If anyone needs a stimulus these days, it’s the Conservative movement.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that the movement is dying, or ill-funded, or even slowing down. No, it’s alive and kicking, just temporarily out of power in Washington.
And that’s why it needs its very own stimulus package.
Fortunately for American taxpayers, the Conservative movement doesn’t need the federal money that so many dubiously fortunate groups will soon receive. In fact, had the needed Conservative stimulus been successfully enacted a few years ago, your tax dollars might not be in such jeopardy today.
That’s because the best stimulus the Conservative movement could wish for is an influx of winsome, articulate, passionate conservative candidates willing to stand up for their principles. We need the sort of men and women who not only make good candidates, but also make good Congressmen.
Fortunately, there are already a number of promising future officeholders, and room for plenty more of them. You can even help add to the list of potential candidates by nominating someone here (courtesy of rebuildtheparty.com).
Tim Huelskamp is one of those promising conservatives, and he’s already gearing up for 2010. He’s running in Kansas’ 1st district, which is a pretty desirable district these days. Roll Call reports,
“It’s one of the 20 best Republican districts in the country,” said one Kansas Republican activist. “If you ever wanted to be in Congress and you live in that district, you’ve got to give this a shot now.”
I’ve enjoyed keeping an eye on his race because I was heavily involved in Kansas politics as a teenager; I live in California these days, but I still like to keep track of what goes on in my other home state. I like what I’ve seen of Huelskamp, and so do lots of other Conservatives. Here’s what recent RNC Chair candidate Ken Blackwell had to say about him recently:
“Whether it is fighting for the right to life or for more transparency in government, Tim Huelskamp has proven himself to be not just a voice in favor of conservatism — but a reliable vote for common sense conservative positions.
In my estimation, that is a key distinction. Anyone can talk the talk, but I look for leaders who have walked the walk — in good times– and in bad. And let me assure you that whether you’re talking about fighting for lower taxes, defending the right to life, or protecting the 2nd Amendment, Tim Huelskamp is the real deal.”
Sounds good to me.
It sure sounds a lot better than what Huelskamp’s opponent Rob Wasinger had to say in a recent interview with Roll Call:
“A lot of people serve the state of Kansas in a variety of ways,” Wasinger said. “I was serving the people of Kansas in Washington, D.C.”
A third candidate, businessman Tim Barker, is also running, but could not be reached for comment.
According to online fundraising reports, Huelskamp and Wasinger had about the same amount of money in the bank at the end of 2008, with $99,000 and $95,000, respectively. Barker raised about $30,000 but had a little more than $2,000 in his campaign account at the end of the year.
“We lead in cash on hand, and we’re excited about that,” Huelskamp said. “We fully expected that someone who has been an insider in Washington for the past few years to have raised a lot more money.”
And according to campaign finance records, Wasinger did not report any itemized contributions from the mostly rural 1st district. Wasinger defended his fundraising, saying he expects to raise more in the district once he expands his campaign.
“I look at all the money that I’ve raised, all that money is going to be spent in the district,” Wasinger said. “It’s my very own contribution to economic growth.”
You read that right, the guy hasn’t raised any money in the district he hopes to represent. None. Zero. Not even enough to buy him a free lunch, since apparently none of his would-be constituents even know who he is.
I’m not a big fan of the so-called economic stimulus bill that’s been before Congress in the past few days. But a group of stimulating and energized Conservative candidates? Now there’s change you can believe in.