Heartland Institute Experts React to the 2014 Midterm Elections

Published November 5, 2014

Republicans on Tuesday night took control of the United States Senate, increased their majority in the House of Representatives, and now hold at least 32 governorships – all nearly historic gains.

The following statements from policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“The president is likely to spend the next two years ruling by executive order rather than choosing to work with Congress, and attention will quickly turn towards the 2016 presidential election. The real take away from the election is what happened at the state level. Republicans now have control of 31 governorships and at least 65 state legislative chambers. While gridlock is likely to continue in DC, 2015 could be a big year for free-market solutions at the state level on everything from welfare reform to tax reform.

“More states are likely to push back against Washington in an attempt to regain more control and flexibility over key issues like Medicaid and EPA’s CO2 regulations. Over the next two years, states are likely to continue pushing for income tax cuts, free-market welfare reforms, and a pro-energy agenda – including supporting domestic energy production and the repeal or reduction of renewable mandates.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The biggest policy take-away from the election last night is the overwhelming rejection of President Obama’s anti energy policy. Republicans won Senate seats in former Democrat strongholds to carry the Senate and now control the entire Congress as a result. The American people do not think that windmills and dancing on sunbeams is enough to run the greatest economy in world history.

“The other huge win was the economic growth issue. The American people demand an end to Obama’s consistently anti growth economic policies ‒ from taxes and spending to over-regulation and counterproductive monetary policies.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Undeniably, the results of the 2014 election show that voters recognized and rewarded pro-growth policies and rejected politicians unable or unwilling to embrace needed economic reforms.

“Millions of dollars dumped into attack ads and campaign literature could not drown out the fact that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s fiscal reforms have benefitted his state, nor could legions of pundits convince Kansas voters that Gov. Sam Brownback’s responsible policies were the wrong choice for the Sunflower State.

“Likewise, North Carolinians’ rejection of soon-to-be-former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s alleged corruption and taxpayer abuse – in favor of Thomas Tillis’ pro-growth agenda – lends further evidence to the hypothesis that people ‘vote their pocketbooks.’ Under Tillis’ leadership in the state legislature in North Carolina, the state has enacted a fiscally conservative agenda, which has already begun to pay dividends for residents.

“Last night, voters sent a message that ‘it’s the economy, stupid.’ Perhaps it is time more lawmakers listen.”

Jesse Hathaway
Managing Editor Budget & Tax News
Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The federal government and national debt grew under Republican Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. Republicans have repeatedly used limited-government rhetoric to get elected and then have embraced big government when they have controlled it. I expect the same thing to happen this time. “At the state level, Republicans might have more impact, because true believers in limited government have a better chance of being elected at state and local levels, and turning a state is easier than turning the national government, just as turning a rowboat is easier than turning a battleship. In recent years we’ve seen big improvements in tax and regulatory policies in a number of states, including Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. If Republicans stick to their promises, good things could happen. But that’s always a big ‘if.'”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Incumbent Democratic senators who were presumed safe by all prognosticators look to have barely squeaked by. Of the senators who voted for Obamacare, 25 are now gone. Key gubernatorial contests such as Florida and Kansas turned into clear victories for Republicans. Sam Brownback, considered a dead man walking by many, beat Paul Davis handily. Mia Love won, Sandra Fluke lost, and even Michael Grimm made it back to DC.

“How did Republicans do it? Simple: They made the election about President Obama’s unmitigated failure, while Democrats made it about things voters didn’t care about. We should also not forget the media’s many-splendored myths about this cycle. No, the country is not fed up with Republican obstructionism. No, this is not merely about structural issues for the Democrats. No, Obamacare was not a political winner. But Republicans shouldn’t think they won because they were clever. They won because the president and his party were incompetent.

“Now they have an opportunity to prove they’re not going to make the same mistakes. Be humble in victory, Republicans – and don’t screw this up by returning to your old ways.”

Benjamin Domenech
Senior Fellow, Health Care Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“With fervent hope that the Republicans understand the repudiation of the president’s policies, they have the opportunity to do three important actions in the environmental arena:

“One: They can now draft a bill to require the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which has bipartisan support and has passed every environmental test. This legislation will pass both houses in numbers that will not allow a veto by the president.

“Two: They can require the government to open up public lands to environmentally safe mineral and energy exploration, as well as speed up approval of permits to drill and mine for resources on already approved lands. This will ensure our resource independence in both areas for centuries to come.

“Three: They can take charge of the funding of the Environmental Protection Agency which has gone rogue in efforts to impede virtually all economic development in our nation, and eventually phase out the EPA, passing on its responsibilities to a committee of the whole of our 50 state environmental protection agencies. Those agencies currently do essentially 100 percent of this work on behalf of the public, and thereby we could eliminate 15,000 federal workers whose value is questionable while easily reducing the federal budget by $6 billion.”

Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“American voters overwhelmingly repudiated global warming alarmism, despite global warming activists spending tens of millions of dollars attacking climate realists. In virtually every contest targeted by global warming activists, voters chose climate realists. Victories such as those by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen.-elect Tom Cotton in Colorado illustrate how the American people continue to reject scientifically debunked global warming alarmism.

“Economically punitive global warming restrictions have been stopped dead in their tracks, with the sole exception being expensive, ineffective, and unpopular EPA restrictions forced on the American people by environmental zealots in the Obama administration.”

James M. Taylor
Senior fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Environmental issues played almost no role in the outcome of the election. However, managed wisely, the Republican route could signal a positive shift in course on environmental issues.

“The resurgent Republican majority in Congress should focus on three goals:

“First, prevent any bad legislation from passing during the lame duck session of Congress. The House leadership and the existing Senate minority would work together to ensure costly policies like a renewal of the production tax credit for wind energy producers don’t get imposed on the American people by a group of legislators wishing to burnish their legacies and pay off green radicals in their remaining days in Congress.

“Second, the new majority should roll back as much of the harmful policies enacted through regulations and executive orders as possible. For instance, EPA’s proposed CO2 regulations for new and existing power plants, and the EPA and Army Corps’ forthcoming rewrite of the wetlands rules, should be scuttled. Even with the new majority, legislation directly reversing these rules will likely fail. Even if the Senate can overcome a filibuster by the minority Democrats, the president would likely veto such bills. However, the new majority can act through the power of the purse; zeroing out the budget for economically harmful rules or programs and inserting language into ‘must pass,’ bills that dictates that no resources are spent carrying out, monitoring, or enforcing objectionable rules.

“Third, Congress should work on passing targeted legislation that improves America’s energy security and its environmental quality. Building the Keystone XL Pipeline would create jobs, reduce threats to the environment and improve the nation’s energy security. The new Congress should give this an up or down vote. Bills are pending to improve science by requiring transparency of the science used to shape and justify EPA regulation. This is good policy and should get an up or down vote.

“Congress should reduce subsidies to energy production, creating a level playing field for all forms of energy to compete in, which would best ensure that the lowest-cost, most-reliable forms of energy dominate the market. Congress should also move environmental policy back towards the truly federalist system, recognizing that environmental wisdom does not reside at EPA headquarters in Washington, DC, but rather in the states most harmed by environmental problems. In recent years, through regulations and executive orders, the states’ legitimate lead role in environmental policy has been subverted. Congress should reverse this.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
[email protected]

“Ever since then-Senator Al Gore established global warming as a key issue of the Democrat Party, the balance of power in the U.S. Congress has had considerable impact on the amount of spending granted to research and to offset man’s influence on our climate. Many scientists are frustrated that a scientific matter has become a partisan political issue. But now, those of us who are skeptics of the much-promoted claim that our civilization is causing a climate crisis by our burning of fossil fuels are enthused by Republican victories in Congress because we know it will result in our side of the climate debate being heard by more members of the Senate and House. Since there has been no warming for 18 years and the fossil fuel exhaust warming theory has failed to verify, we have a compelling story to tell. Perhaps we will be heard at last.

John Coleman
Meteorologist Founder, The Weather Channel
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“America’s energy policy (or lack thereof) is often part of the national discussion. However, most of the decisions affecting energy policy occur at the state level, meaning the election-day results for governor’s mansions and statehouses across the nation will have an important impact on many energy issues, especially hydraulic fracturing.

“In Pennsylvania, Republican Tom Corbett lost his bid for reelection. Pennsylvania is currently the only large natural gas producing state without a severance tax, instead assessing an ‘impact fee’ to aid local communities with repairing roads and community services. The likely implication of the election will be the replacement (or possibly addition) of a severance tax on the natural gas produced to finance general fund expenditures.

“In Illinois, incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn was defeated by Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. Gov. Quinn signed the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act in 2013. However, his administration came under scrutiny because of delays in the administrative rules process, leading landowners in Southern Illinois to fear the governor was using the rule-making process as a tool to delay hydraulic fracturing indefinitely. Rauner’s election likely means Illinois will be open to hydraulic fracturing sooner than later.”

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Under the leadership of Rep. Lamar Smith, the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology has conducted a number of very important hearings over the past few years – hearings that exposed many of the flaws, fallacies, and frauds that so permeate environmental and energy policy in the United States today. My hope is that the House will use this knowledge to craft bills that reform the way America manages its environmental and energy challenges and that a Republican-majority Senate will concur, forcing the president to either adopt common-sense reforms or to explain to the American people why job-destroying, excessive, unnecessary regulation is in their best interests.”

Richard J. Trzupek
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Over the past few years, many state governments have made tremendous progress in advancing pro-growth tax reform that has created new jobs and helped to bring the economies of their states back to life. The success of conservative candidates in many states in this election, even those with huge targets on them like Scott Walker and Sam Brownback, proves that the American people like what they see and that free-market tax reforms that lower rates, keep tax dollars in the pockets of all taxpayers while creating new, reasonable limits on spending are economically effective and politically popular.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Trying to predict what future politicians will do based on election results is a bit like reading chicken entrails and trying to predict the weather, but here are a few educated guesses:

“One: We will not see a chastened Barack Obama pledging to work across the aisle to ‘get things done’ for the American people. Rather, Obama will double-down on his Constitutionally suspect practice of ruling by executive order and will try to legalize some six million-plus ‘undocumented immigrants’ in time to have them eligible to vote in the 2016 elections.

“Two: Knowing that Republicans will not have enough votes to override, Obama will veto every major policy bill that Congress sends that goes against his agenda, from reforming Obamacare to building the Keystone XL Pipeline to opening Yucca Mountain to storage of long-term nuclear waste.

“Three: In view of their party’s shellacking in Senate races last night, enough potentially vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election in 2016 may join with Republicans in the Senate to reverse, eliminate, or correct some of Obamacare’s most unpopular features, but the Affordable Care Act itself will not be repealed. Likewise, enough may join Republicans to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

“Other than that, look for two more years of maneuvering for advantage in the 2016 presidential race with Republicans continuing to attack the Obama agenda, and Democrats continuing to distance themselves from it.”

David L. Applegate
Policy Advisor, Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Education was unusually prominent in this year’s midterm elections, but with few good effects, as the contests were largely about who would spend more the fastest. It would have been far better to educate voters with data about how Americans have tripled K‒12 spending since 1970 in real dollars but are not getting any better education outcomes for it. This year’s midterm was a missed opportunity to have a good conversation about better ideas for our nation’s future.”

Joy Pullmann
Research Fellow, Education
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Voters showed their support for folks who took a stand against federal overreach through Common Core last night. In Arizona and Georgia, state superintendents ran on a platform of exiting Common Core and reclaiming control of the content taught in local schools.”

Lindsey Burke
Will Skillman Fellow in Education
The Heritage Foundation Policy Advisor, Education
The Heartland Institute
Lindsey.bur[email protected]

“We hope the governor and state legislators in Georgia will recognize the depth of the anti-Common Core sentiment across the state and work with Mr. Woods to restore state sovereignty over our K‒12 education.”

Jane Robbins
Senior Fellow
The American Principles Project
Policy Advisor, Education
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The 2014 election results open up the possibility reforms desperately needed to create economic growth and opportunity. Immigration reform, tax reform, and a well-focused reform of banking regulations have all been stalled by the refusal of the Democratic Party to engage Republicans and independents in a serious discussion rather than just trying to create political talking points to drive voter divisions.

“We now can look at how to encourage foreign students to stay in the U.S. and create businesses here. We now can look at how to make the tax system give incentives for American businesses to bring cash home for investment rather than blaming business for investing and retaining profits elsewhere. We can now truly end ‘too big to fail’ banks protected by the Federal Reserve.

“The reelection of Governors Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Mitch Snyder in Michigan – as well as the election in Illinois of Bruce Rauner – will advance the reform of public pensions that is desperately needed to repair the fiscal health of our state governments. Elections are in part about the vision we have for government policy, but in this case, it was also about demanding attempts at finding common ground and advancing the interests of the country rather than just advancing partisan interests.”

Paul Fisher
Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Tuesday night’s repudiation of Barack Obama’s progressive agenda and hyper-partisan approach is not the same as a warm embrace of the Republican Party or even of pro-liberty ideas. As favorable as the electoral map was for Republicans in 2014, it will be even more unfavorable in 2016. This means that Republicans have two years to prove to Americans that they deserve to be elected because two years from now, Barack Obama will not be on the ballot, and opposing Barack Obama will not be enough to secure further Republican victories.”

Ross Kaminsky
Senior Fellow, Finance
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Congratulations to the Republicans, the party of slightly smaller government. Now, at least for the next two years, the rate at which regulations increase, taxes become more burdensome, and government intrudes into our lives will be marginally slower.”

William Briggs
Statistical Consultant Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The NPR and PBS stations throughout the Midwest promote a socialist, left-wing agenda, and much of its news programming is nothing more than an endless series of demands for more government spending, more regulation, and more socialism. During the 2014 election, these stations were spreading class hatred and tried to smear Scott Walker, Bruce Rauner, John Kasich, and any other candidates opposing Obama’s socialist agenda.

“One of the major goals of the Republicans in Congress should be privatizing NPR, PBS, and defunding other unconstitutional government spending projects infringing on the First Amendment and other rights of the American people.”

Yuri N. Maltsev, PhD
Professor of Economics
A.W. Clausen Center for World Business
Carthage College
[email protected]

“The biggest surprise from election night was the shift at the state level. Many deep-blue states now have Republican governors or legislatures. What that means is that voters are ready for fiscal responsibility, limited government, and less government spending. Democrats ignore that message to their peril.”

Merrill Matthews
Resident Scholar
Institute for Policy Innovation
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Now that the Republicans control the Senate, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can no longer block bills that will help create jobs (e.g., the Keystone XL Pipeline). Reid has prevented the Senate from voting on these bills in the past, even though they have bipartisan support. He lost that power last night.”

Ronald D. Rotunda
The Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence
Chapman University
[email protected]

“The 2014 election, as was the case with 2010, was an election based on issues rather than personality. The party that most closely embraced the idea of limited government gained control of the Senate and expanded its majority in the House. It also did well at the state level. This should be taken as a positive sign for those who believe in voluntary exchange as the social order. For those who are engaging in the battle of ideas: Good work. There will be more to be done before 2016.”

Gary Wolfram
William Simon Professor of Economics
Hillsdale College Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Last night’s results are an extremely heartening reminder that the American people still believe in the basic principle of the United States Constitution ‒ that arbitrary power must be restrained and that the rule of law must govern us rather than the partisan acts of a president governing by ‘phone’ and ‘pen.’ The 2014 mid-term elections are the strongest sign of a revival of federalism in some time, and a reminder, particularly through the victories in the governors’ races, that the Jeffersonian notion that the governments closest to the people are the most important is still with us.

“We have experienced a government devoted to redistribution for six years now, and, it would seem, have understood that it doesn’t guarantee the kind of prosperity its proponents had claimed for it. These elections were a mandate to Congress to engage in long-overdue tax reform, immigration reform, and regulatory reform.”

Stephen B. Presser
Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History
Northwestern University School of Law
Professor of Business Law, Kellogg School of Management
[email protected]thwestern.edu

“Yesterday’s wave election is a huge victory for Republicans, as well as a tremendous opportunity to set the policy agenda for the next two years. They should use this opportunity to force the president’s hand on a number of bills with widespread popular support. The first should be an act authorizing construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which can be on his desk in the first week of the next Congress. Another priority is legislation that restricts EPA’s ability to regulate carbon as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Both bills would force Barack Obama to choose between a pro-growth and pro-jobs agenda and his environmentalist base.

“Longer-term tax reform remains popular. Republicans can combine a strong economic case for a flatter tax code with public outrage over IRS abuses, which will almost certainly be investigated more forcefully in the next two years. Congress could dust off The Tax Reform Act of 1986 and use it as a starting point for a new reform bill, since the earlier bill was both smart and a bipartisan triumph.

“If they really want to be bold, Republicans should begin to tackle entitlement reform, even though it will remain a political football. There are a number of thoughtful proposals for reining in entitlements, including Peter Ferrara’s series of papers on the topic for The Heartland Institute.”

Larry Kaufmann
Senior Advisor
Pacific Economics Group
[email protected]

“This new Congress offers the possibility for some real movement toward legislation that offers the potential to increase the role of markets in the health care industry. However, such legislation will be opposed by a White House that will most likely veto any meaningful reform.”

Thomas R. Saving
Director, Private Enterprise Research Center
Jeff Montgomery Professor of Economics
Texas A&M University
[email protected]

“The election results signal that voters don’t view the Affordable Care Act’s implementation as the end of the debate on healthcare reform. The results reflect lingering voter concern about the way the ACA was passed and implemented, and they indicate that targeted but broadly-appealing changes to the law are likely to succeed.”

Bill Snyder
Principal, Black Hills Group
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The voters have spoken, but will Congress fulfill its constitutional responsibility to rein in lawless government? Will it exercise its power of the purse, or will it continue to abdicate to the IRS, EPA, and other executive agencies?

“Republicans can no longer blame Sen. Harry Reid for the terrible state of medicine, the economy, and the rule of law.”

Jane M. Orient, M.D.
Executive Director
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
[email protected]

“The GOP sweep is a victory for science. Obama’s EPA and U.N. agendas will now face serious setbacks. At the very least, blissful gridlock will descend on Washington, DC to stop woeful climate policies from being enacted. Gridlock is a skeptic’s best friend.

“Tom Steyer’s millions fell flat. The media’s shilling for climate alarmism fell flat. The U.N. IPCC’s latest reports fell flat. No matter how you slice it, the American public is not concerned or alarmed about ‘global warming’ and do not believe the government can regulate global temperatures or legislate storms. The election strikes a blow for unscientific claptrap about government regulations that can ‘stop’ climate change and improve the weather.”

Marc Morano
Climate Depot
[email protected]

“Last night’s results hold several important messages for Georgia, Illinois, other states, and the nation. Scott Walker in Wisconsin challenged the blue-state model and has won – again and again. Walker’s model, especially important for Illinois’ new governor, is that people care about economics and will stand up to special interest groups. More importantly, a flood of union money from outside of the state isn’t enough to overcome voters’ desire for real change and economic reform. This should liberate reform-minded governors to pursue tax, spending, and education reform more boldly.

“Private sector innovators, researchers who study reform, and free-market think tanks have the thought products and new technologies needed to support reform-minded politicians with reform objectives. Walker has shown reform can win. Scholars have shown that tax, spending, and educational reforms will produce, often dramatically, the economic regeneration voters are demanding. The voters want the results that free-market, pro-growth economic policies will provide.

“Second, the Republican Party seems to have incorporated Tea Party ideals and energy by emphasizing conservative and constitutional principles. Its organized support at primary and general election levels made the difference. Key national PACs made a huge difference by focusing financial support at the state level. They followed the rule that the most conservative candidate who can be elected would get the support they needed. Internal state politics, old personal vendettas and allegiances, and outdated political systems will no longer dominate in candidate selection.

“Progressives may have a good ‘ground game.’ It looks like the Republicans and conservatives have innovated with a new and effective candidate development system. Finally, can we be done with ‘war on women’ and race baiting? Let’s ditch the demonization of ‘outsourcing’ too. Those strategies just didn’t work this time around. Hopefully, these divisive and dishonest messages have been completely discredited.”

Christine P. Ries
Professor of Economics
Georgia Institute of Technology
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
christine.rie[email protected]

“Economically, while Republican gains may weaken or stall additional government encroachments, they will be unable to address the true threats to our economy: the explosion of debt and massive expansion of the money supply since 2008.”

Christopher P. Casey, CFA
Managing Director,
WindRock Wealth Management
Policy Advisor, Finance
The Heartland Institute
[email protected] 

“Republicans campaigned and won on issues like opposition to amnesty, support for increasing U.S. border security, promoting national security, focusing on American exceptionalism, emphasizing less government intrusion and regulations of our lives, supporting free-market policies, the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline, lower taxes, etc.

“Regularly, conservatives ask me how can we defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. My answer is nominate a limited-government, constitutional conservative who’s not part of crony Washington, D.C. government.

“Based on comments by some Republican leaders since the polls closed that suggest they may be backtracking on repealing Obamacare, it’s clear that there is still a major divide between Republican leaders and the voters. As both the Bible and Lincoln explain, a ‘house divided can not stand.'”

Richard A. Viguerie
Chairman, American Target Advertising
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The election’s significance for the communications sector is that the House and Senate can work together to move legislation to modernize obsolete communications laws for the 21st century. The current situation is unsustainable; the most modern part of the economy is being held back by the most obsolete government law and regulations.”

Scott Cleland
Policy Advisor, Telecommunications
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The shift in Senate leadership could lead to significant progress in technology policy. For one, we could at last see movement on patent reform, an issue that has bipartisan consensus but was tabled this year by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid in response to pressure from the trial lawyers lobby.

“We may also see a long-overdue rewrite of the Telecom Act, which would serve the dual purpose of updating regulation to reflect the 21st century Internet era as well as reign in recent FCC regulatory overreach, such as its ongoing attempt to unilaterally reclassify Internet service providers as heavily regulated telephone companies and extend broadcast regulations into online programming and content.”

Steven Titch
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
Fellow R Street Institute
[email protected]

“As far as the FCC is concerned, while I doubt the results of the election will dissuade much of the government interference, a clear appeal will now be made to the U.S. Congress with results that will likely favor free-market policies.”

Bartlett Cleland
Managing Director, Madery Bridge Associates
Policy Advisor, Telecom and Technology
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“I am hopeful that Republicans taking control of the Senate and further solidifying their lead in the House will lead to the FDA’s proposed e-cigarette regulations being slowed down or halted. Republicans ran on being pro-business, and it is time for them to prove their words with actions. Thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses are at stake, and Republicans need get serious about investigating the devastating impact the FDA’s proposed regulation would have on both the economy and public health.”

Greg Conley
Research Fellow, tobacco policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“From the perspective of America’s number one public health catastrophe – the preventable deaths of 500,000 Americans every year from cigarette smoking – the Democratic Party’s loss of the U.S. Senate will markedly reduce, and hopefully eliminate, the destructive, science-free bloviating by numerous ‘liberal’ senators against reduced-harm, nicotine-delivery products: e-cigarettes and vapor products.

“While 42 million Americans remain smokers, the decline in the smoking rate has plateaued over the past several years – to some extent thanks to the impotence of the FDA-approved aids to help smokers quit. Meanwhile, e-cigs have taken hold among the smoking population. And if the market is allowed to flourish via truthful communication about relative risks of e-cigs, millions will finally be freed from the harm of smoking tobacco.

“At the very least, the torrent of politically-inspired tripe which has emanated from Congress will be down to a trickle. Perhaps the new Congress can rein in the anti-science mythology of the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA on the topic of tobacco harm reduction as well. Or is that too much to hope for, even in the face of this ongoing public-health emergency?”

Dr. Gilbert L. Ross, M.D.
Medical Director, Acting President
The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“A field of science was on the ballot in three states last night: the science of genetic engineering. Colorado soundly defeated attempts by organic activists to label genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) like a package of cigarettes even though they’re perfectly safe. Sadly, a ballot measure in Maui to ban GMOs outright was passed, while the vote in Oregon to label GMOs was still too close to call at the time of this release.

“This field of science has beaten organic activists at their own game. GMO crops reduce erosion by requiring less tillage, and reduce the need for pesticides while allowing the insects that destroy a farmer’s crop to be targeted, leaving butterfly and bee populations untouched. Lastly, they allow for improved nutrition, thereby capping off the list of attributes organic activists have always claimed that only organic farming can provide.

“But instead of embracing this field of science as President Clinton suggested in 1997, organic activists instead set out to ban GMOs. They claim their demands to label GMOs are simply a matter of consumer choice. But don’t be fooled. According to a 2000 press release from The Organic Trade Association, ‘At the very minimum… There should be mandatory labeling of GMO foods, with the real goal of an outright, worldwide moratorium on GMO use in all agriculture.’ A similar press release in 2007 from The Organic Consumers Association admits that ‘Labeling GMO foods is the only way to drive GMO foods and crops from our food system.’

“As is plain to see, GMO labelling isn’t about consumer choice at all; it’s about ideology, an ideology that Colorado voters thankfully rejected soundly by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Now let’s see if anti-GMO organic activists get the message and accept this science for the huge leap forward it is.”

Mischa Popoff
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The most disappointing thing about the Republican sweep that was given to them by a concerned citizenry is the immediate tone of the Republican leadership. They are already announcing there is little hope of stopping the implementation Obamacare that a majority of Americans abhor. Citizens are very upset with and opposed to the conduct of affairs for the past few years, so how could the clear winners of this very exceptional midterm be so hesitant? My belief is that it is because they are feckless and intimidated by the Democrat/Chattering Class/Media army.

“The best hope for the citizenry is that some of the winners have not been intimidated by the press and the Democrat war machine. They must invigorate the long-time Washington, DC operatives who claim to be, but rarely act as, conservative free marketeers.

“The next two years could be a chance to prove that conservative, free-market capitalist solutions offer more hope and change for the better than oppressive socialism, racialism, and mindless welfarism. Then there’s the debt, the tax system, and the growth of government – and some Republicans need to try to make a difference. We know where the Democrats stand: for the bleak future of statism and tyranny. I am reminded of the howl about the imperial presidency from 10 years ago. Where are the constitutionalists now?”

Dr. John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D.
Policy Advisor, Health Care
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“We have a new governor in Illinois who in my estimation is suspect because his first call was to Michael Madigan – unless he made that call to put Madigan on notice. What the outcome of the U.S. congressional election shows, loud and clear, is that our black brothers and sisters have voiced their displeasure with the financial bondage that the Democrats use to garner votes.”

Don Ohannes
Investment Director, Allstate Insurance Company (retired)
Policy Advisor, Finance
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.