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Monday, July 28, 2008

Mitch McConnell's Weekly Update.

July 28, 2008
To: Friends and Allies of Team Mitch
Fr: Justin Brasell & Scott Jennings, Campaign Advisors
Re: Weekly Campaign Update
The debate over energy policy continued this week. Bruce Lunsford responded to our first ad of the general election. Interestingly, nowhere in his ad or his campaign’s statements does Bruce Lunsford disavow or deny that he was integral in raising gas taxes on Kentuckians. As you talk to people in your communities, it is important to remember this talking point: Because of Bruce Lunsford’s work in Frankfort, Kentucky has an automatically increasing gas tax which Bruce has bragged about in his own campaign’s videos and that has resulted in Kentucky’s gas tax going up each year since 2004, including this year. Perhaps more remarkable, even in the middle of the worst energy crisis since the Carter Administration Lunsford was traveling the state bragging on his role in implementing this secret automatic tax.
In Lunsford’s response ad, he attacks Senator McConnell for taking a number of votes in the Senate. By attacking those votes, he is saying he would assume the opposite position.

We now have Bruce Lunsford on the record on the following items:

• Roll Call # 339, 11/17/2005 – This amendment to the Tax Relief Act of 2005 would have created a $3 billion windfall profits tax. Senator McConnell opposes windfall profits taxes, because the costs would be passed on to consumers who already pay too much at the pump. Bruce Lunsford is on the record supporting Jimmy Carter’s energy policy of imposing taxes on American energy companies, which led to greater dependency on foreign oil in the 1980’s. This is a position even the democratic chairman of the Senate Energy Committee opposes.
• Roll Call # 222, 6/21/2007 – Senator McConnell voted in favor of an amendment stating that tax increases on oil companies would not go into effect unless the Department of Energy certified that 1) the tax increases would not result in an increase in retail prices for gasoline and 2) that the increased taxes would not result in making the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil. Bruce Lunsford is now on the record as believing that it is more important to raise taxes on drivers than it is to ensure the cost of gas at the pump does not rise and more important than the U.S. achieving energy independence.
• Roll Call #223, 6/21/2007 – This was a vote on cloture on the tax title of the Democrats’ energy bill. Senator McConnell opposed cloture, because the measure would have increased taxes by $28 billion and led to higher gasoline prices. One of the tax increases in this measure would have applied a 13% excise tax on oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico – making the U.S. even more dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Again, Bruce Lunsford is on record supporting higher taxes and policies that increase our dependency on foreign oil.
• Roll Call #146, 6/10/2006 – Senator McConnell voted against cloture on the motion to proceed to Senator Harry Reid’s energy bill, which included billions in increased taxes in the form of a windfall profits tax that would’ve resulted in increased prices for consumers. More of Lunsford’s support for the Jimmy Carter approach to energy policy is as consistent as it is misguided.
Please tell as many people as you can about

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate…

While our campaign continues to tell voters about the two candidates’ clear positions, Senator McConnell is fighting in the U.S. Senate to force votes on expanding domestic energy production. As Senator Alexander of Tennessee told the Courier Journal this week, "Senator McConnell is actually a bright spot because he's gotten our party on the offensive on the No. 1 issue in the country, which is $4 gasoline."

Congressional Democrats used procedural moves and even cancelled committee meetings out of fear that many in their own caucus would join Republicans in voting for measures to increase domestic energy production:
THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Democrats, worried about defections in the ranks, are scrambling to avoid votes on expanded drilling and this week canceled a series of Senate committee sessions that could have provided an opening for Republicans.” (“Spotlight on Gas Prices, and Parties in Stalemate,” The New York Times, 07/24/08)
WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Majority Leader Reid has decided that deliberation is too taxing for “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” This week he cut off serious energy amendments to his anti-speculation bill.” (Editorial, “Democrats Against Drilling,” Wall Street Journal, 07/24/08)
DOW JONES: “While U.S. Democrats consider a bill that seeks to rein in speculation in the petroleum markets, they've suddenly found themselves on the defensive from an orchestrated Republican attack pushing the majority to ‘Drill More, Use Less.’” (“Dems On The Defensive Over GOP Push For More Oil,” Dow Jones, 07/24/08)
CQ: “Democratic leaders have tried to stave off a floor vote on the issue, in part, GOP leaders say, out of fear that some Democrats may cast pro-drilling votes.” (“Republicans Refuse to Discuss Futures Bill Without Coastal Drilling Vote,” CQ, 07/24/08)
THE HILL: “But the GOP is positioning itself as the party willing to do whatever it takes to lower gas prices. The Republicans say Democrats are scared to cast votes on new drilling in the face of voter anger over high gasoline prices, and they point to the majority's decision to scrap appropriations bills to avoid a debate over lifting the congressional ban on drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf.” (“Senate GOP issues ultimatum to expand oil drilling,” The Hill, 07/24/08)
POLITICO: “Democratic leaders, caught off guard by a swing in public opinion and undermined by some of their own members, are scrambling to run down the clock on calls to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling.” (“‘Gang Of 10’ Fights For Increased Drilling,” Politico, 07/23/08)
Scheduling Notes

Fancy Farm is this coming Saturday, August 2. Hopefully, we’ll see you in far Western Kentucky. Senator McConnell will appear at the Graves County Republican Breakfast before Fancy Farm.
Days Until Election Victory: 99.
Thanks for your support, and please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail if you have any questions or comments for the campaign.



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