DEFAZIO: Why Local Politics Matter
Guest Post by Anthony DeFazio | @anthonyjdefazio on Twitter
Between the Iran Deal, Hillary’s email server, and the omnipresence of The Donald, the realm of politics can sometimes appear to consist of only a few hot button issues. While the aforementioned topics are undoubtedly valid, politics on the local level often gets lost in the proverbial shuffle.
This isn’t a good thing.
I’m a seventeen-year-old homeschool student who is interning for a local political campaign in Virginia. After a couple weeks on the job, I’m continually amazed at how little attention people devote to local government. Many have adopted a mindset that local politics is boring–and that only national issues truly matter. I beg to differ. Local politics matter, and undeniably affects you. The schools our children attend, the roads we drive on, and even the water we drink is all within the sphere of influence of local governments. But sadly, the average person probably doesn’t even know the names of their local elected officials.
Local politics present a unique opportunity for everyday people to take part in the grand American tradition of self-government. To paraphrase F.A. Hayek, I’d argue that local government is the ultimate school of political training for the public. The experience and knowledge that you can gain is immeasurable. And the best part is that the cost of tuition at this “school” is completely free. All that is asked is that people donate their time. Case in point: All of the volunteers and interns I work with have one simple thing in common.
Guest post by Zachary Zupan
Today there are many who cry peace, peace, when there is no peace. Our debt rises above us; our culture crumbles beneath us; we are buffeted continually by the mandates of the far left, the architects of which make no apology for their beliefs. We are the ones told to moderate, or demanded to defend, our stances on the most basic institutions of our country since its’ founding: freedom of religion, free enterprise, marriage—life itself. We are being pushed off the edge of a cliff and our assailants are telling us to concede ground.
If you think this is a stubborn and dogmatic assessment, recall that it was no less prominent a Founder than John Adams who said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
We who stand on the right are accused by our fellow partisans of alienating voters by our stance on principle, but it is our accusers who are guilty of the very same! The Evangelical Christians; the Reagan Democrats; the voters who are desperate for an ounce of sincerity and conviction in a candidate, and saw that, if nothing else, in our White House’s present occupant: they are being alienated by an indifferent, disingenuous, blithely placating establishment. They are being ignored. They are being marginalized.
When our leadership has failed us and lost our trust, it should hardly be considered a blot on a man’s character when he cannot or will not interact peaceably with that same cabal. Do you consider the inhabitants of Washington your friends? If not, why would you want to send someone else to befriend them, or elevate someone who has already done so?
In 2014, Republicans faced a relatively "friendly" Senate map: most of the competitive races were seats held by Democrats in states that are considered Republican or swing states. That allowed us to flip 8 seats from Democrat to Republican, while holding all the Republican seats. The end result is a 53-47 GOP majority in the United States Senate for the next two years.
Enter the 2016 map. Here, the map is more or less flipped. While there are two Democrat-held seats that are expected to be competitive (Nevada and Colorado), the majority of races that are expected to be very competitive will be for Republican-held seats -- Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, and a handful of others . As it currently stands, the GOP can only lose two of these races in 2016 -- if it loses three or more, Republicans will lose their Senate majority.
The first race in the 2016 cycle? Louisiana's Senate run-off election on December 6, 2014.
Yes, I know. 2014 and 2016 are two years apart. But here's the key: if Republicans win the Louisiana race, our incoming majority will be stronger -- a 54-46 seat majority. That means we have a bigger cushion in case 2016 shapes up to be a tough year for the GOP.
Don't get me wrong. I am not giving up on holding (and even expanding!) our Senate majority in 2016. We have some very exciting opportunities, such as defeating Harry Reid in Nevada. However, it's better to be safe than sorry, and whether we win or lose the Louisiana Senate race this year could literally decide whether we hold or lose our Senate majority in 2016.
Defeat Mary Landrieu
Mary Landrieu, Louisiana's Democrat Senator up for re-election this year, faces a tough battle. After a well-fought Republican primary, Republicans have united behind Dr. Bill Cassidy, who represents Louisiana's 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The latest poll for the race shows Cassidy up by 11% -- but in a December run-off, with Election Day on a Saturday, nothing can be taken for granted.
Landrieu votes with President Obama over 95% of the time. She scores a dismal 3% on the Heritage Action scorecard. And even when she tried to rally Senate Democrats to vote in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline, she fell just short of the 60 votes needed. Even with all 45 Republican Senators voting for the bill, Landrieu failed to persuade even just 15 Democratic Senators who would be willing to work together and pass the bill.
It's time to send Mary Landrieu home.
Learn how you can get involved to #DefeatLandrieu by visiting LAGOP.com!
What's the end goal?
"I'm seriously considering voting for [insert name of Democratic candidate here] because we need to teach [insert name of Republican candidate here] a lesson."
If you're not voting for a Republican because they don't line up with your values, how can you justify voting for a Democrat, who will be more liberal than the Republican 99% of the time? Even if you do find a Democratic candidate who happens to be slightly less liberal then the Republican in the race, voting for the Democrat is supporting the Democratic platform, which is simply unacceptable.
The statement at in the opening of this post is one I've heard echoed many times among the conservative grassroots. I understand their frustration. However, this mindset assumes the end goal is a better Republican party. They seek to "teach the GOP a lesson" by voting Democrat. However, a conservative GOP will not fix our problems. The Republican party cannot save our nation. A principled, conservative Republican Party is simply a means to the end, a tool. The end goal is returning our nation to our founding principles and faith in God, which is the only way America can truly be restored. If voting for the lesser of two evils is unacceptable, certainly voting for the worse of two evils must be far more unacceptable.
Am I saying that we need to abandon the effort of building a conservative Republican party? No! I've actively engaged in this fight and will continue to do so. However, electing Democrats is not the way to save America. To once again become "one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all", we must turn to Jesus Christ, the only One who can can truly restore America.
Stay focused, remember the end goal, and pray for our nation.
Note: I put principle before party. Sometime, somewhere, I suppose it's possible that I may end up in a position where I have a choice between a stellar conservative candidate who is a Democrat, while the Republican candidate is liberal through and through. In that case, I would probably vote for the conservative who happens to be a Democrat. However, such cases are extremely rare.
This post was written by Peter B, and is also posted on his blog at www.peterformichigan.com/2014/08/30/end-goal.
My first Republican county convention experience, summed up in one word: eye-opening. And yes, I know it’s two words joined with a hyphen, but that does count. I wasn’t a delegate (that will have to wait until I turn 18), but went along to watch and learn about the process. And boy did I get a first-hand lesson in good-ol-boy GOP politics.
I’ve known for a while now that the Republican Establishment will do anything to get their way. But at the convention, I saw it first-hand for the first time.
If the county GOP leadership wanted to pass a motion that sparked any kind of controversy, who needs discussion? It’s must easier, I suppose, to just ignore the man right in front of you requesting to speak (never mind you just let the lady directly next to him speak), take the vote, and then say you didn’t see him requesting to speak after it’s all done and over with and your motion has passed. Oh, and it goes without saying, as soon as you figure out which side the conservatives and tea party Republicans are sitting on, you make sure never to look in the at direction during any time for discussion for the rest of the night. And if all else fails, just yell into the microphone that you’re going ahead and voting on the silly motion. Robert’s Rules were never actually meant to be followed, were they?
I’ve heard about these things before, but seeing them happen in front of my own eyes, with people I know and am acquainted with — people who been enthusiastically welcoming me just minutes earlier — silencing and ignoring conservatives, was rather shocking.
This is exactly the reason Freedom's Defenders is starting Principled.GOP — to give conservatives the knowledge, connections, and resources we need to fight back.
Yesterday’s experience was eye-opening and a stark reminder that there’s a lot of groundwork that needs to be laid to ensure that the Republican party is a conservative party. Please join the cause — click here to learn more about how you can help build a principled, conservative Republican Party.
Original post at www.peterformichigan.com/2014/08/15/lessons-from-a-gop-county-convention. Used with permission.
Tom McMillin For Congress
In just over two weeks, Michigan Republicans will head to the polls to pick their candidates for the November general election.
State Representative Tom McMillin is a conservative Republican running to replace retiring Congressman Mike Rogers in Michigan's Eighth District. He'll face former State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop on August 5th. Both are running on their conservative credentials, but Tom McMillin has a clear record of standing up for Michigan taxpayers that Mike Bishop can't quite match.
McMillin is strong constitutional conservative, a champion of religious freedom, and a strong defender of the right to life and traditional marriage. He has been the leader of the fight against Common Core in Michigan's state legislature and strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Learn more about how Tom McMillin is Standing Up.
We encourage Republican voters in the Eighth District to vote for Tom McMillin on August 5th.
Watching the Mississippi U.S. Senate race unfold over the past few months, it has become very clear who our friends are and who our enemies are.
It's also become painfully clear that more and more often, our enemies are within our own party.
Thad Cochran's campaign and supporters spent millions demonizing conservative Chris McDaniel, a fellow Republican. His allies spent tens of thousands of dollars calling Chris McDaniel racist and turning out Democratic voters to steal the Republican primary from McDaniel, who won the clear majority of Republican votes. They are willing to sacrifice principle for power, conviction for compromise. They are willing to ignore the voice of Mississippi's Republican voters by recruiting ten of thousands of Democratic voters to cross over and vote for Thad Cochran, who campaigned on a platform of big government spending and food stamps. We will not forget how they sought to crush our voice.
Conservatives are not the ones being divisive. We are not the ones alienating the base of the Republican party. The liberal Republican establishment is. We want to fight together for one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. They want power. And we will remember how they betrayed us to stay in power.
Conservative Republicans must stand together. We must stand on principle. We must stand with courage and conviction.
Remember Mississippi. And don't stop fighting.
- Peter B.
"I want to be very, very clear: there is nothing dangerous or extreme about wanting to balance a budget! There is nothing dangerous or extreme about defending the Constitution and the civil liberties therein. And there is nothing strange at all about standing, as people of faith, for a country that we built, that we believe in."
Mississippi is the one of the most conservative states in the nation. So why are they stuck with one of the most liberal Republican U.S. Senators?
The good news is, it doesn't look like that will be the case much longer. Recent polls show conservative Chris McDaniel, who is challenging Cochran in the Republican Senate primary, with a lead in the race -- and the momentum is all on his side. A poll conducted by shows McDaniel leading by 4%, and a second poll now has him leading 43%-36%.
Thad Cochran has the lowest Obama-era ratings of any Republican Senator, according to the American Conservative Union, and as McDaniel points out, has not led a single fight against the Obama administration.
It's time for a real conservative Senator from Mississippi -- vote Chris McDaniel on June 3rd!
Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate
Ben Sasse is a fifth-generation Nebraskan, a constitutional conservative, a homeschool dad, and an outspoken opponent of Obamacare. He's running for Nebraska's open United States Senate seat, and has the support of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Sarah Palin, the Family Research Council Action PAC, and many more.
We are proud to support Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate. As President of Midland University in Nebraska, Sasse was one of the youngest university presidents in the history of American higher education and turned around a university on the verge of closing down. Because of his leadership, for the past four years Midland University has been the fastest-growing school in the state.
Ben Sasse recognizes that it is not enough to stop bad ideas -- we must put forward free-market solutions and conservatives must shape the Republican party into the party of ideas. His leadership, conservative values, and real-world experience are much-needed in Washington.
Learn more about Ben Sasse:
We are proud to endorse JD Miniear for Congress in Indiana's Seventh Congressional District. JD is a strong conservative who will fight for religious liberty and against Obamacare, advocate for a Balanced Budget Amendment, work to stop Common Core, and bring common-sense Indiana leadership to Washington, DC. After the primary, Miniear will go on to face incumbent Democratic Congressman Andre Carson in the general election.
Here are two easy ways you can help JD Miniear: