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Steve “Snake Oil” LaTourette Cheers Primary Wins for Big Government

Cheerleader for partisan unity ruthlessly attacks all who disagree

Republican lobbyist Steve LaTourette celebrated the defeat of conservative primary challengers in North Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio in a May 7 release from Main Street Advocacy.

“Today was a good day for common-sense Republican leadership and a bad day for the Washington special interest groups that have tried to mislead the Republican grassroots,” LaTourette said.

Main Street Advocacy is the textbook definition of a Washington special interest group. The two largest donations so far this cycle to Defending Main Street, the group’s Super PAC, are $250,000 from International Union of Operating Engineers and $100,000 from Laborers International Union of North America.

How did Main Street Advocacy and its sister organizations beat “the Washington special interest groups that have tried to mislead the Republican grassroots” in last week’s primaries? By spending more than half a million dollars duping primary voters into believing big-government Republicans will fight for smaller government.

In Ohio, for example, Main Street Partnership member Dave Joyce was boosted by over $100,000 in spending from Main Street Advocacy’s various affiliates, on top of $350,000 from the U.S. Chamber and over $100,000 from the American Hospital Association.

Joyce has lifetime scores in the mid 40s to low 50s on the scorecards kept by Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, and Americans for Prosperity (AFP), so Defending Main Street smeared his conservative challenger Matt Lynch as an enemy of tax cuts and balanced budgets.

“Mainstream Republican primary voters have once again rejected groups like the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, and their efforts to sell purity for profit,” LaTourette said on May 7 before concluding, “Voters aren’t buying the snake oil that these special interest groups are selling anymore.”

LaTourette, a K Street lobbyist, is certainly concerned about profit — the profit he stands to lose if Americans elect more legislators who are serious about reining in the $17.4 trillion national debt and beating back the relentless growth of the federal government.

Main Street Advocacy claims its purpose is advancing the same core values as the groups Main Street Advocacy was created to counter:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Individual Liberties
  • Belief in the Power of Free Markets and Free People

However, LaTourette’s schizophrenic song and dance has long involved attacking the “extreme right” and calling conservatives “crazy” in one breath, and then bemoaning conservatives’ lack of partisan unity in the next.

“The Club for Growth is a cancer on the Republican Party that prides itself on supporting rigid, divisive and obstructionist candidates,” LaTourette said last July.

Calling opponents a cancer and accusing them of being divisive in the same sentence. Pure LaTourette.

LaTourette often speaks of the need for “pragmatism” and “common-sense” leadership as represented by Main Street Partnership, which also happens to be led by LaTourette.

On health policy, Main Street Partnership believes “that the provisions of Obamacare that are not working should be repealed” but that “those provisions that are working should be retained.”

In addition to supporting Obamacare, one of Main Street Partnership’s top priorities is the renewal of funding for the crony-corporate Export-Import Bank.

Steve LaTourette took the helm at Main Street Advocacy shortly after leaving Congress in a huff over Republican resistance to a highway bill supported by his union financiers.

Ending his legislative career with lifetime ratings of 35 percent from Heritage Action45 percent from Club for Growth54 percent from FreedomWorks, and 60 percent from AFP, LaTourette now — when he’s not lobbying in DC — travels the country griping about the groups who called out his center-left voting record.

LaTourette is a longtime friend of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and his son-in-law Scott Kayser is a field director for the Ohio Republican Party. His daughter Sarah LaTourette Kayser is currently running for an Ohio House seat using her maiden name.

This story was originally published at Media Trackers.

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