At least, that’s the lesson one learns from looking over the rhetoric from Sen. Richard Shelby’s 2010 re-election campaign.
BamaFactCheck.com has been taking a close look at the campaign pledges of our newly-elected officials, with the goal of checking in later to see how many they’ve fulfilled.
It’s easier in some cases than in others. When nine candidates are scrambling for one spot in the governor’s mansion, the promises fly like punches in a barroom brawl. But in less competitive races, the favored candidate usually keeps his or her head down and says as little as possible.
And Shelby’s run against Democrat William Barnes wasn’t exactly a steel-cage death match. Barnes was a virtual unknown, notable to most voters as the guy with the “D” after his name. Republican Shelby, in the Senate since 1987, has chaired one of the Senate’s most powerful committees and ended the election with a whopping $17 mil-lion in his war chest.
Not surprisingly, Shelby cruised through the year without publicly locking horns with Barnes, and without even making a lot of public statements. The platform statements on his website are polished, simple and short on specif-ics. But here area a few concrete promises we were able to mine from Shelby’s website, www.shelbyforsenate.com.
SHELBY’S PROMISES: SPACE EXPLORATION
-- Revive the Constellation and Ares rockets, both part of the now-cancelled Bush moonshot.
“Senator Shelby will continue to work to preserve Constellation because there is no other American rocket program in existence that has proven itself to be safe, or that has successfully demonstrated that it can meet our nation's space exploration needs into the future.”
A PROBE OF THE FED
-- Audit of the Federal Reserve
“Thus, Senator Shelby supports an audit, to be conducted by the Government Accountability Office, of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet and monetary policy activities so that its actions can be properly understood and it can be held properly accountable.”
-- Allowing disabled, retired vets to draw both disability and retirement
“Senator Shelby is a strong proponent of legislation that would allow veterans who draw Department of Defense retirement pay to concurrently receive their VA disability compensation as well.”
SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE
-- Full benefits under Social Security and Medicare will be untouched
"Senator Shelby remains absolutely dedicated to maintaining our commitment to our seniors by ensuring that they receive the full benefits due to them under these programs after paying into them for their entire working lives.”
HEALTH CARE REFORM
-- Repeal, not revise, the 2009 health care reform
“It is Senator Shelby's hope that the Congress will repeal this law and instead start over by making true market-based reforms that will actually lower health care costs while improving access to quality care.”
BP OIL SPILL
--Get all claims against BP paid in a timely manner
“As the responsible party, BP will be held accountable and the federal government must make certain that BP up-holds its cleanup and financial obligations. Senator Shelby will continue to work diligently to ensure that all legiti-mate claims are fully and timely paid by BP out of the funds that BP has provided for this purpose.”
-- No halt to drilling; thorough investigation of the accident
“Halting all offshore exploration will undermine our domestic energy production at a time when it is imperative that America focuses on cutting back on its dependence on foreign oil.That said, Senator Shelby also believes that we must fully study and understand the causes of this accident and then review and revise the procedures and protocols currently in place that oversee this industry.”
Keep checking in with www.bamafactcheck.com in coming days as we present more of the campaign promises of statewide candidates.