Tea Party, NRA throw 5 RINOS out of Tennessee Legislature

by Doug Book,  staff writer

 On August 2nd, 5 GOP candidates seeking re-election to the Tennessee State legislature discovered just how dangerous it can be to disdain the wishes of those conservatives who helped put them in office.

In 2010, members of various Tea Party groups in Tennessee donated the necessary time and money to put Republicans in charge of both the legislature and the governor’s mansion for the first time in 150 years. But after 2 years, not one of the top 10, Tea Party priorities placed before the Republican–controlled legislature had been implemented. Those priorities were based upon “…re-asserting state sovereignty over unconstitutional Federal abuses,” writes Tea Party steering committee member Van Irion. Yet rather than assist the Tea Party groups which had both drafted legislation and lobbied members of both legislative houses, “…the Tennessee Republican Party treated the Tea Party with contempt.”  (1)

In 2012, Tea Party officials decided the only way to gain the respect and attention of Republican politicians was to “…PROVE to the [GOP] that the Tea Party had power at the ballot box.” (1) And the best way to do that was to initiate a “RINO Hunt!”

Four term incumbent and Chairwoman of the Republican Caucus, Debbie Maggart was selected as the RINO upon whom the sights of these   Tea Party hunters would be trained. A ranking member of GOP leadership, Maggart had a bunch of campaign cash to spend and enjoyed the endorsement of both the Party and its leaders.

BUT, she had also “actively fought” against the wishes of state Tea Partiers, incurring the wrath of voters and the National Rifle Association for her stance against NRA backed legislation.

As a result, not only did Maggart lose to Tea Party endorsed candidate, retired Lt. Col Courtney Rogers, she lost BIG! Money poured into Rogers’ campaign from Tea Party groups and conservative PACs all over the state. The NRA paid for ads and billboards linking Maggart to Barack Obama. And when the smoke cleared on election night, the stunned incumbent had been defeated by 12 percentage points, truly an   old-time drubbing. (2)

Along with this principle target of conservative efforts, 4 other Republicans legislators with less than acceptable voting records were removed from office and 2 more are involved in recounts. As Irion puts it, “every Republican in the Tennessee Legislature knows what just happened. They were aware that the Tea Party had targeted Maggart. They were aware that the other RINOs were being targeted. Now they’ve seen the result.” (1)

Though Republicans may continue to ignore the legislative demands of Tea Parties and other conservative groups, they now know that a price will have to be paid on Election Day. For the focused energy of conservative voters can put at risk the political career of even the most powerful of Republican politicians.

In 2 years, South Carolina RINO Senator Lindsey Graham will be the principle political target of conservatives throughout the nation. Look for him to join Lugar, Bennett and other “Republicans in Name Only” in the growing ranks of unemployed sellouts.  


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To read more use these links:

(1) http://bradleycountynews.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/first-rino-hunt-in-tn-is-a-successful-one-for-tea-party/

(2) http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/aug/02/tennessee-gop-caucus-chairwoman-defeated/

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5 thoughts on “Tea Party, NRA throw 5 RINOS out of Tennessee Legislature”

  1. I’d love to hear what Maggart had to say after being landslided.

    I’m sure she blamed the voters.

    1. Joe,

      Actually, she blamed the NRA which spent $75,000 or more including putting up a billboard which featured Maggart back-to-back with Obama and suggested her views on guns were similar to his!
      Taking out entrenched RINOs is possible when supporters target specific candidates and maintain focus on that particular individual. That’s exactly what the Tennessee Tea Parties did with Maggart.
      I’m looking forward to the same sort of success against little Lindsey.


  2. The battle to take back our government begins with the state governments. The balance of power was NEVER between the three branches of the federal government, but between the states and the feds. The 17th amendment did much to cause this, we have no state representation in the federal government.. That must change.

  3. Thomas Collins…..I do believe you are correct sir…America has had codified-into-law “Taxation Without Representation” since the 17th Amendment’s passage….how fitting it is that the TEA Party intends to throw around major amounts of TEA to those now-federalist representatives and Senators from our States….Hells Bells ! These elitist Donkeys and Elephants don’t even represent the states anymore…. they have become the enemy.
    Most of the discord, un-American activities, and federal taxation heaped upon the shoulders of each legal American resident has bee the result of three things primarily :
    1. The refusal of many States to tell the Federal government that : “No thanks ! We won’t be accepting or tolerating any more of your grants, ‘special fundings’, or mandates now, or in the future.”
    2. The refusal of States to protect their residents from the tyranny of a federal entity THEY, the States, created for themselves; and then abandoned oversight and control over….
    3. The failure, until recently, for States to recognize that federal “Pork”, brought home to the States by their federal congress-critters (along with the attached “strings”); created indebtedness to those ‘princes and princesses of Pork “; and intentionally impeded the self-reliance and sovereignty of each individual state to tell the Feds “Kiss Off”.
    Perhaps Tennessee will become a rallying point for other TEA Party groups nationally to focus that same methodology of “Vote and Dismiss” throughout the political kingdoms in all of our States….RINOs no longer welcome.
    I just hope the TEA Party of Alaska is strong enough, dedicated enough, has selected the right political opponent, and is well enough financed to OUST one unrepentant, dirty-tricks specialist, federalist, RINO Senator, in the form of Lisa Murkowski !

  4. I felt like I got a return with generous interest on the money I have contributed to the NRA-ILA since it was first formed. I was long ago tired of being insulted by the behavior of so many elected officials who took the oath I and my brother (a retired Marine with two Purple Hearts) took several times in our lives to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. The insults started almost a half century ago, shortly after I joined the Air force and three months later married my “Bride.” I was seventeen years old, and she was eighteen. (We will celebrate our forty-ninth anniversary in twenty days.) The politicians allowed me to get married, and to carry firearms and put my life in their hands as a member of the military. Yet, for years after, when I went out for pizza with my new bride she could have a beer with her pizza. The politicians had determined I was too immature. Males had to be twenty-one years old to be of age in Illinois. Females were considered of age at the age of eighteen. The insults, by some local politicians, are still blatant in Sumner County, TN almost a half century later. For years as a Security Police Officer in the Air force, I was required by my government to simultaneously carry a rifle and a pistol (On American soil and foreign soil) for eight or more hours per day. Today Sumner County politicians will not allow my brother (The retired Marine with two Purple Hearts) nor I, to carry a weapon along with our concealed carry permits into a local park as protection for my grand-kids. I have yet to have one of those politicians offer to go along to provide security for any of my grand-kids whenever they want to go to a local park.

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