Friday, March 30, 2007

Hunter Walks the Walk

Duncan Hunter Purchases Brand New Ford F-150

HUNTER WALKS THE WALK
Puts his money where his mouth and principles are

Detroit, MI – Republican Presidential Candidate Duncan Hunter gave a tangible demonstration of his support for U.S. manufacturers in a campaign stop in Detroit today.   On a mid-morning visit to Suburban Ford in Sterling Heights, MI., Hunter made good on his "Buy American" platform.  He bought American by driving off with a brand new Ford F-150 pick-up truck.  "Some may call this a cheap political stunt," quipped Hunter, "but my wife will call this an expensive gesture."

Hunter said he traveled to Michigan to make it clear that he will follow through on his commitment to American businesses.   As President, Hunter said he will restore the strength of this country's manufacturing base.

Hunter has contended, in his campaign swings, that good high-paying manufacturing jobs are being lost to China and other countries.  "Our manufacturers are forced to compete against foreign competitors that benefit unfairly from currency manipulation, and from bad trade deals."

Hunter added, "One of the duties of the American President is to make good trade deals.   We have a bad [trade] deal and, as President, I will rectify it."

Monday, March 26, 2007

My Kinda Prez Candidate

GOP '08 hopeful keeps visit low-key

By KAREN LOVETT
Telegraph Staff


NASHUA – When Republican presidential candidate John McCain toured the state on a recent stormy weekend, he hired a plow to lead his bus full of staffers, supporters and a "60 Minutes" news crew.

When fellow hopeful Mitt Romney swept through New Hampshire in February, he was traveling with a small entourage of cars full of assistants.

But when yet another GOP presidential contender, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif ., rolled into the parking lot of the Broad Street Country Store in Nashua on Sunday, it was in a rented Ford SUV.

Store owner Vahrij Manoukian rushed to the passenger side to greet Hunter.

"I said, 'Congressman, how are you?' " Manoukian recalled. "He said, 'I'm not the congressman. I'm the aide.' "

Hunter, it turns out, did his own driving during his visit to the Granite State , which included stops in Goffstown and Keene.

To a crowd of about 50 gathered at the store, the 14-term House member paid little attention to McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Romney, who are widely recognized as theHunter pointed to two recent straw polls – informal votes used to gauge people's opinions – in which he had strong showings South Carolina and Arizona.

And Hunter stands by his main concerns, which are defense, securing the country's borders and bolstering manufacturing jobs, which he says have been pushed overseas.

China is "cheating on trade" by devaluing its currency, Hunter said. The Chinese government gives subsidies to exporters, which ultimately lowers prices and pushes American goods off the shelves.

If elected, he pledged to review trade agreements and take action with countries that aren't complying.

Hunter touted his border-control record, citing a wall built in the 1990s between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, that he said knocked down drug-smuggling by 90 percent and slashed San Diego's crime rate. He has written legislation to extend that wall by 854 miles, stretching through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

An audience member asked his opinion on Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, two Texas Border Patrol agents who, while on duty, shot a Mexican drug-runner non-fatally.

They were each sentenced to more than 10 years in prison, and the issue has generated controversy because some feel the two men should be pardoned. Hunter agreed and said he would do the same if elected.

"I definitely liked his views on illegal immigration and on pardoning the agents," said Candi Mann of Hudson, adding that she didn't share his concerns about international trade because she's unfamiliar with the policies.

"He's a very detail-oriented guy, which makes an effective congressman," said Mark LeDoux of Hollis. "My suggestion in his campaign is to spare some of the details . . . and stick with the big picture."

Dan Hogan of Nashua said was impressed with Hunter's pro-life stance and said he'd keep an eye on the candidate, no matter what the standings say.

"The media has been saying for some time that the Republican people are not terribly enamored with the top three," Hogan said. "I'd say (Hunter) stands as good a chance as anybody."

1st Amendment -- Right to Free Assembly

March 26, 2007
 
The Senate State Affairs Committee has agreed on a party-line vote to introduce legislation changing Idaho's primary election system. Under the proposed plan, Idahoans would have to register with a political party, but they could choose 'independent' and still vote in primary elections. However, their choice of which party's ballot they vote at each election would be public record. This "modified closed" primary system was promoted by The Common Interest, a citizen group, as a way to avoid losing a lawsuit from the GOP if that party attempts to unilaterally close its primary.

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, said, "One of the hardest things we've had to do here is taking off our party hats. … It can be very easily misconstrued that this is the Republicans trying to push something down someone's throats."

Keith Allred, head of The Common Interest, said the modified closed primary system has been shown in empirical research to result in election results that are more representative, rather than dominated by party extremists or "tomfoolery" where members of one party attempt to sabotage the results for another party. He said lawmakers face a "stark choice" – if they don't pass the bill, "it is likely that, after a messy litigation process, Idaho's open primary statute will be trumped by an internal Republican Party rule that closes its primaries, including closing them to independents."

Democrats on the panel were suspicious, however, and county clerks testified that the state should "go slow" on changing the primary system – that there's not time to move to a new system before the 2008 election. "It's going to be a major change in the election process," said Sharon Widner, president of the Idaho Association of County Recorders and Clerks.

State Affairs Chairman Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, said the bill will return to the committee for a full hearing before proceeding further – though time is running out for this year's legislative session.