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.
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!
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!
As hard as it may be for some to believe, what politicians say and what they do are often times two different things.
Take for instance the GOP Establishment’s pledge to do all that they could to stop Obama’s executive amnesty. They said what they thought the voters wanted to hear and they were correct.
Instead of fighting it, however, they aggressively pushed to pass the Department of Homeland Security bill that executive amnesty was attached to, even having one of their outside groups, the American Action Network, run misleading ads in the districts of conservatives like Jim Bridenstine and Tim Huelskamp to attempt to force them to vote for the bill.
Or, more accurately, potentially set them up for defeat in 2016.
We fully realize it is hard for those not familiar with Washington, DC to decipher what exactly goes on there and what politicians really mean when they say certain things.
Could Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have partially fulfilled his promise to stop executive amnesty by keep Lynch’s confirmation vote from the floor? Yes. See the tactics Harry Reid (D-NV) employed for years as Majority Leader.
Did he? No. Today, Lynch received 66 votes for cloture, which means 12 Republican Senators voted to bring her confirmation to the floor for a vote.
To some extent, many of those Republican Senators are the usual suspects: Hatch of Utah, Flake of Arizona, Graham of South Carolina, Ayotte of New Hampshire and Kirk of Illinois. But there are others among them who are likely going to vote against Lynch on the floor of the Senate and then message to their constituents: “I did the right thing and voted against Obama’s radically left Attorney General!”
But in reality, they didn’t.
There are two votes on the Senate floor and the hardest one, the one that Senators should be judged by, is the cloture vote. Mitch McConnell and Co. knew full well that the big hurdle to clear was the cloture vote. After that, thanks to the support of the aforementioned Senators, her confirmation would proceed without a hitch after cloture and the Senators who needed to message to their home states that they voted against Lynch would be released on the final vote.
Among them, apparently, is Senator John Cornyn of Texas who has become a master at this tactic: vote for cloture, vote against final passage and then message to his home state how he fought as hard as could to stop an Obama nominee or bad legislation when in reality, the opposite was and is true.
This should be yet another wake up call for conservatives who think the GOP is fighting for them in Washington, DC. At this point, we would be happy if they did nothing.
They are not. They are actively working against their base and with the other half of the ruling class, the Democrats, to cram nominees and bad legislation through, proving yet again to conservatives that the current GOP leadership is not for them, they are against them.
Just a few months into the 114th Congress, it became clear that the newly minted GOP majorities in the House and Senate are failing and failing badly. Elected to change the direction of this country, the GOP swept into power in January and promptly shifted direction, away from the grassroots conservatives who elected them and towards K Street and the Chamber of Commerce’s checklist of things to accomplish in Washington, DC. Few, if any, of them have anything to do with repealing Obamacare, stopping illegal immigration or reducing the size and scope of government. On the contrary, many of the K Street/Chamber checklist items seem intent on locking many of those things in for years to come, rather than stopping them.To date, the GOP majorities have:1. Not held Democrats accountable for Obamacare.
2. Stripped conservative language from the DHS bill to pave the way for Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty.
3. Approved $500 Billion in Deficit Spending.
4. Funded Obamacare.
5. Walked away from Medicare reform.
6. Ruined the Pain-Capable Abortion Ban, the only pro-life legislation likely to be seen this session.
Rather than role back government and aggressively mitigate the damage done by the Obama Administration, the GOP leadership is so fond of bloated government, socialized healthcare and growing the debt that just last week, they worked to pass a $500 Billion debt increase to fund Obamacare and “gift” states into submission to the federal government with Medicaid expansion.
Going forward, things have to change or the current GOP majorities will undermine any chance a conservative Republican has of winning the White House in 2016. Here’s what must happen:
1. Strong Economic sanctions against Iran and Russia, not allowing this Administration to kowtow to either regime. Thanks to the GOP “leadership” in the Senate, namely that of Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee (R-TN), the only action the Senate took last week was to paint itself into a corner when it came to reining in the lawlessness of President Obama.
2. We need simple, short, effective legislative strikes from conservatives. During the government shutdown in 2013 short, simple bills showed their effectiveness at putting the Democrats on their heels in spite of their media cheerleaders (recall this Harry Reid meltdown?), yet leadership continues to allow large bills to move forward and crippling amendments to kill good legislation. There are core conservative principles even Democrats can be forced to vote for, such as Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) ban on terrorists entering the country (once again, an issue with Iran).
3. Expansion of offshore drilling and petro-chemical exports. Taking money away from Russia when Russia is helping our enemies is a good thing and a free market is the best market. Stop crippling American business and putting money in Putin’s pocket. And enough of this Keystone nonsense. It is a shiny object. Let’s move America forward with some real reforms.
4. Make sure the Senate does not approve Loretta Lynch. McConnell and gang should be able to whip a Republican Majority. Make no mistake. She will be worse than Eric Holder and much more militant.
5. Replace Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Dan Coats (R-IN), David Vitter (R-LA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) (see our statement on Rep. Ron DeSantis here) with solid conservatives. If we cannot remove Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Thad Cochran (R-MS), we must install strong conservatives intent on turning this country around. Time is running out.
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement about the upcoming vacant U.S. Senate seat:
“The Madison Project proudly endorsed Ron DeSantis for U.S. Congress in 2012 because he’s a principled conservative who does not back down from his values,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “With an upcoming vacant U.S. Senate seat in Florida we are surveying activists regarding a potential candidate. If he were to mount a Senate run, Ron DeSantis is currently at the top of our list. He’s a proven leader who has fought for conservative policies and works tirelessly to defend the Constitution. We’ll continue to speak with grassroots activists as we strongly consider throwing our support behind DeSantis.”
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 www.madisonproject.com
It is a pattern we have witnessed for years, but especially the last four election cycles.
It goes something like this.
The Republican Party messages to the conservative grassroots: if you turn out and vote us into a majority, we will accomplish X, Y and Z.
X, Y and Z happen to be THE issues the grassroots are concerned about.
The conservative grassroots responds and delivers the majority (or in 2000 and 2004, the Presidency) in one or both chambers of Congress under the illusion of a GOP majority advancing conservatism and rolling back rampant government expansion.
Then, Lucy-like, the GOP majority pulls the ball just as the conservative movement goes for the extra point. As the grassroots conservatives dust themselves off wondering what just happened, the GOP spin machine kicks into high gear. “We are with you, but the timing isn’t right.” Or, “The work isn’t done. We have the majorities in both the House and Senate, but we need the White House to REALLY get things done.”
Then stories like this one from The Hill crop up, an obvious attempt by the GOP leadership to set the stage for further abdication on critical issues, this one being the repeal of Obamacare. First comes the above messaging, then the leaked stories to bolster the GOP Establishment’s messaging: We are trying, but there isn’t anything we can do right now on your issues.
Except for one problem.
The GOP is lying to the conservative base in hopes that no one will challenge their messaging.
As we have noted many times, this is why the Madison Project exists. To challenge the GOP Establishment’s progressive, big government tendencies. We do it on all fronts, from recruiting full spectrum conservatives to run against middling incumbents to prosecuting the case against a GOP gone awry.
This is why we are launching, today, our new series of Policy Memos. From bullet points to in-depth analysis of the issues, our memos will be brief and powerful, the perfect tool for challenging the GOP messaging machine.
As the Mitch McConnell and Co. attempt to set the stage for the inability to repeal Obamacare through budget reconciliation, we make the case in our first Policy Memo for why this is absolutely wrong and, point by point, lay out exactly how the GOP can accomplish one of its stated policy goals: the full repeal of Obamacare (dare we say, ripping it out root and branch).
It is time for the conservative movement to be discontent with the milquetoast leadership of the Republican Party that not only refuses to fight for them in Washington, DC, but more often than not works against them.
To read our first Policy Memo, click the following link: