Friday, July 13, 2007

Hill votes for 'Responsible Redeployment'

Yesterday the US Congress passed the "Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act" 223-201 (HR 2956, I. Skelton).

The Act states:
To require the Secretary of Defense to commence the reduction of the number of United States Armed Forces in Iraq to a limited presence by April 1, 2008, and for other purposes.
Our congressman, Baron Hill, released a statement in support of HR 2956 and voted YEA.
After reading the Initial Benchmark Assessment Report on Iraq, I have made the difficult decision to support the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act.

In not meeting these three incredibly important benchmarks, the Iraqi government has further signaled its resistance and unwillingness to make real progress and control extremists. In addition, the fact that calls for economic and diplomatic surges have gone largely unheeded, such as those from the Iraq Study Group, has left a large gap in the overall foreign policy strategy toward Iraq. These factors, combined with the loss of far too many of our soldiers’ lives in Iraq, have led me to the decision that the President continues to simply promote more of the same. A stay-the-course strategy will have an increasingly detrimental impact on our military readiness and our country’s future, both domestically and internationally. It is time to start the process of safely redeploying our troops out of Iraq.

Redeployment must not be confused with a cut-and-run strategy. Redeployment entails moving our troops to strategic locations throughout the Middle East to confront terrorism on its front lines, while bringing some of our troops back home to their families. The intention of this bill is not to turn our backs on Iraq and the Middle East. Instead, the intention is to provide respite for our war-weary troops and the American people, while reinvigorating the world’s best soldiers to have the capability to confront terrorists throughout the world.
This is an excellent, responsible, bill from the respected Rep. Ike Skelton (MO-04) to begin a change in course in Iraq. Redeployment has long been on the table as a responsible option forward - advocated by leading military experts and former US Generals. While the White House and its staunch supporters try to move the goalposts as to the 'Surge,' more members of the Presidents party continue to break from his failed strategy in Iraq.

Further, following the release of the intelligence assessment that Al Qaeda has regained pre-9/11 strength despite (and most likely, becasue of) our sustained presence in Iraq - this is the best way forward in re-directing American military policy towards Afganistan, Al Qaeda, and directly confronting international terrorism threats to the US and its allies.

We applaud Rep. Hill in his difficult vote - and his commitment to promoting a strong and smart American policy towards terrorism.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Return of the Stache!

So it looks like Mike Sodrel is the go-to Republican to challenge our Congressman, Baron Hill. That would make Round 4 of Hill-Sodrel (and maybe Round 2 of Hill-Sodrel-Schansberg).

Because let face it: why should the RNC/NRCC/IRP spend the money when Mike has truck-loads of his own? No one else can build the name-recognition to challenge Baron for this seat.

And apparently these random people in N. Rockwell-esque photos want Sodrel to run again!

But is Sodrel ready to tough it out with Baron Hill again? Well, it depends on whose coat-tails he can try to ride in on:
Sodrel was elected in 2004 on the Daniels-Bush coat-tails at a time when the Presdient had above-50% approval ratings; and Bush and Daniels didnt each have the worst case of anti-King Midas touch since Herbert Hoover. In 2002 and 2006 Sodrel lost the district outside of Monroe County, the heavily Democratic seed. And the margin in Monore grows every 2 years (from ~900 votes in 02 to around 8k votes in 2006)

Sodrel is probably painfully aware that no one looks for his name on a ballot - so his only hope is for a strong Presidential matchup that will favor the recent historical trend for Indiana in Presidential races. So Sodrel's thinking: Clinton vs. McCain, eh not bad; Edwards vs. Guliani, not so good; Bayh a likely VP, you gotta be kidding me.

Mike Sodrel - offering to be the ceremonial place holder on the IN-09 ballot in 2008... granted its in his favor to do so. He doesn't want to be running on any issues.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ethics games

Looks like someone is all in a tiffy over the defeat of an absurd resolution offered by Mike Rogers of Michigan to admonish Rep. Murtha of Pennsylvannia.

Given that there is no evidence for the alledged incident beyond the words of the accusor, this seems like a perfect situation for an independant ethics committee to get involved.

Oh, thats right... the Republican party has been kicking around the ethics process for years now. Our former Rep. Mike Sodrel was complicit in kicking down attempts to shed light on the most corrupt Congress in history.

And so now we enter a New Era in the house. We continue to drain the swamp (but it still appears deep) - but you cant change over 12 years of corrupt government overnight.

So Baron Hill is the man taking charge to change the face of the US House. He's challenging the leadership and old brass of both parties to work for more effective government for Hooisers. We applaud Rep. Hill for his intense focus on the issues most important to us. No tit-for-tat, 'politics as usual' arguments will challenge the determination of the people of this district to have a government that works for us.

I agree with Rep Miller of California:
"It's time to put on your long pants and grow up."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

HR 1754: House Ethics Commission

Down from the wire:

(Washington, DC) - This morning newly-elected Democrats, led by Reps. Chris Murphy, Zack Space, Baron Hill, Paul Hodes, and Betty Sutton, urged Congress to move forward with comprehensive ethics reform by calling for a nonpartisan, independent entity that will vet, initiate, and conduct investigations.
Rep. Baron Hill has submitted his House Ethics Overhaul Bill. This was a fufillment on his promise from the 2006 election (archived here and here).

Baron explains the measure at the Hill Blog:
The House Ethics Commission Establishment Act would create an independent Ethics Commission comprised of 12 former Members of Congress who are not lobbyists – six Republicans chosen by the House Democratic leader and six Democrats chosen by the House Republican leader. This Commission would have the authority to investigate complaints of possible ethics violations by Members of Congress. The Commission would then present their findings to Congress, and the entire U.S. House of Representatives would vote on the course of disciplinary action recommended by the Commission. Any disciplinary actions suggested by the Ethics Commission must receive a majority vote by the full membership of the U.S. House in order to take effect.
This is an excellent peice of legislation to start correcting the pervasive Culture of Corruption that has settled over the Hill as the Republicans held the House since 1995. As Hill says:
People have lost faith in Congress because of the incidents of ethics violations by Members of Congress over the past few years. We must clean up Congress and prove to the American people that we are serious about enforcing the highest standards of conduct.
Absolutely. Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley, Bob Ney, Jerry Lewis, John Doolittle, Rick Renzi... the list continues to expand long after the Republicans were flushed from the majority. Ethics charges aginst these men were always blocked by the leadership; we need a new system to investigate ethics in the House. I encourage all Hoosiers to contact their representative to either co-sponsor or support this bill for passage.

And the public can do more: those who take money from unethical and corrupt Congressmen should also be held accountable to the public. Here in the Ninth District, we know that all too well.

Welcome to Hoosiers For Hill

Welcome to the Hoosiers for Hill blog! This will be a grassroots blog for residents for the Ninth District (and Hoosiers throughout the state) who support Baron Hill. This blog will hopefully be a clearing house for news about Rep. Baron Hill, discussion of his record, announcements of his events, fundraising for his campaign, and a forum for discussion.

My name is Brian and I'm a strong Hill supporter from Bloomington in Monroe County. If you're interested in becoming a contributing writer here, email the blog at hoosiersforhill at gmail. I'd love to hear feedback in email or in the comments.

Hopefully we'll begin rolling along in the coming week with posts on news items, events, fundraising, and hopefully some pictures and video too.

Strong disclaimer: This blog is in no way affiliated with Baron Hill's Congressional Office, Baron Hill's re-election committee or campaign (which happens to go by Hoosiers for Hill). The items posted on this blog represent the personal opinions and words of the contributors or come from publically available releases from the press media or US House of Representatives (duely cited). Any and all questions can be submitted to [hoosiersforhill at gmail].