Mainstreet Advocacy’s website brags about its goal of Team Spirit and Republican Unity:
Our mission is to bring together those who care about this country after decades of hyper-partisanship and dysfunction in Washington. Our goal is unity instead of division, supported by a commitment to governing with core principles.
Except that it’s a nearly universally acknowledged fact that the goal of former Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette’s PAC is to elect moderates and take out those pesky Tea Party types who won’t fall in line with the status quo in Washington.
The Defending Main Street SuperPAC launched vicious attacks against Ohio State Rep. Matt Lynch, a solid Tea Party conservative who was trying to unseat LaTourette’s hand-picked successor, Dave Joyce, a big government RINO, whom Mainstreet promoted as practically the second coming of Barry Goldwater (Joyce currently has a 49% rating by Heritage Action, 16 percentage points behind the House Republican average of 65). Did I mention that Lynch decided to run against Joyce after LaTourette’s daughter filed to run against Lynch for State Rep? Defending Main Street dropped nearly $30,000 on a single mailer a week before the Ohio primary lambasting Lynch for opposing Gov. Kasich’s biennium budget. In the mailer (which used Gov. Kasich’s image), the union-supported Defending Main Street PAC dishonestly implied that Lynch opposed the governor on balancing the budget and cutting taxes. In reality, the state representative opposed the budget because it increased state spending and actually raised some taxes. In addition, Lynch was one of only six members of the legislature who sued the governor to keep him from using the controlling board to expand Medicaid against the will of the legislature. Such disloyalty could not be tolerated by LaTourette, the Ohio Republican Party, the governor, and the Defending Main Street cabal.
All in the name of unity, of course.
Defending Main Street was even more vitriolic and divisive in Idaho’s race between Rep. Mike Simpson and his Club for Growth-supported challenger, Bryan Smith. They used a strategy that has proven successful across the country: portray the incumbent as the true conservative in the race (despite voting records and scorecards to the contrary) and take votes and statements of the challengers out of context to imply that they side with the Democrats.
Because their goal is “unity instead of division,” right?
Club for Growth president Chris Chocola was also targeted with this strategy in ads Defending Main Street ran for Rep. Simpson in Idaho. A despicable TV ad took a quote from a debate between Chocola and LaTourette completely out of context and made the outrageous claim that Chocola and Smith “help Pelosi” and that Mike Simpson has been Nancy Pelosi’s “worst nightmare” (with his pathetic 46% Heritage Action score). The ad featured a clip of Chocola saying, “The person I respect most in Washington may surprise you. It’s Nancy Pelosi.” It leaves out the context of that quote where Chocola explains that he wished Republicans would be that dedicated to advancing conservative ideas.
Because nothing says “unity” like lying about your opponent.
But as we are told again and again during these election cycles, the Tea Party is to blame for the divisions in the Republican Party. Conservatives are sanctimoniously lectured that they should suck it up and forget about everything that happened in the primary, no matter how unethical the behavior of the establishment. Shake hands, sing Kumbaya, and support the winner of the primary (unless it’s a wing-nut Tea Party candidate).
So what did LaTourette’s Main Street organization do in the name of unity after the Idaho primary? They attacked Chris Chocola, Club for Growth, and other conservative groups with a press release and email blast:
Tonight, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) defeated Club for Growth-backed opponent Bryan Smith. “The results in Idaho should liberate members of Congress to vote their conscience and ignore the scorecards and threats from special interest groups like the Club for Growth,” said former U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), head of the Defending Main Street PAC.
The Defending Main Street PAC spent over $500,000 in support of Simpson’s re-election – a direct response to the Club for Growth’s decision to primary Rep. Simpson.
“The Club for Growth promised that they would defeat Mike Simpson, they said this election would send a ‘chill down the spines’ of other members of Congress – the only thing chilly was the reception by the voters to the Club’s efforts to hijack elections,” continued LaTourette. “This election proves that the Club for Growth’s bark is worse than its bite.”
“Mike Simpson’s win tonight proves that it is the voters who wield the real power – not the self-important special interest groups like the Club for Growth,” said LaTourette.
“Mike Simpson is a consistent conservative leader who has a demonstrated record of standing up for Idaho jobs and protecting the local economy – not even hundreds of thousands of dollars in dishonest campaign ads could convince the voters of Idaho otherwise,” continued LaTourette.
Congressman Simpson was one of ten members of Congress targeted by the Club for Growth as part of their “Primary My Congressman” campaign. “To date, the Club for Growth’s perfect record is intact,” concluded LaTourette. “Every single member of Congress they have targeted as part of ‘Primary My Congressman’ who has faced the voters this primary season has been re-elected.”
Perhaps LaTourette somehow missed this in his quarter century of “public service,” but spiking the football after a victory doesn’t usually inspire a strong desire for a group hug or a Kumbaya moment from one’s opponents.
Where’s the unity, Steve?
The next time you hear one of these establishment demanding “unity” from the Tea Party, look them straight in the eye and quote that brilliant Spanish philosopher, Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”