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Steele's Highwire Act

Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele began airing a new television commercial yesterday, which uses inspirational music and snippets of Steele speeches to introduce him to voters. Imagine "Rocky" as a political ad.

The spot continues his campaigns most ambitious effort, to cast aside his deep ties to the national Republican Party -- something Steele has seen as vital in a state that's majority-Democrat:

"For too long, one party worried more about prices in the stock market than prices in the corner market," he says, referring to the GOP. "And too many in the other party preached reconciliation at the same time they practiced division."

The closest Steele comes to acknowledging his party affiliation is when an African-American woman--presumably a Democrat--says she is crossing party lines to vote for Steele.

At the same time, Steele has received an endorsement from the fiscally-conservative advocacy group, The Club For Growth.

"Michael Steele is a strong leader who knows that opportunity and economic growth are the keys to a bright future, not more government spending and higher taxes. Two of his leading opponents have a different view, as both have voted for an array of higher taxes and more spending in Congress. Michael Steele has a very good chance to be the first pro-growth Senator from Maryland in many years," said Pat Toomey, the club's president.

By  |  September 7, 2006; 6:36 AM ET
 
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Comments

blog.washingtonpost.com/countyconnections/ continues to try and suppress ideas and dictate choices by not posting about the Montgomery County Executive race since August 24 so I'm over here. Silverman put oiut a 94 page booklet detailing where Leggett had flipflopped or spoken out of both sides of his mouth on issues. Make that 95. Leggett who quit the county council because he was bored with county politics and later became chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party is now calling himself, "independent," in his TV ads. Is he trying to act like the Senator from Connecticut Senator who lost in the Primary and then ran as an Independent? Maryland law is different;for, you can't run as both. Leggett reminds me of the young man who kept telling my daughter that he wanted to take her out, but who kept telling me he didn't. Let me tell you a story about that guy---that guy is HISTORY!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Independent for Montgomeryh County Executive | September 7, 2006 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Where is Steele on the important issues facing Maryland families and the issues he will face in the US Senate? I doubt that you will see any of that in a television commerical because he running a campaign focusing on everything but the issues.

Does he support the Bush stay the course strategy in Iraq (like he told a local Frederick newspaper)? How about federal funding for embryonic stem cell research? How about privatizing social security? Does he still support the Bush economic plan as he did in 2004 when he campaign for Bush and the Republican Congressional agenda? Does he support increasing the minimum wage without tying it to tax cuts for businesses (he did not object to Ehrlich's veto of the minimum wage bill in Maryland)? How about his position on the Bush tax cuts? How about a woman's right to choose in the case of rape and incest? Does he still support Bush's right wing federal court nominees? What is his plan for universal healthcare?

This is one Democrat who will not cross party lines to vote for a man who supported by right wing PACs, the Bush White House, and conservative Republican Senators, and has expressed positions not supported by most Marylanders.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 7, 2006 9:10 AM | Report abuse

And this is one of many Democrats who will cross the line and vote for Michael Steele.

The answers to all the above questions are known but certainly leftists don't like the answers (although the majority of Marylanders do and they'll prove it in November).

Posted by: Rufus | September 7, 2006 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Rufus,

I've checked Steele's website. I don't see his position on those issues. I would love for you to tell me where he stands on each of the issues listed above. My guess, just like every other Steele supporter I've encountered in person or in cyberspace, you won't because you can't.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 7, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse


PG Dem has it right. Marylanders of all stripes need to send a strong message to national Republicans by rejecting Steele in a landslide. Does anyone actually want to argue that we need more Republicans in the Senate? What for, exactly? To guarantee confirmation of torture=judges like William Haynes? Authorize a war with Iran? Constitutionalize discrimination? Wonderful positive agenda there. Go for it.

Posted by: JimPreston | September 7, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Leggett, the former Democratic party chair running as an "Independent," the Post reveals today has taken thousands from county emloyee unions with whom he would be bargaining next year. The county's next five budgets already assume that the charter property tax limit will be broken for each of next five years. Don't these contributions give Leggett a serious conflict of interest? What about taxpayers concerned about OUR money and OUR tax increases. Leggett led the fight for a 20% increase in the county income tax, wants a 50% increase in the gas tax and is in a conflict when trying to increase property taxes. Why is all the emphasis on the "Independent" candidacy of former Republican Chair Steele?

Posted by: Independent? are you kidding? | September 7, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Does he support the Bush stay the course strategy in Iraq (like he told a local Frederick newspaper)? How about federal funding for embryonic stem cell research? How about privatizing social security? Does he still support the Bush economic plan as he did in 2004 when he campaign for Bush and the Republican Congressional agenda? Does he support increasing the minimum wage without tying it to tax cuts for businesses (he did not object to Ehrlich's veto of the minimum wage bill in Maryland)? How about his position on the Bush tax cuts? How about a woman's right to choose in the case of rape and incest? Does he still support Bush's right wing federal court nominees? What is his plan for universal healthcare?"

Yes he is opposed to cut-and-run, no, in a limited way yes, he supports the policies which have produced our low-unemployment economy, no, supports, does not actively oppose, favors an up-or-down vote of the full Senate for all nominees, and he recognizes the failure of socialized medicine throughout the world and does not wish to repeat it in the US.

These answers have been mentioned by Steele repeatedly although having a reading comprehension below the 3rd grade level apparently renders some folks incapable of discerning them.

Posted by: Rufus | September 7, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

PG Dem-

Thanks for your "issues" cut and paste from your previous postings.

I'm voting for Steele precisely because of his stances on all of those issues you've been so kind to bring up.

Democrats have NO plans for any of those issues you mention-except for one. Pack the Courts with Left wing judges in an attempt to legislate through the courts. They certainly can't get their agenda (whatever it is) passed by vote in the House and Senate.

Posted by: BG from PG | September 7, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

And what is the alternative to "cut and run"? Simply stay there indefinitely and bleed manpower and money with no end in sight? In its basest form,that's what Bush proposes and Steele has more or less endorsed it. That's not a winning position in MD, or in most of the country by this point.

And supporting Bush's economic policies doesn't jell with most of the anti-poverty agenda that Steele talks about. And that's likely to be all he does to fight poverty: talk.

Posted by: MHK919 | September 7, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"And supporting Bush's economic policies doesn't jell with most of the anti-poverty agenda that Steele talks about."

Actually, Steele's agenda to reduce taxes and make it easier for people to start and keep their own businesses is the only way to fight poverty. Poverty is not solved through a government program, it's solved through a job. Liberals don't seem to understand this.

"And that's likely to be all he does to fight poverty: talk."

As opposed to Mfume and Cardin, who are career politicians? Neither one of them does anything to fight poverty. In fact, the economic policies supported by them are quite harmful to the creation of jobs. You don't help people out of poverty by raising taxes and imposing new government mandates.

Posted by: MK | September 7, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

PGDem, you're not asking questions, you're trying to make points. Don't disguse it.

On top of that, what kind of dumb comment was your remark about minimum wage. The WaPo and BaltSun ran articles about that just last week!

Posted by: Bryan | September 7, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Bryan,

The Associated Press and Wall Street Journal pieces on Steele show that he supports the Bush/Republican position on the minimum wage: don't raise it unless you provide tax cuts to business owners. Steele is trying to pretend that his views on the minimum wage differ from most Republicans in Congress, when in fact his views are identical to most Republicans in Congress. If he supports raising the minimum wage (with out any strings attached) why did he refuse to answer press questions earlier this year regarding his position on Ehrlich's veto of the minimum wage in Maryland?

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 7, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

BG from PG,

I'll continue to cut and paste until Steele's supporter answer basic question regarding his position on the issues. Thanks for not answering my questions.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 7, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

That's a good point about Steele and the minimum wage; if he feels so passionately that it should be increased, then how come he was silent when Ehrlich vetoed a bill raising it (which the legislature then overrode him on?) And if Steele is such an effective official then why couldn't he persuade Ehrlich to sign the bill? If he can't persuade his own boss then that doesn't bode well for being able to sway 99 other senators to back his agenda.

And taxes were raised when Bill Clinton was president and the economy soared. Lots more people were lifted out of poverty than by the tax cuts of Bush (and Reagan, for that matter.) It's no wonder why most minorities and the poor vote for Democrats; they've produced results. All Steele and other Republicans have to offer is platitudes with weak results..

Posted by: MHK919 | September 7, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Rufus,

Okay. Let me see, according to you:

Steele supports the Bush position in Iraq: stay the course with no strategy for leaving.

He opposes federal funding for embryonic stem cell research

He supports privatizing social security.

He supports the Bush economic policies which have seen no real growth in wages for most Americans.

He opposes increasing the minimum wage without tying it to tax cuts for business like most Republicans.

He supports Bush tax cuts which have lead to a increase in the national debt/deficit and increased cuts in federal education programs.

Steele does actively oppose a woman right to choose even in the case of rape or incest (check out the websites of the right wing anti-choice groups supporting Steele).

He supports Bush's right wing ideologues who will roll back civil rights and reproductive rights.

Again, what is his plan for universal healthcare?

Thanks for clearing this up for Maryland voters. I hope his mentions these positions in his television ads. Like I've said, Steele's position on these issues are out of line with most Maryland voters.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 7, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

PG Dem,

A few things. One, Bush hasn't cut federal education funding. In fact, it's gone up dramatically during his term. Two, Steele's health care plan is outlined on his website. He supports tort reform and making it easier for small businesses to buy health insurance. This is a much more realistic plan that Mfume's socialized medicine and Cardin's pledge to cure cancer.

MHK919,

You say Democrats produced results. Well, Clinton cut capital gains taxes and signed welfare reform. Both of these were very conservative measures, and I'd say they were in large part responsible for any alleviation of poverty during his term. Traditional liberal ideas about raising taxes, creating more paternalistic government programs, and increasing regulation on business only create more poverty. Look at the mess France and Germany are if you want to see what would happen if the left wing in the U.S. got its way.

Posted by: MK | September 7, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

PG Dem-

When Mfume loses on Tuesday due to the Democrat's lack of support, blacks will have two choices. A balding white man with a 40 year record as a career politician who enjoyed more campaign support from the Democratic Party than Mfume, or Steele, a black man from humble beginnings that worked his way into success and has real ideas. Who do you think they'll choose?

Posted by: BG from PG | September 7, 2006 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"It's no wonder why most minorities and the poor vote for Democrats; they've produced results."

I just thought I'd give everyone another opportunity to read this. Laughter has been shown to have health benefits.

Posted by: Brandon | September 7, 2006 8:13 PM | Report abuse

BG from PG,

Keep dreaming. You and other Steele supporter don't seem to get it. Black people vote their self interests. Most recognize that Steele will advance Bush's agenda and the agenda of Republicans in Congress. Unfortunately for Steele, only a few Black folks are ignorant enough to vote for a man solely based on his race when his positions are detrimental to them. They recognize that Steele has done nothing to stand up for working Black folks despite always talking about the importance of having a seat at the table. A seat at the table means nothing if he isn't willing to stand up for he claims he believes (death penalty, minimum wage, etc.).

In case you didn't realize this, several Black Democratic elected officials (Wynn and Jack Johson) have already endorsed a White man, Gansler, over a highly qualified Black man running for Attorney General, Simms. Some white elected officials have endorsed Mfume over Cardin.

I find it funny that the party that preaches so-called race neutrally thinks that can use Steele race to win this election. What hypocrites.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2006 10:53 PM | Report abuse

BG from PG:

Keep dreaming. You and other Steele supporter don't seem to get it. Black people vote their self interests. Most recognize that Steele will advance Bush's agenda and the agenda of Republicans in Congress. Unfortunately for Steele, only a few Black folks are ignorant enough to vote for a man solely based on his race when his positions are detrimental to them. They recognize that Steele has done nothing to stand up for working Black folks despite always talking about the importance of having a seat at the table. A seat at the table means nothing if he isn't willing to stand up for he claims he believes (death penalty, minimum wage, etc.).

In case you didn't realize this, several Black Democratic elected officials (Wynn and Jack Johson) have already endorsed a White man, Gansler, over a highly qualified Black man running for Attorney General, Simms. Some white elected officials have endorsed Mfume over Cardin. Get over it.

I find it funny that the party that preaches so-called race neutrally thinks that can use Steele race to win this election. What hypocrites.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 7, 2006 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"A few things. One, Bush hasn't cut federal education funding. In fact, it's gone up dramatically during his term."

MK, really?

The President's FY2007 budget:

Eliminates three critical programs that boost college opportunities and access - GEAR-UP, TRIO Upward Bound, and TRIO Talent Search. The Bush budget completely eliminates the $303 million GEAR-UP, $311 million TRIO Upward Bound, and $145 million TRIO Talent Search programs - which ensure that high-risk students succeed in high school and move on to college. As a result, more than 1 million students - 70 percent of whom are minorities - will lose the support they need to make it to college.

Denies more than 460,000 students low-cost loans. The budget cuts $664 million from the Perkins Loan Program by requiring that participating colleges return the federal portion of collections made on Perkins Loans in 2007. As a result, more than 460,000 low- and middle-income students would be denied low-cost loans to help pay for their college education next year.

Makes the biggest cut to education investments in ten years. The Bush budget for FY 2007 cuts education funding by $2.1 billion, or 3.8 percent, below the FY 2006 enacted level, which itself is below the FY 2005 enacted level - the largest cut since the GOP cut of 6.6 percent in FY 1996. The budget is cutting education funding despite rising college costs and the challenging academic requirements under No Child Left Behind.

Freezes the maximum Pell Grant for the fifth year in a row. The Bush budget freezes the maximum Pell Grant at $4,050, where it has been held since 2003 -- despite the fact that the maximum Pell Grant is now worth $900 less than the maximum Pell Grant 30 years ago, when adjusted for inflation.

I want Steele to campaign on his support for the Bush budget and the Bush record on federal education programs.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 7, 2006 11:02 PM | Report abuse

"Black people vote their self interests."

They think they do. But it's a myth that leftist policies are the salvation of minorities and the poor. They often do more harm than good. The minimum wage, which has been mentioned in this thread, is a classic example. It's easy to tell the ignorant masses that you're going to make sure low-skilled workers get paid a certain amount per hour. But it's a little tougher to explain that a minute fraction of the labor pool earns it and that by raising the price of labor you end up with less of it and higher prices for the consumer.

School vouchers is another. By opposing school choice leftists and the teachers unions condemn minorities and the poor to abysmal schools, and defend themselves by saying vouchers "take money from public education". Never mind the fact that public schools don't use their money effectively (as public institutions are prone not to do) and that the competition posed by vouchers is intended to improve public schools, not destroy them.

Socialist medicine. The notion of "free" healthcare is so easy to sell it's a wonder we don't have it already. Just wait until a shortage of doctors and a surplus of patients mean 5 month long waitlists for basic surgery. Just wait until people discover that there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

Unintended consequences. Human nature. The laws of economics. The leftist utopia might work out if it weren't for these things and others.

There's nothing Steele can do or say to earn the votes of a certain portion of the electorate, the frequenters of this board included. But he doesn't need your vote. He's looking for the votes of the same Democrats and Independents that elected him and Ehrlich 4 years ago. The same voters who ignored the accusations that Ehrlich was a "right-wing Newt Gingrich crony" may just ignore the charge that Steele is a "right-wing Bush tool."

Posted by: Brandon | September 8, 2006 12:54 AM | Report abuse

PG Dem,

It is simply untrue that Bush has cut education funding during his term. You metion Bush's FY07 budget. One problem with that -- a President's budget means nothing. Bush lays out a budget and Congress ignores it. It has no force in law. Furthermore, by simply focusing on FY07 proposals you ignore everything that's been done during Bush's term.

If you want the real numbers about education spending you have to look at appropriations bills. Those are the bills passed by Congress and signed by the Presient that actually spend money. If you do so, you'll see that when Bush came into office spending for the Department of Education was at $10,014,621,000. This year it's at $14,481,161,000. That's an almost 50% increase during Bush's term.

Bush has increased education funding, not cut it. Any claim otherwise is completely false.

Posted by: MK | September 8, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

[Steele] "He's looking for the votes of the same Democrats and Independents that elected him and Ehrlich 4 years ago. The same voters who ignored the accusations that Ehrlich was a "right-wing Newt Gingrich crony" may just ignore the charge that Steele is a "right-wing Bush tool.""

Brandon, These Democrats and Independents are operating on the principal of "Fool me once - Same on you; fool me twice - Shame on me!" Thats why neither Ehrlich or Steele have a chance. We won't be fooled again!

Posted by: WM Voter | September 8, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Steele is doing not more than what his Party always does...use SMOKE and MIRRORS during the entire campaign and Marylanders are hipped to these tactics. And Rufus in response to your statement "you blame the failure of public schools on the Republics, despite the fact that the DC Schools are run by Democrats who spend double on the student compared to private schools and give them half the education. Free your mind, get off the Democrat plantation, and join Michael Steele on the road to the future." We as African American need to stop looking for a particular political party to solve our community problems. If we as a community rally behind our teachers, demand more funding for schools, more parents start attend parent-teacher meetings and spend time helping our children with homework then our children would be able to receive a better education. And if you think your party is concerned about education in our community, then you are sadly mistaken. It just erks me when Black Republicans who have benefited from social programs (student loans) that are being cut now by Bush and think his is for education. Please, why don't you (Black Republicans) get off the Republican Plantation.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS = Republican Party

Posted by: soglrnn | September 8, 2006 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"I find it funny that the party that preaches so-called race neutrally thinks that can use Steele race to win this election."

I find it much more funny that the party that preaches racial preference disparages any black man that dares think for himself.

Posted by: Rufus | September 8, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Rufus,

Racial preferences? You must be kidding me. Michael Steele, a Republican, embraces these racial preferences before Black audiences and tells them he is a product of the "racial preferences" you seem to deride.

Think for himself? When?

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 8, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

MK,

It is true that Bush has cut many education programs during his term. I hope that you aren't denying this fact.

The budget is Bush's wish list for 2007. I provided you with examples of his most recent proposed cuts. Do you disagree that he requested these cuts?

Yes, Members of Congress appropriate funding for the programs. However, in FY 2006, Bush and Congress cut $12.7 billion in education programs. Bush is proposes to cut the programs I listed above.

Back to Steele, does he support Bush's prior cuts in education programs and his proposal to cut those much needed programs in his FY2007 budget?

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 8, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Brandon,

If the minimum wage and health care benefits for working individuals are problematic for Blacks, why isn't Michael Steele speaking out against, rather than trying to fool Blacks into thinking that he supports these "leftist" ideas? Whenever I hear him speak to audiences in Black communities, he sounds like a "leftist Democrat," embracing everyone and everything from John and Robert Kennedy to focusing on the war on poverty. I have NEVER heard him mention or discuss conservative priorities or ideas before predominately Black audiences. In fact, he rarely mentions that he is even a Republican.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 8, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Funny how our education system used to work better before those "much needed" federal programs came into being, isn't it?

Posted by: Rufus | September 8, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

PGDem,

I do deny that Bush has cut education programs. The NCLB Act consolidated some programs, but that is not the same as cutting them. Since you think Bush did cut education programs, please provide a list of these programs and their funding when Bush came into office and their funding now so we can make a fair comparison.

As far as the FY06 vs. FY05, I'll admit that FY06 education funding is slightly below FY05 funding. So what? Funding for education programs has gone up dramatically under Bush, by almost 50%.

Bush's budget did indeed request that certain programs not be funded. However, that is only half the picture. The Bush Administration's general philosophy regarding the Dept. of Ed is that programs that aren't producing results should be defunded and that other programs should be consolidated. Under their plans, states would receive no less money for education programs but would instead have more flexibility on where to spend the money. Some try to spin this as a cut but in reality the money remains the same (or increases) and states have more freedom to use the federal funds as they see fit.

Posted by: MK | September 8, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

MK,

Steele supporters will do anything rather than address his positions on the issues even resorting to diverting attention from my post. You found one minor reference in my post you THOUGHT you could challenge me on...while ignoring all of the other substantive points. Unfortunately, you have been unsuccessful.

You are wrong. Congress has cut and Bush proposes to cut many important education programs that are helpful to African American students. I listed them above. You can spin it anyway that you like.

Your claim that Bush hasn't really cut or proposed cutting funding but instead consolidated programs and eliminated ineffective programs is pretty hilarious. In reality, the programs were cut (as where many others), and a weak explanation was given, because the Bush administration is desperate to fund his tax cuts. I haven't seen any impartial data showing that the programs mentioned above are ineffectual.

As much as I know you hate to do this, I am bringing this back to Mr. Steele -- does he support the Bush cuts to the programs I listed above? Does Steele think they are not producing results? I would love for Mr. Steele to defend the Bush administration's education cuts to the African American communities he is so desperately tryin to woo. Let's see Steele try to sell you rather weak excuses for the Bush administration cutting programs important to African Americans. Lastley, does Steele think that NCLB has received adequate funding?

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 8, 2006 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I hear all this talk about funding education. Well, I don't have children and I'm unable to claim any tax benefits as a result (ironic, isn't it?)...but I do own two homes and the property tax bills state clearly "52.2% of this money goes to fund public schools"...and this is only county taxes.

I realize the need to invest in education but what more do you want? This long debated POLITICAL issue is suicide for anyone that wants to rein-in spending. So now, in steps O'Malley with a purely politically motivated great idea-double principal's salaries. Well I for one don't want to pay for it.

Frankly, we need someone that can rein-in spending with regards to education. How do I know that the blank check public education is already getting is spent wisely? If it's like any other government entity, it probably isn't. Take this from a government worker.

Posted by: Calvert Voter | September 8, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse

PG Dem-

Hypocrisy?

The hypocrisy is that the Democrats claim to support minorities but when it comes to empowering them, for example, nominating Mfume as their candidate, they're nowhere to be found.

Then, while keeping Mfume down and out of the picture, the Dems tear down Steele, a respectable black Senate hopeful, for the sole fact that he's a Republican. Dems have labelled him as an Uncle Tom, Bush toy and throw Oreo cookies at him-both true stories.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS (as someone stated above over their $3.00 cup of Starbucks coffee-another hypocrite) are the only chance you have and you know it.


Posted by: BG from PG | September 8, 2006 10:52 PM | Report abuse

PG Dem,

You say, "You are wrong. Congress has cut and Bush proposes to cut many important education programs that are helpful to African American students."

Sorry, but this is completely untrue. As I pointed out, federal education spending under Bush has gone up by almost 50% while he was in office. You try to confuse things by taking a look a a single year's funding and by referring to the President's budget, which has no affect on funding. The hard numbers in the appropriations bills show an increase in fudning during Bush's terms. You can try to evade that fact, but it's a fact that any honest person cannot dispute.

Again, if you think Bush cut certain programs, please list them.

Posted by: MK | September 9, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

MK-

Don't bother, PG Dem and the other Cardin campaign workers have the weekends off.

Posted by: BG from PG | September 10, 2006 1:17 AM | Report abuse

MK,

Your failure to answer my question about Steele's position on the Bush cuts to education speaks volumes.

By the way, I listed programs that Bush proposed to cut in FY2007 above. Here are other examples of proposed cuts for FY2006 that Bush wanted:
Comprehensive School Reform $205.3 million
Education Technology State Grants $496 million
Even Start $225.1 million
Safe and Drug Free Schools Grants $437.4 million
School Dropout Prevention $4.9 million
Smaller Learning Communities $94.5 million
Teacher Quality Enhancement $68.3 million
Vocational Education State Grants $1.19 billion

Under the FY2006 budget, Bush wanted eliminate 48 education programs, "including Upward Bound and Talent Search, two programs nearly 40 years old that help low-income students prepare for college. Also slated for elimination are GEAR UP, an early college awareness program that usually begins in middle school, and the government's $1.3 billion program for career and technical education, the Carl D. Perkins Act."


You have chosen to ignore the facts. Bush has proposed to cut many programs, sometimes Congress obliges and sometimes they do not.

I am still waiting for you to answer my question about where Steele stands on the proposed Bush cuts and his previous cuts. Why didn't you answer my questions about Steele from above? Would Steele support those cuts if he were a member of the US Senate?



Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 11, 2006 8:41 AM | Report abuse

PG Dem,

I don't speak for the Steele campaign. I don't work for it and I am not affiliated with the Republican Party, so I can't tell you what Steele thinks of the FY07 Bush Budget. I'd assume, however, that he'll do what most Senators do when in office -- ignore it.

I asked for examples of how Bush cut education funding. Instead, you provide examples of what Bush proposes in his budget. Since the president's bugdet is routinely ignored by Congress, it's a non-issue. So what if Bush proposed those things? What was actually enacted in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill? If you look at that bill, the one that funds the Dept. of Ed, you'll see that education funding has increased by almost 50% since Bush came into office. That's not a cut in education funding as you claim.

Posted by: MK | September 11, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

BG from PG,

Here we go again. How many times are you going to try that tired line about Dems tossing Mfume aside? You're even using the worn out Steele is the racial victim line? It is really sad. Steele supporters are trying to focus attention on everything BUT his position on the important issues. Why not make the case for Steele based on his position on the issues? Because you can't!

Unfortunately for the Steele and the Republicans, most Blacks are going to support the candidate (regardless of color) that best represents their interests.

Rather than responding to your tired rhetoric and attempts at diversion (oreo cookies, etc.), I prefer to focus on the important substantive issues of the campaign. The Democratic nominee will easily win the Senate seat as long as they focus on the issues.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 11, 2006 8:55 AM | Report abuse

To help you out, PG Dem, here are proposals from Steele's site concerning education. Contrary to your claims, he has some very strong education proposals and he differs with the Bush Administration. His platform is one that all Marylanders can embrace:

•Congress must immediately reinstate Pell Grant funding which was zeroed out in the President's FY 06 budget, and increase Pell Grants to $4,500.

• Congress and President Bush must restore funding for the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program.

• Congress must immediately reinstate the $4,000 deduction for college and tuition costs which the House and the Senate's most recent tax legislation failed to include. This deduction has proved vital to 7 million families throughout our country and must be reinstated.

• Engage students in math and science at younger ages and grow their skills with internships, jobs and community service opportunities.

• Restore and increase math and science funding at every grade level.

• Provide technology grants to equip classrooms with the latest technologies, and ensure our teachers are trained to use them.

• Protect Perkins loans. Close to $19 million in Perkins loans funding for Maryland is absolutely critical to ensuring that high-demand technical positions get filled with skilled and trained workers. It was wrong of President Bush to call for eliminating this program and Congress will be making a serious mistake if it fails to reinstate it.

• Give schools flexibility in teacher pay to attract the best and brightest professionals to our classrooms. Our teachers deserve our respect and admiration and we should show it in their paychecks.

• Provide tuition waivers and tax credits to those student teachers who choose to become certified in difficult subject areas - or those that are currently experiencing teaching shortages.

• Partner schools with business leaders to develop curricula and programs to ensure students are adequately trained before they graduate and enter the workforce.

• Strengthen the relationship between education institutions and the workforce fo

Posted by: MK | September 11, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

MK,

According to Steele, he would "Close to $19 million in Perkins loans funding for Maryland is absolutely critical to ensuring that high-demand technical positions get filled with skilled and trained workers. It was wrong of President Bush to call for eliminating this program and Congress will be making a serious mistake if it fails to reinstate it."

Even Steele knows that Bush has eliminated programs and proposed cutting many others. Do you believe him?

Unfortunately for Steele, his criticism of the Bush record on education is a little to late. He toured the country in support of Bush, his tax cuts, his war, and his Domestic priorities in 2004.

Thanks for the information. However, you did not answer my question about Steele's position on the other cuts.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 11, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I love it that when I presnt evidence to dispute your assertion that Steele disagrees with Bush and that he has a detailed education agenda, you dismiss it and say it's too little, too late. How could Steele disagree with the Fiscal Year 2007 budget proposal during the 2004 campaign. As much as I like Steele, I don't think he has forsee the future.

As far as Steele's other positions, he's got a lot of details on his website. Again, I don't work for the guy so I can't speak for him.

By the way, who do you work for? Where is your information coming from? You seem mighty well-informed on the minutia of federal policy for an average poster. Do you have any ties to either of the Senate campaigns or the MD Democrat Party?

Posted by: MK | September 11, 2006 5:35 PM | Report abuse

You are hilarious. Go back and re-read my post. You seem confused or are intentionally misrepresenting my post.

Steele is criticizing Bush cuts in the education budget...many of which also occured before the 2004 election. He failed to criticize Bush's education budget cuts in 2004 while campaigning for him. Do you disagree? He is now criticizing some programs because he is running for Senate in a state that overwhelmingly rejects the Bush's domestic policy agenda. The Bush budget for FY2007 was made public earlier this year. As a candidate for Senate, Steele should have position on the proposed budget and proposed cuts I mentioned above.

I find it funny that you claimed that Bush hadn't cut education funding (then stated that only those program that weren't "producing results" were cut or consolidated) and continued to ignore my evidence. Then you undermine your earlier post by posting Steele's information from his campaign website which...criticized Bush's education cuts. Unbelievable!

Of course, I have contacts in the Maryland Democratic party...I am a Maryland Democrat. However, I am not paid by any candidate or the Maryland Democratic party. I merely closely follow politics. Care to discuss your connection with the Maryland Republicans?

Have a nice evening and thanks for finally admitting that the Bush administration has cut funding for and eliminated important education programs...just as I mentioned earlier on this blog.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 11, 2006 7:09 PM | Report abuse

PG Dem,

The facts are these: education funding under Bush has gone up by almost 50% since he entered office. If you dispute that, please produce the numbers. You have yet to produce the names of programs that were cut or eliminated by Bush.

I never said the Bush budget called for changes in the Dept. of Ed. However, the President's budget is a non-starter since it is routinely ignored. And while you may choose to criticize Steele for not having a position on everything in the President's proposed budget, that's a ridiculous criticism to make. Since the President's budget is irrelevant, it would be foolish for anyone to take a position on every little item in it. And, again, the Bush proposals were to eliminate separate federal funding streams for the programs you mentioned and instead give states more authority over how to spend this money. That's pretty far from a cut.

As for my connection with the Maryland GOP, I discussed it earlier. I take no money from them and have no connection to them or the national GOP. I'm glad you can say the same. I take it you also have no connection to the national Democrat party?

Posted by: MK | September 11, 2006 9:37 PM | Report abuse

MK,

Face it. You lost the debate. Why continue to embarrass yourself? I provided you with several examples of Bush cuts and proposed cuts. Michael Steele even provided you with examples of Bush cuts to important federal education programs (review the post above). Give it a rest.

One last point, I am not on the payroll of the national Democratic party.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem | September 12, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

MK won the debate, sho'nuff.

Posted by: Rufus | September 15, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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