Saturday, May 10, 2014

The People and Strategies Which Run Politics in America and the Back Story – A series on the 14th Congressional District for Ohio – First in a Series

Analysis of the difference between the self-identified “conservative” candidates in this race requires an understanding of the “neo-conservative” movement that arose in the 1970s. The advocacy by GOP Neoconservatives for military intervention by the United States abroad has come to overwhelm the traditional “Main Street” Republican conservatism especially dominant in Ohio via many generations of the Taft family. 

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Congresspersons often disappoint voters, saying one thing while running for office and forgetting their promises once elected. Therefore it is essential to know more about candidates and understand them more completely. This is especially true of the 14th District Congressional Race, North East Ohio

This year's race for Ohio's 14th Congressional seat is taking place in one of the few districts which could result in a change of party. It is a foregone conclusion that both major party candidates will be well funded and the ballot for the general election will include a Libertarian candidate, David Macko. Libertarian candidates generally draw around 3% of the vote, enough to edge out incumbent David Joyce in favor of Wagner in November if Joyce wins in the primary.

This is a race to watch, one where better understanding the candidates provides a forum for identifying the ideas which, today, are presented as the philosophical viewpoint shared by those within the party. Reasonable people would assume these ideas, presumably, were arrived at after long dialog and thorough consideration.

We can also expect to see a battle between interests from outside the district spending money in support of the candidate they have decided to back. We will examine these retrospectively in each instance.

We begin with the contested race between Incumbent David Joyce and MatthewLynch for the GOP nomination.

The candidates presenting themselves for election are asking to be hired to do a job for their constituents. Will they honor their promises?

It is reasonable to begin with their compensation, if elected.

Congressional Pay

As the ones doing the hiring you should know that the candidate you elect will receive a base pay of $174,000 per year.

Benefits are far more generous than the average American can hope to receive. After five years of service the Representative becomes eligible for a pension. After service of 25 years, no matter what the representative's age, pension payments begin.
Read more about Congressional benefits here.

Representatives also receive, according to public record, a “Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) is made available to help members defray expenses resulting from three specific components of their "representational duties," those being; the personal expenses component; the office expenses component; and the mailing expenses component.”

In 2012 the individual representatives received MRA allowances ranging from $1,270,129 to $1,564,613, with an average of $1,353,205.13.

Additionally, the office of Representative offers many other ways to generate income to the office holder. Some of these are covert and ethically questionable. Others are entirely legal. Most congresspersons leave office far wealthier than they were when they arrived.

The contest between the two Republican candidates will be decided in the Primary on May 6. Incumbent David Joyce will face off with Matt Lynch. The winner will then face Libertarian candidate David Macko and Democrat Michael Wager in November. This first article delves into two term s,'Conservative' and 'Neoconservative.'

The term Conservative has a long history in American politics.

Both candidates claim to be Conservatives. Neither identifies themselves as a Neoconservative. These two terms, today confused, have diametrically different meanings.

Therefore, we will begin our inquiry by determining if both, or either, candidate is accurately using the term and if not, what term does correctly place them ideologically.

The term, Conservative, has been in use for over a century and its meaning was stable until relatively recently, this beginning with the introduction of the term, Neoconservative, which came into common usage in the 1970s.

The Difference - Conservative and Neoconservative

A Neoconservative is, according to the dictionary, “one who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and United States national interest in international affairs including through military means.”
Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, wrote an article appearing on the Council on Foreign Relations website on February 9, 2003. The article was titled,America's Destiny Is to Police the World.
Americans, and conservatives, look back on a long tradition for viewing war with caution. George Washington said in his Farewell Address, delivered September 17, 1796, “Foreign attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot."
Conservatives are, historically, anti-war.
We now know lies were used to sell the Iraqi war to Americans and that lying is a matter of policy for NeoConservatives, this through the political philosophy of Leo Strauss

Leo Strauss
Strauss died in 1973 leaving a legacy of work which was eagerly seized on by Neoconservatives. Strauss taught that if you were destined to rule lying and cheating to achieve your goals was entirely acceptable.
An excerpt from Reading Leo Strauss, by Stephen B. Smith, published by the University of Chicago, includes the quote, “Strauss is widely regarded today as a founding father, perhaps the Godfather, of neo-conservatism, with direct or indirect ties to the Bush administration in Washington.”
Karl Rove is widely viewed as a NeoCon as are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and many in the Bush administration.
Being hired by Bush and associates hinged on your agreement with Straussianism. Potential recruits for policy and political work were invited to learn about the philosophy of Straussianism. If an attendee agreed with Straussianism they were often mainstreamed into positions of power.
Lew Rockwell, President of the Mises Institute, told me in 2007 about such a seminar he attended years earlier and acknowledged this as a reason the Mises Institute ended up at the University of Auburn in Alabama. He could not agree with Straussianism.
We invaded Iraq because, Saddam Hussein, who had very recently been our personal asset, had been proven, beyond doubt, we were told, to possess Weapons of Mass Destruction. 
Invading Iraq
Announcing the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, Mr. Bush said, "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." [CBSNews]
Fast forward to May 6th of 2004 and we find George W. Bush crawling around under his desk looking for some shred of evidence WMD existed.
"Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," Bush joked. "Nope, no weapons over there ... maybe under here?" [CNN]

What is a Neoconservative?
The term 'neoconservative' was brought into usage by Irving Krystol, a former Trotskyite who in the 1970s changed his registration from Democrat to Republican. A Neoconservative is a curious amalgamation of Trotskyite and student of Leo Strauss. Trotsky was a ultra-Left Communist who was eventually assassinated by Stalin. Marxists and Communists work for a highly centralized national system to maximize their control.

What is a Conservative?
Conservatives, and the philosophy of Conservatism, are not nearly as colorful. Conservatives favor localized government, in alignment with the Constitution.
The two most prominent conservatives in the 20th Century were Robert Taft, who served in the United States Senate from Ohio from 1939-1953, and Barry Goldwater, who served from Arizona from (1953–65, 1969–87).
Known as Mr. Antiwar Republican, Taft opposed opposition to the attempts of fellow Republicans to compromise with the failed New Deal of FDR and the American stampede to war.
Acknowledged as “Mr. Conservative” Goldwater's answers to the questions sent to 14th District candidates are provided using quotes from him on the issues and comments from reliable sources. 
Six Questions on policy for Congressional Candidates
[Questions were submitted to each candidates. Each failed to respond. Responses from Matt Lynch are drawn from a questionaire available on the Internet from the Ohio Christian Alliance. Joyce failed to respond to any questions, Lynch responded to all questions.]

1. What policy should be followed on gays serving in the military?

You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.” ~Barry Goldwater

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response. From Christian Alliance Questionaire - Supports “Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.”

2. If elected, would you support a woman's right to have an abortion?

Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.” ~Barry Goldwater

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response. From Christian Alliance Questionaire - Opposes “Health and Human Services mandate (HHS) that would require employers, including religious institutions, to cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs.”

3. Do you support the legalization of marijuana?

In 1996, Goldwater with Senator Dennis DeConcini, Goldwater endorsed an Arizona initiative to legalize medical marijuana.

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response. From Christian Alliance Questionaire - Opposes legalization of marijuana..

4. If you had been serving in Congress in 2003 would you have supported the Invasion of Iraq?

It is not clear Goldwater would have voted for the invasion. But if he had, given his record for plain speech, the opinion of those who knew him is that he would have taken corrective action as soon as the lies were discovered, which happened in 2004.

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response. From Christian Alliance Questionaire - Supports Recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capitol of Israel.” Question goes to American involvement with entangling foreign powers.

5. Will you support an investigation on the malfeasance which has taken place in banks and financial institutions related to foreclosures, robosigning, and other questionable practices?

Although Goldwater died in 1998 his record for plain speech and accountability is clear. It was Goldwater to forced Nixon to resign in 1974 when the evidence of the cover-up became overwhelming and impeachment was imminent.

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response.

6. What is your position on damage to private property and health resulting from oil spills and fracking?

While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.” ~Barry Goldwater

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response.

[The questions were formulated not so much to contrast the candidate responses but to measure deviation from traditional Conservative stances on issues which changed within the last part of the 20th Century, after the rise of Neoconservatism.]

Goldwater and Taft did not endorse any specific behavior on the part of individuals, generally following the principle that individuals have a right to make these decisions for themselves and that government had no role in such decisions. This echoes the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Both Taft and Goldwater were strong advocates for accountability for both corporations and individuals.

It appears that neither of the Republican candidates for the 14th Congressional seat can be assumed to hold positions consistent with Conservatism as they failed to answer after multiple requests and the answers which are available fall outside those expressed by Taft and Goldwater.

Personal and Political Ethics

As an ethics issue it is impossible not to mention the attack on candidate Lynch by the Joyce campaign on claims Lynch had not paid his taxes. Late payment had resulted from financial difficulties encountered in 1993 when Lynch took time away from work to care for his wife, Jamie, when she was dying of cancer. Medical bills had reached $100,000. All debts were brought current in a timely fashion, as medical bills were paid off and he rebuilt his interrupted career, according to Lynch.

The attack on Lynch, stemmed from events nearly twenty years ago, and unexplained non-responses by both candidates point to further issues as yet unidentified.

A second attack by Joyce has taken place in the last few days with claims he, as an Ohio state Legislator, failed to vote for the budget proposed by Governor Kasich for Ohio. A response on this charge came from a local resident, Monique Kawalek, who stated in her letter,FACT: THAT BUDGET INCREASED SPENDING BY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND RAISED SALES TAX AND REAL ESTATE TAX  so YES, he voted against that tax and spend budget. “

In the last few days before balloting took place on May 6th both campaigns received substantially increased presence on the Internet through ads appearing on political sites which draw readers who are generally Republican. This approach for a mass spending of funds in the last few days became ubiquitous with the campaigns for 'local initiatives' which were funded by the Kochs through their multiple front organizations beginning about 2002.

Today, the approach is widely used to change the outcome of local elections by many corporate interests. The post election article will delve into these organizations and how they operate, and their probably goals and motives as we continue our inquiry into how the term, 'Conservative' changed.

Further Questions to be answered – Who is deciding elections, how this is managed, and continuing insights on this race and the back story

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