Thursday, January 06, 2011

Conservative icon critical of GOP freshmen, including N.C.'s Ellmers

Richard Viguerie, who often sets the standard for conservative thought in the United States, is critical of a group of freshmen Republican lawmakers, including North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers, for getting off on the wrong foot at the start of the new congressional session. Viguerie pioneered in direct mail fund-raising and campaigning and founded Conservative Digest in 1976. .

Writing on his Web site, Viguerie said Ellmers and 10 other GOP first-termers "may be prone to old thinking" by concentrating on fundraising instead of doing the business voters sent them to Washington to handle. Fundraising is a necessary part of politics, but providing leadership is even more important, he said.

Ellmers, who campaigned against the kinds of logrolling in Washington that involve fund-raising from special interests, attended a $2,500 per head reception for her and her colleagues Tuesday night, and later told a reporter she didn't like having to raise money, but that's part of staying in politics. She's right, but after campaigning against the practice (she accused Etheridge of receiving $500,000 in special interest PAC money), she was quick to engage in it herself. She'll have a hard time living that down.. 

Here's part of what Viguerie said:

Some Freshmen GOP Off on the Wrong Foot
By Richard A. Viguerie

Conservatives and Tea Partiers are looking forward to the accomplishments of the new Republican House, but some new members just seem to be looking forward to campaign cash.

One of incoming freshman Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-Calif.) first moves upon arriving in Washington in these austere times was to throw a rather lavish fundraising party—before even casting his first vote as a congressman.

We conservatives gave the Democrats a “shellacking” and elected new Republicans to change the culture in Washington, but the timing of this fundraising party shows that some of the young blood in Congress may already be prone to old thinking.

The new Republican Congress’s primary focus should be the business of restoring constitutionally limited small government, reducing the national debt and getting the government off our backs, but instead Denham and some other freshmen Republicans seem more concerned about holding onto their seats of power.

While Speaker Boehner wisely declined to attend this gathering, about a dozen incoming Republicans, some of whom had Tea Party support during their campaign, committed to attending—including Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Jeff Landry (R-La.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), David Rivera (R-Fla.), Jon Runyan (R-N.J.), Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.).

Fundraising is a necessary part of politics, but providing leadership is even more important.

Republicans who received the support of grassroots conservatives and Tea Party groups did so because of their promises to take action on behalf of the people and address our concerns. We need to know that these politicians are serious about those promises, and not just looking to win elections.


Anonymous said...

Why should anyone be surprised that these new Republican reps would do anything different that the rest do? It is all about money to get re-elected even before they are sworn in to their first term. Advocating against one thing and turning around and doing it is a sign of hypocrisy but that doesn't bother these hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

You are such a hypocrite Jack.

Anonymous said...

So where is the criticism by "liberal icons" of Obama for:

1. Not ending the Iraq war
2. Expanding the Afghan war
3. Extending the PATRIOT Act
4. Extending and expanding most Bush-era privacy abuses
5. Seeking additional privacy abuses
6. Keeping Guantanamo Bay open

Anonymous said...

As a fellow moderately conservative Democrat from the Old School, I have one thing to say. Well said Harlan, well said.