GOP moderates fear tea party shake-up in Senate

With the prospect of five tea party candidates in the Senate Republican Caucus in 2011, some Republicans are making their feelings about the candidates known:

As it stands, many consider the right flank in the Senate to consist of Republican Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and David Vitter of Louisiana. But if Republicans  have a great day on Nov. 2, they could be adding Nevada’s Sharron Angle, Alaska’s Joe Miller, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Colorado’s Ken Buck, Utah’s Mike Lee, Florida’s Marco Rubio, and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey to their ranks – and potentially others.

Many of the conservative firebrands in the group are affiliated with the Tea Party. They’re all outsiders, many of whom defeated the GOP establishment candidate in their primary elections. Let’s just say it won’t be sleepy in the Senate come 2011.

“The GOP Senate caucus will be the most conservative since at least World War II,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

For conservatives, that sounds pretty good. Some imagine the strengthened numbers of conservatives will form a pivotal block that will move the entire body to the right.

“That’d be good for the Party, more DeMints, more Coburns,” said one conservative GOP operative to The Daily Caller.

But for Republican moderates, the Rand Pauls and Sharron Angles of the world are disconcerting. Some express fear that what they perceive as the candidates’ “radical” views will prove a political liability for the Republican Party.

Angle is “just out of sight with her crazy claims,” said former New York Republican Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, a moderate who now works to push the GOP leftward on environmental issues.

State revolt against ObamaCare continues

Last month, Missouri had the opportunity to weigh in on ObamaCare as 71% of primary voters cast ballots in favor of Proposition C, a referendum rejecting the individual mandate, a centerpiece of the “health care reform” law.

A similar ballot measure, Amendment 63 or the “Right to Health Care Choice” amendment, will be on the ballot in Colorado this fall. If passed, this amendment would make it unconstitutional for the state government to force individuals to purchase health insurance and asserting the Tenth Amendment and federalism against the individual mandate of ObamaCare.

And in Minnesota, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican assumed to have presidential aspirations, is doing what he can to stop ObamaCare:

Pawlenty, R-Minn., today signed an executive order forbidding his state’s agencies for applying for new grant programs made available under President Obama’s health care law.

Pawlenty said he has identified some 15 categories where he believes the new law would conflict with Minnesota policies, including a new sex education program, where the governor rejected an $850,000 grant yesterday.

Ken Buck is a breath of fresh air

On Tuesday, Colorado Republicans selected Ken Buck over Jane Norton to go up against Sen. Michael Bennet in November, in what is pegged as a “toss-up.”

Buck, who is viewed as a tea party candidate, made the rounds after he secured his nomination, including an appearance on CNN where he told John King that Republicans deserve as much blame as Democrats for the state of affairs in Washington:

The Republican nominee for Senate in Colorado said Wednesday that Republican frustration with both parties in Washington politics is driving grassroots victories over establishment candidates in GOP primaries around the country.

“I think Republicans realize that Republicans are every bit as much to blame for the mess that we are in in D.C. as the Democrats,” Ken Buck told CNN’s John King in an interview set to air at 7 p.m. on John King USA. “And we can’t send this kind of Republican to Washington, D.C. to fix this mess.”

Buck said he doesn’t think the Republican Party has a national leader at the moment, and he expects the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee to be selected through “a wonderful process” whereby one contender emerges from a large pool of candidates-much like he has.

Too often we don’t hear Republicans criticize their own. Instead they choose to make an excuse for their profligate spending during the Bush years. This really is music to my ears.

Rasmussen ranks Senate races in 2010 mid-terms

Rasmussen Reports released their rankings of United States Senate seats in the 2010 mid-term elections. The rankings show 10 seats up for grabs, six of those being held currently by Democrats.

Listed below are the seats expected to be competitive in November. Not included are Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana and North Dakota, which are all currently held by Democrats but are expected to turn Republican.


  • Colorado
  • Florida (open)
  • Illinois (open)
  • North Carolina
  • Missouri (open)
  • Nevada
  • Ohio (open)
  • Pennsylvania (open)
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Lean GOP

  • Kentucky (open)
  • New Hampshire (open)

Lean Dem

Larry Sabato’s analyzes 2010 election

See Video

Nobody Gets It

A recent comment from a reasonable, fiscally conservative Republican state legislator in Georgia became a facepalm moment for me. Rep. Chuck Martin, (R-Alpahretta) who co-chairs the Budget Committee addressing a $1 BILLION shortfall in the State budget told department heads: “This is not personal, this is not anybody questioning your professionalism, but we’re in a very difficult time here in Georgia. We are frankly in a position where we have to do more for the same or less money.”

Did you catch that? Did you see where he went exactly WRONG? With all due respect to Rep. Martin, you don’t have to do more –you have to do LESS. You have less money. Do less. Shrink government. Cut services, programs, employees and pay.

Amidst all the hand wringing about the “budget woes” plaguing every state, county and municipality in the nation, nearly none of the coverage reports an actual shrinking of the size and the scope of government. The news media dutifully reports that elected officials are “wrangling,” having to decide between “modest” tax hikes or “Draconian” budget cuts. Well, it’s time for less modesty and more Draco.

It can be done. Residents in Tracy, California have been given a choice –pay $48 per year to call 911 whenever they want, or skip the annual fee and pay $300 for each time you call. Colorado Springs asked the voters of that city (population 400,000) to pony up for a tax hike (the largest in the that city’s history) –which voters rejected. City leaders are closing parks, shutting off every third streetlight and auctioning off police helicopters.  Yet somehow, the sun is still rising in Colorado and California.

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