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Freshmen Republicans to Watch in the 112th Congress

Bookmark and Share    The freshman class of Republicans in the 112th Congress is one that could and should hold a lot of sway. Not only is it one of the largest classes, it was also elected on one of the clearest messages that voters ever sent. That message is to stop business as usual and to cut spending and the size and scope of government. This freshman class was elected to change Washington, D.C., not be changed by Washington, D.C., and for many voters this is the Republican Party’s last chance to get things right. And so, given the sentiments that swept these new lawmakers in to office, they must establish themselves by bucking both Party politics and the political establishment. They must demonstrate that they understand fiscal responsibility, limited government, states rights and a willingness to not tow the Party line when its leaders wander off path.

This will at times be hard to do. The old boy’s political network will tempt them to go along to get along and the desire for power can consume them if they forget what they were sent to Washington for. But considering the extremely strong message that sent these men and women to D.C. they will all be wise to not cave in to the traditional trappings of insider politics and Washington.

Given the caliber of many of the new faces on the Hill, there is a vary good chance that they will in fact have a dramatic, positive, impact on the 112th Congress and the legislation it produces. But of this class, I suspect that some will stand out more than others. The following are the names that are most likely to do so.

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  Justin Amash, MI-3:

This 30 year old Michigander has made a name for himself in the Michigan House of Representatives as a leading advocate for government restraint and his consistent commitment to limited government, free markets, and individual liberty. As a state representative, Amash set new standards for transparency and accountability. And was one of the first state legislators to list his office expenses, staff salaries, and legislative benefits online. He has also earned a wide following among Michigan voters for posting all of his votes, with explanations and an opportunity for interactive discussion, on his official face book page. Amash understands that we live under the rule of law and not under the rule of men and he has a command of the issues effecting our economy and liberty.

Lou Barletta, PA-11:

Lou Barletta comes to office after serving as Mayor of Hazleton, PA. There he demonstrated his expertise on economic matters and budgets but he became most known for his fight against illegal immigration. Hazleton had become ravaged by an illegal immigrant population that helped the small town’s crime rate skyrocket. Barletta went into action. In 2006, he created an ordinance that made it illegal for employers to knowingly hire illegal aliens and for landlords to knowingly rent to illegal aliens. The measure passed the Hazleton City Council but was subsequently challenged in the courts. The case still drags on to this day but in the meantime, the number of both violent and non-violent crimes in the City of Hazleton continue to decrease. Barletta is a hard nosed but cordial gentleman who is sure to take the same kind of grit and determination that he had as Mayor of Hazleton, to Washington as a Congressman.

Cory Gardner, CO-4:

Gardner is a quick witted, high energy legislator. The Denver Post calls Gardner “the GOP Idea Man,” and he has been recognized as one of the Top 40 young Republican lawmakers in the country by Rising Tide, a publication of the Republican National Committee. As a member of the Colorado State House of Representatives, Gardner was a leader on issues such as economic development, healthcare, and education. In 2007, he created the Colorado Clean Energy Authority, which has helped to bring millions of dollars in development to Colorado. With a focus on limited government, Cory Gardner believes strongly that reducing taxes is the best way to grow the economy and provide jobs. As a former leading conservative voice in the Colorado state legislature, he promises to be one in the 112th session of Congress too.

Adam Kinzinger, Il-11:

32 year old Adam Kinzinger is a Captain in the Air Force who has served in the Special Ops, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and the Air National Guard. Before his military career, at the age of 20, he challenged a twelve-year Democrat incumbent for the McLean County Board and in a campaign that focused on bringing local government back to the people, he became one of the youngest county board members in McLean County history. Today, Kinzinger has proved that he understands the value of American freedom and is committed to protecting and serving the nation both in uniform and elected office. He has the skills and drive to rise above the political noise, bring government back to the people and to create a lasting positive impact on Congress.

Allen West, Florida-22:

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West (US Army, Retired) is a Bronze Star winner who has also been awarded three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor), and a Valorous Unit Award. With twenty years of distinguished military service, West now aims his fight on Congress where he intends to curb out of control Government spending, work for across the board tax cuts, and combat our economic woes by getting back to basics and transitioning to a flat tax system for both individuals and businesses. West is an aggressive and articulate voice for conservatism and has a deep rooted concern for the proper education of America children. Allen West knows that their opportunities can be endless with the right education and that our nation’s future depends on their ability to take advantage of those opportunities. Allen West is sure to be a thorn in the side of liberals and you can be sure that he will not sugarcoat his opposition to the left side of the aisle.


Those are five freshmen members of the House whom you can expect to stir things up. They will be joined by several veteran G.O.P. House members who are also worth watching; incoming House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, New Jersey’s Scott Garrett, Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, Mike Pence of Indiana and Virginia’s Eric Cantor. These five individuals are probably the best chance Republicans have when it comes to keeping to the much touted, conservative pledge to America that Republicans took during the campaign of 2010. But now these five have five exceptional new voices on their side.

In the Senate, things are quite different than in the House. The rules of the Senate allow for one member of that chamber to make more of an immediate difference than House members can. Here, although Republicans remain in the minority, their increased numbers will be made quite formidable as strong conservative voices like Jim DeMint and John Thune join with the following five freshmen senators.

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Marco Rubio-FL:

 Marco is a standout among any group of people. He is a personable, bright, innovative, energetic, passionate and articulate young conservative who went through one of the toughest and longest campaigns of 2010. For much of the race he was the underdog and not the establishment choice. But patience and perseverance allowed him to prevail as he convincingly persuaded fellow Floridians to the commonsense, conservative cause. A son of Cuban exiles, Marco is an important voice in the Republican Party for Hispanic voters and his ability to attract voters of all persuasions is going to continue to make him an important player in national politics, especially national Republican politics.

Pat Toomey-PA:

This former leader of the Club for Growth is probably going to be one of the most ardent deficit hawks the senate has ever seen. He will be a perfect partner with South Carolina’s Jim DeMint in the cause of fiscal responsibility and limited government. Toomey will most definitely be a strict constitutionalist who will have no problem standing up to his fellow Republicans and most definitely not any Democrat, including President Obama.


Ron Johnson-WI:

Johnson was one of those TEA Party backed candidates who came out of nowhere to slay a liberal giant—Russ Feingold. His campaign was not the best but voter sentiment in Wisconsin was so soured by the direction that the country was going in that they wanted a definite change. Politically unencumbered, fresh faced, conservative, businessman Ron Johnson proved to be the man that Wisconsin voters saw fit to deliver that change. Expect Johnson to take some time getting his feet wet in Washington, but very soon he will be demonstrating a hard-line on budgetary matters and a very valuable independent streak.

Rand Paul-KY:

Rand Paul is another candidate whose race was particularly hard fought. He was also not originally the establishment choice but strong conservative support and energetic TEA Party backing pushed Rand Paul over the top in the end. Rand has many of the more appealing libertarian tendencies of his well known father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul but is a bit more pragmatic. Rand believes in a strong national defense and understand that the defense of the nation is the federal government’s number 1 priority. He insists that funding of the United Nations becomes voluntary, thereby demonstrating a true and accurate level of commitment of individual member states to the U.N.’s success. He also believes that the United States should withdraw from and stop funding those U.N. programs that undermine legitimate American interests. On the economy, Paul is a true free marketer who views the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as having “outlived their usefulness” and harmful to global economic development. Rand Paul is a staunch proponent of spending cuts, balancing the budget, and lowering taxes. Expect Rand to be a very loud voice and major critic of both Parties and the process they often abuse.

Rob Portman-OH:

Like Marco Rubio, Rob Portman is made of presidential timber. He is an experienced legislator and previously served in two separate presidential cabinet offices—–U.S. Trade Representative and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. During his tenure at OMB, the deficit was cut in half. Portman is experienced, accomplished, and when it comes to the federal budget, he is a persistent hawk who has proposed balanced budgets, the creation of new federal spending transparency laws, and fought hard against irresponsible earmarks. In the senate, expect Rob Portman to be a go-to guy on fiscal matters and a leader in the budget process that is growing in importance as well as debt.

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Only time will truly tell how well these 10 incoming legislators will really do but if they show the same kind of stamina, values and sincerity that they have in the past, they will go a long way in bringing the type of real change that Congress and the nation needs.

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Advice To Tea Party Patriots; “Change Things From The Inside-Out”

Bookmark and Share    This weekend, the largely informal Tea Party movement attempts to take a step toward becoming a formal organization. Thousands are gathering in Tennessee forthe Tea Party’s  first national convention and begin to organize innumerable numbers of citizens who are dissatisfied with the direction our government has been and is going in.

Although the Tea Party movement is new, the anti-government sentiment that motivates those in it, is not new. There has always been an anti-establishment and “they’re all alike” component that has motivated people and inspired attempts to create “third parties”. The most recent one to have come closest to, but still fall short of success, was sponsored and headed up by H. Ross Perot in 1992. In his first bid for the presidency, Perot’s near 19% of the vote earned him no electoral votes but did essentially throw the election to Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

Third parties do not have a good track record in the United States. That is in large part due to the fact that we have a two Party system. It is not solely a two Party system, but it essentially is. Even so, there do exist many official third parties. Take a state like New York. There in addition to Democrats and Republicans you have four other major parties. There is the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the Libertarian Party and the Right To Life Party.

There are even more than that, but those are the four most prominent. They often run their own candidates but more often than not, they cross endorse candidates.

For instance a Democrat may occasionally be found also running on the Conservative line. Usually, the Republican is endorsed by the Conservative Party and the Democrat is endorsed by the Liberal Party. On many occassions,  Republicans run on the Conservative and Right To Life lines. These crossed endorsed candidacies have the total vote on the Republican line added to the total votes that they get on the Right To Life and Conservative Party lines.

What this essentially does is give individuals who can’t get themselves to pull the lever for a Republican, the opportunity to vote for the Republican, but on the Conservative or Right To Life line.

This is how Rudy Giuliani became Mayor of overwhelmingly Democrat New York City.

He won the Republican nomination but there were far too many New Yorkers who refused to ever vote Republican, even if they did like Rudy. So what did he do? He got enough signatures to create a third Party line called the “Independent Fusion Party.”

It was that line that gave Rudy enough votes to win, because the total he received on the Republican line would never have been enough to elect him.

But the point to all this is that regardless of these third party entities that may exist, they more often than not, align themselves with either the Republican or the Democrat candidate. Why? Because we are essentially a two Party nation. For some of us the two Parties represent clear differences. To some of us, it is not so much Republican or Democrat as it is right or wrong. It is that clear cut. For others, both Parties are the same. These angry voters are today calling themselves Tea Party members.

And so at their convention, they are organizing.

For those who could afford the exorbitantly high priced tickets that are required for each of the events at their convention, they are being offered workshops such as “How to do Voter Registration Drives and Where to Find Conservative Votes” & “Women in Politics” or a workshop sponsored by the Young Americans for Freedom called “How to Involve the Youth in the Conservative Movement”. Training in these areas are crucial for any movement so I commend the organizers of the Tea Party convention for understanding what needs to be done to be a successful activist.

But my question to all these new activists and their newfound enthusiasm is ………Where the hell have you been??

Why did it take elected Republicans who went astray and the most left leaning, socialist admiring, wealth spreading, President in history, to wake you up and get you up off of your collective arses?

And now that you have finally woken up to the fact that we are losing our country and shredding its Constitution, what are you doing?

You’re trying to take the same historic path to failure that others who believe the grass is greener on some imaginary third side of the street took.  And that is despite the fact that you know there are only two sides to a street.

I find myself greatly frustrated by the new awakening that suddenly has millions of people saying “hey, wait a minute, that isn’t right” or “Hey, can they do that”. What “they” have been doing hasn’t been right for years, but your lack of civic responsibility allowed it to get to where it is today.

Which brings me to the direction I advise that Tea Party activists take.

Now that our government has your attetion, use the Tea Party Convention well.  Be inspired by its speakers. Absorb the organizational knowledge being provided in the truly useful workshops that the convention offers. Then take that inspiration and knowledge and do what you should have started doing a long time ago. Apply that organizational ability and activism into taking over the two Parties that exist. Make those Parties the political organization that represent what you want them to represent, not what the establishment political class wants it to stand for.

Start at the local level.

Whether you know it or not, there are elections held that elect your local Republican or Democrat Leaders. The first subset of leaders are your local committeemen. One man and one woman within small sections of your neighborhood are elected by the registered voters of the respective Parties who live in that area. They are usually called “election districts”. The people who win the election in their respective election district or precinct, then become municpal or district committeemen. At the same time, there is also usually an election for either district leaders or Municipal Chairmen. These people organize the district or municipality represented by district or precinct committeemen. In some cases these leaders are not voted on in the general election but by the town or precinct committeemen who were elected by the voters in a general election.

District Leaders or Municipal Chairs then organize their committeemen and together they select County Chairmen. This occurs at a county convention where the county committeemen elect the County Chairmen.

As we climb the organizational pyramid, at a state Party convention, County Chairmen elect a State Chairman and at national conventions, State Chairmen elect a national Chairman.

This is how the Parties, that Tea Party protestors so despise, organize.

Now if only these Tea Party Patriots participated in that process, they could be controlling the Parties and stop being controlled by the Parties.

It should also be known that in many cases, the same process that elects the Party leadership, also takes place in regards to the official endorsement process of candidates. In many cases, it is how nominees of the respective Parties are selected when local, county or state offices open up, especially in the event of seats that become vacant. In those cases, the same process that elected your district or municipal chairmen will select the nominee who will run in a special State Senate, State Assembly or City Council election.

Understanding this process is essential to any Tea Party Patriot.

By understanding the methodology involved, instead of trying to build a third side to a street, you can rebuild the existing side that you prefer and make it into what you want.

If you can get Tea Party Patriots elected to County Committeemen positions, you can put into office the Republican or Democrat Party leader of your municipality. Elect Tea Party Patriots to Municipal Chairmen positions and they can elect the Tea Party protestors that they want to be Republican or Democrat County Chairs. From there you do the same with State Chairmen and ultimately the Chairmen of the Democrat and Republican National Committees. It is also how you effect and in many cases select the candidates for state assembly, state senate, Governor, Congress, and the Senate.

If you were apart of that process, you could shape your party platform, you could also be a part of the screening process that endorses candidates and throws the full weight of the Party establishment behind those endorsed candidates. If you were a part of that process, you would be the establishment and you would be able to eventually take credit for electing people who will take this country in the direction that you want to see it go in.

So my advice to Tea Party Patriots is this. Change things from the inside out. Energize, stay angry and motivated, stay focused and become a part of the process instead of fighting the process and succumbing to the failure of all other third Parties.

Do you want to cross endorse or throw your weight behind the establishment’s candidates or do you want be the candidates that others cross endorse and help? Don’t fight with the political Parties………..


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