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Rolly: Cantor’s defeat means we should give Lee money

By PAUL ROLLY

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jun 13 2014 03:38 pm • Last Updated Jun 13 2014 03:38 pm

The stunning primary-election defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his Virginia congressional district this week has triggered numerous political analyses as to how that possibly could have happened.

To tea party aficionados, it means their firebrand conservative politics is exactly what the country wants and sell-out establishment people like Cantor are becoming dinosaurs.

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To the hard-core opponents of any kind of compassion given to undocumented workers in an immigration reform plan, it means the country won’t stand for a compromise on that issue and Cantor’s implication that he would be willing to look at compromise made him a sellout.

To others, it had nothing to do with a tea party resurgence or a position of compromise on immigration. It was Cantor’s arrogance that did him in. He didn’t work hard enough or take his tea party opponent seriously enough. His campaign didn’t pay attention. Just before election day, the Cantor camp thought their candidate had a 30-point lead.

Then, as a local angle, there is the impact Cantor’s loss may a have on Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who has been a close ally of the majority leader and hitched his wagon to Cantor, hoping to use the alliance to rise in the ranks in the House.

But to Utah Sen. Mike Lee. The loss means one thing and one thing only.

It means you need to give Mike Lee money.

Right away.

Two days after Cantor’s defeat, Lee, as he has done so many times before, sent a plea to what appears to be a broad email list (including me) for donations because, he implies, conservatives are prevailing and he is the reason.

"All across the country, the grassroots is gathering behind conservative reformers unafraid to challenge the Washington status quo," wrote Lee, whose prolific fund-raising emails indicate he doesn’t want to change that part of the Washington status quo.


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"Principled leaders who are running on specific conservative reforms have been emerging to move the country in the right direction," Lee goes on, adding "I have been committing resources and time to help elect conservative reformers across the country,"

So if Chaffetz misses out on any juicy committee chairmanships because he doesn’t have Cantor to lift him up, he can blame Lee.

The next line of the email, though, is the kicker.

"I can’t do it alone. Every conservative must join the fight."

And you know what that means.

"With your donation of $100 or even $45 today, we will continue to support conservative reformers as they stand up to the Washington status quo."

My guess is that when Cantor leaves Congress and eventually becomes a lobbyist, as they all do, Lee will be hitting him up for money, too.

This latest fund-raising letter comes just a week after his last fund-raising letter, which alerted all the good patriots of the country that President Obama was going to kill all their jobs unless they hurried up and gave Lee money.

That letter came on the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement that it wants a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from the nation’s 1,000 existing power plants by 2030.

Lee wasted no time.

"The president’s new environmental regulations prove once again that he values special interests over American families," he wrote. "These expensive environmental mandates will threaten thousands of American jobs."

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