On a very warm evening in January 2012, after a full day of fighting Obamacare in Atlanta, sitting in a quiet Irish pub eating fish and chips with Van Irion and fellow TPBC steering committee member Will Sturtevant has a thought.
How can we be more effective? How can we send a resounding message to all levels of elected officials? How can we target those that are giving away our country? Socialist dressed as Republicans or even Democrats!
He looked across the table at Van and myself and said what about having a RINO Hunt, being a RINO Hunter? The statement grew a chuckle at first, complete with a patriot standing with a T on his shirt, with a figurative bow and arrow targeted toward ballot box levers with RINO names on them, symbolically removing them from office with a strong block of votes. The effect that could have on the state and the country appeared to be the answer to getting our country restored to a republic. What a concept!
Target every RINO or DINO with a specific plan, put a concentrated effort together in that district or race and you have made and created the much needed change that has eluded us for years.
As with the Maggart race we can see the power of the RINO hunt.
Van eludes to this technique in the article below and we are thankful to have Will on our team.
Let’s use Wills RINO hunting techniques and I suggest let’s go DINOsaur hunting too! A few old fossils need to be extinct, with a well though out plan to get people to the ballot box!
Perhaps Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander need to be the new species hunted this November at the ballot box? Hmmmm? Again my opinion and we all know what opinions are like? Right?
Tennessee RINO Hunt
Last week’sTennessee elections brought about a minor miracle. As usual the main-stream media’s reaction is to willfully ignore or actively cover up the story. You need to know about this minor miracle because it is something that can be repeated nationwide. Also, it’s great to hear good news once in a while.
Like Tea Party groups in many states the Tennessee Tea Parties have focused most of their energy on state and local elections. Two years ago Tennessee Tea Parties helped the Republican Party take back control of both houses of the Tennessee Legislature, and the Governor’s Office, for the first time in over 150 years. After the election there was much hand-clapping, back-slapping, and hope for the future. Unfortunately the Republicans who were put into office refused to acknowledge the Tea Party as the reason for their unprecedented victory. Over the past two years the Tennessee Tea Parties presented their top ten priorities to the Republicans they put into power. All of these priorities focused on re-asserting state sovereignty over unconstitutional Federal abuses. Tea Party activists drafted legislation to implement these priorities and lobbied tirelessly to get these priorities acted upon. After two years not one single substantive bill supported by the Tea Party was passed. Rather than help the Tea Party, the Tennessee Republican Party treated the Tea Party with contempt.
After the 2012 legislative session closed the Tennessee Tea Party held its quarterly leadership conference. At that meeting the Tea Party leaders decided that the Republican leadership needed to be taught a lesson. If the Tea Party was ever going to get any respect from the Republican leadership, the Tea Party would have to PROVE to the Republicans that the Tea Party had power at the ballot box. So, they decided to go on a RINO Hunt. The Tea Party was going to prove its ability to eliminate a Republican-In-Name-Only. The higher up in Republican leadership, the better. So, they targeted the Republican Caucus Chairwoman, Representative Debbie Maggart, a four-time incumbent. She was number four in the Tennessee Republican leadership. She actively fought against Tennessee Tea Party legislation. Now she is no longer a member of the Tennessee legislature.
Representative Maggart lost the Republican primary to a Tea Party backed challenger, despite Maggart’s huge war-chest and active support from the Republican leadership. In fact, the election wasn’t even close. Maggart lost by more than 12% of the vote. Tea Party activists drove in from all over the state to knock on doors, hand out fliers, and hold signs for Maggart’s challenger. Tea Party members from all over the state donated campaign contributions to Maggart’s challenger, even though they didn’t live in Maggart’s district. Tea Party leaders used their connections to get national Political Action Committees to donate to Maggart’s challenger.
But none of this would have been possible without a conscious decision by the Tennessee Tea Party leadership to focus their frustration on ONE Republican leader. Believe me, many many Republicans had justifiably earned the wrath of the Tennessee Tea Party. But before any names were discussed, the Tea Party leadership recognized that a focused effort was an absolute requirement. In order to ensure victory over at least one highly-placed Republican, efforts must be focused. Only after this strategy had been agreed upon were names discussed. Maggart had been one of the worst offenders within the Republican leadership, so she was chosen.
I don’t want to give the wrong impression, however. Tea Party activists still worked for other incumbent-challenging candidates. They still donated and volunteered in other districts. But state-wide efforts were focused on Maggart’s primary.
And the news is even better. Four other Republican incumbents in Tennessee were also defeated by Tea Party-backed challengers. All four had thwarted Tea Party priorities and failed to assert state sovereignty over Federal abuses.
Also, two other RINOs beat their Tea Party-backed challengers by less than a dozen votes. Recounts will be held. But even if these two RINOs keep their offices, they were definitely made aware of the power of the Tea Party.
Which leads to the most important point: Every Republican in the Tennessee Legislature knows what just happened. They were aware that the Tea Party had targeted Maggart. They were aware that the other RINOs were being targeted. Now they’ve seen the result. So, next year when the Tea Party drafts a bill and tells Republicans it is a top priority, they will pay attention. Or they will be the target of the next RINO Hunt.
It’s bad enough when Socialists run for office as socialists. It’s much worse when they tell you they’re constitutionalists, but then they thwart every attempt to re-assert constitutional government. Every state should be having RINO Hunts, until all anti-constitutionalists are purged from the Republican Party.
Van Irion, Founder
P.S. We are proud to be able to say that the idea for a RINO hunt came from a Liberty Legal Foundation member. Thank you to Will, here in the state of Tennessee.