Category: Domestic Politics


**This is a preliminary report, as we are still going over the data, cross checking FEC disclosures with information obtained from OpenSecrets.org.  If you would like to see the data set, message this blog.**

There is a lot of talk in DC about what will happen if the GOP takes control of the senate, and gains more seats in the house. Seeing as how 70 republicans need to buck the leadership over immigration, there will either be a change in leadership, or the GOP will part ways with conservatives. This author has a hunch that the GOP took the first steps in having this happen in the 2012 election. Based on a hunch, we did this research project. By next week we hope to sort out which candidates in the NRCC’s Young Gun program were conservative, or just plain old RINOs. Regardless, we have to bring attention to the fact that the program was not successful, and resulted in the waste of precious resources.

BACKGROUND

The Young Guns Program was formed and headed by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).  Its stated mission was to help:

Republican candidates to build strong and winning campaigns through goals, benchmarks, and accountability. In 2010, 62 of more than 90 Young Guns candidates were elected to the US House of Representatives helping Republicans win the majority. Every Young Guns candidate plays a vital role in keeping our Republican team on offense and helps build a lasting and productive Republican Majority for the American people.

In 2012, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Co-Founders Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), managed the Young Guns program with the goal of making “the Republican half of the House floor standing room only with the need for the Sergeant of Arms to bring in folding chairs in the aisles to accommodate our new membership.”

The results of this program set out by the NRCC and the House Majority leadership was disastrous, with only an overall 44% success rate. Seventy-Five candidates were run, with only 33 winning their races. More victories came from the second-tier ranking system the NRCC set out than their first tier candidates. This probably is a result of ranking based off of a candidate’s ability to fundraise, instead of the candidate’s ability to attract district attention, likelihood of regional victory, and the general local political climate.

There were Four Levels of membership in the program were:

1)      Young Gun

Young Gun is the top tier of the ‘Young Gun’ recruitment program. These candidates have met a series of rigorous goals and established a clear path to victory through their ability to build a formidable campaign structure and achieve important goals and benchmarks. These candidates are the GOP’s best opportunities.

  • There were 42 candidates listed as Young Guns.
  • Only 13 Young Gun candidates won; this tier had a 31% success rate.
  • Of 13, 5 Young Gun victories were in the South, and one in Republican North Dakota
  • 5 victories received more than 13% of the vote: 1 in CA, one in ND, 2 in the South, and one in Ohio.
  • 9 races lost by more than 10% of the vote.  These top 9 losses accounted for a total of $715,410 in expenditures by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
  • Of the $2,966,644 spent in all on campaigns, $2,387,094 was spent on losing campaigns, while only $579,018 was spent on successful campaigns. (one donation of $532 was made to another tier candidate).
  • Half of the losing races were from New England, Iowa (2), California (2), and Colorado.
  • Of the 15 races where the victor won by fewer than 4%, only five went to Republicans. The program had only a 1/3 success rate in close races.

2)      Vanguard

The definition of the word Vanguard is “the leading edge of a movement”. The Vanguard program provides a framework for the NRCC to assist candidates running in Republican-favored seats as they head into the fall election season. Its goal is to form a lasting relationship between likely future members of Congress, the NRCC and the House GOP Conference.

  • 21 candidates were listed as Vanguards.
  • 20 Vanguard candidates won, at a 95% success rate.
  • The only candidate in this category to lose was Doug LaMalfa (CA-26), having received only 41% of the vote (losing by 39,000).

3)      Contender

Contender is the third level of the Young Guns program. These candidates have met more stringent fundamental goals and benchmarks and have developed a “mature” campaign operation. They are in seats that appear to favor the GOP candidate and are established on the road to victory.

  • 3 candidates were listed as Contenders.
  • NO candidate listed as a contender won.

4)      On the Radar

Once candidates are enrolled in the program, they become eligible to advance to On the Radar, the second level of the Young Guns program. These candidates have met the minimum threshold in campaign organization and are prepared to advance to more difficult goals throughout the cycle. They are in seats of interest to the NRCC.

  • 9 candidates were listed as On the Radar.
  • No candidate listed as On the Radar won.

In total, losses came from the following regions: 13 from the pacific coast, 8 from New England, 7 from Rocky Mountain/western states, 6 from the south, and 3 from the Midwest.

Check back for updates.

I dont Pledge Allegiance

Today is Flag Day, and the birthday of the army. If you haven’t noticed it yet, the ‘murica! Ronald-Reagan-is-the-best types are having one hell of a day, not realizing their celebrations are making them complete hypocrites in that they are betraying the values they purport to uphold. It has been a peeve to me for a long time, but today brings up the issue of the Pledge of Allegiance. So behold this inter-tangled rant that takes on the establishment position on the Pledge and our Flag.

Who would ever have a problem with the Pledge?

There are many Christians who believe that fellow believers should not recite the pledge, for various reasons. One Christian commentator, RC Sproul Jr., noted that this nation is no longer the Republic it was designed to be, and likewise, the people have changed. Rather than a nation which claims in its pledge to be under God, the policies of the government directly conflicts with God, and is rebellious towards God’s authority.

RC Sproul also comments that the notion we are “indivisible” is not only untrue, but misleading, and is also a “claim that the union is immortal, a claim to deity.” Mr. Sproul questions the “claim that ours is a nation where there is liberty and justice for all.” Raising many valid points, Sproul asks:

Is that true? Are we free to work in the field of our choice, without a license from the state? Are we at liberty to build a shed in our back yard, without getting a permit from the state? Are we free to not purchase health insurance for our employees? Are we free to keep the fruits of our labor?

Does the flag stand for, represent those founding virtues, or does it now represent a nation where every year over a million of our tiniest citizens are not just denied liberty and justice, but life itself? Does not that flag represent both a state which is pledged to protect the “right” to murder the unborn, and does it not represent the citizens of that nation who avail themselves of that right over 3000 times each day?

As with RC, I am too ashamed of where this nation has ended up. Like Mr. Sproul, I am a Christian, and believe that our allegiance should be to God. We differ on one point, though: while I do support the ideas of pledges in our own political realm, I would limit that to a sense of values and principles, not to entities and their symbols.

Today at World Net Daily, Major General Patrick Brady, speaking solely on our flag (it is Flag Day), argues “the flag embodies the values embedded in our sacred Constitution. The legalized desecration of the symbol of the Constitution symbolizes the ongoing desecration of our Constitution.”

I do not agree. Our flag has changed continuously throughout its history, ironically just like interpretations and amendments to our constitution! The flag represents the legal entity that came together to under aforementioned constitution, and by that association, I do cede that the General is correct. As a nation, though, we have ignored, forgotten, and made a deliberate about-face against the fundamentals of our Republic. Let’s not pretend that the flag, “or the government for which it stands” still upholds and carries out these values.

What is telling, and even more troubling, are the attitude General Brady expresses at the end of his piece:

I would not serve in a quad-sexual military, nor would I encourage any young person to enlist in today’s military. I would give my life for the country and military I served. I would not give one drop of blood for the country and military we are becoming. Hopefully, on this birthday of our Army and our flag, Americans will pray that the disasters of this presidency will be reversed.”

Unfortunately this sentiment is all too common by the veterans I know and grew up around.

What about non-Christians supporting the Pledge?

I urge all free thinkers to consider the following. Our pledge was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892. Bellamy, and his family were socialists. His cousin, Edward Bellamy, authored Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897) (look those up). Francis supported the idea of planned economies, with distribution of wealth. In fact, his ideas were so crazy he was forced to leave his church in Boston. Daniel Ford, a friend of Francis, hired him to write for The Youth’s Companion.

James Upham, Bellamy’s boss at Youth’s Companion one day had the idea to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus Day at the Chicago World’s Fair, and wanted to highlight the public education system in America as being the “democratizing force in American life.” Just one problem: he needed something to capture this idea and inspire others. Thus the Pledge was born, with the original words as follows:

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ He considered placing the word, ‘equality,’ in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.

In 1919, states started making recitation mandatory. Jehovah’s Witnesses sued, eventually losing at the Supreme Court. Afterwards, the indivisible people committed brutal acts against practitioners of the religious sect, including tar and feathering, castration, and public beatings. I guess it was permissible then though, as “under God” had not yet been added.

At this Point, What Difference Does it Make?

One must care about the origin of the pledge. It was written to conjure up feelings of unity under one banner, and one government. Instead of allegiances to values, states, localities, we were supposed to be one people that loved our dear federal government. The author intended to use the pledge to advance the ideas of socialism and redistribution. Every time we stand up to recite the pledge, we do so to the symbol of the state. A state that has differing policies over time, and that often contradict each other. One day we are fighting for “freedom” abroad, while the next we are wiretapping all Americans here at home and encouraging abortions. And you just pledged your allegiance to the entity that makes and enforces those laws.

Do you feel stupid now? You should.