Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, has a lifetime rating from the free-market conservative group Club for Growth of nearly 70 percent. But it’s not 70 percent; it’s 68 percent. So Lucas, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and a strong advocate of farm and rural subsidies, is being targeted by the group in a new campaign called PrimaryMyCongressman.com.
According to the group, the purpose of the website is “to raise awareness of Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) who are currently serving in safe Republican seats.”
Club for Growth, whose campaign arm helped Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, raise money for his 2004 race, says it will use the web site to highlight “liberal” Republicans and allow people to suggest primary opponents for them.
Lucas was first elected in 1994 and has been reelected easily since.
Lucas said, “I am surprised the Washington, D.C. based political group, Club for Growth would target me as a Congressman who has not voted conservatively enough.
“In my record of representing my constituents in the Third Congressional District of Oklahoma, I have always put their best interest first. On their web site, the Club for Growth is trying to affect Republican primaries, and I believe that is their right of free speech. However, anytime I have to choose between the influences of D.C. political groups and my fellow Oklahomans – I will always side with my fellow Oklahomans.”
Here is an excerpt from Club for Growth press release. The reference to Mitt Romney is the GOP presidential nominee’s performance in the highlighted members’ districts last year.
“Club for Growth Action will rotate liberal Republicans through the website to highlight their failed records on limiting government. To start, the following Republican members are highlighted:
· Rep. Mike Simpson (ID-02) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 58%; Romney % of Vote: 64%
· Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 56%; Romney % of Vote: 53%
· Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 56%; Romney % of Vote: 61%
· Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-03) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 68%; Romney % of Vote: 74%
· Rep. Steve Palazzo (MS-04) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 69%; Romney % of Vote: 68%
· Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 69%; Romney % of Vote: 63%
· Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN-08) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 68%; Romney % of Vote: 58%
· Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC-02) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 66%; Romney % of Vote: 57%
· Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18) Lifetime Club for Growth Rating: 61%; Romney % of Vote: 61%
“Big government liberals inhabit the Democratic Party, but they are far too common within the Republican Party as well,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “The Republicans helped pass billions of dollars in tax increases and they have repeatedly voted against efforts by fiscal conservatives to limit government. PrimaryMyCongressman.com will serve as a tool to hold opponents of economic freedom and limited government accountable for their actions.”