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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    [ # ] Energy Blog
    January 23rd, 2008 under Guest Post

                becka.JPG I’ve often heard it said that sending someone to Congress is kind of like sending your kids off to college: you hope you’ve made the right decision, you hope they don’t fall in with the wrong crowd, and you hope – most of all – to recognize them when they come back.  Kansas has been particularly lucky in this regard of late.  I’m sure we can all one issue or another on which to disagree with Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, our U.S. Senators.  But on the big things, they usually come through for us, representing not one party but one state.  Politicians may get a bad rap some of the time, but it’s up to us to make note of moments when they do stand and deliver for us.

                Just such a moment arrived last month, and few took much notice.  Since Democrats were elected in the 2006 mid-term elections, speculation – and indeed, some boasting – was heard about Congress finally breaking a log-jam on President Bush’s six-year old call for a new, national energy policy.  Unfortunately, all year more logs just got jammed, as new Congressional leaders insisted on raising taxes on domestic energy companies as part of the comprehensive bill. 

                Many argued, including our two Senators, that taking money away from American gas and oil companies at the very moment we are relying on their research and development projects to finally help reduce our reliance on foreign energy was a bad idea.  They argued, too, that singling out domestic energy companies for the $15 billion tax would effectively act as a subsidy for the very foreign energy we’re trying to avoid.  Congress’s plan was to make our own energy companies less capable of fully funding their research and development budgets, while giving foreign competitors a price advantage in the marketplace.

                Good for Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback for standing up to this lunacy.  We can all agree – and Roberts and Brownback do – that we need to conserve more, and we need to find and experiment with new sources of energy, but we can also agree that sticking it to our own businesses out of spite isn’t the way to go about it.  After all, any taxes raised on energy companies would eventually be passed on to energy consumers – higher prices for gasoline and heating oil just in time for winter.

    Furthermore, tax hikes kill jobs, hurt communities, and choke off investment.  Our economy is not a position right now to afford any of the above, especially not in one of the most important industries in our economy.  There’s a right way to do things and a wrong way, and last month, thanks to Kansas’ two Senators, America took the right way.

    Beka Romm
    Former Chair
    KU College Republicans

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    In December of 2006 Dr. Dhavan Shah of the University of Wisconsin and his “Blogclub” of graduate students and Dr. David D. Perlmutterof the University of Kansas conducted a survey of major political blogs and their readers. The project was partially sponsored by a grant from the Knight/Carnegie Foundation’s Future of Journalism initiative. The summary of the results are posted here--please fully cite us if you refer to the findings.

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