Monday, April 26, 2010

Is Bennett a CONSERVATIVE? Maybe, maybe not! Will I vote for him to serve another term? NO!

There is quite a bit of “Anyone but Bennett” going around in the Utah State Delegate circles and some of the reasoning may be justified, some is very misinformed, and some is simply because it is kind of like the new fad—everyone else is doing it so why don’t I?  I wanted to take a few minutes and analyze Senator Bennett’s record on some key “Conservative Issues” so that I could be fair to him and help others understand why I won’t vote for him to serve another term.

In Senator Bennett’s website he has a section titled “Top Ten Myths.”  He tries to refute what he says are the top ten myths about him.  For the most part, he does a good job refuting them.  So I thought that I would list the top ten things that I think he should be assessed on and then I would rate each item and give him a score.

Let's look at his record and evaluate ten BIG issues and see how he stacks up.  I will rate him 1-5 with 1 being and F and 5 being an A.  Since there are 10 items a perfect “Conservative” score would be 50.  You may be surprised when you read my scores and see where he actually ranks on the Conservative scale.

(5) Abortion:  He has been a strong opponent of abortion his entire political career.  In fact, he supported restricting it and requiring parental notification before an abortion could take place and he opposed late term abortions.  He also supported a ban on letting minors cross state lines to have an abortion.  Having said this, he has not been nearly as defined on his opinion against stem cell research, something that he appears to support.  Overall, I would give him an A- on the Conservative position of abortion.

(5) States Sanctioning GAY and LESBIAN marriage:  He opposed the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which would have given benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian federal employees

(2) Affirmative Action:  Bennett has voted against any affirmative action proposal that involves quotas. However, he has voted in favor of increased funding to businesses owned by women and minorities this is still affirmative action and it discriminates against everyone else who is not a woman or minority!  
(4) Patriotism: Bob Bennett served as a Chaplin in the Utah Army National Guard from 1957-69 so he did serve his country and this service cannot be questioned. But I am a bit perplexed on his stance on flag burning.  Utah’s other Senator Orin Hatch proposed a constitutional ban on flag burning and Bob Bennett voted against it.  He said that he thought desecrating the flag was protected by Freedom of Speech and that the only time it should be inappropriate is if the flag was burned on federal property with federally-owned flags.  Again, I won’t question his patriotism simply on the issue of flag burning but I do think that most conservatives consider the US flag to be somewhat of a sacred relic of our country and burning it is most offensive.  He did support the Bush administration with the Patriot Act and the US government’s rights to wire tap suspected terrorists.  If the flag burning issue was not in the mix I would give him an A but since it is in here I will only give him a B.  I have a very hard time with flag burning, especially claiming that free speech should defend such an act.
(5) TAXES:  Bob Bennett supports the flat tax idea.  He wants to get rid of the Inheritance Tax, Alternative Minimum Tax and the Marriage Penalty.  He has voted against minimum wage increases.  I must give him an A on his stance and record on taxes.
(1) Government Run Health Care: Bob Bennett has been an outspoken opponent of government run health care including the recently passed Obama Health Care Bill.
But wait a minute, there is a big problem here.  Bob Bennett is the co-sponsor of the Healthy Americans Act, also known as the Wyden Bennett Act.  This is a universal health care program that would “Require” Americans to enroll in it. There is another name for this plan HAPI, Healthy Americans Private Insurance plan. It would be a private and government funded plan.  So, even though Bennett claims to be a big Opponent of The Socialist Obama Health Care Bill recently passed he has no problem creating a “Socialist” plan of his own that would also require all American’s to enroll in a plan of their own or this new government plan.  By the way, Wyden is a Democrat.

(5) Immigration and homeland security:  Bennett has supported tighter immigration control, he voted for the border fence between the US and Mexico, English as the Official Language of the US and against citizenship rights to guest workers.   Another A on this one.
(5) Energy and the environment:  He voted against energy standard proposals, CAFÉ and is not a believer in Global Warming.  He supports drilling in ANWR and using nuclear power.  A
(1). "Few politicians have more ties to Freddie and Fannie than Utah Senator Bob Bennett, who topped all Republicans in campaign contributions from the mortgage duo since 1989." (Salt Lake Tribune, 09/12/08) Senator Bennett’s website claims that this statement from an article in the Salt Lake Tribune is misleading because it is illegal for a corporation to donate to a campaign therefore making it impossible for FNMA or FHLMC to have donated to his campaign.  However, he did receive huge donations from people who work for these institutions.  Senator Bennett surely you have heard the statement “avoid even the appearance of evil”?  If it looks like a rat, sounds like a rat and smells like a rat it probably is a rat!  We the public are not stupid!!

(1). Senator Bob Bennett broke his term limits pledge when he ran for re-election in 2004. Bennett has now been in the Senate for 18 years. (Deseret News, 10/07/98)  Senator Bennett like so many other “Career Politicians” has tasted of the power, prestige and most definitely the special interest money of being a US Senator and has justified for lying to his constituents about only serving two terms. This is an issue of integrity and unfortunately most Politian’s stumble on this one.  They claim that they will only serve two terms but when the time comes to hold true to their word they can’t resist all that comes with political power.  They then try to justify the actions by saying; “if everyone else will limit their terms I will too.”   

This is a cop out and Mr. Bennett knows it.  THIS IS THE MAIN REASON I WILL NOT VOTE TO SEND HIM BACK TO WASHINGTON AGAIN!  Integrity defines who we are and men who lack integrity are self-absorbed and self-centered.  Just look at the arrogance of most of our leaders in Washington, they think they are smarter than we are and that without them we would parish. They ignored us when we told them NO on Health Care reform and they now say they have even bigger things planned for us!

Now let’s add up the score and see where Mr. Bennett ranks.  His total score is 34 out of 50.  This gives him a 68% which I would call a C-.  In my book Bob Bennett is not a conservative.  I believe that he has been in office too long and he has become one of the good old boys.  We don’t send people to Washington to make deals with the other side, to make it a career or to become part of the problem.  We send them there to represent us, our values, our morals and our beliefs.  

 I believe that Mr. Bennett did a good job his first two terms, but things started to go downhill after that.  If Mr. Bennett thinks that somehow his tenure is the most important reason to send him back why didn’t his tenure stop Obama and the Liberals in Washington from passing the most overwhelming government takeover of the free market system in America?   Why hasn’t his tenure stopped the liberals from raising our taxes and pushing forward the most aggressive social agenda since the McCarthy era?   

No Mr. Bennett we don’t need you in the senate for another six years.  We need fresh conservative ideas from someone who can actually represent our state and who will hopefully not follow another 18 years in your  footsteps.  You did a lot of things right, but the longer you are there the more tainted you become.  You can’t sit in the proverbial  bar for 18 years without finally having a drink yourself. Bob it’s time to get off of the stool and let a new face represent Utah--as far from the club as possible!

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