GOP War on Conservatism Continues in Illinois 18

AP Photo/Journal Star, Fred Zwicky
AP Photo/Journal Star, Fred Zwicky

In early April, Roll Call reported that state Sen. Darin LaHood is the establishment frontrunner to replace “disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock,” and while politics may be in the junior LaHood’s blood, contrary to his claims, conservatism may not be. His father and presumed mentor is “Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., who held this seat for more than a decade until 2009 — when he left Congress to serve as transportation secretary to President Barack Obama.”

Yes, nothing says conservative like resigning to go to work for Barack Obama. And while LaHood the younger claims to be more conservative, his early financial backing suggests otherwise. WND reports:

“One of the first contributions of his campaign was a maximum contribution from a union-funded PAC (Republican Main Street Partnership),” [Mike Flynn] said. “Its whole purpose for being is to attack conservatives in primaries. Whatever he says he’s going to be, his actions speak otherwise.”

The Republican Main Street Partnership and an allied group have a long history of working to defeat conservative opposition in Republican primaries. Were Darin LaHood the conservative he claims to be, it’s doubtful that the group would have maxed out its donation to him, let alone done it so early:

In the year since he stepped down from Congress, Steven C. LaTourette, a Republican from Ohio, has emerged as one of the top generals in the establishment Republicans’ war against the Tea Party.

It is a role that has benefited the Main Street Partnership, a corporate-backed advocacy group he runs, and its effort to raise millions of dollars to protect centrist Republicans from Tea Party challengers.

Per National Journal, the Labor Union funded group doesn’t stop at trying to “smash” conservatives. It’s also been known to back Democrats. It’s silly to think a group of this sport would back a genuine conservative candidate:

The Main Street group has been publicly declaring its intent to crush tea-party challengers in Republican primaries, going head to head with conservative bankrollers such as the anti-tax Club for Growth.

Hopefully, we’ll go into eight to 10 races and beat the snot out of them,” Main Street President Steven LaTourette told National Journal in October.

Especially with this crazy political atmosphere, [Main Street] is a place where we need to be lending support to middle-of-the-road Democrats and Republicans both, and this is part of that effort,” Jeffrey Soth, the Operating Engineers’ political director, said.

Among LaHood’s primary opponents is former Breitbart editor and longtime Illinois resident Mike Flynn:

However, the path to the nomination just got rockier for LaHood following this week’s announcement by long-time policy analyst, political consultant and conservative media figure Mike Flynn that he is also seeking the GOP nod.

“When I saw the vacancy and that the party establishment has kind of fallen behind State Sen. Darin LaHood, I thought, ‘Congress is not a family heirloom you pass down.’ This area of the country in Illinois has not had a good, strong conservative voice in D.C. So I thought I’d step up and ask the voters to let me be that voice,” Flynn said.


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