Establishment Republicans Target Renegade Tea Party Incumbent

Targeting Justin AmashAfter scoring big wins in the May 6 primaries, the GOP Establishment now takes aim at one of the most anti-establishment Congressmen in Washington, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. A couple of big companies and Republican Congressmen are supporting his primary opponent, businessman Brian Ellis. Ellis was also a 14-year member of the East Grand Rapids School Board before he decided to run for Congress.

Why is a two-term incumbent targeted by other Republicans? Because of his tough Constitutional conservative stance, voting no on most bills that included water allocations in California and defense spending. Amash has been one of the most transparent lawmakers in Congress, posting every vote with an explanation on his Facebook page.

“Because my vote explanations shine a spotlight on Congress, I’ve upset people who are used to operating in the dark,” Amash said in a statement. “They don’t like having their votes exposed as fringe and outside the mainstream.”

Supporters of Amash’s primary challenger include several members of the powerful Midwest supermarket Meijer family and the political arms of Home Depot Inc., Dow Chemical Company and the International Franchise Association.

This race is shaping up to be one of the biggest (and most expensive) Tea Party vs. Establishment battles of the 2014 primaries. As of March 31, Amash had $841,000 in his campaign war chest while Ellis had $413,000 cash on hand.

The Koch Brothers, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks support Amash, along with Congressman Trey Gowdy (S.C.). Opponents include fellow Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers, who gave $5,000 to Ellis and criticized the Tea Party incumbent for not towing the Republican party line.

Rogers said, “Once you get to know [Amash]… he’s completely out of line with these people (in his district). He votes more with the Democrats than with the Republicans, and that’s not out of principle, that’s out of him branding himself as something different.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) attacked Amash because he didn’t support Nunes’ water bill. He also made the ridiculous claim that Amash was “al-Qaeda’s best friend in Congress” because he was critical of NSA surveillance policies (which have proven to be very intrusive in Americans’ lives).

The reason for these attacks is obvious: Amash won’t compromise his principles to “play ball” in Washington. Big companies and the political Establishment want a Congressman who will “go along to get along.”

Which side will win out? We’ll know the evening of August 5th.