The Madison Projects Releases Updated Index Scores For 112th Congress

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 and is filed under Blog

For Immediate Release:

May 7, 2013

Contact: Daniel Horowitz

The Madison Project Releases Updated Index Scores for 112th Congress

Madison Project Chairman Jim RyunNow conservatives can view the performance of their Republican representatives in the context of the districts they were elected to represent.” 

Washington, DC – Today, the Madison Project PAC released its updated Madison Performance Index (MPI) for the full 112th Congress.  Created in 2012, the MPI measures how closely each Republican House Member is performing against the expected conservative score for his or her district.

“It’s a simple way for us to create clarity for the American taxpayers. Either their Members are performing to the make-up of their districts or they are not,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “We believe the MPI provides a measuring stick for voters to look at when it comes time to retain or remove Members.”

To view the full scores for the 112th Congress (2011 and 2012 combined), please go to:

“Last year, we started a national conversation about the need to better utilize our most conservative districts in elections when we unveiled the Madison Performance Index,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project. “We found that only a small percentage of elected Republicans were fully utilizing their districts to represent conservative free-market values.  Our updated scores continue to show that there are many members from red districts that are dramatically underperforming.”

The Madison Performance Index also highlights Members who have scored above a 90 in the Hall of Fame while listing the worst performers in the Hall of Shame.

“We believe this list of liberal red state Republicans will serve as a checklist for the best opportunities to elect conservatives to the House in primary elections,” said Ryun.

Key takeaways from Madison Performance Index from the 112th Congress:

  • Only 43 members, or 18% of the GOP conference, met or exceeded expectations to fully utilize their seats to promote conservatism
  • 58 members have an index of -25 or worse (25 of them are from R+13 districts); 114 members score -15 or worse (42 of them are from R+13+ districts) 149 members score -10 or worse on the index.
  • The worst performer was Don Young (AK) at -48.  The best performer was Joe Walsh (IL-8) at +23.

The Madison Performance Index factors the average of the 2011 and 2012 legislative scores from Heritage Action for America and the Club for Growth, the two most respected conservative scorecards.  Each Member’s average score is pegged against the ideological orientation of his district, as defined by the Cook Partisan Voter Index.  Members from the most conservative districts are expected to score an A (90 and above), while those from less conservative districts are held to a slightly lower standard in a gradual regression.  Their index score represents the number of points they are scoring above or below the expected score for that district.

The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at

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If you’d like more information about, or to schedule an interview with the Madison Project, please email Daniel at

The Madisonian, Issue #40

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Immigration, Issues, Taxes

For those of you not getting The Madisonian, go sign up for it at

Here’s Issue #40 (giving you a glimpse of what you are missing every week Congress is in session)

The Madisonian, Issue #40

Online Sales Tax: After a number of Republicans voted to invoke cloture on the online sales tax bill (S.743), this bill is expected to pass with a simple majority vote on Monday.  To make matters worse, supporters of the bill are offering a manager’s amendment which will provide a new definition for “state” that allows every tribal organization to force businesses in every state to pay sales tax too.  There are 565 federally- recognized tribal organizations.  This means that every business will now have to add 565 tribal tax systems to their system when collecting sales taxes for online purchases.

Conservatives must work to quickly circulate a letter in the House invoking the Hastert Rule against this massive tax increase.  We must make it clear that this tax increase is opposed by the majority of the House Republican Conference, and should not be brought to the floor any time during this session.

Debt Ceiling In January, Congress voted to suspend the debt ceiling ($16.394 trillion, at the time) until May 18.  However, given that the Treasury has the ability to shift payments and employ “extraordinary measures,” that de facto debt ceiling will not be reached until the end of the summer or early fall.  Meanwhile the gross debt stands at roughly $16.8 trillion.  In preparation for the fight over raising the debt ceiling yet again, GOP leaders have finally caved to conservative demands to pass the Full Faith and Credit Act, H.R. 807.  This bill will force the Treasury to prioritize payments for interest on the debt and social security in the event that the debt ceiling is reached.  The bill will come to the floor on Wednesday.

Conservatives have long advocated that we take default off the table so we can fight for transformational change while refusing to raise the debt ceiling without concessions from the Democrats.  There is more than enough revenue coming in to the Treasury to pay the vital bills.

Conservative concerns:

  • A shell game: Leadership is not bringing this bill to the floor because they have undergone a cathartic change and are suddenly willing to fight the debt limit increase.  This is just a bone being thrown to conservatives in return for their agreement to vote for the January debt limit suspension and the CR that funded Obamacare in March.
  • De facto Debt Increase:  Unlike the original version of the Full Faith and Credit Act sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintcok (R-CA), this iteration was dramatically altered by the Ways and Means Committee.  The original bill would have prohibited any new issuance of debt, forcing the Treasury to use only the incoming tax revenue (which covers about 65% of outlays) to prioritize interest payments.  This version would allow the Treasury to issue more debt in order to cover interest payments and Social Security interest expenditures.  This means that the tax revenue can be used to pay for almost all other functions of government, while using new debt to pay for the priorities.  This is a debt limit increase.

Immigration – Just two weeks after releasing the 844-page amnesty bill (S.744), which was written behind closed doors, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin a marathon markup of the bill this Thursday.  The Senate Homeland Security Committee will also hold a hearing on the border security aspects (or lack thereof) of the bill.  In addition to forcing this super-complex legislation down the throats of Republican members so quickly, the drafters of the bill plan to introduce a 350-page managers’ amendment.  Taken as a whole, Republican members on the committee, most of whom were shut out of the entire process, are flummoxed and struggling to understand the ramification of this bill, let alone any new amendments.  For a detailed critique of how this bill will break our immigration system for years to come, please read this analysis by Daniel Horowitz over at the Madison Project.

Meanwhile, conservatives are now getting a handle on how many immigrants would be brought in under this bill.  According to Senator Sessions, this bill would bring in 32.7 million immigrants over the next 10 years, not including the 25 million new guest workers.  This is on top of our current record levels of between 1 and 1.1 million new green cards annually.  The bill will essentially bring in 2 million new immigrants every year. Also, the Heritage Foundation is published a study today pegs the price tag for amnesty at $6.3 trillion when all the welfare costs associated with such a low-skilled population are factored in.


After spending two weeks denying the flaws in the bill as laid out by conservatives, Marco Rubio is finally admitting that the bill should be changed.  However, here’s how we see this playing out.  Republicans will offer some good amendments –both in committee and on the floor – to strengthen the border triggers and limit the amnesties.  Undoubtedly, Senator Rubio and most of the Republicans (and even some Democrats) will support those amendments, knowing that they will be voted down.  Then, after feigning concern for our security with their show votes, these senators will ultimately vote for the final bill.

Ultimately, it’s hard to see how this bill, no matter how odious the final product, will fail to get 60 votes on the floor.  Almost every Democrat will vote for it along with the GOP gang members.  There is very little margin for error.

The real fight will commence in the House.  There is a parallel Gang of 8 in the House that is working on a very similar bill.  They will add in one or two shiny objects to attract more Republican votes, but from what I’ve seen of the rough draft, this bill will be very similar to the Schumer/Rubio amnesty.  Conservatives must work closely with the good members on the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees in an effort to block any mass amnesty bill, while focusing on national security, enforcement, and targeted legal immigration reforms.

Ancillary issues this week

Here is a list of some of the smaller issues that will be considered in the House under suspension, along with the daily schedule for both the House and the Senate.


Stay informed every day at



The Madison Project: Gang of 8 Immigration Bill Has “Serious Flaws”

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Immigration

For Immediate Release:

May 1, 2013

Contact: Daniel Horowitz

Madison Project Releases Analysis of Flawed Senate Immigration Bill

Washington, DC – Today, the Madison Project PAC released a comprehensive analysis detailing many of the flaws in the Senate “gang of 8” immigration bill (S. 744).

“After viewing all of the provisions of the bill in totality, it is clear that this legislation was designed to ostensibly grant amnesty and legal status to all those here illegally before any of the tepid enforcement measures are ever implemented,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project.

“This proposed legislation has serious flaws in it. It is yet another ‘amnesty now, enforcement later’ bill that will help engender a new wave of illegal immigration and grant perennial defacto amnesty to anyone who comes here illegally,” said Horowitz. “Moreover, when coupled with chain migration and unqualified birthright citizenship, this bill will chart a pathway to welfare benefits for millions of low-skilled illegal and legal immigrants within just a few years.  The bill also liberalizes our refugee and asylum policies at a time when we should be scrutinizing our system, which has let in numerous immigrants that represent a national security risk in recent years.”

“Moving forward into this next election cycle, we view this issue as one that cuts across all three legs of the conservative stool – fiscal, social, and national security,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project.  “We will not support any candidate who favors any sort of legalization or amnesty before the proper security and enforcement measures are implemented and the rule of law is restored.”

The Madison Project’s full analysis of the bill can be viewed here.

The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at

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A Serious Miscalculation by Organizing For America

Thursday, November 1st, 2012 and is filed under Blog, News

I confess. As a nuts and bolts kind of operative, I have great respect for Organizing for America. A “from the ground up” approach to politics is a recipe for winning. You build a community around politics and do it at the precinct level, your bad ideas with great organization are often going to beat people with great ideas and bad organization.

Which is why I was stunned to read this article from GQ Politics on how OFA thinks 2012 is a base election.

That’s right. For the last year (or more), OFA has been focused on turning out Barack Obama’s base. And here is where the serious miscalculation comes in.

Team Obama thinks that because they won in 2008, America is a center left nation.

It’s not. It was a nation that was less than thrilled with John McCain (!) and an election where Independents bought the hope and change rhetoric hook, line and sinker and voted for Barack Obama.

2012 is not 2008. Through the work done by groups using the Gravity database system, I can tell you that we are seeing a surge among Republicans in battleground states and with Romney winning by double digits among Independents, we could be looking at a wave election.

But let’s break this thing down a little further. In 2010, Gallup research showed that 42% of Americans identified themselves as conservative. Only 20% identified themselves as liberal. For the non-math majors out there, that’s a more than 2 to 1 ratio. Not only that, but given the surge of the tea party movement and the awakening of the American taxpayer, I have to think that 42% number has grown.

Which means Team Obama thought it was starting with the football on the 50 yard line only to discover that in reality, they didn’t have a great kickoff return. They had a touchback and started with the ball on their own 20 yard line and they are running out of time.

Let’s see how this plays out over the next few days, but right here, right now, I am going to tell you: Organizing for America, the backbone of Team Obama, made a serious miscalculation.

And I think it will cost them the election.



Code Red USA Project Expands

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 and is filed under News

Contact: Drew Ryun

Phone: 202-431-8661


For Immediate Release

Madison Project announces the launch of Freedom 2 and Liberty 2 in Ohio

Conservative political action committee, the Madison Project, announced today that it is launched two more mobile GOTV HQs in the battleground state of Ohio as part of its Code Red USA Project.

Christened as Freedom 2 and Liberty 2, the mobile GOTV HQs are 40 foot RVs decked out with internet hotspots and mobile phone banks operating off the Gravity™ database system.

“This is a perfect fusion of technology and innovation,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “No longer do volunteers have to come to a brick and mortars headquarters to make phone calls. We are going to them and I am convinced this is the next wave in how get out the vote work will be accomplished.”

With 5 phone systems in each mobile GOTV HQ, volunteers have the opportunity to make phone calls from the RVs while other teams of volunteers launch from the RVs and block walk using Gravity’s smart phone app.

“It’s flexible and efficient,” said Matt Armstrong of Code Red USA. “There is a lot of excitement out there for this project and we are perfectly positioned where opportunity meets preparation.”

Having launched 4 mobile GOTV HQs in Florida three weeks ago, the Madison Project’s Code Red USA project also allows volunteers to use the website as an opportunity to Phone From Home through the Gravity system, as well as participate in Adopt a State, where volunteers can travel to select battleground states.

For more on the Madison Project and Code Red USA, please go to and


What The Chick Fil A Firestorm Told Us

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Family Values

It’s quite simple, actually. It told us that the silent majority is alive and well. They voted yesterday with their wallets. And as much as the media and the Left will try and spin it, they did it because they are for something, not against something.

It seemed almost every minute yesterday, whether on Twitter or by email, that I was getting an update with photos along the lines of, “The line at our Chick Fil A is out the door!” or “The drive through line at my Chick Fil A stretched back a quarter mile!”

Would that we would get such political gifts from the Left everyday. We would quickly shift the political landscape in this country. And as Republicans look for their political spine and waffle on the issue, it is up to conservatives to push it and keep the issue in the forefront of peoples’ minds.

However, yesterday must have caused a lot of doubts to crop up in the minds of Team Obama. As much as people, especially Republicans, try to make politics a cut and dried, academic sort of thing, the simple truth is a lot of non-political people (ie those who don’t engage often in any component of politics)  are motivated emotionally. They vote on feeling and passion.

And believe me, America voted yesterday. It showed that the values that have made us great are alive and well.

I don’t know about you, but that’s exciting news.


We’re Playing The Wrong Game

Monday, July 23rd, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues

This may come as a surprise to some, but we’re playing the wrong game.

As we are inundated by stories of the ad buys that Crossroads, the Koch brothers, the Republicans, the Democrats, Mitt Romney and Team Obama will make now and into the fall, one this is clear: TV ads don’t win elections.

And if the Reuters’ story after the Wisconsin recall is any indicator, TV ads (and radio ads. . . .and endless mail pieces) were completely tuned out by the voters there.

“Exit polls taken on Tuesday (June 5th). . . indicated the ads may not have been a decisive factor; nearly 90 percent of voters say they chose their candidate before the ad barrage.” (Reuters)

The numbers out of Wisconsin are staggering. Upwards of $50M was spent there by both sides.

What do I see when I see those numbers? Consultants who got wealthy and TV stations given more money to continue the anti-conservative narrative the mainstream media so often engages in.

Where we win is on the ground and in precincts. We win when we go door to door and talk to voters over the phone and find out who these people are by surveying them and then flipping those answers into an efficient and effective GOTV plan.

It’s simple and it’s easy. It just takes some shoe leather and elbow grease. And with Gravity, it just became a lot easier for conservatives to do the work necessary to win.

But guess what? The consultant class will fight this change of paradigm tooth and nail because they won’t get rich off of it. The Establishment will drag its feet when it comes to implementing this kind of plan because it empowers the grassroots conservative movement in ways never before seen.

We have to change the way we do business as a movement. That goes for donors, for organizations, for grassroots activists.

We can’t continue to play the wrong game when the opportunity to win in the here and now sits before us. And the beauty of it is, when we win with a precinct centric ground game, we set ourselves up for continued success. It’s hard work, but when done right it will be like getting the football on the opposing team’s 50 yard line in 2014, not our 20.

The Madison Performance Index Creating Waves

Monday, July 23rd, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues, News

Nothing is more uncomfortable for people, especially elected officials, than to be reminded of promises made that are quickly broken.

As Daniel pointed out last week on the heels of the North Carolina primaries, moderates never run in primaries as moderates. No, they run as conservatives, promising their constituents that they will “go change Washington.”

And then they never do.

Which is why we have so many Republicans who are not just part of the status quo in Washington, DC, they defend and advance the status quo (the growth and burden of the federal government).

A few months ago, Daniel called to discuss this very topic. As we riffed, I pointed out that what the conservative movement was  missing was a Performance Index, an objective way for voters to answer the question, “Is my Member of Congress performing?”

I suggested the top number be an aggregate of the Heritage Action for America and Club for Growth scorecards, discussed in the Methodology link at the Madison Performance Index. Daniel suggested the Cook Partisan Voting Index as the bottom number and we decided that the number created by the above criteria would give us a performance index and answer the question: is my Member of Congress performing to the district or underperforming?

The response has been electric. Some have said, “This is what we have been waiting for!” Consultants of those in the Hall of Shame have complained that it is unfair and opens these incumbents to primary challenges.

That’s the point, folks.

We wanted to lay an objective foundation for conservatives to challenge incumbent Members of Congress and be able to do it in as concise a way possible: “You are not performing, therefore we will find someone who will.”

We know Members are checking out their MPIs. We know candidates who are using it and tweeting about it.

Our hope is that the movement as a whole will use it as an effective tool to enforce promises made. If that does not work, then we hope it will be used as a tool to replace those who have broken their promises.


Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 and is filed under Uncategorized

I know most of you come to this site to read politics, but this post has nothing to do with politics.

I heard a fascinating sermon on Sunday in church. It was from the Book of Job and the theme of the sermon was faith centered around the questions God asks Job throughout the book, “Where were you when . . . .?”  The purpose of the questions was to drive home a point: there is a God. And it’s not you.

As he preached, the our pastor kept coming back to question, “Do we have a faith big enough to believe in God?” and it took me back years ago to a time when we were presented several topics to write on in a college Humanities course. I chose Faith because of its paradoxical nature. I think-no, I know-many have fallen into the trap of Keirkegaard, that faith and reason are two separate “silos” inside each human, that faith is an emotive response while reason is a clinical, rational function of the brain and never the two shall meet.

I, of course, challenged that notion and still do to this day. While faith is a belief in the unseen, it is not a purely emotional response. It is employing the mind given to us for a reason (to think with) to rationally compute historical events and scientific evidence so that as we stand on the precipice of time, big decisions or life challenges and hear the eternal Voice whisper, “Jump and I will catch you,” we know we can jump and that we will be caught.

Reason and faith working hand in glove with each other. That is the paradox of faith.

Can we reason our way to God? In the truest sense, no. But can reason, facts and evidence lead us down the path to God? Yes. It is when we hit that final door that we must open it and leap.

That, friends, is what faith is. A reasoned decision to trust the revealed Unknown.

Breaking The System, the Chamber, Bruning and Stenberg

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues

Look, it’s not a secret that the conservative movement is up against a system in Washington, DC. Ironically, those who love the status quo and seek the reinforce The System have no qualms in laying out how they will co-opt any one that the conservative movement sends to Washington, DC (or state capitols for that matter). In spite of his statements after this article saying he was misunderstood, this was no slip of the tongue by former Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott. He meant it.

I think part of the problem for the tea party movement right now is that it believes the campaign rhetoric of candidates who run around and say, “We’re going to go to Washington, DC and change the System!!” Unfortunately, tea party leaders and members don’t realize they are sending folks into a meat grinder where various reinforcing entities latch onto the new Members and force them into the mold of the status quo. Leadership with its PAC checks and committee assignments, lobbyists for Big Business and other entities-you name it, each component reinforces the other which reinforces The System as a whole.

So when I see the Chamber of Commerce endorsing Big Government Republicans like Dick Lugar and Jon Bruning, what do I think? Another example of the collusion between Big Business and Big Government reinforcing The System. As Daniel so ably pointed out with his post on the The Chamber of (Government Run) Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce isn’t there to change The System. It is there to support and help elect more Republicans who will reinforce The System, not change it.

I sensed a shoulder slump by the conservative movement this morning when the Chamber released its endorsement of Jon Bruning in the Nebraska Senate race. Rather than a should slump, we should instead say, “Yeah, that’s exactly what we expected. Of course the Chamber would endorse Jon Bruning-Big Government Republicans flock together.” It should also reinforce the reason why we need to send Don Stenberg to Washington, DC. Having chatted with him several times, this is a man, a conservative, who knows exactly what he believes and why. He’s not going to crumble in the face of Mitch McConnell’s attempts to co-opt him once he gets elected. He’s going to stand with stalwarts like Jim DeMint and Mike Lee.

But that’s why we have to get him elected and once he gets to Washington, DC be there for him, either to pat him on the back and say, “Keep going!” or to smack him and say, “That’s not what we sent you to DC for!”