The Scientific Activist

While most of the candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination have been in a race to see who can most shamelessly pander to the Religious Right, Rudy Giuliani has more or less remained above the fray. So far, this strategy has paid off surprisingly well, as recent polls have indicated.

Even more surprisingly, though, comes the today’s revelation by Roll Call (subscription required) that Giuliani may pick up the endorsement of one of the dirtiest conservative organizations out there, the Club for Growth:

Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said the group’s leaders are still weighing whether they will work for or against any of the 2008 candidates and would not rule out the possibility that the club’s political action committee would make an endorsement in the race.

He also praised Giuliani’s fiscal record, which so far has been overshadowed by a focus on his liberal social views.

“I think his fiscal and economic record as mayor and what he’s been talking about has not played a huge role in his candidacy yet — I think it will over time,” said Toomey, a former Pennsylvania Congressman….

“We are still in the process of analyzing [Giuliani’s] record. … In the meantime, I can tell you I think there’s a lot to like about Mayor Giuliani’s record,” Toomey said. “I think there’s lots to like about Gov. Romney’s record as well. Neither one is perfect in our judgment. We’re still really trying to flesh that out.”

The Club for Growth is an extreme conservative organization, albeit one that focuses only on fiscal issues. It has shown a flagrant disregard for the law, and in 2005 the FEC filed a suit against the Club for violating election rules in 2000, 2002, and 2004. I witnessed its nasty techniques firsthand in 2004, when the Club launched a well-funded smear campaign against moderate Democratic Congressman Chet Edwards. Fortunately, Edwards was able to overcome this challenge and win another solid victory.

If the Club for Growth decides to endorse Giuliani in the Republican primary, and if Giuliani does not renounce this endorsement, he will have proven himself no better than the others.


  1. #1 Eric Dondero
    March 14, 2007

    Oh, so now libertarian groups are “dirty” and “extremist.” I thought you liberals were trying to reach out to us libertarians. What about all that post-Election buzz by Markos Moulitas, and others on how Democrats needed to “reach out to the swing voter libertarians.”

    Now you all are ruthlessly blasting us.

    I’ll be sure to let all my libertarian friends in the movement know of your quotes above. And trust me, I’m a 22-year hardcore libertarian activist. I have many, many fellow libertarian friends.

    Eric Dondero, CEO

    Fmr. Senior Aide, US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

  2. #2 PJ
    March 14, 2007

    Club for Growth is about American prosperity through free market economics – low taxes, lower spending, and less onerous regulation. They support the ‘good’ Republicans who actually live up to what they promise on fiscal conservatism and low taxes. Extremist? That is meaningless partisan prattle from someone who apparently wants sclerotic economies, heavy taxes and a bloated Government.

    As for Chet Edwards, he’s a stinky politician who’s a great example of what is wrong with Washington, DC. He collected $2 million from liberal special interests and agribusiness pals in the last cycle, and used it to mislead his district into thinking he is not the big-spending liberal that he is. Club for Growth doesnt like his phoniness, his special interest ties, and his tax-and-spend ways. He is truly a mis-representative. Maybe you like him because he brings some his pork your way, but that doesn’t make him a good Congresscritter.

  3. #3 Jagrmeister
    March 15, 2007

    You know well, written objective journalism when you see it.

    And this isn’t it.

  4. #4 Nick Anthis
    March 15, 2007

    I’m not going to respond to all of these insubstantial attacks, but I will say that I would suggest to anyone reading this to go research Chet Edwards and the Club for Growth him or herself and make up his or her own mind based on that. I think what I’ve written here, though, will prove to be pretty accurate.

  5. #5 Meredith
    March 16, 2007

    Gosh, Nick, so good to hear that you are apparently the voice for our entire party, nay the entire liberal movement. Better watch what you say so you don’t offend anyone. Clearly your own blog is no place to voice your take on the news.

    Clearly there’s a difference between Club for Growth and the Libertarian party, just as there’s a difference, between the Democratic party and George Soros, et al.
    Nick may be guilty of letting his own personal frustration with the Republican party and its policies (see: color his own politics, but since when is that not allowed?

    Go do your homework on what science really means to the U.S. and what this administration has done to hinder it, and then come back and make comments that are a bit more than GOP platform dribble and ad hominem attacks; neither of those count as the essential dialogue we need in this country to actually solve some problems.

    And as much as you might need a copy editor, Nick, your commentators need one more.

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