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Club for Growth Blog

Topic: Elections

Club for Growth PAC Endorses Jeff Flake for Senate

Posted on Feb. 14, 11 | 10:24 AM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Elections
WASHINGTON – Club for Growth PAC today endorsed U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake in the 2012 U.S. Senate election in Arizona.  Flake launched his candidacy today, in the wake of Sen. Jon Kyl’s decision to retire from the Senate after this term.

“Jeff Flake is a proven, tireless champion for economic freedom, and Club for Growth PAC will do everything it can in the Republican primary and the general election to help him win this race,” said Club President Chris Chocola.

“Jon Kyl has been a strong, clear-eyed leader on pro-growth economic principles his entire career, and both Arizona and the country have benefited from his years of service,” Chocola said.  “Jeff Flake will make a perfect successor to Kyl in the seat.”

“It is of course commendable that Jeff Flake strongly opposed the worst policies of the Obama Administration, like the failed stimulus and the health care takeover," Chocola added.  "But what’s really impressive about Jeff is that he had the guts to strongly oppose the worst policies of the Bush Administration and of the previous Republican Congress, like earmarks, bailouts, and the prescription drug entitlement.  That’s the kind of courage in the fight for freedom and limited government we need in the U.S. Senate.”

During the 2008 election cycle, Club for Growth PAC was instrumental in electing the most pro-growth, limited government conservative class in recent congressional history.  Club members supported Senate candidates like Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson,  Rand Paul to the tune of $8.4 million.

Flake is the first candidate Club for Growth PAC has endorsed in the 2012 election cycle. 



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Club for Growth PAC Urges Jeff Flake to Run for Senate

Posted on Feb. 10, 11 | 12:07 PM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Elections
WASHINGTON – Club for Growth PAC today encouraged U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake to run for the United States Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, who today announced his intention to retire at the end of this term.

“Run, Jeff, run!” said Club President Chris Chocola. 

“Jon Kyl has been one of the strongest pro-growth leaders in the Senate for more than a decade, and on behalf of all Club members, I thank him for his vision and leadership,” Chocola added.  “Jeff Flake has a 100 percent lifetime score on the Club for Growth’s Congressional Score Card, and is one of America’s most vocal champions for limited government and economic liberty.  He is the perfect successor to Jon Kyl in the Senate, and Club for Growth PAC strongly encourages him to run for the seat.”



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Club for Growth PAC Takes Issue with Tea Party Express’s Comments Regarding Sen. Orrin Hatch

Posted on Jan. 28, 11 | 10:31 AM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Elections
WASHINGTON – Club for Growth PAC today responded to comments made by Sal Russo, “chief strategist” of Tea Party Express, who yesterday announced the group would not oppose six-term Republican incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch in 2012. Russo explained his decision based on his 35-year relationship with Hatch, and Hatch’s support for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1976, noting that in Russo’s opinion that makes Hatch “as good as it gets.”

“While Senator Hatch’s activity in the 1976 presidential campaign is commendable, a lot can change in 35 years,” said Club President Chris Chocola.  “Senator Hatch has a lower lifetime average on the Club for Growth’s Congressional Scorecard than his former colleague Bob Bennett for a reason.  Orrin Hatch has done some good things over the decades, but six term incumbents who vote for TARP, the Bridge to Nowhere, the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout, SCHIP, and higher taxes are quite clearly not ‘as good as it gets, ‘” Chocola said. 

The Club for Growth PAC played an instrumental role in the defeat of former Senator Bob Bennett at the 2010 Utah GOP convention, and was pleased to support now-Senator Mike Lee in the general election. 

Chocola concluded, “We have made no decision about the upcoming Utah Senate race, but when we do, our decision will be about improving the Senate in 2013, not 1977.”



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Support Increases for Pence to Run for the White House

Posted on Jan. 21, 11 | 09:29 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Elections
More and more people are urging Rep. Mike Pence to run against Obama in 2012.  Excerpt:

“There’s a void out there,” said Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman who now runs the Club for Growth. “And I think that Pence is a guy who could potentially fill that void. Who else is an across-the-board conservative who’s really good on the stump and has a record that is unimpeachable in terms of standing up for conservative principles? He’s the only guy.”
Member Comments (6)

Senator Kent Conrad to Retire

Posted on Jan. 18, 11 | 10:01 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Elections
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has the scoop.  This should be solid pickup for the GOP.
Member Comments (1)

Hard to See? Really?

Posted on Jan. 17, 11 | 03:01 PM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Elections

The indispensable Jennifer Rubin at Right Turns has a good post today laying out the path to victory for each of the several prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidates.  As always, Rubin is on point and worth reading. 

I do have one quibble, though.  Rubin says about the potential candidacy of Indiana Congressman Mike Pence: “If he does run for president, his problem is similar to Thune's: it's hard to see how he wins Iowa.”

Seriously?  I have no dog in this hunt yet, and have my own questions about a congressman’s viability in a national election.  But still, I think it’s kind of easy to see how Pence could win the Iowa caucuses. 

If Pence gets into a field – especially the Palin-less field Rubin seems to be projecting – he probably becomes the undisputed Tea Party candidate.  He would also join Huckabee as the most outspoken social conservative in the field.  Pence could neutralize most – if not all – of Huckabee’s natural advantage on social issues, while presenting base voters instead a choice between his own rock-solid economic record and Huckabee’s big-spending, tax-hiking record in Arkansas.

It's not a slam dunk, sure.  And anything can happen in New Hampshire and beyond.  But if Mike Pence entered the presidential race tomorrow, I think you can make a pretty good case he’d be the outright favorite to win Iowa.

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John Boehner Elected 53rd Speaker of the House

Posted on Jan. 05, 11 | 02:58 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Elections
Here's the roll call vote.  And below are the 19 Democrats who didn't vote for Nancy Pelosi along with the people they chose instead:

Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.) - Shuler
Rep. John Barrow (Ga.) - Lewis
Rep. Sanford Bishop (Ga.) - present
Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.) - Shuler
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (Calif.) - Costa
Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.) - Cardoza
Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.) - Shuler
Rep. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) - Shuler
Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) - did not vote
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.) - Lewis
Rep. Tim Holden (Pa.) - Shuler
Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) - Cooper
Rep. Larry Kissell (N.C.) - Shuler
Rep. Dan Lipinsi (Ill.) - Kaptur
Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.) - Shuler
Rep. Jim Matheson (N.C.) - Shuler
Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine) - Shuler
Rep. Mike Ross (Ark.) - Shuler
Rep. Kurt Schraeder (Ore.) - Hoyer
Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C..) - Shuler
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) voted "present."
Member Comments (3)

CFG Power Ranking Updates

Posted on Jan. 05, 11 | 12:06 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Elections
The new members of Congress will be sworn in today.  Throughout the afternoon, we'll be updating their profiles on the Club's Power Ranking.  Stay tuned.
Member Comments (3)

Club for Growth PAC Welcomes Sarah Steelman to MO-Sen Race

Posted on Dec. 02, 10 | 08:54 AM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Elections
WASHINGTON – Club for Growth PAC today welcomed former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman into the 2012 U.S. Senate race against incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill. 

“Sarah Steelman’s entry into the Missouri Senate race is a welcome sign for pro-growth conservatives,” said Club President Chris Chocola.  “Sarah Steelman is the kind of candidate who can provide a clear contrast to pro-bailout, pro-ObamaCare Sen. McCaskill.  We welcome her to the race and look forward to learning more about her candidacy in the coming months.”

Notably, former Senator Jim Talent is also reportedly considering running for U.S. Senate in Missouri in 2012.  In his previous time in the Senate, prior to losing to McCaskill in 2006, Talent voted to raid the Social Security Trust Fund, for the infamous Bridge to Nowhere earmark, and for other pork-laden budget busters.

Chocola added, “With a record of support for government expansion and outrageous earmark spending, it would be more difficult for Jim Talent to successfully contrast his record with Claire McCaskill’s.  If the 2010 election showed us anything, it is that voters are in no mood to elect Republicans who are only half-hearted at best in their efforts to boost our economy and stop Washington’s out-of-control spending.”

In the just-completed 2010 election cycle, Club for Growth PAC bundled $6 million in direct contributions from Club members to endorsed candidates’ congressional campaigns.  Among those who received substantial support from the Club PAC in 2010 included Senators-elect Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee, as well as incumbent Senators Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint.



Member Comments (1)

Murkowski Wins in Alaska

Posted on Nov. 18, 10 | 11:16 AM by David Keating | Topic: Elections
They finished counting all the ballots in Alaska and Lisa Murkowski won.  The Associated Press called it for her yesterday.

Even if you accept all of the Joe Miller campaign's challenges, Murkowski would have 92,715 votes to Miller's 90,740.

Miller has not yet conceded, citing some possibilities of vote counting or casting irregularities that his campaign is investigating.  If they find anything, it still may not change the result.

Member Comments (3)

In Defense of the 2012 GOP Presidential Field

Posted on Nov. 18, 10 | 11:07 AM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Elections
Everywhere I go, I hear people dismissing the 2012 Republican presidential field as weak.  I’m not sure what they could be talking about.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have my own qualms with all of the names that have been bandied about.  But by any objective measure, the 2012 Republican field seems to me the strongest either party has cobbled together in a long time.

Who, exactly, are the cream puffs here? 

Mitt Romney was a right-of-center governor in a very liberal state.  Before that, he was one of the most successful business executives of his generation, who made a fortune turning around failing businesses.

Sarah Palin is the most charismatic political leader in the country, and the most electrifying political celebrity since Ronald Reagan.

Mike Huckabee is perhaps the party’s only natural-born politician and a dynamic communicator of conservative ideas.  (Whether he actually adheres to those ideas is another question, of course.)

Tim Pawlenty was twice elected governor in one of the bluest states in the country, cut taxes and spending, and reformed education, health care, and union pensions in his state.

Mitch Daniels makes op-ed writers swoon for good reason.  He’s a serious policy thinker, and a bold executive willing to make tough decisions that, despite their unpopularity at the time, have almost all been vindicated over time.

Haley Barbour is one of the most successful politicians in the country – a legendary party chairman, an other-worldly fundraiser, and was for good reason the only elected official who came out of the Hurricane Katrina fiasco better then he went in.

Newt Gingrich is one of the most creative policy minds in the Republican Party, one of the best think-on-his-feet debaters in politics today, a natural leader and movement organizer, and – for all his faults – really and truly did create a national Republican majority in 1994, almost out of thin air.

Mike Pence and Jim DeMint’s names have been mentioned, and who can argue with the potential candidacies of the conservative movement’s leading spokesmen and most successful legislators in Washington?

Of all the names bandied around, only Sen. John Thune seems to lack a resume full of substantive accomplishment or conservative leadership.  And yet, even Thune’s thin resume compares favorably to, say, John Edwards’ in 2004 or Barack Obama’s in 2008.

Yes, all of the above candidates have glaring weaknesses, too, but that’s just to say they are human.  Sorting out strengths and weaknesses is what presidential primaries are for.

But to say that the prospective 2012 Republican presidential field is “weak” is like saying middleweight boxing in the 1980s was “weak,” because Roberto Duran, Ray Leonard, Marvin Haggler, and Tommy Hearns were evenly matched.

Has it occurred to anyone that the 2012 Republican nomination is wide open not because the contenders are so weak, but because they are all, in their own ways, very strong?
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