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Arkansas the NRSC’s NY-23? Not so fast.

Was it too much to hope for that the GOP might actually have learned a lesson from the disastrous turn of events in New York’s 23rd Congressional District earlier this month?  After the NRCC blew nearly a million dollars on a RINO candidate who, in the end, dropped out and endorsed her Democratic rival, you’d think leaders of the Republican Party would realize victory isn’t assured in 2010 because a candidate has an “R” beside his name.  And maybe they have.

One might even expect GOP heavyweights to recognize the grassroots’ aversion to candidates too deeply entrenched in the political establishment, especially when their adherence to conservative principles is in question.  But even if they can’t take quite that big a step at the moment, the essential lesson from NY-23 is the national party needs to step aside and let the grassroots determine their nominee.  But does that mean they can’t offer any help until a candidate is chosen?

In Arkansas, a state where Democratic Senator Mark Pryor didn’t even face a Republican challenger last year, there are already seven announced Republican candidates running for Democrat Blanche Lincoln’s Senate seat in 2010.   Only two hold political office, while the others come from a variety of backgrounds–farming, business, medicine, and military–but have never run for office. This may be the most contested Republican primary for national office in Arkansas’ history.

After Senator John Cornyn’s (R-TX) promise that the National Republican Senatorial Committee “will not spend money in a contested primary,” conservatives in the state probably assumed the national GOP hierarchy would stand aside and let Arkansans decide who would stand against Lincoln next November.  But some are wondering if Cornyn and his colleagues at the top of the GOP food chain are already working to anoint a candidate in the crowded field.

Cornyn, along with Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), David Vitter (R-LA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) held an NRSC fundraiser last week for Arkansas State Senator Gilbert Baker in Washington and there are shouts from every corner that this reeks of the Scozzafava scenario in New York.  But Amber Wilkerson Marchand, spokeswoman for the NRSC says,   “Baker had asked to have the fundraiser at the committee’s headquarters in Washington, and that the group would allow other candidates to have events there if they asked.”

Though we’ve been unable to reach all of Baker’s opponents, we did reach Arkansas Tea Party, Inc. founder and 2010 GOP Senate candidate Tom Cox.  When asked if the committee had offered to host a similar event for his campaign he stated, “I can’t speak for the other candidates, but they [NRSC] made that offer to me.”  So it doesn’t appear they plan to anoint Baker in the Arkansas race.

It looks like the NRSC might have learned from their congressional counterpart’s costly error last month that sent Democrat Bill Owens to the US House.  They’re simply helping candidates raise much needed cash to unseat Lincoln.

Relax folks. No crisis here.

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) Opposes Release of Last $350 billion

#TCOT #diggcons

Press Release from Senator David Vitter (R-LA)

Vitter Issues Statement on Release of Additional TARP Funds

January 12, 2009 –

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter today issued the following statement in response to President Bush’s request to release additional funds under the Troubled Assets Relief Program on behalf of President-elect Obama’s incoming administration. The decision would release the second $350 billion of the $700 billion authorized by Congress last fall in response to the widening financial crisis.

“When I publicly opposed the first bailout back in September, I did so because I was concerned that it would lead us down a slippery slope and encourage further bailouts. By now, it is clear that it has. Since then, we’ve bailed out mismanaged auto companies, and now we are seeing a move in Congress to ensure that the entire $700 billion authorization will be spent.

“Considering the harsh criticism that has accompanied the management of the first half of the $700 billion released by the government, I believe that the release of the other half would be grossly irresponsible. The safeguards that Congress has put in place to prevent the misuse of this money amount to little more than window dressing. I continue to oppose these bailouts, and I believe that responsible action demands some form of oversight.

“Although President Bush has to officially request that Congress release this money, congressional action is not required to release the remainder of these funds. But this process does allow Congress to pass a disapproval resolution to prevent the release of these funds, and I plan on leading an effort that would do just that. Before we write another $350 billion check, we must ensure that the money will be used effectively. We cannot afford – and our kids and grandkids cannot afford – to make any more mistakes,” said Vitter.

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Economy | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments