Yesterday I received an e-mail from the Somerset County Tea Party – of which I am a member – that contains timely advice for the Republican primary voters in the 7th Congressional District concerning the candidates: incumbent Leonard Lance and challenger David Larsen. The e-mail comes to us courtesy of SCTP president Jim Lefkowitz.
2012 PRIMARY ELECTIONS
What’s the REAL story in District 7?
Those who know me know how protective I am of the Tea Parties. Around every election time candidates suddenly become Tea Party advocates and want your TIME and your MONEY.
Before I give, I like to do a little research on how well THEY contributed THIER TIME and MONEY toward winning the election.
I encourage you to do the same.
First step is the recent FEC filings of both campaigns, found here.
Don’t get “bamboozled” out of your time and money – learn the facts.
Excellent advice, Jim. And I did just that – I learned the facts. Based on the FEC chart posted on the SCTP website I gleaned the following:
- The chart covers a time period running from January 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012 – a couple of days BEFORE the candidates officially filed their petitions. As we all know, donors are generally loath to fork over cash until the candidate actually throws his hat in the metaphorical ring.
- Leonard Lance contributed $442 toward his campaign; David Larsen made no contribution. Again, this is before the official filing, so I’m not sure of its relevance. Moreover, the chart makes no record of the amount of time spent by each candidate to canvass the district. I would imagine that Mr. Lance must divide his time between his congressional duties and the call of the campaign trail. Mr. Larsen, I am told, canvasses the 7th District every day of the week. I would imagine that this time on the stump must count for something, no?
- Over the time period reflected in the FEC chart, Mr. Lance has raised a little over $652, 000 in contributions with roughly $229,000 in disbursements. For his part, Mr. Larsen raised $15,387 with almost $38,000 in disbursements.
No surprise here: Mr. Lance enjoys the perquisites of incumbency, including a clockwork campaign organization, congressional franking privileges and a steady stream of donors directed to his campaign by the GOP Establishment – including the likes of State Senator Mike Doherty, an erstwhile conservative who showed his true colors earlier this year when he agreed to manage the Lance campaign effort in Hunterdon County.
It was conservative poster boy Mike Doherty who stabbed Movement Conservatism in the back by endorsing Establishment RINO Lance over conservative Larsen in the 2010 race and then twisted the stiletto by throwing in his lot with Lance this year. I guess you could say that Doherty “bamboozled” those conservative Republicans who placed (and continue to place) their trust in him to do the right thing.
Then there is the question of where the money comes from. A little digging revealed this interesting bit of data:
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with getting one’s funding from PACs, assuming that the PACs reflect the core principles embraced by the candidate. That said, which PACs forked over cash to the Lance campaign between January 2011 and the end of March, 2012?
The full list may be found here. From this list I have culled nine noteworthy donors:
1. Bluegrass Committee PAC- this is a pro-Republican candidate organization headed by Sen. Mitch McConnell – who personifies the GOP Establishment in the Senate.
2. Every Republican Is Crucial PAC – another pro-Republican candidate organization headed by Rep. Eric Cantor – who is part of the GOP Establishment in the House.
3. Public Service Enterprise Group PAC – the political action arm of Public Service Electric & Gas – an energy utility with which Mr. Lance has some interesting connections: PSE&G supported the Cap & Trade bill for which Mr. Lance cast his YEA vote.
4. International Union of Operating Engineers PAC - a private sector trade union. ‘Nuff said.
5. Tuesday Group PAC – an organization that takes its name from a group of Republican centrists who meet weekly in the basement of the Capitol to discuss their policy priorities. The Tuesday Group was once co-chaired by former Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware. ‘Nuff said.
6. National Air Traffic Controllers PAC - a public sector union. You might recall that Reagan fired them when they went on strike in the early 1980s. ‘Nuff said.
7. Republican Main Street PAC – Sen. Olympia Snow of Maine had this to say: “The Main Street PAC provides vital support to centrist candidates who face challenging elections. Their efforts greatly assist my campaign and others across the country.” Lance is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which also includes John McCain. ‘Nuff said.
8. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades PAC – a private sector trade union. ‘Nuff said.
9. Ironworkers PAC – a private sector trade union. ‘Nuff said.
Interesting, no? Especially when you consider that Mr. Lance has referred to himself as “the Ronald Reagan candidate in this race.” This from the man who was one of only a handful of House Republicans who voted in favor of Cap & Trade, in favor of funding Obamacare and who only recently (when he realized he would be challenged in the primary) began proclaiming that he is pro-life.
I offer my thanks and congratulations to Jim Lefkowitz and the SCTP: by alerting the Republican voters of the 7th District to Leonard Lance’s shameless attempt to “bamboozle” them into believing he’s a Reagan Conservative, Jim has done a yeoman’s job.