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Club for Growth Endorses Amash for Congress

July 5, 2010

Yesterday, the Grand Rapids Press ran a front-page story announcing the endorsement of 3rd Congressional Justin Amash (Rep.) by the national group Club for Growth.

The article gets reactions from other Republican candidates in the race, as well as Bill Ballenger (Inside Michigan Politics) and Rich Robinson (Michigan Campaign Finance Network). The Press story also features photos of the other 12 candidates that are being endorsed by Club for Growth across the country, with a summary of the group’s endorsement of Tim Walberg in the 2006.

There is also some “criticism” by Republican Steven LaTourette from Ohio who says of Club for Growth, “If their goal is to increase the Democrats numbers in Congress, they’re doing a good job.” Besides this the only other “criticism” is from other 3rd Congressional candidates, which is understandable since this endorsement could be a determining factor in the August 3 primary.

However, what is missing from the story is what kind of politics Club for Growth supports. The Press story does state that they are opposed to taxes and big government, but these issues are not explored.

Club for Growth was started by men involved in the National Review magazine and the ultra-conservative think tank, the Cato Institute. According to the website Right-Wing Watch, Club for Growth has more than 9,000 members and is dominated by “Wall Street financiers and executives,” which is interesting since they have been the beneficiaries of the bailout. Doesn’t that mean that Club for Growth supported the bailout? In looking at their website, it isn’t absolutely clear that is the case, but their news posting suggest that they have been critical of the bailout.

However, there is no clear sense of what kind of tax increases they oppose, nor what they mean by big government. Does this mean that they oppose a bloated military budget, with increased spending for military hardware, private contractors and the intelligence sectors? We could find nothing on where they stand on those matters and Justin Amash is vague on where he stands regarding military spending.

Amash is featured on the Club for Growth website, but there isn’t much information on why they have endorsed him other than to say that he is pro-growth and has voted against taxes in his 2 years in the Michigan Legislature. The Press only speculates as to how much money Amash may receive from this group, but they don’t mention that as of the last federal filing date Amash leads all candidates in the 3rd Congressional district in money raised.

In electoral politics it is usually comes down to money and it would serve the public well for local news agencies to report on and explore who is bankrolling candidates and why.

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