Republican, Tea Party congressman favor unPATRIOT act

by Brian Irving

The parliamentary palaver in the U.S. House of Representatives over the extension of provisions of the questionably named PATRIOT Act should put to rest any illusion that the new Republican majority, even with its Tea Party flavor, is really committed to limited government and protecting Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Even though the measure was technically defeated, it was only because the Republican leadership attempted to have the bill quickly and quietly approved in a so-called “expedited procedure,” which incidentally didn’t allow amendments and limited debate to 40 minutes. But the plan backfired, because the process required a two-thirds majority.

The vote was 277-148; the 210 Republicans who yes included several supported by the Tea Party movement. The vote gave new meaning to the cliché “politics make strange bedfellows.” Democrats Heath Shuler, Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre and Brad Miller voted in favor, along with Howard Coble, Renee Ellmers, Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry, and Sue Myrick.

Both Coble and Myrick are listed as Tea Party Caucus members on Rep. Michelle Bachman’s website. Ellmers, who upset long-time incumbent Bob Etheridge, was elected with Tea Party support.

Opposing the bill were Republican Walter Jones and Democrats David Price and Mel Watt.

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Former NM governor to speak in Raleigh

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will speak at an event sponsored by the state Republican Liberty Caucus August 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Clarion Hotel on Hillsborough St.

Johnson is an outspoken advocate for limited government, lower taxes, protection of civil liberties, and promoting entrepreneurship and free enterprise. The speaking event is free and open to the public.

As governor Johnson was known for his common-sense business approach to governing. He eliminated New Mexico’s budget deficit, cut the rate of growth in state government in half and privatized half of the state prisons. Johnson also shifted state Medicaid to managed care by creating a previously nonexistent statewide healthcare network. He reduced state employees by over 1,000 without firing anyone.

During his two terms, Johnson vetoed 750 bills, more than the combined vetoes of all the state governors at the time. He also used his line-item veto power thousands of times. Under Johnson’s leadership, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax increase in the state’s history.

Johnson had no prior political experience when he defeated the Democratic incumbent Bruce King in 1994. He entered politics following a successful business career. While attending the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, earned money as a door-to-door handyman. His success led him to start his own construction company, Big J Enterprise, in 1976.

By 1994, Johnson grew the company into a multimillion dollar corporation employing more than 1,000. When he sold the company four years later, no employee lost their job and the company remains successful.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of North Carolina is a grassroots organization working to advance the principles of limited government, individual liberty, and free enterprise within the Republican Party and throughout North Carolina.

What to know:

Address by Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM)
Monday, August 16, 6:30 p.m.
Clarion Hotel
320 Hillsborough St
Raleigh NC 27603

The RLC will a private meet-and-greet reception following the speech. Register and pay for this event here.