Pat Toomey is a Total POS

pat-toomey2Pat Toomey has just announced he wants to bring back his failed legislation which strips Americans of their gun rights (without due process of law, naturally). The bill, co sponsored by the Democrat from West (By God) Virginia, Joe Manchin, seeks an outright BAN on most private sales of firearms.

Toomey is a total piece of pigshit, but you would already know this if you were around and read the Blog’s coverage of the ’08 election.  The Toomey-led Club for Growth’s destructive effort to divide Conservatives turned me against those bastids forever.  Telling you “Told ya!” might not be enough.  Check it out for yourself.  Just type Toomey or Club for Growth in the search bar.  Some of my better writing, cough cough.

Long story short, Toomey succeeded, and the current resident of the White House won.

Now Toomey wants to help him out again.  I can’t think of anyone who might be happier about this bill than Bath House Barry.

Don’t doubt me, people.  Toomey is toxic.

Gingrich: “I can no longer endorse Gregg Harper”

Conservative Blogging Legend, Nuke Gingrich has concluded that 3-term Congressman, Gregg Harper no longer deserves the endorsement and support of common-sense conservative voters in the MS-3rd district.

“He hasn’t accomplished anything, he hasn’t done anything, and given the opportunity to make a principled stand, he caved faster than a spelunker on meth,” said Gingrich, amid fragrant clouds of Macanudo smoke at his southwest Mississippi compound.

“I should have recognized the bait and switch when Harper gained the support of the slimy Trent Lott.  I suppose I’m the victim of my own optimism.  But no more.  Now that Harper has shown himself to be an insider-Trent Lott Republican instead of a Common-Sense Conservative, I have decided that I can no longer  support him.”

gregg-harper-ms3Gingrich’s endorsement in the 2008 Republican Primary was seen by some as a pivotal moment for the Harper campaign, as polls which had been trending for his opponent, shifted dramatically and decisively in Harper’s favor.  He won going away.  It was an old fashioned whoopin’.

“I questioned Harper’s vote last week to end the battle against Obamacare, and politely asked for a response.  To date, Harper has refused to provide any answer at all, other than to send out a Press release, chock-full of fluffy piffle.”

Gingrich has provided the Blog with a copy of the note he sent to the Congressman in response to Harper’s “explanation” for the surrender vote, entitled “A Responsibility to Govern.”

October 17, 2013

Dear Congressman Harper:
Please tell me. 
Did you read the Bill before you voted for it? 
I understand it was an eleventh hour vote responding to a real or imagined crisis (this seems to have become the standard operating procedure, hasn’t it?).
Did you question the special $2.9 billion sweet deal for Kentucky?
Wouldn’t it have been appropriate to offer a clean, two-day CR to allow the Bill to be read by the Members, and posted to the internet as has been promised previously?
A Responsibility to Govern, indeed! 
Nuke Gingrich
Somewhere in southwest Mississippi
CharlierossInterestingly enough, Gingrich’s old nemesis, The Club for Growth is making a splashy re-entry into Mississippi politics for the first time since 2008.  The CfG has endorsed a Primary challenger to veteran senator Thad Cochran.  Losing Gingrich’s support may provide an opening for the other recent favorite of The Club for Growth, Charlie Ross.   “I may have to go reconsider my position on CfG,” Gingrich painfully noted.

CFG: Teh Kiss of Death

The Club for Growth PAC is back to their old tricks of trying to play coservative kingmaker, and in the process, splitting the center-right vote.

This time, it’s the special election in the NY 23rd.

Although Pat Toomey is gone, his failed policies remain intact.  Doug Hoffman is the “beneficiary” of the Club’s KOD.


disclaimer:  I don’t know anything about this race except der Klub is endorsing Hoffman.  Reason enough to oppose him, in my book.

Pat Toomey: Opportunist to the rescue

Pat Toomey hints he might mount a primary challenge to Arlen Specter in 2010.

I can’t wait.

So, why would this self-serving prick leave his cush meal ticket as Club for Growth president to run for the Senate?

I guess he’s just bored.

C’mon Pat.  The water’s fine.  Jump on in.

Accomplishments of Pat Toomey:  I can’t find any.  Even Wikipedia has nothing to brag about, except that he served 3 terms in the House and ran (and lost) against Specter in ’04.

You would probably have more luck in searching for French military victories

Read more at The Hill

Attacking Sarah Palin: A familiar ring

The anonymous attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin have a familiar ring to me.

I was thinking about this after hearing Carl Cameron’s report on Fox, and after reading several other kneecap-recaps as reported in the blogosphere. I have no way of verifying my suspicions, so I haven’t commented on it. But, since the stealth attackers probably won’t be identified any time soon, I might as well go ahead and put forth my thoughts. If proven wrong, I’ll admit it — unlike those faceless cowards who started this.

I started noticing the similarities after reading and re-reading M.O.R.’s post-election rant. Following one of his links led me to the adjective “odious” which was used to describe religious conservatives. I couldn’t help but wonder about that, as I am one of those very same “odious” voters (who, incidentally supply about 40% of the Republican turnout). I wasn’t too terribly surprised by the animosity: it is really nothing new. Tolerating religious conservatives as a necessary part of the voting coalition is something that other conservatives have learned to become accustomed to, if not become altogether comfortable with, since Mr. Reagan cobbled together a winning strategy in 1980.

Neither are we altogether comfortable with them. But, there are enough interests in common to remain a viable political coalition.

A great example came in the last round of primaries, when moneyed interests within the Republican party decided to inject themselves into primary politics, not that there’s anything wrong with supporting one’s self interest. There isn’t. But, their tactics were, to use M.O.R.’s description, odious. Their preemtive and innuendo-laced attack destroyed the candidacy of the only religious conservative in the fold. It seems that this group would much prefer to continue to occupy a position of influence within a significantly smaller Republican coalition rather than have a religious conservative at the helm.

Interestingly enough, these people were completely silent in the general election; their money and advertising budgets unused. They did not get their candidate in the primaries, so they sat out the general election, only to emerge in the aftermath to attempt the same innuendo-based attacks on the next promising religious conservative. The preemptive attack on Sarah Palin is of the same tenor, tenacity, and calumny.

Sources in the McCain campaign? Bah, this smells like The Club for Growth.

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The Daily Snort

Andy Roth, writing at, laments the “Disappointing loss in MS-03” …

Charlie Ross lost to Gregg Harper in the GOP primary run-off election for Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district last night. The final tally was (with 99% reporting):
Harper — 29,307 votes — 57%
Ross — 22,139 votes — 43%

Disappointing loss?


I’d call this a good old-fashioned whoopin’.

Oh, wait. I already did call it that, didn’t I? Heh.



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Harper wins MS 3rd

Conservative blogging legend Nuke Gingrich officially calls it for Gregg Harper over Charlie Ross in the MS 3rd District.

“It was an old-fashioned whoopin’,” said Gingrich, relaxing with a Macanudo and a mint juelp, on the veranda from NG Election Central in southwest Mississippi. “Ross didn’t know what hit him. This is a blowout, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier for the people of the Third District.”

Gingrich endorsed Harper over the weekend, and momentum has been moving in Harper’s direction ever since. Some are calling Gingrich’s expose’ of the Club for Growth, and their attempt to influence Mississippi’s primaries a “watershed moment.” Gingrich, characteristically modest, said of the CfG — Ross connection, “Pat Toomey and his ilk are history. CfG’s march towards irrelevance continues unabated. These guys are just plain bad news. A bunch of rich Yankees who think they can come in here with their dollars and buy themselves a Congressman. Well, the people spoke loudly. Heh™”

Gregg Harper will face a Democrat opponent in the general election, but in the MS 3rd, who really cares? He won the real battle tonight, and that’s all that matters.

(from WLBT, with 80% 92% of the precincts reporting, it’s Harper 57-43 over Ross.)

C-L has the roundup

Mississippi 3rd: Gregg Harper for Congress

Tuesday’s Republican run-off offers voters in the Mississippi Third District an interesting choice for the seat being vacated by the retiring Chip Pickering. Gregg Harper and Charlie Ross were the top two finishers in last month’s primary, with my first choice, David Landrum, finishing third.

Madison County Journal offers this endorsement of Mr. Harper:

gregg_harper_family.jpgHarper is a fiscal conservative who wants to put an end to the wasteful Washington spending. He believes in a financially strong America.
He has been an advocate of the Second Amendment and is quick to tell you he is a lifelong member of the NRA.
Harper has also spoken out against illegal immigration, as did most every other Republican candidate.
He is a strong advocate of public schools, educating his own children in them.
Harper is personable and we believe will be more accessible, but he’ll need to surround himself with good people knowledgeable about important issues like transportation, education and economic development.

Ross is an expert in the practice of slash and burn politics, and made quite a few enemies in his recent loss to Phil Bryant in last year’s Lt. Governor’s race. He emerged from that race, however, with sufficient name recognition to give him the leg up in this race, but not enough to prevent him from running another dirty campaign, this time targeting David Landrum.

Ross also earned the endorsement of the nefarious Club for, chaired by Arkansas billionaire Steve Stephens, and whose major contributors include Massachussets financier and Mitt Romney supporter John Childs. Their record of campaign smear and distortion make them a logical ally for the Charlie Ross campaign.

I, for one, will never vote for a candidate who accepts the endorsement of the Club for Growth.

Good luck, Gregg Harper. I think you’ll make a fine Congressman. You’ve asked for our prayers, and you’ve got them. You’ve also asked for donations. Go here to contribute.

The Tuesday Open Thread

First up, a cool video from the Military Channel, comparing Mark46/Mark 48 machine guns.


Next is a piece from Christopher Hitchens, describing the argument from the Left — it’s apples and oranges —

Iraq: Worth the Price

Think how many candy-canes and vacations I could have if it were not for the space program, or the cost of carrier-groups or special forces or — I don’t know — Black Hawk helicopters. (If you think I am being unkind or frivolous, see if you can detect the thread of reasoning that connects Iraq expenditures with the crisis in the mortgage system.) There are days when I think that the money raised by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama might have been better spent on the alleviation of poverty, but I can still tell an apple from an orange and am not hopelessly stuck on the zero-sum fixation. Once again, the economic “experts” turn out to know the price of some things but not the value of anything.

Time to start moving dirt…. the Toyota deal is bringing the beginnings of a boom in north Mississippi

Auto parts maker Vuteq USA plans to build a $31 million plant in New Albany to supply molded plastic pieces and other components for Toyota’s assembly plant in Blue Springs.Vuteq, a Japanese company with seven facilities in North America, will hire 130 people to work at the New Albany plant and up to 500 to prepare parts kits at the Toyota plant.

Vuteq’s building will be the first in the Martintown Industrial Park, open land Union County bought with Toyota suppliers in mind.

Primary day in the Magnolia State … Beagle Scout who lives down on the coast in MS 1st district, is calling for voters to cross over and vote for Hillary. I live in the 3rd, and I won’t be crossing over. We’ve got a pretty good selection of hopefuls vying for the Pickering seat. The Club for Growth jumped in and endorsed Charlie Ross, to which I say, “forget Charlie Ross.” I’m pulling for David Landrum. So is Mrs. Nuke. Sure hope he makes the runoff.

U.S. House, 3rd District. For the Democratic nomination, Randall Eads of Starkville will meet Joel Gill of Pickens. On the Republican side, voters will choose between Gregg Harper of Pearl, Charlie Ross of Brandon, David Landrum of Madison County, John Rounsaville of Madison, Bill Marcy of Meridian, Gregory Hatcher of Meridian and the Rev. James Broadwater of Flowood.

So what’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Another day, another tax increase

Just how much would a Hillary Clinton administration raise taxes?

It depends on who you ask, and lately, it also depends on when you ask. Mrs. Clinton has previously touted her version of fiscal responsibility, “I have a million ideas. I can’t do all of them. I happen to think in running a disciplined campaign – especially when it comes to fiscal responsibility, which is what I’m trying to do – everything I propose I have to pay for.”

Today, Team Clinton unveiled her “economic blueprint” which would include an additional $820 billion in taxes over the next decade, aimed at oil companies, drug companies, and corporations which “ship jobs overseas.” This is in addition to allowing the Bush tax cuts expire, which would increase taxes by a staggering $4.3 Trillion, according to estimates provided by the National Women’s Law Center.

Do the math.

Hillary Clinton is proposing $5.1 trillion in new taxes over the next decade.

Since she is proposing new spending programs to match the tax increases, the growth of Federal spending poised to grow dramatically under a Clinton Administration.

Update: So, where is the club for greed when you need them? Glad you asked. They’re still attacking Republicans.

Fiscon Identity Politics

images3.jpg“I would also suggest that one needs to look very carefully at exactly what the business record is,” Huckabee said.”If it’s taking companies that are in serious trouble, buying them when they are in pain, selling off their assets, then making huge profit off of it then that’s not something a lot of Americans can relate to, except those that have lost their jobs because of those kind of transactions.If that’s the turnaround then there are a lot of Americans who do not want to see their lives turned around like that.” source

Before taking a morning jog in Ft. Lauderdale, Mike Huckabee’s remarks regarding Mitt Romney’s business record drew a very sharp distinction between the vision of conservatism espoused by Wall Street Republicans and Main Street Republicans. It is a distinction drawn previously by both Huckabee and Duncan Hunter, and one that has come into increasing focus as the economy emerges as the top issue in the campaign.

Ironically, it is the success of the Bush national security policy, and the counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq that has diminished the war and national security as the primary focus of the campaign. But, if the economy is Romney’s supposed strong suit, a closer look at his record in the private equity business is warranted.

romney3.jpg …as the leader of private equity firm Bain Capital from 1984 to 1999, Romney’s record shows that while some of the firm’s investments helped companies grow, others ended in thousands of layoffs, and in some cases, bankruptcy.

Layoffs are a common result of private equity takeovers, with Bain Capital no exception….

Companies such as office supplier Staples Inc. and pizza company Domino’s were successful Bain investments under Romney.

But medical test maker Dade Behring, circuit board maker DDi, American Pad & Paper and auto parts company Cambridge Industries are among the companies that went bankrupt after Bain invested in them with Romney at the helm….

The private equity model is built on loading companies up with debt — which can ultimately prove too heavy a load for the business, as was the case with DDi.

Bain invested $46 million in DDi in October 1997 and later sold shares worth at least $93 million, according to a report by the Orange County Register newspaper. The Anaheim, California, company ultimately went bankrupt, laying off 2,100 employees. source

“It always makes sense to fight for every single good job.”

This was Mitt’s campaign rhetoric in Michigan and SC. It makes perfect sense for a candidate for President to say this.

But, if this had been his attitude as a businessman, this is certain: He would not have amassed the personal fortune that is financing his run for the Presidency, and thousands of “good jobs” at DDI, American Pad and Paper, Cambridge Industries, and others might still be around.

It does help to explain, however the club for growth’s enthusiastic support for Romney, despite his less than sterling fiscal record as governor of Massachusetts — he’s one of their own.

“his support for broad-based tax cuts in liberal Massachusetts together with his enthusiastic embrace of the Bush tax cuts on the campaign trail offers hope that Governor Romney’s previous ambivalence on tax policy is more a function of Massachusetts politics than his core beliefs.”

Ah yes. hope!

The fiscal record of Romney is somewhat similar to Huckabee. They both governed Democrat majority states as pragmatic conservatives. But Romney comports himself as a fiscon, so establishment Republicans give him a pass, and praise his record as offering hope.

He’s one of their own. More “identity politics?”


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Huckabee: No Economic Conservative

You’ve seen the ads, you’ve heard the mantra. You know, in your heart, and without a doubt that Mike Huckabee is not an economic conservative.

At least, not in the way CfG’s Pat Toomey and Dick Armey want to define economic conservatism. And apparently, to hear Quinn Hillyer describe it, not the way Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, George Will, Phyllis Schlafly, Michael Reagan, Jed Babbin, Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Lopez, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, Ann Coulter, Bob Novak, Bob Dole, Laura Ingraham, David Limbaugh, Donald Lambro, Thomas Sowell, John Fund, the Wall Street Journal, Pete Wehner, David Frum, Deroy Murdock, Paul Mirengoff, John Hinderaker, Frank Gaffney, and quite a large number of bloggers want to define economic conservatism either.

In fact, to hear Fred Thompson say it, Huckabee is just a pro-life liberal.

Huckabee’s critics who charge that he is not an economic conservative with regards to his record in Arkansas are right, at least by their own shallow definition.

Here are some of the things in Huckabee’s gubernatorial record that the Club for Growth deems at odds with economic conservatism and to his discredit as a candidate for president:

-Increasing motor fuel taxes to help facilitate a voter-approved bond debt of a billion dollars to repair our crumbled interstate highways.

-Three increases in the sales tax combining to amount to 1.5 cents, to address court-ordered school reforms, meet general budget needs and enhance conservation and recreation.

-Confronted by an initiated act would have repealed sales taxes on groceries at state and local levels and not replaced the money, bankrupting cities and counties, Huckabee joined the rest of the government establishment in warning of the doom and persuading the voters to say no.

-Huckabee passively accepted some of that, backed into a bit of it and wholly embraced some. He openly resisted higher taxes at times, even typically grandstanding inanely at one point by setting up a spoofing Tax Me More Fund for people to send in their voluntary taxes.

In the end, though, state government grew by a larger percentage under him than Bill Clinton.

That’s not a bad thing. But the Club for Growth is positively salivating at the prospect of being able to tell Republicans that Huckabee is a more of a tax-and-spender than Clinton. source

Arkansas highways, deemed “worst in the nation” are better. Arkansas schools have improved. Arkansas children have health insurance. Arkansas prisons, while not up to Gitmo standards, are holding the bad guys. Huck left office with a budget surplus of close to a billion dollars, and approval ratings in the 60’s.

The quip that I often hear on the Rightosphere is that “Huckabee could have vetoed those tax increases.”

Sure. Most everyone knows by now that the Arkansas Legisture is governed by a Democrat majority. What most people do not know is that it takes only a simple majority to override a Governor’s veto – not the 2/3 majority required in most every other state. So, yes, Huckabee could have vetoed every single veto-proof spending bill that the Legislature sent him. Huckabee chose instead to govern as an economic pragmatist, and the people of Arkansas are the beneficiaries.

If Arkansas issues such as good highways, good schools, and healthy children, are a problem for Toomey and the Club for Growth, I am not surprised. Their march toward irrelevance continues unabated.

Dick Armey should know better. Quinn Hillyer has no excuse, he does know better. The remainder of the list of probably took the carefully framed CfG talking points on good faith.

But, if they did know these things, and they still disagree with the Tenth Amendment principles of responsible state governance, then they can go jump in the lake.

I won’t back down

Club for Growth crows

Toomey struttin around like a bantam rooster

I feel a major league rant coming on.

Club for Growth in MS politics

The Club for Growth has endorsed Charlie Ross for the 3rd District Congressional seat vacated by the retiring Chip Pickering.

Dang. I like ol’ Charlie.

But if CfG is endorsing him, I’m going to have to take a closer look.

I don’t trust CfG anymore.  They are a powerful group of right wing secularists who have shown outright hostility towards people of faith, and religious conservative candidates.

The Club for Growth: slouching towards irrelevance

Over the next few days, we will hear a great deal about the meaning of the Iowa Caucuses, as pundits and bloggers will sift through the demographic data to interpret trends, and voter preferences. There were two obvious winners. There were several losers.

The Big Loser tonight in Iowa: The Club for Growth.

I’ve written quite a bit about The Club for Growth’s ongoing jihad against Mike Huckabee.

With each salvo launched by Pat Toomey and the Club for Growth, the Huck has seemed to gain additional momentum. Each time a new “White Paper” has been released (there have been three so far) the level of skepticism towards CfG has grown. Among a large portion of the conservative coalition, the Club for Growth is no longer viewed as an honest broker. After spending upwards of $700,000 in attack advertising with the stated aim of derailing Huckabee, and future buys pending in Carolina, Huckabee went from low single digits in the polls to this solid victory in the opening act of the 08 election.

Toomey will, no doubt, claim that the message just isn’t getting out, and will order his troops to increase the volume, exaggerations, demonizations, polarizations, and continue the promotion of small-tent conservatism that continues to drive the Club towards irrelevance. In fact, I noticed today over on the CfG blog that they were still looking for reasons to explain Toomey’s primary loss to Arlen Specter.

This time? “Did Specter break the law to beat Toomey?

Last time? Well, Toomey blamed it on Stephen Moore’s lack of managerial acumen, despite the Club for Growth spending over a million dollars in negative advertising aimed at Specter.

After his election defeat, Toomey was able to build alliances on the Board in order to force out Moore and the rest of the brainpower that was originally responsible for the rise, relevance, and prominence of the Club for Growth.

There is only one reason Toomey was unable to beat Specter: Pat Toomey executed a poor strategy. Sooner or later, Steve Stephens and the rest of the big boys on the CfG Board are going to realize that Toomey’s execution during this election cycle has been equally poor. Frankly, I haven’t seen any really good stuff from CfG since the “Blowing in the Wind” ad.

Hopefully, along with that realization will come the affirmation that social conservatives are their allies, not their enemies. I’d love to see them go after the Democrats with the same fervor that they’ve gone after Huckabee. Oh, and while y’all are at it, how about using some of that supposed expertise to do a fair critique of The Fair Tax?

also at ConservaBlogs,

great analysis at American Thinker,

another great analysis at NYT, 

and also at caucus blogs

Listening to Howard Dean

This afternoon’s Rush Limbaugh Show, hosted by Mark Belling, featured a semi-restrained rant by the host against Mike Huckabee. I listened to one segment of the show, as time allowed. According to Belling, other than the two issues of gay marriage and abortion, reading the words of Mike Huckabee is virtually indistinguishable from reading the words of John Edwards.

Belling needed only to include Mike’s pro-Second Amendment stance, and he would have scored the Howard Dean Trifecta:

I am tired of coming to the South and fighting elections on guns, God and gays.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m picking on Belling. Rudy Guiliani said much the same thing with his statement on social issues a few months back:

“Our party has to get beyond issues like that.”

Jeffery Lord in the American Spectator tried a similar tack in a blistering piece today, assailing Huckabee for “attacking Reaganomics.”

So while it does not surprise that there are class warrior Democrats attacking the idea of economic opportunity as “greed” and promising all manner of ways to pit one group against another, it is startling indeed to hear the following from a Republican presidential front runner — former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Lord makes no specific references to Huckabee’s policy positions, but instead relies on statements by The Club for Growth as the arbiter of true conservatism. Any serious observer of the Republican Primary season understands that the The Club for Growth has been anything but an honest broker with regards to Huckabee specifically, and generally, any Republican who fails to meet the small-tent definition of conservatism they espouse.

The idea troubles that the nominee of the conservative party could be someone who fails to understand that his apparent scorn for “Wall Street” could resonate negatively with the almost 50 percent of the American population who are now shareholders — because of Ronald Reagan. Does Huckabee really believe that all these millions of people are therefore “greedy”? That economic growth as exemplified by Reaganomics is nothing more than a show-stopping parade of excess by out of control Middle Americans? If in fact in his heart- of-hearts he has some sort of contempt for the Reagan agenda — and the Reagan economic accomplishments that restored America to its place as the shining city on a hill — Governor Huckabee will soon find himself doing his best to balance on a stool that is missing a leg.

Do Mr. Lord, Mr. Belling, and others actually believe that the Club for Growth represents the 50 percent of Americans who own a small piece of Wall Street in their 401(k)’s?


The Club for Growth represents The Club for Growth. Their crusade for ideological purity is largely responsible for the loss of the Senate in 2006. If the Club for Growth is such a serious and respected group policy wonks, as Lord suggests, then why haven’t they successfully answered the leftist mantra of “Tax Cuts for the Rich?” Answer that and you take the whole “Greed” issue off the table.

There is only one reason that the left trots out that line: It works.

If the smartest guys in the room at The Club for Growth can’t answer that, then maybe they’re not so smart after all. And, maybe their personal crusade against Mike Huckabee has cost them in credibility in ways that they cannot yet fathom. And maybe, just maybe the middle class, gun-toting, Bible believing, wife-loving, foot soldiers of the Reagan coalition just don’t believe the Club for Growth anymore, and couldn’t care less about what the American Spectator says, and are just as likely to tell NRO and WSJ to go jump in the lake as not.

Try this experiment: Go back just a couple of years and find any Mitt Romney speech concerning the social issues, right to life, defense of marriage, and the right to keep and bear arms. Any of them, it doesn’t matter. Now, close you eyes as you listen and you just might think you’re listening to ….. John Kerry.

Get it?

Club for Growth goes all in

Can the Republican nomination be bought?

The Club for Growth apparently thinks so, as their spending on the anti-Huckabee crusade has grown to over $550,000 in the last three weeks alone.

The Associated Press is reporting that Houston homebuilder Bob Perry of Swiftboat fame, is joining with fellow scalawag 1 Jackson “Steve” Stephens, Jr. to bankroll the Club for Growth’s last ditch effort to stop Mike Huckabee. Mr. Perry is actively supporting Mitt Romney for the 2008 nomination, having donated the maximum allowable to Romney’s campaign.

Perry, who has been described as “the man who pulls the strings,” but “never gets his hands dirty,” is largely “unknown outside campaign-finance databases and a small group of political leaders. Many politicians who have received Perry’s money say they never have met him.” 2 Perry was the nation’s biggest donor in the 2006 elections, giving more than $16 million to state and federal candidates and campaign groups.

Bob Perry’s political donations figure prominently in a recent lawsuit against Gov. Rick Perry’s (no relation) 2006 re-election campaign and the Republican Governor’s Association today claiming they illegally hid $1 million in donations from the Houston homebuilder. 3

You can view a copy of the lawsuit here.

It does makes one wonder if running afoul of campaign finance laws is an unwritten requirement for membership in the Club for Growth, whose own settlement with the FEC made headlines just three months ago:

The agreement [with the Federal Election Commission] asks the court to enter a consent judgment requiring Club for Growth to pay a civil penalty of $350,000 for failing to register with the FEC as a political committee and report its contributions and expenditures. 4

In the 2006 election cycle, Perry, who was the “#1 individual donor to 527 committees, donated as much as the #2, #3 and #4 on the list. That is $9,750,000 in total.”5

Update: I ran across this6 a few days ago, and it made me wonder.

Jackson (Jack) Stephens, Steve’s father, who passed away on June 23, 2005, apparently made some 20 contributions totaling roughly $200,000 to The Club for Growth, after he died.

How can that happen?


1 To most Southerners, scalawags were an unprincipled group of traitorous opportunists who abandoned their countrymen and ingratiated themselves with the hated Eastern Elite for their own material gain.

2 Seattle Times

3 Texas Politics

4 USA Today

5 Sourcewatch

6 Campaign Money

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WWTD (What would Toomey do?)

Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth made headlines yesterday by announcing a major political advertising campaign, specifically targeting Republican voters in Iowa and South Carolina. His stated purpose? To attack Mike Huckabee.

Pulling out an old video which has been on the web for several weeks now, Toomey uses an out of context theme to try and persuade Republican voters that there is no kind of tax that Huckabee doesn’t like, that in fact, Huckabee is a wild-eyed, tax and spend liberal.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Huckabee about these accusations last month.

Here is Huck’s response:

“I was basically giving a put up or shut up speech to the legislature who had been saying we have got a $200 million deficit, and we don’t like any proposal the governor has to fix it,” he said. “What I was saying to them was, if you don’t like my proposals, give me yours, but let’s fix this deficit.

And we did.”

Contrary to Toomey’s claims, this is about responsible governance, not “tax-and-spend” bumper sticker politics.

Close to 90% of Arkansas’ general fund goes to fund public education, Medicaid, and TANF (temporary aid to needy families). Another 7% goes for Criminal Justice, which funds the State Police, Prisons, and the Crime Lab. The remainder goes for parks, tourism, and industrial development.

So, what would Toomey do?

What would the other candidates do?

If their criticism of Huckabee is to have any credibility, the most likely conclusion is that The Club for Growth would favor cutting money to Public Education and Medicaid: the two largest expenditures in the budget.

I don’t believe for a minute that any of the Republican field, would demand that the state budget be balanced on the backs of school teachers, single mothers, and health care for the poor.

But, that is EXACTLY what Pat Toomey and The Club for Growth are advocating.

Shame on them.


The Rules are about to change………


MM uses the T-word “troubling”. I’m sure she’ll lose a lot of sleep over it.

AP says “worrisome”, but its just more of his fredneck crapola

NRO tries to spin it their way.  David Sanders trots out Steve Stephens as an exemplar.  Henh, good luck with ‘dat.

The Country Club for Growth Strikes Again

The Club for Growth spinoff group, Club for, has their sights set on Mike Huckabee. Jackson “Steve” Stephens, Jr. and his poodle, Pat Toomey are at it again.This time, Toomey is announcing a major ad buy in Iowa and SC, and is threatening to “dramatically increase the buy in the near future.” See for yourself….

Even as their favorite candidate languishes in the polls, their battle cry has become “Anybody but Huckabee.” Hiding behind a pro-business facade, CfG’s tactics reveal them to be nothing more than a self-serving organization bent on preserving the status-quo. It really isn’t much of a stretch to believe that given their visceral hatred of Governor Huckabee, Stephens and the Club for Growth would support a Hillary Clinton candidacy, should Huckabee gain the Republican nod.

For those of you who may not know, Toomey was a congressman from PA who made the right money connections in the brokerage/securities biz. He parlayed those connections into a multi-million dollar campaign war chest, along with an additional million-dollar ad buy (courtesy of the Club for Growth), in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Arlen Specter. His reward for losing to Specter? He was named President of the CfG. The Toomster now spends his time criticizing and campaigning against other Republicans who aren’t as conservative as he thinks they ought to be.

Stephens, Chairman of, is from one Arkansas’ richest families, as well as one of the largest contributors to CfG. His feud with Huckabee goes back several years. It has seemingly become a personal blood feud for Stephens, as previously documented here. Stephens is not above using the CfG imprimatur to campaign against so-called “earmark spending”, just so long as some of the pork spending is reserved for his own companies.

idareyou.jpgAs an interested observer, I get the distinct impression that the Country Club for Growth is almost daring Mike Huckabee to run a new type of populist campaign. It would combine social conservatism with economic populism. And, while this type of campaign is probably new ground for most Republicans, especially a yankee like Toomey, Stephens really should know better.

We Southerners have watched the quadrennial gubernatorial runs of various and sundry silk-stocking trial lawyers who would don a hard hat and carry a steel lunch bucket to various and sundry factory locations, claiming that they were the true-blue supporters of the working man. It really didn’t matter that they were all Democrats. Everybody was a Democrat. Arkansas and Louisiana are the last two southern states who suffered under the Federal occupation (euphemistically called “Reconstruction”) to fully embrace two-party politics. Suffice to say, we are quite familiar with populist campaigns.

I would say to the Country Club for Growth: be careful what you ask for. You have been unable to answer the most basic “tax-cuts for the rich” Democrat mantra in a palatable way. What makes you think you can take on someone with the rhetorical skills of Huckabee who doesn’t mind using similar economic language, and who is operating on familiar territory?

What we are seeing now, should Huckabee prevail, is a dramatic realignment of the Republican coalition. And, we will have The Country Club for Growth, in part, to thank.

Bring it on, poodle-boy.

also at The Hill, and at Hot Air


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