US Chamber of Commerce vows “no fools on our ticket,” puts $50M into campaign efforts

From the Hill:

The Chamber of Commerce is planning to spend at least $50 million on a campaign to boost establishment Republicans in primaries against Tea Party challengers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The group’s broader aim is to help the GOP win Senate control and block Tea Party Republican candidates who might lose otherwise winnable seats to Democrats.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” Chamber political strategist Scott Reed tells the Journal. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

The organization has been gearing up for a more confrontational approach toward Tea Party Republicans since the government shutdown. It has already been involved in some special elections for House primaries, and is supporting Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) against his Tea Party primary foe.

Hard-right, mistake-prone Senate candidates are widely perceived to have cost the GOP five Senate seats in recent years, in states including Missouri, Indiana and Delaware.

Read it all here.

Is the chamber’s efforts a push back against gaffe-prone tea party candidates who talk about things such as ‘legitimate rape’ and end up sinking their efforts?

Or is it a push back against tea party generals who drone on about ‘crony capitalism’ and spit in the eye of business who has traditionally supported and aligned themselves with the GOP?

I can hardly fathom a Republican party that does not support business, because our very social fabric is based on capitalism, despite Democrat’s best efforts to convert it to a socialistic society which has a parasitic relationship with business.

ND Republican Congressman: Tea Party co-opted, Republicans need to remember compassion

I was reading my North Dakota counterpart, the “Say Anything Blog,” who had an interesting story this morning about an interview with Rep. Kevin Cramer who had a couple of pointed criticisms about the Tea Party movement.

Specifically, that the movement has supposedly been co-opted by those who want Republicans to fight each other:

While he has spoken at Tea Party rallies, Cramer expressed mixed feelings about the movement as it currently stands, suggesting that organizations have “co-opted” the Tea Party mantra and have used it to hurt Republicans more than Democrats.

“I love the movement … especially at the time [in 2009-10], it was truly spontaneous, it was truly grassroots. I think part of the problem today is that the Tea Party is less grassroots and more controlled by organizations who benefit from a fight more than they benefit from policy successes,” Cramer said.

He said that while he appreciated the Tea Party groups’ contribution to keeping the party disciplined, such discipline could go too far and leave the party without any wiggle room for policy successes.

Cramer also argues that conservatives must work to be a more upbeat and compassionate party, especially on social issues and immigration.

“If you’re a person of faith that is conservative, that’s pro-life, as I am, that believes strongly in traditional family values, as I do … then how we talk about them matters. Sometimes, we find ourselves as conservatives being angry when we should be joyful, finding ourselves being negative when we should be positive, because we have a positive message to send … We ought to be the most compassionate people in the world.”

Read it all here.

Do you think that anymore, those involved with the Tea Party movement are just about the fight, to the detriment of the GOP?

Let's vote to keep our legislature sane

WOW! There are too many kooks running for the legislature.

In the District 6 Senate race, tea party-endorsed candidate Ernie Otten is challenging state Rep. Gene Abdallah. Otten has blanketed the district with mailers accusing Abdallah of voting ?to force Obamacare? on the state and favoring higher taxes and restrictions on gun ownership.

In one mailer, Otten said Abdallah received an ?F? rating from the South Dakota Gun Owners.

Abdallah is furious with the mailers because he received an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association. Abdallah has feuded for years with the South Dakota Gun Owners, whom he called ?thugs.?

?They have campaigned against me ever since I?ve been in the Legislature, and I suspect they will continue to,? he said. ?My opponent has chosen to align himself with this organization that I think is a scam. I have the endorsement of the NRA, the most recognizable gun organization in the world.?

A message with Rapid City-based South Dakota Gun Owners was not returned.

Must have been too busy to return the call… Even the quiet Brian Liss has become involved in compiling legislative records. But Senator Gene Abdallah delivered one of my all-time favorite quotes in response.

The race also has featured state Rep. Brian Liss, who is leaving the Legislature at year?s end after one term. Liss, a Republican, compiled the voting records of legislative members. To control for sicknesses or other reasons for missing votes, Liss analyzed only days in which a lawmaker made a vote and then missed others.

His analysis showed that Abdallah missed 36 percent of the floor votes, a number that Otten has cited in a flier. Sometimes, Liss said, absences are legitimate.

?Other times, they?re just off smoking cigarettes or doing something at the Capitol but not their job,? he said.

Abdallah dismissed Liss as a ?totally ineffective? lawmaker who could have been absent for 100 percent of the votes and not been missed.

?If I missed any votes, they were votes that were insignificant, in my opinion, such as the state flag, the state dessert, the state song, or whatever,? Abdallah said.

Otten did not respond to phone messages.

I am starting to see a disturbing pattern here from Otten and the Tea Party crowd when it comes to returning phone calls based on the allegations they are making. The Tea Party might be good nationally but in South Dakota our Tea seems to have gone bad somewhere along the way.

And while there continue to be real issues we need to focus on in South Dakota, Rep. Lora Hubbel continues to make insane allegations about “Daugaardcare.”

?I started seeing South Dakota going down the wrong path,? she said. ?When I got in, I tried to root it out. I found that they didn?t want to hear what I had to say about the corruption I found, and they certainly didn?t want to root it out because it would have cost them money.?

She calls the state?s current health care system ?totalitarian? and said the federal Affordable Care Act, or ?Obamacare,? essentially is the same as what South Dakota has implemented ? which Hubbel called ?Daugaardcare.?

I have always held the belief that the Governor should try to get along with these “Tea Partiers” but I’m not sure what brand of tea they are anymore. I don’t even know what planet half of them are living on when it comes to the issues they are worked up about. They are more than a little delusional these days.

And the more I think about the endorsements from Governor Daugaard, the more I agree with him for getting out and taking a stand. We should be advocates for the kind of policy we want to enact. There isn’t anything wrong with Daugaard coming out and actively supporting individuals who will support his positions. It seems too many of the people in the Gordon Howie crowd feel they can throw stones at the Governor, but he’s not allowed to fight back. (what kind of liberals are they?)

Someone commented on here “either Governor Daugaard runs the party or Gordon Howie does.” That is true. I, like 88% of primary voters, don’t want Gordon Howie running the party or the state.

Tea Party vs Establishment 2012

Republicans clearly lost oppurtunities to gain senate seats in 2010 because of some mistakes in the nominating process. Christine O’Donnell (DE) and Sharon Angle (NV) come to mind.

Those two may be the most extreme examples of the GOP primary divide from the last election cycle because of their high profiles.

They are also two of the reasons I find the Indiana senate race between Senator Richard Lugar and state treasurer Richard Mourdock so interesting. We once again have the dynamics of a long time 36 year incumbant very likely to win a seventh term in the senate if only he could win the party nomination. The problem, however, is that polls indicate that possibility is slipping away.

Timing is everything, especially in a political campaign. Come out negative too early and you can turn off voters. Wait too long to try to brand your opponent and you might find it hard to get your message across.

That seems to be the case with the campaign of six-term Sen. Richard Lugar, whose efforts to paint tea party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock as untrustworthy last week had all the markings of a desperate attempt to toss anything and everything at Mourdock to see what might stick less than two weeks before the vote that could end Lugar’s political career.

With Mourdock we have the Sarah Palin backed Tea Party branded conservative running against the establishment’s choice.

Democrats hope Mourdock winning the nomination will put the seat into a potential pick up for them in the fall elections. (I think either primary candidate will be able to hold the seat)

We see an interesting paradigm once again in the rift between the establishment and the GOP base. In an election year as imporant as 2012, Republicans cannot afford to lose any oppurtunities to take back the US Senate.

In many of the upcoming primaries across this country, it will be interesting to see whether the anti-establishment forces in the party will produce candidates with the qualities of Marco Rubio or of Christine O’Donnell.

When did Noem become the face of the Tea Party?

I saw Greta Van Susteren’s interview with Kristi Noem last night, and it left me wondering, why does the national media use Kristi Noem as the face of the Tea Party? In state she avoids blanket labels in order to broaden her constituency, yet on national tv she is “Tea Party.” I don’t mind anyone stating facts, but it is amusing to me that the national media thinks she is a hard core tea partier. (What is a hard core Tea Partier?)

Now she does appeal to the Tea Party base, but she’s not even in the Tea Party caucus in congress. So why not just use Michele Bachmann or Allen West to get the Tea Party perspective?

I bring this up because I don’t know many people across South Dakota (other than Jeff Barth and Matt Varilek – who do it negatively) who refer to Noem as Tea Party. Even Noem goes out of her way to avoid being narrowly aligned with only one part of her constituency.

What's Daugaardcare?

Certain strains of the Tea Party are going off the rails.

From my inbox:

Subject: NOW IS THE TIME TO STOP OBAMACARE / DAUGAARDCARE IN SOUTH DAKOTA !

The 2012 Legislature is in session.

A Repeal SB38 (Obamacare) Bill will be introduced.

The Governor is straddling the fence, but has said that he will sign the Repeal Bill if it is passed.  He has also said he would favor repeal if Obamacare is declared unconstitutional.  But he has not said what he would do if Obambcare is repealed by congress or if waivers are offered to states. And his Planning Group continues to plan for state run health care, (just in case?). (Most people do not know that South Dakota began health care planning way back in 2007, when Governor Rounds and Senator Tom Daschle got their heads together and applied for some Federal Grant money.  Then Lieutenant Governor Daugaard was put in charge of this Zaniya Project. )

Government controlled health care is the cornerstone of the Socialist State.  I am not willing to risk my freedom and that of my children and grandchildren on the word of a politician; I want it in writing.

The voters of South Dakota have put Republicans in control of both houses of the state legislature and the Governorship.  Governor Daugaard is the key; if he wants to Repeal SB38, he just has to say the word.

Please contact the Governor and your legislators.   (See attachment for info/handout.)

Governor Daugaard has never once said he supported Obamacare. None of the Republican legislators in South Dakota want Obamacare. This is nonsense. If any of you have attended one of the meetings where caring tea party members attempt to articulate this message you will realize it is as convuluted and apocalyptic as the last few episodes of Glenn Beck’s TV show. When did the SD tea party turn from focusing on small government economic issues to conspiracy theories that drive a wedge between fellow conservatives?

Is Gordon Howie sufficiently "Tea Party?"

I thought it was a fair question considering he labeled himself the “Tea Party candidate for governor” in 2010 and has now decided to start reviewing select legislation ranking legislators based on their voting records and his interpretation of the Republican party platform.

Based on Howie’s previous positions and legislative record, how does he hold up under the microscope?

Remember, you can pick any number of issues you choose, and they can range from anything you interpret as Tea Party orthodoxy.