As we all suffer the dire consequences of a Congress full of power-hungry politicians in Washington more concerned with their “Beltway status” than the impact of their bad policies back at home, it has become clear that it is time we have the resolve and audacity to start electing more citizen legislators to the U.S. Senate. Why should the Senate function like the House of Lords? Has it served us well? Why not elect more outsiders? Why not elect more people with bona fide leadership qualities such as military officers? Why not elect Colonel Rob Maness in Louisiana?
Next year, conservatives will have a number of solid opportunities to pick up Senate seats from Democrats in conservative-leaning states. Chief among them is Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) who supports 100% of President Obama’s agenda and is completely out of touch with the values of Louisiana.
But as we’ve witnessed from the current crop of GOP senators, it’s worth very little to replace a Democrat with a Republican who refuses to fight the Democrats. Moreover, we learned last cycle from former Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Rick Berg (R-ND), we are not going to beat a well-funded savvy Democrat, even in a red state, with a deadbeat establishment politician who stands for nothing and appeals to nobody. If we don’t step up in support of Rob Maness, and leave the task of defeating Landrieu to the establishment pick, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), we will not win this seat.
In order to beat Mary Landrieu, we need to present voters with a compelling contrast. Bill Cassidy is another trite establishment congressman with no passion for conservatism. He has supported debt ceiling increases, green energy subsidies, and is in favor of clamping down on gun sales. He has been wishy-washy about fighting Obamacare, and has worked with Senator Landrieu to get his ‘fair share’ of Obamacare subsidies for the state. The lines of contrast are so blurred that Cassidy actually donated to Landrieu’s campaign, as well as to Kathleen Blanco against Governor Bobby Jindal. Worse yet, in 1988, he wrote a letter bashing Republicans and endorsing Democrat Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.
But more than the fact that Cassidy would just be another yes-man for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and GOP leadership, he is a lackluster candidate. As the Times-Picayune has noted, Cassidy has been missing in action in aggressively pursuing Landrieu on the issues. As she has supported every aspect of Obamacare, amnesty, the abortion and anti-marriage agenda, and endless debt, Cassidy has failed to prosecute the case against her. Even his fundraising is unimpressive for a sitting Member of Congress. Cassidy is not the candidate Louisiana deserves.
This is why we need a bold contrast. This is why we need Rob Maness.
There is no candidate who is more antithetical to a career politician like Mary Landrieu.
Mary Landrieu comes from a family of career politicians but Rob Maness comes from a family of military servicemen. Maness, the son of an Air Force officer, decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and signed up when he was 17 years old. He served for 32 years until retiring in 2011 to help his wife, Candy, fight off a bout with breast cancer. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Medal for his combat service. During his time in the military, he managed to complete Masters’ degrees from Harvard University’s Kennedy School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the U.S. College of Naval Warfare. Rob now has two sons serving in the military.
Despite never serving in elected office, Rob has a better command of all the policy issues than most career politicians. His experience as a squadron commander, Joint Chiefs of Staff Operations Officer, and a family-farm owner have equipped him with the requisite skills to be a principled citizen legislator.
Through several meetings with the candidate, we found him to be uniquely knowledgeable about both national security and free market issues. Not only is he solid on all three legs of the conservative stool, he moves beyond the platitudes to actually tackle tough issues, such as free market reforms for agriculture, flood insurance, and transportation. Maness is one of the few candidates to fill out our survey and pledges on the spot.
Louisiana holds a jungle primary in which all candidates – regardless of party affiliation – are placed on the same ballot next November. The top two vote-getters will head to a runoff a month later if no one secures 50% of the vote. The first step is to make Rob the defacto GOP nominee. He has worked hard to create a competent campaign out of nothing, beginning with zero name recognition. If we want more regular citizens to enter the halls of the U.S. Senate, we must be there for them when they are willing to take the risk and when they need the help the most. We can start now by supporting Rob Maness, and sending a strong message to the big-government politicians in both parties.