Dr. Bob Johnson For Congress in Georgia’s First District

Monday, March 10th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections

The open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia has created a number of vacancies in the state’s U.S. House delegation, providing Republican voters with an opportunity to utilize this red state to elect constitutional conservatives.  With Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) vacating the seat in the First Congressional district, we can either move this seat to the right or elect a failed career politician.  Our choice is to elect Dr. Bob Johnson, a career Army Ranger, surgeon, small business owner, and articulate conservative grassroots candidate.

For those who are looking for the prototype of a Tea Party candidate, Dr. Johnson is the superlative example.  He spent most of his adult life in the military as an Army Ranger and a doctor.  He also served as a surgeon in a military hospital for four years. After retiring from the service in 2001, Johnson opened up a private practice specializing in head and neck cancer surgery.

Although he never engaged in politics until he announced his bid for Congress last year, his intuitive common sense and impressive background has imbued him with a strong set of conservative principles and policy ideas, the likes of which we’ve seen in few candidates this cycle.

Dr. Johnson is the epitome of a candidate who doesn’t need, or necessarily want, this job.  He is pledging term limits and plans to return to private life after serving in Congress.  In fact, he continues to work as a surgeon while campaigning on nights and on weekends.  But he realized that the country is deteriorating and that there is no viable alternative party in Washington.  By default, this seat would have lurched even farther to the left with state senator Buddy Carter (R-GA) as the presumptive nominee.  Johnson feared that south Georgia would be stuck with another Boehner yes-man instead of a fighter for constitutional free-market policy solutions and conservative traditional values.

Speaking with Dr. Johnson about the issues was a pleasure because he moves beyond the talking points and commits to specific solutions.

As a veteran and a physician, Johnson recognizes that he is well qualified to speak out on foreign, military, and veterans’ affairs.

He has articulated the problems with the void of free market healthcare financing (even before Obamacare) more than most other candidates.  To that end, he will boldly push for reforms of our broken government-run veterans’ healthcare system and will not be intimidated by the Democrats’ use of veterans as political human shields. In fact, he will boldly pin the blame of poor quality healthcare on the failing VA system and advocate for a more private system with better quality care, cheaper costs, and quicker delivery.

As someone who is uniquely experienced in counter-terrorism, Johnson will fight GOP leaders on their policy of open borders and their myopic immigration priorities.  Johnson will have no problem telling the insecure establishment politicians and their overpaid lobbyists  they can’t buy amnesty with K-Street money.

As someone who worked on national security issues in the military, Johnson is running to fill the vacuum in the Republican Party on military and foreign affairs.  He will fight against the administration’s war on the military, which includes the downsizing of our core assets, dyslexic rules of engagement, and social experimentation.

As a strong Christian and believer in the 10th Amendment, Dr. Bob will not shy away from speaking out against unelected judges redefining marriage and coercing private citizens to accommodate the alternative lifestyles of the radical left.

Despite working as a full-time surgeon, Johnson has been outspoken on every legislative battle during this campaign, letting voters know exactly where he would stand in the current intra-party divide.

Johnson will fight for us every day of his self-term-limited tenure in Washington.  But if we don’t rally behind him, we will be stuck with liberal Buddy Carter.  Carter is the quintessential career politician who has spent years in Atlanta pushing tax increases on transportation, energy, and the internet.  He advocated against fighting Obamacare on a state level and doesn’t seem to be too outraged by the law, noting during his campaign kickoff speech that the law “so far is not so bad.”

The contrast cannot be any starker and the choice is ours to make.  Over the years, we have ignored quiet open-seat House races like this one and have paid dearly by electing the wrong Republicans.  It’s time for the movement to take yes for an answer and rally to Dr. Johnson for the May 20th Primary and the ensuing runoff.

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GOP House Passes Big Government Energy Bill

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Economy

The reason many of us don’t trust the current crop of Republicans to actually downsize existing federal programs is because they often agree to create new government interventions into the private sector.

Case in point?  Yesterday’s obscure vote to create a new program within the Department of Energy.

It has become clear this year that House Republicans have no interest in forcing a fight on must-pass legislation nor do they have the stomach to pass stand-alone bills that draw a sharp contrast on contentious issues, such as illegal immigration, religious liberty, and gay marriage.  They don’t want to address other conservative solutions, such as devolving transportation and education to the states or repealing the pernicious ethanol mandate, which raises the cost of food and fuel – all great issues to promote during an election year.  Instead, they want to run out the clock and squander their time in the majority passing the most innocuous bills.

To that end, they have spent most of their time pushing these “non-controversial” suspension bills, which need a two-thirds majority to pass.  One of those bills that passed the House yesterday was H.R. 2126 – Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014, sponsored by liberal Republican David McKinley (WV) and Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT).  Here is a synopsis of the bill from CRS:

Amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to require the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to study the feasibility of: (1) significantly improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings through the design and construction of separate spaces with high-performance energy efficiency measures, and (2) encouraging owners and tenants to implement such measures in separate spaces. Requires the Secretary to publish such study on DOE’s website.

Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a voluntary Tenant Star program within the Energy Star program to recognize tenants in commercial buildings that voluntarily achieve high levels of energy efficiency in separate spaces. Requires DOE’s Administrator of the Energy Information Administration to collect data on categories of building occupancy that consume significant quantities of energy and on other aspects of the property, building operation, or building occupancy determined to be relevant to lowering energy consumption. Prohibits the impact on climate change from being a factor in determining energy efficiency of commercial building tenants.

Talk about picking winners and losers!  This opens the door to the government collecting data on construction of private buildings and incentivizing specific behavior through green venture socialism.  As always, these things start out as voluntary propositions, but quickly morph into full-blown mandates.

Also, like most green energy programs, the DOE will carefully craft the grant programs to benefit liberal crony capitalists who can’t sell their sub-par product or service in the free market without the extra boost from government.

Moreover, why are we adding another program to a department that Republicans [were supposed to] believe serves no constructive purpose?

At some point we need to ask why Republicans feel so uncomfortable being in the majority that they have to fill their time passing Democrat bills.

And unlike some of the other suspension bills, this is not an isolated measure that will stall out in the Senate.  The Welch/McKinley bill overlaps with a broader Shaheen-Portman bill that has been percolating through the Senate for the past few years.  They recently introduced another iteration of the bill and can now point to the fact that 86 percent of House Republicans supported much of the foundation for their legislation.  Rep. Welch has already said that passage of this bill “provides a clear path to conference” with the Senate.  They might take up this bill as early as next week.

Passage of this bill marks a new milestone for the GOP establishment. First they gave Senate Democrats a de facto super-majority with a number of Republicans voting with them on key issues.  Then House Republicans began rubber-stamping some of their bad bills, often in violation of the Hastert Rule.  Now they are pre-emptively passing Senate Democrat legislation in the House even before Reid takes up the bill!

At some point we are going to learn that a GOP majority does not have much utility unless we replace the current roster of failed leaders.

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The Coming Amnesty Offensive and the Need to Clean House

Monday, January 6th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Immigration

House GOP leaders have made it crystal clear that it is their intention to pass an amnesty bill based upon every liberal premise of the immigration issue.  The only question is timing. Conservatives must sound the alarm and acknowledge that engaging in the upcoming primaries is the only way to preempt Obamacare 2.0 in the lame duck years of Obama’s tenure.

When talking with many grassroots activists throughout the country this primary cycle, it seems that many conservatives are fooled by the false sense of security that a GOP-controlled House would never pass amnesty.  After all, why would Republicans reward a lawbreaker – a president who has ostensibly placed a moratorium on border security and immigration enforcement – with the biggest political victory of his second term?

After the government shutdown in October, I felt the same way.  There was no way Republicans would play ball with Democrats on immigration after President Obama and Senator Harry Reid conducted themselves with such contempt during the budget battle.  But like many others in the movement, I was temporarily overlooking the fact that our party is controlled by undocumented Democrats.

Immediately following the budget battle, we began to see news reports about Speaker Boehner promising a push for amnesty after the primaries are settled.  We saw Rep. Eric Cantor hold up the Dream Act as a paradigm of positive conservative legislation.  We watched in shock as John Boehner suddenly hired one of the key staffers involved in writing the Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill to be his top policy advisor on immigration.  And we saw Rep. Paul Ryan, a rabid supporter of open borders, forge a budget deal for an extra year, clearing the schedule to focus on immigration over the next two years.

Now, the New York Times is reporting that John Boehner is planning to act on his tantalizing open border dreams, albeit through a surreptitious strategy.  Knowing that conservatives are repulsed by anything comprehensive in nature, aides to the Speaker told the Times that he plans to push a “step-by-step” approach.  In case you were wondering, that step-by-step approach doesn’t include reforming our out-of-control refuge and asylum policy, building the fence, cutting off the welfare spigot, clarifying birthright citizenship, ending chain migration, or reducing our record high levels of low skilled immigration before making other changes.  It includes a list of liberal priorities couched with some shiny objects that will never make it in the final bill, especially with Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and the White House.

And speaking of Democrat control, why are the same people who told us we can’t block bad legislation with control of just the House now suggesting that we can pass conservative immigration legislation with such little power?

The question answers itself.  These people do not share our values.  This intra-party battle is not just about strategy; it is about substance.

Indeed it is hard to sit back and watch Republican leaders remain silent as Obama hamstrings our border agents, suspends laws of Congress, and even harbors illegal immigrants in his own family.  Instead of debating how much enforcement they will demand from Obama, Republicans are already negotiating how much amnesty and chain migration they will unilaterally cede to the President.

If conservatives remain silent, all of the incumbents will coast to reelection and the current leadership will remain intact.  Even if Boehner retires, Reps. Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan will pursue amnesty with even more alacrity.  That’s why conservatives must work to change leadership.

In addition to engaging in every contested primary this year, conservatives need to commence a discussion with sitting members regarding their plans for next year’s leadership elections.  Instead of waiting until the last minute, there needs to be a well-organized effort beginning this year to block the current leaders from retaining or obtaining power during the next Congress.

After three years of failed promises from the Pledge to America, and now with the new push for amnesty by the big four players (John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan), it’s time for new leadership.  Make no mistake about it, if we are saddled with Boehner and Cantor for leaders, or if Paul Ryan replaces Boehner as Speaker, we will witness the fundamental transformation of America through immigration deform.  It’s time we start bringing individual members out of the shadows and document their plans for leadership elections.  Otherwise we will all be disenfranchised by an opposition party that joins with a very ambitious lame-duck president who has nothing to lose by pushing a sweeping amnesty bill.

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Putting 2013 in Perspective

Friday, December 20th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues

2013 has been a rough year for conservatives.

This year began with the passage of the $620 billion tax hike, along with $332 billion in stimulus spending.  It ended with Republicans in both houses helping pass a bill that raises taxes, raises spending, makes it easier to raise taxes in the future, destroys our leverage for two years, screws disabled veterans, and paves the road for amnesty.

Worst of all, despite Harry Reid’s egregious assault on the filibuster, Republicans obsequiously gave him the votes for all of the end-of-year votes needed to adjourn for Christmas.  Despite the fact that Harry Reid has completely shut down the amendment process Republicans were all too eager to give him 60 votes on every piece of legislation this month.  Between the unified Democrat front and the lack of leadership among Senate Republicans, 2013 has turned out to be the year of the Democrat supermajority.

Republicans have helped Democrats pass tax increases, debt ceiling increases, funding for Obamacare, the unconstitutional Violence Against Women Act, an internet sales tax, amnesty, special rights for sundry sexual identities (ENDA), a massive farm bill, and some radical nominees.

In October, when House Republicans stood strong in the effort to defund Obamacare, Senate Republicans openly scoffed at them and joined with Senate Democrats to sabotage the fight.

Senate Republicans were so amiable to Harry Reid’s every whim that he decided to go for the kill at the end of the year.  He pulled the nuclear option and abolished the filibuster on almost all presidential nominees.  Republicans responded by working with him to pass the raw budget deal and the NDAA.

We thought the House was much better than the Senate, but amazingly, only 62 Republicans voted against a deal that was so easy to oppose.

In theory, one can accept the establishment’s argument about this year’s failures.  With only control of the House of Representatives, we shouldn’t have high expectations.  But if we win back more control in 2014 and 2016, things will change.

However, in order to accept that excuse one would have to buy into the lie that the schism within the party is only over strategy, not ideology.  What lays waste to that notion is the inexplicable, yet inexorable, push for amnesty legislation on the part of the GOP establishment.

Along with Cantor’s vocal action on the Dream Act and Boehner’s hiring of a new pro-amnesty immigration staffer, we now have confirmation from Paul Ryan that the budget deal will indeed clear the lane for amnesty next year.

Let’s engage in a thought exercise for a moment – one which is predicated on the assumption that Republican leaders share our values but are merely hamstrung by control of just one branch of government.  GOP leadership contends that we cannot block and tackle bad pieces of legislation and pernicious government programs with their current scope of power in Washington.  Yet, somehow, we are to believe that Republicans can actively pass new immigration reform built upon conservative principles with Barack Obama in the White House?

To paraphrase Speaker Boehner, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

Even if you are sympathetic to some form of amnesty under the right circumstances, if you had any shred of conservatism in your soul you would wait until we have someone in the White House who can be trusted to faithfully execute the law and not seek a political victory.

So why would Republicans push amnesty above every other priority?  Why not work on something more unifying, such as repealing the ethanol mandate, an endeavor which has bipartisan support?

Sadly, it is quite evident that these people do not share our values.  Immigration is just one issue, but it exposes the great establishment lie that the entire intra-party squabble revolves around strategy.  It revolves around core values.  Our core values are liberty, free markets, a strong civil society, strong national sovereignty, and following the Constitution as it was originally conceived.  Their values are money and power. When the two competing ideals overlap, they will be happy to join us.  But when those two goals clash, which they often do, they will give voice to the other side – either passively or vocally.

If we don’t rebuild the party from the bottom-up, no degree of electoral success during the 2014 and 2016 general elections will change our current trajectory.

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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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Fox News Op-Ed: In Obamacare Battle GOP Falls Victim to Lack of Commitment

Friday, October 4th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

Below is our latest op-ed for Fox News Opinion:

As the fight over ObamaCare reaches its apex, conservatives are looking for elected leadership to give voice to their concerns about the future of our country.

Unfortunately, many Republican lawmakers are giving voice to the other side.

While Democrats remain united in their intransigence, these Republicans are busy scoring points for the other team instead of fighting with a united front.

When Democrats proposed the federal takeover of the healthcare sector in 2009, they all remained united behind an uncompromising position and aggressive tactics.

Every Senate Democrat, even those from red states, voted to ram ObamaCare through the Senate using extraordinary parliamentary procedures. They were all willing to walk the plank for the broader goal of creating dependency; even though they knew the majority of their constituents vociferously opposed their proposal.

Read more at Fox News:

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The Path Forward

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

Republicans have spent the past few days leading up to the overly-hyped October 1 deadline negotiating with themselves.  The House moved from full defunding of Obamacare to delay for one-year, in conjunction with repeal of the medical device tax.  Then they passed another CR merely delaying the individual mandate along with eliminating the congressional exclusion.  Then they passed a resolution attempting to go to conference with the Senate.

Harry Reid has rejected all of those proposals, even those supported by many of the Democrats in his conference.

Typically, it is the side that is constantly watering down their offer that is losing the debate.  It was a mistake for Republicans to lose the high ground and simple messaging of defund while Reid stood firm in his position.  Nonetheless, some Republicans think this was a good strategy because it exposed Reid’s intransigence to compromise and alacrity to force a shutdown.

Well, that is all irrelevant now.  We have officially gone over the dreaded October 1 deadline, and the world is still functioning.  If Republicans are really serious about fighting Obamacare, now is the time to steer the ship back to full defund of Obamacare.

Instead of using their last partial delay bill as the starting point for negotiations, they should make it clear to Harry Reid that now he gets nothing.  The House should begin passing defund bills with individual full-year appropriations bills that fund essential functions.  They should fund the DOD, DHS, State Department, and national parks.  After that, the House should continue funding more functions of government, but leave out all those departments and agencies that pertain to Obamacare, such as HHS and the IRS.

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Final House Defund Obamacare Letter

Monday, August 26th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

Throughout the August recess, Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11), who was supported by the Madison Project during last year’s primary and general election, has been working on getting as many Republicans in the House to sign onto a defund Obamacare letter.  A total of 79 members joined Meadows in signing the letter committing to defunding Obamacare through the upcoming budget bill.  Obviously, there are a handful of members that joined the letter late in the game for political expedience, but we will take what we can get.

Here is the text of the letter:

Here is the list of signatories in alphabetical order:

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The Power of the Purse and Defunding Obamacare

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

Over the past three years, we have heard apologists for the Republican establishment argue that we only control one-half of one-third of government, and as such, are unable to force any transformational change.  Undoubtedly, we lack the wherewithal to propose and pass new legislation into law.  But when it comes to funding various functions of government, we wield full power.

James Madison poured copious pages of ink explaining the peculiarities of the two branches of Congress.  In Federalist #58, he explained the unique power over the purse that is manifest in the House of Representatives:

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse — that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

Well, the American people are turning to Republicans in Congress as the last refuge to redress the grievances wrought by Obamacare.  Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), a Madison Project endorsee, is circulating a letter to fellow House members requesting that they commit to defunding Obamacare in the next budget bill.  Here is the latest list of signatories.  If your member is not on the list, confront them at the next town hall meeting and tell them to read Madison’s writings:

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LA-5: Good Riddance to Rodney Alexander

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues, News

Winning a vacated seat from a sitting Democrat is not the only way to move a district to the right.  We should celebrate when a RINO retires as well.

Today, Rep. Rodney Alexander (RINO-LA-5) announced that he will not seek reelection next year.  What a relief.  Now we have an opportunity to easily pickup a conservative district.

Rodney Alexander has been in Congress since 2003. He represents the conservative northeast of Louisiana, which Mitt Romney carried by 23 points,  yet he is one of the biggest underperformers in the House conference. He is also, by far, the most liberal member of the Louisiana Republican delegation.

In 2011, he voted against every effort to cut spending and supported all of the bloated spending bills along with raising the debt ceiling. Alexander is another member of the Appropriations Committee who uses his position to block spending cuts. He is a big supporter of destructive Davis-Bacon wages and Big Labor in general. He was part of the TARP coalition.

He has earned a pathetic 36% rating from Heritage Action this year.  It’s members like this – members who waste red districts – that prevent us from creating a coalition of limited government advocacy in Congress.

We’re looking forward to finding a real conservative to represent this conservative district.