Tea Party

Combative Tea Party Kansas Rep. Huelskamp Loses Primary

Opposed Boehner and lost Ag Committee position; industry turned against him.

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Tim Huelskamp
Miguel Juarez Lugo/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Republican Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp is out, defeated in the state's primaries last night by a challenger, Roger Marshall, a political newcomer. The latest numbers have Marshall ahead 57 percent to 44 percent. That's not a narrow loss.

Huelskamp came into office in 2010 as part of the Tea Party push. He is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and was one of the small group of Republican congressman who in 2015—along with familiar-to-Reason reader names like Justin Amash, David Brat, and Thomas Massie—voted against naming John Boehner speaker of the House.

Huelskamp had previously been punished by Boehner in 2012 for voting against Republican establishment positions by being booted from the Agriculture Committee (this happened at the same time Amash was booted by Republicans from the Budget Committee).

This apparently turned the agriculture industry against Huelskamp. Club for Growth and the Freedom Caucus maintained support for Huelskamp, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and agriculture industry groups turned to Marshall. Marshall's endorsements include a host of agriculture interests, including ethanol representatives. Huelskamp opposes the federal renewable fuel standard. Marshall supports it.

The narrative for Huelskamp's loss was that he was just too combative and that his clashes had hurt his district, which is an interesting way of describing the party's establishment punishing Huelskamp by stripping him of his influence for voting in ways they didn't like.

But as McClatchy notes, there was a little bit more than just the agriculture lobby plotting against Huelskamp. His district lines were redrawn to include Fort Riley and Kansas State University, bringing voters who "are not as libertarian on economic issues nor as socially conservative as those who live in the west."

Possibly relevant, beyond just the agricultural lobby, was the fact that Huelskamp's social conservativism had a strong anti-gay bend to it. He believed that proponents of gay marriage recognition were trying to weaken and destroy the institution altogether and was a supporter of the National Organization for Marriage's efforts. His position went far beyond the "let the states decide" position of many current conservatives. In 2013 he introduced a constitutional amendment to try to restrict marriage recognition across the country to heterosexual couples only.

Marshall holds many conservative positions and is pro-life (he's also an obstetrician), but there's nothing on his issues page about gay marriage or gay rights at all. Huelskamp's campaign actually attacked Marshall for belonging to a physician's group (the American College for OB-GYNs) that supports gay marriage recognition and the right to abortion.

Is this a warning sign for the future of the Tea Party movement? Hard to say. Given the state of the Republican Party right now with Donald Trump as a completely uncontrollable presidential candidate, it's tough to even speculate about the party's future other than to say that regardless of what happens in November, it's going to have to really figure out what the heck it is.

It is worth noting that despite the crazy tone of the election, we're not actually seeing a lot of shocking primary results. ABC notes that Huelskamp is only the fourth incumbent legislator to lose a primary. Two others had their district boundaries significantly altered and one was indicted on corruption charges.

Below the fold is House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan's (R-Ohio) statement in response to Huelskamp's loss:

"Our colleague Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) is a fifth generation farmer and conservative Republican who, since the day he was elected, has stood up for the values of the families and taxpayers in his district.

"At times, Tim's commitment to fighting for smaller, more accountable government required him to stand up and say no to 'business as usual' in Washington.

"For this, he was punished by the same party insiders and special interests that Republican voters across the country overwhelmingly rejected at the ballot box throughout the presidential nomination process.

"In an ugly and dishonest campaign, Tim's record was attacked and misrepresented by big money special interest groups who wanted to exact their revenge.

"Republicans need to be unified behind conservative principles to stop the Obama/Clinton agenda. The House Republican leadership's opposition to Tim Huelskamp significantly damaged the ability of House Republicans to do that."

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  1. This apparently turned the agriculture industry against Huelskamp. Club for Growth and the Freedom Caucus maintained support for Huelskamp, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and agriculture industry groups turned to Marshall. Marshall’s endorsements include a host of agriculture interests, including ethanol representatives. Huelskamp opposes the federal renewable fuel standard. Marshall supports it.

    Farmers are welfare queens.

    1. Amen.

      I grew up in a rural area and the farmers were the worse about throwing rocks at welfare recipients in town, but demanding price supports for crops and subsidized crop insurance.

      The only reason that sugar beets in NW Minnesoda can be commercially grown is because of import tariffs and price supports. But those farmers would never consider their loot to be welfare.

      1. Jimbo, thanks, now I have another reason to hate beets.

        1. Trust me, you will never eat a sugar beet in its natural form.

          All they are used for is to be turned into sugar.

          1. Speaking of which, when we go pheasant hunting in western MN, we see hundreds of spilled sugar beets on the side of the road. I think my wife wants to grab some (clean them) and cook them. I do believe they will taste like some sort of candy…

          2. Hard to come by, unless you live in sugar-beet country. They taste kind of OK though.

            1. In Russia beet cooks you!

            2. Huh, I’ve never known anyone to try them.

              I only see them in the field when I am out hunting. Those look real tough and tough to eat.

              You’d think that the deer that are in there eating them up would taste sweeter too.

  2. it’s tough to even speculate about the party’s future

    No, it’s not. The GOP will soon be dead.

    1. IT WILL BE REBORN FROM THE ASHES LIKE A GLORIOUS PHOENIX, MAKING ANEW DEALS TO RAISE DEBT CEILINGS AND KEEP GOVERNMENT OPERATING APACE.

      1. “The Glorious Operating Phoenix!”

  3. Well, I guess the establishment Republicans still have enough vigor left to punish the Tea Party/Libertarians, at least in some areas.

    Do they REALLY think this is the way out of their mess. TRIPLE DOWN on their old, antiquated notions? They just don’t seem to want to see the writing on the wall. The Tea Party, to my mind, was the compromise between their establishment and full on libertarians, and the establishment Repubs would have none of it. “Knuckle under the fiscally liberal, socially conservative, bomb the shit out of ’em, Warfare branch of the Welfare-Warfare duopoly or get the fuck out”. They don’t realize they are fighting a Pyrrhic battle for purity that is killing themselves in the long run. They are a dying breed using the last of their institutional power for vengeance as they crawl on their knees toward The Ice Queen..

    Fuck ’em good and hard.

    Assholes.

    1. The establishment republicans have just moved to the left and become what the Clinton/Gore DLC democrats were 20 years ago to fill the vacuum, as the democratic party has gone full speed ahead in its transformation into the party of Alinsky, Marx, and Guevara.

      1. The establishment republicans have just moved to the left

        I have it on good authority that the United States has slid far, far right in the last decade? Every HuffPo comment says so, so it must be true.

  4. ABC notes that Huelskamp is only the fourth incumbent legislator to lose a primary.

    FTA: Huelskamp is one of only a few House members to be ousted during this year’s primary season.

    He’s one of four this year, which may be more than usual.

    Too bad the fuckers kicked out the good guy – this Marshall fella sounds like he’d get along fine with President Trump, just like the rest of the GOP Dem-lite establishment that runs their mouths and does jack shit about making government any smaller, cheaper or less intrusive. Fuck him, fuck the GOP, fuck Trump. And fuck farmers twice, the fucking commie bastard leeches. “salt of the earth”, my ass, they’re fucking entitled-ass welfare cases and they can kiss my ass.

    1. But, haven’t you heard?

      NO FARMS
      NO FOOD

      (… is the stupidest bumper sticker this side of “COEXIST”)

  5. Short summary: all my proggie friends in KS are celebrating Huelskamp’s defeat.

  6. TEAM RED dead enders seem to be happy about this. You might say that the sin of being #nevertrump….Trumps all.

    1. You forgot to put on your sunglasses.

      That’s some Trump-level fail, right there.

  7. i get paid over ?79.91 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,……

    ——->>>>> http://www.CareerPlus90.com

  8. Voters-imposed term ‘limit’ is not a bad thing!

    Stay positive folks!

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