by Bob Geary
It's 7:32, 32 minutes into the Burr-Marshall debate. I can't watch any more. Burr was terrible in the first debate. That was a couple of months ago, and no one was watching. In this one, three days before early voting starts, Marshall is terrible. Burr's not great, but he's doing a reasonably good job of talking around every issue. And Marshall, who's 15-20 points behind in the polls, hasn't managed to call him out on anything. Generally, she parrots his nonsense, forgets to deliver any sort of critique of Burr, the Republican Party, George W. Bush, filibusters, obstructionism, special interests, the oil industry, military contractors — she's the one who used the word "ugly" to describe health care reform; Burr must've thought he died and went to GOP heaven, where nobody blames the Republicans for ...
Update: Stuff Marshall could've said, sent by her campaign office, is in the press release below.
Update 2: Followed by more stuff she could've said — but didn't — below:
For Immediate Release
October 11, 2010
Sam Swartz, xxx=xxx=xxxx
HUH?? BURR CLAIMS TO REPRESENT CHANGE AND “BIPARTISANSHIP” IN WASHINGTON?
THE TRUTH: BURR HAS SPENT 16 YEARS IN WASHINGTON
PROTECTING SPECIAL INTERESTS AND VOTING THE PARTY LINE
RALEIGH — A few minutes ago Burr said that bipartisanship was important for working in Washington.
The truth is that in his 16 years in Washington Burr has come to embody everything about a typical partisan politician beholden to special interests and partisan bickering, not getting things done for North Carolina.
Burr attacks “special interests” but at the same time lobbyists are among his top 10 contributors. He even issued a press release warning about special interest while at a max out fundraiser with special interest lobbyists. In fact, Burr’s largest contributors are banks and Wall Street financial interests.
Burr even put politics above doing his job: he blocked a meeting of the Armed Services Committee and his hometown paper, the Winston-Salem Journal, criticized Burr’s “blind allegiance to party” for “creating toxic environment where nothing gets done.” The News & Observer called him a “poster child for Senate gridlock.” And the Charlotte Observer said Burr “reinforced the impression that politicians are concerned not about getting things done, but about getting back at one another - and getting back in power.”
Burr has Always Been a Friend of the Lobbyist
· Burr was one of EIGHT lawmakers who listed employees of lobbying firms among his top 10 Contributors in the 2010 cycle [Center for Responsive Politics, 7/13/10]
· Burr’s Campaign Issued a Statement Warning Against “Special Interests” While Burr Was At A Fundraiser With Special Interest Contributors. According to Progressive Policy Pulse, Burr sent out an email to his supporters on primary night. The statement read, in part: “special interests have already committed to pouring millions of dollars into our state to influence voters and defeat me.” At the same time, Burr was busy trying to get special interest contributors to max out before the end of the primary season. [Progressive Policy Pulse, 5/5/10]
· This Past April, Burr was Caught on Film Attending DC Fundraiser with Wall Street Executives and Lobbyists. In April 2010, Burr attended a fundraiser hosted by the financial industry and Wall Street interests. As reported by the Huffington Post, “While President Obama begged Wall Street to play along with financial regulatory reform, Senate Republican leaders hobnobbed with lobbyists at a lunchtime fundraiser… Also spotted: Sen. John Cornyn; Sen. Richard Burr; and superlobbyist Charlie Black.” [Think Progress,, 4/22/10; Huffington Post, 4/22/10]
· Greenbrier: Burr Attended Secret Fundraising Golf Tournament With Undisclosed Lobbyists. In 2007, Burr worked with House GOP leader John Boehner on a special fundraising golf tournament at the Greenbrier resort that catered to lobbyists only, where policy was discussed. When asked to disclose what lobbyists attended the event, Boehner refused and Burr didn’t comment. (Columbus Dispatch, 8/12/07)
Partisan Politician and Poster Child For Gridlock:
· Burr, “voted with the Republican leadership 94 percent of the time during the current Congress.” (News & Observer, 10/5/10)
· News & Observer: Burr Was a “poster child for Senate gridlock this past spring.” The News & Observer wrote, “This past spring, Burr became a poster child for Senate gridlock when he blocked an Armed Services hearing that was to be attended by generals who had flown in from Hawaii and Korea. He invoked an obscure parliamentary rule on behalf of his party during a fight with Democrats over the health care law.” (News & Observer, 10/5/10)
· Editorial: Burr “Ratcheted Up Incivility and Silliness” in Washington, “Reinforced Impression that Politicians Concerned Not About Getting Things Done But Getting Back in Power.” The Charlotte Observer editorial board wrote: “Curiously, Burr prefaced his remarks by saying he had no personal objection to the hearing going on. That's ridiculous. It was his objection that halted the hearing. By doing so, Burr let partisan political concerns get in the way of the ordinary work of the Senate… That's politics, after all. If Republicans win this fall, they'll get to decide what happens. But in the meantime, Sen. Richard Burr has just ratcheted up the incivility and silliness that has taken hold in Washington among both parties. He has reinforced the impression that politicians are concerned not about getting things done, but about getting back at one another - and getting back in power.” [Charlotte Observer, Editorial, 3/26/10]
· Editorial In His Hometown Paper Criticized Burr’s “Blind Allegiance to Party” for “Creating Toxic Environment Where Nothing Gets Done.” The Winston-Salem Journal editorial board wrote: “He should have followed his conscience and let it proceed Wednesday… It would be naïve to believe our members of Congress will ever agree on most issues. Indeed, partisanship, and the spirited debates it engenders, is healthy for democracy. But blind allegiance to party consensus to the point of rejecting all ideas creates a toxic environment where nothing gets done.” [Winston-Salem Journal, Editorial, 3/28/10]
***For Immediate Release
October 11, 2010
Sam Swartz, xxx-xxx-xxxx
BURR CLAIMS IN DEBATE HIS NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS JOBS AND THE ECONOMY….
BUT HE VOTED TO SHIP JOBS OVERSEAS, PROTECT TAX LOOPHOLES FOR OUTSOURCING, AND LEFT SMALL BUSINESS HIGH AND DRY
Burr Supported CAFTA; Voted 20 Times to Ship Jobs Overseas
Burr Twice Voted for CAFTA. Burr voted twice in 2005 to pass the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The final bill passed 55-45. [Vote 209, 7/28/05; Vote 170, 6/30/05]
In 2003, Burr Voted Against Setting Strong Terms for CAFTA Negotiations. In July 2003, Burr joined House Republicans in voting to block “a Democratic attempt to set some of the terms for pending trade deals with Canada and Latin American countries… A Democratic amendment to a spending bill would have prevented the use of taxpayer funds to negotiate new trade pacts with the hemispheric nations unless they open markets for U.S. technology and agricultural products, prevent copyright piracy and include collective bargaining rights and rules enforcing laws against exploitative workplace practices.” [Vote 411, 7/23/03; Washington Post, 7/24/03]
Burr Has Voted 20 Times To Ship Jobs Overseas. Burr voted for fast-track authority for trade deals, repeatedly voted for CAFTA, for normal trade relations with Vietnam, for trade with Chile & Singapore (the biggest trade agreements since NAFTA), to protect tax subsidies for companies that offshore manufacturing, and to protect tax incentives for companies that move jobs overseas. [Roll Call Vote #194, 6/17/10; Vote 190, 6/16/10; Vote 370, 7/27/02; Vote 481, 12/6/01; Vote 466, 9/25/98; AP, 9/26/98; Vote 209, 7/28/05; Vote 170, 6/30/05; Vote 411, 7/23/03; Washington Post, 7/24/03; Vote 329, 7/23/02; Vote 275, 7/26/01; Vote 441, 7/26/00; Vote 365, 8/3/99; AP, 7/23/02; Vote 436, 7/24/03; Vote 435, 7/24/03; Vote 434, 7/24/03; Vote 432, 7/24/03; Vote 431, 7/24/03; Vote 430, 7/24/03; Washington Times, 7/25/03; Vote 63, 3/17/05; CNN, 3/17/05; Vote 258, 6/17/04; Congressional Record, 6/17/04]
· Burr Voted Against Closing Tax Loopholes For Companies That Ship Jobs Overseas. [Roll Call Vote #194, 6/17/10]
Burr Still Supported NAFTA in 1996. Burr “reiterated his support” for NAFTA in a 1996 candidates' questionnaire and, as of May 2004, he had proposed only “minor changes” to the NAFTA. [Charlotte Observer, 5/1/04]
AP: Burr Said He Would Have Voted for Burr NAFTA. In 2004, the AP reported, “has been criticizing Bowles' former support for NAFTA in campaign literature, but acknowledged Friday that he would have voted for NAFTA had he been a congressman at the time. Burr said he realizes now that free trade does not benefit North Carolina like he thought it would.” [AP, 4/30/04]
Richard Burr: “I was for NAFTA: “I’ll take the lumps. I admit it. As a candidate, I was for NAFTA. Ten years later, I look back, and I realize what may have been beneficial to the whole country may not have been so beneficial to North Carolina.” (News and Observer Raleigh), “Trade is Central, Slippery,” September 30, 2004)
Burr Protected Tax Loopholes for Corporations that Ship Jobs Overseas:
Burr Voted Against Closing Tax Loopholes For Companies That Ship Jobs Overseas And Boosting Job Creation. Burr voted in June 2010 against the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010, which would close $14 billion in tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas, while providing tax relief to small businesses to boost private sector job growth right here in America. The cloture motion failed 56-40. [Roll Call Vote #194, 6/17/10]
Ø Burr Voted To Keep Tax Breaks That Provide Incentives To Move Jobs Overseas And Against Helping US Manufacturers Create Jobs In The US. In September 2004, Burr voted against a motion to instruct Conferees on the FSCETI corporate tax package. The motion instructed conferees to remove the provisions that provide incentives to move jobs overseas.[HR 4520, Roll #476, 9/29/04]
Ø May 2004: Burr Voted To Protect Tax Breaks For Companies That Set Up Offshore Subsidiaries. Congressman Richard Burr voted against a substitute amendment that in part would eliminate some tax breaks available to businesses that established offshore subsidiaries to pay for flexible spending accounts, which are part of employer benefit packages. [HR 4279, Vote #161, Rejected 197-230 (R 0-222, D 196-8, I 1-0), 5/12/04; Congressional Quarterly Today, 5/12/04]
July 2004: Burr Voted To Use Taxpayer Dollars To Subsidize Big Corporations That Moved Offshore. Richard Burr voted against barring federal loans to American companies that had escaped paying U.S. taxes by moving offshore. The provision would forbid such companies from getting loans from the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that helps American export firms. The vote was on a Sanders (I-VT) amendment to the fiscal 2005 foreign operations appropriations bill. [Vote #386, Amendment to HR 4818, Passed 270-132 (R 82-129; D 187-3; I 1-0), 7/15/04; AP, 6/30/04, 7/15/04]
Burr Turned His Back on Small Businesses and the Unemployed
Senator Burr Voted Against A Lending Bill To Provide Small Businesses With Access To Credit. McClatchy DC reported the “U.S. Senate might leave town this week without finishing up what Democrats had hoped would be a significant political achievement before the August recess: passing a multibillion-dollar swath of programs to help struggling small businesses.” (McClatchy DC, “Small Business Bill Appears To Be Stuck In The Senate,” 8/5/2010; Senate Roll Call Vote 221, S.Amdt. 4519 to H.R. 5297)
2010: Burr Said Unemployment Was No Longer An Emergency While it Topped 10 % in North Carolina. After Burr voted against extending unemployment benefits for struggling families, “In the interview, Burr also defended his vote Tuesday against extending $34 billion in unemployment benefits through November, saying joblessness is not as dire as it was months ago. ‘This is no longer an emergency, therefore it should be paid for,’ he said. ‘Is there a need? The answer is yes. If that need exists, then what’s the fiduciary responsibility that we have? I think it’s to pay for it, not to push it off into the future and just add to the debt.’” [Politico, 7/21/10]
Burr Missed Cloture Vote For Jobs Bill, But Held A Fundraiser The Same Night. [Roll Call #23, 2/22/10; Politico, 3/7/10]]