Justin Amash Targeted by Michigan GOP Business Establishment for Lacking Party Discipline


The Hill reports today on attempts to take down libertarian-leaning Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan on the part of big party donors:

In a letter obtained by The Hill, prominent Michigan donors request financial backing for Amash's primary challenger, Brian Ellis. Seven individuals, including prominent Michigan businessmen Mark Bissell, J.C. Huizenga and Mike Jandernoa, signed the fundraising plea.

They argue that Amash "and others have effectively nullified the Republican majority in the U.S. House."

"[Amash] and a small group of like-minded legislators rejected Speaker Boehner's plea to pass legislation requiring Congress and the president be subject to ObamaCare, and put on hold the special new tax on medical equipment. This irresponsible action hurt over 50 great West Michigan businesses and was part of the chaos that led the nation to the edge of default," the letter says.

The letter was printed on Ellis's campaign stationery.

"These are folks I've known for a long time, and they're excited about my candidacy," Ellis told The Hill.

Ellis said his supporters have expressed frustration with the conservative wing of the GOP and the shutdown strategy….

Not every business interest is peeved with Amash:

An aide to Amash's congressional campaign said the letter's signatories don't speak for the Grand Rapids business community, and noted that the congressman has substantial business support.

Executives at direct-selling giant Amway, for example, are backing Amash. 

The Amash campaign shared with The Hill a letter from Doug DeVos, Amway's president, calling on donors to support the lawmaker. In addition, Steve Van Andel, Amway's chairman who also chairs the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's board of directors, has already contributed the maximum $5,200 allowed to Amash's campaign for the 2014 election cycle.

The National Federation of Independent Business previously endorsed Amash, and a spokesman for the group said while it hadn't made a decision on the race this cycle, the group wouldn't endorse his opponent because Amash has had such a strong record on the group's issues in Congress.

The Amash aide also defended the lawmaker's record, noting that during the shutdown fight, Amash only defied GOP leadership on the final deal that reopened the government and lifted the debt ceiling.

My March Reason feature interview with Amash and some other "liberty movement" House Republicans.