Well, This is Confusing: “Tea Party” Candidate to Challenge… Vitter?

According to an Associated Press article published today, a Lafayette businessman has decided to file for candidacy for the U.S. Senate race. Mike Spears, co-owner of Firefly Digital, Inc., a website design company, will challenge incumbent Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Congressman Charlie Melancon (D-LA 3) for the seat. As a platform plank, Spears claims that he will represent a “Tea Party” perspective in Congress in efforts to “take back our country.”

Undoubtedly, Democrats will attempt to use Spears’ candidacy to further exaggerate a GOP v. Tea Party schism that hardly exists, if it does at all. While progressives across the U.S. pray for divisiveness among American conservatives poised for pickups during the midterm elections of 2010, they will ignore the absence of viability of his candidacy in exchange for foaming at the mouth of the drama that could arise.

While there is merit in taking on the “Establishment” politicians who have driven this country off a cliff,  classifying Senator Vitter as one of those politicians is intellectually dishonest, if not altogether reckless.

Aside from the sheer numbers, those numbers being Senator Vitter’s unparalleled fundraising and polling results, it is a bit odd that Mike Spears would take on such a stalwart conservative. Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to find a member of the U.S. Senate who is more conservative, and thus, more aligned with Tea Party values than our own junior senator.

In fact, Senator Vitter has enjoyed impeccable ratings from some of the most important voices of the center-right movement. Here are just a few:

  • Family Research Council- 100%
  • National Right to Life- 100%
  • American Conservative Union- 100%
  • U.S. Border Control- 100%
  • Americans for Tax Reform- 100%
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce- 88%
  • Club for Growth- 90%
  • Center for Security Policy- 100%
  • Gunowners of America- A+
  • Numbers USA- A+

These are just some of the few rankings available for Louisiana’s junior senator. Since sometimes the best way to judge a man is by what his enemies think of him, it’s also important is how liberal groups rank him. One of the largest labor unions, AFL-CIO; NARAL, a pro-choice advocacy group; and the ACLU all give Senator Vitter low rankings.

Furthermore, Senator Vitter has been embraced by every Tea Party in the state of Louisiana, most recently at a town hall in Baton Rouge, La., where every local group came to support him, and a tele-town hall he held on April 15 after Tax Day rallies that hosted, according to his Twitter account, 4,327 activists.

At the very least, Mike Spears will face significant difficulty refuting claims that he is a misguided opportunist, regardless of his good intentions. While this post is in no way meant to discourage Mike Spears or others from being involved in the democratic process, a sympathetic observer would agree that his efforts would be better spent shaking things up in another race, especially on a more local level where corruption and waste go almost always unnoticed. Here, a leader with Tea Party principles could be of tremendous benefit to us all.

Senator Vitter doesn’t need the Hayride to defend him, make a case for his job assurance or even parade his platform about the Internet. No one is arguing for lockstep loyalty to the GOP. We are simply uniquely poised to hold on to and gain seats this year and Louisiana shouldn’t be left out. Bloodying up another good Republican is no way to do that.

We need a conservative in the United States Senate. Luckily, we already have one there. And his name is David Vitter.



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