Schock accused of not being a conservative
2 months, 3 weeks ago by Bryan NicholsClub for Growth starts website targeting Schock and others
Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18) continues to take criticism from his own side due primarily to his yes vote on the fiscal cliff.
Already enduring a barrage of negative radio and TV ads from the Jobs and Progress Fund, a group of unknowns which appears to be connected to his possible gubernatorial run, the ultra-conservative Club for Growth has now targeted Schock and several other Republican congressman in a campaign they call Primarymycongressman.com.
The purpose of the website is to raise awareness of Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) who are currently serving in safe Republican seats. In many of the Congressional districts highlighted, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney received over 60% of the votes for President in 2012, but the incumbent Congressman has a lifetime rating of less than 70% on the Club for Growth’s Congressional Scorecard, which measures the commitment of lawmakers to limiting government and free markets.
The website will offer Club members and the general public the opportunity to recommend primary opponents to the incumbents highlighted by Club for Growth Action, as well as to recommend primary challengers for any Republican member of Congress.
Schock is one of the targeted Congressmen on the list. He has a Club for Growth lifetime rating of 61%. Also on the list is Rep. Adam Kinzinger who was just in Quincy this past weekend speaking about “not calling people RINO’s.” He has a lifetime rating of 56%.
As was the case after the Jobs and Progress Fund ad started airing, Schock’s Chief of Staff, Steve Shearer, decided that the best place to respond would be on the Congressman’s Facebook page. (I’ve edited some of it out because it is LONG)
Club for Growth’s endgame is for Congress to become even more strident and gridlocked.
They are targeting nine Republicans with conservative voting records, for the sole reason of winning the arms race of what interest group can be furthest to the right. That helps in fundraising. Few people are going to agree with a Congressman who has cast over 3,000 votes. All conservative AND liberal national organizations rate Aaron Schock as a mainstream conservative—except the Club for Growth and Heritage Action. They are loud, but not an accurate reflection of Congressman Schock’s record.
Attacking organizations on the right may be a good plan if he’s going to run for Governor but if he doesn’t, it might not be the best plan in the 18th district.
There are organizations on the far left and right that believe members of Congress should reflexively vote in accordance with their precise vote recommendations and submit to their demands to co-sign letters and other measures. If that should be the case we could install robots instead of having elected representatives. Aaron Schock however, believes he was elected to represent the people of the 18th District, not the board of directors of Club for Growth. He will not cede his responsibility to represent all the people of 18th District to any self-anointed guardian of the economic interests of the district.
Shearer then doubles down on the fiscal cliff vote. Many 18th district constituents who support Rep. Schock wholeheartedly disagreed with his vote but still support him for the most part.
Unfortunately, many of Club for Growth's rigid policies would damage economic growth.
If Congress listened to Club for Growth this past New Years Day, our country would have gone off the fiscal cliff resulting in:
• Higher marginal income tax rates.
• Higher capital gains tax rates.
• Higher interest and dividend tax rates.
• An alternative minimum tax that would have gouged millions more people
• a higher death tax
• Doctors would have been reimbursed far less than the cost of treatment in many instances for treating Medicare patients.
• The Farm Bill would have expired leaving agriculture in a mess.
With the sequester kicking in at the same time as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax cut, our economy would have suffered a tremendous blow that would have destroyed hundreds of billions of dollars of private wealth by reducing both equity and home values. Governments would have then racked up even more debt as pension systems' equity values would have been damaged.
Club for Growth faults Aaron Schock for supporting federal spending on building roads, bridges and other vital public infrastructure, essential for GROWTH. Building infrastructure is a legitimate role of government for all but the most extreme ideologues, and Aaron Schock isn’t going to stand by while our roads and bridges crumble, leading to economic decay.
Apparently too many editorial board sessions with Tom Oakley got to Shearer.
Going over the fiscal cliff this past New Years Day would have caused massive wealth destruction and radically higher tax bills for everyone, which would have savagely damaged economic growth.
Spending money pointing out nine Republican that are impure in their eyes, rather than working to expand our slim 15 seat majority by winning another 9 seats from Democrats, risks losing that majority. If Nancy Pelosi becomes House Speaker again, federal spending would again explode. That would be catastrophic for economic growth.
Congressman Aaron Schock has strongly supported trade expansion, tax simplification, lower marginal tax rates, lower capital gains taxes, the Paul Ryan budgets, and voted against President Obama's stimulus, Cap and Trade, Cash for Clunkers, Obamacare and other big spending bills.
You can never be too pure for those who make a buck on rabble rousing to differentiate themselves from other conservative organizations.
And so now the Club for Growth has responded to Shearer’s response (in a letter sent to Schock and released to the media…not on Facebook).
Dear Congressman Schock,
It’s notable that you have chosen to respond to Club for Growth Action’s new website, www.PrimaryMyCongressman.com, with a desperate attempt to hide your liberal voting record. The fact is that any empirical analysis proves that you have consistently voted against policies that would limit government and increase economic growth since you entered Congress.
If you were truly the fiscal conservative you claim to be, you would have no problem answering the following questions:
- When you voted against cutting all of the spending from President Obama’s failed “stimulus” bill, was that because you are a big spender at heart? (RCV #42, 2009)
- When you voted to increase the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion, was that because you wanted to give President Obama more money to spend? (RCV #690, 2011)
- When you voted for a budget extension that funded ObamaCare, was that because you secretly like ObamaCare and want to implement it? (RCV #579, 2012)
- When you were one of only 13 Republicans who voted against blocking funding for a National Labor Relations Board lawsuit that would have infringed on a worker’s right to a secret ballot in union elections, was that for the benefit of your friends in big labor, or the people of the 18th Congressional district? (RCV #229, 2012)
- Speaking of your pro-labor union voting record, how do repeated votes for Davis-Bacon wages on government projects, which are nothing but giveaways to Big Labor, benefit the hard-working taxpayers of Illinois’s 18th Congressional District? (RCV #122, 2009; #414, 2011; #395, 2011; #144, 2011; #585, 2011)
- When you were one of only 41 Republicans to vote against cutting $1.2 million from the budget of the U.S. Botanic Gardens, located in Washington, D.C., did you mistakenly think it was located in Illinois’s 18th Congressional District? (RCV #371, 2012)
- When you voted against 40 out of 45 amendments to cut spending in the last Congress, was it because you think all government programs are necessary and that there is no waste to be cut out of the budget? (LINK)
- When you claim you voted for a tax cut in the “fiscal cliff” tax increase deal, do you think that the other 151 Republicans who voted the other way voted for a tax increase? (RCV #659, 2012)
Congressman Schock, your liberal record speaks for itself. You understandably would like to hide the reality that you are a pro-stimulus spending, pro-ObamaCare, pro-debt limit increase, pro-tax increase, pro-labor “Republican”, but all the evidence points to that very fact. Your actions as a member of Congress matter, and because of you and your votes, taxes and debt are higher, ObamaCare is funded, labor bosses receive their handouts and both your constituents and Americans have less economic freedom.
Congressman Schock, please stop pretending to be a fiscal conservative. The voters of Illinois’s 18th Congressional District are not blind: they can tell when someone is pretending to be something they’re not.
President – The Club for Growth
I’m sure this isn’t the end of this. I intend to get someone from the Club for Growth on my radio program to discuss. Hopefully, Congressman Schock will also come on the program.
I understand what the Club for Growth is trying to do but we have enough trouble keeping fairly conservative congressmen in office in Illinois. This just doesn’t seem helpful. It’s not 2010 anymore and, while I don’t agree with Schock’s fiscal cliff vote, I’m not ready to toss him aside.
Ultimately, I think he’s got bigger concerns with the ethics allegations he’s facing.
I don’t think this has fully played itself out and I can’t see where it gets any better. The tit for tat is probably just going to get embarrassing.