These Dogs Don’t Hunt

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is by Rose Royce on Grooveshark

There’s an old saying pretty much everybody knows and it goes, “Put your money where you mouth is.”

It’s the same as ‘put up or shut up’ though in the Kentucky Senate race, the two sides have perhaps taken it too literally. Between McConnell and Grimes, experts predict as much as $100 Million will be spent trying to bludgeon voters on the path to victory. That would make the race the most expensive Senate campaign in U.S. history — and it takes place in one of the poorest states in the country.

For all the money being spent, the campaign has become largely devoid of specifics. The McConnell side, which has vastly outspent the other side and still has vastly more money to spend, has no particular record to run on or vision to offer. Mitch McConnell has been in Washington DC for thirty years, even Republicans in his home state hate him, and if you boil down the why of why he thinks he should be re-elected, it’s because he wants to be the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate. The overriding message of the McConnell campaign is that his opponent, a thirtysomething woman, is actually Barack Hussein Obama in disguise. McConnell has little else to offer and his campaign materials don’t even try — they just repeat “Coal, Guns, Obama, Coal, Guns, Obama, Coal, Guns, Obama” as if that’s the platform of a statesman. The truth is, Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to talk about specifics because on the specifics he has been all over the place — McConnell’s been pro-amnesty, he’s been pro-troop withdrawal in Iraq, he’s been pro-free trade with China leading to a loss of 35,700 Kentucky jobs, and in his 30 years in the U.S. Senate 22,000 coal jobs have disappeared on his watch. The list goes on and it’s no wonder then that Mitch McConnell and his surrogates seem incapable of laying out their vision for the country or for Kentucky and instead simply attack, attack, attack. And it’s why time and again, Mitch McConnell has dodged reporters, refusing to answer questions about the specifics of his campaign and instead resorting each time to simple, dumb attacks. If you asked Mitch McConnell what time it was, he’d tell you that Alison Lundergan Grimes is actually Barack Obama in white face and in drag.

On the other side, Ms. Grimes has largely played along. While a series of ads over the summer playfully hit McConnell on a series of issues, of late that approach has begun to fade. While those ads utilized some welcome — and thus attention grabbing — silence in political advertising, the newer ones have swung toward the conventional with disembodied overly-distressed voices expressing troll-like concern for a series of issues which, at the end of the day, don’t actually matter that much and are, on balance, being defined by her opponent. Rather than putting forward her personality or making her own case to the voters of Kentucky who, again, predominately despise Mitch McConnell, the Grimes campaign is holding the debate on McConnell’s terms and on the issues of McConnell’s choosing.

A friend in the lamestream media asked me recently if people were starting to write the obits on this race and I told her if they were that would be a mistake. There is certainly still time. In any race, you’ve gotta pace yourself and you’ve gotta know when to make your move. In this race, the McConnell campaign has dropped something like $30 million already and all that appears to have bought them is a point or two lead in the polls. While it appears to this point that the Grimes campaign has been disciplined in keeping to a vanilla script devoid of much content or grander vision, it is likely that they have some plan for the next six weeks leading up to Election Day. If there was a time to sprint, that time is now at hand. But while they may have that sprint planned out, the McConnell campaign still has a bottomless pit of dark money to blow through over the same period.

It’s in McConnell’s interest to keep this race as stupid and issue-less as possible. So long as the two sides are debating the merits of issues they already agree on, McConnell keeps winning. For the past six weeks, the campaign has mostly been about who loves coal more, who has a more profound disrespect for the President of the United States and who between the two of them is more pro-gun (spoiler alert: they’re both unwaveringly in favor of letting mentally deranged people carry military-grade semi-automatic weapons into large crowded public places).

In the Kentucky Senate race, these two campaigns have taken that old saying to heart, Put you money where your mouth is, and as of this writing they seem to be spending that money on a back-and-forth series of ads that say very little and they seem to think that replaces actually talking about whatever it is they stand for. In their latest round of ads, the two sides seem to have replaced the ‘money’ in that old saying with ‘guns’ — and the only thing voters will learn from these two competing ads is that while Alison Lundergan Grimes and Barack Obama have both actually fired a gun, there’s no evident proof Mitch McConnell ever has.

This sort of tit-for-tat ad bickering is where this Senate race currently rests. The conversation exists on a plane of McConnell’s strength and McConnell’s response is predictably brutal. While the Grimes campaign has so far run a relatively error-free race, they also haven’t done much to chip McConnell’s armor. So long as the conversation remains on McConnell’s terms, it’s unclear whether they can. And so long as the ad campaigns exist on that level, it’s absolutely clear that Mitch McConnell has the resources to bash Grimes back down.

The calls for Alison to emerge and start throwing punches have grown stronger in the past few days, but those calls are nothing new. Voters vote for believability — even if they hate the person. If they believe that candidate at least means what he says, no matter how stupid it is, they’re more likely to trust trust that candidate. That means setting forth a vision, and telling a story. At the same time the gun ads above were being released, a video of Bill Clinton in Iowa demonstrated exactly what Grimes needs to do.

In that Iowa speech, which clearly overshadows the competing gun ads in both content and impact, Bill Clinton demonstrates how to effectively frame an issue, tell a story, hit an opponent powerfully in their weak spot — and he even makes clear the point above: Voters vote for believability, even if they hate what you stand for so long as they know where you stand.

They’ll be in this for you when you need them. They may make mistakes. They may do things you don’t agree with. But you will not have to worry that if you elect them, 30 years from now they will actually stand up with a straight face before a bunch of rich out of state donors and say the saddest day of my life was when I couldn’t take it all from you and keep it a secret.

That ability to tell a good story and effectively deliver a broader vision is a skill not everyone has. Bill Clinton, obviously, is a great communicator. But Mitch McConnell is a product of such story telling as well — even if he didn’t do the telling. His 1984 hound dog ad is renowned. Directed and conceived by Roger Ailes, now the man behind FOX News, the ad effectively delivered a blow to McConnell’s opponent in a race in which McConnell, despite a series of positive ads, remained behind {see the New Yorker for that story}.

Another revolutionary ad campaign that told a good story and launched its candidate toward victory was Paul Wellstone’s Green Bus ads in his 1990 election and his epic 2-minute documentary ad:

Currently, the two campaigns are engaged in a war of attrition. There’s no narrative structure, the two candidates simply define each other in the negative and disagree about topics on which they agree, while continuously refusing chances to actually debate each other on the issues.

That refusal to debate, which McConnell is most guilty of, like the warring attack ads all serves to help McConnell. The less voters know about Grimes the better for McConnell. The less voters have to listen to McConnell’s twisted, self-infatuated worldview, the better it is for Mitch McConnell. And the more brain damage the ad makers can afflict upon the electorate, the more voters will be turned off of the whole process, the fewer voters will show up and, again, the better it is for McConnell. With unlimited amounts of money to spend, Mitch McConnell could put out three idiotic ads every single day from now until election day and still have money left over.

Times a-wasting to flip that script — and while it’s safe to assume that flip is coming, it’d better if it flipped sooner rather than later. The Grimes campaign has lately moved away from its more interesting messaging from earlier in the campaign and this last attack leaves a head scratching impression that it was a bit muffled and unnecessarily rushed (“…thought Duke basketball players were UK.”?) and most importantly, not advancing a message but simply meeting Mitch on Mitch’s ground.

True leadership leans into the wind.

It’s pretty clear at this point that ads like that are unlikely to do the trick — them dogs don’t hunt — and if the race continues as it is, with the two campaigns insulting voters’ intelligence at every commercial break, it may be safer to turn off your teevees, avoid the whole mess, and just watch a good movie instead.

Barr vs. Jensen: Andy Barr’s opposition to coal miner safety in #KY6 comes into sharp focus

Andy Barr’s stance on black lung

“Worker safety is a top priority, but not at the cost of putting that family in a very precarious financial situation,” Andy Barr, Lexington Herald Leader, 8.22.2013.



Elisabeth Jensen’s stance on black lung:

“It is irresponsible to think one can be a friend of coal while at the same time questioning the need for tougher rules to prevent black lung disease in our coal mines,” Elisabeth Jensen, Jobs Plan, 9/11/2014 (PDF).



Today’s news:

Black Lung Disease Surges To New Highs, Research Shows

Black lung, the dreaded coal miners’ disease that had been on the decline, has roared back. The worst form of the illness now afflicts a higher proportion of miners than at any time since the 1970s, new research from U.S. government scientists shows.

The likely culprit, researchers say, is a failure by coal mining companies to use readily available tools to control the dust that lodges in miners’ lungs and causes the disease.

Each case of advanced black lung “is a tragedy, and represents a failure among all those responsible for preventing this severe disease,” the researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in a letter published Monday in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


If you care about coal miners or the coal industry, if you are a friend of coal, it seems clear who you would support in the 6th District Congressional race.

On the one hand you have Elisabeth Jensen who believe coal miner safety is important and that rules protecting miners from black lung disease are needed.

On the other hand, you have Garland H. Barr IV who believes that worker safety is less important than cost savings. His argument is that if you enforce rules to keep miners safe, then miners will lose their jobs… which is a great theory except that it conveniently ignores the financial implications of what happens once a worker can no longer work (or dies) because of the lack of worker safety.


In Herald Leader report on Champion of Bank Deregulation, Andy Barr sockpuppet quotes Wall Street “think tank”

In Sunday’s Lexington Herald Leader the always excellent Mr. Cheves takes a long, hard look at Andy Barr’s campaign fundraising… and what that money can buy.

In just his freshman term in Congress, Andy Barr has quickly solidified himself as the ally of both the shady players and powerful forces who make up the American financial services industry.


Splashed with the glaring headline “Banking industry donates heavily to U.S. Rep. Andy Barr as he champions deregulation bills,” the report should jar anyone who was affected by the financial collapse of 2008. In a matter of months, the unregulated banking and insurance system that now funds Andy Barr eviscerated retirement plans and home values, disappearing trillions of dollars in personal wealth from tens of millions of hard working American families.

Andy Barr has spent his first two years in Washington working hard not for the people of Kentucky’s 6th District but rather for the power players on Wall Street who are funneling cash into his campaign. After the economic collapse of 2008, a series of modest measures were taken to try to ensure the safety of America’s financial system. These measures were not “new regulations” nor were the measures radical. Instead, they were simply a return to the basic economic protections that had been in place in throughout the 20th Century in America during its great economic rise, from the Great Depression until just a dozen ago.

Andy Barr seeks to re-deregulate the banking system — and the people who run the banking system are paying him to do that.

Through his position on the powerful House Financial Services Committee, Barr is supposed to monitor this system and protect the American public. His job as an elected representative of Central Kentucky is to ensure the financial system’s safety and help to shape a strong economic future for the United States. Instead, Andy Barr is being paid by those he “oversees” to undo the laws they don’t like and in the process re-create the circumstances that lead to the Great Recession.

This type of pay-to-play politics is what’s wrong with the American political system, and Andy Barr isn’t just a champion of dangerous banking system deregulation, as the Herald Leader reports, he is also now the poster child of America’s political dysfunction.

Let’s take a quick look at just some of the highlights of Cheves’ report, and then let’s take a closer look at Andy Barr’s defense… which is lifted almost word for word from a fake “think tank” created by Wall Street tycoons and closely affiliated with Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super PAC. The Herald Leader reports:

  • Twenty-one percent of his $2.08 million in campaign donations as of June 30 came from the banking, securities, finance and insurance industries over which his House committee holds jurisdiction, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.
  • In April, the House passed Barr’s H.R. 4167, which he calls “The Restoring Proven Financing for American Employers Act.” It would exempt a kind of investment known as “collateralized loan obligations” — if they were issued before this year — from the Dodd-Frank Law’s so-called “Volcker Rule,” meant to stop banks from putting their federally insured deposits into risky investments.
  • The entities lobbying for Barr’s bill together collected $158 billion from taxpayers through the 2008 federal bank bailout to save them from failure, repaying it over the next few years, according to an analysis by ProPublica, a journalism nonprofit. The same entities had given Barr’s campaign a cumulative $66,650 as of June 30. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also lobbied for the bill, earlier this year spent $175,000 on television commercials to promote Barr in his district.
  • Three big banks — Citigroup, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo — together own about $70 billion in CLOs, or nearly three-fourths of all bank-held CLOs, according to a February report by Better Markets, a nonprofit promoting stronger financial regulations. Smaller community banks seldom invest deeply in this product.

There’s much, much more in the full report, including a nice close-up look at Andy Barr’s March campaign fundraiser hosted by Wall Street advisory firm Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft. The fundraiser was held less than one month after Cadwalader testified before Barr’s committee in support of the bill Barr was pushing to deregulate the risky CLO market. Cheves reports:

Cadwalader, which works for many of the nation’s largest banks, won about $19 million in legal contracts from the $700 billion federal bank bailout in 2008. It later was criticized by the bailout’s special inspector general, who questioned nearly $2 million of the firm’s fees and expenses, citing vague billing that made it impossible to determine “whether these charges were reasonable and therefore allowable.”


With all that aside, let’s take a closer look at Andy Barr’s curious defense for why he has sold his office to Wall Street insiders and is why he is now leading the “Too Big To Fail” Bank’s efforts to re-deregulate the financial system. Here’s what Andy Barr told the Herald Leader:

“We’re now in the fifth year of Dodd-Frank, and here’s the bottom line,” Barr said. “The law imposes 398 new regulations that added more than $21 billion in cost, 60 million paperwork-burden hours, and we’re only a little more than halfway through the 398 regulations.”

Got that?

Where do you think Andy Barr got his numbers? Do you think they came from a non-partisan source? Perhaps the CBO or maybe the Congressional Research Service? Or did Andy Barr simply lift his numbers from the very special interests he’s meant to be overseeing?

If you guessed that Andy Barr is spouting Wall Street talking points, then you guessed right. Check out this statement from the “American Action Network”:

The Dodd-Frank Act limps into its fifth year of implementation, saddled by an unconstitutional recess appointment, several setbacks in federal courts, and an expensive regulatory portfolio. The Act imposed 398 new regulations that have thus far added more than $21.8 billion in costs and 60.7 million paperwork burden hours.

Barr has lifted, practically verbatim, the talking points of a phony “think tank” that was created by a handful of Wall Street insiders with the express purpose of undoing, delaying and destroying Dodd Frank and other finical sector protections put in place after the 2008 collapse.

The American Action Forum, from which the above talking points were taken, is a very serious sounding division of the even more serious sounding American Action Network. But the American Action Network is hardly a serious enterprise — instead, it is a conservative front group concocted by some of the most powerful people in the destructive sector of America’s financial industry.

The founders of “American Action Network” include:

  • Robert K. Steel, Former Goldman Sachs Exec & Wachovia CEO. Steel spent three decades at Goldman before joining Hank Paulson at the Treasury Department where Steel and Paulson ensured Goldman Sachs would be one of the leading beneficiaries of the government’s $700 Billion bailout in the waning days of the Bush administration.
  • Kenneth Langone, Home Depot Founder, Investment Banker. Wall Street titan Kenneth Langone helped engineer NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso’s $139 million payday in 2004. Langone is a billionaire GOP megadonor who earlier this year compared politicians who discuss income inequality to Hitler and Nazis.
  • Ed Gillespie, Former RNC Chairman, Lobbyist. Besides being one of the founders of the Super PAC American Crossroads, alongside Karl Rove, Gillespie headed the Republican Party through much of the Bush years in the lead up to the economic collapse. In 2007, Gillespie took over Karl Rove’s job in the White House, becoming one of George W. Bush’s closest advisors in the immediate lead up to and during the financial collapse of 2008.
  • Fred Malek, Thayer Capital Partners Founder. Another billionaire GOP super donor, Malek is famous for barbecuing a dog on a spit, counting Jews for Richard Nixon, being investigated by the Watergate commission, running George H. W. Bush’s 1992 Presidential campaign and being fined personally by the SEC for funneling taxpayer money to a political supporter. (See here, here)

That list goes on. Here’s a few more members of the “American Action Network” board which is quite clearly a Wall Street special interest front group:

  • Board member Isaac Applbaum the founding General Partner of Opus Capital.
  • Board member Dylan Glenn is the Senior Vice President of Guggenheim Advisors.
  • Board member C. Boyden Gray is a director of FreedomWorks and founder of a lobbying firm called Gray and Schmitz. Gray recently penned an article calling financial reform unconstitutional.
  • Board member B. Wayne Hughes Jr. is the founder of American Commercial Equities Inc.
  • Board member Ken Langone is the chairman of investment banking firm Invemed Associates LLC.
  • Board member former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) is an executive at JPMorgan Chase.
  • Board member Vin Weber is a lobbyist for a number of banks and insurance companies.

In the 2010 election cycle alone, the American Action Network spent over $19 Million on political ads in support of Republican candidates. The group is closely aligned with the Karl Rove’s Super PAC American Crossroads and in fact the two organizations have shared (and may still share) money and office space. [link] As a 501(c)4 organization, the American Action Network has a history of seeking to evade FEC filing requirements and seeks to keep its list of donors secret. [link]

In response to an investigative report by the Herald Leader into how the Wall Street money funding his re-election campaign influences the policy he pushes, Andy Barr’s defends his actions by citing Wall Street insiders.

The statistics Andy Barr cites are compiled by the research wing of a Wall Street funded pressure group, a group comprised of partisan politicians and billionaires pushing a hardline conservative agenda. Andy Barr uses as his factual defense for taking Wall Street money and doing Wall Street’s bidding the talking points of the very Wall Street forces to whom he’s accused of selling his office.

In a little over four years, the Dodd Frank rules have faced a well-funded barrage of attacks in an attempt to cripple the law and the agencies it once again empowers. Yet still, the law has had some effect — and that has both enraged and terrified the Wall Street special interests that fund the campaigns of bought and paid for Congressmen like Andy Barr. Just last year, for example, the law lead to a $100 Million settlement by JP Morgan Chase with the US government over their manipulation of the market. [link]

All of this despite ongoing and persistent efforts by those in the financial services sector and their allies in Congress to weakenlimit, undermine and sabotage the very regulatory bodies that are established to ensure the financial services sector does not operate so free from oversight that it can once again evaporate your retirement account and bottom out the nation’s housing market.

The American Action Network and its allied groups have fought such simple rules as the requirement that top level corporations must disclose their ratio of CEO to Average Worker pay. The rule, which helps provide clear evidence to stockholders and the public of a corporations sound functioning, is simple enough but the American Action Network and allied groups have put forward absurd theories that lead to their even more absurd “paperwork burden hours” calculations. [see here, here]

Perhaps the most absurd part of all of this is that the very industries Andy Barr is trying to “protect” from “overburdensome overregulation” in defense of “free enterprise” are actually doing unimaginably well: Between 2009 and 2011, 88% of the nation’s income growth was in corporate profits and in 2013 after tax corporate profits hit $1.68 trillion, a record high. [see here, here]

The simple fact is that post-collapse financial reforms are not an example of government overreach — if anything they are an example of how much further the government will need to go. While Andy Barr and those lining his pockets with cash claim Dodd Frank is emblematic of a government run amok, the very regulators Andy Barr rages against have been much more open to meetings with and input from financial sector special interests than they have to consumer protection reformers.

Before heading to Washington two years ago, Andy Barr went to his (and my!) alma mater and promised a group of High School students that he’d be a voice of compromise in Washington, DC. Instead, Andy Barr has been the posterboy of Washington dysfunction.





Andy has been in office for less than 24 months and in that time he’s voted to keep the government shutdown, he’s voted 19 times to kick 500,000 Kentuckians off their insurance plans, and the 113th Congress — Andy Barr’s Congress — has put forward at least 30 bills aimed at dismantling key parts of the financial protections put in place after Wall Street nearly destroyed America’s economy.

In his absurd defense of his single-minded approach to destroying Dodd Frank, Andy Barr told the Herald Leader that the law clearly isn’t work because the “Too Big To Fail Banks” remain “Too Big To Fail” — this is classic Andy Barr double speak, an Orwellian argument which again makes clear that Andy Barr believes 6th District voters are complete morons.

If Andy Barr really had a problem with “Too Big To Fail” banks, if he were truly trying to break them up or make them function within safe guidelines, why are they investing so heavily in him to destroy those guidelines?

  • Twenty-one percent of his $2.08 million in campaign donations as of June 30 came from the banking, securities, finance and insurance industries over which his House committee holds jurisdiction, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

When asked why he is taking so much money from the very powerful financial interests he is supposed to be overseeing, Andy Barr’s defense rests on quoting the very slanted, very partisan talking points of the very industry that’s funding his campaign.

Andy Barr isn’t just too extreme for Kentucky’s 6th District, Andy Barr is too absurd for Kentucky’s 6th District.


See also:


For the record: Barr’s predecessor was also opposed to the Dodd Frank law, voting against it. Barr’s current opponent, Elisabeth Jensen, told the Herald Leader that regulating an industry that proved just six years ago how incapable it is of regulating itself is probably a good idea. 

Alison Shows Mitch How to Handle His Gun (…and Bill Clinton fries Mitch McConnell in Iowa)

Somewhere between the Harlem Shake, Rick Rolling and Ice Bucket Challenges, there is a video meme in which politicians do stuff with guns. In the latest installment in this hot hot hot craze, Alison Lundergan Grimes “takes aim” at Mitch McConnell, taking “shots” at some large “targets” along the way (The President, Duke vs. UK basketball, coal, guns) and finishing up with a meta gun within a gun message by criticizing Mitch for the way he manhandles his own “firearm.”

If for some reason that video wasn’t the sort of issues-based argument you’re seeking from a political dialogue, if for some reason you’d rather hear about the difference between two visions through a slightly more complex spectrum in which McConnell’s weaknesses are highlighted without the use of a gun or an attack on the President, and if perchance you think there are clearer, more powerful arguments to make against Mitch, well everybody’s happy because Bill Clinton spent his time at Tom Harken’s Iowa steak fry talking about Mitch McConnell and, in the process, frying him.

Watch Elisabeth Jensen clearly explain how to get the economy going

If you don’t have time to read Elisabeth Jensen’s jobs plan or if you haven’t had a chance to see her in action, check out this wide ranging interview with CN|2 on the economy.

Again, Jensen is consistently making clear three very important facts:

  1. She is not messing around; she is a serious candidate running a very serious campaign and she knows her stuff.
  2. She is pragmatic, level-headed and straightforward. Her description of the jobs situation, the economy, our energy future and the morality of corporations dodging their commitments to the communities that fund them are clear, concise and on point.
  3. Unlike Andy Barr, she is representative of the 6th District. The platform Jensen describes is not radical, it is simple and efficient, like the 6th District. Andy Barr is radical. He’s a Tea Party extremist who serves Wall Street hedge funds, protects payday lenders and pushes a polarizing far Right Wing agenda. Andy’s government shutdown style politics are better suited to Northern Kentucky Tea Party country… not the Heart of the Bluegrass.

In this race, there is clearly a sane choice and then there’s Andy Barr.

‘Jobs Plan’ makes clear the difference between Elisabeth Jensen and Tea Party extremist Andy Barr

Elisabeth Jensen, the 6th District challenger to Tea Party extremist Congressman Andy Barr, released her jobs plan yesterday. It’s a clear statement of her priorities and full of specifics. 

The whole thing is laid out in a .PDF, and here’s the bullet point preview:

Create More Jobs and Improve Wages at All Income Levels:

  • Phase in $10.00 per hour minimum wage.
  • Work to attract more technology, manufacturing and service sector jobs.
  • Give students and workers the education and skills training to meet the requirements of better paying jobs.

Support Working Women:

  • Pay women the same as men for the same work.
  • End job discrimination against women who get pregnant. Ø Expand access to affordable childcare.

Improve Education, College Readiness, Job-skills and Career-skills Training:

  • Increase access to Head Start and Early Head Start that improve graduation rates.
  • Support students with afterschool reading and math skills support, mentoring opportunities, and college readiness programs.
  • Increase emphasis on job skills training to prepare students for the work world.
  • Invest in education, modernizing schools and improving science, math and technology facilities.
  • Make college affordable with needs based and merit based scholarships andreduce interest rates to help families that are burdened with student loan debt.

Reinvest in transportation, education, information, and energy infrastructure.

  • Rebuild and repair aging bridges, roads, and highways and invest in new roadways that will contribute to local and regional economic growth.
  • Invest in expanding access to high speed digital data, so students can learn and businesses can grow.
  • Keep energy prices low and invest in energy sources for the future.

Expand access to Commercial and Consumer Credit.

  • Rein in predatory lending and regulate payday lenders to limit high interest rates and imbalanced lending terms that create dependency and ruin families.
  • Strengthen community banks and lending institutions that offer small businesses access to credit on reasonable terms.

Address Long-term Deficits and Debt but Preserve Needed Programs

  • The best way to address the deficit and debt is to grow the economy, increasing income, and reducing the need for support programs.
  • We must reform the tax system to close loopholes that allow billionaires and corporations to avoid paying their fair share.
  • Critical programs like Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits and SNAP nutrition programs must be preserved and strengthened.

Jensen continues to prove that she is a serious candidate running a serious campaign. If you click through to the .PDF and give it a read, you can read some of her more specific thoughts on each of the above items.

While Andy Barr has pushed plans that would privatize Medicare and Social Security, Elisabeth Jensen addresses the importance of the programs and the importance of ensuring their long term health.

While Andy Barr is focused on protecting the profits of out of state coal barons, Jensen is focusing her energy on not just preserving coal miner’s job but also making sure that mine safety standards are in place to ensure that there are still coal miners to do those jobs.


On issue after issue, Jensen lays out her own clear philosophy and lays the groundwork for what are obvious differences between her and Garland H. Barr IV, most impressively when she discusses the importance of community banks and consumer credit. This is an area Barr claims is his central focus, but to even a casual observer it quickly becomes obvious that while Andy wraps himself in language about community banks, his record and his fundraising make clear he’s been bought and paid for by the very Wall Street investment firms that have cratered the economy and decimated the consumer lending market, in the process crushing many community banks.

Click on over and give Jensen’s jobs plan a read, and just to get you started, here’s her intro: 

To Fix the Economy in Kentucky, We need to Fix a Broken Congress in Washington:

Our economy has been stuck because Washington is dysfunctional, there are not enough good jobs, families are burdened by student loan debt, mortgages and credit card debt and wages are not keeping up with the cost of living. Families are losing confidence that the next generation will have as many or more opportunities than their parents faced. These are not insolvable problems. America has faced and overcome greater economic challenges in the past and we know what to do now. We need to restore the balance in the economy that we had before when the middle class was growing, the poor were able to work their way up, and the wealthy were part of the American fabric rather than separate from it. In short, to get America working again, we need to get America working together again.

We need to get more money in the hands of hardworking families so they have the money to spend to get the economy moving. When hardworking families earn a good wage and are able to get control of their debt, they are able to spend more money in places like restaurants, shopping malls, and car lots. When consumer demand improves, businesses have the confidence to hire more workers and improve wages. This is the virtuous cycle that drives our economy forward.


Read on (PDF)…