Conservative blog declares 'war' on GOP 'perverts, louts, criminals'
One of the most prominent conservative blogs has started a crusade against Republicans who it says continue to promote ethically questionable congressmen and ignore the will of their base.
"A group of men and women across this nation ... are tired of defending a party that continually puts into positions of power known perverts, louts, and corrupt common criminals," RedState.com editor Erick Erickson wrote in a post Monday outlining his "battle plan" against Republican leaders. "We must be willing to wage war upon them until they bend to common sense and decency."
RedState is encouraging its readers to refuse to support Republican re-election efforts until Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) is booted from the House Appropriations Committee. The site, which averages more than 25,000 visits per day, posted a "declaration of war" against Republican leaders Friday.
Calvert is replacing fellow California Republican Rep. John Doolittle, who has stepped down from the committee in the midst of an FBI investigation into his wife's business association with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Erickson says Calvert is just as corrupt as Doolittle, citing press reports outlining a questionable land deal in which Calvert made more than $400,000 profit. Calvert sold the property for nearly $1 million in 2006 after securing millions of dollars in federal earmarks to build a traffic interchange 15 miles away.
Calvert has said the deal was not a conflict of interest and insisted the ,i>Los Angeles Times, which first reported the story in 2006, twisted the facts to create an impression of ethical impropriety.
RedState is asking its readers to call the offices of more than two dozen Republican leaders and steering committee members to find out who voted for Calvert's appointment to the Appropriations Committee. RedState readers also are being asked to refuse any donations to Republican candidates or the National Republican Congressional Committee until Calvert is removed.
Calvert responded to the allegations in a comment posted to the blog Friday, saying the allegations of ethical problems were "completely false."
"In my 14 years of service in the U.S. Congress, I have always held myself to the highest ethical standards and remain committed to upholding the faith placed in me by our Republican Leadership and all my Republican colleagues," Calvert wrote.
The campaign against Calvert is not limited to his real estate history. A post Monday suggested questions to ask members of Congress who supported Calvert, including, "Are you aware that Ken Calvert paid a heroin addicted prostitute for oral sex?"
Calvert spokeswoman Rebecca Rudman said it was "unfortunate" that those charges were being rehashed now.
"That's an incident that occurred 15 years ago," Rudman told RAW STORY. "Obviously the Congressman dealt with it then, so I don't know what else there is to say about that."
According to press reports, Calvert was detained by police in 1993 after an officer noticed him sitting with his pants unzipped in a parked car with a convicted prostitute. Calvert and the woman said they just "pulled over to talk."
In his battle cry, Erickson said RedState readers should be willing to see Republicans lose elections rather than continue to support corrupt lawmakers.
RedState is targeting Republican members of the House Steering Committee, which decides committee appointments, and asking them to support Calvert's removal. Also targeted is Rep. Tom Cole, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee; RedState readers are asked to "pledge not to give not one dime nor bit of energy to the NRCC" as long as Calvert remains on the Appropriations Committee. And readers should deliver the same message to House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio.
An NRCC spokeswoman said the committee "believe(s) the blogosphere plays an important role in political debate" and looks forward to working with bloggers in campaigns against Democrats this year. Calls to Boehner's office were not immediately returned Monday.
"If we must take on the vulnerable members of the House Steering Committee and contribute even to their electoral defeat, so be it," Erickson writes. "This party of ours must be pruned and it must be pruned by those of us who care about it before meeting the butchers' shears in the hands of the voters again in 2008."