John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Repo Club

Posted on September 12, 2013
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Bryan Smith, Number One Candidate Backed By the Club for Growth



The number one candidate backed by the Club for Growth is not only a trial lawyer but also a Repo Man.

Bryan Smith, who is running against Mike Simpson in the second district of Idaho, is pretty well known commodity in his home town.

He is not particularly well-liked there, because he is a trial lawyer and runs a debt collection business on the side.

Smith also has some experience lobbying. He lobbied hard against efforts to pass tort reform in Idaho.

Tort reform is bad news for trial lawyers and for debt collectors. Lawyers make more money when they can file frivolous law suits and frivolous law suits lead to the collapse of businesses, which is obviously good for debt collectors.

This is the guy that the Club for Growth has chosen to best represent them in the coming election.

They think they can knock off Mike Simpson to send a signal to John Boehner, who they apparently think it doing a lousy job as Speaker.

Boehner has fought Barack Obama to a standstill, has worked to make 98% of the Bush tax cuts (those tax cuts were strongly supported initially by the Club for Growth, but the way) permanent, has returned discretionary spending to levels not seen since 2009.

By all accounts, Boehner has been pretty successful with very limited resources. You can only do so much with control of one-half of one third of the Federal government.

But the Club for Growth doesn’t like John Boehner. Perhaps that is because Boehner banned earmarks, and Chris Chocola, who heads the Club for Growth, was a notorious asker for earmarks when he was in the Congress. Don’t believe me? Ask the Appropriations to show you the letters that I know they have (but wouldn’t show me), from Chocola asking for all kinds of things when he was representing South Bend.

So, the Club has promised to pour a million dollars into the campaign of a trial lawyer who aggressively lobbied against tort reform in his home state as he ran a debt collection business on the side.

Hey, it’s a free country, and trial lawyers have as much of right to make money as the next guy. So do debt collectors, although debt collectors enjoy a special place in Dante’s Inferno.

But the Republican Party has long been a champion of tort reform, and small business and free enterprise. So it is kind of weird that a so-called conservative group would back a trial lawyer.

On another note, the Club is promising to punish any Republican who votes to keep the government open. The end result of this campaign will be to give Democrats more power to demand more money in the continuing resolution

Thus far, the Republicans have been able to keep the pressure on spending. For example, Mike Simpson has been able to cut billions of dollars out the budget of President Obama’s EPA in his position as the Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.

But if enough Republicans refuse to vote to keep the government open, because of pressure exerted by the Club for Growth, that will make it more likely that Democrats will be the ones providing the votes. And that will come with a price.

The Club for Growth doesn’t get that. They don’t seem to understand the bigger picture. Maybe that’s why they are backing a Trial lawyer/Repo man as their number one candidate this election cycle. Maybe they should be called the Repo Club.