I'm very happy that you're reporting these good results. But there
was much bad in the election too. On the initiatives front is was a
wash. There was just as many hurtful losses as there were
victories. Also, you miss the fact that in many States Property
Rights was simply thrown off the ballot before the election by
liberal judges. That counts as a Loss.
Also, our losses go beyond just numbers. We lost some very dear and
close friends of the RLC, like Tom, Toby, Don and Ken. We can only
hope that they will emerge in some other leadership capacity in the
future, but for now, it's pretty darn hurtful.
While we should certainly emphasize our wins, we should also be
honest with ourselves about our losses.
--- In RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com, westmiller@... wrote:
> Officers & Members,
> Final election results are all in and we did very
> well, with several major disappointments. A total
> of 120 endorsed candidates and initiatives won.
> There were 23 winners among 38 U.S. House
> and Senate candidates we endorsed. Many of the
> unsuccessful were first-time or minor party runs.
> Across the country, 76 of 107 state legislative
> candidates were victorious and 8 of 21 executive
> positions were elected, along with 2 of 4 local or
> county candidates.
> Almost all Anti-Kelo Initiatives passed (9 of 11),
> but all TABOR efforts (3) failed.
> The complete report is now posted to the web:
> Below is my commentary on the election that I
> offered to the Seattle Times today.
> Copy and paste this report to state eGroups at
> your leisure.
> Bill Westmiller
> RLC National Chairman
> RLC candidates did very well. Nearly 80% of our
> candidates for Congress were elected or re-elected,
> because they focused their campaigns on critical
> issues of individual rights, limited government and
> private enterprise. Reps. Jeff Flake, Ron Paul,
> John Shadegg, Steve Chabot, and Jack Kingston
> had very successful campaigns and will be among
> the new leaders in the next Congress.
> Others, like J.D. Hayworth of Arizona, focused
> on conservative issues where we disagree and lost
> their contests. We had some uphill battles that
> were promising, like Paul Ard in Kentucky 6 and
> Joe Negron in Florida 16 ["Punch Foley to elect
> Joe"] that fell short. We also saw some strong
> efforts from new faces, running against entrenched
> incumbents, such as Tim Walberg's victory in
> Michigan 7. There were three RLC victories in
> open seats: Peter Roskam in Illinois 6, Adrian
> Smith in Nebraska 3 and Jim Jordan in Ohio 4.
> These are all going to be strong advocates for
> libertarian ideas in the next Congress.
> In the Senate, our top-rated legislator, John
> Ensign of Nevada, won handily and will be among
> the new leadership in that chamber. John Kyl in
> Arizona and Craig Thomas in Wyoming did very
> well running on RLC positions. Those who "ran
> to the right" on social issues, even though we
> consider them great advocates of economic
> liberty, were defeated. Among the losses were
> George Allen in Virginia, Jim Talent in Missouri,
> and Conrad Burns in Montana ... who suffered
> from connections to the Abramoff scandal.
> They were all very close contests, beaten by
> the tide of a national referendum on Bush.
> Long-time RLC friends, like Mark Sanford in
> South Carolina and Butch Otter in Idaho, had
> strong gubernatorial victories. We were very
> disappointed at Ken Blackwell's loss in Ohio
> and Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas. They both
> ran very good campaigns, but were victims of
> anti-Republican fever.
> Across the country, we had scores of
> state executive and legislative victories, even
> a near victory by RLC favorite Tom McClintock
> in the California Lieutenant Governor's race.
> Over 70% of our candidates won, but we had
> a few RLC members lose their seats in Maine
> and Washington. They'll be back as activists
> and organizers for the next election cycle.
> The RLC made a blanket endorsement of
> two different state initiative issues. Almost all
> of the anti-Kelo propositions were adopted by
> large margins, restricting government takings
> of private property. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights
> [TABOR] initiatives all failed as a result of strong
> opposition from government unions and nearly
> every Democratic legislator. Efforts to enhance
> private property rights and limit taxes will always
> be on our agenda.
> Issue: Iraq
> The loss of trust in the Bush Administration
> had a decidedly bad effect on every Republican
> campaign across the country. RLC candidates
> who won had to demonstrate their independence
> and thoughtful consideration of new strategies
> to overcome the voter's distaste for a prolonged
> and failing effort. Although the RLC has not taken
> an official position on the Iraq War, we are not
> apologists for the President or failed policies.
> We favor a defensive military posture and oppose
> all national building (positions that Bush shared
> until after the Afghan victory).
> Issue: Immigration
> The RLC has always been a strong advocate
> of open borders and fair treatment of immigrants.
> Nearly all of our federal candidates supported
> a comprehensive reform of immigration policy.
> Republicans who focused on "building a wall"
> and cultural protectionism were badly beaten
> across the country. We favor the administration
> proposals for guest workers and an easy path
> to citizenship. We expect that the results of
> this election will prompt Congress to agree to
> a reasonable immigration policy.
> Issue: Spending
> Although making some advances in cutting
> taxes, Republican legislators suffered the just
> wrath of libertarians for profligate spending and
> pork-barrel favoritism. The sad culture of buying
> voter support with special favors, subsidies,
> and foolish projects was the basis for most of
> the corruption scandals that engulfed several
> GOP leaders. We expect RLC victors to join
> Rep. Jeff Flake's heroic efforts to eliminate
> spending earmarks and corporate giveaways.
> Issue: Constitution
> Republicans ought to be the first defenders
> of individual rights and constitutional principles.
> Party loyalty and deference to the President's
> judgement have clouded their devotion to first
> principles. We hope that RLC legislators will
> join Congressman Ron Paul in speaking out
> against every violation of the Constitution. The
> top issue for the RLC is limiting government,
> not expanding it. Our candidates will not be
> supporting entitlement expansions or new
> federal bureaucracies. We hope they can find
> a way to privatize social security and scrap
> federal intervention in education, as critical
> steps toward expanding individual choice.