Could Mark Kirk Hurt Down Ticket Republicans if He Runs in 2016

200px-Mark_Steven_Kirk,_official_photo_portrait_colorIn 2010 Mark Kirk won in the highly contested U.S. Senate race against Alexi Giannoulias (D). However, his win didn’t translate to many other GOP victories in the state. The Republican nominees for governor Bill Brady and Lt Governor Jason Plummer both lost in a extremely tight race. Mark Kirk received much of his support from Independents and Blue-Dog Democrats, and because of that very few down ticket Republicans benefited from him being on the ticket. The status of the Republican Party in Illinois is still very weak even after the Bruce Rauner win in 2014. Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth has already announced a run against Senator Kirk. Duckworth will be one of, if not the top, candidates that the Democrats will put out in the entire nation. Senator Kirk continues to have health issues after his heartbreaking and debilitating stroke. Senator Mark Kirk appears to be the most endangered Republican Incumbent Senator in 2016. Duckworth will no doubt have a lot of money to spend and she already has a big backing nationally.

The Republicans need to have a candidate that rallies the base. If the base gets excited and turns out, that could help the Republicans in the Illinois House pick up the one seat they need to breaking the super majority in Springfield. Breaking the super majority in Springfield would give Governor Rauner more flexibility in Springfield. One might ask what Republicans in Illinois excite the base? Some of the following come to mind: former Congresssman Bobby Schilling from the 17th District, former Lt Governor nominee Jason Plummer, and Congressman Adam Kinzinger from the 16th District. In Kinzinger’s case, despite having strained ties with many conservative groups, such a run could help mend the fences if he is the nominee and goes against Duckworth.

The consensus among many Republicans both in Illinois and in DC is that Senator Mark Kirk does not have the capability to run an active and energetic campaign against a solid campaigner like Duckworth who can rake in big campaign bucks and a state that has typically been blue for a number of years. With 2016 being a Presidential year and many democrats being very excited about Tammy Duckworth being the likely nominee the odds of the Republicans losing in a landslide in Illinois is heightened. The Republicans could lose seats in both the Illinois House and Senate where the Democrats already have the super majority. Without a strong Senate candidate Republicans could also lose in the 10th district where a rematch has already been set up against Robert Dold and Brad Schneider.

Senator Kirk has served with honor in the military and has had a successful political career running for Congress and for US Senate as a Republican in the home state of President Obama. If Senator Mark Kirk wishes for his seat to remain in Republican hands, it is best he step aside and allow a Schilling, Plummer or Kinzinger to step up and run an active and energetic campaign to defeat the Democrat Machine’s Tammy Duckworth.

The Illinois Petri Dish

Shortly after the Romney/Ryan defeat in November, Republicans & pundits started the public & private autopsy of what went wrong. The insider conclusion? Republicans aren’t liberal enough.

Then Karl Rove started his anti-conservative PAC to make sure conservatives don’t find their way onto the ballot, especially in high-profile races.

To complicate matters, the Supreme Court is debating whether the Defense of Marriage Act is Constitutional.

Adding fuel to that fire is Sen. Mark Kirk stating he supports gay marriage. This is the same Mark Kirk that has been campaigning behind the scenes to help keep Pat Brady’s job as IL Republican Party Chair.

Is the Republican party in the fits of an intraparty civil war? The quick answer is no. The long answer is below.

I don’t believe there is a civil war within the Republican Party…yet. It’s coming though. We are seeing the first signs of a rift within the party & I believe the first sign of this rift is the gay marriage issue.

The national Republican Party I believe wants to go a different direction than the rank & file Republicans, especially conservative Republicans. I believe that Illinois is the petri dish for the test case of a “new” Republican Party. The RNC will then use the results of their test case here in Illinois, learn from the mistakes, adjust & then import the program for liberalizing the Republican Party into the other states. What does mean for deep red states? It means the RNC will get to you eventually.

The evidence is right in front of us. Who sits is a committeeman on the RNC? Illinois Republican Chair Pat Brady – who has opening advocated for gay marriage.

We then filter down further & see the highest Republican elected official in Illinois – Mark Kirk – also support gay marriage. The case for liberalizing the Republican Party in Illinois gets bigger.

The final piece of the petri dish puzzle is our supposed “conservative” Illinois Republican Representatives in the US House – Shimkus, Davis, Schock & Kinzinger – staying absolutely silent on Pat Brady & now Mark Kirk. Where are these supposed champions of conservatism? Nowhere. When will they fight for the party as a whole? Probably never. So it’s up to us.

Conservatives in Illinois had better make their presence known & they had better be loud about it. Conservatives must confront their Republican office holders & press them on why they are not fighting against the liberalization of the Republican Party in Illinois, let alone nationally. Most importantly, conservatives had better make their voices heard by voting – especially in the primaries.

If conservatives don’t stand up and fight, then you will see a serious split in the Republican Party. I believe the state & national leaders of the Republican Party are playing with fire. In their eyes, they think they are appealing to more voters. In reality, they are alienating many within the Republican Party at the expense of political expediency.

What happens when Republican voters feel alienated? They don’t contribute to candidates or the party. They don’t show up to vote. They are more open to third parties.

When it’s all said & done, there is one thing you must keep in mind. Many of the pundits & consultants hail from the pre-Reagan Revolution days or the “compassionate conservatism” George W Bush days. To these insiders, Reagan represented a speed bump in the liberalization of the Republican Party. Why else are we to be reminded more & more these days that “Reagan is dead”? Why else would this Republican intelligentsia want to purge conservatives from policy making? If these same people think the Democratic Party has gone so far to the left & the “new” Republican Party will fill the void by disheartened Democratic Party voters, they are seriously mistaken.

It’s really is sad that we conservatives must waste so much time & energy fighting the liberal agenda within the Republican Party when that same effort could be used to defeat the far-left liberal agenda of the Democratic Party. We lose so many good conservatives because of this fight. They tire of the endless two-front battle. They tire of a seeming deaf leadership. They tire of living in a state that punishes success while rewarding failure. Who can blame them?

Adam Kinzinger to have an opponent?

During the Illinois primary congressman Adam Kinzinger took several swipes at one of my friends Zach Oltmanns and the organization he leads Illinois Conservatives over their endorsement of Don Manzullo and not him.  This plus Kinzingers false portrayal of him being more conservative than Manzullo ticked me off to no end.  The way Kinzinger and his supporters, including House majority Eric Cantor, behaved in the primary resulted in Kinzinger alienating almost every conservative and Tea Party group in Illinois’ 16th congressional district and to put it bluntly made at least one enemy, me.

As it stands now Kinzinger is unopposed in the general election.  There is talk in conservative and tea party circles of finding someone to challenge Kinzinger as an independent.  Of course the Democratic Party has the option of putting forward their own candidate at their parties convention in June.  And as reported today in my local paper a left leaning group is also looking at putting a candidate on the ballot as either a Democrat or an Independent.

Sauk Valley- Group seeks challenger for Kinzinger

This leftist group will be meeting in Dekalb this coming weekend and I plan on attending, so stay tuned.

When it comes to a conservative or Tea Party candidate challenging Kinzinger I am of two minds on the matter.  While I would love to see a genuine conservative/Tea Party candidate beat Kinzinger in November, I realize the difficulty that candidate would have accomplishing that.  The organization and money advantage belongs to Kinzinger.  Although, should a real conservative/Tea Party candidate rise to challenge Kinzinger money and support from conservative and Tea Party affiliated groups nationally would flow into the district.  However, that outside support does not directly translate into votes.  In order for any candidate to have a shot at unseating Kinzinger they are going to have to develop one heck of a ground game, personally interact with every voter in the district and develop a strategy to counter the massive negative media ad blitz Kinzinger and his allies would launch.  To say taking on Kinzinger would be an uphill climb would be an understatement.

That difficulty in taking on Kinzinger now leads me to think that maybe it would be better to spend the next two years building a support base and raising campaign funds in order to mount a true effort to defeat Kinzinger.  I vacillate every other second between wanting to see a challenger now and wanting to help build the organization necessary over the next two years in order to see a successful challenge to Adam Kinzinger.  Regardless of the fact that I keep changing my mind I will support any conservative or Tea Party candidate should they go up against Kinzinger now or in the future.  If none do then I am left having to back Kinzinger(if only temporarily) should he face a Democrat or a left-leaning Independent opponent this fall.

No matter what happens when it comes to a challenger it is going to be up to all of us that have issues with Adam Kinzinger to hold his feet to the fire and hold him accountable for his voting record.(a voting record that has him with a 70 conservative rating, Manzullo had a lifetime rating of 90 by the way)

By: Ulysses S. Arn

His blog can be found at: usofarn.com

Another Reason to go with Manzullo over Kinzinger

Well as if you did not have enough reasons to pick Congressmen Manzullo over Congressmen Kinzinger, here is another one.  Adam Kinzinger does not even live in the 16th Congressional District!  I know, I know, I know, the Kinzinger campaign will come back with “Joe Walsh does not live in the 8th Congressional District but he is running for re-election.”  The reason for that is simple he did not want to take on a fellow CONSERVATIVE Republican.  Congressmen Walsh would rather take on the Chicago machine than go against Randy Hultgren.  You might ask yourself why didn’t Kinzinger run against the winner of the ultra-liberal Jesse Jackson Jr and the ultra-liberal Debbie Halvorson (who he beat in 2010) in the 2nd Congressional District?  Well your guess is as good as ours!  Below I have posted a map of what towns Manzullo and Kinzinger live in, in regards to the new district.

Click on the picture to enlarge.