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What Happens in 2020?

2020 isn’t a random year or a conveniently selected date. In addition to the growing impact conservative and liberty-leaning state majorities have had on policy, legislative control in 2010 helped ensure congressional districts were favorably drawn to our allies. Realizing that control of the states not only has a strong impact on individual voters but, once every ten years, also impacts the federal map has led the left to exponentially increase their state level efforts. This blatant attempt to take back state legislatures for the purpose of securing a congressional majority and a larger federal government must be stopped.

Strong state investments are crucial to policy-oriented progress at both the state and federal levels. We must continue to effectively invest in our state infrastructures as well as state based policy initiatives in order to ensure that we build a strong bench of future federal candidates, have a strong impact on state level legislation, and prevent the ten-year growth of an ever-larger federal government through strategic redistricting. As the progressive left begins to increase its state level spending many of our allies and organizations will have to contend with resources and opponents they haven’t previously faced and they aren’t equipped to defeat. By efficiently providing these allies with the support, strategy, and infrastructure necessary to grow we will be able to help push back against a state-based progressive agenda.

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The Kerry Bentivolio Lesson

In 2012, Liberty For All invested approximately $692,958 into Kerry Bentivolio’s multiple campaigns. With our help we were able to take Kerry from decided underdog to the winner of two elections.

Quickly upon arrival, Kerry sought to forge a moderate path that would stave off a primary challenger. Not only did this lead to a shoddy voting record, including votes to re-authorize the NDAA and a switched vote on the floor to save the Boehner budget, but his plan didn’t work.

Our victory turned out to be a pyrrhic one. In 2014, Kerry Bentivolio was promptly challenged and defeated in the GOP primary 66% to 34% by establishment-backed David Trott. Kerry Bentivolio was a $692,000+ mistake: and unlike other groups that lost in the primaries we actually WON that election.

This loss taught us an important lesson: we have to increase the number of viable candidates running for Congress so our members don’t make such easy targets. Moreover, the liberty movement can’t afford to continue making multi-million dollar mistakes.

While there were plenty of groups focusing on federal races – no liberty oriented group was attempting to x this problem at the root and until we do, the establishment will focus their resources on primarying our successes and we will have to marshall all of our money, once again, to fight functionally the same battles as the previous cycle.

But there is a better way – there is a direct pipeline to congress and a cost-effective way to get there. While other ... continue reading »

We Must Move Beyond Personality Driven Politics

One of the surest ways to fail as a movement is to continue our reliance on the strength of individual candidates and campaigns. Rallying around a specific candidate has created some major successes – but more often than not – it has created major failures.

At the federal level, there has been lauded growth amongst the liberty-leaning wing of the Hill and yet we are barely making a dent in Congress and have almost no collective clout in the Senate. Our federal legislators need reinforcements and the sad truth is that we will never get them as long as continue to try and bust through one race at a time.

We will never have the resources that the establishment does. Because we cannot compete on anything resembling a dollar for dollar basis we have to ensure that we run top- flight cost effective campaigns. More importantly, we have to make sure we fight them on multiple fronts. By focusing on federal races, there are traditionally a limited number of competitive primaries and/or victory opportunities.

Those same primaries and/or victory opportunities are focused on by the establishment and the liberty movement alike and, due to the limited number of races, are much easier for the establishment to target and win.

In the 2014 election cycle, the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives fund spent $7,566,187 on losing primary efforts. Activists from around the country dove head first into multi-million dollar challenges in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Kansas. Not only were these defeats ... continue reading »