The Two Faces of Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky
Enemy of Freedom & Traitor to American Values
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between Church and State." Who coined the Phrase? Give up?
Answer: Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding fathers of this
great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment
to that same Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter
to the Danbury Baptist Association, referring to the First Amendment to the
US Constitution. In it he said:
We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether Senator Bunning has made serious errors in in judgment. He has supported a Conservative Far Right Christian position especially when it comes to Church and State issues. It is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from his past and future actions as well as other constitutional sections. He has supported deregulation of banks and the SEC causing the current economic Depression.
Senator Bunning's office stated that his position is that Certain Religions aren't "Real" religions. What is a real religion, Mr. Bunning? What you have been practicing? He says on the one hand that only certain Christian denominations are valid. Nut you are supporting Rape by the Defense Contractors. Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known." This is a summary of information collected from several sources about Senator Brownback.Senator Bunning.
(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone. Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself! And remember, the First Amendment Coalition and Religious Freedom Coalition of the South East do not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process.)
Below are excerpts from Senator Bunning's webpage, his bio on wikipedia.org, articles on huffingtonpost.com, and articles on politico.com
EXTREMIST (TEA PARTY)
REPUBLICANS ARE THE ENEMY AND TRAITORS TO AMERICA by R. Blackbird
DOES SENATOR BUNNING SUPPORT RAPE?
I think that all homo sapiens can understand how the mere thought of an organization that receives government money through contract mechanisms being tangentially involved in setting up a fake tax shelter for a fake pimp and his fake prostitution ring of fake prostitutes can justifiably lead to lawmakersgoing absolutely cross-eyed with white-hot, impotent rage. But what happens when a similarly taxpayer-endowed contractor attempts to cover up employee-on-employee gang rape by locking up the victim in a shipping container without food and water and threatening her with reprisals if she report the incident? Somehow, it doesn't engender the same level of anger!
30 misogynist Republicans in the U.S. Senate are totally OK with rape, at least where women are concerned. Predictably in yet another routine attempt to serve their corporate masters, (this time the GOP stood by Halliburton) Republicans voted against women and for corporate contempt of rape victims.
Instead of standing up to take responsibility for or clarifying their disgraceful votes, Republican cowards are instead attacking Al Franken, blaming him for their votes.
I guess Franken held a sledge hammer over Cornyn's head and said if he did not vote against the anti-rape amendment Franken would crack it over his head.
What shameless cowards.
To summarize the Republican position: As women, we are not "average Americans," and gang rape is not a "serious" issue. As women, no matter how powerful we become on our own merits, the Republican establishment will still be hoping for a man to come along and put us in our place.
Not every Republican signs onto these views -- indeed, 10 Senate Republicans voted for the Franken amendment, giving the lie to the NRSC's claim of partisanship -- but this is the undercurrent of the party's policies. This is what they're hoping to get voters to overlook when they run a Sarah Palin or a Kelly Ayotte for office. This is why Bob McDonnell's campaign for Virginia governor has been such a popular campaign stop for 2012 prospects: because of, not despite, his opposition to marital contraception and women in the workplace. This is why David Vitter (who voted against the Franken amendment) is still a senator in good standing with the party of alleged sexual morality.
You don't have to go very far beneath the Republican surface claims of equality-but-not-really to get to the rock-bottom sense that women just don't count, that our rights and our wellbeing are always subordinate to whatever interest of men they might conflict with. When it comes to it, even the (themselves sexist) notions of chivalry and protecting women come behind protecting the right of corporations to imprison their female employees to shield their male employees from rape charges and still get government contracts.
Credit new Senator Al Franken however, forintroducing an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would punish contractors if they "restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court." You'd think that this would be a no-brainer, actually, but that didn't stop Jeff Sessions from labeling Franken's effort a "political attack directed at Halliburton." Franken, of course, pointed out that his amendment would apply broadly, to all contractors, because otherwise, 'twould be a bill of attainder, right? Right?
Franken's amendment ended up passing, 68-30. Here's a list of the Senators who showed broad support for Rapists and Pedophiles by voting against it: (Click on their names to find out more about them).
ADDENDUM: It's been pointed out to me that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied against the Franken amendment as well:
I guess we must cover up crimes like rape in order to save capitalism.
PREVIOUSLY, on the HUFFINGTON
James Paul David "Jim" Bunning
Bunning pitched in the Major Leagues for 17 seasons, most notably with the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies. When he retired, he had the second-highest total of career strikeouts in Major League history; he is currently 17th. Bunning pitched a perfect game in 1964, a feat that has been accomplished only eighteen times in Major League history. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
After retiring from baseball, Bunning returned to his native northern Kentucky and was subsequently elected to the city council, and then the state senate, in which he served as minority leader. In 1986, Bunning was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky's 4th congressional district, and served in the House from 1987 to 1999. He was elected to the United States Senate from Kentucky in 1998 and has served there since 1999 as the Republican junior U.S. Senator. Bunning is currently the sixth oldest U.S. Senator and the oldest Republican in the Senate. In July 2009, he announced that he would not run for re-election in 2010, citing difficulty in raising campaign funds
Education and family
Bunning was born in Southgate, Kentucky to Gladys Best and Louis Aloysius Bunning. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1949 and later received a bachelor's degree in economics from Xavier University.
In 1952, Bunning married
Mary Catherine Theis. They had five daughters and four sons.
Bunning is one of the Senate's most conservative members, gaining high marks from several conservative interest groups. He was ranked by National Journal as the second-most conservative United States Senator in their March 2007 conservative/liberal rankings, after Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).
Local and state positions
First elected to office in 1977, Bunning served two years on the city council of Fort Thomas, Kentucky before running for and winning a seat in the Kentucky Senate as a Republican. He was elected minority leader by his Republican colleagues, a rare feat for a freshman legislator.
House of Representatives
In 1986, Bunning won the Republican nomination in Kentucky's 4th District, based in Kentucky's share of the Cincinnati metro area, after 10-term incumbent Republican Gene Snyder retired. He won easily in the fall and was reelected five more times without serious opposition in what was considered the most Republican district in Kentucky. After the Republicans gained control of the House in 1995, Bunning served as chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security until 1999.
First Senate term
In 1998, Senate Minority Whip Wendell Ford decided to retire after 24 years in the Senate—the longest term in Kentucky history. Bunning won the Republican nomination for the seat, and faced fellow Congressman Scotty Baesler, a Democrat from the Lexington-based 6th District, in the general election. Bunning defeated Baesler by just over half a percentage point. The race was very close; Bunning only won by swamping Baesler in the 4th by a margin that Baesler couldn't make up in the rest of the state (Baesler barely won the 6th).
Bunning was 67 years old when he entered U.S. Senate.
Among the bills that Bunning sponsored is the Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004.
In a quote from Pulitzer-prize winner Taylor Branch's book of interviews with former President Bill Clinton, David Corn, of Mother Jones magazine characterizes Clinton's opinion of Bunning as:
In describing an interview with Bill Clinton after the 1998 Senate elections, Taylor Branch wrote of Clinton, "He said Bunning, a former baseball player, was so mean-spirited that he repulsed even his fellow know-nothings. 'I tried to work with him a couple times,' said Clinton, 'and he just sent shivers up my spine....I know you're a baseball fan and everything, and you don't like to hear it, but this guy is beyond the pale.'"
2004 Senate race
Bunning was heavily favored for a second term in 2004 after his expected Democratic opponent, Governor Paul Patton, saw his career implode in a scandal over an extramarital affair, and the Democrats chose Daniel Mongiardo, a relatively unknown physician and state senator from Hazard. Bunning had an estimated $4 million campaign war chest, while Mongiardo had only $600,000. However, due to a number of controversial incidents involving Bunning, the Democrats began increasing financial support to Mongiardo when it became apparent that Bunning's bizarre behavior was costing him votes, purchasing more than $800,000 worth of additional television airtime on his behalf.
During his reelection bid, controversy erupted when Bunning described Mongiardo as looking "like one of Saddam Hussein's sons." Public pressure compelled him to apologize. Bunning was also criticized for his use of a teleprompter during a televised debate with Mongiardo where Bunning participated via satellite link, refusing to appear in person. Bunning was further criticized for making an unsubstantiated claim that his wife had been attacked by Mongiardo's supporters, and for calling Mongiardo "limp wristed". Bunning's mental health was also questioned during the campaign.
In October, 2004 Bunning told reporters "Let me explain something: I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information."
The race turned out to be very close, with Mongiardo leading with as many as 80% of the returns coming in. However, Bunning eventually won by just over one percentage point. Some analysts felt that had it not been for George W. Bush's 20% victory in the state, Mongiardo would have won.
Second Senate term, 2005–2011
As was expected in light of Bunning's previous career as a baseball player, he has been very interested in Congress's investigation of steroid use in baseball. Bunning has also been outspoken on the issue of illegal immigration taking the position that all illegal immigrants should be deported.
Bunning was also the only member of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs to have opposed Ben Bernanke for Chief of the Federal Reserve. He said it was because he had doubts that Bernanke would be any different from Alan Greenspan.
In April 2006, Time magazine called him one of America's Five Worst Senators. The magazine dubbed him The Underperformer for his "lackluster performance", saying he "shows little interest in policy unless it involves baseball", and criticized his hostility towards staff and fellow Senators and his "bizarre behavior" during his 2004 campaign.
On December 6, 2006, only Bunning and Rick Santorum voted against the confirmation of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, with Bunning saying that "Mr. Gates has repeatedly criticized our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan without providing any viable solutions to the problems our troops currently face. We need a secretary of defense to think forward with solutions and not backward on history we cannot change."
Jim Bunning reportedly has blocked the move to restore public access to the records of past United States Presidents which had been removed under Executive Order 13233.
A statewide opinion poll said Bunning had a 35% approval rating, with 55% disapproving as of September 2009.
In January 2009, Bunning missed more than a week of the start of Congress in January 2009. Bunning said by phone that he was fulfilling "a family commitment six months ago to do certain things, and I'm doing them." Asked whether he would say where he was, Bunning replied: "No, I'd rather not."
In February 2009, at the Hardin County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner, while discussing conservative judges, Bunning predicted that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer within nine months. Bunning later apologized if he had offended Ginsburg with his remarks and offered his thoughts and prayers to Ginsburg; his press release misspelled the Justice's last name twice.
Bunning was the only senator to miss the Senate’s historic Christmas Eve 2009 vote on the health care reform bill. The missed vote was one of 21 in the month of December — nearly half of all Senate floor votes — that the senator skipped. Bunning’s total of 21 missed December votes is one more than the 20 missed by 92-year-old Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who is ailing and in a wheelchair.
Ended 2010 re-election campaign
Main article: United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2010
In January 2009, when asked whether Bunning was the best candidate to run or whether there were better GOP candidates for Bunning's Senate seat, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn said: "I don’t know. I think it’s really up to Senator Bunning." Bunning replied: "Anybody can run for anything they choose. I am gearing up, and I look forward to the challenge of taking on whoever comes out of the Democrat primary in May of 2010." Kentucky State Senate President David Williams was reportedly considering running against Bunning in the primary. Bunning responded by threatening to sue the National Republican Senatorial Committee if they recruited a candidate to run against him in the primary. He also attacked NRSC Chairman John Cornyn:
As of the end of September 2008, Bunning had $175,000 in his campaign account. By comparison, all other Republican senators facing competitive 2010 races had at least $850,000 at that point. In the last quarter of 2008, Citizens for Bunning, as the senator's campaign committee is known, raised $27,000 from 26 separate contributions, ending the year with $150,000 in cash. In mid-April, KYWORDSMITH.com reported that of the $263,000 that Bunning collected during the first quarter of 2009, over 77% ($203,383) was received from out of state, while over 10% ($28,100) was actually untouchable for another 13 months as it was contributed exclusively for use in a general election. Bunning had two fund raisers scheduled in the first half of April.
In an April 2009 poll, Bunning’s approval rating was just 28%, and he trailed the four most likely Democratic candidates in hypothetical contests. 54% of voters in the state disapproved of Bunning’s performance. Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced on April 30, 2009, that he would form an exploratory committee to run for Bunning’s seat. It was speculated that this was a precursor to Bunning's retirement. “He (Bunning) told Trey to do this,” one senior congressional official said of Bunning. “Why else would he tell his main rival to prepare for a run?” However, Bunning said at a Lincoln Day dinner in Kentucky on 9 May that he still planned to run: "The battle is going to be long, but I am prepared to fight for my values."
In a press conference on May 19, Bunning called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a "control freak": "If Mitch McConnell doesn’t endorse me, it could be the best thing that ever happened to me in Kentucky."
On July 27, 2009, Bunning announced he would not run for re-election in 2010, blaming fellow Republicans for doing "everything in their power to dry up my fundraising."
Jim Bunning Foundation
On December 18, 2008, the Lexington Herald Leader reported that Sen. Bunning's non-profit foundation, the Jim Bunning Foundation, has given less than 25 percent of its proceeds to charity. The charity has taken in $504,000 since 1996, according to Senate and tax records; during that period, Senator Bunning was paid $180,000 in salary by the foundation while working a reported one hour per week. Bunning Foundation board members include his wife Mary, and Cincinnati tire dealer Bob Sumerel. In 2008, records indicate that Bunning attended 10 baseball shows around the country and signed autographs, generating $61,631 in income for the charity. "The whole thing is very troubling," said Melanie Slone, Executive Director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Jim Bunning Repeatedly Blocks Unemployment Benefits Extension, Tells Dem 'Tough Shit'
Excerpts from an article by Arthur Delaney of the huffington post.
If congress fails to pass an extension, the National Employment Law Project estimates that 1.2 million people will lose their benefits in March. Bunning's action could cause thousands of people to miss their unemployment checks starting this week, though it's likely that Congress will pass an extension within the next two weeks that will retroactively cover their losses.
The bill under consideration would provide a stop-gap 30 day extension for several other expiring laws, including funding for highway projects that employed 2,000 people until Monday, improved Medicare reimbursement rates (known as "doc fix"), flood insurance, and licensing that allows satellite TV providers to carry local channels in rural areas where they are unavailable with an antenna.
Reid asked for unanimous consent to move forward with the bill on Monday.
"Six times last week, Democrats asked to extend their unemployment benefits for a short time while they work on a longer extension," Reid said. "Six times, Republicans said no. They didn't just say no to us, that is members of the Senate. They said no to their families in their own states and all our states count on us to act when we need action. They count on us to respond in the event of an emergency. This is an emergency. The Republicans in the Senate are standing between these families and the help they need while these benefits expire and expired."
After Reid spoke, Bunning raised his objection and blamed the Democrats for failing to extend benefits with an earlier bill that Reid scrapped. He repeated his insistence that the Senate not add an additional $10 billion to the deficit.
"Just a brief explanation of why we are where we're at with this extension bill, the brief extension of 30 days," said Bunning, who is not running for reelection and apparently not acting with the blessing of GOP leadership. "There was an agreement between the majority leader of the Finance Committee and the minority leader in the Finance Committee, Sens. Baucus and Grassley, on a three-month extension of these very same provisions. There were more provisions in the bill also. It cost a little more than the the $10 billion that is asked for because it was a three-month extension. Senator Reid pulled that bill from the floor of the U.S. Senate. He did it. The leader of the Democrats pulled that bill from the floor. I support extending unemployment benefits, COBRA benefits, flood insurance, highway bill fix, doc fix, small business loans, distant network television for satellite viewers. If we can't find $10 billion to pay for something that we all support, we will never pay for anything on the floor of this U.S. Senate."
Democrats are using the holdup to hammer Bunning and the Republican party. Congressional Democrats, along with Vice President Joe Biden, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs have all condemned the holdup.
Even if Senate Democrats get around Bunning and pass an extension this week, some recipients of unemployment benefits could miss a check. Before last week, workforce agencies in some states were already sending out letters notifying recipients that they would be ineligible for any of the federally-funded "tiers" of additional benefits provided by the stimulus bill. Eligibility for those benefits ended on Feb. 28; the bill under consideration would push the deadline back to April 5.
A Democratic aide said Reid would move forward this week with a larger measure that would extend unemployment and COBRA benefits for the rest of the year. Reid could file for cloture tomorrow, a process that will eat up time but won't allow a single senator to block progress of the widely-supported measure.
Judy Conti, a lobbyist for the National Employment Law Project, said that the legislation would retroactively pay UI recipients. But how long will it take? "If you're already unemployed for more than six months," she said, "odds are you're living at the margins already with no room for error."
In an off-camera exchange on Monday, ABC News reported, "when Senate producer Z. Byron Wolf spotted Bunning exiting his office, Bunning said, 'I'm not talking to anybody.' When Wolf asked him to stay and talk to our cameras, Bunning walked toward the elevator and shot the middle finger over his head."
Later, Bunning showed some anger when ABC News tried to ask him about his objection. "Excuse me, this is a Senate-only elevator," he said. "Excuse me!"
UPDATE 5:30 PM: Senate Democrats have put a video of Bunning's first objection today on YouTube:
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