Just a few weeks ago, it looked like Mark Sanford was headed to defeat in South Carolina’s First Congressional District. He had made a notable misstep, which caused the National Republican Campaign Committee to pull resources from the race. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and FreedomWorks, a grassroots-driven organization, stepped into fill the void, with the former providing vocal support and the latter activists to educate voters in the district.
Sanford wound up defeating his Democratic opponent by a healthy margin, providing Paul, who is thought to be candidate for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2016, and FreedomWorks with notch on their belt against the Republican political establishment.
Fresh off this victory, FreedomWorks has now set its sights on another South Carolina race that could shake-up the Republican Party.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has long been a thorn in the side of fiscal conservatives. He was once thought to be untouchable, but recent polls have showed his numbers falling among Republicans.
Mark Sanford will defeat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the special election for South Carolina’s First Congressional District. Votes are still being counted, but with nearly 75% of precincts reporting, Sanford leads by a 9-point margin, and not enough votes are left for Colbert Busch to win.
Democrats poured money into the district in the hopes that Colbert Busch, perhaps better known as comedian Stephen Colbert’s sister, would win the seat against a candidate whose personal trials are well-known. She was ahead in the polls a week ago, but Sanford managed to close the gap.
They were able to tie Colbert Busch to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) national Democrats, and labor unions. The fact that she gave a vague answer as to whether or not she would vote to repeal ObamaCare, an important issue in a strong Republican district, didn’t help her with voters.
A little more than a week ago, many reporters seemed more than ready to write Mark Sanford’s political obituary. Public Policy Polling had him down by 9 points to Elizabeth Colbert Busch, perhaps properly known as “Stephen Colbert’s sister,” and the spin of a Democratic Party win in South Carolina’s First Congressional District, which strongly leans Republican, was already beginning.
But there has been a notable shift in the race over the last few days. Sanford’s campaign has nationalized their message, making the race about former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the Democratic Party, and big labor. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and grassroots groups like FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express have also went to bat for Sanford when the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) wouldn’t.
With less than a week to go until voters in South Carolina’s First Congressional District head to the polls, Mark Sanford is getting some much needed last-minute help. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has gained notoriety and popularity among Republicans, and FreedomWorks PAC, a grassroots organization known for backing fiscally conservative candidates in primary races, both endorsed Sanford on Tuesday.
“More than anything, Washington needs strong and consistent voices for fiscal responsibility and liberty,” said Paul in the press release sent out by Sanford’s campaign. “Mark has proven during his time in office that watching out for taxpayers and holding the line on spending are his top priorities.
“What we absolutely cannot afford is someone like his opponent, who will be yet another vote for a return to the Pelosi speakership, for disastrous programs like Obamacare, and for more spending and debt,” he added. “I am pleased to endorse Mark and stand with him in this race.”
Paul is following in the footsteps of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who endorsed Sanford on Thursday.
FreedomWorks PAC noted only endorsed Sanford, but is also planning a voter outreach effort in the district this weekend.
The media still seems shocked that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was elected last year with substantial Tea Party and grassroots support, is taking on the political establishment, even if it includes members of his own party.
Back in February, Cruz defended his style after many Senate Democrats criticized him. “I have to admit I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do,” Cruz told Reuters during a visit to a Texas-based gun manufacturer. He also gained some coverage over his questioning of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who was pushing the Assault Weapons Ban. And though he did cross a line during the confirmation hearing of then-Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, Cruz has been generally spot thus far.
But Cruz has raised eyebrows once again. During a surprise talk last week at the FreedomWorks summit in Texas, the freshman Senator explained that the grassroots activists are winning and criticzed “squishes” inside the Republican Party, pointing to the gun control issue as an example.
The Senate moved closer to passing the Internet sales tax on Thursday. The chamber had already started debate on the measure, dubbed the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” but the vote last week bypassed any hope of a filibuster. Some conservative groups are increasing their efforts in opposition to the tax.
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), headed by Grover Norquist, presented the constitutional case against the Internet sales tax. The case is in response to recent comments by David French, a lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, who said, “The industry is evolving very rapidly, and the law today is a 20th-century interpretation of an 18th-century document that is holding back the entire retail industry as it adapts to 21st-century consumer preferences and demand.”
“The Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution affirms that states cannot tax across their borders. Physical presence within a state’s boundaries is required for a state to be able to tax a business, a consumer, or a sale,” John Kartch wrote at ATR’s blog in response to French. “The Constitution is clear: a person or business must be physically present within a state’s borders in order to be taxed. By suggesting the Constitution is outdated, Internet tax pushers align themselves with the rhetoric of far-left judicial activists.”
On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation backed by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) that would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require that law enforcement obtain a warrant before it can search Americans’ e-mails and other online file:
A Senate committee today backed sweeping privacy protections requiring the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain e-mail and other content stored in the cloud.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the package on a voice vote after about 30 minutes of debate, and sent the measure to the Senate floor, where it faces an uncertain future.
The legislation, (.pdf) sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the committee’s chair, and Michael S. Lee (R-Utah) nullifies a provision of federal law allowing the authorities to acquire a suspect’s e-mail or other stored content from an internet service provider without showing probable cause that a crime was committed if the content is 180 days or older.
Under the current law, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government can obtain e-mail without a warrant as long as the data has been stored on a third-party server — the cloud — for 180 days or more. The government only needs to show, often via an administrative subpoena, that it has “reasonable grounds to believe” the information would be useful to an investigation.
“I think these big defined benefit programs from the New Deal, the Great Society are really showing their age. They don’t give you a good deal, they’re poorly designed. Market forces work so much better, and, you know, this America, why shouldn’t people be free?” — Dean Clancy
Today at noon, FreedomWorks will host grassroots activists at the New Fair Deal Action Day in the Upper Senate Park at the United States Capitol. The day is dedicated to the ideals that are being rolled out as part of the “New Fair Deal” plan, which is based on four basic principles — end corporate welfare, tax fairly, stop overspending, and empowering individuals. The New Fair Deal Action Day will include a number of speakers, including Reps. Justin Amash, Mick Mulvaney, Tom Price, Sen. Mike Lee, Rev. C.L. Bryant, and Julie Borowski.
On Friday, I sat down with Dean Clancy, Vice President for Public Policy at FreedomWorks, to discuss the four pillars of the New Fair Deal and the legislation that will be introduced by the team of House members who are working together to try to get the dozen bills that will be introduced to the floor for a vote.
“The New Fair Deal is a suite of legislation to try to reform and improve our country,” Clancy told United Liberty. “This is not just a ‘Tax Day’ protest — this is a positive reform agenda rally. And we do have folks getting on buses from all over the country and coming to it.”
FreedomWorks, one of the right’s foremost grassroots organizations, has unveiled a new legislative action plan — dubbed the “New Fair Deal” — that seeks to return power back to the American people.
Working with a team of fiscally conservative House members, FreedomWorks is pushing to restore free market principles and individual freedom through the New Fair Deal, a plan that has four facets:
- No Corporate Handouts
- A Fair Tax Code
- Stop Overspending
- Empower Individuals
In the video below, Whitney Neal and Dean Clancy explain the points of the plan and invite activists to come to the New Fair Deal Action Day, which will be held on April 15th at the Senate Upper Park in Washington, DC.
Who said the left and right can’t come together on an issue? FreedomWorks and former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), perhaps one of the most leftist members of Congress in recent memory, certainly have over the issue of drones.
Kucinich and Malou Innocent, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute, joined Jackie Bodnar and Reid Smith of FreedomWorks to discuss Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster earlier this month, the foreign use of drones, and the constitutional ramifications of drones inside the United States.
Check out the full conversation below: