Senate debates | Arkansas Blog

Senate debates



I've been trapped in the office today, so I couldn't make it up to Conway for the AETN senate debates featuring Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Rep. John Boozman, Trevor Drown and John Gray. Find press releases from Lincoln's campaign and the state GOP on the jump. Actually, you're probably better off not reading those and tuning into AETN tonight at 6:30 to watch it for yourself.

In Senate Debate, Boozman Shows He Works for Millionares, Not Arkansas Working Families or Seniors

Congressman John Boozman emerged from hiding today to prove he is the champion for millionaires, not middle class Arkansans.

In the U.S. Senate candidate debate hosted by University of Central Arkansas, AETN and AARP, Congressman Boozman continued his defense of his four-year effort to pass a national sales tax of at least 23 percent which would raise taxes on all but the top five percent of Arkansas wage earners.

“In a state like Arkansas with the third lowest median income in America, the national sales tax would be particularly devastating to our economy,” Senator Blanche Lincoln said. “I’m for simplifying the tax code but we must do it in a way that promotes growth, protects the middle class and reduces the debt.”

Lincoln also reminded voters today that she will continue to protect Social Security and Medicare. She said that Congressman Boozman’s plans to privatize Social Security will only benefit hedge fund billionaires on Wall Street. His vote to privatize Medicare would be a windfall for millionaire insurance company executives and a burden on Arkansas seniors.

“Senator Blanche Lincoln has always fought hard for the things that Arkansas seniors care about. From protecting Social Security from the predations of Wall Street to the efforts to keep Medicare from being privatized into oblivion, Senator Lincoln has always fought to keep the retirement security of our seniors stable,” said Democratic Party of Arkansas Communications Director Joel Coon. “Congressman Boozman has continually espoused ideas that will cripple Social Security and destroy Medicare as we know it and for that he does not deserve Arkansas voters’ support.”

The debate had a couple interesting comments from the other two candidates in the race.

Decorated Afghan War veteran Trevor Drown chastised Congressman Boozman for his frequent disparaging characterizations of the Commander in Chief, President Obama, resulting in Congressman Boozman sheepishly qualifying his continued disparagement shortly thereafter.

Mayor John Gray pointed out that Democrats have always had a better record in controlling spending. Additionally he noted that Republicans usually get us into wars and Democrats are the ones who get us out.

Below is additional support for the argument that Congressman Boozman is bad for Arkansas seniors, veterans and working families.

Jeopardizing Arkansas Seniors’ Livelihoods
In 2009, Congressman Boozman followed his D.C. party leaders and voted for the Republican budget to partially privatize Medicare. Since 2001, he has championed plans to privatize Social Security. Today, Congressman Boozman says his plan to privatize Social Security will only affect future retirees. But that’s not how Social Security works. Putting Social Security money in the stock market would affect all Americans, today’s retirees included. His plan to privatize Social Security leaves only two options, either cut guaranteed benefits for those over fifty or add two trillion dollars to the deficit. Click here to read the truth about privatization schemes that Congressman Boozman doesn’t want Arkansans to know.

Raising Taxes on 95% of Arkansas Families
Congressman Boozman is a two-time cosponsor of the National Sales Tax bill to replace the federal income tax with a tax of at least 23% on everything Arkansans buy. Congressman Congressman Boozman’s National Sales Tax Plan is extremely regressive and would raise taxes on 95% of Arkansas families. A long list of conservatives are on record opposing the plan, including Reagan's own domestic policy advisor who called it "a very dumb idea.” Click here to read why.

Putting D.C. Party Leaders Over Arkansas Military and Veterans
Even though he has served all nine years on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Congressman Boozman has routinely voted against veterans’ health care funding, against job training assistance for returning active duty service members and against concurrent receipt of disability and retirement. And many Arkansas veterans are most disappointed by his multiple votes against funding for force protection equipment, such as body armor and additional armor for military vehicles. Click here to read the facts.

Putting D.C. Party Leaders Over Arkansas Small Businesses and Working Families
When given the chance to help Arkansas small business owners and their families, Congressman Boozman instead voted against a small business jobs bill, which is expected to create 500,000 new small business jobs and is already at work helping small business owners in Arkansas access capital. It’s just another example in Congressman Boozman’s decade-long record voting for his party, and against Arkansas. Click here to read other examples of Boozman’s votes against Arkansas small businesses.


Lincoln Cracks Joke at Debate:
Claims to be “most independent voice in Washington”

Little Rock, Ark. - In today's U.S. Senate Debate, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) claimed repeatedly to be "an independent voice for Arkansas" and also made the remarkable claim that she is "the most independent voice in Washington," despite voting along with President Obama 95% of the time. Republican Party of Arkansas Senior Communications Advisor Alice Stewart has issued the following statement:

"Senator Lincoln’s claims of being an independent voice are completely disingenuous when she is a loyal rubberstamp for the Obama-Pelosi-Lincoln big-government agenda in Washington,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Senior Communications Advisor Alice Stewart. “Just because she says it, doesn’t make it so; because her rhetoric doesn’t match reality, the only thing independent about her voice is that it does not reflect the conservative values of Arkansans.”


Lincoln Consistently Votes With Obama And The Democratic Party

During The Current Congress, Lincoln Voted With The Democratic Party 83.1% Of The Time. (The Washington Post’s Votes Database,, Accessed 9/3/10)
Between 1999 And 2009, Lincoln Voted With The Democratic Party 80% Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website,, Accessed 9/3/10)
In 2009, Lincoln Voted With President Obama 95% Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website,, Accessed 9/3/10)

Lincoln Repeatedly Provided Obama The 60th Vote On Important Legislation

Lincoln Voted For Cloture On Obamacare. (H.R. 3590, CQ Vote #395: Motion Agreed To 60-39: R 0-39; D 58-0; I 2-0, 12/23/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Lincoln Was Obama’s 60th Vote On The Stimulus. (H.R. 1, CQ Vote #64: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 60-38: R 3-38; D 55-0; I 2-0, 2/13/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Lincoln Was Obama’s 60th Vote THREE TIMES To Raise The Debt Ceiling. (H.R. 4314, CQ Vote #397: Passed (thus cleared for the president) by a vote of 60-39: R 1-38; D 57-1; I 2-0, 12/24/09, Lincoln Voted Yea; H.J. Res. 45, CQ Vote #14: Agreed To 60-39, 1/28/10, Lincoln Voted Yea; H.R. 1, CQ Vote #64: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 60-38: R 3-38; D 55-0; I 2-0, 2/13/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
The Stimulus Bill Lincoln Supported Hiked The Debt Ceiling To $12.14 Trillion. (H.R. 1, CQ Vote #64: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 60-38: R 3-38; D 55-0; I 2-0, 2/13/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
On Christmas Eve 2009, Lincoln Voted To Raise The Federal Debt Limit By $290 Billion. “Passage of the bill that would increase the federal debt limit by $290 billion to $12.4 trillion.” (H.R. 4314, CQ Vote #397: Passed (thus cleared for the president) by a vote of 60-39: R 1-38; D 57-1; I 2-0, 12/24/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Just Over One Month Later, Lincoln Voted To Raise The Debt Ceiling By Nearly $2 Trillion. “Passage of the joint resolution that would increase the statutory debt limit by $1.9 trillion to $14.29 trillion. It also would establish a statutory requirement that new tax and mandatory spending legislation be budget neutral, enforced by automatic across-the-board spending cuts in non-exempt programs if the pay-as-you-go tally at the end of the year shows a deficit. It would require the Government Accountability Office to investigate areas with duplicative goals and activities within the government.” (H.J. Res. 45, CQ Vote #14: Agreed To 60-39, 1/28/10, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Lincoln Helped Pass The Obama Budget And Omnibus

Lincoln Voted For The Conference Report Vote To The $446.8 Billion FY2010 Omnibus Bill. (H.R. 3288, CQ Vote #374: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) by a vote of 57-35: R 3-32; D 52-3; I 2-0, 12/13/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Lincoln Voted To Adopt The Conference Report On The $3.5 Trillion FY 2010 Budget Resolution. “Adoption of the conference report on the concurrent resolution that would allow up to $1.086 trillion in non-emergency discretionary spending for fiscal 2010, plus $130 billion in fiscal 2010 for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would assume $764 billion in tax cuts over five years, including an extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000 annually, a three-year adjustment to prevent additional taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax and a permanent extension of the 2009 estate tax levels. It includes reconciliation instructions to House and Senate committees to report a total of $2 billion in savings, presumably from health care and student loan programs, by Oct. 15. It would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund for health care and climate change legislation.” (S. Con. Res. 13, CQ Vote #173: Adopted 53-43: R 0-40; D 51-3; I 2-0, 4/29/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Obama Endorsed Lincoln

Obama Endorsed Lincoln’s Reelection Campaign. (Blanche Lincoln For Senate Website,, Accessed 9/3/10)
“President Barack Obama Has Cut His First Ad In Support Of Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s Re-Election Campaign, urging Arkansans to back the incumbent Senator for her work on two policy topics that have become focal points of her primary campaign.” (Sam Stein, “Obama Portrays Blanche Lincoln As A Populist Crusader In Radio Ad,” The Huffington Post,, Posted 5/4/10)
Obama Recorded A Robo-Call For Lincoln. “President Obama has cut a robocall for the incumbent, arguing that Dem primary voters should back Lincoln because she’s ‘standing on the side of workers,’ even though her challenger is the one who enjoys the backing of major unions.” (Greg Sargent, “Obama Robocall: Lincoln ‘On Side Of Workers,’” The Washington Post’s The Plum Line Blog,, Posted 5/17/10)

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