In an interview this morning, Bill Frist said of Harold Ford Jr. and Bob Corker, “we have two outstanding candidates in many ways that really do contrast the Republican Party versus the Democratic Party, where we are as a nation today.” Democrats today said Frist’s observation about the differences between Harold Ford Jr. and Bob Corker shows why Ford is the best candidate for Tennessee.
“If Bill Frist wants to highlight the differences between Harold Ford Jr. and Bob Corker, that is fine with us,” said DSCC spokesman Phil Singer. “Ford has a proven record of backing issues that matter to regular people like supporting middle class tax cuts and demanding fiscal responsibility in the government. Bob Corker, on the other hand, has a record of misleading voters with negative attacks aimed at glossing over his record of raising taxes and hiring illegal aliens.”
TAXES: Ford Cuts Middle Class Taxes, While Corker Raised Property Taxes 24%. In Congress, Ford has cut middle-class taxes, business taxes, and capital gains taxes to spur investment and create jobs. Meanwhile, when Corker became Mayor of Chattanooga, his very first budget raised property taxes by 48 cents, or 24%. Corker has even admitted he never cut taxes as mayor.
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Ford Supports Balanced Budgeting, While Corker Boosted Debt and Spending. Ford supports a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, has never voted for a budget out of balance and has acted against secret, wasteful pork spending. Meanwhile, during Corker’s tenure as Mayor, the City of Chattanooga’s long term debt jumped by over $150 million, or 48%. Corker also presided over a $23 million – or 18.5% – spending increase and accepted three pay raises.
MINIMUM WAGE: Ford Supports Minimum Wage Hike, While Corker Opposes Minimum Altogether. Ford is a strong supporter of boosting the minimum wage, which hasn’t increased in nearly 10 years. Meanwhile, Corker, who is worth up to $230 million, not only opposes a minimum wage increase, he also opposes setting any minimum wage at all.
ENERGY: Ford Supports Alternative Energy to To Reduce Dependence On Foreign Oil, While Corker is In Big Oil’s Pocket. Ford supports alternative energy development in Tennessee; he wrote the law giving incentives to hybrid car buyers, and will end subsidies to Big Oil. Meanwhile, Corker’s campaign finance chair is “Gas Station King” Jimmy Haslam, the CEO of Pilot Oil. With Haslam’s help, Corker has raised more than $30,000 from big oil this cycle. In addition, one Big Oil PAC labeled Corker “the strongest candidate out there that will be an advocate for domestic producers of oil.”
IMMIGRATION: Ford is Tough on Immigration, While Corker’s Own Company Was Investigated by INS. Ford voted for the toughest border security rules ever to pass Congress. Meanwhile, Bay Buchanan, the chairman of the anti-immigration Team America PAC, notes that “Mr. Corker is for amnesty.” Moreover, Corker’s company was cited and investigated by the INS for having illegal immigrants on a Memphis job site after warnings from federal agents.
Sources: [Frist: Nashville NewsChannel 5, 8/4/06; Taxes: HR 4297, 5/10/06; Memphis Commercial Appeal, 5/11/06; H.R. 1308, 9/23/04; H.C.R. 83, 3/28/01; Knoxville News-Sentinel, 8/3/97; H.R. 2015, 7/30/97, Passed 346-85; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/12/01, 8/22/01, 2/26/06; Newswire, 3/14/03; WBIR-TV debate 7/13/06; Fiscal Responsibility: H.J. Res. 22, introduced 2/17/05; CRS Report, 01/28/05; Ford and Flake Pork Barrel Spending Reform Bill; Chattanooga Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, -2006; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 7/17/01, 8/22/01, 10/28/01, 7/03/03; Wages: House Vote 45, 3/9/00; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/15/06; Energy: H.AMDT.85 to H.R.6, 4/21/05; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2/9/05; Knoxville News Sentinel, 3/9/03; Center for Responsive Politics, 8/04/06; Nashville City Paper, 7/26/06; Immigration: HR 4437, 12/16/05; Bryant Press Release, 7/19/06; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/5/06]
Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics
Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.
It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.
It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.
I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!