Michael Gaynor
Sarah Palin and the New Hampshire Republican Senate primary
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By Michael Gaynor
August 26, 2010

Palin endorsed Kelly Ayotte over the authentic conservative, Ovide Lamontagne. Radio and television star, Obama Diaries author and Dartmouth graduate Laura Ingraham endorsed Lamontagne as "the only true Conservative in a very important race" and the prior excuses for Palin backing a much less conservative person in other races don't apply. Ayotte did not pick Palin as vice presidential running mate, and polls show that both Ayotte and Lamontagne would beat the liberal Democrat nominee, Congressman Paul Hodes, so, New Hampshire Republicans take note, it appears that personal interest, not ideology, drove Palin's Ayotte endorsement.

This year, more often than not, candidates endorsed by Sarah Palin in Republican primaries won. It appears that Palin was five for five last Tuesday.

Most notably, in the race between Joe Miller, an authentic conservative, and the much less reliably conservative Senator Lisa Murkowski, for Alaska Republicans' United States Senator nomination, Palin endorsed Miller and on primary election night Miller led and duly credited Palin for what appears to be a huge upset win.

Palin seems to have a preference for conservative women ("mama grizzlies"), like soon-to-be South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, but Palin hasn't always endorsed the female candidate running again a male or male candidates. For example, she endorsed pro-life conservative Governor Rick Perry over pro-abortion "moderate" Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Texas Republican gubernatorial primary.

Many expect Palin to support the more conservative, more pro-life candidate, but that has not always been the case.

Palin endorsed Senator John McCain, the man who chose her to be the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, over former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, but that was largely attributed to gratitude and personal loyalty and McCain opposed the confirmation of now United States Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan and veered to the right, especially on immigration, to win the Arizona Republican Senate primary.

Palin also endorsed the less conservative Carly Fiorina over authentic conservative Chuck DeVore, but that was explained by a plausible belief that the very wealthy Fiorina was much more likely to beat Senator Barbara Boxer and would be a marked improvement instead of "reverse sexism."

Palin endorsed Kelly Ayotte over the authentic conservative, Ovide Lamontagne. Ayotte volunteered that she would have voted to confirm Justice Sotomayor, thereby demonstrating that she's not up to the job of United States Senator. Radio and television star, Obama Diaries author and Dartmouth graduate Laura Ingraham endorsed Lamontagne as "the only true Conservative in a very important race" and the prior excuses for Palin backing a much less conservative person in other races don't apply. Ayotte did not pick Palin as vice presidential running mate, and polls show that both Ayotte and Lamontagne would beat the liberal Democrat nominee, Congressman Paul Hodes, so, New Hampshire Republicans take note, it appears that personal interest, not ideology, drove Palin's Ayotte endorsement.

Palin has not announced that she will run for President in 2012, but her endorsements match her political interests if she does run. Palin endorsed the winner of the Iowa Republican gubernatorial primary, Terry Branstad, and Iowa is the first stop of the presidential campaign trail. In South Carolina, the first southern primary, a Governor Nikki Haley can be a big help to Palin running with a bunch of male presidential hopefuls. In New Hampshire, the first primary, Governor John Lynch, a Democrat, is favored to be re-elected, and Ayotte would be a boon to Palin if she becomes New Hampshire's only Republican United States Senator.

The keys to Palin's success have been putting principle first and standing up to the opposition.

As the authentic conservative and viable, Lamontagne, like Alaskan Joe Miller, merited Palin's endorsement, and New Hampshire doesn't need a Senator who will look for guidance to "the Maine twins," Senators Olympia Snow and Susan Collins.

On August 1, 2010, the Nashua Telegraph published this position statement by Lamontange:

"Our country is undergoing a 'constitutional renaissance.' Citizens everywhere are rediscovering the foundational elements of our Republican form of government through core documents such as our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

"I am running for U.S. Senate because I strongly believe that we must return to fundamental principles. In recent years, we have watched a culture of buyouts, bailouts and handouts permeate Washington, expanding the federal government in ways the Founding Fathers could have never envisioned. It is time for the American people to reassert themselves as the sovereign over an out-of-control federal government.

"Fewer places has this corrupting influence been more pervasive than in elementary and secondary education. This provides a powerful case study of why the Founding Fathers got it right in delegating only certain specified powers to the federal government and reserving all powers not expressly delegated to the states and to the people.

"The Obama administration is currently promoting a 'Race to the Top' program that seeks to use federal dollars to bribe states into abandoning their local educational standards in favor of diluted 'Common Core' national standards.

"Leaders in Massachusetts, a state that was at the forefront of setting standards for educational excellence in the 1990s, are prepared to abandon their MCAS program in exchange for accepting the 'Common Core' standards and millions in federal money.

"New Hampshire leaders are similarly eyeing a federal handout at the expense of local standards. Like the ill-conceived No Child Left Behind legislation, this top-down approach takes us precisely in the wrong direction.

"It is not easy to stand against the tide of a constantly encroaching federal government and the temptation of federal money that comes with it but I've done it.

"As chairman of the New Hampshire State Board of Education, I led the fight to reject Goals 2000 education stimulus money, which, similar to the Common Core scheme, would have allowed the federal government to insert itself into New Hampshire classrooms.

"On principle, and as a former school teacher myself, I stood firm to protect our state's rights with respect to public elementary and secondary education.

"Why did I take this position?

"First, as a matter of law, there is no constitutional basis for a federal role in elementary and secondary education. The word 'education' does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

"Second, our current public school system was developed not by a Washington mandate but by an organically grown, state-led movement. In fact, Massachusetts was the first state to adopt compulsory school laws in 1852. Prior to that time, the educational system was essentially left to home-schooling families and a few communities that had rudimentary common schools.

"Third, the current public school system evolved by each state learning from the other the best practices and strategies for designing and delivering quality education. This illustrates Thomas Jefferson's concept that, under our federal system of government, each state would become an incubator of democracy and innovation learning from one another.

"Fourth, experience teaches us that the more centralized the delivery system for domestic programs, the lower the quality and the more expensive the system becomes. Since the establishment of the Department of Education during the Carter administration, the performance of American students when compared with students from around the world has markedly decreased.

"In New Hampshire, we know the benefits of local control very well. Local control of education is central to our way of life, and it has led to our students performing at the top of national assessments.

"Accordingly, I am the only New Hampshire candidate for U.S. Senate who openly supports eliminating the U.S. Department of Education, repealing No Child Left Behind and fully funding Congress' commitment under special-education laws.

"Based on my record not rhetoric I have proven that I will stand up to the encroachment of the federal government, on the side of freedom, liberty and the sovereignty of the people.

"As your senator, I will fight to cut spending, reduce taxes and reassert fundamental states' rights, so that we can truly realize the full potential of innovation and democracy contemplated under the Jeffersonian model of our republic.

"I am grateful for your interest in my candidacy, and I ask for your vote on Sept. 14."

Palin's half-right: America needs United States Senators like Ovide Lamontange and Joe Miller, not Kelly Ayotte and Lisa Murkowski.

New Hampshire Republicans can make that clear on September 14.

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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