GOP Establishment Donors Target Tea Party's Justin Amash in Michigan

GOP Establishment Donors Target Tea Party's Justin Amash in Michigan

Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) was endorsed by the conservative Club for Growth, which gives him a 100% lifetime voting scorecard rating, on October 8. However, seven Republican establishment donors who live in his western Michigan district recently endorsed his primary opponent, Brian Ellis, who claims Amash is not a “traditional conservative.”

First elected in 2010, Amash has ranked #1 on the fiscally conservative, pro-economic growth Club for Growth scorecards out of 435 members of the House of Representatives in both the 112th and current 113th Congress.

The seven donors (J.C. Huizenga, Mark Bissel, Mike Jandernoa, Mark Murray, John Canepa, Marge Potter, and David Frey) are so angry with Amash’s voting record and his support for Ted Cruz’s efforts to defund Obamacare they recently sent out a public letter of support for Ellis.

The undated letter, distributed in early November to Republican donors on “Brian Ellis for Congress” stationery, was signed by all seven big donors and criticized Amash on several fronts:

Our current Congressman voted against the final version of the Paul Ryan Budget that would cut $5 trillion in spending – and he was the only Republican from Michigan to do so. He refused to vote in favor of the Keystone Pipeline. He voted against a 20% tax cut that would allow small businesses to create and retain jobs here in Michigan. Just this month, he and a small group of like-minded legislators rejected Speaker Boehner’s plea to pass legislation requiring Congress and the President to be subject to Obamacare, and put on hold the special new tax on medical equipment. This irresponsible action hurt over 50 great West Michigan businesses and was part of the chaos that led the nation to the edge of default. 

Breitbart News reached out to several of the signators to ask how they could claim Amash is not conservative, given his 100% lifetime voting scorecard with Club for Growth, in addition to his 91% voting scorecard with Heritage Action in the 112th Congress, and his 87% voting record with that group so far in the 113th Congress.

None of the signators have yet responded to our inquiries.

Brian Ellis’s criticism of Amash’s voting record places him squarely on the side of the Republican surrender caucus. “‘Obamacare’ is and has been a disaster,” Ellis told MLive, but he adopted the talking points of Democratic and Republican establishment critics of Ted Cruz, claiming that “the tactic … you do not threaten to default on our debt, you do not threaten the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.”

Amash is not without his defenders among the local business community. As MLive reported, “The wealthy DeVos family [founders of Amway], perhaps some of the most well-known faces of West Michigan business, gave $39,000 in combined donations to Amash during this current election cycle.”

Last week, Rush Limbaugh had few kind words for Amash’s critics. On his nationally syndicated radio program, Limbaugh took on the Republican donor class, which, he argues, “doesn’t understand what we’re up against.”

“Now, the Republican establishment… is targeting Tea Party officeholders, and they’re going to primary them. And you know who’s doing this is donors, Republican Party donors… [A] set of GOP donors set its sight on someone they perceive as having caused the government shutdown, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash,” Limbaugh noted.

“You know, that’s what it comes down to,” he explained. “In addition to everything else going on, the Republican donor class, the consultant class, the Republican establishment, they don’t think there’s any emergency.”

Limbaugh concluded by stating, “The way the donors and the establishment look at it, the Tea Party is what’s gonna prevent them from ever regaining power, not the Democrats.”