You've got to hand it to the RNC; they don't quit. They keep soliciting me for a contribution and I keep sending them the same response. This time the letter was from Robert Bickhart, the finance director. My response: Mr. Bickhart: I received your letter of August 14th. No, I didn't abandone the Repubican Party - it abandoned me. I have one simple requirement: I'll support candidates that take a "no earmarks" pledge. Otherwise, no cash for no body. Sincerely
OK - you'll have to bear with me on this - the back story is complicated. Step one - I've owned Wal*Mart stock for a long time, and it has been a rewarding investment. That makes me a happy Sam's Club shopper; I get great prices and feel like I get a little of it back. Sam's sells gasoline at most of its locations at generally the lowest price around. To purchase quickly, one needs a Discover Card. Specifically an "Advantage Member" Discover Card. So, I got one and every so often, as Discover works, you get a little rebate check. Step two - I've also owned Morgan Stanley stock for almost as long as I've owned Wal*Mart. Until the crash of 2008, MS had performed well also. For a while, MS owned Discover, but eventually spun it off to shareholders. As a result, I own a little bit of Discover stock. Step three - Discover outsourced management of some of its portfolio to the financial arm of GE, including the Sam's Club affinity card program. Guess what: …
I'm a shareholder of Hovnanian Enterprises - symbol "HOV". Buying it was a very bad decision - but I'm a big boy and I went into it with my eyes wide open. However, the Board of Hovnanian decided to give company president Ara Hovnanian a bonus of just under $1 mil after a year where the firm incurred massive loses and the stock plunged.
Now, I'm fine paying huge bonuses to executives who produce, baseball players who hit homers or have low era's, and talk show hosts with big ratings. But rewarding a disastrous performance is stupid and inappropriate.
So, I wrote letters to the heads of the Audit Committee and Compensation Committee of HOV to let them know how I feel.
Somewhere is an SEC filing I got the address for Stephen D. Weinroth, who is head of the Audit Committee. Well, the letter cam back not deliverable. So, if there is someone from the SEC who monitors Google Alerts for SEC - you can check out why directors are filing bogus addresses with you.
Here is an email that I sent to Senator Robert Casey of PA about General Motors Stock
Senator Casey: I’m one of the fortunate top five percent tax payers who pay half of all income taxes. My family has been blessed; we live in the greatest democracy in the world and have enjoyed some measure of financial success. And while I’m a conservative, I believe taxes should have been raised to support the war our country is fighting.
I know the tax cuts from the prior administration will expire, creating a de facto tax increase. I’m going to be paying even more. Since part of what I’m going to be paying for is the General Motors rescue, how about giving me a chance to earn some of my money back? Distribute that big hunk of GM stock to all us taxpayers. Pro rata for every individual tax return.
Gets the government out of the car business, creates a chance for the government to earn tax on any capital gains that develop, and gives me a chance to recover some of the big tax increase headed my …
And a letter from Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn responding to good friend Dr. Richard Fisher's letter:
August 6, 2009
Dr. Richard Fisher 8808 Bredbury Cove East Cordova, Tennessee 38016-6498
Dear Dr. Fisher:
What a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for contacting me to share your opposition regarding a universal government run health care plan. Hearing from constituents on issues of concern is important to our office and me as we work to represent our district.
Today, more than 41 million Americans are either without health care or participate in a basic system that provides only marginal coverage. As a result of a myriad of state regulations and our current tax code, many small businesses cannot afford to offer health insurance and many individuals cannot afford to purchase health insurance. Additionally, people often fear leaving their current job with employer-based health insurance due to the lack of portability and the limited number of affordable insurance options either for …
And from fellow conservative Mark Hogeboom, a response from Senator Kyl to Mark's letter:
Dear Mr. Hogeboom:
Thank you for contacting me regarding health care reform. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.
The U.S. health care system is the best in the world, spurring advancements in new medical treatments and technologies. Such innovation helps physicians treat and prevent diseases better than ever before, eradicates once fatal epidemics, and helps Americans lead longer, healthier lives.
Despite these advances, millions of Americans struggle to find affordable health insurance options. From 1999 to 2008, the average cost of a family health plan increased by 119 percent from $5,791 to $12,680. Meanwhile, workers' wages increased 34 percent during the same nine-year period. Ensuring access to quality, affordable health care is a laudable goal. I support targeted solutions that lower health care costs and improve health care by building upon, not completely dismantling,…
My conservative buddies - and me - have been writing our Senators and Congressmen about the health care bills.
I encourage you to do the same, regardless of your point of view, you should make it heard on this very important topic.
Here is the response I received from Senator Casey. Even though I disagree, it is at least reasonably well argued.
Dear Mr. Morphis:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about health care reform. I appreciate hearing from all Pennsylvanians about the issues that matter most to them.
We cannot afford to wait any longer to reform America’s health care system. As a member of the United States Senate and of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, I am working with my colleagues and with President Obama to enact meaningful health care reform, with the goal of providing every American with access to high quality, affordable health care. Ensuring the unique health needs of children are met will be a specific priority of mine in health care refor…
I received a nice letter from Congressman John Boehner. It contained one of those phony surveys designed to get one so worked-up that a contribution is inevitable, e.g.-"Should Republicans resist Democrat efforts to restore Clinton-era restrictions against information gathering by our counterterrorism agencies?" And, of course, a request for a contribution.
So, I wrote the good Congressman a letter.
Dear Congressman Boehner:
Got your letter - great to hear from you!
Here's the deal: when you were part of the majority, you sold us conservatives out. You spent like Democrats on steroids. So, now that we're back in the minority, you want me to believe that you're off the spending needle.
Sorry, but I'm not convinced just yet. If you can get all your buddies on your side of the aisle there in Washington D.C., and the Republican candidates for office, to take a "no earmarks" pledge, well then I'll open my checkbook back up. Otherwise, I'm not persuade…