The 2018 election season is already heating up. We know it's early, but folks are already positioning themselves for 2018. The first in our new ongoing series on 2018 election we look at a few stories making the rounds.
Rep. Mullin Breaks Promise
Rep. Markwayne Mullins of Oklahoma goes back on his promise to term limit himself and is returning to Washington. The Representative broke the news of the run on social media. Conservative Reviews Danial Horowitz had an excellent write up of this saying in a Conservative Review article:
Remember the Oklahoma congressman who told a group of constituents it’s “bullcrap” to suggest that taxpayers pay his salary? Well, he is evidently so addicted to power that he is now entertaining the idea of breaking his pledge to serve only three terms.
In 2012, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) ran as the ultimate outsider, a hometown boy who would stick it to the elites. He also pledged to serve no more than six years. However, like most Republican politicians who lack a core conservative foundation, Mullin quickly became addicted to the leadership table and the establishment elites. Instead of fighting the liberal leaders in both parties, Mullin became a conduit for leadership, offering excuses back home in his district for every betrayal on the major legislative and budget battles. He is very proud of being a member of the Ryan/McCarthy/Scalise whip team.
Now, after reportedly breaking his pledge and filing to run for a fourth term, Mullin has put out a statement saying he has not made a final decision and is still “praying” about it. But if he really intended to keep his pledge, why would he file paperwork with the FEC? Another Oklahoman, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, was also elected in 2012 on a pledge to serve no more than six years, and he has not filed to run for re-election.
Why the equivocation?
In 2012, Mullin was unambiguous about his term-limit pledge: "'I don't want to be up there (in Washington) and become part of the problem,’ said Mullin, 34, owner and CEO of Mullin plumbing. ‘If we can't accomplish anything in six years, it's a waste of time anyway.’"
In 2011, Mullin rhetorically asked a radio show host, “How many times do we send politicians up there that sound great on the radio, they sound great when they are talking, but when they get there their actions don’t match it? They get lost in their fight, we will not get lost.… We’re going up there for six years…. During that six years we’re going to give it everything we got.”
Indeed, Mullin has accomplished a lot in six years. He has sided with the swamp leaders on every major issue, including backing a bill to permanently enshrine Obamacare, violating his most basic campaign promise in 2012.
To anyone who knew Mullin from day one, this is no surprise. This is a man who was caught during the 2012 campaign telling voters that single-payer was the solution to our health care crisis. It is this basic lack of foundational principles that plagues so many members; it’s just that Mullin has a double dose of the GOP duplicity disease.
Amidst a devastatingly disappointing primary season last year, one bright spot was when Jarrin Jackson, a young veteran who is deeply grounded in conservative principles, challenged Mullin and received 37 percent of the vote despite lacking funds and media attention. Jackson told me over the phone that he’s exploring another run at Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District, especially if Mullin decides to break his term-limit pledge. "America needs leaders with courage and integrity. If we fail in character, we fail in leadership. Rep. Mullin's decision to break his word is more than dishonorable, it's a disservice to the American people and an obstacle to making America great again," said Jackson.
Unfortunately, Tom Coburn was the only major state Republican who had the courage to support Jackson during the 2016 primary. As always, money and name ID win the day, which is why Republicans like Mullin feel invincible enough to break a term-limit pledge. This will continue to happen until conservatives push for primary reform and restore candidate selection to the convention process that existed before the progressive era.
I've never been impressed with Rep. Mullin I've never been able to adequately expose him because he doesn't do anything in Washington. As I stated in the video, he's a backbencher; therefore, he's never actually exposed himself. He is a conservative when people are looking, and he hails from a district that's like allot of districts that vote down the line for incumbents. This is what the congressmen are counting on. Stay quite keep your head down. Does anyone find it odd that a successful business man with every incentive to go home and continue being successful would find it more valuable to stay in Washington? Rep. Mullin is the reason we need term limits.
Austin Peterson Senate Run
The other big story on the Republican side of the aisle for 2018 was Austin Peterson throwing his hat in the ring for the Missouri Senate race. Austin Peterson the 2016 Libertarian Party presidential candidate left the Libertarian Party for the Republican party to mount a serious campaign against Sen. McCaskill. Austin addressing the party switch published a letter to his supporters saying:
Dear friends in the Libertarian Party,
For the last eight weeks, I've spent six hours a day calling my supporters to ask them their thoughts on how I might best advance liberty. I took the time to listen to every single persons' opinion about a potential opportunity to seek a seat in the U.S. Senate here in my home state of Missouri.
Of the thousands of people I spoke to, all encouraged a run, hundreds donated, and the vast majority offered their opinion regarding which party I should align with. Over 98% of them, including registered Libertarians, independents, Republicans, and even Democrats, said to run GOP.
For that reason and others, I have chosen to listen to them, as they are the lifeblood of all efforts that I will make to advance our common cause. They are the people whose time, energy, and money I will need to bring our movement a victory that we desperately need. Without the grassroots, I am incapable of action on the field. I feel I must act as a good representative and steward of their hopes and dreams for a better future.
I have served the Libertarian Party in nearly every capacity, at every level, from your humble volunteer coordinator at your national office, to one of your top contenders for President of the United States. Any future successes I may garner in the realm of politics will come in large part because of the experience and opportunities you gave me to advance American freedom, and for that I thank you.
Sadly, I must depart for now. I go with no ill will, and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Austin Peterson also runs the Libertarian Republic arguably the second largest Libertarian news site on the web. The Democratic Senator has incumbency on her side, but Austin Peterson is a master of online media. Austin is also very active with activist in the Republican Party and Libertarian party. My personal opinion is Austin has served as a bridge between the libertarian wing of the Republican party and the actual Libertarian party. His website like himself holds no punches in their positions on liberty, nonintervention, etc but still maintains a large conservative following. He faces a well-funded incumbent who's well liked by the establishment media and who is well funded. We look forward to seeing how this story develops.
Stay tuned for more news on the 2018 election and updates as these stories progress.
Rep. Mullin Liberty Score