Friday, April 13, 2012

Backing Conservatives in Primaries - Why It Matters

Two things happened at the Colorado Capitol Wednesday (Apr. 11) which illustrate how utterly important it is to support conservative candidates in primaries. Vocal personal support isn't enough - they need your financial support, within your means.

In a minute I'll explain an easy, affordable way to help.

Case 1: Some Republicans Oppose Republican Principles

Wednesday, House Republicans and Democrats debated Colorado's budget. There are 33 Republicans, and 32 Democrats - a 1-vote GOP majority.

Conventional wisdom says when it's that close, you support any Republican, no matter if they oppose conservative principles. Don't rock the boat.

Some Republicans, led by Rep. Chris Holbert and Rep. Marsha Looper, rocked the boat. They made a stand against taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. Any taxpayer funding (direct or indirect) for an organization that provides abortions is illegal under Colorado law - it's in the Constitution. That doesn't stop Democrats from trying anyway. And they did Wednesday.

Holbert, Looper, and a number of other stalwart conservatives rallied the troops and got every Republican to vote NO on funding.

That's a success story. But how did we get there?

Wouldn't it have been easier to block funding back when the GOP had more than a one-vote majority? Seems like a point in favor of the "big tent" and "don't rock the boat" camps, but it's not.

The backstory is that just a few years ago, even when Republicans held a substantial majority in the Statehouse, a few Republican legislators - as many as one-third - would have voted with the Democrats to support Planned Parenthood.

Primaries matter. Supporting conservative candidates matters.

If conservative candidates hadn't stepped up and challenged the liberal, RINO Republicans (Republicans in Name Only), and if conservative citizens hadn't stepped up and donated to the conservative cause, a majority of the House would still support Planned Parenthood and all the killing they do. Excusing all the state laws they violate. Accepting all the young women they place in jeopardy.  

YOUR tax money supporting the deaths of thousands of unborn children in Colorado! 

Supporting conservative candidates matters!

In 2010, my political committee, Colorado Conservative Action, helped Rep. Chris Holbert win a 3-way primary election. He's now a rising star in the conservative movement, and is leading the fight on many conservative issues.

Case 2: Some Republicans Are Liberal Extremists

In 2003, Scott Peterson killed his pregnant wife Laci and dumped her body, and the body of his unborn son Connor, into San Francisco Bay. California charged him with two murders.

In the years since then, public outcry caused 38 states to enact laws allowing the killing of an unborn child during the commission of a crime to be charged as a separate murder. Colorado, almost a decade later, remains one of a handful without such a law.

Why? Because so many Republican legislators did whatever Planned Parenthood wanted. Pro-abortion forces had a functional majority in a legislature controlled by Republicans! And Planned Parenthood didn't want any laws on the books that might suggest an unborn child has value to anyone - even his or her own pregnant mother.

Polls show anywhere from 70-90% of citizens believe the killing of pregnant moms' "wanted" children should be prosecuted as murder. A majority of Democrats hold such a position. Even a majority of pro-choicers. Opposing these laws is extreme!

But Wednesday, Republican Senator Ellen Roberts voted with the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to kill even this most basic protection for unborn children - a measure supported by the vast majority of Coloradans. Roberts has been in the pocket of Planned Parenthood since she won her first election.

Supporting conservatives is important. Supporting them financially is especially important.

In 2010, Colorado Conservative Action (my political committee) gave money to conservative Republican Dean Boehler during the primary in an attempt to prevent Ellen Roberts from being elected to the Senate. She won the primary anyway, but it wasn't easy.

Colorado Conservative Action tried to stop Ellen Roberts, and her extremist agenda. Maybe with more donations we could have done it. 

She's the most pro-abortion Republican in the Senate. She's also the second worst tax-and-spend Republican in the Senate, according to the Colorado Union of Taxpayers.

Beware all the liberals dressed as conservatives this election season. There are many Republican candidates who don't match their rhetoric.

CCA only supports candidates who are pledged to be 1) pro-life, 2) pro-gun, 3) fiscally conservative, and 4) pro-liberty (and all the things that entails - 10th Amendment, property rights, etc.). You can feel confident that if you donate to Colorado Conservative Action these candidates will be vetted on these important principles, and the money will be wisely allocated only to candidates who really mean what they say.

This committee can only donate to candidates at the state level (i.e. not candidates for federal, county or city offices). By law, I cannot promise to support a particular candidate.

Its goal is to replace liberal Republicans and Democrats with principled conservatives in the State House and Senate by financially supporting them in primaries, and then also in the November election.

Will YOU Donate to Help Conservative Candidates?

Please contact me if you have any questions, or if you want to make sure I'm the real thing. I've worked on campaigns since 1984 and served as a political communicator at the State Capitol as press secretary and speechwriter. I know how to evaluate candidates and how to spot evasions when trying to pin them down.

Colorado Conservative Action can receive checks, or Paypal donations, from US citizens of up to $550 per election cycle. Less than that is fine.

If anything more than $50 is outside your budget, then you could donate to my small donor committee, the Conservative Renewal Fund (I sometimes call it the "Conservative Renewal Authority" for fun).

Anything you can contribute will help the cause. Contributing to Colorado Conservative Action magnifies your money, allowing you to donate more than just direct contributions. It also amplifies your political voice, because candidates who receive donations from CCA know they're getting it because they are steadfast in defending conservative principles and they'll be held accountable.  

Thanks to your generosity, conservative candidates will get a check with a "note" attached - one that says, "Thanks for standing up for conservative values!"

Every individual citizen can donate up to $550. Other members of your household may also donate $550. I'll need to know the name and occupation of each individual donor.

I will appreciate anything you can give, and so will principled candidates.

Ed Hanks
Colorado Conservative Action
1005 Northridge Rd.
Littleton, CO 80126 720-301-4270

Find Colorado Conservative Action at
($550 donation limit - US citizens only)


Find the Conservative Renewal Fund at
($50 donation limit - US citizens only)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How “Bitter” Conservatives Got Us President Reagan

If not for the “unreasonable” refusal of conservatives to vote for Gerald Ford in the 1976 presidential race, we might have missed the presidency of Ronald Reagan altogether.

Would that have been a good thing? Avoiding Carter's disastrous four years?

Indeed, we could have gone straight from a 6-year Ford presidency (1974-1984) into an 8-year Bob Dole or George H.W. Bush presidency (1981-1988) without even bothering to change business as usual in the GOP.

Just imagine. A regime of moderate Republican control – Nixon, Ford, Dole, Bush… Maybe culminating decades later with Mitt Romney.

We could have seen four decades of Republicans, with only brief, one-term Democrat “corrections.” None of the controversy over “divisive” social issues. None of the pain of reducing government. And, in fact, none of the rabid dislike of Republicans by liberals – why hate those whose differences are merely a matter of degree?

Without that jolt of cold-shower Carterism, would the conservative movement have been strong enough to put Reagan over the top in 1980, against strong challenges by “Vice President Bob Dole” or perhaps “Senator George H.W. Bush?” President Ford would have steered the nomination in their direction. Without Carter, the inadequacies of the Republican establishment would have gone un-exposed, the yearning for a conservative hero uninspired.

In 1976, the incumbent president, Gerald Ford, had taken over from a wounded and resigned Richard Nixon. Jimmy Carter took him on – a fresh, up-and-coming governor from Georgia, with a promise to govern as a moderate, not corrupted by Washington politics.

The decision in November wasn’t really a post-Watergate blowout, like many assume. The fact that Carter won by 57 electoral votes obscures the fact that he took only 50.1% of the popular vote (Ford 48%) and a switch of only 29 electoral votes – Texas and Delaware would do it, or New Jersey and Missouri – would have given Ford a full term of his own.

Ronald Reagan spoiled his party.

Reagan, formerly an actor and new-ideas governor of California, didn’t feel Ford met the test for wise government policy. Ford was an example of the “traditional, Rockefeller Republican” who agreed with Democrats that government could provide the solution to problems… IF used in the “right” way. So Reagan declared to run as the conservative alternative to the presumptive nominee.

Everybody knew how THAT had worked out before – 1964, Barry Goldwater. The “failure of conservatism.” Eyes were rolled.

Conventional wisdom said it was stupid to boldly defy the Soviet Union, or to drastically shake up government structures and spending, to try out new, untested economic policies.

But conservative Republicans – the “Tea Party” of that day – were fired up about a paradigm change in Washington. They got behind Reagan in the primaries, and Reagan and Ford entered the Republican National Convention with virtually a 50-50 split in delegates. The decision hung in the balance. Some historians suggest it was Sen. Goldwater’s endorsement of Ford – “for the good of the Party” – that tipped the scales and barely allowed Ford to prevail.

Ford mounted a competitive race against Carter. In the end, he lost the General Election by the slim margins described earlier. Most historians partially blame the bitterness of conservative Reagan supporters who wouldn’t come around behind the more moderate nominee. For many conservatives, Ford was just too tainted with old, country-club tradition to support. This wasn’t why they’d gotten into politics – to choose the lesser of two evils.

Wouldn’t it have been better to choose the “better candidate,” when given a choice between only two people who were likely to win? Why not vote for Ford, if a non-vote or a third-party vote were essentially a vote for Carter? Many Reagan supporters “sucked it up” and voted for Ford, while holding their nose.

But others stuck defiantly to principle, and refused to endorse a moderate, “government is the answer” political philosophy that they felt was already destroying the country.

Without this outgrowth from the bitter primary battle, Ford might well have won. The entire course of American and world history would have been different.

No President Ronald Reagan. No conservative takeover of the GOP. No shakeup of the Washington establishment. No challenging military buildup against the Soviet Union. No “pesky” divisions over the abortion issue.

If conservatives had just been “sensible” and supported the Republican nominee, no matter who he was, or what he believed, would that have been a good thing?

Ronald Reagan required two things to have a chance to win in 1980 – for Gerald Ford to lose… AND for Jimmy Carter to win! The dismal failure of the Carter presidency set up Reagan’s victory in 1980, by showing just how bankrupt, and how mistaken, the Left’s progressive, pro-government fiscal policy and timid foreign policy ideas were.

If there had been no President Carter – and if Gerald Ford had continued those same left-thinking policies the modern GOP had typically accepted – there would have been no conservative revolution.

Would that have been a good thing?

At least the GOP would still hold the White House, right? Isn’t that what’s important? The lesser of two evils? Perpetually?

In the end, withholding one's vote, as a matter of principle, is how principled voters change their party - NOT in the short-term, but definitely in the long-term. Parties DO NOT change unless voters reserve the power to withhold their vote on principle - they only get worse, and less principled, taking their voters for granted.

A vote for a “moderate Republican” today may stifle the conservative movement – cutting off the career of the next Reagan - and continue to habituate the GOP to cultivating more moderates in the confidence that conservatives will vote for whomever they give us.

The wise move for conservatives is to vote for the nominee if he is a conservative, and to hold out for better if he’s not. Don’t feed the trolls in Washington!

Ed Hanks is a former political speechwriter and press secretary who currently works with the pro-life Personhood movement, and consults for pro-Personhood candidates.