MEMO: Driving the Tea Party Bus: Previewing the Americans for Prosperity Senate Debate

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Contact: Christina Freundlich, 515-974-1709


From: Troy Price, Executive Director
To:     Interested Parties
Date:  October 22, 2013
Re:     Driving the Tea Party Bus: Previewing the Americans for Prosperity Senate Debate

Tomorrow evening, Iowans will watch the first of many GOP Senate candidate debates before next year’s Republican primary election.  Already, five Republican candidates for Senate — Sam Clovis, Joni Ernst, Scott Schaben, Matt Whitaker, and David Young — have been falling all over themselves to embrace the Tea Party and prove their extreme right-wing bona fides.

It is no coincidence that the inaugural Senates debate comes two days before Senator Ted Cruz’ keynote address to the Iowa GOP delegation.

Our key question for tomorrow’s night debate: with the Iowa GOP in Cruz Control this week, which of the five GOP Senate candidates will drive furthest to the right during the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) debate?

Despite the GOP’s incredibly high unpopularity right now, all participating debate candidates said they would have voted against last week’s bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.  Still, Tea Party leaders like Ted Cruz won’t rule out another government shutdown.  The government shutdown and threat of default cost the US economy $24 billion, cut .6% off of growth of the GDP and brought the world economy to the brink of collapse.  Thousands of Iowans went without the steady income and benefits they rely on, and are still feeling the effects of it today.

We fully expect Clovis, Ernst, Schaben, Whitaker and Young to continue to stand by their leading man, Ted Cruz.  These candidates have signaled they will once again use reckless political tactics if they don’t get exactly what they want.  Iowans expect their leaders to find common-sense solutions, not promote Washington gridlock.

We also expect to see the Republican Senate candidates blindly following the special interest priorities of the Koch-brothers funded Super PAC, Americans for Prosperity (AFP).  AFP has been an outspoken critic of the Farm Bill, wind energy tax credits, and quality, affordable access to health insurance for thousands of Iowans.  Gutting these programs will cause serious damage to Iowa’s economy and working families.  Having trustworthy benefits and a smart government you can rely on is an important part of middle class security.  Iowans who work hard and pay their fair share should not have to worry about political leaders that don’t stand up for working families and seniors.

Let’s face it: the Republican Senate field is struggling.  Even The Iowa Republican admits that the “Republican Senate candidates are struggling [because] they are not running for an office for they are being perceived as qualified [for].”

It’s not hard to see why: unanimously supporting Ted Cruz’s failed plan to shut down the government to prove a political point may be great for the Tea Party, but it’s bad for Iowa.



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