Thursday, August 28, 2008

MN-06 : GOP Platform is a Nightmare for Bachmann

For Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to control the Party’s agenda, the best way is to get involved in approval of the Party Platform. Thus far, the results may not be to her liking.

Bachmann is one of 112 Republican activists writing the planks for the RNC Platform. There are a number of key issues :
Drilling in ANWR
Cap and Trade legislation to curb greenhouse gas emission
Immigration
And even, gun ownership ( The Bush Administration wants background checks prior to someone on the Terrorist Watch List before being able to buy a gun. )

Surely, at the top of Bachmann’s list is Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Of expanding oil drilling into ANWR, she recently said, "Currently, the U.S. is the only country in the world that discourages using its own energy resources. Our country imports 10 billion barrels of crude oil every day. And we are importing 1.3 million barrels of refined gasoline.”

But drilling in ANWR is not something that everyone agrees. Bachmann said in an interview with Townhall.com “It’s difficult when our nominee is not on the same page with us.”

CQ Politics reports the draft proposal unveiled Tuesday called for “accelerated exploration, drilling and development in America, from new oil fields off the nation’s coasts to onshore fields such as those in Montana, North Dakota and Alaska” but was silent on the specific issue of ANWR.

Additionally, from the CQ article “the platform committee also rejected a proposal to discourage the export of oil and gas garnered from any new leases.
Consider that DOE data revealed “A record 1.6 million barrels a day in U.S. refined petroleum products were exported during the first four months of this year, up 33 percent from 1.2 million barrels a day over the same period in 2007. Shipments this February topped 1.8 million barrels a day for the first time during any month. The surge in exports appears to contradict the pleas from the U.S. oil industry and the Bush administration for Congress to open more offshore waters and Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.
Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) protested this exporting practice to President Bush writing that projections from the Department of Energy for offshore drilling say that “at the height of production, in 2030, increased offshore drilling would produce only 200,000 barrels per day – one ninth the amount of oil we currently send to foreign countries every day.”

While the RNC Platform Committee may be rejecting her plea, she has offered a Discharge Petition on HR 6107 that would open ANWR for drilling. Thus far 90 Republicans have not signed her petition.

And as a side note, this platform plank is in direct opposition to the stated goals of Dr. Brian Davis, State Senator Dick Day, Congressman John Kline (R-02), and Ed Matthews (whose speech at the MN-GOP convention demanded drilling). But Erik Paulsen and Senator Norm Coleman do not support drilling in the ANWR.

So for voters that hear MN-GOP Party Chairman Ron Carey attempting to blame Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN-01) for the failing to open ANWR for drilling, they need to be reminded that the RNC is not committed to that goal.

On Immigration, the draft does not include stronger anti-amnesty language that some advocates wanted. It does not specifically oppose “comprehensive immigration reform” and is silent on a guest worker program, a policy that President Bush and McCain have both supported.

On Cap and Trade, the Platform Committee included no amendments to oppose cap-and-trade explicitly, in fact there were no amendments on climate change at all. By taking a heavy pen to the section that used to read “Global Warming and Environmental Protection”, they decided to strike the phrase “global warming” anywhere it appeared in the document, either replacing it with the more neutral “climate change,” or removing it altogether.
Ah, thus RNC answers the question – If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there does it make a sound?
If the RNC does not acknowledge “global warming”, then it must not be happening.

And on another annoyance for Bachmann, the Platform Committee voted down a proposal to call the opposition the "Democrat Party" in the 2008 platform. Instead, they'll go with the proper Democratic Party. "We probably should use what the actual name is," said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the panel's chairman. "At least in writing."
Bachmann, as evidenced by her appearance on television broadcasts has a tendency to use the “Democrat” term.

The decision on Gun Ownership has not been publicized yet.

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