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REAL SOLUTIONS FOR EDUCATION

death and life of education

Who's The Real Cancer On The Ass of The Republican Party These Days?

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Neo-fascist Denver oil heir/billionaire Philip Anschutz owns 2 far right propaganda sheets in DC, the Weekly Standard and the Washington Examiner (which failed as a newspaper as of June 14 and is currently just a bizarre right-wing blog). Anschutz, who is being sued for his role in the death of Michael Jackson, is obsessed with homosexuality and pours countless millions of dollars into destroying the lives of gay men and women. Anschutz and his front groups have also poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into electoral campaigns on behalf of far right extremists like Mike Coffman (R-CO), Ken Buck (R-CO), Joe Coors (R-CO), Mike Lee (R-UT), Pat Toomey (R-PA), etc. This week he had one of his toadies, Timothy Carney do a hatchet job on mainstream conservative and former Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette.

LaTourette, who is working to drag the Republican Party back from its lunge towards extremism and irrelevancy, made the mistake-- in AnschutzWorld-- of challenging one of the crackpot right-wing fringe outfits, Club for Growth. LaTourette pointed out, very publicly, that the extremist Club is "a cancer on the Republican Party." Carney calls it "a Republican civil war" and backs the Club's attack against Boehner-ally Mike Simpson (R-ID).
This is where former congressman LaTourette and his group, Mainstreet Advocacy, jumped in. LaTourette announced his group would match the Club, dollar-for-dollar in any GOP primary. In this fight, the Mainstreet group holds itself up as the defenders of "pragmatism instead of social dogma."

Mainstreet Advocacy also describes itself as battling "special interests" and "political patronage." But here's the awkward truth: Republican "centrists" are more likely than GOP ideologues to be in bed with special interests. And the closer to the middle you are, the more susceptible you to patronage.

As exhibit A, let's look at Mainstreet Advocacy's point man.

The Washington Post's report on his recent comments described LaTourette only as a "former congressman." Here's a tip: Every time you read the words "former congressman," you should ask if he's now a lobbyist-- unless he's a "moderate" working towards "bipartisan solutions." Then you don't even need to ask.

For instance, Harvard's Center for Ethics pointed out that the Bipartisan Policy Center is a hotbed of K Street lobbyists. "The BPC was founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, who all cashed in on their government experience by working for Beltway law and lobbying firms, and advising major corporations."

So it is with Mainstreet's LaTourette:

One day last decade, LaTourette called his wife Susan and told her that "he had a girlfriend and wanted a divorce," as she reported it. The girlfriend was LaTourette's chief of staff Jennifer Laptook, whom he soon married.

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Jennifer then cashed out to K Street lobbying firm Van Scoyoc Associates. That website won clients by touting "As chief of staff, Laptook was responsible for advising on all legislative issues, particularly those that came before the committees on which Congressman LaTourette serves. Laptook worked intimately with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff, on which the congressman is a senior member."

Rep. LaTourette left Congress in January and today, of course, he is a lobbyist. He launched the lobbying arm of the McDonald Hopkins law firm, and hired his wife. So LaTourette lobbies on behalf of hospitals, alternative-energy interests, and other major companies and industries.

On the side, LaTourette champions compromise-minded Republicans for Congress. Because how else are you supposed to get bailouts and subsidies for your clients, except by getting some "pragmatic" Republicans in Congress. Ideological flexibility is what corporate lobbyists look for. Free-market dogma is a major turnoff to lobbyists seeking handouts.

Many folks in this town think ideological purity is the enemy of good government. Those folks have corporate lobbyists like Steve and Jennifer LaTourette on their side.
Aaron Blake, whose newspaper, the Washington Post, hasn't folded, reported that Maine's very wealthy former senator, Olympia Snowe-- a mainstream conservative-- will be working with LaTourette to raise the $8 million to combat the negative ads Anschutz and the Club are planning to run against anyone who doesn't toe the radical right line. Snowe: “The Club for Growth is homogenizing the Republican Party... The Republican Party is going to have to mature.” LaTourette has been pointing out that "the Club has crafted a fraudulent reputation as a grassroots organization."
“If this was some broad-based populist movement, I get that,” LaTourette said. “But if you peel back the onion, the Club for Growth is really five or six guys that have a lot of money and bigfoot the Republican primaries.”

The Club on Tuesday hit back at LaTourette, pointing out the amount of money Simpson has raised from another small group of influential players-- political action committees.

“It’s a joke for Mike Simpson and his allies to cry foul on outside groups supporting his conservative challenger; 64 percent of Mike Simpson’s campaign contributions have come from Washington PACs, not the people of Idaho,” said Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller. “Mike Simpson is the same congressman who rakes in millions from special interests that he regulates, all while voting to raise his own pay nine times and spending thousands on lavish events at Washington D.C. social clubs.”

LaTourette said his group will seek to play in a limited number of races where it can have a bigger influence. He mentioned potential Club for Growth targets including Senate candidate Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)-- who has been involved with the group-- and Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), along with Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and David Joyce (R-Ohio). Joyce holds the seat LaTourette retired from last year.

LaTourette acknowledged his group has to walk a fine line in some of these races, as its involvement could lead candidates to be tagged as RINOs-- Republicans In Name Only. Another recently launched group seeking more electable GOP candidates, Karl Rove’s Conservative Victory Project, has dealt with similar accusations that it is anti-conservative.

“Some members might have the opinion, ‘Gosh, if these guys get involved I’ll be known as a friend of the RINOs,’” LaTourette said. “That’s something we’ll have to engage on a race-by-race basis.”

...LaTourette said Republicans need to focus on expanding their appeal rather than closing ranks around conservatives and having litmus tests for their congressional incumbents.

“You can’t wake up and go into an election and say, ‘Okay, let’s see who’s voting for us? Angry white guys in their 50s are voting for us. Who’s not voting for us? African-Americans, Hispanics, gays and lesbians, women.’” LaTourette said. “It makes it pretty tough to win a national election if you’re writing off that chunk of the electorate.”
He forgot to mention people under 35. And people who don't get their news from Hate Talk Radio and that echo chamber.

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Original author: DownWithTyranny
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