activists

House Republicans need a conservative leader, not another milquetoast squish like Kevin McCarthy

Raul Labrador

It appears that the House Republican Conference has learned nothing from Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) stunning defeat on Tuesday. Roll Call reports today that Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may have enough support to replace Cantor, who will step down on July 31.

McCarthy isn’t an improvement over Cantor. If a majority of the House Republican Conference pick him, it will be an endorsement of the status quo — unprincipled, milquetoast leadership that, more often than not, ignores the grassroots.

Sure, Republicans talk a good game on the campaign trail. They say they believe in limited government and freedom on the stump. But when they get back to Washington, they kowtow to K Street. Suddenly, as Stephen Slivinski once said, they no longer look at the nation’s capital as a cesspool, but treat it like a jacuzzi.

There is, however, an alternative to McCarthy, who, as explained yesterday, has a terrible record on fiscal and constitutional issues.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a liberty-minded Republican, announced just moments ago that he will challenge McCarthy for the top leadership post when the House Republican Conference holds its leadership election Thursday, June 19. Which, by the way, will be conducted by secret ballot.

“I was stunned when Eric Cantor lost his primary election earlier this week. Eric is a good friend and I have tremendous respect for him,” Labrador said in a press release. “But the message from Tuesday is clear – Americans are looking for a change in the status quo.”

Grassroots Activists Turned Away at the RNC

Grassroots activists walk to the RNC

Just days after the Republican National Committee (RNC) rejected most proposed rules changes that would undo the power grab from last year’s convention, a number of grassroots activists stopped by to express their disappointment with party leaders and let them know that they would not give up the fight.

Shortly after 10am, around 50 activists (pictured above) showed up at RNC headquarters in Washington, DC to present a representative from the party with a open letter to Chairman Reince Priebus that hit at the heart of grassroots’ frustration with the party.

“As grassroots fiscally conservative activists from states across the country, we are stopping by the RNC Headquarters in Washington today to express our disappointment in the Party’s continuing marginalization of the individuals who are driving the only credible ground game to combat the progressive liberal political machine,” read the activist-signed letter to Priebus. “After reading the 100-page Growth and Opportunity Project, we had a glimmer of hope that the Republican Party was going to make a sincere effort to make the Party process more bottom-up and transparent in structure.”

“The opportunity to repeal the ‘Tampa Power Grab’ last week was your first big shot at beginning to mend the relationship between the Party and the principled, small-government grassroots activists that you’ve disenfranchised,” the letter continued. “And you blew it.”

FreedomWorks hosts grassroots activists for 2012 election debrief

Matt Kibbe praises activistsWith the dust finally clearing from the 2012 election, FreedomWorks, an organization that organizes and trains the grassroots, hosted over 100 activists from 19 states for a debrief on this year’s campaigns — finding out what tactics and strategies did and didn’t work.

This weekend also provided these Freedom Movement activists, all of which were flown into Washington, DC for the meeting at FreedomWorks’ headquarters, an opportunity to plan for 2014, as well as to receive some training in new techniques to help get their message out to new voters and to get an idea of what is going on in the negotiations over the so-called “fiscal cliff” and the status of ObamaCare’s state healthcare exchanges.

This morning, FreedomWorks hosted a press conference that give activists an opportunity to be heard by the media. Before turning over the press conference to activists, Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks, explained that “[t]here’s more energy in this movement today than there was on November 6th,” adding that the the activists that showed up this weekend are focused on 2014 and ideas.

Kibbe also noted that the debate and negotiations on the “fiscal cliff” were somewhat peculiar. “I don’t know about you, but I feel like we went over the fiscal cliff a long time ago,” explained Kibbe.

Thoughts on the Republican National Convention

RNC

Last week, I went to Tampa for the Republican National Convention in Tampa. This was sort of an odd experience for me, being a libertarian and all. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve been to conventions and conferences before. The oddest experience was BlogCon in Denver last November, when the local Occupiers showed up to protest us. But the RNC was a much, much larger scale event.

Tropical Storm Isaac: While I understand why Republicans saw fit to scale back events for Monday, the storm really didn’t do much to the Tampa area. It rained some, but it wasn’t near what everyone was expecting. Truth is Republicans could have gotten away with more than gaveling the convention to order. By the time the storm actually hit, everyone was more concerned with what could happen to New Orleans and the rest of Gulf Coast than Tampa.

Grassroots v. the Establishment: Over at FreedomWorks, Dean Clancy has put together a great synopsis of the fight over the new rules implemented, which won’t start until the 2016 process. We went over some of this earlier last week, but at this point many grassroots activists are disenfranchised. Many Ron Paul supporters who attended the RNC as delegates may now be looking for an alternative come November because of the rules changes.

Rule 12 would allow the Republican National Committee to change the rules if 3/4 approve. As Clancy explains, “The new Rule 16 requires that a delegate who attempts to violate his binding pledge to a candidate under state law or state party rules shall be deemed to have resigned and the Secretary of the Convention must record the improper vote as it should have been cast based on state law or party rule.”

The RNC is actually trying to shame you into giving them money, proving yet again that it’s a worthless organization

The Republican National Committee sent out an email blast this morning, a screenshot of which can be found at the end of this post, in which they basically tried to shame supporters into giving them more money.

Yeah, this is an election year and both parties — and, yes, we subscribe to emails from Republicans and Democrats — are doing just about everything they can to squeeze out every penny out of donors, both large and small.

“Did you abandon the Republican Party?” writes RNC Treasurer Tony Parker. “Chairman Priebus has written to you already this year asking you to contribute to the RNC and renew your membership. But we haven’t received your financial support yet this year.” (Emphasis in the original.)

“Right now you are handing the advantage over to Democrats. That’s exactly what President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want you to do. With committed Republicans like you sitting out in 2014, the Democrats are able to continue their liberal rampage on conservative principles,” Parker added.

UNSUBSCRIBE.

Seriously, that email is the worst. The RNC demeaned its hard-working volunteers, basically telling them that what they’re doing isn’t enough. Well done, guys. Well done.

But, to answer the question in the subject line of the email, I don’t give money to the RNC for a number of reasons. Here are some of them:

Missing in action: Bush-era antiwar activists have rubber stamped Obama’s foreign interventionism

In 2002, Barack Obama, then an unknown Illinois state senator, gave an impassioned speech at the Federal Plaza in Chicago in which he blasted the Bush administration’s plans for war in Iraq.

“I don’t oppose all wars,” he declared. “What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.” He blistered Bush administration officials, calling the looming war in Iraq one “based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.”

Obama’s speech was just one small part of the wave of antiwar activism that swept the country over the next several years. Protesters demanded an end to the war, often accusing President George W. Bush and members of his administration of war crimes and comparing them to Nazis.

By 2005, as American causalities began to mount, public opinion began to shift against the war in Iraq. The souring mood is largely the reason Republicans lost the 2006 mid-term election, handing control of Congress to Democrats and setting the stage for the rise of antiwar presidential candidate.

Obama, who by this time was a U.S. senator, had continued to speak out against the war in Iraq and used his opposition to his advantage. Most of his primary opponents — including Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, and John Edwards  — voted for the 2003 authorization for the use of military force against Saddam Hussein’s regime.

FreedomWorks pledges to fight proposed IRS guidelines

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is trying to push through guidelines that would ostensibly institutionalize and legitimize the agency’s targeting of conservative and Tea Party organizations.

In November, the IRS announced proposed guidance that defines “candidate-related political activity” and “would amend current regulations by indicating that the promotion of social welfare does not include this type of activity.” The powerful tax agency will require groups engaging in candidate-related activity to disclose contributions.

FreedomWorks, a grassroots service center to some 6 million activists, is pledging to fight the proposed guidelines.

“While you were all celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Obama Administration was quietly releasing a new set of draconian IRS regulations that would make it virtually impossible for tea parties that want to participate in the political process to do their business,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, in a video message to the organization’s membership.

Senate Conservatives Fund slams GOP leaders for “war on conservatives”

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell

Conservative groups criticized by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) last week aren’t backing down from their opposition to the budget deal. One of the groups has fired back at Republican congressional leaders for what it calls a “war on conservatives.”

The Senate Conservatives Fund sent out a fundraising email blast to supporters on Monday blasting Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for comments the two have made that are hostile to conservative activists.

“House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) last week in declaring war on conservatives,” said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a PAC founded in 2008 by then-Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).

“John Boehner called conservatives ‘ridiculous’ for opposing the budget agreement that increases spending, raises taxes, and funds Obamacare while Mitch McConnell previously called us stupid ‘traitors’ who should be locked in a bar and ‘punched in the nose,’” he said, adding that Republican leaders don’t want to be held accountable for their actions.

AL-01: Misguided activists plan to “boycott” Republican nominee

Bradley Byrne

Call it sour grapes after their candidate lost. Call it dissatisfaction with the Republican establishment. But a group of Tea Party activists are openly boycotting Bradley Byrne, the Republican nominee in Alabama’s First Congressional District, which Democrats think could tilt the race in their favor.

Byrne defeated Dean Young in a special runoff election on November 5, the results of which were much closer than expected. Tea Party activists were drawn to Young, despite his proclivity for making inflammatory statements.

Just after the results came in, Young declared that he wouldn’t back Byrne in the general runoff election against the Democratic nominee, Burton LeFlore, on December 17. Shortly after the runoff, “Boycott Byrne” signs featuring the Gadsden flag began appearing around AL-01, according to Yellowhammer News, an Alabama-based blog.

It was initially suspected that LeFlore was responsible for the signed, but one of Young supporters has since claimed responsibility. Some Alabama-based Republicans understand the Tea Party activists’ frustration with Byrne.

Conservative group criticizes two vulnerable Democrats on Obamacare in $2 million ad buy

 AFP Ad

Americans for Prosperity, one of the most prominent grassroots conservative groups, has launched a $2 million cable TV, radio, and web ad buy in Louisiana and North Carolina, targeting two potentially vulnerable Democrats, Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) over their support of Obamacare and the fix for members of Congress and their staffers.

The ad running in Louisiana accuses Landrieu of siding with President Barack Obama over her constituents, majority of whom oppose Obamacare, and focuses on her comments about voting for the law again, if she had to. It also highlights the stories of higher health insurance premiums that are becoming more and more prevalent:


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