Conservatives can do better than Lankford for Senate in Oklahoma

Monday, January 20th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, News

On Friday, we all learned the sad news that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) will be resigning from the U.S. Senate next year as he fights his battle against cancer.  Coburn has valiantly fought waste in the federal bureaucracy and he will, God willing, fight off this wretched disease.

The impending vacancy in Oklahoma has triggered a special Senate election for this year, with the primary to take place on June 24, 2014.  Over the weekend, several expected candidates, including Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), announced they will not vie for the seat, while Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) plans to officially declare his intentions to run later today.  We are safe to assume the GOP establishment wants a united front.  And if Lankford becomes their anointed candidate, in what is perhaps the most conservative state in the country, color us underwhelmed.

To be clear, Lankford is not a purely liberal Republican and an anathema to Oklahoma like Rep. Tom Cole would have been, had he contested the seat.  And in a perfect world – one without a truculent Democrat Party and a treacherous GOP party establishment – Lankford would go with the flow and drift in the proper direction.  But we don’t live in a perfect world.  Our country, culture, marketplace, and system of government are on fire.  If we don’t aggressively reverse the tide of Obama’s 100-year culmination of the progressive utopia, our slide into socialism and moral decay will be immutable.  The only way to reverse this trend is to drive straight through the obstructionist bodies of the GOP establishment and the special interest ruling class.  Politicians who support the status quo in the way we approach politics and policy are not up for the task.

Rep. Lankford is a quintessential status quo Republican.  After just two years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Lankford was groomed for a leadership position, serving as the number six-ranking member in the Boehner-Cantor team.  Nobody gets into leadership that quickly if they are bent on fighting the power structure in Washington.  He has since served as a conduit for Boehner and Cantor, supporting their debt ceiling increases and funding for Obamacare in budget bills, thereby obviating one of the reasons for Republicans controlling the U.S. House.

Given that Lankford is from Oklahoma and has always had his eye on higher office, he tends to be more careful about his final votes than most other members of leadership.  We noticed that Lankford voted for the Ryan-Murray budget deal in December, which busted the spending caps set by the Budget Control Act.  Yet, he voted against the omnibus bill last week, even though that bill was directly born out of the December deal.  Lankford cited a number of objections, but he knew exactly what the Ryan-Murray deal engendered.  Moreover, he voted for the FY 2012 budget in December 2011, which contained similar objections.  Clearly, he understood the optics of voting for this leviathan a week before announcing for the Senate seat would not bode well for his campaign.

Moreover, as we’ve noted before, immigration reform is likely to be the most important issue pending before Congress in the coming years.  Lankford supports amnesty and is one of those Republicans who believes “doing nothing” (with regards to amnesty, not enforcement) is not an option.  More disturbingly, he offered a typical liberal non-sequitur in support of amnesty: “I wouldn’t prohibit forever (people from getting citizenship). I’m a Christian, and restitution and reconciliation’s a big deal. If you do something illegal or inappropriate you should be able to resolve that, face the penalty, clear it and be forgiven.”

Lankford clearly doesn’t understand the broader consequences of our inane cycle of amnesty and will not be down for the struggle against Obama when he pushes it as a dangerous lame-duck president.  When Obama issued his illegal administrative amnesty in 2012, all Lankford could muster was a feeble equivocation over whether it was even amnesty: “It is technically not amnesty, and it is amnesty. It’s both. That’s the frustrating part of it.” [CQ, GOP Avoids Taking a Position on New Immigration Enforcement Policy, 6/19/12]

Folks, we have enough of these consummate politicians in the U.S. Senate already.  The Senate GOP Conference is even farther to the left than the House GOP.  There is no way someone like Lankford will change the country club culture of Senate Republicans; we will be changed by them.  Sending another mediocre Republican to the meat-grinder would be a waste of one of the most conservative seats.

Fortunately, Oklahoma is home to one of the most conservative game-changers in Congress.  Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), which the Madison Project endorsed last year for reelection, was a game-changer when he defeated the sponsor of the NatGas subsidy bill in a primary, he was a game changer when he voted against Boehner for Speaker, and he will be a game changer in the Senate when he stands up to weak-kneed leaders.  Lankford is a yes-man for House leadership, and he will be a yes-man for Senate leadership.

We will never change Washington with the status quo.

Bridenstine has too much to offer Oklahoma in the Senate for him to sit this one out.  We encourage him to jump in the race and give voice to conservatives.

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KS-Senate: Dr. Milton Wolf Proposes Free Market Healthcare Reforms

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

One of the things we look for in our candidates is the ability to move beyond platitudes and articulate how limited government and free markets helps improve the lives of ordinary Americans.  Career politicians like Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) might intuitively think Obamacare is a bad idea, but he has no ability to articulate free market healthcare policy from a position of strength.  That’s because, at heart, Roberts is more of a politician than a conservative.  Hence, he was easily sucked into the “go-along-to-get-along” mode and endorsed Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources in 2009.

Dr. Milton Wolf, who we were proud to endorse last month, is the panacea to inarticulate and inconsistent Republican politicians like Roberts.  Yesterday, he unveiled his ideas for free market healthcare reform.  Every Republicans should read this straightforward document, as it explains in plain English, from the perspective of a doctor, why even before Obamacare was implemented we languished under a centrally planned, market-distorted system.  He then proceeds to explain how the lack of portability, government distortions of insurance, tendentious tax treatment of employer-based healthcare, and out-of-control tort system have hurt patients and doctors.  Obamacare has only exacerbated all of these “pre-existing conditions.”

We are proud to put our name on smart conservative candidates like Milton Wolf.  His articulate presentation of healthcare reform is exactly what we need in Washington.  We need more than just a vote; we need a loud and unwavering voice to represent our values.  Help us support Milton Wolf in Kansas and send a 21st century conservative to Washington.

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The Year of the Primary is Upon Us

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections

Over the past few years, it has become abundantly clear to the conservative grassroots that the Republican establishment in Washington is broken and no longer represents the party’s values.  We embarked on the 2014 election cycle with a goal to help recruit or support candidates who will serve in the Ted Cruz model – men and women who are willing to stand up to the leaders of both parties to represent constitutional values.  Well, 2014 is upon us and we could not have anticipated more success.

Thus far, we have helped recruit or support candidates who are mounting historic primary challenges to some of the most powerful and longest serving members of Congress, as well as game-changing fighters running in Democrat or open seats.  If elected, these candidates will send a shock throughout the D.C. political swamp.  They will be more than just a vote; they will serve as a voice for the country class and break all ties with the ruling class of both parties.

We could not have done this without the support of all our followers and readers.  But 2014 is going to require an even more robust commitment from the movement.  If we do not defeat enough of these establishment Republicans, President Obama will succeed in two of his goals –  initiatives that will fundamentally transform the fabric of this nation – preserving Obamacare and passing amnesty/immigration deform.

The leadership in the GOP and their ruling class enablers in the consultant and lobbying crowd have made it clear that they will pass amnesty and block any effort to fight Obamacare in the budget or debt ceiling bills.  It behooves us all to remind them that their jobs are tenuous; that they merely serve at the pleasure of those who elect them.

Please help us begin the new year with a bang and lend support to our slate of candidates.  We have four Senate candidates and four House candidates, with a number of promising prospects on the way.  In the coming weeks, we hope to unveil a new website with information on all our candidates and how you can help volunteer working the phones or knocking on doors in the contested states and districts.

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Chamber to Spend $50 Million Defending Unpopular Status Quo

Thursday, December 26th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News

Here’s is a thought for a slow vacation week.  Congress’s approval rating has dipped into the single digits.  Anyone with any intellectual honesty – whether liberal or conservative – should agree that we need wholesale change in the ranks of leadership in both parties.  Yet the Chamber of [Government-Run] Commerce is prepared to spend $50 million in order to protect the status quo.

The Wall Street Journal published an extensive story over Christmas detailing some of the efforts of party leadership and their corporate allies to keep the Republican Party a small tent – one which stands for nothing and appeals to nobody:

Republican leaders and their corporate allies have launched an array of efforts aimed at diminishing the clout of the party’s most conservative activists and promoting legislation instead of confrontation next year.

GOP House leaders are taking steps to impose discipline on wavering committee chairmen and tea-party factions. Meanwhile, major donors and advocacy groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014′s midterm elections. […]

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce early next year plans to roll out an aggressive effort—expected to cost at least $50 million—to support establishment, business-friendly candidates in primaries and the general election, with an aim of trying to win a Republican Senate majority.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said the business group’s top political strategist, Scott Reed. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

Well, if the Chamber is looking to avoid loser candidates they should start by pulling the plug on their support for Mitch McConnell.  He is losing to a liberal Democrat in a state Republicans carried by 23 points last year.  That’s a loser candidate if I’ve ever seen one.

Yes, indeed the Chamber is full of many ironies.  They supposedly represent business interests, yet they continue to perpetuate the powers that be in Washington – the very same forces that stifle business growth.  With their candidates, they help perpetuate Obamacare, which kills small businesses.  With their candidates, they help Democrats win on every debt ceiling fight, so that the federal government has unlimited money to propagate job-killing regulations.  And with their candidates, they ensure that we re-elect the current crop of failed GOP leaders who have given Democrats a defacto super-majority in the Senate.

Most amazingly, they are also spending millions of dollars pushing for amnesty and an unlimited supply of Democrat voters. These voters will help defeat their chosen Republican incumbents, thereby countermanding this year’s $50 million campaign.

In reality, the Chamber doesn’t stand for free markets or limited government.  They stand with the special interests and venture socialists as long as it helps the bottom line of their clients.  They are attracted to the strongest political forces on the block like flies are attracted to cow pies.  Hence, they will do anything in their power to protect the status quo.

Folks, if you like the status quo in Washington, the Chamber of Commerce has $50 million in banal political ads to sell you in the upcoming primary season.  Are you buying?

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Milton Wolf for U.S. Senate in Kansas

Thursday, December 19th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections

Americans in the heartland are starving for leadership in Washington.  While they wait, President Obama and the Democrats are fundamentally transforming our Republic. Americans are desperately longing for passionate and spirited candidates to fight for conservative principles.  They are looking for candidates who say exactly what We the People are thinking. They want bold, but articulate leaders.  One of the best candidates to fill this vacuum is Dr. Milton Wolf running for U.S. Senate in Kansas.

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has represented Kansas in the House and Senate for 33 years.  Including his time as a congressional staffer, he has been in Washington since 1967.  He has been a loyal public servant.  But over the past few decades, he has unfortunately become the quintessential career politician, failing to thwart the unprecedented growth of government when it really counted.  No degree of election-year foxhole conversions to voting conservative can compensate for the vacuum of a principled voice that has been missing in the U.S. Senate.

To rebuild the Senate majority with a new cadre of limited government, free-market, constitutional conservatives, we cannot reelect those who helped lose the majority during the Bush years through inconsistent principles.  Roberts voted to keep the “Bridge to Nowhere” in 2006.  He repeatedly opposed the earmark bans, even as many Republicans started realizing the harmful effects of earmarks.  He supported No Child Left Behind, Medicare expansion, and the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  He has consistently voted against efforts to downsize the federal government and devolve power to the states.

Even more important than conservative votes, is a voice for Kansas’s conservative values.  When Roberts’s voice was needed most, he was actually giving it to the other side.  In 2009, President Obama nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  It was clear early on that Obama’s biggest priority was to take over the healthcare sector.  As a home state senator and as a Kansan, Roberts had the opportunity to explain to the nation how he saw first-hand her radical views on healthcare and her support for partial birth abortion.  Yet, not only did he vote for her, he gave her the home state endorsement and publicly foisted upon us the worst Secretary of HHS in American history.

Nobody can claim to be pro-life and sincerely opposed to Obamacare and at the same time support Kathleen Sebelius.

Even as Milton Wolf began considering a run for U.S. Senate, he was already a strong voice for Kansas.  At the beginning of Obama’s presidency, Senator Roberts continued his old ways of go-along-to-get-along.  He helped undermine our leverage points against Obama’s spending binge and Obamacare by voting to increase the debt ceiling and funding Obamacare in the budget.  He voted for the $620 billion tax increases/$330 billion spending bill that Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) negotiated.  But much like Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) did during his primary, Roberts lurched all the way to the right once Milton considered a Senate run.

Roberts began to vote against the debt ceiling and budget deals.  He signed onto the Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) letter committing to defund Obamacare.  He even broke from his tradition as a stealth senator to join Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the U.S. Senate floor during his historic filibuster against Obamacare.  After Milton Wolf called on him to give voice to Kansas against the egregious Ryan-Murray budget deal, he immediately announced his opposition.

He has moved so far to the right that some are even scoffing upon the effort to replace him.

However, conservatives are looking for a strong voice for all six years of a senator’s term, not just a pandering vote close to election time.

More importantly, even the foxhole conversion is a result of Milton’s bold and articulate voice in Kansas as a primary challenger.  Just weeks before he signed the Mike Lee letter, Roberts expressed his skepticism of the strategy at a tele-townhall.  He noted that “it’s a lot harder than it used to be but, my hand is still out there stretched out across the aisle.”  At the same event on July 29, Roberts referred to the Fair Tax as a “scheme.”  After Milton announced his candidacy, Roberts became a supporter. Most interesting, Roberts has called for Sebelius to resign. This is an unambiguous admission that his 2013 voting record is a form of pandering, not principled leadership.

Milton Wolf will provide the bold leadership we are all starving for.  Far from being a career politician, Milton, who was born and raised in Lyons, Kansas, has spent his career trying to save cancer patients working as a diagnostic radiologist.  Milton is continuing his full-time work in the hospital even as he campaigns statewide for Senate.

Dr. Wolf also happens to be Obama’s second cousin, and following the passage of Obamacare, Milton decided to speak out as a doctor, relative, conservative, and Kansan.  He began speaking at Tea Parties and writing regular columns for national publications. He has a wealth of writings on an extensive list of policy issues, articulating conservatism from a position of strength.  He is 100% with the conservative grassroots on every issue.  Milton is also one of the most articulate and passionate candidates we have ever met.

After coming out publicly as Obama’s cousin, Milton was audited twice by the IRS.  The White House also called his editor to try to get him fired.

Headed into the next few years, defeating Obamacare will be the most important goal.  Who should lead the fight?  A career politician who couldn’t even stand up to the architect of Obamacare or a doctor who is willing to stand up to his own family?

Dr. Wolf will work every day of his six-year term to give voice and fight for us just like Ted Cruz.  He is the true embodiment of the 21st century conservative we so badly need.  We are honored to put our full support behind him in the August 5th primary.

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Chad Mathis for Alabama’s 6th Congressional District

Monday, December 16th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues

There is a disconnect between America and Washington, D.C. We see it every day as hard-working families are desperate for relief from the burden that intrusive government puts on their lives. Yet rather than tackling the tough issues head on, Congress contents itself with sound bites and nibbles at the legislative battles of the day.

We are at a crossroads as a nation. Now so more than ever there is a need for real leadership in Washington, the kind of leadership that comes from courage of conviction and from the experience of living an everyday life, not being a career politician.

Ever since we launched the Madison Performance Index, it was clear that the Southern delegation of the GOP had a serious problem. Ensconced in deeply red districts, the majority of these seats are held by big government Republicans. One of the most egregious delegations is the one from Alabama and chief among the pro-life statists is Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL).

In an R+28 district, Bachus is the poster child for what is wrong with the Republican Party, earning a -30 on our Performance Index and a spot in our ‘Hall of Shame.’  From TARP to No Child Left Behind to farm subsidies, there seemingly has not been a government expansion bill that Bachus has not voted for during his time in Congress.

That dynamic is about to change. In September, Congressman Bachus announced he was retiring from office and would not see re-election.

It was in the weeks preceding that announcement that we had a chance to sit down with Dr. Chad Mathis, a surgeon and small businessman from Indian Springs, AL. With a date certain to announce his challenge to Congressman Bachus, we appreciated several things about Chad. The first was his clear enunciation of what he believed and what he would do when sent to Washington, D.C. by the voters in Alabama’s 6th Congressional District.

The second was the courage he displayed in committing to take on what many viewed as a deeply entrenched incumbent. In fact, as we sat with Chad, it was apparent that he looked forward to a campaign of contrast with Congressman Bachus.

Even when that dynamic changed on September 30th and the primary field became crowded with those eager to seek an open Congressional seat, it was apparent to us that Chad Mathis was the kind of viable candidate that the Madison Project was looking for in the 2014 cycle.  He has pledged to hold the line on spending, cut taxes, stop running deficits, balance the budget and make government smaller. And even more importantly, as a doctor, he understands the threat Obamacare represents to our way of life and he will work to repeal it.

As Chad said on the day he announced his candidacy: “I’ve read every word of Obamacare, and I know it will ruin America’s healthcare system, kill jobs, and drive up costs for Alabamians. We’ve had Obamacare in place for a week now, and it’s already on life support. The citizens of the 6th Congressional district deserve better than broken government websites and empty healthcare promises.”

You know what else we like about Chad Mathis? During the 2012 U.S. Senate primary in Texas, he took time to go to Texas to volunteer for Ted Cruz’s campaign.

There are those who talk a good game and those who walk one. Chad Mathis is firmly in the latter camp and that is why, today, we are proud to endorse Dr. Chad Mathis for Congress. We will work not only to help him win the election, but we also commit to fighting along side of him once he’s in the halls of Congress.

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2014: The Year of the Primaries

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections

Next year Republican primary voters will have an unprecedented number of choices for whom to nominate to the United States Senate.  There have never been so many primary challenges against such high-level and long-serving members of the Senate.

There are now primary challenges in Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kansas, and Wyoming.  The challengers vary in degrees of viability, competence, and skill.  Not all of them have been endorsed by conservative groups; not all of them necessarily will receive endorsements.  But all of these states are represented by entrenched ruling class Republicans of yesteryear.  They are also all states Mitt Romney carried by a comfortable margin.

As such, irrespective of the details of each individual challenge and challenger, conservatives should celebrate the growth in election competition in itself.  At the core of our free market belief is that choice and competition perfects the outcome of any product or service.  Politicians are no different.

Senators are elected for six-year terms, not lifetime appointments.  Every six years they need to stand before their constituents and vouch for their record while explaining why they would be the best choice for a new six-year term.  When there is no competition in primaries, they feel no need to improve or consider the concerns of their conservative constituents.  Primaries offer alternative candidates, and often, better choices for the future.  Again, this is something we should celebrate, especially in conservative states.

Some media figures and disgruntled Republicans are perplexed at the extent of the primary challenges this year.  Many of the apologists for the banal incumbents point to legislative scorecards to express confusion over why their candidates are insufficiently conservative.  After all, they contend, these senators don’t seem to fit the mold of the typical beleaguered moderate-liberal incumbent like Arlen Specter.

Here are some points we must all consider when examining the upcoming primaries, especially in the context of the current crop of GOP senators:

  • The Hatch Effect: As Erick Erickson noted a few months ago, Orrin Hatch started a new trend among the ruling class members.  Recognizing the mistake of moderates like Bob Bennett and Dick Lugar, Hatch ran all the way to the right when he began to sense a credible primary threat.  Last year, he voted 100% with Mike Lee.  This year he has voted for amnesty, ENDA, funding Obamacare, debt ceiling increases, the Biden-McConnell tax increases, and many of Obama’s liberal judges and executive appointees.

The sad reality is that it worked for him, and now Senators McConnell, Cornyn, and Roberts are trying to replicate the Hatch Effect.  They figured out how to pick the lock.  Move all the way to the right as soon as a primary challenge emerges and completely muddle the need for an alternative.  Then they can point to a scorecard showing them voting the right way that year.

  • Rebuilding the Majority with a Rotten Foundation: Piggybacking off the last point, do we really want to trust the primary-year foxhole conversions?  Remember these are the same old bulls who nearly destroyed the party during the Bush years until the Tea Party saved the GOP.  They were headed to a third wave election of defeat before conservatives united the party behind a message of free markets and anti-bailouts, eschewing years’ worth of bad messaging of the party by some of these same members.  Do we want to rebuild the majority with these same members?
  • The Paradox of Congressional Disapproval: All political factions agree that Congress is corrupt, Washington is broken, and members have a lower approval rating than used car salesmen.  Yet it is only the Tea Party that is actually willing to do something about it.  It’s amazing how everyone agrees that Congress is hated, but whenever we promote a challenge to a sitting member, the media looks at us like we are from Mars.  They make fun out of our citizen legislator style candidates.  Well, how are we going to change Washington if we continue to rubber-stamp another 6 years for every incumbent if they are not made to fear competition?
  • A Voice, not Just a Pandering Vote: Even the foxhole conversion into voting conservative is incomplete and inadequate.  We need elected Republicans who will give voice to conservatives and fight back against the left, not those who will surrender the war but make sure to cast a conservative vote in order to protect themselves back home.

Yes, John Cornyn voted against the amnesty bill on the final vote.  But he voted for it in committee, and after conservatives almost killed it on the floor, he revived it with his phony amendment, which gave rise to the contours of the final deal.  Obviously, given that he was personally on the fence with this issue, he certainly did not whip up opposition to the bill.  Ditto for Mitch McConnell.

Moreover, no scorecard could ever encapsulate the degree of damage they did when they gave Harry Reid 60 votes to fund Obamacare, and publicly stood with Democrats against conservatives to sabotage the only legitimate fight against Obamacare.

Similarly, it is nice to see Pat Roberts support the defund effort once he got a primary challenger (after opposing it a few weeks prior during a townhall event).  It is also nice to see him call for Kathleen Sebelius to resign.  However, he was the individual who foisted her upon the country when he gave the home-state endorsement in 2009.  We need articulate voices who will fight battles, not those who will ensure we lose the battles, albeit without their personal fingerprints on the concession during primary elections.

It’s important to remember that some of these incumbents are not liberals, or even moderates.  But they are not conservatives either.  They are ruling class of special interest career politicians who pursue personal power as an ends to itself.  When it suits their need to cast some conservative votes, they will do so.  But when they need to placate the special interests, they will jump in head first.  They certainly will never put their careers on the line to fight for us.

When Republicans win back all branches of government and revert to their natural tendencies, just remember that you had a number of choices when it really mattered.

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McConnell Hosts Fundraiser for North Carolina’s Charlie Crist at Home of Fannie Mae Lobbyist

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues

Senator Mitch McConnell has been awfully quiet lately.  After making it clear in October that he would never again fight Obamacare in the budget or a debt ceiling increase, he has fallen off the face of the earth.  Harry Reid pulled the nuclear option in the Senate, yet McConnell has not threatened to hold up the deals on the farm bill or new budget conference.  In fact, he hasn’t commented on them at all.  He hasn’t even commented on Obama’s Iran capitulation, an issue in which he presumably shares our views.

So what is Mitch McConnell doing as the most powerful Republican in Washington?

He’s fundraising for Thom Tillis, the Charlie Crist of North Carolina, at the house of a Fannie Mae lobbyist.

“A Washington, D.C., fundraiser scheduled for this week for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican candidate for Senate, will feature a few big GOP names, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., are also slated to attend, according to an updated invitation sent out Monday and obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Thursday’s breakfast event will be at the home of Geoffrey Gray, a lobbyist who has represented Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among additional interests in banking, financial and other sectors. The event is $500 to $1,000 per head and up to $2,500 for political action committees.

McConnell’s political action committee has donated to Tillis’ campaign, but the appearance at the fundraiser of the Senate’s top Republican is an important, visible stamp of approval for Tillis’ candidacy. McConnell’s colleague, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., endorsed another Republican in the North Carolina Senate primary, physician Greg Brannon. Still, Tillis, the favored candidate of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, holds a considerable fundraising advantage.”

McConnell has a habit of endorsing the most liberal candidate in a primary, as he did with Trey Grayson, Charlie Crist, and Arlen Specter.  Thom Tillis, the current Speaker of the North Carolina General Assembly, fits right in with those names:

  • He opposed the state’s marriage amendment, which won with 61% of the vote last year.
  • As Speaker, he is blocking conservative efforts to halt Common Core in the state.
  • He voted for green energy mandates in 2007.  Then when the bank he owns, Aquesta Bank, became one of the few institutions engaging in solar energy loans, Tillis blocked conservatives from repealing the mandate (after Republicans took over the general assembly).
  • He is a pay-for-play venture socialist at its worst.  In fact, he could put the people on K Street to shame without ever having served in Washington. He supported a Democrat to serve on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors because he gave a lot of money to Tillis’s campaign.  He has also pushed expansion of toll roads for his special interests and has recruited primary challengers against conservative representatives who oppose them.
  • He dramatically watered-down the Republican Voter ID law.

Not surprisingly, his views on illegal immigration will be colored by special interests.

Thom Tillis will fit in very well with Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove in Washington.  There is no reason why Senator Kay Hagan should win reelection next year, but conservatives are not exactly excited about replacing her with someone like this.

Mitch McConnell is the defacto head of the NRSC, and there’s no reason they should be supporting Tillis so early in the campaign.  Aside for being the most liberal Republican in the race, there is no evidence that he would be the strongest candidate.  In fact, his laundry list of sleazy pay-for-play special interest connections will give the Democrats more than enough fodder to distract from Obamacare and keep the seat.

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Jack Kingston has Surrendered on Obamacare

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

Democrats are stewing in the misery of Obamacare’s disastrous side effects.  We have a solid point of leverage coming in January to fight Obamacare in the budget.  As we’ve explained, we have stronger leverage this time around than we did in October.  However, that leverage is only predicated upon a united Republican Party committed to getting rid of Obamacare.  Sadly, the recent comments by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) suggesting that we should help fix the law serve as a vivid illustration of why we failed the battle to defund the law:

“A lot of conservatives say, ‘Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.’ But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do,” he added.

“I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there is something in ObamaCare, we need to know about it.”

Kingston was speaking prior to a field hearing in Gainesville, Ga., of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight focused on ObamaCare.

While he had some criticism for the law — he said he believes the demand on Medicaid could overcrowd the system — he also expressed hope that Democrats would bring to the hearing some good feedback they’ve received on ObamaCare.” [The Hill]

Good feedback?  According to the latest polling on Obamacare, Americans disapprove of the law 65-32%.  Nothing in the country ever polls worse than that.  Almost as many people believe in UFOs.

Sure, we should go on offense with healthcare policy and explain how anti-market interventions are hurting the uninsured.  We should make insurance portable by allowing a national market and by eliminating the government-created disadvantage for those who buy insurance on the private market.  We should expand tax-free health savings accounts.  We should have less mandates like community rating and guaranteed issue, not more.  But we should never acquiesce to a permanent structure of government-run healthcare.

Coming to terms with Obamacare is nothing new for Kingston.  At the beginning of the year, he said “I don’t want to go in there saying, ‘By golly, there’s a new sheriff in town.’” “Obamacare has been the law of the land, and it is getting implemented. We have to work in that context.”

The scary thing is that Kingston is the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on healthcare.  What is ever scarier is that he wants to be the next U.S. Senator from Georgia.  We all know that the Senate has a way of turning those who are conservatives into statists.  See Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for a vivid example.  If Kingston is starting out his campaign with a mindset of surrender on Obamacare, it is clear he will never move this seat one inch to the right from Senator Saxby Chambliss.  And that is an extremely low bar to cross.

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Chris McDaniel Making Waves in Mississippi

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections

It’s not too often that a new conservative candidate surges to a near-tie with a 35-year incumbent in a Senate race.  But Chris McDaniel, who we were proud to endorse last month, is nipping at the heels of Thad Cochran, and is leading other potential candidates in the event that Cochran retires.  Here are the topline numbers from Politico:

There’s still no official word on whether Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran will retire, but a poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling suggests he’d have a real fight on his hands if he decides to stay in the race. In a two-way race against Chris McDaniel, Cochran would have just a 6-point lead, 44 percent to 38 percent. When asked if they want to vote for Cochran or “someone more conservative,” 55 percent of GOP primary voters chose the generic more conservative option. If Cochran retires, McDaniel would lead primary voters’ list of ideal candidates to replace him: he takes 25 percent, compared with 23 percent for Delbert Hosemann, 15 percent for Gregg Harper, 13 percent for Steve Palazzo, 8 percent for Alan Nunnelee, 5 percent for Stacey Pickering and 3 percent for Tate Reeves.

As we’ve noted before, the GOP Conference in the senate is completely broken.  Anyone who doesn’t enter the senate with that mindset is bound to become part of the cesspool.  Chris McDaniel is the only candidate committed to changing the status quo of the failed GOP establishment.  You can listen to our radio ad here:

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