U.S. Rep. Andy Barr takes away CFPB slush fund from Fed earnings with legislation

May 6, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limitd Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and the House Financial Services Committee for moving legislation last month that will take away the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) funding stream from the earnings of the Federal Reserve System:

“There is absolutely no excuse for the CFPB, an unaccountable government agency, to have unlimited resources from the nation’s central bank. It is little more than a slush fund linked to a printing press. We praise the work of Rep. Andy Barr bringing this unconstitutional funding mechanism to heel. Article I, Section 7 requires all legislation spending money originate in the House of Repesentatives, and Rep. Barr’s bill will finally bring the CFPB out of the shadow funding of the Fed and into the sunlight of the appropriations process where it belongs.

“Rep. Andy Barr’s language is also incorporated into as part of Rep. Ken Buck’s Article I supplemental, which includes more than 50 riders that should be put onto any must-pass legislation the House considers this year.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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European Central Bank: U.S. economic data leaks net manipulators $20 million

May 2, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to a working paper from the European Central Bank purporting to show strong evidence of what can only be termed insider trading by the early release of U.S. economic data by government and non-government sources:

“The highly unusual accusation that markets are being manipulated through the early release of a wide array of sensitive U.S. economic data would be troubling under any circumstance. The accusation coming from the European Central Bank cuts to the heart of the entire world’s trust in core economic reports and portrays a financial system that is rigged to its core. The European Central Bank lowballs the value of these alleged data breaches at $20 million for S&P Futures alone, but the real number would have to be much higher depending on how pervasive this form of manipulation is.

“If the U.S. had a Justice Department interested in upholding the laws, it would be natural to call for an investigation. Given the current state of affairs in the Washington, D.C., the Obama Justice Department is more likely to investigate the European Central Bank researchers than in identifying and prosecuting those who have breached the public trust.”

Attachments:

“Price drift before U.S. macroeconomic news: private information about public announcements?” European Central Bank, May 2016 at http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1901.en.pdf?ca0947cb7c6358aed9180ca2976160bf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Political violence in Costa Mesa against Trump supporters, cop cars preview of Cleveland

April 29, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement condemning acts of violence by protestors at a Costa Mesa, Calif. against a Donald Trump rally:

“Last night’s brutal attacks on supporters of Donald Trump and against law enforcement by professional anarchists, misguided hipsters, and Mexican nationalists expose the true nature of the new left, where political violence to stifle free speech is not only accepted but extolled as a virtue. After Donald Trump chose to cancel a rally in Chicago, Illinois because of the threat of violence, the left celebrated the suppression of their political opponents and the public’s right to hear from a presidential candidate.

“The irony is that the Costa Mesa mob has created the Donald Trump for President general election campaign commercial as their Mexican flag waving, violent antics will be abhorrent to the vast majority of Americans.  They are the visual picture of the open borders movement, which flaunts the rule of law and effectively ends U.S. sovereignty.

“In normally docile Costa Mesa, just miles from my hometown, this angry mob has revealed its ugly face of violence to America.  Hundreds of protesters attacking Trump supporters who were exiting a peaceful rally described by the local Orange County Register as, ‘having the feel of a summer rock concert,’ leaving some law-abiding attendees bloodied for their trouble.

“In the end, Chris Luna, 24, of Tustin, California sets the stage for the next six months as the Orange County Register reports him proclaiming, ‘This is the beginning of a movement.’ And following with, ‘Trump can’t take away our country.’ Those who pander to this mob cannot ignore Luna’s words, he and others like him are deadly serious and they are hoping to spread their cancer all the way to Cleveland — and beyond.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam protects confidential tax records from political disclosure in bill

April 29, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in support of legislation by U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) that will protect the confidential tax information of supporters of non-profit, tax-exempt groups from politically motivated disclosures by government officials:

“The proven politicization of both the Internal Revenue Service and state and federal Justice Departments make it imperative that Congress take action to deny these political prosecutors from the means to intimidate and potentially destroy their adversaries.  One simple step is the elimination of the IRS requirement that donors to non-profit, tax exempt organizations be disclosed to the IRS at all.

“This disclosure serves no valid purpose, and in this increasingly hostile environment toward free speech, it is stifling.  In California, state Attorney General Kamala Harris demanded that her office receive Schedule B information from a non-profit public policy adversary, and was rebuffed in U.S. District Court.  Harris’ office had demonstrated a clear pattern of disclosing Schedule B donor information in violation of the law making the legal promise of privacy a myth in the once golden state.

“In NAACP v. Alabama, the Supreme Court decided decades ago that donor information to non-profit, tax-exempt groups must be shielded from public disclosure to avoid political and state intimidation.  Now, in this increasingly hostile political environment, donors on either side of any policy issue need to be similarly shielded from harassment or even threats of violence.

“Americans for Limited Government urges Congress to pass legislation by Representative Peter Roskam which eliminates the reporting requirements of private donor information.  One thing that the nation should have learned through the Lois Lerner IRS scandal is that no information is safe in the hands of motivated, partisan government employees, and the only way to prevent abuse is to deny them the information in the first place.

“Protecting the First Amendment right to political engagement trumps any bureaucratic desire to collect data, and Congress needs to put the Roskam First Amendment protection bill on the President’s desk as soon as possible.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Violent felons will still go free on in mass prison break Senate legislation

April 28, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to legislation being touted today that will result in thousands of federal prison inmates, including violent criminals, being released early:

“The Senate mass prison break bill clearly allows thousands of violent felons who committed assault to be eligible to leave jail early. It’s right there in the bill. Those who commit assault are only barred from leaving prison early if it was a ‘serious violent felony’ under federal law, meaning sentences that carried a maximum of 10 years or more. Everybody who committed assault that carried a maximum of less than 10 years, including under state laws, remains eligible for early release.

“By definition, then, violent felons will still be eligible for early release, including Wendell Callahan, the suspect in the Columbus, Ohio brutal triple murder of a mother and her two young daughters, who was deemed eligible for early release for his drug release under the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act that was retroactively applied by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Callahan had committed felonious assault in Ohio in 1999, but because it only carried a maximum five-year minimum at the time, it is not a ‘serious violent felony’ under federal law, and he still would have been eligible for early release under the new bill.

“This is not surprising. After all, the new bill is neither designed to revisit the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act nor the Commission’s retroactive application of it, it is only supposed to build upon it, letting additional classes of criminals go free beyond those already freed under the prior law. Otherwise then members might have to admit culpability for the acts of those already freed from prison early.

“No matter how many press releases and media events that John Cornyn does with his new best friend Van Jones, the unmistakable result of this ‘revised’ legislation is that more people will become victims of early released criminals, and anyone who votes for the bill will be directly responsible for all their pain and suffering.”

Attachments:

“Columbus, Ohio triple murder suspect would still go free under Senate sentencing reform bill,” By Robert Romano, April 20, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/04/columbus-ohio-triple-murder-suspect-still-go-free-senate-sentencing-reform-bill/

18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)(2)(F)(ii)” the term “serious violent felony” means… any other offense punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another or that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may be used in the course of committing the offense;” at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3559

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Sen. Dan Sullivan faces backlash for mass prison break support

April 27, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government today issued the following statement expressing disappointment with Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) who on April 22 for supported legislation that will lead to the early release of thousands of federal prison inmates:

“We are disappointed that Sen. Sullivan is supporting legislation that will leave Alaskans vulnerable to violent felons and drug traffickers being released from federal prison early. Americans for Limited Government has praised Sullivan in the for his views on the Internet giveaway and other important topics, and we urge him to reconsider his position as it is a solution in search of a problem.

“In truth, Wendell Callahan who after early release allegedly committed a triple murder in Columbus, Ohio would still have been eligible for early release under the new legislation. There is simply no excuse for kowtowing to President Obama, Van Jones and the hard left on this mass prison break out of some misplaced libertarian fantasy. The truth is, passage of this legislation will result in more crime, more violence and more deaths.”

Attachments:

Columbus, Ohio triple murder suspect would still go free under Senate sentencing reform bill, April 27, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/04/columbus-ohio-triple-murder-suspect-still-go-free-senate-sentencing-reform-bill/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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States should follow Nebraska’s lead in eliminating civil asset forfeiture

April 26, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) for signing LB 1106, legislation that restricts civil asset forfeiture to certain eligible crimes, and only after a conviction of one of those crimes has occurred:

“The state of Nebraska has taken a major stand for liberty by eliminating most of their civil asset forfeiture laws. Civil asset forfeiture has become nothing more or less than government-sanctioned theft of private property without due process. We urge every other state to follow Nebraska’s lead in eliminating this barbarous abuse of police powers.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Americans for Limited Government Foundation releases special report on ICANN and the Internet giveaway

April 21, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Foundation today issued a special report on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), “ICANN Do What I Want.”

ICANN is poised to take sole control over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions when its contract with the U.S. Commerce Department expires on Sept. 30, leaving ICANN as the world’s only resolver of website IP addresses and domain names.

The report asks “why the organization, despite having obtained tax-exempt status under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is engaged in quite a bit of lobbying. It told the IRS it would not lobby when it filed for exempt status,” Americans for Limited Government Foundation President Nathan Mehrens wrote in a synopsis of the report.

And, “despite originally telling the IRS that its board would not be compensated other than reimbursements, ICANN has since changed course and the board is well compensated,” Mehrens added.

“If ICANN is pushing the boundaries and thumbing its nose at the Congress now, imagine how it will behave if the U.S. government oversight role is relinquished. This is not an outcome we can afford as there are no do-overs once the relinquishment occurs,” Mehrens concluded.

Attachments:

“Special Report: ICANN Do What I Want,” Americans for Limited Government Foundation, April 21, 2016 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ICANN-Report-Final_04.19.16.pdf

“ICANN do what I want,” By Nathan Mehrens, President, Americans for Limited Government Foundation, April 21, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/04/icann-do-what-i-want/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Retroactive sentence reductions still mean early release from federal prisons

April 19, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Senate to reject legislation that will result in thousands of federal prison inmates being released early:

“Despite all the tinkering being done to the bill, the key provisions of retroactive sentence reductions remain, meaning early release for thousands of federal prison inmates. Any member who votes yes will bear responsibility for whatever crimes the early-released felons commit afterwards, including any murders. If voting no could just save just one innocent life, would it not be worth it? No member should want that on his or her conscience, let alone their voting record.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Restructuring $72 billion Puerto Rico debt necessary to protect taxpayers

April 15, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to require Puerto Rico to restructure its $72 billion debt and not to bail out unsecured creditors who bet poorly on Puerto Rican debt:

“The United States finds itself in a difficult position in relation to the Puerto Rican debt crisis.  Speaker Paul Ryan, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop and Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy have put together a thoughtful approach to protect the U.S. taxpayers by imposing a tested mechanism for getting the territory’s finances under control and by creating a controlled environment for restructuring Puerto Rico’s unsustainable $72 billion of debt that will keep taxpayers off the hook.

“There is a successful history of Congress imposing financial controls in the past with the most recent example being the successful effort in the District of Columbia to pull the nation’s capital back from the brink of insolvency.  Protecting taxpayers is job one of this legislation, and while the details of the bill need to be worked out through the regular process, any attempt to weaken the power of the imposed financial control board to restructure Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt must be a deal breaker.

“However, the legislation should not be viewed as sacrosanct, and should have a number of important riders added to it that will rein in President Obama’s regulatory overreach which puts our nation’s economy and freedom at risk, and the House Resources Committee and Rules Committee should incorporate riders which rein in this overreach.

“Time is working against the people of Puerto Rico due to the failures of their government, and Congress needs to move forward on the Duffy Puerto Rico financial control legislation provided it meets five criteria:

“1. Protects U.S. taxpayers from bailing out Puerto Rican bondholders and other creditors by preventing unsecured bondholders from cutting in line in any debt restructuring and that restructuring will be mandatory when there are no other funds to pay debts;

“2. Establishes a strong Financial Control Board mechanism empowered to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt and make the changes needed to put Puerto Rico on strong economic footing moving forward, along with defined criteria for when control should be returned to the elected representatives;

“3. Does not establish a precedent whereby states with heavy debt burdens like Illinois and California can use it as a model for discharging their debt onto the U.S. taxpayer by requiring Puerto Rico to restructure its debt when there are no other funds to pay bondholders;

“4. Incorporates key riders to rollback President Obama’s regulatory overreach;

“5. Legally insures that bondholders who were willing to benefit from the higher rates of unsecured bonds will be subject to the commensurate losses. Creditors who made a bad bet on unsecured debt in Puerto Rico must not be allowed to cut the line to get repaid.

“Americans for Limited Government would look favorably upon any legislation which meets these criteria, in particular by protecting taxpayers from bailing out creditors who bet poorly on Puerto Rican debt, and would urge passage of said legislation. If taxpayers are protected and creditors get a real haircut when there are no funds to pay the debts, then by definition it is not a bailout.”

Attachments:

H.R. 4900 (text readable), April 13, 2016 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hr_4900_promesa.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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