Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 and is filed under Blog
As we noted last year in our post Defining Conservatism, it is critical that words retain meaning. By definition (literally), that is what they are intended to do. One would never use “cold” to describe “hot” or “dry” to describe “wet.” There are implications to the improper use of words.
We often hear the word “conservative” bandied about, untied to any concrete example(s) of why it should be used other than the ones using it hope to gain some street cred with their hearers, the grassroots activists who are, by experiential action, conservative in nature.
Which brings us to Paul Ryan. First elected to Congress in 1998, Paul came was the fresh, under 30 face of the new conservative movement. He was the smart kid with the pencil tucked behind his ear and slide ruler in his pocket. He was going to save America.
However, in spite of his tax plans painfully crafted to balance the budget over certain time periods (all of which were so far in the future as to beggar the question of relevance), it became abundantly clear that Paul Ryan’s voting record and his rhetoric did not sync. In fact, not only did they not sync, they were so at odds with each other we began to wonder as to the split political personality of Paul Ryan-big government Paul or small government Paul-and who would win the Gollum-style argument in the mirror.
It’s clear now that Paul was, all along, what we have suspected for some time. A big government liberal who has mastered the talking points that conservatives want to hear, which is why we see the easily entertained (namely Hugh Hewitt) rush to defend Paul Ryan’s “conservatism” against the attacks of those who point to his voting record and say, “Prove it.”
In a normal world (not Washington, DC), our actions define us. That is reality. It is how the real world works. In light of that, take a quick minute to review the “highlights” of Paul Ryan’s voting record.
During his tenure in Congress, Paul has voted for (each hyperlinked with what these bills actually have done or will do to America):
Couple this voting record with his stances on amnesty, his voting for a Continuing Resolution that funds Planned Parenthood AFTER the videos exposed Planned Parenthood for selling aborted baby parts for profit and one is hard pressed to define Paul Ryan as a conservative.
A Republican, yes. A conservative, no.
So let’s be done once and for all with this nonsense that Paul Ryan is a conservative. He is, at best, a middle of the road Republican content with being in power and never using it to achieve anything of merit.
In our first series of podcasts, How To Save Your Country In 5 Minutes, Drew Ryun of the Madison Project discussed practical steps to winning in politics.
In the next few podcasts, our series within a series, Drew discusses the intellectual foundation for conservatism and how our nation began with American History In 5 Minutes. Today’s podcast discusses the origins of the American Revolution and the influence of pamphleteers in the American colonies.
Having launched the Wetumpka Tea Party in Wautumpka, Alabama in 2009 with her husband, Eric, Becky and her group had applied for 501c4 status from the IRS so that they could engage in practical ways in the political arena. Like many tea party groups, they were strung out by the IRS for over a year without any communication. As the IRS scandal unfolded, it was clear they were operating under directives to stymy the tea party movement before the 2012 elections. Things took a turn when the IRS began asking tea party groups for list of their members and donors, however, and Becky Gerritson struck back, joining a suit to sue the IRS for egregious overreach.
Along the way, we intersected with her when she volunteered herself and her tea party for Get Out The Vote efforts in 2012 in Florida to help Ron DeSantis win his House seat (he did). Of all the candidates we have every known, this is one that we have a long standing relationship with and couldn’t be more happy to see her run, especially as she is running against Martha Roby, the current incumbent in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. With a paltry 54% on the Heritage Action scorecard and a absolutely terrible -43.5 on the Madison Performance Index, Roby has earned a place in our Hall of Shame with a voting record that is more in line with a Democrat member than a Republican from one of the most conservative districts in the United States.
Not only is it time for Martha Roby to be retired, but we have a legitimate candidate in Becky Gerritson running against her. This is our goal in 2016, to take deeply red districts and make sure the Members that represent them actually represent them and are not lackies for a GOP Establishment gone awry.
This is why we are so excited about Becky’s run for Congress and happy to endorse her today. A full spectrum conservative, she is a leader who knows exactly what is wrong with Washington, DC and why she wants to go to Congress-to change the way things are done there.
Monday, September 28th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Economy
We are winning. No doubt about it. The GOP Establishment, so confident it had crushed the peasants in 2014, is in disarray. After 9 months of abysmal performance, the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost for the Establishment.
The first indicator of this was the quitting of John Boehner on Friday. He quit. He did not resign to protect an institution, no matter how hard he and his team have tried to spin it.
He was potentially days away from being fired by his own caucus as a major fight over the Continuing Resolution loomed and he refused to commit to defunding Planned Parenthood through it. He and his team were still, believe it or not, under the impression that they won the majority in the House and grew it in 2014 based on his jobs agenda.
What, you ask, was John Boehner’s jobs agenda? Crickets. . . .
Don’t worry. We wonder as well.
No, John Boehner and Co. were given the majority to repeal ObamaCare, stop executive amnesty, halt the Obama Administration in its tracks and use the power of the purse to enforce all of the above.
He not only didn’t do any of that, he and his team rammed through the following “big ticket” conservative items like:
*Stripping conservative language from the DHS bill to pave the way for Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty
*Approving $500 Billion in Deficit Spending
*Walked away from Medicare reform
*Ruining the Pain-Capable Abortion Ban, the only pro-life legislation likely to be seen this session.
Much to his amazement, Boehner found he couldn’t spin himself out of how the items above were actually conservative and good for America.
Why? Because the ground underneath him had shifted. He wasn’t just dealing with outside pressure. He was dealing with internal pressure thanks to the House Freedom Caucus, a majority of whom were Madison Project candidates over the last few election cycles.
He was, in essence, attempting to govern with out the consent of the governed, i.e. his caucus. And they were ready to toss him.
Now that he is gone, House conservatives need to keep moving forward. Here are our suggestions for the next few weeks.
Clearly communicate to any GOP Members who are considering running for House leadership: “You cannot allow John Boehner to ram through a transportation bill, renew funding for the Export-Import Bank or fund Planned Parenthood in October or you will not be considered for any leadership slot.”
Work to elect someone, if not one of their own, who will be amenable to working with them to advance campaign promises. Before they support whomever it is they want to win leadership roles, they must have firm, public commitments from them on a host of issues: that they will stop any nonsense Boehner thinks he will engage in in October (see the above) and that they will drastically reform the House rules, from Steering Committee to chairmanships to the Rules Committee. It’s time to restore a little democracy to the peoples’ chamber.
Message that if the government slows down, that is all it is. A slow down. Not a shutdown. ALL essential parts of our government will continue to be funded. If Obama and the Democrats want to have a public debate over Planned Parenthood, we should welcome it.
This is opportunity. With Boehner out, House conservatives hold all the cards.
Friday, September 25th, 2015 and is filed under Blog
In today’s episode of How To Save Your Country In 5 Minutes, Drew Ryun dives into the intellectual thought that gave rise to the American Republic. Who was John Locke and what work of his heavily influenced our Founding Fathers? To find out, listen to the new podcast below.
In 2010 she ran as a pro-life conservative to replace retiring Senator Judd Gregg in New Hampshire, narrowly squeaking past Ovide Lamontagne in the Republican primary (we endorsed Ovide) before cruising to victory in the general election with 60% of the vote.
Entering the United States Senate with her conservative bone fides, many expected Ayotte to be a transformative force. She has been anything but transformative, quickly falling into the pattern we have seen established by many GOPers. Run as a conservative, govern as a liberal.
Her latest foray into the art of run as a conservative, govern as a liberal, has been to serve as the GOP Establishment’s hatchet man (woman) against Senator Ted Cruz’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood through the Continuing Resolution process.
Let’s establish the pattern for the Ayotte types. It generally starts with, “There is no one more pro-life than I am (no one!!). I support investigating Planned Parenthood. I voted for the stand alone bill to defund Planned Parenthood.”
Then there is the inevitable “but” thrown in there.
Ayotte’s, predictably, is: we just don’t have the votes because we don’t have the White House. If you think you’ve heard this line before, see Mitch McConnell.
Backing up the first excuse is the alarmist: we can’t shut down the government over this!
Quick question for Senator Ayotte-how pro-life are you that you would surrender before the fight to save hundreds of thousands of babies begins?
But here is where the ignorance of Senator Ayotte shines through.
There is no such thing as a government shutdown. Slowdown, yes. Shutdown, no.
In fact, in the longest government slowdown in history (1995-96, 21 days) all non-essential government employees were furloughed and guess what? Employees defined as those performing duties vital to national defense, public health and safety, or other critical operations kept right on working. It makes you wonder why we have “non-essential” government employees in the first place, doesn’t it?
Bottom line is this. Kelly Ayotte has not come remotely close to fulfilling her promise as a conservative in the United States Senate. Not only has she fallen in with bad company, she is now helping lead their charge.
While she frets that a government shutdown may ruin her chances to re-election, we cast a quick glance at her scorecard averages and performance index numbers and ask, “Why would any voters in New Hampshire vote to re-elect you? If given the choice between a legitimate liberal and a knockoff one parading as a conservative, go with the authentic one.”
We made our 8th endorsement of the 2016 cycle last week and we made it in support of David Gerson in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District. That means Step #1 in the process is complete. A great candidate has been ID’d and we have endorsed.
Step #2 in the process is now raising as much money for David as possible. That’s where you all come in. With September 30th looming, end of the quarter reports will be due in just 9 days and we want David to have a strong showing at the end of the month.
So here’s what I need you to do today. Go directly to David’s campaign site and donate to his campaign. To do so, just click here.
$5, $10, $25-every dollar counts. So please, go give to David today!
In 2014, he ran a well-organized, self-funded campaign and almost beat a heavily entrenched incumbent.
While many challenger candidates walk away discouraged after a first (and somewhat predictable) loss, David Gerson refused to do so. Instead, he went back to the drawing board and began planning a comprehensive plan on how to beat the incumbent Congressman from Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, John Kline.
Given the work Gerson has done over the last 18 months and seeing an even tougher primary process looming, Kline did what few expected-he announced his retirement.
As the race now goes into a free-for-all scenario, it is time to rally conservatives around David Gerson.
A mechanical engineer with over two decades of experience in the private sector, David has seen firsthand the effects of a government run amuck with red tape. A comprehensive conservative, David is pro-life and fiscally conservative and during our conversation with him it became abundantly clear he understands the problem in Washington, D.C. – the current leadership of the GOP party. Not only is David committed to winning this race, he is committed to electing new leadership that reflects the party platform and the conservative base.
We are excited to endorse David for Congress and urge other conservatives to rally behind him.
This is a seat we can and must win. To turn the tide in Washington, it starts one race, one seat at a time.
Here at the Madison Project, we have consistently claimed three core competencies:
1) Identifying and supporting good conservatives to run for office
2) Holding the GOP Establishment accountable for their legion of broken promises.
3) Creating and implementing ground game plans to help our (and other) conservatives win.
It is the latter we are engaged in down in Florida right now. As we often tell folks, when it comes to winning a state, you don’t have to win every county. You just have to win the right ones and inside those counties, you have to win the right precincts.
Simple, yes. Easy, no.
There are a lot of folks who talk about doing the necessary work that it takes to win. There are few who will actually take the time to do it, but on August 1st, we launched a comprehensive voter ID project in key counties in Florida and already have thousands of completed surveys. Because of these, we feel confident in saying the following:
1.) High frequency Independent voters are VERY gettable for the right Republican candidate. Among these voters, Hillary Clinton has a relatability problem. When told that Hillary and Bill Clinton made over $165 million between 2001 and 2012, over 60% of these type voters do not think she can relate to them.
2.) A minority demographic is HIGHLY antagonistic to Hillary Clinton’s statement that churches that refusing to change their positions on abortion and same sex marriage should lose their tax exempt status.
3.) 60% of the high frequency Independents feel that ISIS and Islamic terrorism is a rising threat to America and 42% of them believe Hillary will NOT provide the leadership necessary to defeat ISIS.
4.) The Democrats are already ACTIVELY working parts of the state and various demographics where the knowledge of political races is insanely high, the kind seen during the latter stages of an election.
How do we know this?
Because we’re on the ground already, building out data to use for 2016. Free from the static caused by political season, we are having a conversation with the voters right now.