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GOP, Big Business Bolt from Rep. Bentivolio, Run to Trott

Incumbent's troubles could be foreshadowed late last year, when business groups were plotting against the Tea Party.

by
Rod Kackley

Bio

May 25, 2014 - 1:35 pm
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Even more exit visas could be imminent for the business and Republican Party establishment leaders who backed Rep. Kerry Bentivolio when he was the GOP’s BAO (Best Available Option) in the 2012 11th Congressional District of Michigan general election.

The nation’s biggest business organization and several Michigan Republican Party leaders have already crossed the border to his competitor, and Bentivolio’s campaign manager is AWOL.

Bentivolio was on the 2012 ballot only because former Rep. Thad McCotter (R-Mich.) failed to qualify for the 2012 GOP primary and unexpectedly resigned his House seat, leaving the man who loves to play Santa Claus at Christmas as the only Republican on the ballot in the Republican-Red metro Detroit district.

At the time, Bentivolio was certainly the BAO. But it is a different year, a different election and a different primary ballot this time around.

Bentivolio and his war chest — which he said had less than $130,000 in it at the end of the first quarter of 2014 — are up against Detroit-area businessman David Trott and his campaign bank account of more than $1 million, as reported at the end of the first three months of 2014. The primary is Aug. 5.

And Bentivolio has personnel problems. His campaign manager walked away May 20. However, this is not all that unusual for the Republican who was named an ACU Conservative by the American Conservative Union in April 2014: Bentivolio is being sued by his 2012 campaign manager for what he claims to be $100,000 in unpaid salary.

Still, the departure of campaign manager David Wolkinson had to hurt, especially since it came six days after the news broke that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is throwing its support behind Trott.

“Dave has a strong record of creating jobs and promoting the principles of free enterprise and leadership in the private sector,” said Rob Engstrom, the Chamber’s senior vice president and national political director, earlier this month. “His experience as a job creator will serve the constituents of the district well and demonstrates his commitment to policies that will produce sustained economic growth and help get our country back on track.”

Desertions by several top Michigan GOP leaders were announced May 22.

Four vice chairs from the Michigan Republican Party endorsed Trott’s campaign for Congress.  Three of the vice chairs actually switched their support from Bentivolio to Trott.

“It is important that all of our Republican candidates demonstrate honesty and integrity,” said Michigan GOP Ethnic Vice Chair Linda Lee Tarver. “Dave Trott has been a successful businessman who has conducted himself with honesty and integrity. He is exactly the type of candidate that our party needs, and that is why I am proud to announce my support for his candidacy.”

Michigan GOP Youth Vice Chair Blake Edmonds said, “People of my generation are seeking conservative leaders that we can look up to and respect. Dave Trott is the kind of leader that young Republicans can rally behind. That is why I am honored to join Dave and his team.”

“As I travel around the state building our party, I am constantly elevating our Republican leaders as role models for conservative values,” said Kelly Mitchell, MIGOP Outreach Vice Chair. “It has become clear that Dave Trott is that role model in the 11th District. Dave has been a successful businessman, helped Republican candidates, and fought to grow our party.”

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All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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The RINO' are on the march. We working people have nothing good to expect from big business and the Chamber of Comerce. It seems like this party is dying by the day.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is there a tea party aligned candidate with a shot?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes there is. Chris McDaniel, running against Thad Cochran in Mississippi.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Looks like another NOTA bene event.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"There is not a party anymore that fills those buckets". YES there is...we are the Libertarian Party & we're waiting for all you naysayers to WAKE UP!! PLEASE WAKE UP, before it's too late!!
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you were real Libertarian, you should push a strong Libertarian candidate to run as a Republican. It's easier to take over the GOP from within than to set up a third party. Even Teddy Roosevelt fell short. In other words, don't just talk, turn the Republican Party into the Libertarian Party.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, that'd get done if there were smart Libertarians...

The capital L seems to take off about 50 effective IQ points.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
...and seems to attract a strange microcosm of anti-semites. Something I've tried to understand but can't.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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