Conservative Waves Blowing In

Michigan’s 7th U.S. House District

Walberg vs. Schauer

“A tragedy of history,” to use the phrase of Whittaker Chambers, aptly describes freshman Whittaker Chambers aptly describes Republican Rep. Tim Walberg’s defeat two years ago.

In ’06, Walberg caught national attention when he forged a coalition of economic and cultural conservatives to win the Republican nomination for Congress in Michigan’s 7th District (Jackson-Battle Creek) over moderate incumbent Joe Schwarz (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 59%).

During his brief stint in Congress, Walberg (lifetime ACU rating: 100%) established himself as a leader on energy issues. The Michiganian was a key player in crafting and securing signatures for the “No More Excuses” legislation, which provided a plethora of fresh energy proposals ranging from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to greater use of nuclear power.

And then ’08 came along. As Walberg recalled, “the financial bailout deal passed by Congress September 25 changed everything. John McCain went along with it and our base was exhaling.”
Then supporters of Walberg’s opponent, state Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer, poured it on. The embattled Republican estimated that $6 million from well-heeled left-wing sources (“George Soros, Michael Moore, the Service Employees International Union—the usual suspects”) was deployed against him. Walberg’s old GOP nemesis Joe Schwarz made headlines by crossing party lines to endorse Schauer, who won a close race.

Now it is 2010 and “Walberg-Schauer, II.” Tim Walberg is back, nominated over three primary opponents with a resounding 59% of the vote. And this time Mark Schauer has a record (lifetime ACU rating: 8%).

“Where do we start?” says Walberg. “He was for the stimulus package, which is in no way reviving the economy. He favors cap and trade, which will devastate manufacturing jobs in Michigan and he backed Obama and Pelosi on healthcare. And he was a co-sponsor of the card-check bill, which would have devastated the secret ballot in union elections, and he has a record of backing taxpayer-funded abortions. Do I have to say anymore?”

No, he doesn’t. Walberg’s record speaks for itself—from his across-the-board opposition to abortion to his vow to replace the present healthcare legislation with one that includes medical malpractice coverage and greater use of Health Savings Accounts.

Clearly, the political landscape and mood nationwide has changed from ’08. But it is undeniable that the left will still pump out big dollars to try to stop a comeback by Tim Walberg. That’s why conservatives need to rally behind the man from Michigan—once more, with feeling

(Walberg for Congress, 6769 Teachout Rd, Tipton, Mich. 49287; 517-795-2147;

Ohio’s 13th U.S. House District

Ganley vs. Sutton

Here’s the latest example of  the success of Tom Ganley’s spending his adult life reading the bottom line.

Last year, the Cleveland car dealer got fed up with what he called “the mess in Washington” and decided he had to win office to try to clean it up. Ganley got into the Republican primary for U.S. senator but polls showed that in his own congressional district, Ganley was running neck and neck against two-term Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton.

“A race for the House was obviously a more doable path to Washington than a race for the Senate,” said the man whose 31 auto dealerships make Ganley Motors as much a fixture in Cleveland as the Indians or the Browns. So he switched races and is now locked in a contest with Sutton (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 1.33%) that was recently profiled on the front page of the Washington Post

The 67-year-old Ganley, who has been in business 42 years, has demonstrated how far one can go on common sense and a good business mind. He became a car salesman in 1961, started his own Rambler store on April 1, 1968. That was no “April Fool’s joke,” he says. Rambler may not be around any more but the entire Ganley distributorship grossed $1 billion last year.

Tom Ganley himself is more than a car dealer. He owns three real estate companies and an insurance business and serves on the board of the largest independent finance company in Cleveland and on the board of a bank that, Ganley proudly notes, “took no federal stimulus money and had a profitable ’09.”

His secret for success? “Just make conservative decisions and avoid wild speculation and you’ll do fine,” he says.

As for Sutton, well, Ganley likes to point out, “She makes other kinds of decisions, like what [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi tells her to do, like voting for the financial and auto bailouts, Obama’s healthcare package and cap and trade. And not one private sector job will be created by any of this.”

One conservative decision Ganley wants to help make is to freeze all federal spending for at least a year “and then surgically attack it. National defense should be left alone, but everything else should be on the table and studied carefully. So much of the budget is now mandated, that we have to re-open entitlements. All domestic discretionary spending should have the dickens cut out of it.”

Strong medicine, all right. But perhaps only a congressman who doesn’t need the job can start movements like that at the risk of defeat. As Tom Ganley says, “If that’s what it takes, I’ll do it.”

(Ganley for Congress, 4101 East Royalton Road, Broadview Heights, Ohio 44137)

Tennessee’s 6th U.S. House District

Black vs. Carter

Can the district that sent to the U.S. House of Representatives Al Gore (1976-84), his father Albert Gore, Sr. (1938-52), and for the last 26 years, their fellow Democrat Bart Gordon, this year elect a conservative Republican known as “the nurse with the good ideas?”

With Gordon retiring, that is the question that voters in Tennessee’s 6th District must answer in November.

“The nurse with the good ideas” is what supporters call Diane Black. After spending her adult life in nursing and teaching emergency aid at Volunteer State Community College, Black won a seat in the state House of Representatives in 1998. Within months, Gov. Don Sundquist threw his fellow Republicans into turmoil by suddenly calling for a state income tax. Rep. Black joined the group labeled by the press “the killer bees” because they had vowed to fight Sundquist’s tax to the death (They succeeded).

During six years in the state house and another six in the state senate, Black found herself in other controversies. When state courts overturned restrictions on abortions, Black led the fight to restore what she called “common-sense” guidelines such as a 48-hour waiting period and informed consent.  

Now 59, a mother of three and a grandmother of six, Diane Black just won the 6th District Republican nomination for Congress. Tireless and combative, the 5-foot, 2-inch Black topped a field of eight candidates by just 289 votes.

Standing between Black and Congress is first-time candidate Brett Carver. Of her Democratic opponent, the GOP hopeful would say: “I don’t really know him because he’s not active in the community here. I assume he supports the things the national Democratic Party does, such as tax-funded abortion and more government. But rather than talk about my opponent, I want to talk about the positive things I plan to do in Congress.”

Those include cutting both the corporate and capital gains tax (“The more money we put in people’s pockets, the better we’ll all be”) and providing greater options for long-term care. Recalling one of her past crusades in the state legislature, Black said, “I knew from my years as a nurse that people want to spend their later years at home instead of a facility. So why not make deductible the assistance that eases the burden of living alone—like the hiring of someone in to cook meals or mow the lawn? The quality of healthcare will go up.”

The history of the 6th District is very Democratic. But times are changing and, with an open seat and the enthusiasm among conservatives for Diane Black, the new U.S. representative could easily be “the nurse with the good ideas.”

(Black for Congress, P.O. Box 1437, Gallatin, Tenn.  37066; 615-451-7454;