Storming the Castle: Matt Bevin for Senate in Kentucky

Monday, July 29th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, News

Here is Madison Project’s official endorsement of Matt Bevin for Senate and the full letter to the conservative movement.

Dear Fellow Conservatives in The Commonwealth of Kentucky and Across the Country,

As a self-made successful businessman, Matt Bevin understands that the failed leadership in the Republican Party cannot be fixed with the very elements that precipitated its failure.  As a devoted father of nine children, he understands that if we don’t elect bold leaders to change that party, nobody will be able to preserve this Republic for our children.  He also understands that when nobody else is willing to fix the problem, you have to do it yourself.  That’s why Matt Bevin is storming the decaying castle of the GOP establishment on behalf of millions of conservatives.

We are thrilled to get to storm it with him.

If there is one individual who represents GOP establishment, it is Mitch McConnell.  If you want a dictionary definition of the GOP establishment, it is Mitch McConnell.  If you want to know the paradigm of stale, moss-covered leadership, it is Mitch McConnell.  Mitch McConnell emblematizes the rudderless leadership, vacuous core, and duplicitous tendencies of the powers that be within the party. He isn’t just part of the problem. He is the problem in Washington, DC.  In fact, as we write this endorsement, he is pressuring senators not to join the effort to defund Obamacare, despite his carefully scripted anti-Obamacare speeches next to his ‘red tape tower.’

In 2011, McConnell proposed a plan to raise the debt ceiling, which later became known as the “McConnell plan” in DC.  The plan was nothing more than a blank check for Obama to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling.  But it provided Congress with the opportunity to override the president’s decision….with a 2/3 majority – a political impossibility.  Hence, McConnell wanted to wash his hands of leading the fight against the debt ceiling, but desired to retain his political cover through the hollow motion of rejecting the increase.

The “McConnell plan” exemplifies Mitch McConnell in his role as senator and as a party leader.  Unlike John Boehner, who, for better or worse, is willing to stand before his conference and openly advocate for capitulations, McConnell never wants his fingerprints on the deal-making, even though he so badly desires them.  Many conservatives are outraged at Boehner over the 2011 debt ceiling deal and the 2013 tax hikes/stimulus bill, but both of those deals were crafted by Mitch McConnell together with Joe Biden.

More recently, Mitch McConnell quietly encouraged Marco Rubio to join the Gang of 8 to ensure that the amnesty bill would pass, albeit without his public support.  Despite the fact that this was the most onerous bill to come to the floor since Obamacare, and despite his status as GOP leader, McConnell failed to deliver a single floor speech against the bill, and even remained [publicly] “undecided” until the end.  He knew that his leadership would have scuttled this bill, but he desired to pass it without personally suffering the consequences from his constituents back home.

Just this past month, McConnell capitulated to Reid and Obama on passing through radical executive nominees.  It was so embarrassing that even the liberal media felt bad for Republicans.  McConnell, of course, voted against the nominees, and when the press started ridiculing the deal McConnell said he could have gotten a better deal.

The only problem is, as noted by Senators Graham and Corker, McConnell knew about the deal the entire time.

For years, McConnell has been undermining conservatives in the Senate, even as he evinces the image of a conservative warrior to his constituents.  Whenever there is a low-hanging political issue to hit, McConnell is eager to run before a microphone and feign outrage, even when he can’t contribute anything more to the debate.  But when some of the most consequential odious pieces of legislation come before the Senate, he is silent or quietly pushing for it.

Several years ago, Jim DeMint was next in line to get a seat on the powerful Senate Finance Committee.  But when a vacancy occurred, McConnell recruited another senator who wasn’t even lobbying for the position, just because he had an ounce more of seniority.  When Ron Johnson, a moderately conservative member who could have served as a solid bridge between the Tea Party and the establishment, ran unopposed for the measly 5th ranking leadership position, McConnell recruited Roy Blunt to run against him, even though Blunt never sought the job.

Mitch McConnell is ubiquitously popular with the GOP establishment inside the beltway, who admires his “clever” skills at elusively ducking tough issues while projecting an image as a strong conservative.  But conservatives in Kentucky are neither amused nor impressed by this duplicity.  And one Kentuckian, Matt Bevin, is willing to face down the most truculent opposition research team, risking fame and fortune, to put an end to the McConnell mendacity.

When we first sat down with Matt Bevin at the beginning of the year, we were skeptical that a political neophyte could take on such an arduous task.  But that preconceived notion changed within five minutes of meeting him.  His resolve, core beliefs and charisma convinced us that he was the right man to offer the much-needed bold contrast from the palest of pastels in the Senate.

Matt Bevin grew up in an eight-person family in a small farmhouse with no central heating near the foothills of the White Mountains.  He took the conservative values of his Christian faith, family, and community that his parents imbued in him, and achieved the American Dream.  After serving 4 years as an Army officer, Bevin embarked on a career as an investment consultant.  His sharp mind and drive for success allowed him to quickly climb the ladder of success in the business world.

In the late 90’s he became the director of institutional marketing at National Asset Management Co. in Louisville.  In 2003 and 2004, he started his own investment management companies, Integrity Asset Management and Veracity Funds.  After several years of hard work, Integrity became one of Kentucky’s largest asset management companies, with $1.8 billion in assets and many jobs created in the Louisville area.  He was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009.

Unlike the leftists who desire to use government to redistribute wealth, Bevin has used his God-given success for an array of private charitable endeavors.   This list, which is too long to enumerate, includes establishing educational scholarships, mission work, building schools and orphanages for the impoverished overseas, and chairing the local chapter of Red Cross.  Several years ago, Bevin adopted four children from Ethiopia, and has been involved in charitable work there for years.  When we first contacted him, he was on a mission helping to improve security in Ethiopian orphanages.

Like many Americans, Matt has suffered his share of tragedies along with his successes.  In 2003, his oldest daughter, who wanted to work as a missionary, died in a car crash.  Last year, his family bell business, which he took over from his uncle in 2011, burned down to the ground in a spontaneous fire, burying with it 180 years of history and treasures.  Undaunted by tragedy, Bevin said, “The American way is that you get back up again.  Bevins have been making bells on the land we’re standing on for 180 years and I’m a Bevin. I’m standing here and I’m going to make bells here.”  After personally turning around the failing company just one year earlier, Bevin spent his own fortune to rebuild the factory and retain payroll.  Sadly, McConnell has used the millions collected from his rich buddies on Wall Street and K Street lobbyists in DC to launch a personal attack against Matt for turning a company around and creating jobs.

At the age of 46, Bevin has accomplished more in private life than the career politicians like Mitch McConnell.  Needless to say, he is solid on all conservative issues, but it is his core beliefs and life experiences that make him eminently more qualified to serve as a senator from Kentucky than Mitch McConnell, even without careful scrutiny of McConnell’s 27 years of voting and organizing for big government.

Matt Bevin represents that future of conservative free market populism packaged in a man who can relate to younger voters.  He also has the life experience to stay strong in the Senate.  When we spoke with him about the budget negotiations and the amnesty bill, Bevin noted that in business it’s always the losing party that is frenetically offering the compromises.

Matt Bevin is willing to undertake the daunting challenge of taking on the GOP Establishment.  He is willing to expose himself to the most vicious campaign smears because nobody else is actually doing anything to change the leadership of the party.

That is why The Madison Project is honored to endorse Matt Bevin and introduce him to fellow conservatives who so badly desire a Republican Party that represents our values.

If one man is willing to risk his reputation to change the face of failed leadership it behooves all those liberty-living patriots to follow this man’s charge.

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Is Your Senator or Rep. Helping to Defund Obamacare?

Friday, July 26th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

The fight over defunding Obamacare within the party is playing out much like the amnesty debate.  The party leaders like McConnell and Boehner are working behind the scenes to undermine conservatives, but they don’t want to publicly oppose the defund effort.  Instead, they have their lackeys, like Rep. Tom Cole and Senator Richard Burr, got the the media and blast conservatives.

As we all know, the only way to disrupt Obamacare before it takes root is by refusing to fund the law in the upcoming budget battle after the August recess.  If we don’t do this now, we will be talking about Obamacare in 10 years from now the same way we talk about the other entitlements.  In other words, it will ostensibly be enshrined into the statist edifice.

So here is where the defund effort stands.  In the Senate, Mike Lee’s defund letter has been signed by 11 other senators: Rubio, Cruz, Inhofe, Risch, Paul, Vitter, Thune, Chiesa, Enzi, Fischer, and Grassley.  Many others have been pressured by McConnell’s guys to stay away from the letter. Additionally, Senators Cornyn, Kirk, and Wicker were pressured to remove their names.

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We Need a Six-Year Conservative

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Immigration, News, Obamacare

Ask yourself this question: should it be our goal to elect Republicans who humor us with words or those who give voice to us with their deeds.  Should we elect Republicans who are plagued by the ‘sixth year phenomena,” voting with us in the election year and stabbing us in the back the other years?

We’ve seen this dynamic play out with Orrin Hatch.  He moved so far to the right last year, he never voted on the other side of Mike Lee.  Mitch McConnell has done the same thing this year.  Ever since he heard about the primary threat 6 months ago, he has veered to the right with his votes.

Just today, McConnell is speaking out against the annual appropriations bills in the Senate.  He is refusing to vote for the bills that reflect the spending levels proposed by Democrats.  Yet, last year, McConnell sided with Obama and Reid against House Republicans in the budget fight.  As the Senate Republican leader, he voted for the appropriations bills that repudiated the priorities and spending levels of the GOP House budget.

This unprincipled sixth year leadership takes its toll on the conference.  None of the weak moderates in the conference respect him because they know he is not a real conservative and has no conviction behind his votes.  That’s why 17 Republicans voted to support a Democrat appropriations bill, despite McConnell’s vote against it.

We’ve seen the same thing play out over and over again:

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DREAM Propaganda

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

The ruling political elites want amnesty for their maids and they are using every crying mother in Latin America to guilt Americans into supporting it.

The House is our Alamo.

That is why Representative Steve King’s bracing — not racist, not bigoted — language yesterday was needed.  Americans don’t want to be seen as unfair or unfeeling towards the world’s poor. That is why the rule of law side loses the propaganda wars when it comes to immigration.

Strand by strand Democrats have been knotting the noose by which they will hang the Republican Party on the rafters of public opinion. Separated families (tears). Genius students (applause). Noble laborers (empathetic nod). Only cold blooded, racist Republicans stand between these morally superior, intellectually gifted, workaholic huddled masses yearning to breathe free and American citizenship.

Mr. King’s  comments about the relative physiques of drug mules and valedictorians may have been less than tactful but someone in the People’s House needed to pop the bubble of gaseous rhetoric coming from the open borders mob. We know, but have been cowed into not discussing publicly, that:

  • About three-fourths of illegal immigrants have no eductions beyond high school.
  • A 2007 study by the Heritage Foundation estimated that households headed by immigrants without a high school education received $19,588 more in direct and indirect benefits than they paid in taxes each year.
  • 59 percent of households headed by immigrants who have not graduated high school access one or more welfare programs, and 70 percent have no federal income tax liability.
  • Not all illegal aliens are law-abiding, minding-my-own-business Libertarian hipsters. There are thousands of cases like Cesar Benitez and Juan Lozano Ortega and Edgar Derardo Guzman.

The issue is not whether Congressman King accurately described the leg muscles of illegal immigrants — they can all have calves like Olive Oyl for all it matters — but what kind of country we will have in 10 or 20 years. America is all stocked up on violent, sub-literate, low-skilled labor. It was high time one of our representatives told the no borders crowd to peddle their dreams of a super-sized class of pauperized, government dependent Americans somewhere else.

Author Wendell Talley

McConnell Locked in Mitchness Protection Program When it’s Time to Fight

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

Mitch McConnell and other duplicitous Republicans will run to the nearest camera and pose next to the Obamacare tower of regulations.  They will tell you how terrible Obamacare is.  But they will never do anything consequential to actually force a confrontation over implementation, even when the public is squarely behind us.

Boehner and McConnell have consistently stymied efforts by conservatives to force a fight over defunding obamacare through the budget process or the debt ceiling.  Now, ahead of the October commencement of the Obamacare exchanges, we will have one more opportunity to fight Obamacare.

Who is leading the fight against funding Obamacare in the continuing budget  resolution?  Not the supposed GOP Leader.  It’s the three musketeers, of course – Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul.   Take a look at the names that signed onto their effort.  No Mitch McConnell to be seen.

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Why Are Republicans Bent on Pushing Amnesty Now?

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration, News

I understand what you are thinking.  If you are watching the political process, you are probably thinking, as a sane person, that Republicans would completely ignore amnesty and focus on what’s important.  After all, the country is focused on other trivial news, summer vacations, and the scandals.  After August, the main fights will be over funding Obamacare, the budget, and the debt ceiling.

So why on earth would Republicans push for amnesty, especially after the Senate bill has been ridiculed and repudiated?  Why would they bail out Obama at his weakest moment?  Why would they agree to the premise that we must have some form of amnesty now, thereby bleeding conservatives dry on the issue – drip by drip?

There is no good answer to these questions other than the fact that Republican leaders are looking for a new base.  Unfortunately, their dictates are strong enough to percolate down to the committee chairmen.  Trey Gowdy’s subcommittee on immigration held a hearing today on the Dream Act – a mass amnesty bill that will grant citizenship and welfare rights to a large population of illegals.  Basically, we control the House, but are using the committee hearings to promote Democrat policies.

Here is what the committee leaders had to say:

“I do not believe that parents who made the decision to illegally enter the U.S. while forcing their children to join them should be afforded the same treatment as these kids,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who chairs the House subcommittee that oversees immigration issues, said children are treated differently in nearly all facets of life and are seen as a “special protected class.” That was why the younger immigrants should have a separate solution than those of their parents, Gowdy argued.

“Attempts to group the entire 11 million into one homogenous group in an effort to secure a political remedy will only wind up hurting the most vulnerable,” Gowdy said in his opening comments.

The problem is that these people are not vulnerable and they are not in the shadows.  They testify openly before Congress; they disrupt committee hearings; they harass members of Congress in their offices.  There is no national emergency to deal with this issue now.

Moreover, there are a number of problems that are being overlooked in this process:

  • Once you accept the argument that these people are entitled to citizenship, just be honest with the fact that it will metastasize into millions more.  There is no way their immediate family members will ever be sent back.  So yes, this is ostensibly amnesty for almost everyone.  We are basically expanding our anchor baby policy to include anchor teenagers, essentially telegraphing the message that as long as you come here illegally with children, you’re here to stay.
  • Once they obtain green cards or citizenship, they will be eligible to bring in more family members and spawn more chain migration.  Again, Republicans might start out with something blocking family members and chain migration, but that will never stand in the long run.  Those provisions will either be inserted into conference, or inevitably revised down the road.
  • Has anyone thought about the cost of legalizing such a young and poor demographic?  The cost to education and welfare?  If they get an expedited path to citizenship, they will all be eligible for the full array of programs.

I’m seeing too many good members getting conned by leadership.  They are injecting their abstract sympathies, which may be appropriate in the right time, into a political process that will not end well.  If we had a president who was willing to enforce the laws and work with Congress to cut off the magnet of future waves of illegal migration, then we could discuss such a proposal.

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Running Room

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration, Issues, Obamacare

Dodd-Frank turned three years old this weekend. It was a 2,300 page, unread monstrosity when it was created and it has only grown since.

Out of this Act, 14,000 pages of rules [read:laws] have been written by regulators from six agencies: the SEC, the CFTC, the CFPB, the BGFRS, the OCC, and the FDIC. On average there is a new 36 page rule (law) written every three days.

That doesn’t sound like the transparent deliberations of citizen legislators in a representative republic. The more our future is in the hands of acronyms rather than the people we elected the further we are from a government by the people and for the people.

Unfortunately, that is standard operating procedure for the massive government that resides in Washington.

If you think the current crew leading the GOP in Congress is going to mount a coherent and comprehensive charge against the Obama regime and its plans to enlarge the federal government consider the melting pool of vanilla ice cream that is Speaker John Boehner and his receding threats to Dodd-Frank:

2010: “It must be repealed.” — John Boehner

2011: Set up mandatory audits on the CFPB

2012: “It needs some big changes.” — John Boehner

2013: “My job is to facilitate a conversation.” — John Boehner

That’s just his performance on Dodd-Frank.

On ObamaCare, he is the leader of the gang that told us they would fight to the end to repeal it. Now, they are waiting it out. 

On amnesty, as this is being typed, House Republicans are working on their own version of a 2,000 page amnesty bill; complete with input from the testimony of illegal aliens.

We can’t continue to reward this perfidy with our vote. There is plenty of rooming run on the Right in 2014.  Boehner, McConnell — the whole lot of sloganeering, sunshine soldiers — must go.

Author Wendell Talley

Saving Detroit

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Economy, Issues

Conservatives should resist the temptation, no matter how inviting, to turn Detroit’s bankruptcy into a pie-in-the-face moment for Democrats. The issues in Detroit run much deeper than typical Democratic malfeasance. There is a troublesome Constitutional aspect to consider and a ruined populace to console.

Regarding the mechanics of the bankruptcy, Detroit, strictly speaking, did not file bankruptcy — Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr did. Detroit has been under the rule of an unelected, Governor appointed manager since March. Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, stripped the city’s elected officials of their power and installed Orr as the de facto head of Detroit’s city government. That may not be a coup de etat but it’s as close to one as a republican form of democracy can get.

Conservatives have been unruffled by this development but if there is a conservative case to be made for the rebuilding of Detroit it should begin with disavowing the actions of Governor Snyder. There is no disputing that Detroit’s city government has been a monumental disgrace but it is still an elected government. Taking it over is the worst kind of political paternalism. Telling people they cannot manage themselves is the Left’s bag — not ours.

Detroit is a laboratory beaker filled to the brim with some of the Left’s most poisonous isms — unionism, crony capitalism, corporatism. It’s civic society has been bankrupt for decades. It’s the perfect venue for new ideas. From taxes to regulation to crime to education the Left’s failures are comprehensive. May a thousand GOP city council and mayoral candidacies bloom along with a thousand literacy centers, mobile clinics, trade schools and private schools all organized by the Right. Detroit’s future polity could be underwritten by conservative political entrepreneurs.

But that will take distinguishing the victims from the perpetrators.

Right now, all many conservatives want to do is gloat.

The pensioners, the functionally illiterate and the unemployed or underemployed in Detroit are Americans. For the most part, this was done to them not by them. We need to see their need for dignity as our need for dignity. When the world scoffs at Detroit it’s also scoffing at us.

Removing a corrupt and possibly criminal regime from office is what we did by military force in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. That has not proved to be a smart idea in those cases. Let’s hope Detroit fares better.

Detroit should not receive a bailout. It needs a bail-in from people who recognize Detroit’s present unfunded distress is a possible preview of a greater cataclysm that looms for the nation.

Author Wendell Talley

Primaries Bring Fresh Air to Foul Odor Emanating From GOP Establishment

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, News

Conservatives have been ill-served by a prevailing conventional wisdom pertaining to flaccid incumbent Republicans.  The conventional wisdom dictates that every incumbent should automatically enjoy a rubber stamp for 6 more years in the Senate unless he/she is plagued by some egregious scandal or overtly votes with the Democrats on almost every major issue.  If we continue down this path of reauthorizing failure in the primaries, elected Republicans will never have an incentive to represent the ideals of those who elected them.

One of the most underappreciated political dynamics of this cycle is that the entire fight for the Senate will be fought in states Mitt Romney carried by a healthy margin – states like Alaska, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas,  and South Dakota.  Moreover, almost all of the Republican incumbents up for reelection this cycle are from solid red states.  Presumably, the composition of the electorate in 2014 will be even more favorable for us in these states than in a presidential year.  Perforce, Obama and the Democrats will be on the ropes, especially if they continue to promote an agenda headlined by Obamacare, amnesty, and abortion on demand.

As such, we are confronted with two choices.  We can continue automatically rubber stamping the reelection of every Republican in office or we can use the next few months to encourage competition in the primaries so as to best utilize our most conservative states to elect principled conservatives in the general election next year.  We are now entering a historic period of competitive primaries, and that should be our focus for the remainder of the year.

Now that conservatives have been tantalized by real leadership from conservatives like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, there is no turning back.  This is what we should aim for in every primary, especially in the states that are in play this cycle.  Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have shown the difference between merely voting conservatively at the very end of the fight vs. giving voice to conservatives before the battle is over.  Every legislative battle is won or lost long before the voting begins.  So all these unprincipled con men in the Senate who vote the right way during the sixth year of the cycle, all the while doing nothing to fight the battle in the media and on the Senate floor, should be forewarned.  As Erick Erickson noted earlier today, we must beware the Hatch Effect.

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We’re All Social Issues Voters

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Issues

In a recent Politico piece on Marco Rubio and his mega-donors that was the literary equivalent of throwing a brick through a front window, Kellie Rose Ferguson, executive director of Republican Majority for Choice, warned,”When we start focusing on the social issues, we give the electorate a really bad taste for the Republican Party. We’re about limiting government in all aspects and we want to make sure it’s applied to social issues.”

That was the last quote in the article and I’m sure it was intimidating to the rabbit-hearted and perpetually backpedaling in the GOP. This is what most elected Republicans, and certainly the fossilized Congressional leadership, do not understand: So long at it’s our money being used and our votes being courted and counted; every issue is a social issue.

Granting amnesty to the world’s population of unskilled laborers and thereby depressing the wages of American citizens is a social issue.

TSA screeners copping a feel on everyone from toddlers to grannies while disordered national security agencies miss the Boston Bombers, the Times Square Bomber, the Fort Hood Slaughterer, and the Panty Bomber is a social issue.

Losing the war in Afghanistan and wasting the lives and limbs of our soldiers is a social issue.

Heaping debt, that is certain not to be repaid, upon the backs of our children and grandchildren is a social issue.

Breaking faith with the millions of Americans relying upon Social Security and Medicare in their retirement years because meaningful reform is off the table is a social issue.

Taking public money and stuffing it into the pockets of green-crazed donors and supportive unions is a social issue.

Using the IRS to stifle political speech and action is a social issue.

The Attorney General lying to Congress and federal judges is a social issue.

Get it, now?

The GOP does not know how to frame the dreaded “social issues” and heeding advice from the executive director of a seemingly leftist front group won’t help. Limited government is just another shibboleth phony conservatives –who spring from the deep pockets of culturally Left mega-donors — have mastered in order to garner votes.

We have to put an end to the parade of knock-off Republicans marching to Washington. The tightening federal grip will only be loosened by legislators that know the limits of government, how to explain those limits, and how to govern within them.  It will require politicians who are steeped in the traditions and wisdom of American self-government. Politicians not cowed into accepting left-wing constructs of what constitutes a social issue.

Author Wendell Talley

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