It’s hard to think of a more liberal Republican that occupies a more consequential position in Congress than Fred Upton. It’s not just the fact that the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the most powerful House panels, is a big supporter of green energy. It’s not just the fact that this same man was the Thomas Edison of the incandescent light bulb ban. It’s about Republicans shedding an image of hypocrisy.
Upton is charged with oversight over Obama’s Solyndra-like loan guarantees, yet he pushed for the same type of loan for United Solar Ovonics, whose parent company recently filed for bankruptcy. If we’ve learned anything from the past decade of congressional politics, it’s that we need a clean break from the Republican party of the past – the party that supported practically everything that we now hold against Obama and the Democrats.
Whether it was green energy venture-socialism, bailouts, stimulus, campaign finance reform, handouts to labor, expansion of government-run healthcare, price and wage controls, tax increases, funding for abortions, funding for the UN, or bloated spending bills, Upton was a leading voice for big-government and a centrally planned economy. In fact, the only time he became a penny pincher was when it came to missile defense. Is this the man we need running the most important domestic policy committee?
Fortunately, we are no longer stuck with a liberal in such a position of leadership. Once again, staunch conservative former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk has stepped up to the plate for the daunting task of challenging a 26-year veteran chairman. In 2010, he came out of nowhere to garner 43% of the vote against Upton, even though he was outspent 20-1.
His issue position statements read like a wish-list of a well-informed Tea Party conservative – from private Social Security accounts to proposed elimination of four government departments. But in Hoogendyk’s case, he has a record to back up those commitments. He was rated the most conservative lawmaker in the state House of Representatives for several years during his three-term tenure. He was a leader on all social and fiscal conservative issues; from fighting affirmative action and big labor to pushing for spending cuts and government transparency.
Since leaving the state legislature a few years ago, Jack has led numerous grassroots and tea party organizations. He has fought for ballot initiatives against several social liberal causes. In a state where there are many Big Labor Republicans, Hoogendyk is leading the charge to make Michigan a right-to-work state. This is exactly the type of comprehensive conservative fighter we need in Congress.
In 1986, Upton primaried a sitting Republican by running to that man’s left. He has been running to the left field foul line ever since. Now it’s time to return the favor. Hoogendyk has everything going for him; all he needs is our support. Like all liberal incumbents, Fred Upton is now attacking his conservative challenger “from the right.” He has voted for an RSC budget for the first time in his career, and has even opposed the Ex-Im Bank! He is clearly worried because he has spent more money on attacking Hoogendyk than he has against any past primary opponent. His crony venture-socialists are coming to the rescue with a $2 million bailout to save him from a candidate that has raised $80,000.
We have some time left until the August 7 primary. Fred Upton helped shut the lights off on American households; it’s time to shut the lights off on his special interest congressional career. Anyone who cares about liberty, free markets, and the future of a bold-colored Republican Party should help out Jack Hoogendyk or the PACs that are supporting him. Let’s get to work.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project