Monday, May 23rd, 2016 and is filed under Elections
This is why we exist as a PAC-to shake up the status quo. Years ago, we committed to systematically working through each deeply red district or state to find Members of Congress whose voting record does not match up to their districts and work to replace them with a Member who will be just as conservative as their district.
This mentality is what lead us to launch the Madison Performance Index (MPI) in 2013. When we asked the simple question, “Is this Member voting in line with his or her district?” there was no simple answer. Now there is and when we looked at the make up of Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District it became apparent that the current Member, Markwayne Mullin, was nowhere near voting in line with a district that is R+20, scoring -27.5 on the MPI. He is seemingly more interested in doing the bidding of the Establishment leadership than representing his district and advancing conservatism.
Which is why today we are thrilled to get the opportunity to endorse Jarrin Jackson in his run to unseat Congressman Mullin and work towards electing a truly conservative Member is this strong Republican district.
A 5th generation Oklahoman and graduate of West Point, Jarrin is the veteran of two tours in Afghanistan, serving as a platoon and company commander. After an honorable discharge from the Army, he has turned his attention towards serving his country in another role and that is getting our country back on track. When he announced his run for Congress late last fall, Jarrin said:
“This is a time for triage and intervention, not maintenance. Our country is getting sicker, and our enemies are using our goodness against us. We need to counter that. I am conservative, but I want to be judged by performance, not labels. I offer American values, fresh ideas, and military grade grit.”
We couldn’t agree more and today, we are excited to support Jarrin in his run for Congress.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
It has been the chatter along the political grapevine today as the State Department released more of Hillary Clinton’s emails. One in particular was of note and it was from Sid Blumenthal, a close Clinton confidant and an evident user of a pocket thesaurus.
In his email to Hillary, Blumenthal wrote:
Boehner is despised by the younger, more conservative members of the House Republican Conference. They are repelled by his personal behavior. He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle. . .
He’s a would-be DeLay without the whip. He’s the one at the end of a lash. . . [McConnell] relatively in the same position in the Senate.
Sometimes you cannot make this stuff up. While intended for a different audience, Blumenthal aptly summed up what the GOP Establishment has become.
They are drunk-on the facade of power.
They are banal-they fear a government slowdown versus defunding Planned Parenthood and protecting innocent life.
They are lazy-talking points are much easier to churn than actual action, because you might have to intellectually defend the latter.
As Erick Erickson wrote the other day, the GOP is teetering dangerously on extinction. It is a party birthed in the midst of righting a grievous wrong. It stared down evil and won. When faced with defunding Planned Parenthood, the taxpayer funded organization that doesn’t just abort babies but sells their parts as well, the GOP is confused as to what the steps of action needed are.
These are the symptoms of the lazy, the banal and the drunken.
The GOP’s answer in the face of this evil should be simple: Others may choose to fund it, but it is inherently un-American ethical to force taxpayers to fund something they are fundamentally opposed to. Therefore, in light of ALL the evidence that has been presented, we feel it is our duty to defund Planned Parenthood of all federal dollars.
This fall is make or break for the GOP with the 2016 Presidential election looming and during it, fortunes will rise and fall.
Monday, June 22nd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
Over the weekend something not entirely unexpected happened.
Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) of Utah, stripped Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) of his subcommittee chairmanship.
The reason for this harsh move by Chaffetz (someone who ran and won as a conservative)?
Meadows had the audacity to vote against the rule on the Trade Promotion Authority vote in the House. For those of you unfamiliar with this vote, it is not dissimilar to the cloture vote in the Senate. When bills are voted on in the House of Representatives, the rule establishing regular order must be voted on first. The rule votes are generally uneventful. Regular order is established, often along partisan lines, and then the actual vote on a bill takes place on the House floor.
With the current make-up of the House of Representatives, for the rule to go down, it will take 40 votes. On June 11th, 34 GOP Congressman voted against what many are calling Obamatrade as Trade Promotion Authority is really only part of the equation when you consider it is tied to the Trade Adjustment Assistance and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In other words, they made the right vote, not because they are against free trade. Rather, they are for it, but they are not for giving the Obama Administration a blank check when it comes to trade and trade agreements.
Here is the rub. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Co., lackeys of their corporate interests, are in danger of getting rolled on many bills these days because, well, they just aren’t pushing conservative legislation. They have to, in their minds, “restore order” and part of that process is disciplining conservatives who are simply fulfilling their campaign promises. As we have written about in the past, this is the rub for the current GOP. The Establishment will say whatever it takes to gain a majority (see Boehner and McConnell’s campaign trail promises they had no intention of fulfilling) versus conservatives who run on campaign promises they intend to fulfill once they win. GOP party bosses are figuring out a majority is one thing, a majority filled with conservatives is another.
We took a calculated risk on Mark Meadows in the 2012 election cycle. Many others thought he was just Establishment-lite and was telling outside groups what they wanted to hear, not what he was actually going to do once he got to Washington, D.C.
They were wrong.
Out of the gates this year Mark voted against John Boehner for Speaker, against executive amnesty in the DHS funding bill and the Doc Fix amongst other major votes. Because of these votes and the ones he cast against the TPA and TAA, Mark is now a target of the GOP Establishment. They have stripped him of his subcommittee chair. We know they are going to try and squeeze him when it comes to PAC donations to his re-elect. It is quite possible they are already working on trying to recruit a primary challenger to Mark without their fingerprints on it.
It is now time for the conservative movement to strike back, not just in supporting Mark with our dollars, but also to finding other conservatives we can defend and ones we can help win for the first time in 2016.
To give directly to Mark, go here. Seriously. Go there right now and give.
The GOP leadership in Washington, D.C. has no intention of changing and they will fight to the end to maintain their status quo.
It is now contingent upon us to change the equation for them.
Friday, June 19th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Economy, Issues
At this point in his presidency, President Obama is trying to do anything he can in order to get his final agenda through.
The trade deal proposed by the President between twelve different countries was rejected by his own fellow Democrats. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to support the president in passing key legislation that would be necessary to eventually get the trade deal underway. Clearly they are coming at it from a different angle than we are, kowtowing to the labor union oligarchs.
Let’s be very clear. We love free trade. These trade deals that the Obama Administration is pushing along with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are not free trade vehicles.
Because of issues we’ve already laid out, the Trade Promotion Authority must be defeated as must the trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would unite countries in the East like Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and New Zealand, with countries in the West like Peru, Mexico, Canada, and of course, the United States.
The deal would include a total of twelve of the world’s largest economies, constituting an overall forty percent of the world’s economy. Tied to this, President Obama continues to advocate for fast track authority, which would in turn allow him to submit a trade deal to Congress with limited debate on the proposal and a bar Congress’ ability to amend the deal. Talk about undermining checks and balances in a democratic republic.
The President argues that the trade agreement would not only make it easier to import goods from other countries, but it would also make it easier to export goods domestically produced, thus creating American jobs and benefiting American businesses. Creating the world’s largest free trade agreement would, at least the President hopes, allow the United States to better control the way that things are regulated in the world economy.
Let’s be honest, what the President is really aiming to do is to have more control over China regarding trade, the way that labor is conducted, environmental concerns and more. This isn’t really about helping the American people: the President’s agenda focuses on controlling export giant China. It’s about control, not opportunity.
And frankly, who is he kidding anyway-control China?!
In order to try and compensate for the outsourcing of American jobs, the President proposes a Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which would provide aid (relocation assistance, subsidized health care insurance, some unemployment benefits) to those who lose their jobs because of jobs being sent overseas. Note, however, that this program is nothing new: it was introduced by President Kennedy in 1962 when he agreed to a trade round and it was implemented to help the labor union’s protectionist monopolies.
Another aspect of the program that isn’t being mentioned is the cost: it would cost about $1.8 billion in order to fund the expansion through 2020, taking nearly $700 million from certain Medicare programs in 2025.
While the bill has received much opposition, it has also received some support from those in the GOP Establishment’s leadership. Speaker of the House John Boehner has advocated amongst fellow Republicans in favor of the deal and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is quietly looking for vehicles to attach the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank to.
At this stage, let’s just say that whatever those two are for, we are against.
On top of this, studies show that those who took TAA benefits as opposed to regular unemployment benefits are worse off. The study also showed that those who were younger were more likely to benefit from the program as opposed to older workers.
It’s important to see though the supposed measure that as being billed as the vehicle that will increase exports, create American jobs, and help the American economy, but at what cost? Any measure that would hurt the American people and continue to empower large corporations and a big government, is not a deal that should be considered or made at all.
The President’s so called efforts to help the American businesses and employees out is a wolf in sheep’s clothing to increase the scope of control of the government while hurting American businesses and jobs in the process.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Economy, Elections, Uncategorized
Running for President is a game of high stakes. There is little margin for error, especially if you are a Republican.
It’s no secret there is groupthink amongst the political subset known as reporters. Products of our increasingly intellectually rigid “academic” institutions, these would be purveyors of news come from a worldview and ideology diametrically opposed to that of the Republican Party.
Increase that tenfold or more when it comes to conservatives. “Far rightwing” and “extremists” are among the other monikers the news makers toss out there to attempt to paint the conservative movement as out of touch with what they think is real America.
Never mind that nothing statistically bears this out. Limited government, freedom loving, individual liberty minded Americans are conservatives and are the majority today in America.
Yet, on climate change and other “settled” issues, the liberals inside the media live in their own world, eager to please others in their subset while spouting opinions (not news) that they think the herd will approve. In their minds, the knuckle draggers are the conservatives.
Enter politicians like Ted Cruz. He is an insult to them because he does not fit the straw man mold they have created for conservatives and therefore he will never win them over.
Make no mistake. He’s not perfect.
A general rule of thumb in politics is not that politicians will disappoint you. That’s a given. It’s the ones that will disappoint you the least that we should celebrate. Ted Cruz absolutely falls into that category. As such, he walks a tightrope daily between the media attempting to discredit him, a GOP leadership trying to derail him and a grassroots base eager to anoint him the Chosen One.
Let’s be honest, though. Ted made a misstep in recent months by being hoodwinked by Paul Ryan’s pencil behind the ear routine on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).
While in the past TPA efforts have been mostly good, the current TPA is fraught with all kinds of political pitfalls as it is tied to Trade Adjustment Assistance, a big government program favored by the Democrats and their labor union allies, and the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
In other words, in the end, this is not your daddy’s TPA. This has rightfully earned the nickname “Obamatrade” for the “pass it and find out what is in it” mentality swirling around it.
So what is Ted Cruz to do? He’s out there already has 1) penned an op-ed supporting TPA 2) having voted for TPA in the Senate and 3) attempting to defend his vote. The response from the conservative grassroots has been one of outrage and justifiably so. While supporters of free trade, they smell a skunk in the details of the TPA and want Ted to walk his support for it back.
It’s hard for politicians to say, “I was wrong. Sorry about that.” They are Type A’s which is both blessing and curse and that sort of thing does not come easily.
However, a lifeline was thrown to Ted in the last few days as it became apparent that TPA and the associated vehicles are hiding a small business tax hike. Now, not six weeks from now, is the perfect opportunity for Ted to pivot and say, “I love free trade. It’s what our nation is built on. But I cannot abide a tax hike on small businesses-they are the lifeblood of the American economy and I will stand with them every step of the way. In light of this, I am removing my support from TPA.”
Whether he takes the lifeline thrown to him or not remains to be seen.
But with one camp already against him (the media), Ted cannot afford to have one that has been to this point firmly with him (the grassroots) turn against him.
Monday, June 15th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized
There is a shifting dynamic in our home state of Texas. For years, to the untrained eye, the federal delegation from Texas has appeared to many to be among one of the most conservative delegations in the nation. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
As our Performance Index shows, many of the Members of the Texas Congressional delegation are not a reflection of their districts or state with some performing as low as -37 on the Madison Performance Index (MPI).
In a word, that is abysmal.
As the state legislature has become increasingly conservative with the likes of state reps Matt Krause, Craig Goldman, Jeff Leach, Jonathan Stickland and others along with newly minted state Senators Konni Burton, Bob Hall and Lois Kolkhorst, it is time to turn in earnest to challenging the federal delegation.
In light of that, our first Texas endorsement goes to Matt McCall who is challenging Lamar Smith in TX-21 (a man with a -17 on the MPI). While a strong voice against illegal amnesty, Lamar has a lifetime score of 71% on the Heritage Action scorecard and a 73% lifetime score on the Club for Growth’s scorecard. In a district that has a Cook Partisan Voting Index number of R+12, it’s clear that we must replace Lamar with a conservative committed to wholesale change in Washington, DC.
That conservative is Matt McCall. Not only is Matt strong on illegal immigration (likely even stronger than Lamar Smith), he checks all the boxes on fiscal and social issues and we believe that Matt will not only match the make-up of TX-21, he will likely exceed expectations. To read more on Matt, see his bio here.
Make no mistake. This is going to be an uphill climb for Matt against a deeply entrenched incumbent. But we have seen challengers overcome greater odds which is why we are happy to endorse Matt McCall in his run for Congress.
Friday, June 12th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized
As an Indiana state Senator since 2010, Jim Banks’ resume is one filled with several conservative accomplishments. Ranked one of the top conservatives in the entire Indiana state legislature, Jim is a Navy reserve officer who took a leave of absence from his state Senate seat to serve our country in Afghanistan last year.
He is not just committed to promoting freedom through supporting limited government; he’s actually fighting on the battle lines to preserve it.
More importantly to us, as we have chatted with him, it is clear that Jim understands the current dynamics in Washington, D.C. and is not afraid to commit to opposing the status quo even if it means standing up to his own party when he wins this race for Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District.
During his time in the Indiana state legislature, Jim has co-authored or co-sponsored bills that repeal the death tax, created a statewide voucher system and introduced Right to Work to Indiana. Coupled with his fiscal conservatism, Jim has maintained a 100% pro-life voting record during his tenure, co-authoring numerous pro-life bills along the way.
Jim Banks has proven himself in the legislative trenches and it is time for us to move him from the political bench of the state legislature and into the game of federal level politics.
As we have continually noted, the change needed in Washington, D.C. is not going to take place overnight. It’s going to be a process of multiple election cycles that becomes twofold: electing new conservatives to office and defending the ones who continue to prove their mettle once elected.
It is without hesitation that we endorse Jim Banks in his run for U.S. Congress and look forward to helping him win not only his primary, but the general election as well.
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Uncategorized
Part of the problem for conservatives is the disconnect that many American taxpayers have with Washington, D.C. and the decisions made there. The average American taxpayer knows something is wrong, but because they are working to make ends meet (several working two or more jobs) they don’t know all of the specifics when it comes to legislation being considered or passed. This disconnect is also partly due to the fact that so much goes wrong in Washington, D.C. The inside baseball discussion of legislation takes place every day and many taxpayers are not part of that conversation.
Such is not the case of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).
Created by executive order by FDR, the Ex-Im Bank’s charter was “to create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing sales of U.S. exports to international buyers.”
However, in recent years, the Ex-Im Bank has become a slush fund for corporations that don’t need the money, but would rather not shoulder the risk. The risk is, however, placed in the lap of the American taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of loans subsidized each year with taxpayer dollars.
Loans like the $126 million one to the China National Nuclear Power Corporation or the millions of dollars in loan guarantees to customers purchasing Boeing aircraft. It is the essence of corporate welfare and a slush fund used to manipulate the free market.
While defenders of the Ex-Im Bank will argue that the bank helps level the playing field for small businesses in America, the fact of the matter is that in 2012, 82% of the bank’s loan guarantees went to Boeing’s customers.
At the end of this month, the Ex-Im Bank is up for reauthorization and its future is in jeopardy. Why? Because the foundation on which its current iteration is built (Congress) is shifting underneath it. A new breed of conservatives have been elected to office the last few election cycles, many of whom are Madison Project endorsed. As proponents of the actual free market, not a manipulated one, they are fighting to let the authorization for the Ex-Im Bank lapse at the end of this month.
It’s as simple as that. But make no mistake – there will be a fight over the next few weeks as the GOP leadership attempts to ram it through Congress, potentially attempting to attach it to the Defense Reauthorization bill to create a conundrum for the Ex-Im Bank’s critics.
Stopping it could be a huge win for the conservative movement, but we’re going to need all hands on deck to stop it and begin rolling back the largesse of the big government/big business crowd that has become far too comfortable playing with the American taxpayers’ money.
Friday, May 8th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
This past election cycle the Madison Project endorsed and worked in many races from Idaho to Pennsylvania, California to Georgia, and states in between. From direct candidate support to bundling money for our endorsed candidates to radio ads and GOTV work, our support runs the spectrum of what it takes to get good conservatives elected to office.
During the 2014 election we had the opportunity we were pleased to work with Peter Baergen, a young homeschooler who loves politics, in Kentucky and Mississippi some of the GOTV Campaigns that Madison Project funded in 2014. We believe that training the youth of today in effective procedure and planning will produce better leaders for tomorrow.
Below is his recounting of his experience with us (thanks for doing this, Peter!).
“5 days. 42 students. Over 18,000 voters contacted and an initial victory of less than 1,400 votes.
Those are the numbers that resulted from a Madison Project student get-out-the-vote effort that I helped organize in Mississippi in early June of 2014, supporting constitutional conservative Chris McDaniel for U.S. Senate in his primary election race against 36-year incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. In less then a week, we worked with 42 middle and high school students to knock on doors in the Jackson, MS area, contacting nearly twenty thousand voters in an election that Chris McDaniel would initially win by less than 1,400 votes.
With Madison Project staffers and voter contact software Campaign Sidekick we connected with the Republican primary voters most likely to support Chris McDaniel. Each morning, we gathered for breakfast and an update about the day’s plans before dividing into smaller teams and climbing into minivans, ready to hit the road.
Armed with walk lists, literature, and plenty of bottled water, we spent the majority of our time knocking on doors and talking to voters about why Chris McDaniel was the best candidate for the United States Senate. Each evening, we’d gather together again to hear any updates on the race and tell stories from the day — like the time that one of our guys knocked on a door that, unknown to him, had already been knocked on by a different team. A man answered the door and, referring to the team that had been there earlier, commented, “If you see them, tell them I’m sorry… but I had such fun giving them a hard time!”
He was, he added, a strong supporter of Chris McDaniel.
McDaniel, a state senator, faced an uphill battle against an entrenched incumbent and the Republican establishment in Mississippi. However, with the help of the Madison Project and other groups, he overcame the political establishment in Mississippi and across the nation to force a six-term incumbent U.S. Senator into a runoff — a feat that gained nationwide attention and the chagrin and dismay of the liberal GOP Establishment. It is generally acknowledged that had Democrats not been recruited to vote in the “open primary” run-off election by the Haley Barbour and his nephews, Chris McDaniel would have won the run-off as well.
The students that we worked with for this campaign, as well as other get-out-the-vote efforts funded by the Madison Project, were young conservatives concerned about the direction our nation is headed and willing to work hard to change it. After our work in Mississippi, they are still eager (many of them even more eager!) to make a difference — but now, they have valuable knowledge on how they can most effectively use their time and energy to make a difference. They have experienced what it takes to make a Get-Out-The-Vote operation work — from the phone calls and walk lists to the yard signs and Facebook posts. They have seen the attacks and manipulative tactics, and learned how to effectively combat them. Many of them returned to put their new-found knowledge to work within a few weeks of the primary campaign, joining us for our efforts in the run-off election on June 24.
This is how elections are won — by informed and engaged citizens interacting one-on-one with voters on doorsteps across America, answering their questions and asking for their vote. The Madison Project is doing great work across the country, building a strong ground game for the conservative movement — a ground game that is vital if we want to elect principled, constitutional conservatives to public office.”
If you would like to help fund our GOTV efforts with great kids like Peter, click here to make a donation today. Early money means we can hit the ground earlier in key races and states!
Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
It’s not many times that we see candidates elected on campaign promises that then go to Washington, DC and keep them.
Modern politics seems to be more about who regresses less than who advances.
This is not the case of Ron DeSantis.
In 2012, we were one of the first conservative PACs to endorse Ron in his run for the United States Congress based on his sterling credentials. A Yale and Harvard Law graduate, Ron distinguished himself as a Navy JAG lawyer during his time in the military. As a candidate, he checked all the boxes, giving all the right answers to our difficult questions during our candidate interview.
However, you never really know how good a candidate is going to be until they are put to the test.
As a freshman Congressman, Ron scored 95% on the Club for Growth’s scorecard and 100% on the Heritage Action scorecard. Often times, he took hard votes, standing with his constituents and against GOP leadership.
This is the kind of leadership that we want to see in Washington, D.C. and during his short time in the House, Ron DeSantis has only confirmed our 2012 endorsement of him.
This is why we are happy to endorse him for his run for the United States Senate and look forward to helping him win in 2016!