Back in March, as the Republican Primary Election season began in earnest, we said, to paraphrase Clinton advisor James Carville, “It’s the primaries, stupid.”
And we went on to explain that this year’s Republican primary elections will be where the character of Congress and government in states and cities across America will be decided.
And if there is one congressional primary that proves our point, with a stark contrast in the choice between a small government constitutional conservative and a big spending establishment Republican, it is the Sandy Adams verses John Mica Republican contest in Florida’s newly drawn Congressional District 7, centered on suburban Orlando and Seminole County.
On one side is Congresswoman Sandy Adams, a freshman Tea Party-backed political scrapper who opposes earmarks and has been a consistent vote to cut spending. Adams recently led an effort to confirm the House ban on earmarks for next year when some establishment Republicans started muttering that earmarks were needed to grease the process and get stalled bills moving.
As the muttering in favor of earmarks grew louder, Adams organized 56 of her colleagues to send a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterating their support for a continuation of the earmark ban in the next Congress.
To see the list of principled opponents of earmarks who signed the Sandy Adams letter, go to http://sandyadams.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Earmark_Letter_Final.pdf .
On the other side is the establishment Republican, and self-proclaimed “Old Bull,” Congressman John Mica. Mica is openly contemptuous of the Tea Party and small government constitutional conservatives. A proud advocate of earmarks and pork-barrel spending, Mica was named porker of the month by citizens Against Government Waste and is thought of as “Earmarker in Chief” of the 112th Congress for his outspoken advocacy of a return to the practice of putting special interest spending into bills in the dead of the night.
Mica and other advocates of earmarks will argue that they represent a small portion of the federal budget. However, their gross dollar contribution to the deficit is not the point – it is the damage to our political culture that earmarks do that makes them so pernicious.
We cannot begin to address our nation’s debt and deficit problems until we get a handle on Congress’ runaway spending. Special interest earmarks are nothing less than a legal bribe to get Members of Congress to vote for bad policy and more spending.
Like we said, “It’s the Primaries, stupid.” If you want to change the culture of spending in Washington, then the place to start is to defeat pork barrel spenders like John Mica and replace them with principled small government constitutional conservatives like Sandy Adams. To learn how you can help Sandy Adams win her August 14 primary go to http://www.sandyadams.com/home.php