In the States, the GOP Right Gains Ground

Thursday, May 18, 2006

In the States, the GOP Right Gains Ground

It's only May, but already some areas of the country are feeling a political shock wave -- although this revolt is coming from the Right, not the Left. The longtime State Senate pro tempore in Indiana was defeated by a more conservative Republican with no political experience. And, in Pennsylvania, as the New York Times reports:
A revolt among Pennsylvania conservatives gained national attention on Wednesday after challengers toppled at least 12 state lawmakers they deemed insufficiently committed to small government and fiscal restraint.

Among those losing their positions in a Republican primary on Tuesday were the two State Senate leaders, Robert C. Jubelirer and David J. Brightbill, who had 56 years of incumbency between them and vastly outspent their upstart rivals.
GOP primary voters were pissed that their Republican legislative leaders managed to spend more money in two of the last three state budgets than the Democratic governor originally requested.

It also didn't help that legislators voted themselves a hefty pay raise -- I'd have been ticked off by this too.

I'm willing to bet that the ultra-conservative challengers who won Tuesday have some very scary positions on various issues. Even so, I take some solace from the fact that these primary races demonstrate that not all re-elections can be bought. For example:
Facing a tire salesman with little political experience, Mr. Brightbill, the majority leader, outspent his opponent nearly 20 to 1 and still captured just 37 percent of the vote.

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