Thursday, August 24th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Elections
He’s a Democrat turned Republican, a former Marine and one of the best candidates the GOP will field in 2018. His name is Kevin Nicholson and the Madison Project is endorsing him for United States Senate in Wisconsin.
Born and raised in a household of FDR Democrats, Kevin became the national president of the College Democrats of America, but quickly realized that instead of the party of FDR, the Democrats had become the party of identify politics and radical progressive policies and Nicholson left it to join the Marine Corps.
Since returning from active duty, Kevin has worked among the conservative grassroots in Wisconsin, helping Scott Walker survive the recall election in 2012 and working with the MacIver Institute in Wisconsin on conservative policy positions. For us there is always the hesitation when endorsing a first time candidate as we often see campaign trail rhetoric dissolve in the face of the Swamp in Washington, DC.
However, we are confident in Kevin. He comes from the trusted network of conservatives in Wisconsin that have turned the state around over the past 6 years. His political epiphany years ago turned him into a rock ribbed conservative who rolled up his sleeves and fixed what was wrong with Wisconsin. That same mentality is what he will take with him to Washington, DC. As a first time candidate and a Marine, that also makes him an outsider who cannot get pushed around easily and we love that.
This will be one of the top Senate races in 2018. It’s time for the conservative movement to rally around Kevin and propel him to victory in 2018!
Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Elections
The Madison Project PAC Announces Statewide Radio Buy in Alabama Senate Primary
August 3, 2017
The Fort Worth, TX based Madison Project PAC announced a $68,000 statewide radio buy in the Alabama Senate primary today.
The hard hitting ad focuses on the unusual circumstances through which Luther Strange received his Senate appointment to fill former Senator Jeff Sessions’ seat.
“Two things have become clear to us over the past few days. One, the voters in Alabama need to know they have a choice,” said former Congressman Jim Ryun, chairman of the Madison Project. “They also need to know that the creatures of the DC Swamp, Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove, cannot tell them who their Senator is going to be. I believe the voters in Alabama want someone who will drain the swamp, not become part of it as Luther Strange so quickly has.”
The ad, starting today, will run continuously on 21 stations across the state of Alabama until August 15th.
Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Elections
As all the chips are down, one thing is clear to us in the Alabama Senate Primary: the DC Swamp does not want any Member of the House Freedom Caucus to win this race.
That Member is Congressman Mo Brooks.
With a 94% on the Heritage Action scorecard and an 88% on the Liberty Scorecard, Congressman Brooks is an original member of the House Freedom Caucus and for good reason. For years his signature issues have been the 2nd Amendment and economic freedom, seeking to reduce the size and scope of government. He is the antithesis of the Establishment.
Contrasting Brooks is Luther Strange. As former Attorney General of Alabama, he asked that impeachment proceedings into then Governor Bentley be halted. On the heels of this request, Strange was appointed to the vacant Senate seat by Bentley. If that doesn’t reek of political corruption, we don’t know what does.
After his appointment, Strange has embraced the DC Swamp culture for the past six months, prompting Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove to endorse Strange and threaten any who would cross them as they seek to protect one of their own.
We are more than happy to cross them and fight this culture of good old boy politics.
The election of Donald Trump was an election of change. It was a call to drain the swamp, not add more creatures to it.
That’s why we are excited to endorse Mo Brooks for Senate today.
Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Issues
Let’s be clear about one thing up front. We’re big fans of Axios. We love the platform, the user interface, the “quick hit” nature of their news reporting.
However, we take issue with this article, Most Americans Oppose Trump’s Paris Deal Withdrawal.
Let’s start with the “Most” in the headline. If one digs a little deeper into the Washington Post poll (more on that rag later), one sees the poll was conducted among 527 adults. In a nation of over 300M, most of whom do not pay attention to the media or the religion of global warming, “Most” describing 527 is a bit of a stretch, especially given the widely shifting landscape of polling. If nothing else, 2016 proved that pollsters, like weatherman, are really giving us an educated guess based on methodology that is shifting due to the way people consume news and the way they are contacted.
Then there is the part about the Paris Deal as well.
What is the Paris Deal, you ask? According to Axios, the Paris Deal:
. . .essentially represented a promise by countries to hold the planet’s warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and to aspire to a 1.5-degree limit if possible, in an effort to stave off the worst effects of global warming. Under the deal, countries would set their own targets — and their own approaches — for reducing their emissions, with the aim of increasing the ambition of their targets over time. The United States, for instance, had agreed to cut greenhouse gases to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
That sounds aspirational . . . if you buy into man made global warming.
Mary Katherine Ham has another take over at The Federalist, Obama Stuck American with a Bad Paris Deal.
There’s a reason American voters aren’t convinced on the merits of a deal like this. Canada did its duty and signed onto the Kyoto Protocols, but discovered that hitting arbitrary emissions reductions was incompatible with a healthy economy, so it exited the deal in 2011 to avoid billions in fines for the sin of success and prosperity. Barring that move, Trump can exit the deal on his own authority, though some say the process would take as much as four years to complete, according to the deal’s text.
Let’s call this the balkanization of news. Axios’s readership clearly has bought into the “science” behind global warming. That is the choir they are singing to. Mary Katherine Ham and the team at The Federalist have not. Unlike Axios, Mary Katherine presented other facts from the Paris Deal that may impact how “most” Americans view it.
The danger for the mainstream media today is that instinctively, no one believes them anymore. Their news is manufactured. It is filtered through a worldview and ideology that they apparently are blind to and yet, in return, they are amazed at the attacks on their reporting. Take for instance the originator of the poll that Axios cites, the Washington Post. Would it matter to readers that the owner of the newspaper, Jeff Bezos, strongly dislikes Donald Trump? Who are the Democrats polled? Older or younger-that makes a huge difference. The Independents? The Republicans?
While Axios links to the Washington Post story with the polling, they never mention the following, something that might have affected their headline.
One cleavage of support bodes well for Trump and Republicans: Registered voters are twice as likely to approve of Trump’s decision to exit the climate agreement (33 percent vs. 15 percent). Still, majorities of both groups oppose Trump’s decision.
What if the Axios headline read, “The Washington Post (owned by Trump enemy Jeff Bezos) conducts poll among 527 Americans adults. . .”? Or, “Majority of voters in America support Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Deal”?
It might change how the consumers of news read the story, wouldn’t it?
Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Issues, Obamacare
There’s a lot of noise from various GOP Senators regarding the power of the Senate Parliamentarian. Our friend and former co-worker, Daniel Horowitz, addressed that this morning. The Senate Parliamentarian is a staffer who advises Senators as best she can. Her advice is non-binding. So the next time a GOP Senator says, “We’re doing our best to see what we can get past the Senate Parliamentarian,” know that this is an excuse to do nothing.
To “get past” the Senate Parliamentarian, all that has to happen is the Majority Leader (McConnell) or Vice-President Mike Pence (the President of the Senate). As Senator Ted Cruz noted recently:
Cruz argues that Pence, as the person likely to preside over the chamber at the most important moments of the healthcare debate, can decide what is and what isn’t eligible for the so-called reconciliation process. He says the Senate parliamentarian’s role is to advise, not to rule.
“Under the Budget Act of 1974, which is what governs reconciliation, it is the presiding officer, the vice president of the United States, who rules on what’s permissible on reconciliation and what is not,” Cruz told reporters Thursday. “That’s a conversation I’ve been having with a number of my colleagues.”
Let’s check this off the list of excuses the GOP has used to not repeal Obamacare.
The first was, “We only hold the House!” That’s gone. Check.
The second was, “We only hold the House and the Senate!” That too is gone. Check.
The third was, “We really need the White House to get this done!” Gone. Check.
The fourth was, “The Senate Parliamentarian will decided what we can do!” That, as we now know, is gone as well. Check.
If the GOP, after three successive election cycles run on the promise to repeal Obamacare, does not take action, we can only draw one conclusion.
They were lying to their voters the entire time.
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues, Obamacare
NPR reported yesterday that a “secret” working group of 13 United States Senators has been meeting to hammer out the next steps in repealing Obamacare.
What do we know at this point?
One, the Senate is NOT taking up the House bill, but will likely use the framework that it was created in (a budget bill) so the reconciliation process can be used. Why is this important? Because to pass a budget reconciliation bill you only need 51 votes and there are 52 GOP Senators.
Two, Senator Ted Cruz is helping lead this working group. This is important because of this: Ted Cruz Shops One and Done Bill. HIs focus is on driving premiums down. That is a winning issue that crosses ideological lines.
Third, according to the NPR story:
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., have introduced their own health care plan, and they have been prominent voices in the debate, but they were excluded from the health care working group.
If you recall, Bill Cassidy was floating his “Jimmy Kimmel Test” last week. He clearly has no intention of repealing Obamacare and its rising premiums. Susan Collins doesn’t either. The fact that neither are in the room bodes well for this process.
Four, Joe Manchin and other red state Democrats up in 2018 now face a tough decision: keep their Senate seats by voting with their constituents and driving premiums down or lose their seats by voting with the Washington, DC based leadership. They are literally between a rock and a hard place and our guess is 2-3 of them will buckle when the right bill is presented.
While a lot of other news has buried all this, keep an eye on Ted Cruz and this working group. We think something really good is going to come from it.
Monday, May 15th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues
The headline today in Politico (“Reckless Stock Trading Leaves Congress Rife with Conflicts“) brought two reactions from the Madison Project staff this morning.
The first was, “Is the liberal media trying to smear Republican Congressmen?”
The second, after reading the story, was, “Come on, man, what are you guys thinking?!”
So we thought we would toss the question out to the broader readership.
Should Members of Congress be allowed to use their subcommittee and committee assignments and insider knowledge to purchase stock in companies that may be affected by the policies they are enacting?
Our view is that this is why Washington, DC is called The Swamp.
Friday, May 12th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Economy, Issues
There are whispers of an attempt, by some in House leadership, to shield members from a tough vote on the Durbin Amendment this upcoming week.
What is the Durbin Amendment, you ask?
The Durbin Amendment was included in the notorious Dodd-Frank legislation passed in 2010. The sponsor, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), offered the amendment that required the Federal Reserve to limit fees charged to retailers for debit card processing, also known as interchange fees. On one hand merchants wanted this left uncapped as the fees cut into their profits. On the other hand banks opposed the Durbin Amendment because they received billions of dollars a year from credit card swipe fees.
Prior to the Durbin Amendment, these credit card swipe fees were determined by the market, not price controls set by the government.
Notice fewer low cost checking accounts?
Notice higher minimum balances for checking accounts to avoid fees from your bank?
If so, you can thank the Durbin Amendment. In typical Washington-style omniscience, the attempt to cap swipe fees to benefit the consumer had the exact opposite consequence.
Because the Durbin Amendment effectively settled the issue in favor of the retailers, banks were left with one of two options: reduce costs now that the interchange fees were no longer coming in or pass those fees onto consumers.
New minimum balance requirements, higher fees and fewer rewards programs were the result.
Fast forwarded to the current political context. Controlled by big business, both parties are trying to figure out how to settle this dispute that they got themselves into in the least noticeable way. Many advocates for the institution of Congress will say that Members of Congress have one essential and fundamental duty-voting.
Chairman Jeb Hensarling, on May 4th, passed the financial CHOICE Act
which did not include the Durbin Amendment. Noticeably, the Committee’s press release ridicules bank bailouts and even mentions the exact symptoms of the Durbin Amendment, but doesn’t mention the committee’s decision not to include it. In fact, no member
of the Financial Services Committee offered an amendment to include the provision.
This is where the worst of Washington exposed itself. There is now chatter about allowing the House Rules Committee to included an amendment, without a public floor vote, that would put the Durbin Amendment back in the baseline text. This would be a terrible mistake given Chairman Hensarling’s CHOICE Act that is widely respected as a huge step in the right direction.
Some members, on both sides of the aisle, are ardently for price fixing and capping the interchange fee. Fewer, mostly conservative lawmakers, are ardently opposed because they are opposed to price fixing, but also because of the negative effects on low income checking account holders. Undoubtedly, it would be a tough vote. We now know from our Capitol Confidential sources that a whip operation has already been launched by the House GOP leadership.
Friday, May 12th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues, Obamacare
As House healthcare bill heads to the United States Senate, there has been a lot of jostling as to the best path forward now that the House has punted on a full repeal of Obamacare and tossed it to the Senate.
As the stage is set, let’s make sure everyone understands what exactly the state of play is.
The initial bill, one that we dubbed “Ryancare,” was the creation of healthcare lobbyists and the Tuesday Group (House liberals masquerading as Republicans) with no input from the House Freedom Caucus or the conservative movement as a whole.
It met the fate that was preordained for it the moment the process began sans conservatives.
Upon its demise, President Trump said, “That’s it, we tried, we couldn’t get Obamacare repealed.”
The House Freedom Caucus, eager to help Trump fulfill one of this three major campaign promises (The Wall, Repeal, Tax Reform), said, “Not so fast!”
Patching together a stage coalition, Mark Meadows and the House Freedom Caucus sent (as they acknowledged) an imperfect but improved version of a healthcare bill to the Senate. It’s still not reform, but neither is it the Frankenstein Ryancare was. Lost on many was and is the fact that the House bill was drafted as a budget reconciliation bill. This is a important component on which the entire process hinges (for more on budget reconciliation, read this.).
Enter Ted Cruz. Love him, hate him, disbelieve him-it doesn’t matter. He has been consistent on a host of issues, the foremost of which is the total repeal of Obamacare. Now that the House bill is in the Senate hands, it is going to be disassembled and patched back together, likely returning to a version closer to Ryancare than anything else.
Unless Ted Cruz has his way. With three election cycles worth of campaign promises resting on the full repeal of Obamacare, Cruz . . .
. . . said he has been working for weeks with the now-thirteen member group of GOP senators on an Obamacare repeal and replacement plan that would eliminate the need for a second phase of legislation to replace failing healthcare law. Instead of a limited repeal and replace bill followed by another bill later, the GOP wish-list for replacing Obamacare would be packed into a single budget resolution to repeal Obamacare that could pass with only GOP support using a tool called reconciliation.
“I believe the only meaningful healthcare reform will be through reconciliation,” Cruz told the Washington Examiner in an interview.
He is right. Why? Because through the reconciliation process, it only takes 51 votes to repeal Obamacare, not 60. Mitch McConnell and Senate leadership have already proven with the Grouch nomination fight that a 51 vote versus 60 vote threshold is perfectly acceptable on controversial issues like judges.
The current number of GOP Senators? 52.
With the clock ticking and premiums rising sky high, now is the time to act on the full repeal of Obamacare.
Thursday, April 20th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Elections
Now that the dust has settled in the GA-6 primary, the choices are very clear as we head into a two month run-off.
On one side is Jon Ossoff, darling of the Left and Hollywood favorite. Not only are his politics out of step with GA-6, he doesn’t actually even live in the district.
Advancing in to the runoff against Ossoff is Karen Handel.
Elected Secretary of State in Georgia in 2006, Handel eventually ran and finished third in the 2014 United States Senate primary. But it was her work and the positions she took during her time at Susan G. Komen for the Cure that showed her mettle.
Hired by Komen in 2011 as senior vice president of public policy, Handel set in motion new policy efforts to change the way Komen made grants to affiliated groups. Her policy on grant making was approved by the board and because of it, Komen’s grants to Planned Parenthood ended. In the media driven backlash that followed, Komen reinstated its old policy and granted funds to Planned Parenthood. In the aftermath, Handel took the principled stand and resigned. That shows us a lot about the character of Karen Handel.
This is not going to be an easy run-off. Democrats nationwide are motivated to get a win before the 2018 election season begins in earnest. This runoff is happening because Ossoff missed winning it outright this past Tuesday by less than two points. This is an all hands on deck situation and we are excited to endorse Karen Handel in this important race!