Keith Olbermann of MSNBC picks up the National Republican Senatorial Committee press release flub I blogged last week.
Ah the joy of a bad press release.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo picked it up too: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/fail-nrsc-says-wyden-has-lost...
They have good commenters on their site; I'm jealous.
And the press release of the week award goes to: the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
It seems the NRSC (that would be the only political committee solely dedicated to electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate) doesn't like Sen. Ron Wyden's new ad.
The pitch in the ad is that Wyden isn't just any old DC senator. He's different. He's still in touch with Oregon. The ad shows several men on a park bench, each reading a newspaper. The first three men are reading The Washington Post, but Wyden's reading The Oregonian, The Bulletin, The Mail-Tribune or the The Register-Guard, depending on what part of the state you're watching from (now if he was reading EW, we'd be really impressed, but that's asking a lot).
The NRSC apparently disagrees with the premise that Wyden's still got his heart in Oregon. It says in today's press release:
Despite his claims that he is ‘like Oregon,’ it’s clear from Ron Wyden’s record that he has simply lost touch with his constituents during his 14 years in Washington. Senator Wyden is a career politician who has championed a reckless economic agenda that has driven our national debt to a staggering $13 trillion and failed to create jobs as the Evergreen State’s unemployment has skyrocketed to 10.6 percent. Like the rest of his out-of-touch rhetoric, Senator Wyden’s new ad simply doesn’t match reality.
Seeing as that Washington State, our neighbor to the north, is the Evergreen State, and Oregon is the more dubiously named Beaver State, and seeing as that Wyden's a Democrat from Oregon … we're actually ok with him not being in touch with the Evergreen State.
Dear NRSC next time maybe fact check your "statement and fact check," okay?
Conflicts between activists and those they disagree with are nothing new but alleged threats to shoot members of Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center (KS Wild) and their fellow hikers stirred up fears in southern Oregon recently.
According to George Sexton of KS Wild, the conservation group found out about the threats to shoot at them, which appeared on an Internet discussion forum for miners called Oregon Gold Hunters, after their hike was completed.
KS Wild works to protect public lands, waterways and wildlife in southern Oregon. One of their campaigns has been to end suction dredge mining in rivers. Sexton says suction dredge mining, which stirs up sediment and sometimes toxic substances like mercury, arsenic and cyanide, is harmful to native fish such as threatened Coho salmon as well as to water quality.
Sexton says the mining “leaves taxpayers on the hook for cleaning up the mess.”
Conflicts between miners and other public lands users, Sexton says, have gone on for years, but sentiment has been aroused recently by a ban on suction dredging in California that may drive miners up into southern Oregon.
In response to an email about a planned KS Wild hike, one of the miners, under the name “spilsnthils” wrote on the Internet forum: “Out in the woods on their own, hmm sounds like disaster. If a guy was pissed off enough he could sit up in the woods with a high powered assault riffle and put an end to the whole group in one swift action.”
After law enforcement officials were alerted to the posts, Sen. Ron Wyden wrote a letter to AG John Kroger and U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton asking them to “use your authority to ensure the safety of community groups on public lands.”
Wyden also cited the instance of Gregory Graybill who was riding his four-wheel drive vehicle when he was shot by a miner who felt he was too close to his federal mining claim. Graybill’s arm had to be amputated.
The full Internet thread can be viewed here though it has been modified since media attention came to the site. Forum participants have cited their First Amendment right to free speech on the issue.
According to Tony Green, director of communications for Kroger’s office, “The Department of Justice looked at the website in question and determined that the comments were protected First Amendment speech. As a result, there is no basis for a criminal investigation.”
Sexton says KS Wild has no plans to stop its hikes on public lands, “The best way to respond to this stuff is by shining the light of day” on it, says Sexton. “You can’t let thugs determine public policy with threats.”
For upcoming KS Wild hikes, go to the KS Wild website
This story is an updated version of the news brief that appears in the April 8 issue.
The U.S. Senate is considering passage today of a Wall Street bailout modified to include tax breaks for the wealthy.
The measure includes a provision to reduce the "alternative minimum tax," a tax originally designed to make sure millionaires couldn't deduct away all their taxes.
Citizens for Tax Justice, a leading non-partisan fair taxation think tank, analyzed the impact of a similar AMT elimination proposal in 2006. Here's what they found:
"The 62 percent of all taxpayers earning less than $50,000 would get virtually
nothingâ€”an average tax reduction of $3.
The best off one percent of taxpayers, those making more than $400,000,
would get almost a quarter of the tax reductionsâ€”an average of $8,385 each.
The 1/10th of one percent of taxpayers making more than $2 million would get
tax cuts averaging $22,862 each.
The total tax reduction for the 127,000 taxpayers making in excess of $2 million
would be 13 times as large as the total tax reduction for the 85 million
taxpayers earning $50,000 or less."
Oregon's Democratic Senator Ron Wyden was listed as a supporter of the AMT tax cut for the wealthy in 2005.
According to an analysis of a similar AMT proposal by CTJ, 90 percent of the tax cut will go to the wealthiest 20 percent of Americans.
The AMT cut could appeal to conservative Republicans, but it could also increase bailout opposition among Democrats.
â€œWith all the financial problems facing our nation, itâ€™s bizarre that some Senators think our most pressing need is to pass still more tax cuts for the wealthy,â€ said Robert S.
McIntyre, director of CTJ in 2005.