A.O.C. and Cory Booker would get A+’s from AFP

Did you catch AFP’s latest score card?  The one where every far-left Democrat in the state got rewarded with an “A” or “A+” because they supported AFP’s crazy ideas about going soft on crime in America? 

It’s official.  Americans for Prosperity has left the building.  AFP has walked away from American conservatism and has become a hodgepodge of fashion statements pumped out of the bunghole of Koch Petroleum. 

Relentlessly anti-working man/woman and anti-Trump, AFP now seeks to join the most far-left Democrat Socialists to reward criminal behavior, empower convicts at the ballot box, and roll back the clock on the Reagan-era tough-on-crime prescriptions that have driven down the crime rate across America.  AFP wants to ignore the facts, when the facts are clear:

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AFP wants to screw up what’s worked and turn that ship around.  In a few years or so, we can all look forward to a return to the crime rates of the past that AFP now appears to forget.  Once upon a time, before Rudy Giuliani, when they made movies like “Death Wish” to dramatize the terror that stalked American streets. 

Strap yourself in boys and girls… for the Great Re-Learning!

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The people who run Koch Petroleum operate AFP as a lobbying unit of their globalist business empire.  Once-upon-a-time the Koch operation included the Libertarian Party.  One of the Koch brothers even ran for Vice President – against the ticket of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush – on a platform that included the legalization of all forms of drug use and prostitution, as well as removing the legal protections for children, making them no different from consenting adults. 

The Kochs tried to take over the Republican Party… to remake it in their own image.  Failing that, they opposed the candidacy of President Donald Trump and continue to do so.  Now they are doing what so many “woke” corporations have done, adopting a fashion-statement issue in order to curry favor with the liberal establishment, to shield their corporate excesses from scrutiny.  They are hoping that people see the “good” they are doing in promoting a pro-criminal agenda and lay-off them when their petroleum centered business gets itself in trouble again.

So now you know why so many far-left Democrat Socialists have picked-up scores of “A” and “A+” from Americans for Prosperity’s latest score card.

Is AFP even a conservative organization anymore?

Can we get serious?

In America, there is a consensus, a generally accepted agreement as to what the word “conservative” means.  Take a poll.  Ask the average voter what the word means.  The four pillars of modern American conservatism are pretty easy to remember:

(1) The Right to Life.  Conservatives, real conservatives, Reagan conservatives, we oppose abortion.  Full stop.  

(2) The Second Amendment.  Hey, how many court rulings do you need before you finally get that the government has no duty to protect you?  In a Republic, that is on you.  Conservatives oppose the anarchy of crime.  We support gun rights, local police, and laws that are tough on crime – especially violent crime.

(3) Less Government/ Lower Taxes.  Conservatives know that smaller government and less government regulation leads to less spending and debt, which enables governments to cut taxes.  Conservatives also know that crony capitalism is a form of political corruption and as such is itself a tax on the goods and services used by ordinary citizens.

(4) Illegal Immigration.  Conservatives like America and American culture.  We welcome anyone from anywhere who wants to come here and join us and become an American.  We don’t want to be colonized by foreign cultures with authoritarian or anti-democratic traditions.  We don’t want to be told that we need to change to accommodate those who gate-crash the laws of our country. 

In order to call yourself a conservative in America, you pretty much need to be all four of the above.  Maybe you can get away with being a little mushy on one and still be considered a “soft” conservative.  But if you are bad on more than one, you need to think about why you are a Republican.  (Hey, haven’t these people ever read the PLATFORM of the party they claim membership of?)

That’s not to say that anybody is a “bad” person.  It’s just saying that you’re not a conservative.  See, the word “conservative” actually does mean something.  It’s not just a term of praise used in the proper setting to describe people we happen to like… or want to suck-up to. 

“Conservative” doesn’t mean “libertarian”.  It is per se a traditionalist point-of-view.  Conservatives want to C-O-N-S-E-R-V-E the traditions and values of our American Republic.  Unlike our libertarian brethren, we don’t want to replace Mom and Apple Pie with the Orgasmatron and the Orb.

That’s not to say that conservatives and libertarians (or anyone else for that matter) can’t agree on certain issues and work together.  But having a conservative point of view on this or that issue doesn’t make one a conservative.  Heck, Bill Clinton called himself a “fiscal conservative” – that didn’t make him a conservative.  It made him a liberal who saw the political advantages of conservative policy on issues like welfare reform.  He was still a liberal. 

And so we come to the especially Jersey-style, end of year crap that recently went spewing itself all over the Internet.  For years now, New  Jersey has been working very hard at being the place words go to lose their meaning.  Reading “The Right 40 Women to Watch in 2019” (written by AFP’s head honcho in New Jersey) it’s now clear that this trend has reached new depths of meaninglessness – with many of those mentioned being members of the “Right” only in the way that Hillary Clinton can be considered being to the “Right” of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

AFP – Americans for Prosperity – is the group formed by the super-rich Koch brothers as the political and lobbying arm of their business empire.  Anyone who knows anything about the Koch brothers knows that they come out of the Libertarian Party – in fact, one of the brothers actually ran against Republican Ronald Reagan on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980.  Yes… THAT Ronald Reagan. 

And what a ticket that was… it supported everything from the decriminalization of narcotics and prostitution to America’s standing down as a world power.  If that crew had been elected, we’d still have the Soviet Union (and maybe they would have won).  But happily, Reagan won and the Koch operation was forced to rebrand itself as fake “conservative” – a move that started the process of unwinding the meaning of the word. 

Over the last decade or more, the Koch operation has done much to corrupt the conservative movement in America – in an effort to remake it in their own crony capitalist image.  Now they’ve come full circle and are back to advocating a soft-on-crime approach while pushing to flood the open market with recreational marijuana… this, in the midst of an opioid epidemic that is killing upwards of 50,000 people each year.

In fact, AFP in New Jersey has become so crony capitalist, so establishment, so anti-conservative values, that it has taken to shilling for far-Left politicians like U.S. Senator Cory Booker.  Just before Christmas, AFP paid for a mailing that lauded Senator Gropicus (a great moniker, courtesy of SaveJersey’s Matt Rooney) for a soft-on-crime package of feel good “reforms” that miss the problem entirely, but make for good media ads for his 2020 run against President Donald Trump.  Why the heck would AFP do something like that?  The Democrats don’t need the resources – they already have George Soros – now they have the Koch operation’s millions too? 

Among those women on “the Right” we were asked to “celebrate” were a half dozen who made the list because of their service on the just completed campaign of Bob Hugin for United States Senate.  Now maybe the writer didn’t get the memo, but Bob Hugin didn’t run from “the Right” and his campaign did all it could to distance itself from said “Right” – starting with millions in advertising assuring the electorate that he was a “different kind of Republican” who explicitly rejected at least one of the four pillars of modern American conservatism.  So WTF?

And since when did the legalization and sale of marijuana become a conservative issue?  Hasn’t anyone read about the vaping problem in our schools?  And this is with nicotine… imagine what it will be with marijuana?  And edibles?  How will policing the use of chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, and cookies work?  Candy for children… So how the heck did the “co-founder and executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association” make a list of “women on the Right”???

Get out of your offices and talk to average people sometime!  Ask them if they think legalizing and selling an entry level drug in the midst of an opioid epidemic is a conservative political position?  Average voters will think you have lost your mind.  But there she is, on the list for being “at the helm” in her quest to “unleash a new industry within the State.”  What’s next?  Narcotics?  The legalization of human trafficking?  Prostitution?  Body parts?   Wait… it will come.

Rosemary Becchi made the list too.  She’s the president of a “new grassroots advocacy organization” formed in 2018 “to fight Jersey’s high taxes and propose policy solutions to the state’s complex financial problems.”  Except that she hasn’t.  Ms. Becchi is a DC lobbyist who has donated to the Democrats.  Hey, we get that lobbyists do that kind of thing, but let’s not call it conservative

Nobody has seen Ms. Becchi testifying in Trenton, or providing information to legislators, or even returning telephone calls from those interested in finding out more about her “organization”.  Cynics would say that it is nothing more than a front – a cover for her personal ambition to run for Congress.  This is something she openly explored against incumbent Congressman Leonard Lance (R-07) a year ago, with her “grassroots” organization forming a kind of parentheses between that and her expected formal announcement for 2020.

But as far as labeling her a “conservative” – we don’t really know where she stands on big government and taxes, leaving aside her unknown positions on abortion, the Second Amendment, and illegal immigration.  So who is trying to fool who here?

Finally, AFP’s list is memorable because of the genuine conservatives – four pillar conservatives – that it leaves out.  Champions like Marie Tasy and Christine Flaherty and Rev. Mandy Leverett… they are fighting to maintain the value of human life, to recognize the threshold of fetal pain, to end the trafficking of human beings and the sexual exploitation of women and children.  Of course, in today’s cash register world of “new industries” like pot and such, none of that matters – except that it does matter to conservatives, and there are a great many of us.

Also dissed were Freeholder Deborah Smith of Morris County – a great advocate for the Second Amendment – and incoming Sussex County Freeholder Dawn Fantasia who took down an incumbent Freeholder by winning 63% of the vote!  Nobody who made AFP’s list ever beat an incumbent.  Why are conservative winners ignored and pot pushers lauded as “conservatives”?   And how about an operative like Kelly Hart, the executive director of the Sussex County Republican Committee.  A four pillar conservative who actually won for Bob Hugin by more than was expected – outperforming everywhere but receiving scant recognition for it.  Obviously, there is a “cool girls” table, just as in high school, and some are not part of it… no matter how much they actually WIN elections. 

So in future, be a bit more judicious in who you label “conservative.”  Be honest with voters.  Stop telling them that you are something you’re not. 

Yes, we expect to hear arguments from pro-abortion, mushy on illegal immigration, soft-on-the-Second Amendment types who claim that they “feel” they are conservative.  But isn’t that just the times we live in?  We’ve all heard of gender-fluidity… well, these people are ideologically fluid.  And just as our chromosomes determine whether we are male or female, how we stand on the four pillars make us conservative – or something else.

Hey, don’t worry.  Not being conservative doesn’t make you a “bad” person.  And it doesn’t mean that you don’t hold conservative points of view on this issue or that.  You can still work with conservatives.  It just means that you recognize that you don’t come from the same ideological place that conservatives do.  And in your heart, you already know that, so let’s cut the bull and get honest with the voters.  Restoring their faith in the labels politicians apply to themselves will perhaps restore some measure of trust… for when the very words people use to describe themselves have no integrity, what confidence can voters have in anything?

AFP: The pothead/ amnesty for illegals wing of the GOP

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” (Eric Hoffer)

Is AFP even conservative anymore?

Looking at their positions on some of the major issues facing New Jersey, you would have to conclude NO.

Establishment GOPers are very good at worming their way into conservative causes and turning them into husks.  A short history of this could occupy a chapter in a book -- or a lengthy article.  A good starting point would be what happened to "Hands Across New Jersey" after the Whitmanites offered their help and money.  And the 2009 gubernatorial primary with Brother Todd and his checkbook would make interesting reading too.

GOPAC was once a dynamic organization and a pillar of the conservative movement.  Today -- in New Jersey at least -- it is run by Ocean County GOP boss George Gilmore.  Would anyone in their right mind describe George Gilmore as a "movement conservative"?

Establishment types apply the word "conservative" the way old tarts apply makeup -- to hide many sins.  But trust one and see what you are left with.  It won't be fresh faced idealism. 

They say they are "conservative" and then they vote to make your daughter share her high school shower with someone sporting a penis.  They vote to confirm a judge who backs COAH and Abbott.  They vote to obstruct a woman's ability to obtain a legal handgun to protect herself and her family.  They vote to fund abortion. 

Last year, we suggested an alternative to the "screw card" put out by AFP.  We said it should be based on the highest authority in the Republican Party -- the platform of the Republican National Committee.  Well, a couple people took up the idea and word is they'll soon have the money necessary to publish and distribute a score card that is truly representative of the conservative movement in New Jersey.

Of course, there are those within the NJGOP who will feel threatened by this and who will work against it, as they work against all alternative ideas.  They don't like the First Amendment, preferring worship to speech.  But they shouldn't be threatened, because nothing attracts and grows a cause or a party better than open debate and free participation.  It breaks the stale boring monopoly of establishment language and ads the spice of truth.

Loosen up and all will be well.

Is Rendo endorsement the first shot in a GOP civil war?

We were thinking about that stupid statement by that fellow we thought we liked, Carlos Rendo, and who we were prepared to forgive for his anti-religious musings and his work as an immigration attorney.  The statement was made yesterday, by Rendo, in an attack on Republican Steve Lonegan, on behalf of John McCann.

Rendo told InsiderNJ that, of the two, McCann was the "only candidate with an actual record of putting taxpayers first."  

It's funny Rendo put it that way, because "Putting Taxpayers First" is the title of the 2007 book written by Steve Lonegan.  In it, Lonegan provides the blueprint for the conservative movement on how to address New Jersey's worst-in-America business climate and poor record of job creation, the state's highest-in-the-nation property taxes, subsidized COAH housing, the public employees union-dominated education system, and the activist judiciary -- among other things.

We can't expect the younger generation to remember what it was like after party liberals like Christie Whitman and Paulie DiGaetano lost Republicans our majorities in both chambers of the Legislature.  Under Democrats McGreevey and Corzine, the Democrats grew government with tax hikes and new regulations -- and always with Republican support.  Conservatives watched dismayed as the GOP provided the votes to end the death penalty for serial killers, child rapists/ murderers, cop-killers, and terrorists.  

While this was happening, John McCann was threatening to run for Congress, telling GOP leaders that Senator Gerry Cardinale and Assemblyman Scott Garrett were "too conservative" for the 5th District.  McCann's candidacies are cyclical.  Like the cicada, he surfaces from the mud about once a decade.  McCann called himself an "Arlen Specter Republican," going left on the issues, mimicking the Democrats' platform on such issues as abortion and gun-control.

Meanwhile, Steve Lonegan was organizing the modern conservative movement in New Jersey.  He led the fight against the Newark arena taxpayer rip-off, fought  state government borrowing without voter approval all the way to the Supreme Court, winning key concessions and transparency.  The Court's decisions in Lonegan I and Lonegan II paved the way for the (then Senator Leonard) Lance Amendment.  Lonegan organized conservatives to sue to stop eminent domain and taxpayer-funded elections.

Lonegan pulled off the unheard of accomplishment of defeating two statewide ballot questions -- stopping government-funded embryonic stem cell research and a sales tax increase.  Lonegan broke the back of the Corzine administration's plans to hike tolls on state roads and he successfully organized conservatives to stop the RGGI fuel tax.  Again, and again, and again, Steve Lonegan was the essential man -- leading the conservative movement forward, providing hope to the GOP in its darkest days.

Steve Lonegan became the glue that held the conservative movement together in New Jersey.  He took over the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and made it the premier chapter in the nation.  His fundraising prowess saw to it that conservative initiatives had resources.  When the GOP opposed same-sex marriage in 2009-10, it was Lonegan who made the calls to ensure they had the funding.

Because of Steve Lonegan, Chris Christie tacked right in his 2009 campaign for Governor, and New Jersey elected -- and re-elected -- a Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment Governor, something the Whitman/DiGaetano wing of the GOP had long held was an impossibility.  Lonegan held seminars, put together conventions, organized demonstrations and rallies -- a flurry of grassroots activity unheard of in the NJGOP.  He nurtured the careers and helped fund the campaigns of younger conservatives like Mike Doherty, Michael Patrick Carroll, and Alison Littell McHose.

Under Steve Lonegan, AFP became the thing that SRM and ARV have most desperately needed in the last few cycles -- a superPAC able to independently hit the Democrats and hold them to account.  Lonegan's relationships with national conservatives ensured that the efforts of groups like the General Majority PAC would not go unchallenged.  

All this ended abruptly when Steve Lonegan departed New Jersey to work on the national scene.  AFP became a shell of its former self.  Activism died overnight.

And the NJGOP, the SRM, the ARV?  Unprecedented losses over and over again.  You have to go back to the period after the Watergate Scandal (do any YR's or CR's even know what that is?) to find a time when New Jersey Republicans held this few seats in the Legislature.  Next up... the culling of the GOP's congressional delegation in New Jersey.

The Republican Party in New Jersey has been studiously ignoring its conservative base for years.  Meanwhile, its once dominant "country club" crowd has gone Democrat and is now fielding candidates from its ranks against GOP incumbents like Jon Bramnick.  In 2001 there were more so-called "wingers" than "country-clubbers" -- 17 years later, the country-club set is kidding itself if it still believes it counts for more than 20 percent of the party's registered voters. Now it is a discussion between populist "Trump" Republicans and their ideological comrades of the more traditional  "Reagan" right.  It's not your party anymore, Ms. Whitman.

Steve Lonegan's return to New Jersey politics could be a great shot-in-the-arm for the NJGOP, for SRM, and for ARV.  Lonegan has the relationships to bring national conservatives into New Jersey to take on groups like the General Majority PAC.  As we speak, a superPAC composed of medical professionals is forming -- the first of many.  

Unfortunately, there is this Rendo endorsement.  Normally, the endorsement of some moe from Hudson County who got elected mayor in Bergen County wouldn't count for much.  But this guy was the establishment's choice for Lt. Governor, so many conservatives are conflating his move with the establishment's wishes.  This misunderstanding could lead to conflict, which could become a very debilitating civil war at a time when resources are thin and the congressional delegation is at stake.

Right now, New Jersey Congressional Republicans are not speaking with a single voice on any issue and they are certainly not following the President in any collective fashion.  There are a lot of GOP messages out there.  Taking back CD05 is going to be a formidable challenge, with holding CD02 perhaps more difficult.  Congressman Frelinghuysen has been taking a terrific beating for months and faces a very attractive opponent.   If Josh Gottheimer doesn't wake up with a sore ass every morning, if Jeff Van Drew isn't sledge-hammered regularly, if Rodney doesn't learn how to punch back... the Democrats with all their money and all their superPACs are going to move on new opportunities.  It is time to stop them.

Does anyone really believe that a candidate like John McCann can even piss straight?  For years he's lived in the moist dirt of county patronage politics, sucking up what the boys -- Republicans and Democrats -- feed him.  McCann is where he is because he threatened to run in a primary against conservative Republican incumbent Gerry Cardinale.  That's right, this asswipe thought it was a good idea to primary Senator Cardinale and make SRM spend money it didn't have, so there would be less to spend fighting the Democrats in November.

Oh, and at the time, McCann was the patronage employee of Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino, who would have had to sign-off on his antics.  No conflict there, right?

At the time, Bergen County GOP boss Paulie DiGaetano was messing in a divisive primary of his own (one he couldn't raise money for) and dissuaded McCann by promising him the Congressional nomination.  Paulie got crushed in the primary and here we are now.  McCann thinks the nomination is his by gift from a party boss who couldn't raise the money required to fund his own legislative race!  Does anybody think Josh Gottheimer is going to take this clown seriously?  Josh will be able to campaign fulltime in CD11.

Steve Lonegan's presence on the ballot has given new life to the state's conservative movement.  It has energized the base, made them happy, and caused them to think well of the GOP.  Carlos Rendo's stupid move has jeopardized that and the conspiracy theories are already circulating.

John McCann can't raise the money, can't stir the troops, won't rally the base, and will only provide Josh Gottheimer with the leisure to make mischief in another district.  But maybe that's all beside the point.  Perhaps his loyalties are still with Democrat Saudino?  As has been suggested, perhaps he is one of them?

Webber's clone lost in LD26, spin won't change that.

There has been a big effort to re-write the history of what just happened in the Republican primary in Legislative District 26.  The origins of the battle just concluded there go back a few years, to when Daryn Iwicki was running Americans for Prosperity (AFP) in New Jersey. 

Then, things were well on the way to securing AFP's support for increasing the users tax on gasoline in order to end the disastrous cycle of debt and borrowing to fund basic repair and maintenance for the state's transportation system.  After 28 years without an adjustment for inflation -- and 25 years since the revenue from the gas tax produced enough to fund the state's transportation needs -- by 2015, the state was collecting just $750 million from the gas tax while incurring an annual debt cost of $1.1 billion.  Something had to be done.

Senator Steve Oroho (LD24) and others had the idea of getting rid of the estate tax as part of a deal to address the imminent bankruptcy of the state's Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which funds most of the state's transportation needs.   One of those others was Assemblyman Jay Webber (LD26), who famously advocated such a deal in an opinion piece published in the Star-Ledger on October 14, 2014.  Its title was "Fixing transportation and taxes together." 

Assemblyman Webber advocated raising the gas tax to end the debt cycle and fund the TTF, while offsetting that tax increase with cuts to other taxes.  He zeroed in on the estate tax:

"NEW JERSEY leaders are grappling with three major problems: First, New Jersey has the worst tax burden in the nation. Two, New Jersey's economy suffers from sluggish growth. And third, our state's Transportation Trust Fund is out of money. There is a potential principled compromise that can help solve all of them.

Of the three problems, the Transportation Trust Fund has been getting the most attention lately, and for good reason: It's broke. There is just no money in it to maintain and improve our vital infrastructure. Without finding a solution, we risk watching our roads and bridges grow unsafe and unusable and hinder movement of people and goods throughout the state. That, of course, will exacerbate our state's slow economic growth.

...we should insist that if any tax is raised to restore the TTF, it be coupled with the elimination of a tax that is one of our state's biggest obstacles to economic growth: the death tax. By any measure, New Jersey is the most extreme outlier on the death tax, with worst-in-the-nation status...

New Jersey's death tax is not a concern for the wealthy alone, as many misperceive. We are one of only two states with both an estate and inheritance tax. New Jersey's estate-tax threshold of $675,000, combined with a tax rate as high as 16 percent, means that middle-class families with average-sized homes and small retirement savings are hit hard by the tax.

It also means the tax affects small businesses or family farms of virtually any size, discouraging investment and growth among our private-sector job creators. Compounding the inequity is that government already has taxed the assets subject to the death tax when the money was earned. Because of our onerous estate and inheritance taxes, Forbes magazine lists New Jersey as a place "Not to Die" in 2014.

That's a problem, and it's one our sister states are trying hard not to duplicate. A recent study by Connecticut determined that states with no estate tax created twice as many jobs and saw their economies grow 50 percent more than states with estate taxes. That research prompted Connecticut and many states to reform their death taxes. New York just lowered its death tax, and several other states have eliminated theirs.

The good news is that New Jersey's leaders finally are realizing that our confiscatory death tax is a big deal. A bipartisan coalition of legislators has shown its support for reforming New Jersey's death tax..."

Unfortunately, the leadership at AFP changed and decided to become part of a political strategy advocated by some GOP Senators.  This strategy argued that the gas tax was a game-changer that would result in a backlash that the GOP could harness to achieve power, much in the way they had in 1991-93.  Extensive polling by a well-respected survey research firm was produced in support of what by now had become a certainty in their minds.  The gas tax was a "third rail" (they said) that would end the career of any Republican foolish enough to vote for it and that would propel the GOP into majority status.

When the time came for Jay Webber to be counted as part of a bipartisan coalition to get the deal done, he couldn't be counted on.  Jay got scared off by AFP and people like NJ101.5's Bill Spadea.   Webber began to enthusiastically attack those who did what he advocated doing only a short time before.  One of those was his running mate, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce. 

DeCroce found herself cut off from Webber and running alone -- facing two "anti-gas tax" opponents who made no bones about who they were targeting:  Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce.  Both opponents were Morris County Freeholders with generally conservative records.  One, Freeholder Hank Lyon, specifically identified with Assemblyman Webber and shared many of the same supporters, in addition to the same issues-grid and talking points.  Like Webber, Lyon billed himself a "movement conservative" despite the fact that the father of the modern conservative movement, Ronald Reagan, had not only endorsed the gas tax as a user tax -- he had doubled it as President.

In the end, Freeholder Lyon -- Assemblyman Webber's "clone" -- came up short. 

While some have noted the involvement of non-public, blue-collar, union money in the LD26 race, they neglect to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of prime radio time spent driving up the negatives of the "gas tax" and building momentum to specifically turn out of office legislators who voted for it.  The FCC is currently doing an analysis of the time spent on this campaign and its fair market value.  Add to this the cost of the petroleum lobby's efforts -- in particular AFP -- and we soon see that the working men and women were once again out-spent by corporate interests.

In closing, let us remind our readers that the most effective advertisement used against the Republican ticket in 2008 wasn't reported on any campaign finance or disclosure report.  It was simply a series of commercial broadcasts -- political attack ads, masquerading as comedy.