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Mitt Romney’s decision to select Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his vice presidential running mate raises the question of what happens in the Badger State’s 1st District, where Ryan is favored to win reelection in the fall. According to state election law, Ryan would not have to sacrifice his spot on the congressional ballot even though he is also running for vice president. He would appear on the ballot twice.

Ryan would appear on the ballot as both a candidate for the House and for vice president. If the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket is not successful, but he wins his congressional race, Ryan can keep his seat. If the national ticket wins the White House and Ryan holds his House seat, a special election would be held to replace him in the House.

“If the candidate is elected president or vice president of the United States such election shall void the candidate’s election to any other office. A special election shall be held to fill any office vacated under this subsection,” reads a state statute on multiple nominations.

The Wisconsin primary election is scheduled to take place next Tuesday. Ryan’s general election opponent is Rob Zerban, a Democrat who has attracted the attention of national party officials but who nonetheless remains a substantial underdog against the House Budget Committee chairman. The $5.4 million Ryan had in his campaign account in late July was about ten times what Zerban had on hand.

Ryan’s popularity in his district has defied his seat’s party lean. President Obama won narrowly there in 2008. However, Ryan has never faced a reelection challenge that has threatened his seat.

The broader congressional effect of Ryan’s addition to the national ticket is perhaps more notable than the impact on his own race. Democrats will likely double down on the effort to tie Republican House candidates to Ryan’s plan to revamp Medicare; for Republicans, the architect of the controversial blueprint will now be defending it on an even larger stage than before.

It would be hilarious and good for the Country if Paul Ryan lost BOTH his VP bid and his seat in November. 

H/T: Sean Sullivan at WaPo’s The Fix

Below are 12 things you should know about Ryan and his policies:

1. Embraces extreme individualism. Ryanheaped praise on Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her philosophy that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.” Rand described altruism as “evil,” condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as “phony,” and called Arabs “almost totally primitive savages. Though he publicly rejected “her philosophy” in 2012, Ryan had professed himself a strong devotee. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he said at a D.C. gathering honoring the author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well… I try to make my interns read it.” 

2. Raises taxes on the middle class, cuts them for millionaires. Paul Ryan’s infamous budget — which Romney embraced — replaces “the current tax structure with two brackets — 25 percent and 10 percent — and cut the top rate from 35 percent.” Federal tax collections would fall “by about $4.5 trillion over the next decade” as a result and to avoid increasing the national debt, the budget proposes massive cuts in social programs and “special-interest loopholes and tax shelters that litter the code.” But 62 percent of the savings would come from programs that benefit the lower- and middle-classes, who would also experience a tax increase. That’s because while Ryan “would extend the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of this year, he would not extend President Obama’s tax cuts for those with the lowest incomes, which will expire at the same time.” Households “earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.”

3. Dramatically increases Medicare costs for seniors, increases eligibility age. Ryan’s latest budget transforms the existing version of Medicare, in which government provides seniors with a guaranteed benefit, into a “premium support” system. All future retirees would receive a government contribution to purchase insurance from an exchange of private plans or traditional fee-for-service Medicare. But since the premium support voucher does not keep up with increasing health care costs, the Congressional Budget Offices estimates that new beneficiaries could pay up to $1,200 more by 2030 and more than $5,900 more by 2050. A recent study also found that had the plan been implemented in 2009, 24 million beneficiares enrolled in the program would have paid higher premiums to maintain their choice of plan and doctors. Ryan would also raise Medicare’s age of eligibility to 67.

4. Leaves Social Security to the whims of Wall Street. In September of 2011, Ryan agreed with Rick Perry’s characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” and since 2005 has advocated for privatizing the retirement benefit and investing it in stocks and bonds. Conservatives claim that this would “outperform the current formula based on wages earned and overall wage appreciation,” but the economic crisis of 2008 should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers who seek to hinge Americans’ retirement on the stock market. In fact, “a person with a private Social Security account similar to what President George W. Bush proposed in 2005″ would have lost much of their retirement savings.

9. Claimed Romneycare has led to “rationing and benefit cuts.” “I’m not a fan of [Romney’s health care reform] system,” Ryan told C-SPAN in 2010. He argued that government is rationing care in the state and claimed that people are “seeing the system bursting by the seams, they’re seeing premium increases, rationing and benefit cuts.” He called the system “a fatal conceit” and “unsustainable.” 

12. Co-sponsored a personhood amendment. Ryan joined 62 other Republicans in co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which declares that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” This would outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception and invitro fertilization.

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress

thepoliticalfreakshow:

demnewswire:

  • Voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman
  • Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.
  • Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage
  • Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent
  • Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance
  • Rated 13% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record

Just some info on how Paul Ryan voted in the US House, seeing how he’s VP pick and all.

(via thepoliticalfreakshow)

NORFOLK, Va. -– Mitt Romney will announce Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate on Saturday, according to two sources with knowledge of the decision.

Ryan is a bold pick who will energize the Republican Party, but putting him on the ticket is fraught with risk and instantly puts Ryan’s budget plan front and center in the 2012 campaign.

Romney will announce his choice in Norfolk on Saturday morning at the beginning of a four-day bus tour through key battleground states, the campaign said Friday night. The Weekly Standard reported earlier Friday that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been asked to be ready to make the case for Ryan beginning Saturday.

Romney’s alliance with the 42-year old Ryan has become the most dramatic development of the 2012 presidential campaign. Romney had been presumed for much of the last few months to be set on a safe pick, such as Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

But now, Romney, who is 23 years older than Ryan, will signal that he is willing to roll the dice. President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and Democratic political groups have been eager for Romney to pick Ryan, the architect of plans to slash government spending and overhaul entitlement programs that Democrats believe are political losers.

Both liberals and conservatives will be thrilled with Romney’s choice.

Conservatives believe Ryan is one of the brightest, best young faces and minds who can cheerfully articulate a case for limited government while simultaneously arguing that a less expansive bureaucracy and a revamped entitlement system is the best way to preserve government aid and benefits for the poor, indigent and elderly.

H/T: Jon Ward at HuffPo

Paul Ryan is a menace!

Cross-Posted from Daily Kos: BREAKING: Tricky Mitt will select his VP tomorrow morning in Norfolk, Virginia

Vote on who you want to best help the Dems chances in the blog.

It appears that Mitt Romney will choose a Vice President to run with him on the GOP ticket tomorrow morning at 9AM EDT/8AM CDT/6AM PDT to face off against the Obama/Biden ticket on the Democratic Party side.

Carl Cameron is reporting as I write this that Mitt Romney will announce his VP pick tomorrow morning at 9 AM ET, in Norfolk, Virginia.

h/t: Ellen at NewsHounds.us

Of course Paul Ryan wants to be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.

The hyper-ambitious political careerist—who has spent his entire adult life as a Congressional aide, think-tank hanger-on and House member—is looking for a road up. And he is sly enough to recognize that, like Dick Cheney with George Bush, he could be more than just a vice president in the administration of so bumbling a character as Romney.

Ryan figured Romney out months ago.

The two men bonded during the Wisconsin presidential primary campaign in late March and early April. They got on so well that Ryan was playing April Fool’s Day jokes on the Republican front-runner—giving Romney a rousing introduction before the candidate came from behind a curtain to find the room where he had expected to be greeted by a crowd of supporters was empty.

Romney loves the prep-school fraternity that he has with Ryan, and every indication is that the former governor would be delighted to add the House Budget Committee chairman to his ticket.

The conversations have occurred. The vetting has been completed. It could happen. And, indeed, as the time for choosing nears, the Ryan buzz has been amplified—mainly by the Wisconsin congressman’s friends atThe Weekly Standard, which has editorialized enthusiastically on behalf of his selection, and other conservative media outlets. But, now, even ABC’s “Veep Beat” headlines “Paul Ryan’s Rising Momentum.”

Romney clearly needs help. Just back from a disastrous trip to Europe and the Middle East, mired in controversies about the “vulture capitalism” he practiced at Bain Capital and his refusal to release tax returns that his dad—former Michigan governor and 1968 Republican presidential contender George Romney—said contenders for the Oval Office had a a responsibility to share with the voters, Romney could use a boost.

But Ryan would be a burden, not a booster, for a Romney-led ticket.

Like Romney, Ryan is a son of privilege who has little real-world experience or understanding. He presents well on Sunday morning talk shows and in the rarified confines of Washington think tanks and dinners with his constituents—the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street—but his record in Congress and the policies he now promotes are political albatrosses.

For the most part, he has until recently flown under the radar—dazzling fellow Republicans with fiscal fancy footwork, while dancing around weak Democratic opposition in his home district.

But no more. This year, Ryan is being called out by an able challenger with actual experience in the private sector, as well as local government. Rob Zerban, the congressman’s Democratic challenger, is not fooled by Ryan’s budgetary blathering.

Zerban is familiar with Ryan’s record. And he has been calling the budget committee chairman out on his “faux fiscal credentials.”

”Congressman Paul Ryan can grandstand about the debt all he wants, but at the end of the day, Ryan is a root cause of many of the financial issues our country faces today,” says Zerban.”From supporting two unfunded wars, to dumping millions of senior citizens into the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ while tying the hands of the government to negotiate prescription drug prices, and from fighting for subsidies for Big Oil that his family personally benefits from, to supporting the unfunded Bush tax cuts for his wealthiest campaign contributors, Paul Ryan’s hypocrisy is astounding.”

Even as national Republicans “vet” Ryan as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, Zerban has been revealing the reality of a congressman who may talk the talk but who has never walked the walk. “Congressman Ryan fell down on the job, and is now trying to push the blame for his bad policy decisions onto President Obama,” says Zerban. “Congressman Ryan had ten years in Congress—almost all with a House Republican majority—to reduce the deficit, prior to President Obama’s election. He did nothing.”

That’s right.

If, by some chance, Paul Ryan were to become the Republican nominee for vice president, the whole country would be talking about his duplicity when it comes to the balancing of budgets.

H/T: John Nichols at The Nation

RYAN RISING: There has been a surge in mentions about Rep.Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's potential running mate in recent days, and, as National Review Online's Robert Costa writes, the chatter about a Romney-Ryan ticket could just be true. “These days, you hear it everywhere - from Republican donors and veteran operatives, and at Capitol Hill watering holes. A few weeks ago, it was a wishful rumor floating in the Beltway ether. Now, sources close to the Romney campaign say it’s for real, that the taciturn former Massachusetts governor is quietly warming to the idea.Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the budget king of the GOP, may be Mitt Romney's veep. 'Ryan is very highly respected not only by the candidate, but by Romney's policy shop,' says Tom Rath, a Romney adviser. 'Beyond the political relationship, he has a good personal relationship with Romney, and he has been a strong and reliable surrogate since the primary,'” Costa wrote. ” For months, Ryan has been considered a dark horse for the number-two spot. At age 42, he has accomplished much, such as winning seven straight congressional races and authoring his party's blueprint for entitlement reform. But his lack of executive experience, and his criticism of the Bay State’s health-care program, made his chances look relatively remote. Yet behind the scenes, Ryan’s stock has been steadily rising. Romney, a former Bain Capital consultant who relishes data and metrics, has clicked with the youthful Badger State wonk. They have campaigned together and speak frequently on the phone, comparing notes on policy and strategy. And earlier this year, with Ryan’s blessing, Romney hired three of Ryan’s Budget Committee advisers to help him in Boston.”

PARTY INSIDERS SPLIT ON RYAN: The prospect of Rep. Paul Ryan joining the GOP ticketexcites one side of the Republican Party wishing Romney would be more forthcoming with the policy change he’d bring to Washington while at the same time, spurs hesitancy among others who are concerned Democrats would slash away at a Romney-Ryan ticket based on the Wisconsin representative’s budget plan, Politico’s Jonathan Martin, Jake Sherman and Maggie Haberman reprort. “As Mitt Romney's vice presidential selection nears and buzz about Rep. Paul Ryan’sprospects builds, a split is emerging among Republicans about whether the choice of the House Budget chairman and architect of the party’s controversial tax and spending plan would be a daring plus for the ticket or a miscalculation that would turn a close election into a referendum on Medicare,” Martin, Sherman and Haberman wrote. “Ryan advocates, including some of his colleagues and high-profile conservative elites, believe Romney will lose if he doesn’t make a more assertive case for his candidacy and that selecting the 42-year-old wonky golden boy would sound a clarion call to the electorate about the sort of reforms the presumptive GOP nominee wants to bring to Washington. 

h/t: Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON — A trio of female firsts and three former GOP presidential contenders are among the first speakers disclosed for August’s Republican National Convention.

The GOP convention schedule is packed with high-profile names to fire up divergent wings of the Republican Party, from social conservatives to fiscal hawks. They will speak ahead of Mitt Romney’s formal acceptance of his party’s presidential nomination.

Convention leaders were not ready to announce the keynote speaker, a prime speaking slot that has the potential to catapult a rising member of the party to national prominence.

The schedule’s outlines were first reported by The Tampa Bay Times late Sunday and were confirmed to The Associated Press by Republican officials with direct knowledge of the plan. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because convention officials had not yet announced the schedule.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the first female governors of their states, are among party leaders slated to address the gathering that begins Aug. 27. Martinez has the additional distinction of being the first female Hispanic governor in the country.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the first black female to hold that job, is also scheduled to speak.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona was set to speak, as well as a one-time rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The two, along with Romney, vied for the 2008 presidential nomination, with McCain outlasting both Romney and the former Baptist pastor in the primary campaign.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin are both big names in the party believed to be among those Romney is weighing for the vice presidential slot or for the keynote address. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio also were noticeably absent from the slate of announced speakers and may be contenders for running mate.

If passed over for the vice presidential pick, there is a very good chance they would earn speaking slots – if not the keynote.

The speakers already announced suggest where Romney is looking to make progress as voters start to pay attention to the fall campaign.

Martinez, who made history in her state and nationally when she was elected, could appeal to Hispanic women, a sizable demographic that broke for Obama four years ago. She can also address voters who feel securing the nation’s Southern border is a top concern.

Among tea party supporters, Romney will get a boost from Kasich. His home state of Ohio is a linchpin of Romney’s strategy and no Republican has won the White House without carrying the perennial Midwestern battleground. No Democrat has won without winning Ohio since John F. Kennedy won the presidency in 1960.

Florida is another key state for both campaigns’ path to the White House. Florida’s Gov. Scott will address the convention, customary when the incumbent governor’s party hosts the convention.

Democrats have rolled out their own convention schedule in recent weeks. Marking a first for Hispanics, the Democrats chose the mayor of San Antonio to deliver the keynote address in Charlotte, N.C.

h/t: HuffPo

Perhaps the second time’s the charm. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is once again rumored to be on the vice presidential shortlist of a Republican presidential candidate, with Mitt Romney doing the honors this time around. After serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives, two terms as governor and making a brief run for president in 2011, Pawlenty is now working as a tireless advocate to help his potential boss get elected. His first brush with VP fame occurred when Republican presidential nominee John McCain started looking into Pawlenty’s record as a potential running mate in 2008.

1. While in the Minnesota House, Pawlenty served on the board of a corporation whose subsidiary was charged with scamming customers

While Pawlenty was majority leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives, he sat on the Board of Directors of a phone company, NewTel, for two years. During his tenure, Pawlenty approved NewTel’s purchase of a subsidiary called New Access Communications, which regulators in ten states accused of cheating its customers by deceptively signing them up for its services.

Regulators charged that New Access was engaging in “slamming,” an industry term that describes an illegal practice in which companies switch a customer’s phone service without permission. New Access reached a settlement and agreed to pay about $2 million in fines—$1.2 to the allegedly fleeced customers and $750,000 to regulators in the ten states where they were charged at the time. The company claimed innocence, but paid the money to avoid a legal battle.

2. Pawlenty’s first gubernatorial campaign had to pay $600,000 in fines for improper coordination with the state party

When Pawlenty ran for governor in 2002, the State Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board charged his campaign with “illegal collusion” with the state Republican Party after Pawlenty’s campaign provided them with footage for ads. The board fined the campaign $100,000 and forced it to pay $500,000 in ad spending originally picked up by the state Republican Party. The Minnesota GOP “purchased raw footage from the campaign media consultant and produced a series of supposedly independent ads,” the Star Tribune reported in November 2002.

The board ruled “that the interactions between the party and the campaign were too cozy and amounted to illegally acting in ‘cooperation and concert.’ …The law prohibits any coordination on spending or advertising with candidates who take state money and agree to the limits,” the Tribune reported.

3. Pawlenty’s campaign treasurer was charged with deceiving homeowners facing foreclosure

While Pawlenty was governor in 2004, his re-election campaign treasurer Ron Esau resigned after being charged with running a scheme that allegedly took advantage of families undergoing foreclosure on their homes. The “equity-stripping scheme…targeted families facing foreclosure by offering to buy their houses and sell them back for what they owed plus interest,” the Associated Press reported at the time. Instead of selling the homes to the families facing foreclosure with just interest included, the company involved with Esau sold it back to them at full market value plus equity instead. Esau ultimately settled and paid restitution over the charges.

h/t: Yahoo! News

The next act in the political kabuki of Mitt Romney choosing a running mate will be the timing of the candidate’s announcement, and while his aides have said he could announce this week, the latest speculation is that he’ll wait until after the Olympics. The New York Daily News’ Thomas DeFrank reported Tuesday night, ”Sources close to the Romney campaign told the Daily News the working plan has been to announce the pick after the Olympic Games, which begin next week and conclude Aug. 12 — two weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa.”

The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro noted on Tuesday that this week is basically Romney’s last chance to have the spotlight to himself before “the political equivalent of a traffic jam” makes it hard for him to dominate the news cycle. By the time he returns from an overseas campaign trip next week, the Olympics will be well underway, and while one aide told Barbaro that Romney’s VP pick could briefly edge out Olympic coverage, “But Mr. Romney, who ran the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, may be especially wary of trying to compete with the Games for media attention.”

h/t: Adam Martin at The Atlantic

(Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appears to be in the final stages of deciding who to pick as his vice presidential running mate, with speculation growing that he has narrowed his choice down to a short-list of three.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal all offer various strengths to Romney should he decide to pick one of them to join his battle to unseat President Barack Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden, in the November 6 election.

Many Republicans believe Romney will break from tradition and announce his choice well before the party’s convention in Tampa in late August that will formally nominate Romney as the Republican candidate.

Campaign officials were loathe to discuss the selection process or the short list but made clear that Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had yet to make up his mind.

Naming his vice presidential running mate in coming days could help Romney remove a withering spotlight instigated by the Obama campaign over his personal financial information and tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital.

The Democrats accuse Romney of leading Bain at a time when it invested in companies that outsourced U.S. jobs overseas. Romney says he was running the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City at the time and had given up all management of the company.

The controversy is proving to be a distraction for the Romney campaign and overshadowing his attempt to make the election campaign about Obama’s handling of the U.S. economy amid 8.2 percent unemployment and record budget deficits.

Others who are believed to be under consideration for the No. 2 position include New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, South Dakota Senator John Thune and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. 

h/t; Reuters

The Drudge Report ran a blaring headline late Thursday night reporting that sources within Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign say Condoleezza Rice, who served as secretary of state and national security adviser under President George W. Bush, is a “front-runner” for the running mate slot.

Matt Drudge, the founder of the site, has close ties to members of Romney’s inner circle and runs one of the most popular news aggregation sites on the Web. For the past few days, President Barack Obama’s campaign has hammered Romney by questioning his business record at Bain Capital—one top Obama aide even went as far as suggesting Romney could be a felon—so it’s not surprising that Romney would want to change the conversation to speculation about his vice presidential choice. The question remains, however: Is Romney actually considering Rice, or is the “leak” just a distraction?

First, as many on the right point out, Rice supports keeping abortion legal, making her a tough sell with social conservatives.

Also, adding Rice to the ticket would make her an easy target for Democrats by pointing out her ties to the Bush administration, where she served for both terms.

On the other hand, Rice is known for her ability to excite Republican crowds and as an African-American woman, she would offer a level of diversity to Romney’s team.

Sorry, Drudge, but Rice (or any other pro-choice/pro-SSM GOPer) will NEVER be a VP or the President for the foreseeable future. Also, she has ties to the Godawful Dumbya/Cheney Administration.

h/t: Yahoo! News

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is starting to build hype around his soon-to-be-announced running mate, branding the forthcoming Republican ticket as “America’s Comeback Team.”

In an email sent to supporters on Thursday with the subject line “Mitt’s VP,” campaign manager Matt Rhoades announced a new contest to meet Romney and his vice presidential pick, hinting that Romney is close to making his decision.

h/t: Yahoo! News