Sunday, November 8, 2015

What more proof do you need, Rep. Palmer?

Re:  Keystone pipeline

Dear Representative Palmer:

Everyone in our country needs energy.

Also, most everyone wants to protect the environment, for ourselves and for future generations.

Any person with intelligence knows there are trade offs to be made between energy and the environment.

The possible trade offs are varied and complex.

The country has been choosing among possible trade offs for decades, and there are many years in front of us for figuring out energy versus the environment.

Rep. Palmer, wouldn't you think that the American people should have a President and a Congress that recognize the reality of all of us having similar concerns in the trade offs between energy and the environment? Should not such President and Congress tell the American people they will consider the current situation and they will develop and put forth a consensus proposal of what they think the next step should be for the country?  Then, the American people, understanding that trade offs are necessary, can decide whether the proposal of the President and Congress is within rational boundaries for striking a balance between energy and the environment. There is a possibility of a massive reaction against the proposal as being grossly deficient and not being a rational balancing of energy and the environment. If, however, such a reaction does not happen, that should be grounds for a general acceptance of what has been done, the consensus proposal can be put in operation without shrieking hoohah, and the President, Congress and the country can turn their attention to other pressing matters.

Wouldn't you think that's what the American people should get from their President and Congress as regards energy and the environment?

But no, that is not what the American people get.

Instead, as an example that epitomizes what is wrong with Washington DC, the American people have been served up for seven years the inanity of how Congress, the President and the rest of the political class in Washington have dealt with the Keystone XL pipeline.

That long running inanity came back into the headlines this past week with the President's disapproval of the pipeline.

Such inanity, it can be predicted, is going to continue, it will play a role in the 2016 elections, and it will persist after election day next November.

I ask you, Rep. Palmer, why do the American people need to continue to put up with this inanity for more years to come?

What do you say?

Do you say I am incorrect in calling this performance inanity? Do you say this is our political system and our Federal government working the way they should work?

Or do you wish to point the finger at the Democrats for being the cause of inanity?

That is what you wanted to do in 2014.

Have you learned anything from your 11 months in Congress that causes you to view this matter any differently now?

Please tell your 6th Congressional district constituents about this.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Help Larry Lessig get 500 signatures in AL by Nov. 6th

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig is running for President of the United States, in order to Fix Our Broken Democracy - First.  See Lessig2016.

He is running as a Democrat.

To get on the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary Ballot in Alabama, Professor Lessig needs to get signatures from 500 registered Alabama voters by November 6th. See Presidential Candidate Ballot Access Election 2016.

To sign the ballot access petition for Professor Lessig, you don't have to be a Democrat, and Republicans and independents may sign the petition.

Will you help Professor Lessig get his 500 signatures in Alabama by November 6th?

Please email me at or call me at (205) 967-5586 if you are willing to help out.

For your information, you can find the petition form and a Lessig2016 Brochure below at these links:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Trump: "Our system is broken"

Donald Trump says our system is broken. Does Congressman Palmer agree? What is Congressman Palmer doing about it?

EDIT 8/11: Below sent to Rep. Palmer and rest of Alabama's Senators and Representatives in Washington.

Edit: 8/20:  Donald Trump is coming to Mobile tomorrow, Friday, August 21st. The event has been moved to a larger venue due to the large crowd expected. The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office says more than 30,000 people have confirmed they will attend the ‘Donald J. Trump for President Pep Rally.’ It will be held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, located at 1621 Virginia Street, Mobile, AL 36604. WHNT 19 News

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Who will debate this?

Set forth below is the cover page of a document entitled Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Agenda. The document was published this month by the organizations listed below. The full document can be found at the preceding link.

I call for a debate of this document to be conducted in our Birmingham area. I call for the debate to be joined by Republicans, Democrats and independents.

I will start with Democrats.

I call on Rep. Terri Sewell, Professor Mark Lester, and local Democratic organizations to issue statements along the lines of
The recently published political document Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Agenda raises issues of utmost importance that should be addressed by all residents of our Birmingham area. I/we call on  Rep. Gary Palmer and local Republican organizations to engage in debate with local Democratic leaders and organizations. Our local political news media and commentators should participate and assist in publicizing this debate to the residents in our Birmingham area. 

[Cover page of document]
Fighting Big Money, Empowering People:A 21st Century Democracy Agenda

Like every generation before us, Americans are coming together to preserve a democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people. American democracy is premised on the consent of the governed, and on the idea that we all deserve a say in the government decisions that affect our families. We stand united supporting commonsense protections that recognize the people as the ultimate check on the corrosive influence of money in politics, which is eroding the very foundation of self-government.

Brennan Center for Justice
Common Cause
Democracy 21
Democracy Matters
Every Voice
Issue One
People for the American Way
Public Citizen

July 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gary Palmer's Tele-Townhall today

For over a year, Gary Palmer has communicated no response to me relative to Just answer the question, Gary Palmer.

I don't think there is any reason for me to try to call in to his Tele-Townhall today.

I have been endeavoring the past couple of days to publicize, via Twitter, Just answer the question, Gary Palmer.

I don't know whether I have caught any other constituent's attention who will call in today and ask Gary Palmer to Just answer the question, Gary Palmer.

If there are constituents who are interested, I think there are two recent developments that Gary Palmer could be asked about.

One development is Jeb Bush's proposal announced yesterday that all lawmaker-lobbyest meetings should be made public. For more information, see Jeb Bush re Lobbyist-Lawmaker meetings and Matt Murphy 5/19/14.

A second development is the below email I received last Friday from Take Back Our Republic, based in Auburn, reporting the results from a survey showing "Conservative Alabamians Support Specific Rules on Money in Politics":

From: Justin Hill, <>
Date: Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 9:20 AM
Subject: Survey: Conservative Alabamians Support Specific Rules on Money in Politics
Most conservative Alabamians support specific measures to address the problem with money in politics, according to a new poll released by Take Back Our Republic (

Certain campaign reform measures have appealed most broadly to liberal groups, but Take Back Our Republic specifically surveyed previously identified active conservatives and determined that specific measures to curb the influence of big money in politics are supported by those who back conservative causes and are likely to vote in Republican primaries. The following measures had support among a clear majority (not just a plurality) of the state’s conservatives who were surveyed in the past week:

Survey of Conservative Alabamians
Strengthen and Enforce Laws Against Foreign Money (e.g. FEC case) 84%6%10%
Verify Credit Card Contributions? 66%19%14%
Disclose Contributions to Outside Groups/Raise Limit for Candidates 64%25%11%
Get Tax Credit for $200 Contributions 54%34%12%

A total of 691 state residents who have previously identified themselves as active conservatives or libertarians participated in the survey. The results will be distributed to the 63 founding members of the State Chapter of Take Back Our Republic.
“After years of running conservative political campaigns, this research verified that the most active conservatives do believe money in politics poses a problem,” said TAKE BACK Executive Director John Pudner, who last year launched the political campaign that overcame Eric Cantor and his political war chest of millions.
“There are some clear first steps conservatives would like to take to address money in politics, and these are not all the same steps liberals might choose,” Pudner said. “The state conservatives we interviewed were divided on other campaign finance issues, and Take Back hopes to continue to encourage discussions. Some strongly support tax credits for small donors to balance off big donors. Some want protection from employment retribution for contributions, while others worry that would lead to too much legislation. Some want limits put on donors, while others feel strongly this is a limit on their 1st amendment rights to free speech.”

As a 501c3 under the IRS code, Take Back hopes to educate the public on the various issues and potential solutions surrounding money in modern campaigns.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Matt Murphy 5/19/14

Relative to Jeb Bush's proposal for a law that all lawmaker-lobbyist meetings be made public (see Jeb Bush re lobbyist-lawmaker meetings), please listen to what I say in this May 19, 2014 interview with Matt Murphy, starting at time 7 min 11 sec.

Audio recording and upload >>

Jeb Bush re Lobbyist-Lawmaker meetings

Posted By Alex Pappas On 10:46 AM 07/20/2015 In | No Comments

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Monday he would like to see a new law requiring lawmakers to disclose all meetings with lobbyists.
“We need to reform disclosure rules in Washington,” Bush said in a speech Monday morning in Tallahassee. “Here is what I propose: every time a lobbyist meets with any member of Congress, that should be reported online – every week, and on the member’s official website.”
Bush said the “definition of the term ‘lobbyist’ should be expanded to address the cadre of ‘government relations’ and ‘government affairs’ specialists now populating the Capitol.”
The Republican also said he wants a law that would increase the amount of time between lawmakers leaving the House and Senate and becoming lobbyists.
I will use all of my influence to enact into law an immediate, unequivocal six-year ban on lobbying – a full Senate term – for ex-members of the House and Senate,” he said.
As for the executive branch, Bush said, “We will take similar measures at the White House. I will strengthen existing prohibitions that prevent departing executive branch employees from lobbying members of my administration.”
During his speech at Florida State University, Bush presented his plan for reducing the federal workforce by implementing a freeze on hiring.
“We will go by a simple three-out, one-in rule across the federal workforce, with exceptions for critical positions related to our security and safety,” he said. “Only one new hire for every three who leave.”
Added Bush: “This policy can, on its own, reduce the size of the federal bureaucracy by 10 percent within 5 years.”

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