The great running coach and physiologist, Dr. Jack Daniels (yes, that’s his real name) has a saying when it comes to training: What is the purpose of this workout? It’s a great question because to become a great runner or athlete, or great at anything, you have to have a purpose. You have to have goals.
Our purpose here at the Madison Project has always been to identify, recruit and fund great conservative candidates. We also challenge the Washington, DC Establishment, holding them accountable for the campaign promises they have made over multiple election cycles and have no intention of fulfilling. The repeal of Obamacare is now at the forefront of these broken GOP promises.
The other day we posted exactly what the GOP Establishment is hoping to do with what is being termed “RINOCare.” Not only is it not a repeal of Obamacare, it locks in the more onerous elements of Obamacare, the very things we as conservatives are hoping to repeal and House leadership is not taking kindly to the pushback they are getting from conservatives in the House.
For instance, this story that ran in Politico yesterday about Congressman Mark Meadows’ wife sending what appears to be an email to friends about how House leadership is attempting to mislead the very voters that gave Trump the White House and the Republicans majorities in the House and Senate.
We know exactly how this went down. A communications staffer in one of the leadership offices got wind of the email and quickly leaked it to the press in hopes of shaming Congressman Meadows and his wife into silence (“How dare the rank and file disagree with us!”).
The reverse has happened. Instead of shaming House conservatives into silence, stories like this one have only emboldened them to continue to do the right thing. They ran and won on the promise to repeal Obamacare. They will work towards that end. Not towards a partial repeal. Or a repeal in name only that only adds more subsidies and more debt to our already massive national debt.
Which brings us to the purpose of the Madison Project. There are a host of great conservative groups out there. We are fans of the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund. They, like us, work tirelessly to look for and elect great conservatives. Where they tactically spend more time on the “air way” with TV and radio ads, we spend more time on the ground with voter ID and Get Out The Vote Work. While working towards a common goal, we all do things a little differently and because we all make decisions independent of each other, we went out on a limb in 2012 and were the first PAC to endorse Mark Meadows in his initial run for Congress. There was just something about him and the way he handled his candidate interview with us. While some tried to label him as a stealth Establishment candidate, we were confident from the start that Mark would be a conservative stalwart in the House and he has been exactly that. Has he been perfect? No. But no elected official ever is. But there’s a reason Mark has scored and continues to score well on the official (and unofficial, behind the scenes) conservative scorecards-because his instincts are conservative.
Our work is clearly not finished. Every election cycle gives us more chances to elect more Mark Meadows, more Jim Bridestines, more Ted Cruzs and Mike Lees.
This is our purpose. This is why we exist and we are glad to see our candidates like Mark Meadows not only fulfill his campaign promises but stand on principle in Washington, DC.
Republicans are about to blow the easiest election promise-the repeal of Obamacare. Right now all the chatter on Capitol Hill is about “repeal and replace.”
Why is this a problem?
First, it takes the focus off of repeal and puts it on replace. Conservatives and Republicans ran for 3 cycles on repealing Obamacare. Only in the last couple of years have Republicans focused on replace.
We should repeal Obamacare by using the 2015 bill, outright. Period. End of discussion.
Then there should be a 1-2 year transition off the exchanges and off of Medicaid. Once Obamacare is repealed, we can focus on what replace looks like.
Second, the replacement. The replacement the Republicans are talking about right now is focusing on coverage numbers and coverage numbers only. They are going to keep the Medicaid expansion as to not “punish” the states that did not expand Medicaid. The Republican plan wants to provide individuals covered under the expansion with advanced, refundable tax credits.
This is a real problem.
A major difference between the Obamacare subsidies and the the Republican plan is that Obamacare’s subsidies are currently based on income. The more you make, the less in subsidies you get. The Republican plan will likely cost more. The Republican plan moves the subsidy from an income based payment to an age based payment – meaning everyone in an age range will qualify for something.
Those subsidies are going to be costly, but no one knows how costly because the Congressional Budge Office has not scored the bill yet.
Third, there are substantial pro-life concerns. When providing an advanced, refundable tax credit, there will be issues with how those are used to cover “healthcare” expenses. House leadership will say that conscience protections, similar to H.R. 7 passed this year, will be sufficient. That is, however, misleading at best. The House might be able to pass this legislation, but likely will not survive the Senate’s reconciliation process.
Moreover, any conscience protections will apply to current funding and current programs. There are concerns that the Republican’s new program, to provide tax credits, won’t be captured in those conscience protections.
Some conservatives are voicing opposition to the plan. They know this won’t be full repeal and are saying so. They are, unfortunately, a minority. While protecting the most moderate members of the conference, Republican House leadership is going to put a bill on the House floor that codifies some of the worst parts of Obamacare and then call it full repeal.
We cannot let them do this.
At that point, conservatives, while being shut out of all the closed door meetings, will have a choice. They can vote against the repeal & replacement legislation leaving them to explain why the legislation isn’t full repeal.
Or they can vote for the legislation, compromising on entitlements and most likely on the federal funding of abortion.
So please, pick up your phone and call your Members of Congress. The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. If you need to look up who your Members of Congress are, click here for the House and click here for the Senate!
Let Washington, DC hear your voice before it’s too late!
There are obviously a few problems with this scenario.
The first is that for four election cycles, Republicans have been running on the campaign promise that they will repeal Obamacare and tear it out “root and branch.” It is now apparent that maybe want many of us have suspected all along is true: those were just talking points. There was no real plan of action to actually repeal Obamacare at all.
The second is that with all the intellectual ammunition in the conservative, free market movement, not one Member has thought to create a road map for what healthcare world free of socialized medicine looks like. Really? Is this possible? We don’t need to replace Obamacare (socialized medicine) with anything but freedom in the marketplace.
Here’s our solution and it took us about 5 minutes to come up with it.
Create a marketplace where people are free to pick and choose the plan that fits them and goes with them across state lines. You have a plan you like but are moving? Totally fine.
But get government out of the healthcare business. Make insurance companies compete and in that competition, guess who wins?
This one is easy for us. While the Republican committee will choose the GOP candidate for the special election to fill Congressman Ryan Zinke’s at large seat, we know two things about Greg Gianforte. He’s a solid, common sense conservative who has (literally) invested heavily in the success of Montana, launching RightNow Technologies in Montana in 1997, a corporation that employed 500 in it’s Bozeman offices. After selling RightNow to Oracle in 2004, Greg continued to invest in Montana, pledging millions to education and charities.
While he narrowly lost the Montana gubernatorial race last fall, we believe Greg has an incredible opportunity to build off the statewide network that he and his team built over the course of last year. But this isn’t the only reason we’re endorsing Greg. He is a man genuine in belief and committed to pouring his time and energy into solutions that help all Americans. He is exactly the kind of elected official we want in Washington, DC.
There are those moments when suddenly it hits you. There really is a great portion of America that has bought into the hoax of man-made global warming. I mean, as in really bought in.
The fact of the matter is, for a lot of millennials and those on the Left, this is sacred dogma and settled science. Either we do something to protect Mother Earth or we and our descendants will all die horrible deaths. In many of the post-election write ups, the reaction from millennials was best captured by the following exchange.
Donna Brazile, the interim leader of the Democratic National Committee, was giving what one attendee described as “a rip-roaring speech” to about 150 employees, about the need to have hope for wins going forward, when a staffer identified only as Zach stood up with a question.
“Why should we trust you as chair to lead us through this?” he asked, according to two people in the room. “You backed a flawed candidate, and your friend [former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz] plotted through this to support your own gain and yourself.”
Some DNC staffers started to boo and some told him to sit down. Brazile began to answer, but Zach had more to say.
“You are part of the problem,” he continued, blaming Brazile for clearing the path for Trump’s victory by siding with Clinton early on. “You and your friends will die of old age and I’m going to die from climate change. You and your friends let this happen, which is going to cut 40 years off my life expectancy.” (bold italics added)
Add to this just a few tweets from my timeline after I wrote my initial piece praising the selection of Pruitt.
Do I care about the environment? Absolutely. Do I worship it? No.
Yes, I actually believe in science. As in actual, data driven science. You, my hysterical friend, appear to be wrapping dogma around a fairytale, the mix of which makes you appear more than a little foolish.
Because of his selection of Scott Pruitt, Trump is now on par with the Central Committee of Communist China. Who. Knew?!
Here’s the real rub, though.
I believe the EPA’s Settlement Fund is going to take a serious hit under Scott Pruitt. Not familiar with it? Essentially, an organization or corporation settles with Obama’s Department of Justice for non-implementation of the new 3,900 EPA regulations under the Obama Administration and the DOJ demands community service.
Since it is an organization or corporation, the entity often cannot practically perform community service so it instead agrees to donate an agreed monetary value to a third party non-profit organization and that counts as community service and also the DOJ typically then reduces fines, some of which also fund the Settlement Fund.
Those third party NGO’s are about to lose millions of dollars of funding, funding they used to hire more lawyers to create more litigation in the name of climate change.
The screeching you heard yesterday was the combination of visceral sorrow that the funding will now likely be gone and the sound of the money train’s wheels grinding to a halt.
Monday, June 13th, 2016 and is filed under Elections
Many politicos take a look at Oregon and think, “No way. No way can a conservative win in Oregon.”
Well, we have news for you. There is a conservative who can win and he happens to be running in the perfect district to win.
His name is Colm Willis.
Back in 2010, Colm worked for one of the principles here at the Madison Project, Drew Ryun, as part of a major effort to elect more conservatives. As a field staffer, Colm excelled and after the election was over, became Political Director for Oregon Right to Life. A native Oregonian, Colm graduated from Willamette University College of Law in 2015 and represents nonprofits, individuals and entrepreneurs in the Willamette Valley.
Not only is Colm a full spectrum conservative, he showed considerable political wherewithal by winning the multi-candidate primary for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District with 58% of the vote and now heads towards the fall as the Republican nominee in a district that currently polls R+7 on the generic ballot.
With the right resources this race is very winnable. Colm has done the hard work this point by coalescing conservatives in OR-5 around his campaign. It’s now time for the national groups to engage and we are happy to lead the way today by endorsing Colm Willis for Congress.
Thursday, December 31st, 2015 and is filed under Elections
He’s a successful businessman who has spent one term in the Texas House of Representatives and while there, earned sterling scores from the conservative scorecards in Texas.
More importantly, in his election to the Texas House of Representatives, Steve challenged and knocked off liberal Republican, Rob Eissler, organizing a “from the ground up” kind of campaign to oust Eissler 56.5% to 43.5%.
Now Steve is looking to jump to the big leagues by challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin Brady for the 8th Congressional District of Texas.
In an a conservative R+29 district, Congressman Brady scores a paltry 55% on the Heritage Action scorecard, failing to even meet the average score of House Republicans (and that’s saying something). On our Madison Performance Index, Congressman Brady scores a -24.5. From voting for the Ex-Im Bank to the pork laden $325B Highway Bill, Kevin Brady is a man out of step and out of touch with his Congressional District.
Clearly, it is time for Kevin Brady to go and in Steve Toth we will have an election and legislatively proven conservative. He has been there, done that and it is time to promote him to Congress.
We are excited about this race and for the chance to endorse Steve. This is one of those races that we feel is going to surprise a lot of people in 2016.
Thursday, December 31st, 2015 and is filed under Elections
At 37 years of age, MaryThomas is a rising star in conservative politics. A general counsel inside Governor Rick Scott’s administration in Florida since 2011, Mary has been involved in interviewing the governor’s nominees as well as serving as general counsel for the Department of Elder’s Affairs in Florida. Already having made the repeal of Obamacare a core component of her campaign, Mary impressed us with her deep knowledge of the Constitution. We have seen this a few times before with great Madison Project candidates-the one that comes to mind is Ted Cruz.
Florida’s 2nd Congressional District is currently held by a Democrat but with redistricting it is now a strong Republican district which means whoever wins the Republican primary looks to win this seat comfortably in the general election next November. Though Mary has raised a healthy six figures, she is up against a well funded moderate in the race who, as a lobbyist, fought for the expansion of Medicaid as a part of Obamacare and is on record saying he opposes the repeal of Obamacare because it would “jar the economy and leave many people without care.”
This is an opportunity for us to make history as a team, not only by helping Mary win but by helping elect the first Indian-American female to Congress, one who has promised us her first order of business in Washington, DC will be to join the House Freedom Caucus.
We are thrilled to endorse her and look forward to helping her win both the primary and the general election.
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 and is filed under Blog
As we noted last year in our post Defining Conservatism, it is critical that words retain meaning. By definition (literally), that is what they are intended to do. One would never use “cold” to describe “hot” or “dry” to describe “wet.” There are implications to the improper use of words.
We often hear the word “conservative” bandied about, untied to any concrete example(s) of why it should be used other than the ones using it hope to gain some street cred with their hearers, the grassroots activists who are, by experiential action, conservative in nature.
Which brings us to Paul Ryan. First elected to Congress in 1998, Paul came was the fresh, under 30 face of the new conservative movement. He was the smart kid with the pencil tucked behind his ear and slide ruler in his pocket. He was going to save America.
However, in spite of his tax plans painfully crafted to balance the budget over certain time periods (all of which were so far in the future as to beggar the question of relevance), it became abundantly clear that Paul Ryan’s voting record and his rhetoric did not sync. In fact, not only did they not sync, they were so at odds with each other we began to wonder as to the split political personality of Paul Ryan-big government Paul or small government Paul-and who would win the Gollum-style argument in the mirror.
It’s clear now that Paul was, all along, what we have suspected for some time. A big government liberal who has mastered the talking points that conservatives want to hear, which is why we see the easily entertained (namely Hugh Hewitt) rush to defend Paul Ryan’s “conservatism” against the attacks of those who point to his voting record and say, “Prove it.”
In a normal world (not Washington, DC), our actions define us. That is reality. It is how the real world works. In light of that, take a quick minute to review the “highlights” of Paul Ryan’s voting record.
During his tenure in Congress, Paul has voted for (each hyperlinked with what these bills actually have done or will do to America):
Couple this voting record with his stances on amnesty, his voting for a Continuing Resolution that funds Planned Parenthood AFTER the videos exposed Planned Parenthood for selling aborted baby parts for profit and one is hard pressed to define Paul Ryan as a conservative.
A Republican, yes. A conservative, no.
So let’s be done once and for all with this nonsense that Paul Ryan is a conservative. He is, at best, a middle of the road Republican content with being in power and never using it to achieve anything of merit.
In our first series of podcasts, How To Save Your Country In 5 Minutes, Drew Ryun of the Madison Project discussed practical steps to winning in politics.
In the next few podcasts, our series within a series, Drew discusses the intellectual foundation for conservatism and how our nation began with American History In 5 Minutes. Today’s podcast discusses the origins of the American Revolution and the influence of pamphleteers in the American colonies.