GOP convention: Day 3

We got a brief update today from Don Genhart of Palm Desert, who is one of three Coachella Valley residents serving as delegates at the GOP convention.

Genhart said they’re preparing for another busy day today, as Rep. Paul Ryan will accept the nomination for vice president.

Despite the long schedule and some bus drama, Genhart seemed energized by what he’s hearing.

“Ann Romney’s talk and Governor Chris Christie’s talk were most
well received last night,” he wrote in an email.

“They, along with several governors and congressional representatives, spoke throughout the day with inspiring,passionate talks about Mitt Romney.”

Monday’s convention schedule was postponed because of weather related concerns. Republican leaders have updated the official convention website to encourage donations that help the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Isaac.


Bono Mack’s husband describes Ryan budget as ‘a joke’

We’re guessing there may be an interesting conversation brewing at the Mack household over the federal budget.

Rep. Connie Mack, a Florida Republican, described Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “a joke” when he was in Orlando for a tea party forum.

“You know that budget was a joke, doesn’t balance the budget for years,” Mack said, according to published reports.

Mack, a U.S. Senate candidate, was campaigning in Florida when the GOP-controlled House passed the budget plan last week.

But his wife, Palm Springs Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack of Palm Springs — was in Washington and did vote in favor of it.

We asked Bono Mack about her husband’s comments while she was in Indio this morning.

Bono Mack said she hadn’t heard about his criticism, but admitted Mack is “frustrated” that Congress hasn’t passed a budget that the country can understand and get behind.

“Connie is very frustrated. He’s frustrated that we can’t get a simple plan passed,” Bono Mack said this morning.

“He has always been a budget hawk.”

Mack is the author of the so-called “penny plan,” a budget proposal that would cut a penny from every federal dollar spent for six years and implement a spending cap in the fiscal year 2018.

Bono Mack in August agreed to co-sponsor the idea.

Despite the criticism of Ryan’s plan, Mack’s spokesman said the congressman would have supported the idea anyway.

New radio ad targets Bono Mack’s budget vote

In a continued effort to target Rep. Mary Bono Mack, national Democrats launched another radio ad campaign today that points out her support of a Republican budget plan

The short ad is paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and it echoes their earlier criticism that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan will prioritize “millionaires over Medicare.”

Both Bono Mack, a Palm Springs Republican, and Rep. Jerry Lewis, a Redlands Republican who represents Desert Hot Springs, on Thursday joined their GOP colleagues in the House to pass Ryan’s plan.

The bill restructures Medicare, cuts federal spending and revises the individual and corporate tax codes.

Both Bono Mack and Lewis endorsed a similar Ryan budget plan last year.

Bono Mack is being challenged by Democrat Raul Ruiz in the new 36th Congressional Distirct.

It is one of eight districts nationwide where the DCCC is airing the new radio ad.

Democrats pounce on Bono Mack’s budget vote

Rep. Mary Bono Mack today supported a Republican budget plan that would restructure Medicare, cut federal spending and revise the individual and corporate tax codes.

The bill, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, passed out of the Republican-controlled House on a 228-191 vote. Only 10 GOP lawmakers opposed it.

Bono Mack, a Palm Springs Republican, didn’t immediately release any public statements on the vote.

But her Democratic challenger, Dr. Raul Ruiz, certainly did.

“The Congresswoman has the wrong priorities: forcing seniors to pay more for health care, while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and Big Oil companies that are making record profits,” Ruiz said in a news release to the media.

“As an emergency room physician, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when people are uninsured or can’t afford health coverage,” Ruiz’s statement said. “Everyone pays the price in the form of higher premiums, longer waits in ER’s and lost productivity. Attacking Medicare is bad for our seniors and bad for our economy, and will make our local healthcare crisis worse. That is unacceptable.”

Ruiz’s comments echo a statement by the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which immediately released an email to say Bono Mack ”votes for millionaires over Medicare.”

Here’s some of the report by USA Today:

The House GOP’s budget, which is non-binding and will not become law, would restructure Medicare for future beneficiaries to allow those 55 and younger to opt out of the system and purchase private insurance with a federal subsidy.

On other health care policies, the Ryan budget would fully repeal the president’s health care law and turn Medicaid into a block grant program with more state control of how the funds are spend.

There are no tax increases in the budget, which would permanently extend the Bush tax cuts and consolidate the six individual tax brackets to two — a 10 percent and a 25 percent bracket — and reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.

It also calls for deeper cuts in federal spending programs affecting everything from farmers’ subsidies to college loans.

“It is so rare in American politics to arrive at a moment in which the debate revolves around the fundamental nature of American democracy and the social contract. But that is exactly where we are today,” said Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee.