The “Legislative Wall”: Dick Armey’s Top Five Tea Party Republican Candidates

As most independent groups focus on the presidential nomination contest, FreedomWorks for America is focused on electing far-right Republicans to the U.S. Senate. The independent-expenditure-only super PAC is part of the FreedomWorks astroturf network of former U.S. House Republican Leader Dick Armey (R-TX).

Yesterday on CNN’s State of the Union, Armey said his groups aim to elect tea party-minded conservatives to Congress to force the White House on a far-right path. “We’ll build a legislative wall… We’ll either be walling a Republican president in, or walling a Democratic president out.”

Here are the bricks they aim to put in their wall:

A not-yet-determined Republican primary challenger to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) ($237,065 in independent expenditures to date). Hatch has veered sharply to the right since the 2010 defeat of Sen. Bob Bennett (R) by conservative activists and earned a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union for 2010. But FreedomWorks wants Hatch out of the senate too, given his past support for crazy things like the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.

Former Texas Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R), a candidate for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)’s open senate seat ($71,647 in independent expenditures to date). Cruz has offered an unconstitutional proposal for a backdoor method of state nullification of federal laws and the Affordable Care Act and co-authored a white paper advocating a radical reading of the Constitution that would lead to Medicaid and most federal education programs being declared unconstitutional.

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), who is challenging Sen. Dick Lugar (R) in a primary ($47,180 in pro-Mourdock independent expenditures to date and another $12,378 against Lugar). Critics say Mourdock wasted $2 million in state funds in his unsuccessful legal challenges to the 2009 Chrysler reorganization and federal bailout. And in a September 12, 2009 speech to the FreedomWorks “Taxpayer March on Washington,” Mourdock warned that “through obvious, brutal, criminal acts of tyranny or through subtle, creeping
incremental-ism, governments corrupt the ideal of individual freedom into statism, economic slavery, and governmental dependency, and dependency is the opposite of liberty.”

Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg (R), a former state attorney general and candidate for Sen. Ben Nelson (D)’s open senate seat ($33,230 in independent expenditures to date). He has endorsed an extreme proposal to cripple our system of federal regulation by requiring that Congress approve every single major rule or regulation before it takes effect. In its endorsement, FreedomWorks for America said “Nebraskans described Stenberg to us as ‘tea party-minded before we had tea parties.’”

Former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, a former senatorial candidate who recently dropped out of the race to defeat Sen. Bill Nelson (D) ($12,378 in independent expenditures to date). The outspoken conservative is now a candidate for U.S. House. He supports a national anti-union “right to work” law and a freeze on any new regulation that might have a “substantial economic impact on job creators.”

If Armey and his allies succeed in electing these and other far-right conservatives to Congress, the legislative wall would continue to block progress.