Nov 23, 2012

Why Romney Lost and Obama Won

It only takes a few moments to glance at the electoral map and realize why Mitt Romney lost.  While he clearly had more red across the nation than Obama did, he did not have red in key areas.  Mitt lost because he failed to do what successful Presidential candidates before him did.  He failed to connect to people.   He did not lose because America wanted Obama; he lost because America could not connect with Romney.

Consider the key facts –fair warning here Republican diehards, this will not be something you will love to hear, but we need to face it nonetheless.  The facts are simple, Obama connected where it counted the most and Romney did not:

Obama connected with large unions and showed support for them. / Romney informed large unions that he would shut them down – he lost the electoral votes in heavily union areas.
Obama, despite the rumors, has done nothing major against gun owners. /Romney as governor put more restrictive gun laws in place than Obama has ever considered.
Obama promoted Obamacare. / Romney opposed Obamacare, but as governor Romney instituted a health care program very close to Obamacare.
Obama grew up in a middle class family home, raised by his grandparents and basically considered poor by many standards. /Romney grew up privileged and has remained well above what is considered poor all his life.
Obama drew close to people considered poor. / Romney openly talked about the negative aspects of having poor people using government services.
Obama looked to the “Clinton Years” for reference. / Romney tried to distance himself from previous Republican Presidents.
Obama tried to connect with the working class.  / Romney tried to connect with business and was associated with it through Bain and even the slogan “I did build my business”.  Unfortunately for Romney, there are far more workers voting than business owners.
Obama connected with minority voters.  / Romney and Ryan both failed to connect with minority voters.

In the end, Obama connected (barely) with more voters in key areas than Romney did.  The Republican Party must find a candidate in the future able to reach across cultural lines, economic lines, and even political lines and meet the America people where they want to be met.  American’s don’t want to be met simply on the campaign trail in key campaign battle grounds.  American’s want to be met on a level field of play.  They want to be met on a level that says, “I understand and I’m with you.”  Ronald Reagan was called the Great Communicator because he could transcend the cultural, economic, and political lines.  When he came on television to talk to America, he talked with each American.  He talked directly to each American watching about the problem.  He addressed Americans from his office, or from his ranch in a tone that said, “Welcome to my home.  Have a seat and listen for a minute.”  He did not look to the reporters and anticipate their questions, or how to handle them because when he spoke he looked directly into the camera and right out into America.  When the Republican Party finds another candidate like Reagan who says, “I’m with you America.  I’m one of you and we’re all in this together,” then the party will return to its home.

Oct 30, 2012

Romney Heading Toward Hurricane

To the credit of both candidates for President, they have each cancelled further campaign events in the wake of the hurricane crisis on the east coast.  Romney has cancelled scheduled events, fundraising and commercials in states affected by the hurricane.  At this time, Obama commercials are still running, but he has cancelled events. 

Obama is safely protected and monitoring the situation.  For the first time in his presidency, he appears to be doing something really presidential.  He is addressing the nation and monitoring a crisis.  His opponent on the other hand is also doing something about the crisis.  Never to be one not in the middle of the crisis, Romney has stepped not into a protected place to monitor the storm and make broadcast.  Romney and his team are heading into the storm.

That’s right; Romney’s bus is loaded with supplies and on route to help those affected.   Ann Romney’s bus has also been detoured to the crisis.  Some might say that Mitt Romney loading water and supplies (yes, Mitt doing work too) is a simple way to gain voters to his side.  Unfortunately, they would be wrong.  Several times while Mitt was working, reporters ask several questions.  They asked questions like “What will you do with FEMA?” or “How would you respond as President?”  Mitt did not answer.  He did not answer because Mitt Romney is a man of action.  He knows what all American’s know; this is a crisis.  It’s not time to run campaign ads, it’s not time to talk to the press and brag about how much water is being sent, it’s not time to say “Look at me!”  It’s time to say, look to the east coast, send help, send supplies, send prayers, and send anything and everything that’s needed.  Americans are in crisis. 

Mitt Romney is doing something that no other candidate for as long as memory serves has done.  He is doing something that no other President has done in recent years.  Mitt Romney is making a difference.  He is jumping into the battle and he is leading the way.  He is directing his campaign people to stop the campaign and help Americans. 
Mitt Romney will not brag, boast, or as the saying goes “toot” his own horn.  He’s too busy being a leader for that.  Since he won’t, then we will.  Here’s a huge thumbs up to the man who is acting like the President we have never had, and the President we need.  


Oct 21, 2012

Larry Burgess, Danny Lewis, and Richard Wagnon: Miller County, Arkansas

Below you are going to read three articles about three outstanding candidates for Miller County.  The writer has met all three candidates and knows them personally.  The writer has seen them before they decided to run, and in Judge Burgess’ case after they have become successful in the job given to them by the voters.  These men will be phenomenal for Miller County.  Miller County is set to grow forward, but only with competent and quality leadership will growth happen.  These men all offer everything good that Miller County needs.  Early vote starts Monday 22nd.  Read and then get out and vote.  Miller County, Arkansas must put these men in the leadership positions needed for the entire county.

Miller County Judge Larry Burgess for Re-Election

Miller County Judge Larry Burgess lived an extraordinary life before he ever offered his service to Miller County, Arkansas.  Larry has been married to his wife for over 33 years; he is a retired United States Marine, and a Christian.  In addition, Larry is also a member of the V.V.A. and the American Legion.  He also offered community service through his membership in the Elks and Moose lodges.    His life was nothing short of fantastic when he decided to offer it to Miller County.

Just under two years ago Larry Burgess became the County Judge for Miller.  With nothing more he needed to prove considering his accomplishments above, he set out to serve the citizens of Miller County with something they had not seen in recent years.  Larry Burgess set out to serve the citizens as a competent leader in the community.  He set goals, he set timelines, he accomplished those goals, and he set new goals.  Many of those new goals Larry continues to work on even during this election season. 

A voter only has to look at a short list of accomplishments from the last two years to realize that Larry Burgess means business.  In the last two years the county has seen the following, impressive, list of accomplishments:
            A new website
            $388,000 in state aid for roads in the county
            That money applied to the roads in the county
            Updated equipment to assist the county
Improved response and repair times for roads and emergencies
            Upgraded parks in the county
            Maintained and improved County Property
            An O.S.H.A. compliant repair facility
            Private road signs to assist 911 services
            Over $80,0000 in new road signs
            New guardrails throughout the county
            A Ditching program in the county
            An improve gun range for the county
            An improved volleyball court for the county
            Obtained a $75,000 grant for county court house
            An upgraded county Health Department
            An upgraded Office of Emergency Management
            Upgraded 911 systems
            Upgraded the Doddridge shop roof
            Upgraded the Juvenile Detention Center
            Obtained over 4.7 million in grants for the county

The list of accomplishments for the county goes beyond the above-mentioned items, but space simply does not allow for everything Judge Larry Burgess has done for the county.  A voter only needs to take a drive down the county roads to a park to see the work completed.  Judge Burgess has an agenda that will continue.  With all he has done already, he wants to do more.  He wants to continue to restore the courthouse, improve security, and even help promote the navigation of the Red River.  Judge Larry Burgess is taking the county of Miller forward.  Why would anyone want to step back to the way it was before?  There can be no question.  Nobody wants to go back to the way the county was run before.  Miller County Arkansas finally has a County Judge to be proud of in Judge Larry Burgess.

Richard Wagnon: For Justice of the Peace District 7

Richard Wagnon is a man of commitment.  When he commits to a cause or a part of his life it can be seen daily.  He is quiet and speaks very little, but when he does he addresses the issues directly and with solutions instead of additional problems. 

In 1995, Richard started his first business venture with his wife, Sheila.  The two immediately applied a partnership to business just as they had their marriage.  To date, Shelia and Richard have been married over twenty years.  With a strong foundation in their marriage, the grew a business that thrives today.   Along the way Richard learned a lot about business and life.  In 2012, he decided to take what he had learned and offer it to his community.

Richard Wagnon is running for JP District 7.  He offers something to the district that has not been seen in years.  Richard Wagnon offers a business plan.  Richard wants to reconnect the city and the county and establish a business partnership and relationship that will help all of Miller County thrive.  He wants to expand the current recycling programs and match those of other successful communities.  The recycling program alone offers the potential for jobs and growth in the entire county.  He also wants to offer a “pro-business” approach to the entire county.

Reading Richard’s election material a voter will not find the usual flare of multiple reasons to vote against his opponent.  The voter will find a direct business plan that has not been seen in Miller County for countless ages.  Richard’s businesses are successful.   He now offers this successful approach to growth to the Miller County Community.  It’s simple, it’s direct, and it’s what Miller County needs.  The voters of JP District 7 need to get out and vote for the growth that Miller County deserves with Richard Wagnon.

Danny Lewis: For Miller County Treasurer

One of the first things a voter finds when talking with Danny Lewis is that he can talk with anyone.  He has one of those personalities that naturally draws a person into a comfort zone where you know your conversation is going to be important.  He sits aside whatever he’s working on, and listens, comments, and takes into account all the issues.  As his own election material states, Danny Lewis is “easy to do business with”

Beyond being easy to talk with, a voter immediately finds that Danny has an impressive history.  He is a Commissioner on two local commissions and a member of a local board.  He has been on the Texarkana Arkansas Planning and Zoning Board, the Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission, and he is a member of Texarkana Arkansas Education Foundation Board of Directors.  Besides serving on the boards and commissions, Danny Lewis also owns a local insurance company, Chandler Insurance of Texarkana, Arkansas.

As Danny runs into the final weeks of the election, he is concentrating on getting the truth out to voters.  Danny knows what it takes to serve communities from his volunteer work to his work in the insurance industry.  He knows that citizens have to be happy, they have to be confident, and they have to be satisfied.  Danny is willing to put all his knowledge and community skills into the office of Miller County Treasurer to ensure the community trust is maintained and the budget has oversight for financial stability. 

Perhaps shining above all his other accomplishments is the example he sets in his daily life.  A voter only has to scan through Danny’s Facebook postings to see a long history of Christian concerns, family values, and friendships that extend beyond the political world.   Danny was recently speaking to a group of people when he said, “You have to follow the Lord in everything you do.”  A man who wants to bring transparency to the treasurer’s office for Miller County has no problem showing the transparency of his life, his work, and most importantly a faith founded and grown in a local church.  Miller County needs Danny Lewis.

Sep 30, 2012

Dennis Milligan Nominated for The G. Thomas Munsterman Award

PHOTO: The Republican team: (from left to right) Former Texarkana resident Jim Harris, chief of staff, Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan, who is also a former chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, and former Texarkana resident Gary Underoowd, former Minister of Media at Beech Street First Baptist Church in Texarkana.

BENTONAR -- Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan is one of 12 nominees for the prestigious G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation.
The Munsterman Award recognizes states, local courts, organizations or individuals that have made significant improvements or innovations in jury procedures, operations and practices.
Milligan said he had help from two former Texarkana residents. Jim Harris, who is a former city editor of the Texarkana Gazette, and is Milligan's chief of staff. Gary Underwood, who was Minister of Media at Beech Street First Baptist Church, is Milligan's jury coordinator.
,Milligan, who is serving his first term as circuit clerk, was nominated for his jury notification system. That system replaces a method that required jury panel members to call a recorded message each week to find out if they were needed for jury service.
Milligan’s system notifies jurors by calls to their cell or home phone, an e-mail or text message.
“In Saline County, about 98 percent of all our cases settle instead of going to trial. Some of them settle at the last minute, and under the old system we had no way to notify jurors after they had called the recording number. My system gives me the ability to not waste jurors’ time if a case settles just hours before the trial begins,” Milligan said. “Not only does it save jurors’ time, it also saves the county money.”
Each jury panel has between 40—50 people on it. When jurors come to the court house for jury service, they are paid $25 per day even if the case settles before they arrive.
Milligan polls jurors after each term of service ends. Those polls show 99 percent of former jurors like Milligan’s notification system.
Court clerks from as far away as Michigan have called Milligan’s office to ask for details of how the Milligan system works.
“We are particularly impressed with Mr. Milligan’s use of contemporary communications technologies to remind jurors of their upcoming jury service date, which has significantly increased juror appearance rates,” Gregory S. Hurley, NCSC’s Senior Knowledge Management Analyst said.
While Milligan is the first Arkansan ever nominated for this prestigious award, he is not the 2012 winner.
The Michigan Supreme Court is the recipient of the 2012 award.  
The Michigan Supreme Court and the judges who participated in the 2009-2010 Michigan jury reform pilot project were involved in a two-year effort to test and examine a variety of in-court techniques designed to improve juror comprehension, performance and satisfaction.  
There were 12 nominations from around the country for the Munsterman Award.
“It is an honor to be nominated for this national award,” Milligan said. “The Michigan Supreme Court did some great work and I am glad the court got the Munsterman award. I support anything that advances our right to a trial by an unbiased jury.”
The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in WilliamsburgVa., is a nonprofit court reform organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.
In 2008, NCSC created the G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation to recognize states, local courts, organizations, or individuals who make significant improvements in jury procedures.
The NCSC headquarters in WilliamsburgVa., houses the Research and Technology Services, Knowledge and Information Services, Association Management, Communications and Publications, and the Institute for Court Management (Education) divisions. It serves as the primary hub and meeting point for all the center's various activities and houses the NCSC's library which contains the largest known collection of court-administration materials
Since then, it has become one of the most prestigious awards in the American judicial system, according to the NCSC.
Munsterman was the founder and former director of NCSCs’ Center for Jury Studies. He retired from NCSC on July 30, 2010, after more than 30 years of working to improve jury service
In 2008, Munsterman received the Jury System Impact Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on the American Jury “in recognition of extraordinary efforts in the improvement and strengthening of the American jury system.”

Munsterman authored and co-authored numerous books and wrote a commissioned paper "Innovations in Jury Trial Procedures" for the American Bar Association and Brookings Institution Symposium on the Future of the Civil Jury System in the U.S. He assisted the Russian government in re-establising trial by jury after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Article and photograph submitted by Jim Harris, Chief of Staff for Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan.

Sep 11, 2012

In God We Trust

Diana Hood with "In God We Trust"

Diana Hood was a local artist dedicated to God, her country, and her family.  She lived a life surrounded by those she loved, including her husband and friends.  A few days ago she slipped peacefully away to join her Lord and wait on the arrival of the rest of her family.  Diana Hood succumbed to the brain cancer that had ravaged her for years.

As an artist, Diana never gave up on her passion for painting and design.  When asked by the Miller County Republican Committee to provide a special painting for the planned headquarters, she agreed immediately.  For over a week, Diana labored through the pain.  Her love for God, her country and fellow Republicans propelled her forward to complete a beautiful painting at the headquarters. 

Friends noted that Diana would paint, stop, rest, and even sit down for long periods of time.  As soon as she regained her strength, she would return to the task.  She had one simple mission in mind.  She wanted to provide the Republican Headquarters for the 2012 election year with a picture of the American Flag and the words, “In God We Trust”.  Time continued and hours became days.  Finally, when she had finished, headquarters staff took several pictures of Diana with her flag and the motto.  She was proud of the accomplishment. 

Diana Hood never attended a meeting at the new headquarters, but people took notice.  Few have entered the headquarters without commenting on how beautiful the flag looks.  At night, when the headquarters closes, lights are left on near the flag.  It is one of the few areas illuminated both day and night.  When Diana passed away, she was able to leave one, last contributing piece of art to the Miller County Republican Party and for the nation she loved.  She was able to incorporate God, the most important aspect of her life, into her art. 

At the end of the year, the headquarters will be released and new renters will likely move into it.  Sadly, they may even decide to paint over Diana’s painting.  In the meantime, headquarters staff continue to take pictures, share Diana’s story, and preserve the image digitally for the committee records.   The work will not be lost thanks to photography.   Diana’s work will live on in pictures of the painting named “In God We Trust”.  Facing her final months of life, Diana gave back in the only way she could.  She gave in her art.  “In God We Trust” was Diana Hood’s last painting.

Sep 2, 2012

R or O and What it Really Means in November

President Obama seems to think that big government is the way to make the economy grow.  He in particular seems to think that government control of everything is the proper way to fix our nation’s problems.  Unfortunately, Obama has failed to learn from history.  Maybe this fundamental failure to understand history is one of the reasons he was not a highly respected professor.  Nonetheless, he has failed to understand that the government has accomplished the most when it interferes the least.

From the days of the founders, the government has relied on the people.  Anytime in history, when people have started to rely on their government, the government failed.  Ultimately, when the government failed, the nation failed, and when the nation failed, a new nation was formed.  Someone only has to look to the Soviet Union to see a prime example of the people depending on the government.  In the Soviet Union people depended on the government for food, electricity, news, vehicles, direction, etc.  They depended on it for everything.  In the end, the Soviet Union failed. 

Consider this in the Revolutionary War; the government did not defend the people.  The people defended the government.  Farmers, businesspersons, ship builders, blacksmith, physicians, preachers, and others all came together to defend the government.  The government essentially had nothing.  The government had no money, no tax system, no army, no ships, no food, no national currency, and even no building of its own.  The Declaration of Independence was drawn up in a Masonic Lodge.  The founders contributed their own money to fund the government.  The truth is the only thing the government had was some papers saying it was a government.  People came forward with their skills, abilities, money, and assets and they supported the government. 

Fast forward through all the trials this country has faced and it has always been the people who have supported the government, not the government supporting people.  At least it has been this way until recently.  When Obama took office, he immediately began doing exactly what he said he would do.  He began to force people to redistribute wealth.  He instituted a failed Soviet policy to take money from the rich and give it to the poor.  He gave away money, he gave away healthcare, he gave away cell phones, and he even gave away the Chrysler Corporation (check your records and you will see he sold it at a loss to an Italian company, Fiat).  To be blunt, he gave, gave, gave, gave, and gave.  The only problem is, he gave what was not his to give.  He gave your money away.  Obama failed to realize that until the early 1900s, this country did not even have an income tax!  The government was sponsored by the people, not through force, but through pride.  When the United States entered World War 2, the people won the war, not the government.  People worked in factories, farms, and on the front lines to ensure the United States did not become the socialist form of government that Hitler wanted.  In the end, the United States won the war, not the government.  Today, Obama has forgotten these basic principles.  Obama has forgotten that while people need help from time-to-time that ultimately people need to know how to fish, not simply be given a fish.  Obama wants Americans, every American, to be dependent on the government for everything.  Obama wants a socialist form of government that has failed repeatedly.  It failed in Nazi Germany, it failed in the Soviet Union, it is failing in Cuba, it is failing in North Korea, and it will ultimately fail in China. 

On November 6, if American’s go to the poles and elect Obama again, they will be electing him to a position where he can truly implement his plans to bring America into a socialist form of government.  Fortunately, Americans have a choice.

Mitt Romney is an American who understands American principles.  Like Ronald Reagan, Romney understands that the government should not support people, but that people should support the government.  The government is to work for the people, not run people’s lives.  Romney has seen what it takes to build companies.  He has seen what it takes to recover from hardships and financial crisis.  Romney has been a leader on the front lines when things did not look good.  Most importantly, Romney knows socialism fails.  Romney knows that the only way America is going to recover is to recover with the work of the people.  He knows the government is not the answer.  Romney will help the people by helping the government get out of the people’s way. 

In November, the choice is bigger than Republican or Democrat.  The choice, as many Democrats supporting Romney know, is for the America we built, or for the socialist America that Obama wants to finalize.  This November it is not about an “R” or a “D” behind the name.  This November the “R” in Romney means “Rebuild” and the “O” in Obama simply means it is “Over”….

Jul 7, 2012

Romney: Believe in America

After Obama was elected President, his wife commented that for the first time in her adult life she was proud to be an American.  She was proud to be an American because her husband had been elected President.  With this understanding, we can safety assume that she would not be proud to be an American if her husband had not been elected.  Recently she made a questionable remark about doing a service for “just a flag” to her husband.  Her husband, our President, shook his head in agreement. 

Since taking office, Obama has apologized for America, avoided the National Day of Prayer (a tradition started by a Democrat President), and bowed to foreign, Muslim leaders.  He has offended our allies and raised their concern.  He has started working with the United Nations to go behind the United States Constitution and allow the U.N. to demand a worldwide ban on firearms –something his current administration is still cooperating with through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Beyond all this, he has failed to provide the economic relief his programs promised, he has forced a healthcare law onto Americans that few wanted, and he raised taxes – something confirmed by the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding healthcare being a tax.  Recently, Secretary of State Clinton stated that the President’s Administration was “proud” to see the direction France is taking.  France just elected a member of the Socialist Party as President.  President Obama has embraced the Socialist ideas from failed governments around the world.  He is a failed President.

Mitt Romney offers something new and something that few American’s could hope for in an Obama Administration.  Romney offers real hope.  Romney is credited with saving the 2002 Olympics, he is credited with creating jobs at Staples, and while serving as Governor he helped the state of Massachusetts rebound with an unemployment rate that fell from 5.6% when he took office to 4.7%.  This incredible record not only created thousands of new jobs in the state, but when he left the state it had a $2 Billion Dollar rainy day fund.
Romney has proved his ability to lead, he has proved his ability to save an economy, and perhaps the most important he has proved he will stand for and with America.  A few minutes of listening to his speeches and a voter can hear the passion in the voice.  A voter can hear the commitment of a man ready and willing to put America back on track.  One of the interesting things that Romney has said is “Obama cannot run on his record.”  Romney is right; Obama cannot run on his record because his record has failed.  Romney does not have to make up stories or offer, “hope and change”.  Romney just has to stand.  His record already speaks for itself.  Romney will be a President of the people who will work for the people.  He will put America back to work, put America back on top, and repair the damage done to America in the eyes of our people and the world by the Obama Administration.  Once Mitt Romney steps into the White House in January of 2013, we will once again know that “America’s best days are yet to come.”  Americans never stopped believing in America, we just had a four-year hiatus while Obama attempted to tear us down.  It is interesting that another word for hiatus is “recess”.  Well, recess is over.  It is time to put Romney in charge of ringing the bell of freedom and capitalism once again around the world to bring America back.  It is still the time to believe in America.

Raising The Flag

.@MittRomney: Hit the campaign trail with me #Mitt2012

.@MittRomney: Hit the campaign trail with me #Mitt2012

May 3, 2012

Arkansas Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin Visits Texarkana

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin (R) was in Texarkana today (5-3-2012) to host a public gathering at the Miller County Court House.  The public, members of the press, the Chamber of Commerce, and Court House staff were present.  Also among the visiting individuals was Mary "Prissy" Hickerson, Arkansas State Representative District 1 (R), Mary Stuart, Miller County Tax Assessor (D),  Larry Burgess, Miller County Judge (R), and Ann Nicholas, Miller County Clerk (D).    Both the Miller County Republican and Miller County Democrat Chairs were also present for the visit.  

A speech was not on the agenda for the day, and Secretary of State Martin spent his time informally visiting with people around the room about various topics of concern.  He wanted to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to be heard and stayed well after his scheduled departure time.   He ended the day with an interview with the Texarkana Gazette.  Pictures and reports will be further posted on the Secretary of State’s website at  Photographs will be arranged by date.