Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

If the Club for Growth Came to Minnesota

  • Minnesota: The Club for Growth has set up shop in Oregon and rumors abound that Gordon Smith may find himself in a primary against a more fiscally conservative fiscal conservative.

    Just recently, Norm Coleman's name got booed pretty loudly at a rally held by anti-tax conservatives at the Minnesota state capitol. It seems the anti-tax conservatives of Minnesota might not be too happy with Smilin' Norm Coleman. It could be that Minnesota, like Oregon, is ripe for a visit from the Club for Growth's primary fairy.

    So who might the Club for Growth put up as a primary candidate against Smilin' Norm? It would have to be somebody really allergic to any kind of taxation or any kind of government intervention in corporate America. Three names come to mind:

    U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann: As CQ Politics noted during her congressional run last year:

    Bachmann, on the other hand, has made her mark as an outspoken conservative activist.

    Bachmann, a former federal tax attorney, said she has gained “notoriety” by sponsoring anti-tax legislation including the Minnesota Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, or TABOR, which would require voters to approve any increases in government revenues and spending above the rate of population growth. She also has gained notice as the proponent of legislation to limit abortions and an amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage.
    Sounds like an arch-conservative's arch-conservative. You can read more about Bachmann's apparent distaste for any kind of taxation on her campaign website.

    David Strom: Strom is the President of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota. What is the League's mission?

    The League's mission is to fight for lower taxes, smaller and less intrusive government, and to educate citizens regarding free market principles. The Taxpayers League Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that does research, publishes pamphlets and papers, and holds forums educating citizens regarding the importance of free market principles to liberty and prosperity.
    Sounds like somebody the Club for Growth would get along really well with.

    Arthur Rolnick: Rolnick is Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. In naming Rolnick the 2005 Minnessotan of the Year, Minnesota Monthly offered insight into Rolnick's intellectual development:

    Rolnick’s market-oriented ideas differed from Heller’s tendency to rely on government intervention: much to his own surprise, Rolnick gravitated toward the philosophies of Milton Friedman, the much-vilified conservative economist whose supply-side theories would be adopted by the Reagan administration. Friedman argued that governments intervening in economic problems usually just made matters worse, and he insisted they adhere to a strict diet of monetary-policy enforcement to control inflation, as well as supply-side management to help markets grow and to reduce unemployment. Today, Rolnick declares himself a free-market, neoclassical economist. “I’m one who starts at the point of saying that where markets work, they generally work well,” he says.
    I think the Club for Growth wouldn't mind Rolnick either.

    So, Club for Growth staff, if you're reading this, definitely consider opening a franchise in Minnesota and giving Bachmann, Strom, or Rolnick a call. If the recent rally at which Norm Coleman's name got booed is any indication, the MN-GOP might be hungry for CfG's strict anti-tax ideology in the form of a Senate primary challenger to Coleman.


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