Obama Administration Awarded Hundreds of Thousands in Airport Grants to Stupak’s District Two Days Before Vote

Obama Administration Awarded Hundreds of Thousands in Airport Grants to Stupak’s District Two Days Before Vote

Was this Yet Another Backroom Deal to Force Obama’s Bill Down the American People’s Throats?

Three airports in the district of infamous fence-sitting and ultimately kowtowing Democrat Bart Stupak were awarded $726,409 in grants by the Obama Administration just two days before a vote on Obama and Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare.

Did Stupak compromise his supposed principled stand against taxpayer funding of abortion in exchange for taxpayer dollars for pet projects?

Alpena County Regional Airport received a $85,500 grant, but had only 7,519 passenger boardings in 2008 (the most recent year for which there is information) according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data. Alpena County Regional Airport serves fewer passengers than even the late Rep. John Murtha’s famous “Airport for Nobody.”

Delta County Airport has even less customers than that, but still received a $179,209 grant.

Chippewa County International Airport received a $461,700 grant,  but had only 13,733  passenger boardings in 2008.

Will Stupak come clean about this apparent backroom deal for his vote?

Call Stupak’s district office at (989) 356-0690 and ask.

Learn more at http://gopcodered.com/

Written by Deal Watcher on March 23, 2010 Posted in Deal Watch

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Remember John McCain? Suddenly he’s joined the bipartisan ranks of vulnerable incumbents

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Remember John McCain? Suddenly he’s joined the bipartisan ranks of vulnerable incumbents

March 19, 2010 |  6:32 am

Republicans J D Hayworth and John McCain

Late August is a great time for a primary election in Arizona……if you’re a rattlesnake and love nights where the temp plunges to 105.

But that’s how long it is until whatever they call Arizona besides Hades basically elects its next senator.

Republican John McCain has been an Arizona senator since 1986. He’d like a fifth term, thank you very much.

Senate incumbents routinely win re-election nationally more than 80% of the time. So, ordinarily, you’d say Arizona would grant another term to the 73-year-old ex-representative, ex-POW, ex-presidential candidate.

After all, Obamania never quite made it into the southwest desert. In the 2008 Democratic primary the smoker lost to what’s-her-name from New York, 50-42. And in the general election that year Arizona went for homeboy John even bigger, 54-45.

But this isn’t an ordinary year — for incumbents. American voters are feeling….

 

…beyond annoyed with anyone perceived as responsible for anything that’s happened that wasn’t supposed to. And judging by Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts, they’re looking to take it out on someone familiar.

So while the nation’s attention is riveted on Obama’s fight for healthcare and his wife’s fight for the opposite of obesity, along comes a little-noticed telephone survey of likely Arizona voters from Rasmussen Reports.

And what they found is that after a quarter-century in the Senate and four years in the House, three months into his re-election year the presidential candidate for the Republican ticket in 2008 can’t reach the benchmark 50% level for incumbents. Under 50Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer% = vulnerable.

He’s being challenged in the Republican primary, which is basically the election, by J.D. Hayworth.

He’s another ex-representative who’d like to move into the Senate club. Naturally, Hayworth’s coming at McCain from the right, having developed a conservative state following via a talk radio show.

Rasmussen found McCain leading 48-41. Too close for comfort. But here’s the bad news for McCain: The numbers are trending the wrong way. Last November the two party pals were essentially tied. In January, McCain lead by 22, 53-31.

So McCain is calling in carrier-based cover in the form of rookie Scott Brown, the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in more than three decades, to provide campaign assistance, presumably fully-clothed.

And late this month pitbull Sarah Palin will fly in to campaign with the guy who plucked her from the political obscurity of Juneau and put her in the ignominy of a losing VP candidate who never even got to give a concession speech. She’s calling McCain a true American hero everywhere she goes.

Hayworth leads McCain by seven points among male Republicans and five points among self-described GOP conservatives. McCain is leading among Republican moderates and kills Hayworth by 23 points among Republican women. Hello, Sarah.

Speaking of women, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, the Republican lieutenant governor who inherited the larger office when Democrat Janet Napolitano went off to fight man-caused disasters in Washington, also seems vulnerable. Rasmussen found her sitting at 47% approval eight months out with, ouch, 50% disapproval.

That bipartisan incumbent thing again.

— Andrew Malcolm

Click here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item all day every day. Or follow us @latimestot. You can also go to our new Facebook FAN page here.Photos: Associated Press; Office of Gov. Brewer.

There Will Be Revolution!

There Will Be Revolution!

by Joseph C. Phillips

I’m not crazy about congressional Democrats right now.

As I write this, Congressional Democrats are engaged in a furious partisan battle to pass their idea of healthcare reform. Alas it is an idea the majority of Americans do not share. It is in fact an idea that the majority of congressmen do not share, which is why President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are twisting arms, bribing, cajoling and threatening all manner of mischief in order to eek out a majority vote – or non vote — on a bill the people have made clear they do not want. They may succeed.

revolution

I am not all that enamored of Congressional Republicans either. It is painful indeed to listen to the feigned outrage of so many Republicans who spent years in office redefining the meaning of concepts like “limited Government,” and “fiscal conservative”. Surely they must realize that their inept stewardship over so many years not only opened the door for the leftist now in power, but also rolled out the red carpet for them.

The contract we strike with government holds that citizens will give up certain of our rights in exchange for government protection of our liberty and property. The foundation of that bargain is trust. And that trust must be guarded jealously. Men must trust that their wishes will be respected and that government will not over step its bounds. When that trust dissipates due to the contraventions of officials within the government, the actions of government lose their legitimacy.

This view is one expressed by President Obama. In an interview with the “Concord Monitor” then candidate Obama decried the “50 plus 1 pattern of presidential politics.” It was Obama’s opinion that it made governance impossible. He was adamant that healthcare reform could not be passed with a simple majority vote. He did not mean to say that passing a healthcare bill was not possible with a one vote majority. Rather he was expressing the assured acknowledgement that passing such monumental legislation in such a manner and without the support of the minority party would rob it of its necessary legitimacy. It has become apparent that in this, as is clearly the case in so many things, Obama was merely blowing smoke.

Legitimacy can’t be had through backroom bribery, arm twisting and procedural maneuvers that corrupt and make a mockery of the spirit that enervates the principles of procedure, rule and law. Nor can it be had through default – by being the only other choice on the ballot. Legitimacy must be won the old fashioned way: it must be earned by nurturing the trust of the people.

Do Democrats truly believe that a government that rewrites the rules as they go along in order to inflict a policy on an unwilling public can be trusted not to rewrite the rules whenever it strikes their whim? Or is it, as I suspect, that they are convinced of the transcendent virtue of liberalism–that only the lefts motives are unimpeachable – that they are the good guys and in fact the only ones in government that can be trusted? They would be wrong. The passage of this healthcare bill will be a violation of that trust; it will be one more breach in a long series of abuses. I suggest it be the last.

How much longer will we be a party to promises that never come to fruition? How much longer will we listen to lies supported by evidence that has been cooked? How much longer will we allow the people’s representatives to run interference for private industry and expand the reach and power of federal bureaucracy? How much longer will we allow congressmen-for-life to mismanage the financial future of this nation- putting the security of her citizens at risk? How much more rope must we allow them before they finally hang themselves and us along with them?

If there is to be a second revolution then let it begin here and now! Let the political bloodbath begin in November followed closely by more bloodletting in 2012. No one will be safe. Neither a “D” nor an “R” following a name will be sufficient protection from the people’s blade! There is no time like now to begin the winnowing process; and there is no better reason than to dismantle a government that can’t be trusted to keep its part of the bargain.

State Department Puts Mexico on ‘Travel Warning’ List Because of Danger to Americans There

State Department Puts Mexico on ‘Travel Warning’ List Because of Danger to Americans There
Monday, March 22, 2010
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer


Nolan Webster, right, shown here with his brother Ryan, was 22 when he drowned at a resort in Mexico. His mother, Maureen, said she wanted his death to be made public in State Department documents to prevent other tragedies from happening.(Photo courtesy of the Webster family)
(CNSNews.com) – A U.S. State Department official said on Friday that the decision to upgrade Mexico from its Travel Alert list to the list of countries deemed dangerous enough for a Travel Warning status was not related to the death of two U.S. citizens on March 13 as they left a children’s birthday party in the violence-ridden city of Ciudad Juarez.
 
The official told CNSNews.com it was a “coincidence” that the status change was announced on the Sunday following the killings and that the change was already ready for launch as early as March 8.
 
When asked why that decision was not made earlier given State Department databases that shows hundreds of U.S. citizens have been victims of homicides since 2002 – including 79 homicides and one execution in its Death of U.S. Citizens Abroad by Non-natural Causes for 2009 – the official cited a growing concern over increasing violence in Mexico, particularly in six cities along its northern border with the United States.
 
According to the State Department, countries are deemed worthy of a travel alert status when “short-term” conditions pose a risk to the security of U.S. citizens.
 
“Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert,” the Web site states.
 
A Travel Warning is issued, according to the State Department, to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable.” Travel Warnings also are issued when the U.S. government is limited in protecting citizens because of closures or staff reductions at its consulates.
 
In Mexico’s case, the change in status was in conjunction with “authorization” by the State Department for the families of consulate personnel to return to the United States.
 
During a press briefing on March 15, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley, told reporters that the announcement about Mexico being upgraded to the Travel Warning Status had already been made before Lesley A. Enriquez, 35, and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs, 34, were shot to death in their car as they traveled with their one-year-old child back to their home in El Paso, Texas.

 


Brent Midlock was eight when he was sucked into piping at a pool at a Mexican resort. His mother, Nancy, also signed a waiver with State Department officials. State Department policy is to not release the names of any of the U.S. citizens who die abroad of non-natural causes. (Photo courtesy of the Midlock family)
Crowley also confirmed at the briefing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Obama administration is working “with Mexican authorities to bring the killers of American citizens Lesley Enriquez, who was an employee of our U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, and her husband Arthur Redelfs – the killers to justice.”
 
In its report on the deaths of U.S. citizens abroad, no names are provided. The database only includes a date, location and general cause of death.
 
State Department officials cite privacy laws and “respect for the families” of the dead as the reasons that names and other details are not provided.
 
But Maureen Webster, whose 22-year-old son Nolan died in 2007 from what was said to be accidental drowning, and Nancy Midlock, whose eight-year-old son, Brent, died after being sucked into piping in a resort swimming pool in 2003, both signed State Department waivers, because they said they hoped publicity about what happened to their children would prevent other tragedies.
 
Webster told CNSNews.com that she repeatedly asked officials why Mexico was on the Travel Alert list and not the Travel Warning list but State Department officials did not directly answer her inquiries.
 
She said she spoke with someone at the Department of Citizens Services at the State Department last week after Mexico was added to the Travel Warning list and expressed frustration that it took the death of a federal worker to get the change made.
 
The official told Webster, however, that the decision was not related to the deaths of the U.S. consulate worker and her husband.
 
The State Department lists 30 countries on its Travel Warning list, including Mexico.
 
However, according the Death of U.S. Citizens Abroad by Non-natural Causes for 2009, no Americans were murdered in 15 of those countries in 2009 – Eritrea, Central African Republic, Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Algeria, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Iran, Ubekistan and Georgia.
 
In eight of the countries, a combined total of 32 U.S. Citizens were victims of homicide, including 11 in the Philippines, nine from “terrorist actions” in Afghanistan and 6 in Columbia.
 
Although many more U.S. citizens travel to Mexico than some of the other countries on the warning list, the number of Americans who are victims of homicide in Mexico is more than double of the combined total of 32 for eight countries on the list.
 
CNSNews.com has requested the names of U.S. citizens who have died in Mexico in recent years through the Freedom of Information Act. To date, almost two years after the FOIA was filed with the State Department, the request has not been answered.

McCain calls in favors

McCain calls in favors
By: Andy Barr
March 3, 2010 05:20 AM EDT
Over the past week, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has rolled out a list of blue-chip GOP political endorsements in his primary contest against challenger J.D. Hayworth — and his campaign said more are on the way.

It’s part of a concerted effort to remind primary voters of his stature, as well as an attempt to undercut Hayworth’s claim to be the conservative candidate in the Aug. 24 primary before his challenger can gain any traction.

To neutralize Hayworth’s claim on tea party movement voters, McCain has unveiled his backing from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and newly minted Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) — both plan to stump on his behalf.

The former 2008 GOP presidential nominee has also picked up the official support of the entire state GOP congressional delegation — a few of whom once served in the House with Hayworth — and the state Chamber of Commerce. Prominent national Republicans are on the McCain team, too: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, once a bitter enemy.

“He’s laying out the marker to demonstrate that he’s got support across the board,” said Sean Noble, an Arizona GOP consultant and former chief of staff to Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.). “The establishment in Arizona is very conservative. You’ve got guys who are way more conservative than either Hayworth or McCain, and they are siding with McCain.”

The steady and consistent clip of the endorsements is by design, said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.

“We have a plan to roll out over the next two or three weeks even more,” Rogers said. “John McCain has deep support because of the hard work he’s doing to fight for Arizona, and that’s reflected in the endorsements.”

Hayworth hasn’t been able to point to anywhere near the same amount of establishment support. And his most prominent endorser, once-popular Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is under federal investigation for alleged abuse of power.

Hayworth’s camp, which frames the four-term senator as a Beltway insider who is out of touch with Arizonans, argues that McCain’s A-list roster of endorsements simply underscores its candidate’s message.

“There is a clear fault line that McCain’s endorsements suggest: the Washington establishment vs. the conservatives of Arizona and across the country,” said Hayworth spokesman Jason Rose. “And in this election year, I’ll take our people-based endorsements of tea party patriots, gun owners and illegal-immigration fighters over the 24-year incumbent’s.”

Kurt Davis, a GOP consultant who co-led McCain’s presidential campaign in Arizona, said McCain’s list of supporters also represents a broad array of GOP voices.

 

“Look at the cross section of people that have endorsed him — yeah, you’ve got your traditional Republican types, but a lot of these people are not the establishment within the party. It’s a pretty broad and unusual group of folks,” Davis said. “If you just look at Arizona’s delegation, we have probably the most unestablishment delegation there is.”

McCain is racking up endorsements despite the considerable animus toward him that exists in some GOP quarters. One reason is that his two presidential campaigns have enabled him to dole out favors and collect chits, and his campaign recognizes that now is the time to cash in on his wealth of high-level contacts.

“He’s not taking reelection for granted,” GOPAC Chairman and longtime McCain ally Frank Donatelli told POLITICO. “The support underlines his own conservative credentials from other leading conservatives in the national GOP. Anyone endorsed by Palin, Romney and Pawlenty is the genuine article.”

Palin’s endorsement — and her promised appearance — are perhaps the best conservative insulation McCain has received. She is popular among the conservative, populist grass roots and in the conservative radio talk show world — the same realm that Hayworth thrived in as a local radio host and a source of energy propelling his Senate run.

Palin has explained her endorsement as a measure of loyalty to McCain for picking her as his running mate, a reason that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and others have accepted.

Romney is so far the only one who has taken notable flak for endorsing McCain, and Pawlenty said Friday that he is not too worried about a conservative backlash over the move.

“I’ve known John McCain for 20 years, dating back to the late1980s; I’ve long considered him a friend and somebody that I greatly admire for his service to our country both in the military and as a United States senator,” Pawlenty told a group of reporters in Missouri. “I believe he deserves reelection to the United States Senate as a Republican. So I’m going to stand on that principle; if that costs me, it costs me, but it’s what I believe.”

Still, to some Arizonans, McCain’s strategy seems stale — and a diversion from the grass-roots work he needs to do to earn a fifth term.

“I have no idea what they are thinking,” said Chuck Coughlin, one of the state’s top Republican consultants. “It’s all boring Campaign 101 stuff, rolling out the endorsements.”

Coughlin said that McCain is leaning too hard on his national credentials and on attacking Hayworth and doing too little to give Arizona Republicans a reason to renominate him.

McCain “seems fully focused on the tail rather than the dog,” Coughlin said. “He’s running scared, and it’s stupid.”

Exempted From Obamacare: Senior Staff Who Wrote the Bill

Exempted From Obamacare: Senior Staff Who Wrote the Bill

by Ben Domenech

For as long as the political fight took over the past year, the abbreviated review process on the health care legislation currently pending on President Obama’s desk is unquestionably going to result in some surprises — as happens with any piece of mashed-up legislation — both for the congressmen who voted for it and for the American people.

One such surprise is found on page 158 of the legislation, which appears to create a carveout for senior staff members in the leadership offices and on congressional committees, essentially exempting those senior Democrat staffers who wrote the bill from being forced to purchase health care plans in the same way as other Americans.

A major story during the course of the health care debate was whether members of Congress would commit to placing themselves in the same health care exchanges as average citizens, or whether they would hang on to their government plans — that’s why leadership chose to add this portion to the bill, serving as a guarantee that members would participate in the same health plans as the people. Here’s the relevant text:

(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE-

(i) REQUIREMENT- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are–

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

But as with a lot of legislative matters, the devil is in the details — or in this case, the definitions. As anyone who’s worked on Capitol Hill knows, the personal office staff for a member is governed by different rules than those who work on committees and in the leadership offices. It appears from the way this language is written that those staffers NOT in personal offices, such as those working and paid under the committee structure (such as those working for Chairman Henry Waxman) or those working on leadership staff (such as those working for Speaker Nancy Pelosi) would be exempt from these requirements (emphasis added).

(ii) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

(I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS- The term `Member of Congress’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

(II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF- The term `congressional staff’ means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.

According to the Congressional Research Service, this definition of staff will only apply to those staffers employed within a member’s “personal office” — meaning that it will absolutely not apply to committee staff members, and may not apply to leadership staff.

This problem was acknowledged earlier in the process — last year, Senator Grassley tried to repair it, but he was rebuffed.

As Speaker Pelosi said a few weeks ago, it’s only after this legislation is passed that we’ll truly find out what’s in it.

Update: Grassley is renewing his push. Here’s a release from yesterday:

“It’s pretty unbelievable that the President and his closest advisors remain untouched by the reforms they pushed for the rest of the country. In other words, President Obama’s health care reform won’t apply to President Obama,” Grassley said. “Last December, the effort to apply any new law to administration political leaders was rejected by the Senate Majority Leader. But there’s no justification for the double standard, and I’ll continue to work to establish fairness.”

The Senate legislation passed last night by the House of Representatives includes an amendment Grassley sponsored and got adopted by the Finance Committee last fall to have members of Congress and their staffs get their health insurance through the same health insurance exchanges where health plans for the general public would be available. During the closed-door negotiations on the bill late last year, the Senate Majority Leader carved out Senate committee and leadership staff from this requirement.

Subsequently, Grassley and Senator Tom Coburn attempted to offer another amendment to restore the requirement during Senate debate on the health care bill, but the Senate Majority Leader would not let their amendment to fix this loophole even come up for a vote. In addition to Senate committee and leadership staff, the amendment Grassley and Coburn filed during the Senate debate would have made the President, the Vice President, top White House staff and cabinet members all get their health insurance through the newly created exchanges. It would not have applied to federal employees in the civil service.

Grassley said, “It’s only fair and logical that top administration officials, who fought so hard for passage of this overhaul of America’s health care system, experience it themselves. If it’s as good as promised, they’ll know it first-hand. If there are problems, they’ll be able to really understand them, as they should.”

We’ll see if this gains traction (h/t Daniel Foster at NRO).

Tea partiers vow revenge over health overhaul

Tea partiers vow revenge over health overhaul
Mar 23 12:24 PM US/Eastern
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – If you thought Tea Party activists were mad before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.Instead of being discouraged by passage of health care reform, tea party activists across the country say the defeat is a rallying cry that makes them more focused than ever on voting out any lawmaker who supported the measure.

“We’re not going to stop. Obviously, the whole tea party movement started because we’re about smaller government and less spending and less taxes. There is absolutely no way we can pay for this,” said Denise Cattoni, state coordinator for Illinois Tea Party, an umbrella group for about 50 groups from around Illinois.

Cattoni says the health care defeat doesn’t deflate tea party activists. “We couldn’t stop it because of the shenanigans that went on in Washington,” Cattoni said. “People are definitely more driven today than they were yesterday without a doubt.”

A group of mostly Republican attorneys general were girding for a legal fight, filing a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Florida within moments of the landmark health care reforms being signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Within hours of its passage, conservative commentators Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh—darlings of the tea party movement—were venting their anger, vowing a bloodbath at the polls on Election Day.

“We need to defeat these bastards. We need to wipe them out,” Limbaugh said. “We need to chase them out of town. But we need to do more than that. We need to elect conservatives. If there are Republican primaries, elect conservatives and then defeat the Democrats—every last one of them—and then we start the repeal process.”

Tea party activists said they do not see passage of the reforms that usher in near-universal medical coverage as the end of the debate. Instead, they’re looking to push for its repeal on several fronts: in the courts and during this year’s elections.

So far, the nascent movement has almost reveled in its rebellious and grass roots nature and has avoided becoming as much a part of the establishment as the Republican and Democratic parties. But some tea party organizers see the health care debate as a galvanizing force that could stir its followers to greater action and something to rally around with midterm elections this year.

“There’s going to be a whole, all-out effort for an Election Day onslaught,” said Michael Caputo, a public relations consultant who works with tea party activists on the national level, as well as in Florida and New York. “The health care process has been an incendiary issue for the tea party organizations since Day 1. Losing that vote is going to inflame them more.”

The number of tea party groups has been growing for a little more than a year. Many in the movement were previously not politically active and have a strong independent streak, making organization sometimes difficult.

Most share a common belief that government spending and influence should be limited and they’re angry about the policies under the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress including last year’s $787 billion federal stimulus package and health care.

In a conference call with tea party activists Monday night, Eric Odom of the Patriot Caucus mapped ambitious plans to set up state chapters, organize voters online and raise money to oust incumbents who supported the health care overhaul.

He predicted the vote would increase support for the movement across the country.

The government “has declared war on our way of life,” Odom from Nevada told listeners.

“It’s now time to boot them from office,” said Odom, who chairs the Liberty First PAC, a fundraising arm of the group. “We absolutely must have your help.”

In Florida, about 85 tea party groups encompass about 100,000 people, according to Everett Wilkinson, a leader in the state’s movement. A small rally is being planned in Boca Raton on Tuesday with more likely the rest of the week in response to the vote, he said.

There are similar reactions elsewhere.

“We will be more determined than ever to see that this country is governed the way the constitution intended,” said Brenda Bowen, a tea party organizer in Greenville, Ala. “We are all getting our second wind. When we do, you’d better watch out.”

Even though they didn’t stop the bill, Tim Dake, organizer of the Milwaukee-area group GrandSons of Liberty, said he and others intend to push for a state constitutional amendment that would prohibit forcing people to buy health insurance. The amendment has been introduced by Republicans in the Democratic-controlled Wisconsin Legislature, but there are no plans to hold a hearing on it.

The Republican-controlled Legislature is pushing a similar measure in Florida. If lawmakers put it on the ballot, at least 60 percent of voters would have to approve it.

Christen Varley, head of the Greater Boston Tea Party Organizers, said the House health vote was both “heartbreaking” and a wake-up call.

“I think we all went to bed a little dejected last night, but from the communication I received this morning, people are energized,” said Varley. Sarah Palin is scheduled to headline a tea party rally on historic Boston Common on April 14.

Massachusetts already has a form of universal health care, yet the state made passage of the bill more difficult when voters elected Republican Scott Brown to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy—who spent nearly his entire career pushing for health care for all. Brown’s election took away Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Whether or not tea partiers will be able to turn anger into organization may vary from state to state.

“People in the Tea Party movement are fiercely independent. They don’t like being told what to do. It’s like herding cats,” said Chad Capps, strategy coordinator for a Huntsville, Ala., group.

While tea party activists have made themselves heard, University of North Florida political science professor Matthew Corrigan said the movement alone won’t be enough to oust incumbents.

“Do they have energy? Yes. Have they been getting into the media? Yes, but they still haven’t sold me on the fact that they can swing elections,” Corrigan said.

___

Associated Press writers Deanna Bellandi in Chicago, Steve LeBlanc in Boston, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., Phillip Rawls in Montgomery, Ala., and Michael Blood in Los Angeles, contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects that lawsuit filed by mostly GOP AGs sted all GOP AGs.)