Club for Growth

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The Club for Growth is a political organization consisting of 9,000 Americans.[1] The organization has been known for endorsing and funding fiscally conservative candidates over moderates and Democrats. Club for Growth’s political action committee was heavily involved in funding candidates who favored lowering taxes in the 2002, 2004, and 2006 primary and general elections, and for supporting fiscally conservative political change.

As a "527" organization, the Club for Growth may accept unlimited funding and is not required to disclose the names of donors. Because of its donors' political influence on the organization's message and political positions, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has referred to the Club for Growth as the 'Club for Greed'. He said regarding the organization's credibility:

"You have to understand that the 'Club for Greed', as I like to call it, is really not being an objective organization. You give them money and they will say whatever you want them to say. [It's] a pass-through so that people who don't have the guts to run for office can write a big check and hide behind the trees, and let the Club for Greed go do its dirty work for them...Its been discredited [by] a lot of objective organizations"[2]

This position ignores the obvious truth that the Club for Growth was formed explicitly to support particular partisan positions, and has conducted its activities completely legally.

In 2005, the organization came under criticism for falling back on its core principals; this led to the founding of another organization by some former members, Free Enterprise Fund.[3]

The president of Club for Growth is currently is Patrick Toomey.

Contents

Goals

According to the organizations website [1], its goals are:

  • Making the Bush tax cuts permanent
  • Death tax repeal
  • Cutting and limiting government spending
  • Social Security reform with personal retirement accounts
  • Expanding free trade
  • Legal reform to end abusive lawsuits
  • Replacing the current tax code
  • School choice
  • Regulatory reform and deregulation

History

The Club for Growth was founded in 1999 by Stephen Moore; a senior economist at the Joint Economic Committee and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute[4]. The organization called on candidates to return to Ronald Reagan’s conservative “vision of limited government and lower taxes.” [5]. In 2002, the organization raised $9.2 million for the 2002 campaigns, and in the 2004 election, the organization heavily campaigned for low tax candidates; spending a total of $20 million on behalf of GOP candidates. They aired a 30-second television commercial which depicted Democratic candidate, John Kerry as a spinning weather vane. To increase influence on sitting candidates after the 2004 election, the organization hired its first lobbyist. Soon after, former conservative Congressman, Patrick Toomey, replaced Stephen Moore as organization leader.

Controversy

In 2005, the organization became rifted as accusations of betrayed principals and stolen donor list. [6] Many of the problems came about after a disappointing primary race between Congressman, Patrick Toomey, and moderate, Arlen Specter. Some former leading members and Moore started another organization, Free Enterprise Fund.[7] Moore stated,

"To see the club splintered this way was a heart-breaking tragedy, but the good news is most of the original founding committee members of the old Club for Growth that we built into such a political juggernaut helped me launch the Free Enterprise Fund,"[8]

In the 2006 Rhode Island Republican senate primary election, Club for Growth heavily campaigned against liberal Republican senator Lincoln Chafee in his primary race against conservative Steven Laffey [9].

External Link

Official Website of the Club For Growth

References

  1. People For The American Way,"Club for Growth - Activities"
  2. http://thediscourses.com/
  3. http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/7/8/95300.shtml
  4. CATO Institute, "Stephen Moore"
  5. People For The American Way,"Club for Growth - Activities"
  6. New York Times, July 8, 2005, David D. Kirkpatrick, "Leadership Dispute Causes a Split in a Powerhouse of Fund-Raising for Conservative Causes"
  7. The New York Sun, February 2, 2005, Josh Gerstein, "Power Struggle Grips the Club for Growth"
  8. New York Times, July 8, 2005, David D. Kirkpatrick, "Leadership Dispute Causes a Split in a Powerhouse of Fund-Raising for Conservative Causes"
  9. National Review,October 18, 2005, John J. Miller, "Is Laffey the Best Medicine?"
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