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Moderate Groups Want to Run ‘Grifter Wing’ Out of the GOP

Who are the real grifters and con men here?

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

August 4, 2014 - 3:42 am
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Former Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette hurled another grenade in his war on the conservative wing of the Republican Party, this time writing in Politico that leaders of groups like Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and Tea Party Patriots are “grifters” and con artists who are “lining their pockets with the hard-earned money of working men and women … promising things in return that they know they can’t deliver.”

And Ted Cruz is the devil (or something), because Cruz makes a great malefactor in LaTourette’s Us vs. Them faux unity fairy tale. Grifters are the new Wacko Birds.

LaTourette, who retired in a huff after he was denied chairmanship of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 2012, compared Jenny Beth Martin, Chris Chocola, and Matt Kibbe to snake-oil salesmen and Ponzi scheme operators and said groups like his Defending Main Street PAC and the Chamber of Commerce are working to run them out of Washington.

LaTourette’s vitriolic Politico tantrum comes as he and his friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sit licking their wounds after failing to muscle through the immigration reforms they’ve been championing.

“Just look at what happened this past week, when hard-right House members with extensive ties to these outside groups, egged on by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, snarled up a sensible effort to pass a bill that would at least begin to address the crisis of undocumented children at the U.S.-Mexico border,” LaTourette wrote at Politico. “It was an embarrassing display of congressional dysfunction, and it showed that the grifting wing has learned nothing from last fall’s shutdown fiasco.”

In the article, LaTourette takes great pains to try to paint President Reagan as the Great Compromiser of Our Time, a man who demonstrated his goodness and brilliance by giving in to Democrats at every turn. “Reagan’s record and rhetoric stands in marked contrast to the grifting win [sic] of the party today, even as the grifters invoke his memory in their disingenuous appeals,” he fumes.

LaTourette is clear that he wants the “grifters” exposed and removed from his party.

“Exposing the grifters is exactly what is happening in the Republican Party today. Groups like the organization that I head, groups like the Chamber of Commerce, business groups and traditional Republican organizations are working to run the political snake-oil salesman out of town—or at least out of our party,” LaTourette said. [emphasis added]

But LaTourette is the last person who should be accusing anyone of being a grifter or a con artist.

Top Rated Comments   
In other words LaTourette was a grifter. Or as I like to put it using a universal form of shorthand: a scumbag.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can you say projection? The progressive wing of the GOP is taking their strategy from the current progressive regime, accusing their "enemies" of what they, themselves, are actually doing. Is there any more corrupt group than the progressive GOP establishment? All they seem to want is power for the sake of graft and they want GOP voters to shut up so they can continue to get away with it. The GOP progressives smearing GOP voters as "racists" in order to "win" the GOP U.S. Senate primary for Thad "open borders" Cochran was the last straw for me.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
The former congressman obviously suffers from his almost-namesake syndrome.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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This LaTourette guy sounds like a nasty piece of work.

But we do have a serious problem with grifters poaching off the Tea Party, and it isn't just moderates who recognize this problem. Many conservatives are disgusted with the grifters.

TPP, Freedomworks, AFP and others DO fundraise by pretending to be grassroots organizations and telling the grassroots that they "represent" them. Then some of these groups lie about their leaders' policy positions on central issues like amnesty (AFP, Freedomworks) while others (TPP) claim to speak for other people while they lack even a semblance of financial or organizational accountability, even though they may be good spokespeople.

AFP runs a particularly nasty little ruse, getting groups to sign up for vague "principles," then lobbying for whatever they wish while claiming that anyone who has ever volunteered time, signed the principles, or donated money is being "represented" by this lobbying. And AFP's leaders are pro-amnesty elsewhere (through CATO and Reason) while telling the Tea Party to sit down and shut up about amnesty through AFP. They also won't disclose how they create or count their membership lists. This is all very, very dirty.

TPP claims it is a grassroots group. That claim is a lie. They do not hold membership elections or even have publicly accessible bylaws. They do not disclose the way they use other people's money. They have repeatedly failed to make public financials we have requested and they have promised to disclose.

This is a serious problem.

None of these groups have track records that deserve to be trusted. Some of them have behaved with more or less loyalty to the grassroots, but that's no justification for hiding one's finances.

Meanwhile, on the Left, organizations are strong for the very things we lack. You won't find a national grassroots group on the Left that doesn't have real bylaws, real membership rules, real disclosure, and real, regular elections for local, state, and federal leadership positions.

Anyone can join the Sierra Club or ACLU or NARAL and work their way up to state or federal leadership through elections. Their financials are accessible. They seek real input on platform positions from their members through real polling (not the nonsense "surveys" designed to just harvest names for fundraising calls). They vote every year to choose their leaders. TPP, AFP, and Freedomworks do EXACTLY none of these things. And they pay themselves outrageous salaries from our money.

It is a disgrace, and one I would think you would oppose.

This systematic malfeasance is damaging the Tea Party movement itself. It's time to start telling the truth -- starting with everyone disclosing sums they have gotten from these organizations -- including in this forum and this website -- because these groups sure know how to spread money around in order to gain loyalty, sow divisiveness, and discredit those seeking ordinary accountability from them.
2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago Link To Comment
LaTourette and his friends at the Chamber of Commerce. Enough said.
2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago Link To Comment
Logic trumps big time spending, and it's starting to show.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't there a syndrome named after him?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
In other words LaTourette was a grifter. Or as I like to put it using a universal form of shorthand: a scumbag.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can you say projection? The progressive wing of the GOP is taking their strategy from the current progressive regime, accusing their "enemies" of what they, themselves, are actually doing. Is there any more corrupt group than the progressive GOP establishment? All they seem to want is power for the sake of graft and they want GOP voters to shut up so they can continue to get away with it. The GOP progressives smearing GOP voters as "racists" in order to "win" the GOP U.S. Senate primary for Thad "open borders" Cochran was the last straw for me.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
moderates dont really "do" anything
they just loaf into their mushy position once the two opposing sides are established

the trouble arises when the mushy middle is perceived/propagandized to be the "right wing" and the real moderates settle in la la land
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry, I was under the impression that Senator Ted Cruz is paid a salary by the taxpayers of the United States of America, and that accepting other money for his personal benefit would be bribery and a crime. Is Sen. Cruz being accused of a crime? No? Then it's not grifting. And neither is the DCCC sounding the klaxons that the President is going to be impeached and they urgently need money to combat impeachment.

That, would be trolling.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
The no-borders lobbying of LaTourette and the US Chamber of Commerce is one reason I support a sky-high minimum wage. Sure, the Econ 101 arguments against it are valid. But I want to stick it to those big-business Republicans for trying to turn the US into a Mexican colony.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
The former congressman obviously suffers from his almost-namesake syndrome.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
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