ICYMI: Congressman Crawford Flip Flops On Yet Another Position

April 10, 2012

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Congressman Crawford Flip Flops On Yet Another Position

Crawford Embraces Pork After Signing No Pork Pledge


Each day seems to bring another flip flop from Republican Congressman Rick Crawford. Whether it’s on tax policy, pork spending, or programs important to the people of the First Congressional District, Crawford reverses his position, causing Arkansans to question just where exactly does Crawford stand on the issues.


This weekend, Crawford embraced the need for pork spending, despite signing a “no pork pledge” when campaigning for office in 2010.


Read news coverage below.


Crawford gives ‘pork’ a rethink: Earmarks have place, he says

By Alex Daniels, Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Arkansas Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, who took a “no pork pledge” as a candidate, said Friday that budget earmarks, often derided as “pork-barrel spending,” should make a comeback.

He said he’s not worried that the practice will increase the federal deficit and described using earmarks as a way to ensure that spending decisions are left to members of Congress familiar with their districts instead of “Washington bureaucrats.”

As a candidate in the 2010 race, Crawford was one of many Republicans who signed a “No Pork Pledge,” promoted by Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington group that advocates for a smaller federal budget.

In the pledge, Crawford affirmed that he would not request any “pork-barrel earmark.”

The Arkansas Democratic Party said Crawford has “flipflopped” on the issue.

Candace Martin, the party’s spokesman, said Crawford also reversed himself in March when he proposed raising taxes for upper-income earners on the condition that Congress pass a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“This is another example to add to the list of broken promises,” she said. “Arkansans don’t know where he stands.”

Read the full article here.

First CD News & Rick Crawford’s Broken Pledges

By Michael Cook, Cook’s Outlook

Incumbent Congressman Rick Crawford made some news over the weekend, and by doing so made it clear to voters his word is now officially mud.

In his 2010 campaign, Crawford signed two pledges: a “No Tax Hike Pledge” and a “No Pork Pledge.”

As you recall, Crawford recently proposed a new tax, thereby breaking his word, and one could reasonably argue that he lied to First District voters by breaking his pledge which said he would oppose ANY tax increase.

In Sunday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Crawford said he was now reconsidering his position on the signed “No Pork Pledge” created by the Citizens Against Government Waste, where he promised not to request any “pork-barrel earmark.”

However, Crawford said Sunday, “Constituents expect their congressman to bring back as many federal dollars as they can.  I’m only one voice in a very large geographic area. We’ve kind of hit a brick wall without the ability to earmark projects.”

Translation:  Bring on the pork!

Crawford’s actions have taken the game of signing campaign pledges off the table for 2012.  For example, if one candidate attacks another for not signing some pledge, the attacked candidate can just point out Congressman Crawford’s broken pledges, how silly they are and not worth the paper they’re printed on.

Rick Crawford has shown he has no core principles and is willing to break his word at the drop of a hat.  Moreover, Crawford has just given the eventual Democratic nominee more fodder for negative ads on how Washington has changed him.

Read the full story here.

What is Rick Crawford Thinking?

By Jason Tolbert, Tolbert Report

For the second time in the last month, Arkansas conservatives are scratching their heads and asking: what is Congressman Rick Crawford thinking?

Fast forward to this weekend, when Crawford is quoted in an article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette saying he is rethinking his position on earmarks.

The problem for Crawford once again is that this policy shift is inconsistent with his “no pork” pledge he made during the 2010 campaign.

The pledge by an organization called Citizens Against Government Waste states that Crawford “will not request any pork-barrel earmark, which is defined as meeting one of the following criteria: requested by only one chamber of Congress, not specifically authorized, not competitively awarded, not requested by the President, greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding, not the subject of congressional hearings, or serves only a local or special interest.”

You will note that I have said Crawford’s two policy shifts are inconsistent with his pledges.  He has pointed out in a most awkward manner that he has technically not violated his no tax pledge as he has not yet voted for his own proposal.  He can and probably will also argue that this does not violate his pledge as he has not yet put in a request by merely explaining that he now sees the benefit for earmarks – but only with reforms – for a rural district such as the First Congressional District.

I am not sure if Crawford fully realizes the political fire he is playing with in these arguments.  It defies common sense to make a distinction between advocating for a plan or policy and the casting of the actual roll call vote.  It is like arguing over what the meaning of the word “is” is.


Read the full article here.