Wouldn’t it be nice to replace our entire current Congress with brand new people?
Tuesday’s Ohio Republican Primary was a start. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt lost to challenger Brad Wenstrup, a surgeon and Iraq war veteran. As Dennis Catanese at Politico intriguingly put it, Schmidt was “quietly upended in stunning fashion.”
“Stunning” — because incumbents virtually always win, especially in their own party primaries. According to the Alliance for Self-Governance, “God recalls incumbents more frequently than voters do.” Between 2002 and 2008, only twelve congressional incumbents lost in their primary elections, while thirteen died in office.
“Quietly” — because some folks didn’t see it coming. Sadly, not everyone reads Common Sense. Back in February, I said there may be “no better Valentine for our Republic” than the effort by a new SuperPAC, the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which targets incumbents for defeat in primary elections.
The Campaign goes after both Republicans and Democrats. Further, “[w]e are not issue-driven,” says Curtis Ellis, the group’s spokesman, who declares the goal is simply “holding incumbents accountable.”
Made possible through the new campaign finance rules won in the Citizens United court decision, the Super PAC has raised $1.8 million and spent $200,000 against Schmidt. Their Web advertisement squarely told voters:
Congresswoman Jean Schmidt was named “most corrupt” by a Washington watchdog group. Schmidt voted to increase your taxes by opposing a tax cut extension. Then, Schmidt increased the federal debt by $2.8 trillion. One bailout vote gave $50 billion to the parent company of her husband’s employer. Rock the boat. Vote in the March 6 Primary. It’s time to end Schmidt’s cruise.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.