It’s with a heavy heart I write these words. I thought that the good people of Kansas would be wise enough to ignore the flood of campaign money that the GOP establishment in D.C. was pouring into the Sunflower State… but I was wrong.
On Tuesday, three-term incumbent and conservative leader, [score]Tim Huelskamp[/score], was handily defeated by his establishment-backed primary opponent Roger Marshall. Marshall serves at the beck and call of the agricultural concern in Kansas and is already a servant of the D.C. party elite. In a year that was supposed to represent a populist surge against the establishment and toward independent candidates, the political elite have served notice that they are still in control.
Huelskamp is a staunch philosophical conservative who has gone to battle against the Democrat Party and the GOP time and again. He has stood with conservatives against the establishment and earned himself a reputation as one who wouldn’t toe the party line when it went against his conservative values. Huelskamp led the charge to oust squishy moderate [score]John Boehner[/score] (R-OH) from his leadership position, and while Boehner is now gone, the party elite hadn’t forgotten the slight.
But why would Huelskamp’s constituents vote to dump a representative who has served them so ferociously?
Money. It’s always the money.
In Huelskamp’s primary, outside groups poured more than $2.5 million into the massive, 63-county stretch of Kansas farmland. Much of the advertising litigated Huelskamp’s commitment to supporting local agriculture in Congress.
“That much money coming in from outside, that’s hard,” said Jeff Glendening, who runs the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the national conservative group that backed Huelskamp. “It flooded the district. It was impossible to avoid those messages”…
The folks funding the Marshall campaign made no bones about it; they were sending a message to every conservative in Congress.
Marshall backers hoped their victory in Kansas would send a message to frequent “no” voters among House Republicans: that obstructionism has its limits.
“Every member should remember this the next time they see a Club for Growth or Heritage Action vote alert,” said a national Republican strategist. “Never put their interests before your district or the country, or there will be a price to pay.”
Conservative voter, WAKE UP. The GOP is not for you. The Party elite does not represent you. They want us to vote for them, to give them our money, and then to keep our mouths shut. The Republican Party is no longer our ally, they (along with Democrats) are waging war against conservative ideology, and Tim Huelskamp is just the latest casualty in that war. Every conservative legislator in the country needs to be prepared to face their own “Manchurian candidate” primaries, because the establishment is looking to replace them all.