from the Tea Party of Lonoke County, AR
The Lonoke County Republican Committee has announced both GOP candidates for Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District will speak at the committee’s regular monthly meeting on Monday. Rick Crawford and Princella Smith will address the committee and take questions.
Though the Tea Party of Lonoke County is non-partisan, the course charted by the Democrats who now run our country makes this election cycle unique. The first vote new members make will be to elect the Speaker of the House. In 2010, sending any Democrat to Washington to represent the 1st District will be equivalent to voting for Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for Speaker.
We simply cannot afford another two years suffering under this left-wing zealot who has been a rubber stamp for every part of President Obama’s Socialist agenda.
For that reason, the 2010 Republican primary is crucial. Conservatives in Arkansas MUST participate in the May elections to decide the GOP nominee so we send the very best candidate to the general election in November. We need a GOP candidate who represents Arkansas’ conservative values and understands the concerns of Arkansas’ conservative majority.
We need as many as possible to attend these events to get to know the candidates. For years, we have allowed state GOP party loyalists and even the national infrastructure of the Republican party to choose the nominee who would oppose the Democrats who have failed to represent us in DC. In 2004, only 8484 of the 54000 who participated in the GOP Senate primary were 1st District voters.
We MUST motivate more 1st District voters to participate in the Republican primary this year if we hope to deliver a conservative candidate who will be palatable to a majority of those who vote in November. One way to do that is by getting to know these candidates. Meet them, speak with them, listen to them, and then choose who you think will best represent us in Washington. Then tell your friends. Spread the word. Let people know you’re excited about this candidate, or that one and tell them why!
If we can accomplish that mission, we can choose a conservative candidate who can win in November. It will be an historic accomplishment because the last time the 1st District was represented by a Republican was in 1875.
But we need an historic election to undo the historic damage to our country inflicted by the Obama administration.
Crawford entered the race and has been campaigning since last April, long before anyone suspected Marion Berry would choose not to run. In fact, many believe Crawford’s long-running campaign may have dealt the death blow to Berry’s chances to win re-election. The veteran from Jonesboro embraced the Tea Party early in his campaign and promises to support its platform of 1) Limited Government, 2) Fiscal Responsibility, and 3) Accountable Elected Officials. Before Smith announced she would challenge him in the GOP primary, Crawford committed to make himself available to Lonoke County voters at the upcoming Meet & Greet in Cabot later this week.
A Google search for any relationship between Princella Smith and the Tea Party movement turns up empty. In fact, it’s difficult to even find an article that mentions both her and the protest movement that swept the nation last year and turned the 2010 election cycle into a boiling cauldron for many Democrats across the country.
Smith touts her knowledge of “how things work” on Capitol Hill as one of her qualifications to represent Arkansas’ 1st District, but that may not play well with Tea Party activists who are generally disenchanted with Republicans and Democrats in Washington. On the issues, she and Crawford apparently agree with and support the planks in the national GOP platform.
Her youth may become an issue as well. Most of the four years since she graduated college have been spent in DC working with establishment Republicans like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and most recently with Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-LA) who was the only GOP House member to vote for Obama’s government takeover of health care.
So both candidates espouse conservative ideals. But the most important thing in this election cycle will be to nominate candidates who can capitalize on the energy of the Tea Party movement, a person who will be a friend to the movement even after he or she has an office in DC.
Here’s the opportunity to meet your next Congressman Lonoke County!
One of these two will replace Marion Berry next year, if we get involved and work to choose the best one in May.
Arkansans joined the nationwide protest movement last year as conservative voters found their collective voice and stood against the Obamanation of our country. From Tea Parties to Health Care Town Halls, these voters calls for responsibility and accountability from their elected officials went largely unheeded. But several candidates for office were paying attention, even when our Representatives and Senators weren’t.
Rick Crawford, GOP candidate for Arkansas’ 1st Congressional district seat in the US House of Representatives was one of these. He’s well known and recognized by 1st district voters who are actively involved in their local Republican Committees or Tea Parties. He’s been working to spread his message since last spring, not only at protests, but local festivals and events across the 1st District.
Crawford appears to have a real shot at becoming the first Republican to represent the 1st Congressional District since 1875. And his campaign is gaining momentum.
But if you were counting on the mainstream media to inform you of Rick’s candidacy, you may not yet know he exists. That’s because television stations and newspapers, statewide and local to the 1st District, have largely ignored his campaign.
Traditional news sources across the state have failed to cover several major developments in what could be an historic campaign. In the past month, Crawford has received three major endorsements from influential Republicans in the state. Mike Huckabee, Ed Bethune, and Asa Hutchinson have thrown their support to this Jonesboro veteran with strong ties to the 1st District’s large agricultural community.
Even the television station from his hometown of Jonesboro doesn’t seem to think his candidacy deserves more than a casual mention every once in a while. Searching their site you’ll see one article devoted to Rick–the August 27, 2009 article on his official announcement that he was entering the race. Those search results do include two articles covering Rep. Marion Berry’s (D) announcement that he won’t seek reelection and Crawford is mentioned almost as an aside in these.
Search results of the archives of the Jonesboro Sun reveal a similar dearth of articles on Crawford’s campaign. The obligatory August announcement that he’s running, then a couple of mentions in articles about Berry. The Sun did mention Crawford in a late January article titled “1st District Race Far from Settled” in late January, but only toward the end and after a long list of potential Democrat contenders.
Arkansas’ statewide newspaper, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, also mentions Crawford in several Berry articles, but nothing devoted entirely to Rick’s campaign. But the Democrat Gazette did consider it newsworthy that Princella Smith, a potential GOP challenger to Crawford, is thinking about throwing her hat in the ring following Berry’s announcement that he won’t run again.
Of the four major television stations in Little Rock, only KTHV 11 has an article on their website about Crawford. That’s an AP article from May of last year announcing Rick’s intent to challenge Berry.
Last May, on the influential conservative blog Redstate.com, Moe Lane speculated “We will no doubt see more [Crawford] campaign-related items as time goes on.” But we haven’t…at least not from traditional media sources.
Luckily, Crawford embraced new media and social networking sites early on. His Facebook page sports over 1300 fans now and almost 800 follow him on Twitter. Many of these supporters depend on the blog posts on his website to keep them informed since the mainstream media refuses to.
Several Facebook fans recently wondered about the lack of coverage by the mainstream media and one even speculated the media’s liberal bias is to blame.
Shelley asked, “Why is it that we aren’t seeing any articles on you in the papers? I keep waiting to see you mentioned and they talk about all the other candidates and you are never mentioned!”
Grace responded, “I agree, I never see anything about you in the papers. What is up with that?”
And Kelly replied, “I think the main reason that the papers around here are not picking up Rick is because they are controlled by a liberal bias. They are afraid to give Rick the time of day because he is the most creditable [sic] threat to eliminate Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda in Washington…”
Whatever the reason, it’s pretty obvious the mainstream media has chosen to ignore Rick Crawford.