Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Westmoreland Hails the Passage of Amendment to Cut $3B in Wasteful Spending on the F-35 ‘Alternate Engine’ Program

Today, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Continuing Resolution that would strike funding for the duplicative F-35 dual engine. The Continuing Resolution will provide funding for the federal government for the remaining of FY2011, through September 30, 2011. Congressman Westmoreland, joined by a bipartisan group of his colleagues in the House, fought for the passage of the amendment, which will save the American people approximately $450 million in FY2011 alone and is expected to save almost $3 billion over the life of the project, according to estimates by the Department of Defense. Below is Congressman Westmoreland’s statement.

“It’s about time Washington finally woke up and realized one true fact: We are broke. The days of spending money for the sake of spending are over. If we are going to fix this country, we must be ready to roll up our sleeves and make some hard decisions. While having a back-up engine source for the F-35 might be a nice luxury, it’s one we simply cannot afford. But you don’t just have to take my word for it. Both former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama – one Republican and one Democrat – have strongly opposed this wasteful program. On top of that, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has not only come out against this program, he has launched an all out PR campaign to end the funding for the extra engine. I am pleased that, after four long years, the House of Representatives today voted in bipartisan fashion against continuing the F-35 alternate engine program. Hopefully this is the last we will see of this program,” stated Westmoreland.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The National Archives at Atlanta & Clayton State to Host Third Annual Civic Engagement Student Research Conference, March 25

Imagining the possibilities with the Third Annual Civic Engagement Student Research Conference.

Students from throughout the University System of Georgia (USG) are encouraged to develop an individually compelling sense of social and civic responsibility, community leadership and service to society. To support this goal, Clayton State University and The National Archives at Atlanta announce the Third Annual Student Research Conference on Civic Engagement to be held Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Archives.

Undergraduates and graduates attending any USG school are encouraged to apply and submit essays and panel-session proposals on the broad subject of “Civic Engagement Beyond the Vote.” Cash prizes will be awarded for the top two winning submissions.

Students from the USG are invited to submit papers and panel-session proposals on any topic relating to engagement in politics in the community besides voting. Faculty may also submit papers and panel-session proposals from course assignments with the permission of their students. Research can include literary research and/or data collection. Possible topics include:

1. Theoretical or applied research papers that discuss an aspect of community engagement or citizenship, including political knowledge and understanding; Constitutional issues; open inquiry and academic freedom; ethics in government and civility; civic leadership; historical analyzes of factors affecting social justice; and, economic, psychological, philosophical, historical, or educational analyses of people, movements, or trends that have shaped our democracy and its people.

2. Presentations or panels that address any of the topics above.

3. Presentations or panels that provide information about best practices for community engagement activities.

4. Presentations or panels that explain how to engage in an activity (volunteering, course based, internship) that benefits the community and provides well defined learning outcomes.

The featured concurrent sessions will last 30 minutes. Some presentations will be grouped with others for 10-15 minute presentations.

Submission guidelines are as follows:
  • Papers and proposals should be no less than four pages and no more than 25 pages.
  • Each submission should be sent via email to Dr. Joe Corrado at
  • The deadline for submissions is Friday, Mar. 18 by 5 p.m.
  • Submissions should include a cover page with contact information (name, address, email, phone number) of the participant.

For further contact information or details on The National Archives at Atlanta, contact Corrado at or the National Archives at Atlanta at

The National Archives at Atlanta is dedicated to preserving the documentary legacy of our past and houses an extraordinary collection of documents created to educate and continue the value of civic actions based on the history of past civic actions.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Westmoreland Statement on TSA Announcement Allowing Collective Bargaining

Last week, the Obama Administration and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced collective bargaining rights for TSA airport security screeners. Prior to this announcement, TSA screeners had the right to unionize, but not the ability to collectively bargain. This announcement follows a decision last month to end the highly successful TSA contract screening program, which allowed airports to opt to use certified private security screeners under TSA supervision and oversight. These two announcements show a clear signal that the Obama Administration plans to push more for labor unions that were so pivotal in his 2008 election. Below is Congressman Westmoreland’s statement regarding the announcement.

“Conceding to his union cronies, President Obama’s announcement to allow TSA screeners to negotiate over workplace issues could further jeopardize our country’s transportation system. Combating the very real risk to our national security requires a flexible workforce that can quickly respond to threats, and bargaining with labor unions is simply not compatible with that type of work. I’m extremely disappointed with the president’s announcement,” stated Westmoreland.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rep. Geisinger Introduces Horse Racing Legislation

State Representative Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell) announced today his filing of House Resolution 186, a constitutional amendment that would allow Georgia voters to decide whether or not to allow horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering in their local municipality. This legislation is similar to HR 1177 from the 2009-10 legislative term, also introduced by Rep. Geisinger.

“As Georgians across the state continue to struggle to find employment, the legislature must look for new ways to bring much needed jobs to our state,” said Representative Harry Geisinger. “Expanding our state’s horse industry is a simple way to do just that. The number of jobs created and revenue generated would give Georgia a much needed economic boost.”

HR 186 would require net revenues and proceeds generated by horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering in Georgia to go into their own unique category of the state budget entitled “Pari-mutuel Wagering Proceeds.” The revenues from this budget category could only be used to supplement, not supplant, state funding for: 1) education grants, scholarships, or loans; 2) voluntary prekindergarten programs; and 3) trauma care services.

If the amendment is ratified by voters, Rep. Geisinger would introduce enabling legislation that would vest all control of horse racing with pari-mutuel wagering to the Georgia Horse Racing Commission. This Commission would ensure that all pari-mutuel wagering is conducted in accordance with Georgia law at licensed horse racetrack and satellite facilities.

Currently, horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering are legal in 38 states. Combined, both contribute a total economic impact of $39 billion to the United States annually.

“Major horse racing states like Kentucky, Maryland, New York and Florida contain interconnected interstates that all pass through the state of Georgia,” added Rep. Geisinger. “New information suggests that as many as 170,000 plus horses already pass through Georgia over a 14 month period on their way to meets and races in Florida. This logistical situation puts Georgia in a unique position to become a major hub of the equine industry. With correctly timed horse meets and races, Georgia could attract the thousands of horses that already pass through the state while traveling from north to south.”

In 2009 Rep. Geisinger chaired the House Equine Industry Study Committee. This committee heard from numerous experts who testified to the economic benefits that Georgia would experience if horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering were legal.

Dr. Fisch, President of the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, explained that each horse on a racetrack creates seven jobs. The average horse meet will have at least 800-1,000 horses, thus creating approximately 7,000 jobs per meet. Some of these jobs necessary for each horse include trainers, grooms, jockeys, drivers, riders, and veterinarians. Other employment expansion would also include racetrack employees and support for industries such as hotels and restaurants.

“The racetrack itself is the very tip of the iceberg as far as economic development is concerned,” said Dr. Stephen Fisch during one of the study committee meetings.

A link to HR 186 can be found by clicking here.

For more information on the economic impact of the horse industry please visit: For specific information about Georgia’s existing horse industry please visit:

Representative Harry Geisinger represents the citizens of District 48, which includes portions of Fulton County. He was first elected into the House of Representatives in 1968-1974, and was then was sworn in again in 2005. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee. He also serves on the Children &Youth, MARTOC, Natural Resources & Environment, and Transportation committees.

Chairman Camp Announces Hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Proposal with U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) today announced that the Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing on President Obama's budget proposals for fiscal year 2012. The hearing will take place on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 1:00 P.M.

In announcing this hearing, Chairman Camp said, “With the unemployment rate stuck at or above 9 percent for the last 21 months and anemic economic growth, tax policies ought to help, rather than hinder, our country’s economic recovery. The President has called for corporate tax reform to make our employers more competitive. However, 75 percent of America’s job creators are structured as pass through entities, and that means we need to craft policies that address the needs of all job creators – large and small. This hearing will provide the Committee an opportunity to review the President’s proposals and explore ways in which we can work on a bipartisan basis to reduce complexity and develop the pro-growth tax policies our families and job creators need.”


On February 14, 2011, the President is expected to submit his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal to Congress. The proposed budget will detail his tax proposals for the coming year as well as provide an overview of the budget for the Treasury Department and other activities of the Federal government. The Treasury plays a key role in many areas of the Committee’s jurisdiction.

Click here for the full hearing advisory.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Libertarians: Tea Party betrayed by tiny Republican budget cuts

According to The Hill, House Republicans have just announced that they will seek appropriations for the rest of 2011 that are $32 billion below current spending levels.

LP Chair Mark Hinkle commented, "The Tea Party supporters have been betrayed. These cuts are so small, you need a microscope to find them."

Hinkle continued, "The Congressional Budget Office just told us that federal spending was expected to be about $3.7 trillion this year. After the Republican cuts, it will still be about $3.7 trillion. The Republican cuts are so tiny, they disappear in the rounding error.

"Even with these cuts, the federal deficit will be over $1.4 trillion this year.

"It doesn't help that Congressional Republicans voted for more unemployment spending and ethanol subsidies last December, or that they want to keep increasing military spending. And they haven't come up with any serious cuts to entitlements.

"I think the Tea Party supporters were expecting real cuts, not this nonsense. We tried to warn Tea Party supporters last year that the Republicans were just trying to fool them again. It looks like we were right.

"Oh, I'm sure we'll hear Republicans say they're just getting started, and more cuts are coming...just not yet. But I hope the Tea Party supporters and other fiscal conservatives wake up and smell the deficits. Our children are going to drown in debt, and the Republicans aren't going to save them. Republicans are part of the problem, not the solution.

"Tea Party supporters and other fiscal conservatives should support Libertarians, not Republicans. Libertarians would make dramatic cuts in spending, and if angry Republicans and Democrats threatened to shut down the government instead, Libertarians would say 'Fine.'"

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Libertarian Party of Georgia Says Immigration Bill Will Bankrupt Georgia

Last week, State Representative Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) introduced
the “Illegal Immigration Reform Enforcement Act of 2011,” or HB 87.
The Libertarian Party of Georgia opposes the bill, citing the huge
cost to enforce it even though the General Assembly is tasked with a
nearly $2 billion budget crisis. They also say that the bill could
have catastrophic effects on the economic well-being of the state, as
well as in the lives of its residents if passed.

As proposed, HB 87 would make criminals of many otherwise law abiding
Georgians trying to make a living. The bill makes it a criminal offense
by merely “encouraging” an illegal immigrant to enter the state. It
also allows almost any citizen to bring a lawsuit against any business,
local or State government agency or official by just accusing them of
violating immigration law. Further, HB 87 burdens every employer doing
business in Georgia with using the Department of Homeland Security’s
E-Verify system.

"As it is written, this bill will have a tremendous impact on the every day
lives of all Georgians and will cost the State quite a bit of money
defending it from the several lawsuits already planned," says
Libertarian Party of Georgia Legislative Director Jeff Sexton. "We are
calling on Representatives to truly get serious about immigration, and
enact genuine reform that respects the rights of all individuals."

One other aspect troubling the Libertarian Party of Georgia is the
provision within that allows law enforcement officers to indefinitely
detain anyone unable to provide their driver’s license or other "proof"
document. HB 87 allows for anyone forgetting their driver's license to
be jailed even after release would normally be required without
probable cause. It also re-introduces the secure and verifiable
document issue, something that has landed the state in the courts as a
defendant for the way Georgia tried to use it in election law...
another action that could cost the state significant legal bills to

“This bill is a reaction to a poor national immigration policy, and it acts
to treat a symptom, rather than cure the underlying illness. That
illness is the cost of the welfare state, and neither Democrats nor
Republicans are willing to address it,” explained Brett Bittner, the
Party’s Executive Director. “Instead, they’ve politicized the
immigration issue to the point that we can no longer have a discussion
about a solution that works for every Georgian.”

“Our main economic engines, agriculture, poultry, and manufacturing, will be
hit hardest by the proposed legislation,” Bittner says further. “They
will find themselves with an increased cost of labor and compliance, or
they will simply close up shop, because the arduous regulations are
simply too much.”

Currently, HB 87 has been placed in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee,
chaired by HB 87 co-sponsor Rep Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), where it is
scheduled to have a hearing this Friday, February 4, at 9:30am. Others
listed as co-sponsors include Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), Rick Austin
(R-Demorest), Stephen Allison(R-Blairsville), and Edward Lindsey

The Libertarian Party is Georgia’s third largest political party and the
only party in Georgia promoting fewer taxes, less government and
personal liberty for all Georgians. To learn more, please visit

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