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Justin Amash’s Michigan Primary Battle Is One for the Soul of the GOP
Townhall.com ^ | May 12, 2014 | Cathy Reisenwitz

Posted on 05/12/2014 4:20:00 AM PDT by Kaslin

Think of every area where the GOP has strayed from its conservative roots. The bailouts. TARP. Out-of-control government spying. Job-killing corporate cronyism. There is one man in Congress consistently saying “no” to making government bigger and less accountable. His name is Justin Amash, and the establishment has taken notice.

Big business wants to ensure voters elect Republicans who will keep the perks flowing -- from taxpayers’ bank accounts and right to their pockets. They’ve even created a feel-good way to describe such a Republican: Pro-business. And that’s exactly the kind of guy they’ve found in Amash’s primary challenger. Amash goes up against Brian Ellis in August. And while Ellis’ platform should make conservatives cringe, he supports unconstitutional spying and Common Core, it’s his love for corporate welfare which has big business on board, in a big way.

How big? Let’s look at who’s on board the Ellis train. So far he’s gotten hefty checks from the Meijers family, owners of the massive Midwest supermarket chain, the political arms of Home Depot, Dow Chemical and the International Franchise Association, the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, the Association for Advanced Life Underwriters, and the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers.

Michigan Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue is on board, as well as Michigan businessman Steve LaTourette.

For a Republican primary, this kind of money and interest from business is nearly unheard of. So why so much interest from the Michigan business community in defeating Amash? Donohue summed it up well, in describing his motivation for supporting Ellis. Apparently Amash has been “unhelpful.”

What does “unhelpful” look like when you’re talking about a politician “helping” the business community? Dr. Tom Borelli did a great job looking into just that for The Blaze.

Tom Donohue and Steve LaTourette work for Michigan businesses. There are literally millions of dollars on the line for these businesses every time a stimulus, gasoline tax or research grant bill comes up for a vote.

GE, for example, received over $100 million in grants from the $787 billion stimulus bill. And for GE, big government is the gift that keeps on giving. Despite earning just over $16 billion in 2012, the company is still getting grant money from the federal government.

In 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) continued to shower GE with taxpayer money. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) branch of the DOE awarded GE with just over $11 million in grants to conduct basic research on projects ranging from batteries to natural gas vehicles to wind turbine research this year. These funds were in addition to other grants from prior years.

That’s not all. The DOE is funding development of new vehicle technologies through another source – Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance – and GE’s getting a $1.7 million piece of the $45 million pie. Caterpillar, Ford, 3M Company and General Motors are also cashing in on DOE’s generosity.

Finally, GE is getting about another $7 million from an $84 million bucket of taxpayer cash just announced in November, for two research projects related to carbon capture technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Big businesses like GE, not to mention Michigan’s powerful labor unions, cannot afford to let small-government types elect principled Republicans without a fight. There’s too much of your money at stake.

But that doesn’t mean the fight is over. Big business might be in Ellis’ corner, but small-government freedom fighters are backing Amash. Anti-cronyism crusaders from the Koch Brothers to the Club for Growth to Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are throwing money at Amash’s campaign. Individual libertarians are giving as well, such as the DeVos family. In addition, several small-government Republican congressmen have contributed to his campaign, including Reps. Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) and Tim Huelskamp (Kansas). Even liberal law firm DLA Piper is contributing because of Amash’s staunch defenses of Americans against unconstitutional secret spying by the Obama Administration.

The Republican Party is at a critical moment with the Amash primary. We can be honest with ourselves for a moment. Many of our representatives in Congress have totally betrayed their small-government ideals and ignored their promises to cut spending and shrink the size and scope of government. For too many congresspeople, the temptation to kowtow to business interests by keeping the corporate welfare flowing is simply too great.

Justin Amash is a rare Republican. When a bill comes up with expands government, he’s a consistent “no” vote. Donohue and LaTourette absolutely correct that that makes him “unhelpful” to businesses used to sucking on the government teat. Government’s job isn’t to help businesses. It’s to get out of the way so the market can work.

There’s a reason Amash voted against his own party more than any other House Republican, and tied for second overall in party dissent. He didn’t betray his party. His party consistently betrays us, on behalf of big business.

Establishment Republicans have a lot to lose by ticking off corporate interests. That’s why they don’t do it much. The only recourse voters have is at the ballot box. Electing Justin Amash isn’t about one Republican versus another in Michigan. It’s about voters telling the GOP establishment that they have more than just big business to answer to regarding whose interests they’re representing. Electing Justin Amash will remind them that they must represent everyday American voters as well.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: election2014; gopprimary; justinamash; randsconcerntrolls; tpinos

1 posted on 05/12/2014 4:20:00 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

This article goes on and on and never mentions what office he is running for. I guess you have to live in Michigan to know.


2 posted on 05/12/2014 4:31:50 AM PDT by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

He’s running for his third House term.


3 posted on 05/12/2014 4:33:16 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: Kaslin

One telling sign I’m seeing from the chamber of commerce backed candidates is an aversion to words like “Immigration” and “Border”. I haven’t really looked at this Ellis guy running against Amash but the chamber guy (Dave Trott) running against Kerry Bentivolio is running on a pretty thin soup of chamber money and little else.

Chamber maidens


4 posted on 05/12/2014 4:34:11 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Springman; cyclotic; netmilsmom; RatsDawg; PGalt; FreedomHammer; queenkathy; madison10; ...
Amash race. Chamber maidens.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Michigan legislative action thread
5 posted on 05/12/2014 4:35:52 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

What members of Congress have to face reelection every two years?


6 posted on 05/12/2014 4:39:26 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: DoodleDawg

Third district


7 posted on 05/12/2014 4:41:16 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

The premise stated in the title is flawed. The GOP has no soul to fight over.


8 posted on 05/12/2014 4:47:58 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: Orangedog

Says you


9 posted on 05/12/2014 4:51:22 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

Smash sounds like a first class politician. Michigan’s voters vote for him.


10 posted on 05/12/2014 5:02:58 AM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: Kaslin

Glaring error in this article: Steve LaTourettte (a/k/a Tourette’s Syndrome) (h/t Mark Levin) is a douchebag former congressman from northeast Ohio who runs a RINO lobby called Main Street Partnership. I did find the source of his douche- ness; he is an alumnus of the University of Michigan (you can’t spell scum without UM).


11 posted on 05/12/2014 5:05:56 AM PDT by nd76
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To: Kaslin

Yep. Says me. It has about as much soul a La Cosa Nostra or Yakuza. And it’s an accurate statement unless proven otherwise.


12 posted on 05/12/2014 5:09:28 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: Kaslin
Says you

What soul the GOP had was sold to special interests years ago. It's time to take it back. Amash sounds more like the kind of guy to do it than his opponenets do.

13 posted on 05/12/2014 5:33:45 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: DoodleDawg

We need to take back the RNC one committee member at a time. They’re among the worst.


14 posted on 05/12/2014 5:50:04 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Kaslin

Amash is a kook. If he wants to serve as the Iranian Dictator’s Press Secretary, let him quit his day job in Congress.


15 posted on 05/12/2014 12:08:46 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Kaslin
Establishment Republicans have a lot to lose by ticking off corporate interests.

I've never understood this argument. Big business already gives more to Democrats in the form of hush money than they do to Republicans. And when the Democrats give it to business in the neck, as they do ALL the time, they just give more money.

16 posted on 05/12/2014 12:12:08 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg ("Compromise" means you've already decided you lost.)
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To: Kaslin

I only care about Amash’s position on immigration. Does he oppose amnesty? Yes or No?


17 posted on 05/12/2014 1:53:04 PM PDT by montag813
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