Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Should Conservatives Support Robert Hurt for Congress?

The dynamic in the race for the Republican nomination in the 5th District seems to be anybody but Hurt. His votes for the Warner tax increases, as well as the Northern Virginia Trasnsportation Authority are making many people raise their eyebrows (to say the least).

Robert Hurt is addressing this issue by saying it is a vote he regrets. His campaign manager, Chris LaCivita, argues that Sen. Hurt was misled, and if he knew there was really a surplus he wouldn't have voted for it. He is also arguing that people are just cherrypicking a couple votes out of over 5,000 votes Se. Hurt cast. Sen. Hurt has also signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to not raise taxes that is sponsored by Grover Norquist.

To say that harking back to this vote is cherrypicking is to ignore the political situation surrounding the Warner tax increase vote. This was one of the bigget votes in the state senate in years. Activists, and the RPV chair Kate Obenshain were calling on the state senate to not pass the tax increases. A western style wanted posters were created with the faces of all the Republican state senators who voted for the tax increases, and an effort was made to primary many of those state senators in the 2007 election cycle. Some would also consider the vote a significant reason the Republicans lost the state senate in 2007.

To brush off a vote like this by saying you regret it and wouldn't have done it if you had all the information is like saying you wouldn't have voted for the first bailout if you had all the information. That is not the kind of person we want. We want someone who will get it right when it comes time to vote.

It is almost as inspiring as supporting someone for president who supported the Gang of 14 while in the U.S. Senate, and we all saw how well that worked out.

That said for Lawrence Verga and others to compare what is going on in the 5th district to NY-23 inaccurately represents both what happened in New York, and what is going on in Virginia. In New York the Republican leaders chose someone who was more liberal than the Democrat, and was endorsed by the SEIU and ACORN. In Virginia we have someone who has a long record of service in the state legislature, and besides those two very important votes it is a very good record. He is socially conservative, and he is pro gun. These things could not be said about the Republican nominee in NY-23.

Robert Hurt is someone who will very understandably have a difficult time energizing and inspiring the grassroots. Is he someone I would support in a primary? No. While he will not be a conservative leader in Congress, he will be much better than Tom Periello, and will do a good job, and therfore we can and must support him as conservatives if he wins the nomination. If our goal truly is to advance conservative values, then if we fail to defeat him in the primary, we must back Sen. Hurt in the general election, and make sure he wins. To support a third party in the 5th district guarantees we will lose the race, and hurts the conservative cause.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

The major themes with Sen. Hurt seem to be: Should conservatives overlook his past follies and accept his apologies, should they not back him at all, or should they wait and see who wins the primary. This is definitely an issue of the lesser evil. If we don't back Hurt if he wins the primary, like some would choose to suggest, what will happen? We all know the answer to that question. Great post. Keep up the good work.