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U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, gestures after announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Dardanelle, Ark., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Received this e-mail today from the Arkansas Democratic Party that highlights Tea Party Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate, Tom Cotton's (R. AR) allegiance to the Wall Street financed, extreme right wing group known as the Club for Growth:
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-A Arkansas, announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Dardanelle, Ark., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
The Club for Growth, a Washington special interest group pouring millions into Arkansas’s Senate race on Congressman Cotton’s behalf, released their 2013 legislative scorecard today.

By their own count, Congressman Cotton scored a staggering 92% when it came to supporting The Club's reckless anti-Medicare, anti-family agenda – nearly 30% more often than any other representative from Arkansas.

So why is Congressman Cotton voting in lockstep with Washington special interests and against the best interests of Arkansas? Follow the money.

According to a report by POLITICO, back in 2009 the Club for Growth picked Tom Cotton out of obscurity, sending him a FedEx envelope stuffed with $300,000 in checks that lifted him from 30 points down in the GOP primary to a seat in Congress.

In congress, Cotton has consistently carried the Club's water, voting again and again against Arkansas students, seniors, farmers and families -- all the while, the group has continued to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to bankroll his Senate ambitions, and they have spent six figure sums on television advertising in Arkansas on Cotton's behalf.

The Club for Growth rewards Congressman Cotton’s campaign with donations and misleading advertisements in exchange for his reckless votes against affordable student loans, disaster aid that would help Arkansas families recover from disasters and to raise Medicare’s eligibility age to 70 and turn it into a voucher program.
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Congressman Cotton thinks he can put one over on Arkansans. He thinks he’ll be able to get away with voting against Arkansans time and again while raking in the Club for Growth’s campaign contributions without Arkansans noticing. He’s wrong.

Arkansas can tell when someone is putting their own political ambition ahead of what’s right for Arkansas. Congressman Cotton may think he knows better than Arkansans, but his reckless agenda would hurt families in our state. In November, voters will hold him accountable for putting the Club for Growth’s reckless agenda and his own political ambition before Arkansas.

BACKGROUND:

Club For Growth Gave Cotton A Score Of 92 For His Voting Record In 2013 – The Highest In The Arkansas Delegation. According to a comprehensive examination of Congressman Cotton’s voting record, the Club for Growth gave Cotton a score of 92% out of 100. Cotton was the highest in the Arkansas delegation by almost 30 points. [Club for Growth Scorecard,  2013]

COTTON WAS THE ONLY ARKANSAN IN CONGRESS WHO VOTED AGAINST LOWER-COST STUDENT LOANS

Cotton Was One Of Only 31 House Members—The Only Arkansan—To Vote Against Bipartisan Plan To Reduce Student Loan Interest Rates. In July 2013, Cotton was the only member of the Arkansas congressional delegation to vote against Kline, R-Minn., motion to suspend the rules and concur in the Senate amendment to the bill that would set federal student loan interest rates issued after July 1, 2013 to the Treasury Department's 10-year borrowing rate, plus 2.05 percent for subsidized and unsubsidized undergraduate loans, 3.6 percent for graduate loans and 4.6 percent for PLUS loans. The loan rates would be capped at 8.25 percent, 9.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. It would require the Government Accountability Office to submit a report to Congress within four months detailing the federal government's cost of administering the student loan program and recommendations to avoid generating additional revenue from the program. The motion was agreed to 392-31: R 221-6; D 171-25; I 0-0. [HR 1911,  Vote 426, 7/31/13]

HE’S THE ONLY ONE WHO VOTED TO DENY MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY UNTIL PEOPLE TURN 70

Cotton Was the Only Member Of The Arkansas Delegation To Vote for Republican Study Committee Budget That Transformed Medicare Into Voucher System, Raised the Eligibility Age For Medicare And Social Security To 70 And Cut Social Security Benefits. In 2013, Cotton voted for the Republican Study Committee budget that “would assume the transformation of Medicare into a premium support program that would compete against private plans.” According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the budget “transitions Medicare to a premium support system by 2019 for new beneficiaries, and raises the Medicare retirement age to 70 and indexes it to life expectancy… Unlike other budgets, [Republican Study Budget] also addresses Social Security specifically by switching to the chained CPI for cost-of-living adjustments and increasing the full retirement age to 70 and indexing it for life expectancy.” According to the AARP, “Changing the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) using a chained CPI would have a detrimental impact on the economic wellbeing of older and disabled Americans and their family members who receive benefits from Social Security. Small reductions to the annual COLA will accumulate over time so that the largest reductions in benefits will be on the oldest beneficiaries and the long-term disabled. For example, 92- year-old beneficiaries who were on the program for 30 years would see an 8.4% cut in benefits. Disabled children could face even larger benefit cuts over their lifetime. Oldest Americans are the least able to absorb cuts to their benefits as they are more reliant on Social Security for their income and have higher out-of-pocket medical spending and a higher poverty rate than younger Americans.” The budget was rejected by a vote of 104-132. [CQ; H Con Res 25,  Vote #86, 3/20/13; Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget,  3/19/13; AARP,  October 2012]

    KATV: Cotton Did Support The Republican Study Committee’s 2014 Budget That Would Raise The Social Security Eligibility Age To 70. “Cotton did support the Republican Study Committee's 2014 budget, which proposed the eligibility age would increase to age 70 in two month increments, beginning in 2024.” [KATV, 11/13/13]

AND TOM COTTON IS THE ONLY ARKANSAN TO GET NEARLY $600,000 FROM A WASHINGTON INSIDER GROUP THAT WANTED HIM TO VOTE THAT WAY

From 2011-2013 Club For Growth Has Donated Nearly $600,000 To Cotton’s Campaigns.According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Club for Growth contributed $249,833 to Cotton’s 2012 campaign. In 2013, they contributed another $332,645 to his Senate race, according to FEC records. [Cotton, Opensecrets.org,  2012; FEC.gov]

    Club For Growth Spent Another $520,000 On Ads Benefitting Cotton. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2014, the Club for Growth spent $520,112 on independent expenditures against Senator Pryor, as of November 10, 2013. [Center for Responsive Politics,  11/10/13]

    Cotton Described Receiving A FedEx Envelope Stuffed With $300,000 In Checks From The Club For Growth.” In January 2013, Politico wrote: “Freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, a veteran of two wars and with a pair of Harvard degrees, got a pleasant surprise last year that helped him win a very competitive Republican primary — and then a very easy general election. It was a FedEx envelope full of checks that he didn’t ask for, from a group he hardly knew — the Club for Growth. Tucked inside that envelope and several to come were $300,000 in checks from Club members, enough to help lift the 35-year-old former Army captain from obscurity — and 47 percentage points down in his first internal poll — to the fourth floor of the Cannon House Office Building.” [Politico,  1/8/13]

HEADLINE: Club For Growth Urges Republicans In House To Vote Against Student-Loan Bill. [The Hill,  4/27/12]

Club For Growth Opposed Plan To Keep Student Loan Interest Rates From Doubling.According to the Hill, “The well-funded, fiscally conservative Club for Growth has urged House Republicans to vote against legislation that would extend lower interest rates on federal student loans, a move that could complicate Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) plan to pass the legislation on Friday. ‘The federal government should not be in the business of distorting the market for student loans,’ said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. ‘Decades of government intervention have driven tuition costs to record highs, and continuing these subsidies is simply bad policy. We urge members of Congress to oppose them… The bill would extend subsidies on federal student loans, keeping the interest rate at 3.4 percent rather than 6.8.” [The Hill,  4/27/12]

With Club for Growth Tea Party clowns like Ted Cruz (R. TX) and Pat Toomey (R. PA) in the Senate, do you we really want another one of the Club's minions occupying the upper chamber in the legislative branch?  I didn't think so.  If you want to get involved or donate to Senator Mark Pryor's (D. AR) campaign, you can do so here:

http://pryorforsenate.com/

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:56 PM PST.

Also republished by Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, Youth Kos 2.0, Social Security Defenders, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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