Cross Posted National Review Online ‘The Corner’

Friday, February 05, 2010

Conservatives Need to Rally Behind Sue Lowden [Saul Anuzis]

Conservatives have a number of opportunities for victories in 2010, but none is more important than the chance to defeat Senate majority leader Harry Reid. We must rally behind the right candidate to ensure that we not only defeat Reid but also gain a solid conservative senator. That candidate is Sue Lowden.

I have known Sue and her family for years. I know that she has the fortitude to take on Reid and withstand the onslaught that he and his allies will unleash against her. More importantly, I know that she has strong conservative principles rooted in her personal faith and her belief in free-market ideals. (Sue recently spoke with a group of Nevada tea-party activists.) She is a proven leader with a track record of success, who has earned every opportunity she has had. Many don’t realize that Sue is the daughter of a former coal miner. She and her husband both come from humble backgrounds but have succeeded in business through smart decisions and hard work, not through government handouts or their family name.

In 1992, Lowden won election to the Nevada state senate by defeating the incumbent senate majority leader. Her victory ended Democrats’ control of the chamber, and Sue’s colleagues immediately elected her senate majority whip.

Because of her strong fiscal-conservative principles, Lowden later served as chair of the taxation committee. When pro-tax legislators tried to push through higher taxes, she blocked their efforts. Her panel became known as the “no-taxation” committee. Lowden fought against higher taxes in the state senate, and she will fight against higher taxes in the U.S. Senate.

Today, labor bosses continue their efforts to kill a union member’s right to cast his vote privately without the bosses looking over his shoulder. Will we have a conservative U.S. senator with the fortitude to stand up to them? As a state senator, Lowden cast the deciding vote in the Nevada state senate to protect Nevada’s right-to-work status. She has had unions picket her home and businesses, but she has withstood their onslaught. Lowden will stand with conservatives against union bosses in the U.S. Senate.

On issue after issue, we know where Sue Lowden stands because she has been elected to office and championed conservative principles. She earned the endorsement of the NRA in her race for state senate. She is one of the original architects of Nevada’s charter-school law. As a pro-life advocate, she fought for parental-notification laws. Through her personal family experiences and decades of work with children with muscular dystrophy and Jerry’s Kids, I know Lowden values life. I know she will be a pro-life U.S. senator.

Lowden proudly signed the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge the week she announced her Senate campaign. She has pledged to join Senate conservatives to fight for earmark reform and tax and spending cuts. She is staunchly opposed to taxpayer funding of abortion. Lowden has stated that she would not have voted for President Bush’s TARP bill and is a strong opponent of the “stimulus” bill passed earlier this year. She was the first candidate running against Harry Reid to sign the Club for Growth’s pledge, and she has also signed the Americans for Prosperity anti–climate tax pledge.

Some conservatives have chosen to support Danny Tarkanian for the Nevada GOP Senate nomination. I say to my friends that they are mistaken in their support for the son of the former UNLV basketball coach. Tarkanian has used his campaign to falsely attack Lowden and try to trick us into believing that she isn’t conservative enough. If Sue Lowden isn’t conservative enough to be a leader in the conservative movement, than neither was Ronald Reagan.

As I’ve listened to Tarkanian ignore the facts and twist Sue’s words, I’ve been reminded of Reagan, who once spoke of what he called “the 11th Commandment”: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican. Reagan’s words highlight the contrast between Tarkanian’s rhetoric and Lowden’s conservative principles. It’s clear which candidate is best equipped to represent Reagan’s conservative movement.

I know that Sue Lowden is the proven conservative we can and should rally behind. Others do too. In the last quarter of 2009, Lowden raised more than twice as muchmoney as Tarkanian. In fact, she raised more money in her first quarter in the race than he raised in the past two quarters combined. We all know that it will take significant resources to defeat Harry Reid — and defeating him with a legitimate, tested conservative is our ultimate goal.

Reid is hoping that Tarkanian wins the Republican primary. While Lowden knows what it takes to be successful, Tarkanian has been on the ballot in two of the last three election cycles and failed to win both times. In his last campaign, he earned the endorsement of Sarah Brady and the Brady Campaign because of his liberal positions on the Second Amendment. Instead of taking responsibility for his stance on gun rights, Tarkanian claims it wasn’t his fault.

This is a critical moment when we must have the good judgment to stand behind the right conservative candidates who can win in November. There is a great uprising coming from the American people. We are ready to work and ready to earn real change, not only in government but also in the direction our economy and our country are headed. There is no better leader to join us in this effort than Sue Lowden — the right candidate to defeat Harry Reid.

— Saul Anuzis has been a conservative activist for much of his adult life, including serving in leadership positions in the fight against card-check legislation at American Solutions. He is former chairman of the Michigan Republican party.