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Eastern Iowa Is Now Part of Chicago!

By Deborah D. Thornton
 
Eastern Iowa Is Now Part of Chicago!
 
The distance from Chicago to Dubuque, or Clinton, or Davenport is around 200 miles. It’s almost 250 from Burlington.  Yet recent and proposed actions by the federal government are making Eastern Iowa part of the “greater-Chicago area.”
 
The expanding federal nanny state has decided that our river towns, many of which are struggling to provide good jobs and decent housing for low-income people who already live here, should focus on recruiting low-income people from outside the state, instead of working to recruit military veterans, active retirees, or young college graduates, who can remain in their hometowns, start businesses, begin families, and help lift their neighborhoods up.
 
The process is starting with the low-income housing rental programs of Dubuque.  Many people rent housing instead of buying, allowing greater flexibility in living arrangements — including ease of moving for jobs, increased cost controls to help manage expenses, and no responsibility for maintenance.  Unfortunately, rental properties in the last few years have not kept up with demand, resulting in lower vacancies and higher rents. 
 
Many people have turned to government-supported low-income housing programs, specifically the Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) program or Section 8.  The HCV program is supposedly controlled by local (generally city or county based) public housing agencies (PHAs).  The money for vouchers comes from taxpayers – after being routed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 
 
Once an individual receives a Section 8 voucher, they find a rental owner who will accept it.  Typically there are more applicants than money available.  Many waiting lists are long.  And typically there are more Section 8 voucher holders than there are owners willing to accept them.  Both the individual application process and the owner’s property requirements are significant and onerous.
 
If HUD is successful at finalizing the Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation this summer – proposed a year ago – local control of Section 8 will be significantly eroded.  According to HUD’s press release, “HUD will provide data for every neighborhood … in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and … resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class.  Long-term solutions will involve various strategies, such as helping people gain access to different neighborhoods and channeling investments into underserved areas,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.
 
After an extensive investigation of alleged discrimination in their local priority ranking system, which was found to unfairly keep minorities (mostly from out of state, specifically Chicago, Illinois, which is four hours away) from being approved and placed on the Dubuque Section 8 voucher list, HUD forced officials to sign a Voluntary Compliance Agreement ceding control of their program even before AFFH is finalized.  Dubuque is being required to not focus on the local needy citizens, but instead to attract and recruit new low-income renters from outside of Iowa.  They must specifically advertise for and recruit low-income applicants reflecting the demographics of Chicago.  The administrative burden is significant and Dubuque is required to follow HUD’s every direction for the next five years or more.
 
Dubuque is not a city which could be considered wealthy and elite.  Local residents are not looking to increase the number of people who are dependent on government services for their daily living needs.  Instead, Dubuque (like our other river cities) is struggling to revive its economic base, keep its young people from moving away, and provide for the needs of those who currently live there, who vote there, and who pay taxes there, to whom they already have an obligation.
 
The elected officials responsible for our Iowa towns must take note.  Because they took the federal government’s money, Dubuque is now controlled by HUD and has become a part of Chicago.  It cannot be said too often: if you take their money, you play by their rules.  Their rules are not pretty.
 
 
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute.  They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry. 
 
Deborah D. Thornton, Research Analyst, Public Interest Institute, 600 North Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641-1328. Ph: 319-385-3462, Web site: www.LimitedGovernment.org.  Contact her at Public.Interest.Institute@LimitedGovernment.org.
 

The Full Dinner Pail

By John Hendrickson

The Grand Old Party (GOP) has changed since its founding. One change that has occurred is the Republican Party’s stance on trade policy. Today a solid majority of Republicans are supporters of the doctrine of free trade. This was not the case for most of the GOP’s history as Republicans became the champions of protectionism. In fact the principle of protectionism was a sacred pillar of the Republican Party. This philosophy or the American System was carried over from the Federalist and Whig economic programs of Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican to be elected President, championed a protective tariff. A tariff was used both for revenues and to protect the American economy from Europe.

This philosophy also consisted of a commitment to sound money as exemplified by the gold standard, low levels of taxation and regulation, balanced budgets, and a commitment to property rights and economic liberty. These principles along with the protective tariff defined the political economy of the Republican Party. The doctrine of protectionism was not just putting “America first,” but also protecting the entire economy, and especially labor by preserving manufacturing with solid wages for workers.
 
During the late 19th century, Ohio’s William McKinley became the chief defender of both “protection and the gold standard.” President Calvin Coolidge argued that McKinley’s policies brought forth a period of economic prosperity owing to trade protection and strengthening the gold standard.
 
The result of McKinley’s policies as Coolidge noted was the “application of his principle of a protective tariff, which furnished the initial opportunity for laying down the greatest industries of America and the development of her entire resources.” Coolidge believed, just as McKinley argued, that protectionism benefited not just business, but the farmer and laborer as well. “Cheap goods meant cheap men,” stated Coolidge. The rallying cry of protectionism in the GOP came under the slogan the “Full Dinner Pail,” which was utilized by William McKinley during his presidential campaigns and by later Republican presidential candidates including Calvin Coolidge. The “Full Dinner Pail” represented economic prosperity, high wages, and a sound economy.
 
The “Full Dinner Pail” platform of McKinley, Harding, and Coolidge resulted in a period of economic expansion and growth, which benefited not only business, but the middle class. As columnist and former Republican presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan wrote: “Protectionism is the structuring of trade policy to protect the national sovereignty, ensure economic self-reliance, and ‘prosper America first.’ It was the policy of the Republican Party from Abraham Lincoln to Calvin Coolidge. America began that era in 1860 with one half of Britain’s production and ended it producing more than all of Europe put together. Is this a record to be ashamed of?”
 
The America-first trade policy of protectionism through tariffs was not only a constitutional way of protecting national sovereignty, but also putting the economic health of the nation first. The policy of protectionism was often debated within Republican circles, but it was a policy that many took seriously as a key component to an overall successful economic program.
 
As Robert Lighthizer, who served as a trade representative in President Ronald Reagan’s administration, wrote: “Conservative statesmen from Alexander Hamilton to Ronald Reagan sometimes supported protectionism and at other times they leaned toward lowering barriers. But they always understood that trade policy was merely a tool for building a strong and independent country with a prosperous middle class.”
 
Republicans would be wise to remember such American conservative statesmen who followed in the footsteps of Hamilton, Lincoln, McKinley, Harding, and Coolidge, who placed America first above anything else.
 
 
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute.  They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry. 
 
John Hendrickson, Research Analyst, Public Interest Institute, 600 North Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641-1328. Ph: 319-385-3462, Web site: www.LimitedGovernment.org.  Contact him at Public.Interest.Institute@LimitedGovernment.org.


Don't Be Fooled by the Media; This Isn't About Trump - David Limbaugh

Is anyone concerned that the media have succeeded in using a flap between Donald Trump and John McCain to divert our attention from serious issues facing the nation?

Trump has been very outspoken in recent weeks on certain issues, especially immigration. His unfiltered remarks have resonated with people, driving him high in the polls among the GOP hopefuls.

via townhall.com


Transparency at the County Level in Iowa

By Jennifer L. Crull

We are reporting on the project Ballotpedia.org has done with all 99 counties in Iowa. (http://ballotpedia.org/Counties_in_Iowa) The Ballotpedia Website talks about how taxpayers should be able to tell from their county’s Website if the county government is effective, competent, frugal with tax dollars, and in compliance with all expectations and relevant laws about public records and open meeting laws.
 
The criteria were outlined on a “transparency checklist” on the Ballotpedia Website. The following are the ten categories Ballotpedia is looking at when they examine a Website:
 
Budget - The county website should include comprehensive budget information.
County government meetings/agendas - The county's website should disclose all county government meetings and agendas.
Elected officials and elections - The county's website should disclose key information about the county's elected officials.
Administrative officials - The county's website should disclose key information about the county's appointed administrators such as their names, titles, and contact information, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Building permits and zoning - The building permit and zoning applications should be available for download online. In addition, constituents should be able to submit applications and track the process online.         
Audits (financial/performance) - If the county conducts financial and management audits to ensure that it is operating in accordance with the highest standards of financial and management competence and integrity, theses audits should be available on the website.
Contracts - The county's website should provide comprehensive information about the contracts it enters into with vendors.
Lobbying/advocacy - If the unit of government belongs to any government sector lobbying associations that it helps to fund by paying association or membership dues, that information should be disclosed on the government agency's website.
Local taxes - The website should include a central location for all tax information, including state fees such as drivers' licenses, tax documents for all elected officials, and each agency’s sources of revenue.
Public records - The website should include the name of the person who is in charge of fulfilling open records requests, along with contact information.
 
If you take the time to visit the Website you would see that we have a couple counties that have worked hard to increase transparency at the county level such as Johnson and Scott Counties, but we have many counties that have a long way to go to increase transparency at the county level.
 
Given that our state has risen to an “A-,” how can we have such low scores for our county governments?  I think that it is time for our counties to focus on increasing access to information, especially since this is the level of government that people interact with the most.  I would encourage everyone to take the time to visit Ballotpedia.org and check the transparency score for government agencies in your area. Also, if you feel the score is wrong Ballotpedia asks that you contact them at sunshine@ballotpedia.org and request a new evaluation to keep their records up to date.


The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute.  They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry. 
 
Jennifer L. Crull, IT Specialist, Public Interest Institute, 600 North Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641-1328. Ph: 319-385-3462, Web site: www.LimitedGovernment.org.  Contact her at Public.Interest.Institute@LimitedGovernment.org.


UCLA to Hire Illegal Aliens As Interns - Aaron Bandler

Illegal aliens are put up on a pedestal in California, and the state's education system makes certain of that. UCLA is now hiring them as interns, according to Campus Reform:

The UCLA Labor Center’s Dream Resource Center is allowing undocumented students to apply for Dream Summer, a ten-week summer program that provides paid internship opportunities for immigrants in California, regardless of their immigration or insurance status. The program will encourage them to advocate for immigration reform and promote universal health care access regardless of immigration status.

The Center says the program began in 2011 after the U.S. Senate failed to pass the DREAM Act in 2010, which would have given a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants who came to the United states before the age of 16. The program claims to have provided 418 internship opportunities to immigrant youth throughout the nation.

UC Berkeley and UC San Diego have a similar policy, according to the report.

California taxpayers already pay for illegal aliens to attend school via the Dream Act, and now at schools like UCLA, even more money pays for them to intern at the school to promote immigration reform and government-funded healthcare to illegals? Seems like a massive taxpayer scam.

While it's bad enough that they are further bleeding taxpayers dry, it makes it worse that UCLA is turning these illegals into activists for liberal policies:

via townhall.com


The Wine-Sipping Butchers of Planned Parenthood - Michelle Malkin

Hannibal Lecter ain't got nothing on the profit-maximizing abortion ghoul caught on tape hawking aborted baby parts as she swilled wine and nibbled on a gourmet salad.

In newly released undercover footage from the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, seasoned abortionist Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who serves as national senior director of "medical services" at Planned Parenthood, chitter-chattered eagerly about fulfilling the bloodthirsty demand for "intact hearts," "lower extremities" and lungs.

Price tag? "You know, I would throw a number out," she babbled breezily as she twirled her fork. "I would say it's probably anywhere from $30 to $100" per specimen.

via townhall.com


Bill O'Reilly Talking Points Memo: 'Dangerous People Are Walking Around Because of Political Correctness' | Fox News Insider

In his Talking Points Memo tonight, Bill O'Reilly sounded off about the murder of Kate Steinle, saying that "dangerous people are walking around because of political correctness."

O'Reilly said that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the 11 city supervisors are "directly responsible" for Steinle's death. 

"That's because San Francisco is a sanctuary city that does not cooperate with the federal government, even on holding and identifying criminal aliens," he explained. "Sanchez was in custody in San Francisco and ... Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi let him out, defying ICE officials."

"The Factor" host said that Mirkarimi should resign immediately. 

"I mean what kind of law officer allows a known felon to walk free when the feds want him in custody?" O'Reilly asked. "The sheriff is incompetent ... And so are the folks who run the city of San Francisco, most of whom are now hiding."

O'Reilly argued that Steinle is "collateral damage to the insane far-left politics that have long corrupted the city by the bay."

He said that dangerous people are "walking around because of political correctness."

via insider.foxnews.com


Michelle Malkin | » Why America Hates the GOP-Obamatrade Deal

Constitutional conservatives don’t like it. Trade unions abhor it. Obama critics hate it. Environmentalists despise it.

Outside the Beltway bubble, a broad coalition of voters from the left, right and center opposes the mega-trade deal getting rammed through Congress this week by the Republican establishment on behalf of the White House. Here’s why.

The Obama administration, House GOP leader John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have sold out American sovereignty. Their so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission will have sweeping authority over trade, immigration, environmental, labor and commerce regulations.

As alert watchdogs U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest and U.S. Rep Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., warn: “By adopting fast-track, Congress would be formally authorizing the President to finalize the creation of this Pacific Union and will have surrendered its legislative prerogatives. Before a word, line, paragraph, or page of this plan is made public, Congress will have agreed to give up its treaty powers. … In effect, one of the most sweeping international agreements seen in years will be given less legislative scrutiny and process than a Post Office reform bill.”

via michellemalkin.com


Eastern Iowa Is Now Part of Chicago!

By Deborah D. Thornton  

The distance from Chicago to Dubuque, or Clinton, or Davenport is around 200 miles. It’s almost 250 from Burlington.  This is a drive of four to five hours, even with no traffic.  Yet recent and proposed actions by the federal government make Eastern Iowa part of the “greater-Chicago area.”
 
The expanding federal nanny state has decided that our river towns, struggling to provide good jobs and decent housing for low-income people who already live here, should focus on recruiting low-income people from outside the state, instead of recruiting military veterans, active retirees, or young graduates, who can remain home, start businesses, begin families, and lift their neighborhoods up.
 
The process is starting with the low-income housing rental programs of Dubuque. 
 
 
To read Public Interest Institute’s INSTITUTE BRIEF, Eastern Iowa Is Now Part of Chicago! please click HERE.





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Santorum authors Des Moines Register op-ed in support of hardworking families

VERONA, PA - Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) authored an opinion piece in this morning's Des Moines Register outlining his vision to fight for hardworking American families. 

 

Who is fighting for working families?

By Rick Santorum

 

At the 2012 Republican National Convention I spoke about the hands I shook during our improbable run for president that year, a journey that took us to 11 primary election victories.

 

These were the hands of hard-working men and women who do not believe either political party is fighting for them. Hands that sacrificed their all in defense of the freedoms we enjoy every day. And hands with special needs who are discounted by a society that measures value in sheer output rather than intrinsic worth.

 

My speech was a stark contrast to my party's focus that evening on entrepreneurs. Despite compelling stories from employers of all races and creeds, no employees joined their boss on stage, stood side-by-side with them, and explained that America works best when we all work together.

 

Today, nearly 75 percent of Americans don't hold a college degree and about 90 percent don't own their own business. Who is fighting for them?

 

Democrats offer government-sponsored handouts that are at best Band-Aids and at worst a trap that are hard to escape. The grip of the hands I shook are as strong as ever. They don't want handouts, they want a fair shake.

 

At the same time, Republicans are quick to quote the adage that a rising tide lifts all boats. But there are millions of Americans with holes in their boats. These hardworking families have to bail water faster to avoid sinking deeper. Yet Republicans have provided no plans and no hope. I say "no longer."

 

I grew up on the grounds of the Veterans Administration facility where my parents worked. My friends' families worked in the steel mills that surround Pittsburgh. These were the jobs that not only built strong homes, but built America. If we are to once again help those who are struggling to stay afloat, we must rejuvenate these communities.

 

I believe we need to start by revitalizing manufacturing in America. We must understand that manufacturers are different than most businesses. Retailers like Wal-Mart compete with Target. But American manufacturers compete in a global marketplace and treating them the same as any other business ignores economic realities.

 

We must reform a tax code and regulatory system that puts American manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage to the rest of the world by flattening the tax code, eliminating costly regulations, and reforming our immigration system that is allowing too many illegal and unskilled legal immigrants to compete for jobs American workers can hold.

 

At the same time, we must strengthen our nation's first economy - the family. Families are small businesses unto themselves: They have revenues, expenditures, and their books must balance. But today, families are struggling to make ends meet in the face of a government, a culture, and a society that has stacked the deck against them. If the American family fails, so will America.

 

But all of this is moot if we are not safe and secure. Each night families turn on the television and see ISIS on the rampage and Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. And what are we doing about it?

 

First, we must be willing to define our enemy as Radical Islam, not be afraid to offend when it prevents us from effectively confronting regimes that are motivated by faith to destroy us because of who we are, not what we do.

 

In Iran, a line must be drawn and, if it is crossed, there must be consequences. Ten years ago I authored sanctions against Iran with opposition from then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. Now is the time to strengthen these sanctions, not lift them.

 

To effectively project power to keep us safe, we need to increase funding to adequately train and equip our men and women in uniform. A strong America is a safe America.

 

To read Senator Santorum's op-ed, click here.