The Republican primary in Arizona's 3rd Congressional District will most likely determine who will fill the seat previously represented by steady conservative John Shadegg. It is a crowded field. No less than 12 candidates are lined up to replace Shadegg, but one has clearly distinguished herself from the field. Senator Pamela Gorman has been targeted by "the establishment" because she went against that very establishment and put representing her conservative values, her district and fighting tax increases before any loyalty to Party or political insiders.
Allow me to set the stage for you. Arizona has a Republican majority in both houses of the Legislature. Arizona's Republican Governor assumed office when then-Governor Janet Napolitano (D) was appointed to a post in the Obama administration. Understand that for years under Napolitano, government spending (and the number and cost of government programs), grew at nearly triple the rate of inflation. When the economy was strong and steady revenues poured into state coffers, Democrat Napolitano negotiated budget deals that dramatically increased spending with "establishment" Republicans.
As a member of the Arizona House and the Arizona Senate, Pamela Gorman stood firm with a handful of conservatives and refused to support these repeated efforts to increase taxes, dramatically increase the size and cost of state government and create permanent new state programs with one-time or short-term money. As an attractive, articulate, young and passionate conservative, Pamela Gorman became a regular and steady political target of the the left. Much like you see the level of rhetoric, personal attacks and pure vitriol directed at conservatives like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, Pamela Gorman has experienced the same first-hand.
The left does not like principled, outspoken, articulate, attractive conservative women -- especially when they pack a pistol like Gorman does. They are threatened by conservative voices that fall outside the "old white male" stereotype that the left likes to perpetuate. Let's face it, I don't think Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin or Pamela Gorman let the deeply personal, highly emotional and usually irrational criticism of leftist extremists slow them from their work on behalf of conservative values -- like protecting the unborn, or fighting for lower taxes, smaller government, individual liberty and Second Amendment rights.
Attacks from Republican establishment and the "good old boys" network are a whole different animal, however. Pamela Gorman served in leadership in the Arizona Senate, elected by her peers, when Republican Jan Brewer was sworn into office to replace Napolitano. Arizona faced a significant budget deficit, but Gorman was resolved and helped secure agreement from legislative leaders to trim back the massive growth in spending that had occurred in prior years (rather than raise taxes) in order to balance the budget.
Governor Brewer and her team of unofficial advisors from the lobbying community had different ideas. The Governor came out and laid out the centerpiece of her response to the budget deficit. She proposed raising taxes on Arizona working families by $3 billion to close the budget gap. The Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party stood by Brewer's side as she publicly announced this "Republican" plan to address the states budget woes and endorsed this tax increase. And Pamela Gorman didn't just stand up and say "No" to these Republican leaders, she said "Hell No!"
One by one, as you might guess, the dominos fell into place to support this tax increase. Republican Senate President Bob Burns was the first to fall and begin advocating for, pushing for, and using all of his political power to cajole his members into supporting the Governor's $3 billion tax increase. Gorman refused to budge, the liberal media and liberal social groups and their members put a target on Gorman. She refused to budge and didn't just "say no" to the tax, she spoke up, she called national conservatives, she spoke at the "Wednesday center/right meeting" in DC to let all conservatives in Washington know what the Republican Governor and Chairman of the Republican were doing to the "Republican brand" and she drew attention to an idea that she found was bad policy at any time -- but would also serve to increase the depth and lengthen the duration of the state's recession.
Eventually it wasn't just the left, state-funded social program beneficiaries and public employee unions that targeted Gorman as the lone holdout agains the $3 billion tax increase. The Governor targeted her. Her top advisor (a lobbyist who passed the tax for the light rail boondoggle in Phoenix) wrote up plans about how they could raise money and target any Republicans who refused to bend to the Governor's will. Make no mistake about it, that was a plan to take out Pamela Gorman (and mentioned her specifically by name). The Republican Governor, the Chairman of the State GOP, the Senate President and all the "good old boy" lobbyists who negotiated deals for government contracts, corporate welfare and special interest tax credits all targeted Gorman. And the plan to target Gorman is still in effect.
The principled Gorman refused to support the tax again. She was kicked off the Senate Appropriations Committee. Gorman refused to support the tax increase and provide the critical final vote necessary for passage again and again. The establishment insiders who wanted the $3 billion tax increase ran ads against Gorman. They targeted her constituents with autodialer phone calls misrepresenting her position. She was kicked off the Senate Rules Committee. Her personal cellphone number was distributed to supporters of the tax increase who were encouraged to call. And eventually when she was faced with the insistence that as Majority Whip it was her job to "sell" the negotiated tax hike plan with fellow members and vote for it, Gorman did the unthinkable. She refused to support the tax increase, she publicly announced that if she was expected to support a $3 billion tax increase, rather than make the necessary spending cuts, she would rather resign as Majority Whip and thus be freed up to direct all her efforts at fighting the tax.
This is one of the reasons that Erick Erickson of RedState has endorsed Pamela Gorman. It's one of the reasons that Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform has done so and a number of other conservative groups. It is imperative that true conservatives from across the country ensure that this seat that has been filled by a dependable conservative like Shadegg continue to be filled by such a conservative. If you're a conservative who is appalled by the Republican Governor's effort (she has yet to ever be elected Governor) and the Chairman of the State GOP's effort to raise taxes by $3 billion, rather than sufficiently cut spending, then you should support Pamela Gorman financially. The "Charlie Christ and Arlen Spector" wing of the Arizona Republican establishment have targeted Gorman for defeat. Because of her stance against their position and her stance against tax increases, they are dedicated to ensuring that she raise no money and not be elected.
Stand with Arizona conservatives and ensure that John Shadegg's conservative seat in Arizona's 3rd Congressional District be filled by someone who hasn't just talked the talk ... but walked the lonely walk for the taxpayers alone. Pamela Gorman has put her conservative values before her Republicanism. And she will do so in Congress. Please visit www.Gorman2010.com and donate today. And please share this on your Facebook page, Tweet it and ask all conservatives from around the country to do the same.