If you missed it, this morning’s Oakton Patch had a fascinating article, entitled “Clingan Accuses LeMunyon of Serving Tea Party Interest Over His Constituents.” That would be Eric Clingan, the Democratic candidate running against Republican incumbent Del. Jim LeMunyon in the 67th House of Delegates district. As the Patch article points out, correctly, LeMunyon received a $50,000 loan from something called the “Middle Resolution PAC.” As you can see from the information below, this PAC pretends to be middle-of-the-road, but in fact is Tea Party and far-right-wing all the way.
Evidence to back up this charge?
For starters, Jim LeMunyon himself credits the “Middle Resolution PAC” with winning him the 2009 election over Chuck Caputo in the McDonnell wipeout of Creigh Deeds:
“Our 2009 Virginia House race had no funding for television until Middle Resolution decided to become a partner in the campaign, and pay for substantially all of our TV advertising in October. We won by about 1100 votes out of more than 20,000. Did the television advertising help swing 1100 votes our way? Absolutely.” Del. Jim LeMunyon
Next, read the following from the Patch article:
The [Middle Resolution] PAC supported two pieces of legislation in 2011: the Repeal Amendment, which LeMunyon introduced in the House, and the Secret Ballot, which LeMunyon voted in favor of. Both bills passed the House, but died before reaching the Senate floor.
The Repeal Amendment calls for a constitutional amendment that would allow states to repeal any federal law or regulation. The Secret Ballot legislation advocates allowing workers in a labor organization to vote by secret ballot.
Clingan said not only did Middle Resolution “buy” the Repeal Amendment legislation through their 2009 contributions, but the legislation itself “opens the door to attack every piece of federal legislation ever written. As a constitutional lawyer, it is a rather far-reaching, reckless approach to government.”
Clingan is absolutely correct; what LeMunyon and his far-right-wing supporters are pushing here is a truly dangerous, “far-reaching, reckless approach to government.” Essentially, it allows states to nullify federal laws. Didn’t we settle this question in the Civil War? Apparently not, in Jim LeMunyon’s opinion.
The only question is, do Jim LeMunyon’s constituents know that their delegate is a Ken Kookinelli, Rick Perry-style extremist all the way, not in the least bit a moderate or middle-of-the-road representative for his strong Obama district? Perhaps they don’t know it yet, but if Eric Clingan does his job right, they certainly should be aware of it by election day in two months.
So, who’s financing the “Middle Resolution PAC?” First, there’s Robert W Bailie, “CEO of Service Partners, LLC, a Hanover County distributor of residential fiberglass insulation and related contractor accessories,” who has given the PAC a whopping $423,187. Other than “Middle Resolution PAC,” Bailie’s also donated nearly $400k to Virginia Republicans – including the most extreme, folks like Ken Kookinelli and Bob Marshall, as well as the Va Conservative Action PAC, Bill Bolling, Bob McDonnell, you name it – and ZERO to Virginia Democrats. Second, there’s Frank B Bradley, III of Fas Mart Convenience Stores, who has given the PAC $134,556 (Bradley’s also a huge donor to Bill Bolling and other Republicans). Getting the picture here?
As for “Middle Resolution PAC,” they claim to be “a grassroots coalition with members from across the political spectrum.” They also claim that their PAC “was designed to appeal to anyone whose views lie within fifteen points to the right or left of the political ‘center.'” If so, then how do they explain the following links, all of which clearly tie them to the hard-right-wing Tea Party, ALEC (also see ALEC Exposed: A Nationwide Blueprint for the Rightwing Takeover), etc.?
1. “Middle Resolution PAC” sponsored a panel by ALEC entitled, “Uniting States to Restore Federalism.”
2. Sponsored a seminar at the VA Tea Party Convention led by the CATO Institute and entitled, “Is social security reform possible?”
3. Co-sponsored the VA Tea Party Convention in 2010. ‘Nuff said.
4. Listed under “Affliliated Tea Party Info” by the Williamsburg Tea Party.
OK, so there’s no doubt regarding the connection between the Orwellian-named “Middle Resolution PAC” (Orwellian because there’s absolutely NOTHING “middle” about these guys!) and the Tea Party (and ALEC, etc.). There’s also no doubt that “Middle Resolution PAC” is a huge financial supporter of Del. Jim LeMunyon.
All of which raises the question, why is LeMunyon running away from that connection by issuing denials via “staff” (see the Patch article), instead of proudly embracing his inner teahadist? Doesn’t Jim LeMunyon believe that his constituents are entitled to know just how much their representative is beholden to a far-right-wing interest group and far-right-wing donors (all based outside his district, no less). Perhaps Jim LeMunyon’s reticence has something to do with the fact that his district went for Barack Obama by 15 points in 2008, and in general is a moderate, Democratic-leaning district? Hmmmm. This should be a fascinating race to watch!