Madison Action Fund Airs Anti-Simpson TV Ad in Idaho: ‘Nancy Pelosi Republican’

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections, News, Press

Fort Worth, TXMadison Action Fund, the super PAC associated with the Madison Project, recently released a new TV ad against liberal Republican Mike Simpson (R-ID) called “Nancy Pelosi Republican.” The TV ad started airing districtwide on Wednesday, April 30th and will continue airing until Election Day, May 20th.

“Mike Simpson has always felt uncomfortable and out-of-place with his liberal voting record in such a conservative state like Idaho,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project.  “That is why he has attempted to reinvent himself as a conservative, even as his liberal allies, funded by big labor, pump millions of dollars into the campaign in order to save this liberal Republican.  It’s time to have an honest discussion about Simpson’s voting record so voters know what to expect if Simpson continues his life-long career in Washington and no longer fears reprisal from conservatives. ”

The Madison Project endorsed Rep. Mike Simpson’s opponent, Bryan Smith, in September. For more information on their endorsement visit:

To view the TV ad click 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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The Chamber of Cowards

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections

“Senator [fill in the blank] had the courage to save our financial system by supporting the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.  He saved us from default by voting to constantly raise the debt ceiling and ended the government shutdown by voting for Obamacare.  In addition, he has stood firm against right – wingers who seek to end corporate welfare.  Finally, Senator… has always been a strong supporter of Common Core and will always be a reliable vote for amnesty for undocumented Americans – the future of our country.”

Paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is responsible for the content of this advertising.

This is a copy of a generic TV ad you will never see run by the Chamber on behalf of establishment Republicans during their hundred million dollar blitz this spring.

Why not?

Don’t they proudly support endless debt ceiling increases, bailouts, fixing Obamacare, amnesty, corporate welfare and Common Core?  And if their views represent a winning equation, why not honestly disseminate them to the voters?

Yet, instead, they opt to hide their views from the public and run ads trying to portray the conservative challengers as liberal!

Take a look at this ad they are running in Mississippi against conservative leader Chris McDaniel.

Now, look at this one featuring Mitt Romney touting Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) in Idaho as a warrior against wasteful spending and Obamacare. Remember that Simpson is one of the leading appropriators in Congress and has voted for every wasteful spending program and against many efforts to cut spending, including a 2003 amendment to cut off funding to study the sexual habits of older men, San Francisco’s Asian prostitutes and masseuses, as well as a study on mood arousal and sexual risk-taking [see Senator Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) floor speech, page H6574 of the congressional record].

As for Obamacare, The Chamber has already made it their official policy to advocate for fixing Obamacare, not repealing it.  Yet, they lack the courage to run on that platform.  Senator Mitch McConnell has already hinted that they have moved beyond repeal.

Undoubtedly, it is extremely difficult to knock off an incumbent in politics.  We usually have candidates with little or no name ID going up against incumbents with 100% name ID and unlimited funds from allies who are willing to lie on their behalf.  We may or may not succeed in knocking off these frauds.

But one thing is clear: if these people succeed in winning reelection it will not be on the backs of an honest presentation of their views – one which shows that their ideas resonate with the public more than ours.  Quite the contrary, it shows that they must co-opt our message in order to win the primaries, and that cowardice is the path to victory for those who are ashamed of their views.

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The NRA Protects Incumbents, not Second Amendment

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 and is filed under Blog

Many conservatives have expressed shock at the NRA political action committee for endorsing two liberal Republican incumbents – Rep. Mike Simpson (ID-2) and Senator Thad Cochran (MS-Senate).  But to those who have followed the NRA over the years, this is just par for the course.

In 2010, I wrote a column at Red State exposing the fact that the NRA tried to keep Nancy Pelosi in power.  At the time, Republicans needed to pick up 26 seats to flip the House, yet the NRA endorsed 53 Democrat incumbents, most of whom resided in the very seats Republicans needed to win back the chamber.  Hence, if they had their way (and luckily, they were unsuccessful), Nancy Pelosi would still be speaker.

That’s some record of fighting for the Second Amendment.

This is not to say that the NRA as a broad organization doesn’t do any good work on a local level.  It’s just that their federal government relations team and their political action committee are dedicated to growing their power before defending gun rights.  If that means supporting bad legislation, obfuscating good legislation, or endorsing fake “pro-gun” Democrat and Republican incumbents, they won’t think twice before pulling the trigger.  In fact, they will specifically gravitate to races where liberal Republicans are being challenged by conservatives who will be stronger on the Second Amendment.

In Cochran’s case, he voted for then-Senator Joe Biden’s massive gun control bill, which banned numerous firearms and created undue  burdens and waiting periods on purchasers [Roll Call #125, July 11. 1991].  He also supported Barbara Boxer’s bill to prohibit the sale of all guns without Washington-approved safety devices [Roll Call #17, February 26, 2004].

Mike Simpson is the same sort of fair-weather friend to gun owners.  In 1999, he supported mandatory trigger locks for new handgun purchases despite the protests of his constituents. He also voted for mandatory background checks imposed on Idaho gun shows. [RC #244, June 18, 1999].  Take a look at this article from The Hill on June 2, 1999 after Simpson’s constituents protested his vote:

When word got out last week that Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) supports the sale of trigger locks with handguns, fuming constituents deluged his four Idaho and Washington offices. “Well, they’re a little upset,” said Simpson, who spent much of his Memorial Day weekend explaining himself to constituents who grow fearful of anyone — particularly the federal government — coming near their guns. “They think it’s gun control,” he said. “They saw it as the camel’s nose under the tent. They expressed their concern that I’ve swallowed the line of the gun control advocates — that I’ve left the reservation, if you will… Simpson, who first voiced his views on the subject on a Boise radio show two weeks ago, said what he supports is not gun control, as people might think, but rather gun safety. His stance strays from the rest of the Idaho congressional delegation which vehemently opposes the mandatory sale of trigger locks with handguns. “I think it’s a commonsense move,” said Simpson. “I can separate the issue of gun control . . . from the issue of gun safety.”

Unfortunately, there have been very few votes on gun legislation in recent years, so these politicians have been able to use the element of time to heal the past wounds and create political amnesia.

Clearly, the NRA has its own agenda – one that is divorced from the community of gun owners in this country.  Conservatives will have to look elsewhere for guidance on issues pertaining to the Second Amendment.

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How to Lie Your Way Through a Primary

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Immigration, Issues, Obamacare

The defeat of former Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) in their respective primaries in 2010 has engendered a new paradigm in GOP politics.  No longer do liberal Republicans run honestly on their records in the primaries.  That would create a recipe for instant defeat.  Instead, they lie their way through the primaries, painting themselves as conservative heroes, and often tainting their conservative challengers as unreliable conservatives. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the first to pioneer this strategy in 2012.  Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has followed this strategy to a tee.  The two most recent examples are Reps. Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC).

Simpson is close to being unseated by Bryan Smith in Idaho’s Second District.  In an act of desperation, he went up on broadcast television with an ad that touts his support for a balanced budget amendment, spending cuts, repealing TARP, and defunding Obamacare.  Meanwhile, he tosses the meaningless, yet derogatory, label of “personal injury lawyer” at his opponent.

To anyone who knows Simpson’s record, this is possibly the most dishonest ad ever run during a campaign cycle.  He obfuscates all of the consequential votes he’s taken that have actually been signed into law, such as massive spending increases, debt ceiling increases, and funding for Obamacare, and replaces them with vacuous show votes that he knew at-the-time would never pass.  Most egregiously, he has the impertinence to say that he voted to repeal the Wall Street bailout while failing to mention that he voted for the original bailout that was signed into law!

Nobody who has followed Simpson’s career – supporter or opponent – believes he is a conservative.  Even the American “Conservative” Union gave Simpson a failing grade of 46% last year.  Yet, he has the superior firepower to completely lie to his constituents about his voting record while co-opting the conservative message – a message he has been repudiating for years.

Next up is Renee Ellmers running for reelection in North Carolina’s Second Congressional district.  As we noted a few weeks ago, Ellmers is one of the most ardent supporters of leadership and a passionate supporter of amnesty and open borders.  After a major dustup with Laura Ingraham over immigration, her liberal allies sense that she might be vulnerable to Frank Roche in the May 6 primary.  Breitbart is reporting that FWD, which is funded by Mark Zuckerberg and run by McConnell acolytes, is up with ads promoting Ellmers as……tough on the border and against amnesty!

“Renee Ellmers is a conservative fighter for North Carolina,” a narrator reads in the television version of the ad, while pictures of Ellmers move across the screen. It continues:

“Ellmers voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment to cut the debt and stop the wasteful spending in Washington. She’s protecting Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield from massive defense cuts and working hard to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system once and for all. No amnesty, period.”

The ad then lists the D.C. phone number for Ellmers’ congressional office and advises viewers to “call Congresswoman Ellmers and tell her to keep fighting for conservative solutions.”

Folks, you can’t make this up!

One would think that with Ellmers proudly supporting “a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented” and with the polling for such a proposition supposedly skyrocketing to majority support, they would eagerly and honestly promote her real beliefs.  Yet, they know that their views don’t sell at the ballot box, so they have to co-opt our views – even as they fight to the death against our solutions.  That is why they are touting Ellmers as against amnesty and that is why Mike Simpson is running against TARP.

Undoubtedly, many establishment Republicans will win reelection. We cannot change the entire political class in one election cycle.  However, not a single one will win reelection running on their true beliefs.  They will overwhelm us with their liberal campaign cash, ironically, promoting positions that are antithetical to their actions in Washington.

This just goes to show that, despite their unlimited resources, the members of the political class are a bunch of cowards.  They lack the courage to come out of the closet and propagate their big government views during the primaries.

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RELEASE: Madison Project Responds to Mike Simpson’s Dishonest Ad

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Press

Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement in response to Congressman Mike Simpson’s (R-ID) appallingly dishonest TV ad:

“Simpson acts as if tossing around the vacuous stereotype of ‘personal injury lawyer’ against his opponent affords him the license to obfuscate his voting record and misleads the voters in Idaho,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project.  “There aren’t enough shyster consultants in Washington who can produce honest ads to rehabilitate his liberal record.  He dishonestly uses ceremonial votes that he knew would never be signed into law to obscure the consequential liberal votes he cast that were actually signed into law.”

Here are the facts:

Wall Street Bailout:  Simpson has the unbridled temerity to suggest that he voted to repeal the Wall Street Bailout, while refusing to mention the fact that he voted for it in the first place [RC #681, Oct 3, 2008].  Although Simpson declines to cite the roll call vote to ‘repeal’ TARP, there was never a full repeal bill and it was never signed into law.

Balanced Budget: Simpson touts his vote for a Balanced Budget Amendment.  That is lovely, but it is meaningless for him to support something that never had a chance to become law while supporting endless debt ceiling increases, which ensured that our budget would never balance.  The examples of votes he’s taken to bust the budget are too numerous to list.  A partial list can be viewed at

Cut Spending: Simpson claims to have cut trillions in spending, but as a chief appropriator he has never met a spending bill he didn’t like.  He even voted against the $100 billion in spending cuts promised by the GOP Pledge to America in 2011 [RC #103, Feb 18, 2011].  Mike Simpson was one of just three Republicans to vote against cutting off taxpayer funding for the radical liberal and corrupt ACORN [RC #397, June 2, 2011].

Obamacare: Simpson has the nerve to suggest that he voted to defund Obamacare, but he has always opposed the only consequential means of actually defunding the law, which is by objecting to any budget that contains funding.  [RC# 550, Oct. 16, 2013]

The Madison Project endorsed Bryan Smith (R-ID) against Rep. Mike Simpson. To view our endorsement click 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


Mike Simpson Supports Surrender to Harry Reid

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues

Republicans are finally unified in fighting the egregious stubbornness of President Obama and Senator Harry Reid.  As they actively shut down memorials that don’t need to close, and refuse to fund veterans affairs simply for the purpose of protecting every penny of funding for Obamacare, House Republicans are standing strong.

Naturally, a Republican from Idaho would uphold Idaho values in the fight against Obamacare and the liberals.  Yet Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), an ally of Speaker Boehner, announced today that he would support Harry Reid’s budget bill funding Obamacare.  Hence, he supports unconditional surrender.

This is par for the course with Simpson.  As we’ve noted before, Simpson has supported abortion, amnesty, bailouts, wasteful spending, and tax increases.  He has never been down for the struggle against Obamacare, and at least today he decided to be candid about his beliefs.

It is clear this is a coordinated move by GOP House Leadership and specifically Speaker John Boehner. It is no secret that Mike Simpson is part of John Boehner’s inner circle and in spite of his liberal voting record, was one of the first incumbents to be graced with Boehner’s endorsement this election cycle.

This is why we were proud to endorse Tea Party conservative Bryan Smith against Mike Simpson earlier this month.  Let’s help Bryan oust this ‘white flag Republican.’

Madison Project PAC Endorses Bryan Smith in Idaho’s Second Congressional District

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 and is filed under Elections, News, Press

For Immediate Release:

September 10, 2013

Send Mr. Smith to Washington

Madison Project PAC Endorses Bryan Smith in Idaho’s Second Congressional District

Washington, D.C .– The Madison Project PAC announced today that it is endorsing Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith for Congress against Representative Mike Simpson in Idaho’s Second Congressional District.

“As one of the chief appropriators in Washington, Rep. Mike Simpson has never seen a wasteful program he did not want to fund,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project. “From funding the controversial ACORN, sex education, government-run healthcare, bailouts, and corporate welfare, Congressman Simpson has made a career out of frivolously spending taxpayer money.  Most importantly, he continues to refuse to join the current conservative effort to defund Obamacare. And as one of the few red-state Republicans who is weak on issues like abortion, marriage, guns, and immigration – Simpson is clearly out-of-touch with the values of east Idaho.”

“This is why we are proud to endorse Bryan Smith in his bid to replace career politician Mike Simpson,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project.  “Bryan Smith has lived the American Dream outside of politics and will bring his much needed private sector experience to the House.  Despite having never held office before, Bryan has fought many important battles to limit and reform government on the local level.  He is exactly the type of candidate we need to send to Washington to shake up the political establishment of both parties.  When Mr. Smith goes to Washington he will impose Idaho values on the federal government instead of the other way around.”

The official endorsement can be viewed here.  Our full report on Mike Simpson’s liberal voting record can be viewed at

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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Bryan Smith for Congress in Idaho’s Second District

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections, News

Last year, The Madison Project started a national conversation about the lack of elected conservatives in Congress – even from some of the most conservative parts of the country.  One of the most obvious examples of Republicans wasting a solid red state is Congressman Mike Simpson’s representation of east Idaho with his progressive values.

We have long dreamed of replacing Rep. Simpson with a constitutional conservative.  Now we have the chance with Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith.

Congressman Simpson doesn’t feel as comfortable in Idaho as he does in Washington, D.C..  And that feeling is mutual.  Republicans in south Idaho have been looking to the northern part of the state for conservative leadership from Congressman Raul Labrador, often wondering why they are stuck with a progressive.  Rep. Mike Simpson is the embodiment of what is wrong with Republicans in Washington.  As a Cardinal on the House Appropriations Committee, Simpson worships big government and has always been a reliable vote for any backroom deal that helped expand the size and scope of the leviathan.  Additionally, Congressman Simpson is extremely weak on social issues fighting against conservatives on: abortion, marriage, guns, and illegal immigration.

Idaho Republicans are ready for change; they are ready to send two Republicans to Washington who will force Idaho values on the federal government, not the other way around.  And gauging by the amount of grassroots support that Bryan Smith has already received, it looks like Simpson’s days are numbered.

While Smith has never been elected to any prior office during his distinguished career as a top Idaho attorney, he has already used his natural gifts of passion and persuasion to fight corrupt government at the local level.  Last year, Bryan Smith forced the Idaho Falls city solicitor to resign after exposing his pay-for-play corruption of directing superfluous city lawsuits to his own law firm.  He also single-handedly organized against a planned property tax hike that was slated to go towards an increase in government salaries at a time when city employees were already enjoying higher salaries and more benefits than their private sector counterparts.  And in 2008, Smith was part of the group that defeated the moderate state party Republican chairman.

Conservative Idahoans have long sensed the vulnerability in Simpson, but a strong challenger had not emerged until this year.  When the Club for Growth solicited challengers to come forth as part of their “Primary My Congressman” program, a number of people in the district submitted Bryan’s name.  Sensing that nobody else could mount a serious challenge, Bryan heeded the call.  He jumped in immediately, raised an impressive sum of money from within the state, and organized a solid campaign.

Not only is Bryan a full-spectrum conservative – from fiscal issues to social issues, guns to illegal immigration – he is willing to fight for those values.  He has watched the failure of the Boehner House in restoring our Republic and is committed to shaking up the core of the establishment when he goes to Washington – even if that means “eating lunch by himself.”  He is willing to articulate the message that rugged individualism, free markets, and productivity raises the level of prosperity for all Americans; that Washington central planning has foisted upon us a 50-year failed experiment in fighting poverty. Our only regret is that we cannot clone Bryan and support him in other races across the country.  Bryan Smith brings a degree of ideological fervor and viability to the race that few conservative challengers are able to match.

The simple fact is that we will never win this fight to restore our Republic if we cannot elect constitutional conservatives from the most conservative parts of the country.  Bryan Smith is giving us a golden opportunity to turn over a slam dunk House seat and elect someone who has no fear of the GOP establishment.  This is why we are proud to endorse Bryan Smith in his fight to repaint Idaho red.  This will take an army of grassroots support within Idaho, and if the past few months are any indication, Bryan has come a long way in accomplishing that goal.

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Mike Simpson Opposes Enforcement of Hastert Rule, Supports Amnesty

Monday, June 17th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues, News

There are RINOs and then there are RINOs.  Mike Simpson is the king of all Rinos.  He is probably the most progressive member from such a conservative district.

Now, Simpson is advocating that John Boehner pass bills with Democrat support:

Still, Simpson believes that Boehner intends to let the House “work its will” on the measures even if it means relying on Democratic votes to carry the majority of support for those bills.

“When you are Speaker, you aren’t just Republican Speaker, you are Speaker of the whole House and you need to do what’s best for the whole House sometimes that might mean a majority of Democrats and minority of Republicans that pass a bill,” Simpson said.

So why doesn’t Simpson just become a Democrat so he can officially vote for Pelosi, instead of working within our ranks to hand effective control over to her?

But there’s more: Simpson wants to pass an immigration bill so we can get to conference with the Senate and pass a mass amnesty bill:

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Maybe Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson Would Like to Retire

Monday, January 14th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson embodies the ineffectiveness of the Republicans Party in promoting limited government.  He represents one of the most conservative states, yet he uses his position as one of the 12 appropriations “Cardinals” to block any effort to cut spending. Simpson is an ardent supporter of earmarks. He is also a big supporter of government-run healthcare, and refuses to cut even small programs like the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities. He is a big purveyor of farm welfare, thereby entrapping residents of his red state into government dependency.

Simpson voted for every bailout under the sun. Simpson was one of only 16 Republicans to vote for the Simpson-Bowles tax increases.   And of course, he voted for the “fiscal cliff” tax hikes/stimulus bill.  He is also one of the few solid red state Republicans who is squishy on gun issues.

Now he is upset that there is a new kid on the block –  a member who actually stands for Republican values.  Raul Labrador, who represents Idaho’s first district, is a committed conservative, who in the view of Simpson, is irresponsible and losing credibility.  He decided to unload on his fellow Idahoan in an interview with the Idaho Statesman.

Maybe Mr. Simpson would like to explain how it is effective representation of a Republican district to vote for every last bailout, spending bill, and debt ceiling increase that has engendered this $16.4 trillion anti-free-market dependency state.

Maybe Mr. Simpson should listen carefully when the Constitution is read from the House floor this week so he can understand the proper role of the federal government.

Or maybe he’d like to retire and become a lobbyist, so we can have two Raul Labradors from Idaho.

If we continue to elect statists like this from places like Idaho, we’ll never succeed in reducing the size of government.