Friends, below is a copy of the open letter I sent today to the House GOP leadership today regarding the Republican primary race in Arizona’s sixth congressional district between Reps. David Schweikert and Ben Quayle.
SENT VIA MAIL AND FACSIMILE
The Honorable John Boehner, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Eric Cantor, Majority Leader
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip
Dear Republican House Leaders:
In the just completed Illinois Republican congressional primary between incumbent Congressmen Don Manzullo and Adam Kinzinger, the Club for Growth PAC chose to stay neutral. We did so because neither candidate’s record was entirely satisfactory. Over the course of his long House career, Rep. Manzullo has cast several bad votes. As a first-term Member of Congress, Rep. Kinzinger has an even worse record than Rep. Manzullo. In fact, in the only year in which their records can be compared, in 2011, Rep. Manzullo had a clearly better record of voting for limited government then did Rep. Kinzinger.
Despite our neutrality in this race, we were alarmed to see Majority Leader Cantor, Majority Whip McCarthy, and their Young Guns Action Fund aggressively take sides in favor of Rep. Kinzinger, and even use the committee to promote a false picture of Rep. Kinzinger’s record.
We raise this concern in the context of another upcoming redistricting-induced primary between two incumbent Republican Congressmen. In Arizona’s sixth congressional district, incumbent Republicans David Schweikert and Ben Quayle are facing each other. The Club for Growth PAC’s position in this race is neutral, because in this case both first-term Congressmen have outstanding pro-growth voting records.
However, we note that Speaker Boehner’s Leadership PAC has already made a maximum contribution to Rep. Quayle’s campaign. That contribution was made before redistricting put both men in the same district, and it is our hope that it does not signal that the House leadership has decided to take sides in this primary. In the name of neutrality, we urge Speaker Boehner to contribute the same $10,000 to Rep. Schweikert that he has already given to Rep. Quayle. We also urge Leader Cantor, Whip McCarthy, and their Young Guns Action Fund to join us in staying neutral in the Arizona race.
Should it become apparent that you are choosing sides on behalf of Rep. Quayle, the Club for Growth PAC will consider it necessary to intervene on behalf of Rep. Schweikert. As is our practice, if the Club’s PAC entered this primary, it is highly likely that our 75,000 members would donate considerably more funds to Rep. Schweikert’s campaign than the Republican House leadership would contribute to Rep. Quayle’s campaign.
It is our preference to remain on the sidelines of the Arizona race, as both candidates have fine records. However, we will not sit back and allow House Republican leaders to invest resources with impunity against an incumbent fiscal conservative like Rep. David Schweikert. Rep. Schweikert stands for the principles of economic freedom even when members of his own party pressure him to do otherwise. If those same Republican leaders attempt to defeat him, the Club for Growth PAC will vigorously come to his defense.
Chris Chocola, President – Club for Growth