Looking for another shake-up of the Republican establishment in the United States Senate, the Club for Growth has endorsed Richard Mourdock in his bid to unseat Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). The Club released this statement on Tuesday:
The Club for Growth PAC today announced that it is endorsing Richard Mourdock for United States Senate in Indiana. The seat is currently held by incumbent Republican Senator Richard Lugar.
“After thirty-six years in Washington, it’s time to send Richard Lugar home,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Richard Lugar has served honorably, but he’s been part of the problem in Washington. He’s voted for bigger government, more spending, and he even recently voted against a permanent ban on congressional pork. Richard Mourdock will vote to limit government, repeal ObamaCare, and will help bring back the jobs lost to the Obama’s economic policies. The Club for Growth PAC proudly endorses Richard Mourdock for United States Senate.”
The Club was influential two years ago in primary races in Utah and Pennsylvania that led to incumbents being tossed out of office over more fiscally conservative challengers. Their rationale for getting involved in this race is that Lugar has aligned himself against taxpayers too many times:
Recently, Lugar was one of only thirteen Republicans to join Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid in voting against a permanent ban on earmarks.
That was the final straw for the Club for Growth PAC, which has now endorsed Lugar’s conservative challenger, Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Lugar’s vote against a permanent ban on earmarks will hopefully be the capstone on a decidedly big-government, anti-economic-growth voting record. Lugar is a good man, and in some ways he has served Indiana and our country well, but his 35-year career in Washington proves that he is no fiscal conservative. What our country needs, now more than ever, is genuine fiscal restraint and economic growth. Lugar has time and again voted to expand the size of government, raise taxes, and increase government regulation. Examples abound through the decades.
In 1978, Lugar voted to bail out New York City. In 1979, Lugar voted to bail out Chrysler with $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees. In 1982, he voted to increase the gasoline tax. In 1983, he voted to increase Social Security taxes. In 1984, he voted against a 10 percent cut in the federal budget. In 1995, he voted against a work requirement for welfare recipients. In 1998, he voted against a $195.5 billion income-tax cut.
Lugar has voted to keep the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” earmark for Alaska and for a Democratic cap-and-trade scheme; he even voted against endorsing the view that Congress has a “moral obligation” to reduce deficit spending.
Senator Lugar has voted for endless bailouts, including the Wall Street bailout, the auto bailout, and the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In 2010, he voted against Senate Republicans’ plans to temporarily stop requesting earmarks. The loud message sent by the 2010 elections did not change Lugar’s voting behavior. Last year, he voted to give President Obama the power to raise our national debt even higher.
Finally, earlier this month, Lugar voted against a permanent ban on earmarks, despite universal contempt for the practice and the fact that a ban is supported by most Republicans and most Americans.
Mourdock isn’t the only fiscal conservative running in a primary races that is getting support from grassroots organizations. Michelle Malkin notes that there are others running, such as Dan Liljenquist in Utah and Ted Cruz in Texas, that could help steer the GOP to a more fiscally conservative path:
Utah was Ground Zero for the movement’s first major electoral upset. In April 2009, this column first reported on a Salt Lake City tea party protest of 2,000 Utahans who repeatedly booed GOP Sens. Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch for supporting the $700 billion TARP bank bailout. In May 2010, the three-term, 76-year-old Bennett got the boot at the GOP state convention. Young conservative lawyer Mike Lee, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, went on to win the seat.
Now, young conservative entrepreneur and renowned state pension reformer Dan Liljenquist is taking on Utah’s other big government Republican barnacle, 77-year-old Hatch. Liljenquist excelled in the private sector as a global management consultant and business strategist; he also helmed a privately owned call center company that grew from two to 1,500 employees since its 1995 founding. Liljenquist was elected to the Utah Senate in 2008, where he spearheaded state pension and Medicaid reforms that earned him the non-partisan Governing magazine’s 2011 “Public Official of the Year” award.
The 36-year, six-term Hatch was first elected in 1976 on an anti-entrenched incumbent platform. Hatch’s campaign line then against his opponent Frank Moss: “What do you call a Senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.” Now, Hatch is clinging to power after almost four decades in government — and vainly attempting to claim the tea party mantle to stave off Liljenquist’s David vs. Goliath primary challenge.
Hatch co-sponsored the $6 billion national service boondoggle and dedicated it to his good friend Teddy Kennedy, with whom he also joined hands to create the ever-expanding SCHIP health care entitlement. He slobbered over corruptocrat Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, supported tax cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner from Day One, lavished praise on Joe Biden’s manhood, and embraced and defended Attorney General Eric Holder’s nomination because, he said, “I like Barack Obama, and I want to help him if I can.”
In Texas, young attorney Ted Cruz is making waves in the GOP race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. The former Texas solicitor general is a 10th Amendment scholar who doesn’t just speak the tea party’s language. Cruz has put constitutional conservatism into action, winning many of the 40 cases he has argued in front of the Supreme Court. Cruz isn’t afraid to challenge the GOP establishment. In 2008, he successfully battled the Bush administration and meddling globalists all the way to the high court to prevent international law from superseding American sovereignty.
The GOP needs just four seats to take control of the Senate. With inspired and inspiring free-market candidates like Dan Liljenquist, Richard Mourdock and Ted Cruz, 2012 bodes well for the tea party footprint on Capitol Hill. Remember: Entrenched incumbency is the disease. Fresh blood is the cure.
All three of these candidates face a long road in their quests to knock off the establishment, but the races should prove interesting and they shouldn’t be underestimated, no matter how entrenched the incumbents believe they are.