Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The American Conservative Union

Dear Rod,

Tuesday the 44th President of the United States took office.

An inauguration is always a time for our nation to reflect, to gain a sense of resolve and to move forward. With all of the issues facing our nation it is easy to lose sight of the things we hold dear and the positions we know will make American safer, stronger and more prosperous in the future.

With the election and inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama it now falls to us - you and us together at the ACU - to become "the loyal opposition."

As the nation's oldest, largest and most powerful grassroots conservative organization, ACU will stand ready to support the President when appropriate and to justly oppose him when we know that it is in the best interest of the country.

President Obama comes to the office with one of the most liberal voting records from his brief time in the Senate. Since his election he has begun to soften his stances and has shown a willingness to listen and even to bend ever so slightly on the stands he took while campaigning. Now that he is in office, we will begin to have a clearer picture on exactly how he and his administration will govern.

As our work with the new Congress and this new administration begins, we need your help here now to support ACU. We must first hold the President's feet to the fire. We must be ready to fight.

While being respectful, it is going to be critical to separate the rhetoric from the reality in the new Obama administration.

Throughout his campaign, now President Barack Obama said that he would limit the influence of lobbyists. ABC News reported, "As recently as the end of 2007, Mr. Obama was pledging that no lobbyists would "work" in his White House." In a New Hampshire campaign speech in June of 2007, he said, "in the last six years, our leaders have thrown open the doors of Congress and the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play - a game played on a field that's no longer level, but rigged to always favor their own narrow agendas."

However, shortly after his election who did he turn to? He appointed John Podesta - President Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff - as the Co-Chairman of his transition team. This is the same John Podesta who on his own biography states he co-founded one of the most powerful Democrat-leaning lobbying firms in the nation with his brother Tony. The firm, Podesta Associates, Inc., is now one of the most highly paid influence peddling firms in Washington.

His rhetoric does not match the reality.Less than two weeks ago, Obama acknowledged violating this campaign pledge by selecting a lobbyist who has worked for defense contractors to become our nation's next Deputy Secretary of Defense, a post that oversees defense contracts.

And, Vice President Joe Biden's Chief of Staff? He is Ron Klain a lobbyist for Fannie Mae until 2004. Yes, the same Fannie Mae who helped propel our nation into our current mortgage and financial crisis.

As the "Loyal Opposition" working for you, ACU wants to send a message to President Obama that we will be watching. We want to help ensure the media and the public knows when the President's rhetoric doesn't match the reality. We need your help to get it done. Please click here, now, to help with these critical efforts.

Even more disturbing than these incidences, is the string of ethical challenges the President's designated cabinet team has faced before he even took the oath of office.

In a campaign speech, President Obama said, "I will launch the most sweeping ethics reform in history to make the White House the people's house." The result:
His Democrat Governor of his home State of Illinois is the now impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich. (ABC News noted, "Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich [for Governor] even though there were serious questions at the time about Blago's hiring practices.") Who is going to be Obama's Senior White House Advisor? David Axelrod, Obama's chief campaign strategist who was previously a campaign strategist for Blagojevich.

President Obama's choice for Secretary of Commerce was New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson - a holdover from President Clinton's regime. He had his nomination withdrawn because he is facing a Federal investigation for a pay-to-play scandal over allegations he pressured officials to award state contracts to political campaign contributors.

Obama's choice for Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner has admitted that he failed to pay more than $40,000 in taxes over several years. Maybe the Obama transition team forgot that the IRS is part of the Department of Treasury. Maybe they just didn't believe that a Treasury Secretary who is supposed to oversee the IRS should understand the tax rules or pay his own taxes?

Obama's choice for Attorney General - a position that serves as one of our nation's top independent law enforcement officials - is former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder. It was Holder who recommended the now infamous Clinton pardons of fugitive financier Marc Rich and of the Puerto Rican domestic terrorists who committed bank robbery and were linked by the FBI to more than 130 bombings and six slayings. When Holder was brought before Congress to explain his actions back then, he sidestepped the questions. Now, he is to help oversee law enforcement, including the FBI?

Additionally, his choice of Senator Clinton for Secretary of State has raised eyebrows over her husband's acceptance of large sums from foreign entities for his foundation. And, Obama's choice for Secretary of Transportation has close ties with an Illinois lobbyist who has been linked to the Blagojevich scandal.

There are only 12 cabinet positions in our nation's government. Twelve key policy posts - and five of Obama's choices have had ethical concerns raised before he even took the oath of office. Someone must watch the actions of the Obama administration and bring those actions to light.

We must be vigilant. We must fight for what is right. If we do not, America's greatness may be swept into history.

Who will stand up to make sure that Obama's decisions match his rhetoric? Who will fight for what we believe in? The ACU, with your help.

Who will fight to make sure that there is a watchful eye on Obama's decisions and policies? The ACU, with your help.

Who will be your voice to ensure the American people know what is really happening in Washington? Your ACU, with your help, here, now.

It is clearly an important time for our nation. We face enemies at home and abroad. We face uncertainty. But one thing is clear. The ACU will still be here, fighting for you, for policies that make our nation stronger - not weaker - with your help, here, now.

Please help us fight to shine the light on the Obama administration and to stand up for what is right.

Thank you for your continued support of the ACU.


David A. Keene
Chairman of the Board

Dennis E. Whitfield
Executive Vice President

P.S. Help us send a message that Obama's rhetoric on ethics and lobbyist influence should match his record. Help us hold the new Administration accountable in the days to come. Help us fight for you, here, now.

Dear David,

I am with you. I am pleased that Obama has moderated some of the positions he took during the campaign. I have been pleased with his pragmatic and moderate tone. However, I think we must wait and see how he governs.

I am disappointed that Obama could not find twelve people untainted by corruption and conflict of interest to comprise his cabinet. I was truly hopeful he would usher in a era of honest government.

I agree we need strong organizations to be vigilant and keep a watchful eye on the Obama administration.

There is much that the Obama administration wants to do that makes me fear for the future of our nation. With the administration and both houses of Congress controlled by the same party we need a strong loyal opposition now more than ever and we need strong citizen activist organizations like the ACU. I am sending $25 at this time and will continue to contribute from time to time as long as I agree with the work of the ACU. I hope the ACU will support Obama when he is right but vigorously oppose him when he is wrong. I am publishing your letter in my little blog and hope others will take this opportunity to also support the ACU. All they have to do to contribute is click one of the highlighted, underlined portion of the text in your letter and complete the form and use a credit card to contribute. It is quick and easy.

Keep up the good work.


Rod Williams

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  1. Rod,
    can we at least give the man his first 100 days in office before we rope and brand him a failure ?

    I agree with you on many of your points but I also point out to you that no man comes without baggage or history. each of the cabinet designees will be vetted, and their dirty laundry hung out to air.

    lets watch and see what happens. at least he got the palestinians and israeli's to stop shooting at eachother for a few days.

    and he stopped citibank from buying that french luxjet..
    that appears to me as progress however small.
    those feats weren't done by Bush, when he was inplace and could have.

    can we at least say he's trying

    Great Blog btw,


  2. Ausetkmt,

    I am not branding President Obama a failure. I hope that in securing peace and security he is successful. I hope that the economic meltdown can be halted. I care more about my country than I do my party. However, I think that from day one the loyal opposition needs to be vigilant. The danger of one party rule is that there is no check on the action of the one branch of government by the other branch of government. I don’t want to write Obama a blank check.

    I am concerned about the conflicts of interest of the people Obama has appointed to his cabinet. Could he not have found someone to lead the Treasury Department who had not failed to pay his income tax? He promised us an administration that would limit the influence of lobbyist and yet he is appointing lobbyist to his cabinet. It may be that it is very difficult to find experienced, accomplished people who are also free of conflict of interest. I am not suggesting Republicans should have opposed his nominees. I think great latitude should be given a president in choosing his closest advisors. To his credit he is appointing people who are pragmatic and not overly ideological. I would rather have a moderate with a little conflict of interest than a leftist who was squeaky clean. However, we need to be vigilant and watch him like a hawk and be prepared to pick our battles wisely and oppose him when we think he is leading the country in the wrong direction. Rod

  3. I see the spin doctor is hard at work. Some people just can't get beyond the rhetoric. When I read this article, I thought it was a guest post from Rush.