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April 18, 2015

Illinois Special Election Pits Establishment Scion Vs. Tea Party Outsider

Well, I know who I support, given that Mike Flynn is a great guy, a strong conservative, and a friend.

But even if you didn't know that -- how is this even close?

LaHood is about as establishment a choice as one could imagine. He is the son of Representative Ray LaHood, the very moderate Republican who represented about half of the current district in Congress until 2009. He then left office to become President Obamaís Transportation Secretary, where he promoted pork-barrel spending and dubious high-speed-rail projects. His sonís supporters say his politics are distinct from those of his father, but clearly the LaHood name will be a mixed blessing in a primary. On the one hand, it brings strong name identification for Darin LaHood. But on the other, it leaves many of the districtís conservatives looking for a fresh, nonĖstatus quo alternative.

Mike Flynn plans to be that alternative. A 47-year-old political activist, he played a major role in exposing the scandals that brought down the leftist group ACORN and went on to edit the Big Government website founded by the late Andrew Breitbart. The site has been a go-to source of stories exposing the politically correct obsessions of liberals and the non-confrontational habits of Republican leaders.

The Tea Party has been beaten a lot lately. This seems like an easy way to score a win: If you're thinking, "Well, it's Illinois, it's a super-liberal district, better nominate LaHood" -- nope. It's R+11. Whoever wins the Republican primary, wins the general.

This is exactly the sort of election a conservative must win -- but it's being arranged to be gifted to the son of Obama's Secretary of Transportation.

Jim Geraghty wrote about the race in Friday's Morning Jolt:

Can we all unify behind someone -- some conservative -- behind, say, a Republican running for Congress whoís the son of an Obama cabinet official? Right now the only filed candidate is state senator Darin LaHood -- son of former Republican congressman-turned-Obama-transportation-secretary Ray LaHood. You remember, the earmark guy. The letís-publicly-demonize-Toyota-while-the-government-owns-GM guy.

Sorry, we canít. You may characterize this as blaming the son for the sins of the father, but besides the hereditary-monarchy aspect of Congress, the elder LaHood stepped up for the Obama agenda when the president asked.

By the way, this is no longshot candidacy: Flynn is a 60-40 favorite to become Illinois 18's next congressman, I figure.

When I first heard about this, I could only think about Goodfellas -- "Tommy gettin' Made was like all of us gettin' Made."

Hopefully with a better resolution, but you get the idea.


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posted by Ace at 11:50 AM

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