RedState’s Erick Erickson has weighed-in on the contentious upcoming senate primary in Wisconsin, backing former Rep. Mark Neumann. In doing so, Erickson proves once again that he is willing to take courageous stands in the name of electing more reliable conservatives.
Everyone knows former Gov. Tommy Thompson would be a moderate/establishment senator — and Erickson does a good job of pointing out why Eric Hovde shouldn’t be trusted by conservatives. But what may not be fully appreciated is Neumann’s impressive background as a conservative fighter willing to stand up to the Republican Party on the issue of spending.
Here are a couple of key excerpts from a terrific New York Times profile on Neumann from the mid-90s, which, I think, make the case:
A muggy June morning, not a notable day in Washington except that it is Neumann’s worst day in Congress yet. He is leaving a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee, where he has just proposed cutting every appropriations outlay by 1.9 percent. He withdrew the idea when exactly none of the other 50 or so Representatives in the room would agree to it. Now he is moving briskly toward the basement cafeteria of the Longworth House Office Building. He is dressed on this hot day, as he is most days, in the style of a Mormon missionary: a white, short-sleeved shirt, muted red tie and blue slacks.
I ask him if he will be going to the Republican National Convention.
”Do you really think they want me at the Republican convention?”
Again, if the goal is elect conservatives willing to stand up to Republican leadership, how do you beat this?
Neumann voted against the [budget resolution] plan, he said, because it contained spending that would temporarily spike the deficit. The Republican leadership had promised that the deficit would drop precipitously, only not right away. Neumann wasn’t buying it.
”Let me ask you a question,” he says. ”Five years from now, if the Republicans had a choice, do you think they would rather remain in control of Congress or have balanced the budget and brought the deficit down?”
It is, I gather, a rhetorical question.
”They will do anything to remain in power,” he says. ”People in Washington will do anything to remain in power. Anything.”
No, I don’t suppose they want him at the Republican National Convention.
There is more, including the story of how his recalcitrance got him kicked off the Defense subcommittee of Appropriations (read the whole thing here.)
In any event, Republicans claim they want proven conservatives who are willing to stand up to the leadership in their own party and cut spending. If that’s what they are looking for, then they should look no further.