An endorsement – especially one that comes from a person or an organization that is well-known and respected for integrity – is a powerful campaign boost for any candidate who seeks public office. It is a seal of approval that assures voters the candidate is everything he or she claims to be and that they can cast their ballots with assurance and confidence.
Thus, political candidates seek out endorsements and willingly endure intense vetting at the hands of screening committees that leave few if any stones unturned.
It’s a grueling but very necessary process that weeds out weak, insincere or just plain incompetent individuals.
The value of endorsements cannot be over-emphasized here in the 7th Congressional District – which changed considerably after the redistricting commission was finished with it. A number of fairly liberal and moderate municipalities were carved out while many conservative municipalities were added. In fact, 70% percent of the newly redrawn district considers itself politically conservative – so conservative that two candidates for the Democratic primary (one of whom had a $350,000 campaign war chest) dropped out of the race. This change “flips” the primary and the general election: because it’s highly unlikely that a Democrat will prevail in November, it means the Republican candidate who wins the primary on June 5 will ultimately represent this district in Congress.
Hence the value of endorsements from conservative individuals and organizations for Republican candidates Leonard Lance (the incumbent) and David Larsen (the challenger). Without any further ado, let’s dive right in and see who received the conservative thumbs up.
Larsen is endorsed, among others, by:
- American Conservative Union
- Conservative Party of New Jersey
- National Tax Limitation Committee
- Gun Owners of America
- Republican National Coalition for Life
- New Jersey Right to Life
To date, none of Larsen’s campaign war chest comes from PACs – it comes from individuals and from Larsen himself.
Surely Leonard Lance – who claims to be the “Principled Conservative” in this primary – enjoys similar glowing endorsements from fellow principled conservatives, right? Not exactly. Here’s a handy short list of Leonard Lance’s endorsements:
- The Washington, D.C. GOP Establishment
- The New Jersey GOP Establishment
- Private & Public Sector Unions
- The U. S.Chamber of Commerce
- Pseudo-Conservative turncoats
Most of Lance’s campaign donations come from political action committees (PACs) – and none of them are Conservative. Here are some of the top donors:
- Bluegrass Committee PAC- this is a pro-Republican candidate organization headed by Sen. Mitch McConnell – who personifies the GOP Establishment in the Senate.
- 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.
- 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.
- International Union of Operating Engineers PAC - a private sector trade union. ‘Nuff said.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.” Mirabile dictu, Lance is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which also includes John McCain. ‘Nuff said.
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades PAC – a private sector trade union. ‘Nuff said.
- 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.
The final batch of endorsements for Lance comes from NJ state legislators who claim to be conservative:
- State Senators Michael Doherty, Tony Bucco and Steve Oroho
- Assemblywoman Alison McHose
- Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll
No surprise that Doherty holds Lance in such high regard: he’s in charge of the Lance campaign in Hunterdon County where he continues to stab Movement Conservative David Larsen in the back by pressuring erstwhile Republican donors to stay away from the Larsen campaign.
There is also the private endorsement of none other than Americans for Prosperity state director Steve Lonegan – who once aspired to become the Conservative Kingmaker of the Garden State and now must grovel for crumbs from the Establishment table.
All of these individuals have nothing but praise for Leonard Lance as a “principled” and “consistent” conservative who “has stood for honor, integrity and always doing the right thing on behalf of New Jersey’s taxpayers” and is “willing to pay the price necessary to do the right thing no matter what.”
Perhaps these self-proclaimed “conservatives” are unaware of Lance’s abysmal voting record in Congress. More likely, they simply choose to ignore it and endorse Lance out of cynical political ambition.
Yes, indeed, my friends: by the endorsements we know who the TRUE conservative candidate is in this primary race and it behooves true conservatives throughout the district to support David Larsen and do everything they can to ensure that he defeats Leonard Lance on June 5.
Then we can deal with the likes of Doherty, McHose and the other turncoats in the next primary race.