the policy and the political will to make this happen. Developing all our natural resources will be required, including drilling in ANWR;


  • Work to form a coalition to dismantle the Department of Education. We must eliminate federal mandates and return education to State and local control – it is what the Constitution demands. Thirty years of a Secretary of Education in the President’s Cabinet, a Department of Education, a lot of money, and mandates have failed to reverse the trend of a failing public school system;


  • Secure border and control illegal immigration. A country that does not protect its borders will soon disappear. Our nation, built upon a foundation of the rule of law, must ensure that all laws are enforced or anarchy will reign – and, that applies to illegal immigrants and the businesses who employ them. Add the real threat of terrorism and there are plenty of reasons to secure our borders;


  • Address the crisis in the Judiciary. I will work to expose and correct the imbalanced case load versus staffing issues in the judiciary, and ensure that the President’s judicial nominations receive their “day in court” without delay by filibusters, which result in more vacant seats on the bench – justice not served is justice denied; and


  • Enact tort reform. We must eliminate frivolous lawsuits that benefit nobody other than the lawyers;


  • Finally - I do not, nor will I ever, subscribe to today’s prevailing attitude that Massachusetts and New York have sole patent rights for out-spoken Senators. I will speak out about the issues listed above and I will not hesitate to challenge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who work against our “common sense” approach to these critical issues.

    The positions listed above are but a few of my central concerns. You may have noticed that Senator Mike DeWine supports the first one, recently began to support the second, and has either voted against one or more of the remaining OR not concerned himself with any of these “big” issues. I can and will do much better, but I need your help on Tuesday, May 2nd.

    William G. Pierce, P.E.

    Friday, April 28, 2006

    Carnival of the Pierce Bloggers 3

    DeWine’s Public Attack of Rumsfeld was Wrong!

    Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) was wrong to lash out at Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over his management of the War on Terrorism in a Washington interview earlier this week. We must learn from the past and that includes learning from our past mistakes, but obviously Senator DeWine missed those history lessons from Vietnam.

    In his interview with Salon's Walter Shapiro, DeWine stated that “Rumsfeld has made some very serious mistakes….Very serious mistakes. I think history will judge him very harshly.” He followed that with, “[c]learly not enough troops going in [to Iraq]. That was the biggest mistake. And a lot of mistakes would be covered under that.”

    The lessons not learned by DeWine come from the 1962 to 1974 era when politicians in Washington tried micro-managing and second guessing the military. Without a day spent in a military uniform and without membership on the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senator Mike DeWine has become a critic of the nuances of our War on Terrorism. To make matters worse, he felt compelled to make his views public.

    Discussion and disagreement is fine, but the participants must choose their venues carefully. For Mike DeWine to disagree with Rumsfeld’s management of the War is all right, but to do so publicly does nothing more than “aid and abet” the enemy – a lesson he should have learned from Vietnam. Our enemies look for that public discord and when they find it within the same Party they become heartened even more.

    Senator DeWine could not have expected to achieve any strategic military benefit from his public criticism of Rumsfeld, nor could he have expected any change in the direction of the efforts. However, he likely expected that his attack would distance himself from the Administration in a mistaken attempt to make himself appear more attractive to Ohio voters for the November general election should he pass the primary next week. His actions fall clearly within the classification of pandering. To pander for votes at the expense of our efforts to succeed in our War on Terrorism, to aid and abet our enemies, and to further put our troops in harm’s way is simply shameful of a sitting United States Senator.

    William G. Pierce, P.E.

    Thursday, April 27, 2006

    On DeWine's Record of Spending

    I am troubled by recent campaign literature in which Senator DeWine stakes his bid for re-nomination on the monies he has brought to the State as it perpetuates the belief that our government has an endless supply of financial resources to be distributed among the populace. It took six years for the national debt to grow from $5 to $6 trillion, two years to increase from $6 to $7 trillion, and only one year to surpass the threshold of $8 trillion.

    I encourage you to visit the “Press Release” section of Senator DeWine’s Senatorial website because it shows more than 410 nearly 400 entries (UPDATE: a number of these entries have dropped off since this was originally written - MATT) in the last 50 weeks which boast of the grants flowing into our State from federal coffers. As you look through the listing, ask yourself if it represents the responsibilities our founding fathers envisioned of a central government – and, I think you will agree it does not.

    Now consider who is paying this extravagant bill. Mike DeWine is not, and neither are any current taxpayers. The fact is that it has been “charged” to your account, your children’s account, and your children’s children’s account. For the foreseeable future, Americans will be making interest only payments while leaving the principal amount for some future generation to pay.

    Today, interest payments on the national debt total more than $26 billion per month, and represent the third largest expenditure in the federal budget – soon to be number two. China owns $448 billion of this debt and its benefit in our economy is growing at an annual rate of more than 15% per year. That means American taxpayers are making interest only payments to the Communist government to the tune of $2.5 to $3 billion per month – and it is growing. Also note that China’s military budget is also growing at a rate of 15% per year.

    The legacy we are leaving for future generations is a legacy of extravagance. It will be necessary, and possible, to explain to future generations that the War on Terrorism and Homeland Security required great financial resources. On the other hand, it will be quite difficult to explain to them that the debt burden they carry was created to build two “bridges to nowhere” in Alaska, to assist families in the purchase of digital converter boxes for better TV reception, to keep the price of milk constant, and the myriad of other items which fall under the category of wasteful spending. Congressional spending far removed from the Constitutional requirement of “common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.”

    The culture of extravagant spending must cease; and simple, every day business practices of balancing expenses to revenues must become the norm. Businesses and our own personal family budgets require it and government should be no different. But it is not going to happen until “we the people …” demand it to happen, and that is only going to be accomplished when Americans let their voices be heard at the voting booth.

    It is for that reason I ask that you support my candidacy to the U.S. Senate. I would welcome the opportunity to join a threesome of first term maverick Senators – Coburn (OK), DeMint (SC), and Ensign (NV) – all of whom are entrepreneurs and small business owners, and have pushed back against the “old guard” with the belief that our Nation’s business must be conducted differently for a prosperous and secure future. They have stopped “pork” from being added to Katrina relief funds, changed Senate rules to highlight “pork” buried in legislation, and have challenged the Senate leadership to end the culture of extravagant spending. My added voice and efforts will certainly energize the much needed change.

    William G. Pierce, P.E.

    Cleveland Town Hall on Pierce

    (Source)
    Bill has a great story, and there are a lot of people who are gravitating to his message. He still has a tough battle in the primary, but with incumbant dissatisfaction running at a fever pitch, I’m sure Senator DeWine hears some footsteps in the distance.
    Read the whole thing.

    Monday, April 24, 2006

    The Crisis in the Federal Judiciary

    As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Mike DeWine is aware that no new federal appeal positions have been created since 1990, but there has been a 34% increase in caseload. As caseloads increase the time to read the volumes of briefs becomes scarce and federal judges rely on the law clerks to summarize the documents for them. BUT that simple transfer of power has grave ramifications. The federal court system is relying on the ability of entry level attorneys, to properly comprehend, evaluate, and summarize mountains of citations to case law, codes of legal procedures, and the importance of the material facts of the case. Given the weight of a decision coming out of our federal judiciary, which is a very tall order for any first or second year attorney to fill.

    Now add the fact that there are currently 55 vacancies listed on the federal bench and there can be little doubt that our system of justice is suffering. Congress does not understand that point, or simply doesn’t care as long as political mileage can be made over the inherent haggling in the confirmation process.

    The culpability of the Congress continues with the budget process:
    It appears Congress will approve a 4.7 percent increase over the $4.88 billion appropriation received in FY 2003. Due to fixed mandatory expenses such as judicial salaries and rents paid for federal courthouses, it would require a 7.3 percent increase just to stay even. The Judicial Branch may have to release employees and make other spending cuts as a result. (Link
    Please remember that the Judiciary's budget represents about 2 tenths of 1% percent of the overall federal expenditures. The difference between the Judiciary’s requested 7.3% and the expected Congressional approval of 4.7% is approximately $125 million dollars. Now compare the number with the identified “pork barrel” spending of our Congress in the same year:
    This year's total reveals that Congress porked out at record levels. The cost of these projects in fiscal 2003 was $22.5 billion. (Link)
    Congress does not find the need to fully fund our Judiciary or create the needed judgeships to handle the burgeoning caseload, but certainly can find the moneys necessary to send the pork home in an effort to buy votes. The “pork barrel” funding for FY2003 was more than 187 times the amount Congress denied our Federal Judiciary.

    The shortfall represents a loss not for a single government agency BUT one complete branch of government established by our Constitution. A complete branch of government charged with being the guardians of the Constitution because their rulings protect individual rights and liberties guaranteed by that important document. The federal courts are to interpret and apply the law to resolve disputes, but can’t do so properly if the workload must be pushed down to un-appointed and relatively inexperienced law clerks.

    Since our legal structure is based upon the logic of the English common law system, a basic feature is the doctrine of precedent under which judges use the legal principles established in earlier cases to decide new cases that have similar facts and raise similar legal issues. If law clerks are summarizing for our appointed federal judges and insert their own bias into the summary, established case law becomes flawed and future rulings are based upon the judgment originated by non-appointed, non-confirmed law clerks. The impact on our daily lives by Federal case law requires that “we the people …” demand a better judiciary.

    Congress is demonstrating contempt for our legal system. Not only do they fail to fill vacancies on a timely basis and fail to increase the judgeships to match the increasing caseload, but they fail to provide the necessary funding so Congress can promote their own individual “pet” projects. Justice is not being served, and as a result justice is not being delivered – Mike DeWine knows it, yet fails to speak out.

    William G. Pierce, P.E.

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    Carnival of the Pierce Bloggers 2

    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    On the Filibuster and the Gang of 14

    Last May, a group of Senators dubbed the “Gang of 14” (of which Senator Mike DeWine was one) arrived at a compromise to avoid a filibuster showdown on several judicial nominations and the exercise of the “nuclear option.” The option was to allow for a simple majority of 50 senators to end a filibuster concerning presidential nominations rather than require the current 60 votes. The compromise ended the filibuster on three nominees so confirmation was apparent, continued the filibuster on two other conservative nominees thereby rejecting them without a Senate vote, and promised to use the filibuster tactics only in “extraordinary circumstances” – of course, the term extraordinary circumstances was not defined.

    By any degree of common sense, and in reality, the filibuster to delay the President’s nominations is a direct attack on the Constitution, wherein it states in Article II – Section 2 “[The President] … by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, … , Judges of the Supreme Court, ….” By filibustering, and thereby not giving the President an “up or down” vote, the Senate is being derelict in one of its perfunctory responsibilities outlined in the Constitution.

    It is one thing to filibuster a piece of legislation which has no Constitutional guarantee to passage or rejection, it is quite another issue to use the process to avoid a time honored Constitutional requirement of “advice and consent” whereby the nominee is either confirmed or rejected. In addition, filibustering leaves the judicial position unfilled and burdens the rest of the court system which in turn impacts the serving of justice to “we the people ….”

    In essence, what Senator Mike DeWine and his 13 colleagues held onto with the compromise was their ability not to perform their Constitutional duty.

    William G. Pierce, P.E.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    On ANWR and Energy

    I suggest that Congress immediately authorize exploratory drilling to determine the real quantity of oil and natural gas reserves exist in the Coastal Plain. Most geologists agree that the potential may rival or exceed the initial reserves at Prudhoe Bay, but we will not know until beneath the surface exploration is accomplished. At the same time, plans should be developed and initiated to build the base field and connect to the trans-Alaskan pipeline 50 miles to the west.

    If the sub-surface exploration indicates the reserves are far greater than anticipated and a significant impact can be made on the amount of imported oil, then drilling should begin immediately. On the other hand if the exploration supports the current predictions or less, then the drilling operation should be built and the equipment maintained while the Coastal Plain reserves are capped and held as part of our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR).

    The SPR was created by 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), primarily to counter a severe supply interruption. The goal was to establish a billion barrel reserve with the authorization to permit a removal rate (physical restraints) of 4.4 million barrels a day. While the daily consumption of oil has grown more than 50% in the last thirty years, the capacity of the SPR has not changed at all.

    Senator Mike DeWine has voted against drilling in ANWR four times and has failed to offer any alternatives. Had he been our Senator in the mid-1970’s when the same debate was being waged, while using the same arguments, over Prudhoe Bay and the trans-Alaskan pipeline would never have been built. The result? A 20% loss in today’s domestic oil production, and the Caribou heard would be smaller because they have actually flourished due to the food supplies which grow under the pipeline.

    The Administration, in collaboration with Congress, must develop a truly viable and meaningful energy policy. One that is driven towards a reduction in oil imports and ultimately to energy independence. Special interests groups, their agendas, and their influence peddling must be set aside so America can re-shape its energy requirements and fight for “independence” once again – this battle is no less important than the one waged for independence two hundred and thirty years ago.

    We need to establish a national goal of energy conservation and the development of new, efficient, and clean forms of energy. As President Kennedy inspired the nation in 1962 to land a man on the moon and return him home safely by the end of the decade, we must do the same today with regard to energy. Modern computers, rocket engines with the required thrust capabilities, and the other technology required to reach the dream in 1969 were not yet conceived when JFK rallied Americans around something which seemed impossible.

    Our President and Congress must inspire the genius of “free enterprise” and mix in a good dose of government support and incentives to create a long term solution to an immediate and long term need while creating a national goal of energy independence within the next ten years. We will not be required to start with a blank slate as we did in 1962. A number of passive systems (solar and wind) exist, which will become more economically feasible as the competition for a barrel of oil heats up and prices increase. The technology to increase battery life and reduce physical size has made great strides, which will allow coal burning and nuclear power plants to replace oil. Automobiles designed to operate on biofuels, some on a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, are scheduled to come online in 2006. Fusion technology is in its infancy, but so were computers in 1962.

    Let us stop the bickering over drilling for oil in ANWR, establish specific goals, and then permit the potential oil and gas reserves in the Coastal Plains to support America’s drive to prosperity, security, and energy independence. Future generations will thank us and we likely will leave the world a better place in which to live.

    There is simply no option – lets get it done AND soon!

    William G. Pierce, P.E.

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    Illegal Immigration – Part II : Work Program or Amnesty?

    The House and the Senate disagree even more when it comes to handling the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States. House Bill HR 4437 enforces the current laws prohibiting the hiring of illegal immigrants and adds significant penalties to the businesses found to be violating statutes created more than twenty years ago. “This legislation will demand that people follow the law and be held accountable for their actions,” Congressman Sensenbrenner, the Bill’s author, said.

    The result of the House Bill will be the removal of job opportunities, welfare and health care benefits, driver’s licenses, and educational benefits for all illegal immigrants. And, it will add significant penalties for those involved in human smuggling. It does not address the issue that individuals sent home would be able to re-enter legally to obtain a work visa, but the concept has certainly been supported by House members responsible for writing and passing the Bill.

    On the other hand, the legislation sent to the floor of the Senate by the Judiciary Committee, with the approval of Senator Mike DeWine, two other Republicans, and the Committee’s entire Democratic delegation (including Senator Ted Kennedy), does not discuss controlling the border and offers a “work program” leading to American citizenship in the future. Careful not to use the “a” word, the Judiciary Committee must have felt that Americans would not see through their thinly veiled attempt to accomplish just that – amnesty for people who have broken our Nation’s law and then rewarding them with citizenship.

    Some versions discussed in the Senate would allow the illegal immigrants work in the U.S. for a specified number of years and then be required to go back to their homeland. First, how cruel would it be to permit people to become assimilated into the fabric of our society – develop friends and relationships in our communities, neighborhoods, schools, and churches while benefiting from our public services and health care – and then tell them they must leave because the sands in the clock have run out? Second, do you really expect that anyone in our government will seek out these individuals and families in six to eight years and force them to leave? I believe we all realize that will not happen and the result will be another form of amnesty.

    The United States operates under the “rule of law” as a means to keep an orderly society for the benefit of all her citizenry, and that rule of law begins to apply with the first step on our soil. If illegal entry is the basis of one’s presence in the country, then it has been clearly established that rules/statutes/laws mean nothing if they impede the individual’s own desires. If such an attitude becomes prevalent, then anarchy will surely follow and the fabric of our society will be destroyed.

    I applaud the House for recognizing the difficult decisions that needed to be made and taking the required action. I abhor the Senate’s flagrent attempt to pander to a specific group rather than enforce the immigration and work laws which were enacted many, many years ago by representatives of “we the people….”


    William G. Pierce, P.E.

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    Carnival of the Pierce Bloggers

    NixGuy tells us why he's voting for Pierce.

    Porkopolis says Pierce is the fiscal conservative in this race.

    Chuckoblog chimes in...

    BizzyBlog reminds us to donate to the campaign and issues his formal endorsement of Bill.

    NixGuy responds to the question, "Why undercut DeWine now?"

    Matt at WMD gives us 20 Reasons to Vote Pierce.

    Mark at WMD says now is the time and this is the hour.

    ALSO, don't miss this interview with Right on the Right.

    Thursday, April 13, 2006

    Pierce on Cunningham

    Bill will be appearing on the Bill Cunningham Show on WLW tomorrow at 12:30PM.

    UPDATE: A transcript and audio of the interview can be found here.

    Illegal Immigration – Part I : Border Patrol

    I spoke with a construction contractor in Butler County this evening who informed me that he has lost seven projects so far this year because he has been underbid by contractors relying on illegal immigrants. He told me he could not possibly get his labor costs to match ($6 to $8 per hour versus $20 to $25 per hour for an experienced carpenter). Along with the loss of jobs to Americans and legal immigrants, the cost of our inability to control the borders and enforce our laws has come as a very heavy burden to our public services, health care facilities, and educational programs at the local, county, and State levels; and jeopardizes the efforts put into Homeland Security.

    The illegal immigration issue must be broken into two components – controlling the border and then what to do with the individuals currently in the country without the proper documentation. The House Bill, HR 4437 - Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Act provides great deal specifics as to what must be done to protect our borders. But, it begins with a listing of the Congress’s observations:

    (a) Findings- Congress finds the following:

    (1) A primary duty of the Federal Government is to secure the homeland and ensure the safety of United States citizens and lawful residents.

    (2) As a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, perpetrated by al Qaida terrorists on United States soil, the United States is engaged in a Global War on Terrorism.

    (3) According to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, up to 15 of the 9/11 hijackers could have been intercepted or deported through more diligent enforcement of immigration laws.

    (4) Four years after those attacks, there is still a failure to secure the borders of the United States against illegal entry.

    (5) The failure to enforce immigration laws in the interior of the United States means that illegal aliens face little or no risk of apprehension or removal once they are in the country.

    (6) If illegal aliens can enter and remain in the United States with impunity, so, too, can terrorists enter and remain while they plan, rehearse, and then carry out their attacks.

    (7) The failure to control and to prevent illegal immigration into the United States increases the likelihood that terrorists will succeed in launching catastrophic or harmful attacks on United States soil.

    (8) There are numerous immigration laws that are currently not being enforced.

    (9) Law enforcement officers are often discouraged from enforcing the law by superiors.

    The House Bill correctly identifies that the first step must be the establishment of a policy and procedure to secure our borders against further unimpeded flow of illegal immigrants into our country. Within 18 months of passage, HR 4437 requires “the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States.” It specifies the use of a combination of personnel, technology, and physical infrastructure enhancements to achieve the operational control of our borders. In this section, the term `operational control' means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.

    Most unfortunately, the Senate took another approach. It ignored the need to control the border and end the flow of more illegal immigrants into the country, and instead focused on a policy to handle the estimated 12 million undocumented people currently in America. Amnesty became the plan (more in Part II), but with no restrictions on the flow across the border it will be a never ending problem and encourage many more to follow. Even the most uninformed among us can clearly see the need to close the door during the winter months OR let the cold air inside. Why can’t our elected representatives in the United States Senate do the same?

    William G. Pierce, P.E.