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Miller Baker: Health Care Reform “Domestic Equivalent of the Iraq War”


How crazy is this comment (made at a debate at the Greenspring Retirement Community on October 4th in Springfield) by Teapublican State Senate candidate Miller Baker? Let us count the ways.

1. The Iraq War involved an invasion of another country on pretenses that turned out to be highly questionable at best. It has resulted in tens of thousands of U.S. coalition military casualties (both killed and wounded), and very well could end up costing America more money than World War II!
2. Health care reform, what Miller Baker falsely calls "Obamacare," was modeled closely after the Republican 1993 plan and also off of Mitt Romney's health care reform in Massachusetts. That includes the "individual mandate," which was/is a conservative idea to promote individual responsibility, and as an alternative to the employer mandate, which Republicans dislike(d).
3. The purpose of health care reform, unlike the Iraq War to which Miller Baker bizarrely compares it, is of course is to expand access to life-saving health care to tens of millions of Americans. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, for instance, "by 2019, the two pieces of legislation combined will reduce the number of nonelderly people who are uninsured by about 32 million." In addition, "About 95 percent of legal nonelderly residents will have insurance coverage in that year, compared with a projected share of 82 percent in the absence of that legislation and 83 percent currently."
4. Also, according to the CBO, "According to our latest comprehensive estimate of the legislation, the net effect of changes in direct spending and revenues is a reduction in budget deficits of $210 billion over the 2012-2021 period." That's right, the CBO says that what Miller Baker childishly calls "Obamacare" will reduce U.S. deficits by hundreds of billions of dollars, while repealing it - as he and his teahadist friends want to do - will conversely crank up the deficits by hundreds of billions of dollars. Brilliant!

In sum, Miller Baker is wildly wrong and/or utterly ignorant on the impacts of health care reform legislation. As for his comparison to the Iraq War, that is both completely off base and also wildly offensive, crazy and bizarre. If there were any doubt prior to this that Miller Baker was an off-the-right-wing-deep-end Tea Party extremist, there certainly isn't any now. Next Tuesday, 39th district voters need to reject this brand of lunacy: Vote George Barker, keep sanity and competence in the Virginia State Senate!

Miller Baker’s War on Voting

The more I look into Tea Party-backed Republican Miller Baker, running for Virginia State Senate in the 39th district against incumbent Sen. George Barker, the more troubling Miller Baker appears. First, I checked out Baker's biography at McDermott, Will & Henry, where he "co-heads the [Law] Firm's Appellate Practice group, and focuses his practice on appellate and constitutional litigation." Among the cases Miller Baker has worked on include several election law cases:

*Millsaps v. Thompson, 259 F.3d 535 (6th Cir. 2001).  Whether Tennessee's early voting system violated federal law establishing a uniform day for federal elections.

*Voting Integrity Project, Inc. v. Keisling, 259 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. 2001).  Whether Oregon's vote by mail system violated federal law establishing a uniform day for federal elections.

*Voting Integrity Project, Inc. v. Bomer, 199 F.3d 773 (5th Cir. 2000). Whether Texas' early voting system violated federal law establishing a uniform day for federal elections.

I also checked out Voting Integrity Project, Inc. v. Keisling, where I found Miller Baker as an appellant, arguing that "an Oregon statute that allows Oregonians to vote by mail for a substantial period prior to or as well as on this federal election day violates the federal election laws" and is unconstitutional.

What is the Voting Integrity Project? Salon Magazine explains:

“Diaper Dave” Vitter and Other Unsavory Characters Fund Miller Baker’s Campaign

As always, you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. In the case of teahadist Miller Baker, the Republican't nominee against State Senator George Barker in the 39th district, that company is unsavory to say the least. Courtesy of VPAP, here are a few LOWlights:

*$7,500 from the "Louisiana Reform PAC," the leadership PAC of none other than Sen. David Vitter (R), also known as "Diaper Dave" for his solicitation of prostitutes who would "make him wear diapers." Despite his sexual proclivities, when it comes to the issues, Vitter is as right wingnut as they get (utterly hypocritical of course), for instance "emphasizing abstinence over sex education that includes information about birth control" and proposing to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage (because he's such an exemplar of heterosexual marriage - heh). He's pretty much a teahadist on every other issue as well. Getting back to the 39th district State Senate race, I think it's fair to assume, since "Diaper Dave" is one of Miller Baker's largest contributors (other than the Republican Party of Virginia), that Miller and Vitter are highly simpatico in terms of policy and possibly ethics as well.

*Another major contributor ($2,500) to Miller Baker is Bollinger Shipyards, based in Lockport, Louisiana (what's with the Louisiana connection?). A Google search of "Bollinger Shipyards" immediately finds this story, in which "The Justice Department is accusing Bollinger Shipyards Inc. of falsifying data that led the Coast Guard to contract with the firm to lengthen eight deepwater cutters, all of which turned out 'unseaworthy and unusable.'" As one commenter on the Times-Picayune article sarcastically wrote:

There must be a mistake here. This can't possible be true, they're all fine upstanding Republicans. They would never, ever think of scamming the federal government at tax-payer expense.
Well, actually, yes they are, and yes they would! Scam the government at taxpayer expense, that is. The question is, why is this slimeball company from Louisiana donating so much money to a teahadist Republican here in Virginia, anyway? Someone should ask Miller Baker, or possibly his Best Friend Forever "Diaper Dave."

*Another $2,500 to Miller Baker came from Marianne L Horinko, a former Republican candidate who believes things like "a baby in the womb is alive. To assert otherwise is simply not true." (She also believes that Virginians should be free to carry concealed weapons, and that "this right should be reciprocated between states in a manner similar to how they recognize one another's driver's licenses").

*Ken Kookinelli kicked in $2,500 to Miller Baker's campaign, because there's nothing like having a gay-bashing, science-denying, take-Virginia-backwards-to-the-18th-century national embarassment on your team! LOL

That's just a few of the unsavory characters and right-wing extremists donating heavily to Miller Baker's campaign for State Senate. That really tells you everything you need to know - DO NOT VOTE FOR HIM! Fortunately, 39th district voters  have an incumbent State Senator who has done a superb job and will continue to do so if they reelect him. Is this a no-brainer or what?!? Go George Barker!

UPDATE: There's also a Citizens United connection. No wonder why Miller Baker is blowing off forums -- he has a LOT to hide!