Monday, 19 September 2011

Boehner to Face Primary Challenge from Pro-Life Tea Party Activist

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Next to President Barack Obama, probably the last person in Washington who expected a challenger in the 2012 primary election was House Speaker John Boehner. The Ohio Republican, one of the most powerful politicians in the country, won a three-way primary race in 2010 with 85 percent of the vote. Who in his right mind would try to take him on?

David Lewis (left) would. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Batavia, Ohio, resident will officially announce his candidacy for U.S. Representative for the Eighth Congressional District on Monday and to make sure voters know he means business, Lewis will announce his candidacy at Boehner's office in West Chester.

Lewis, a 26-year-old married father, is a Tea Party and pro-life activist who has been arrested at the offices of both Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) while protesting federal funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. On his website Lewis describes himself as a devout Christian who believes that law and human rights come from the only solid foundation, God. The Word of God, including the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, is the foundation that America and the Bill of Rights [rest] on.

What made me want to run against Speaker Boehner ... was that I found out that his words were empty rhetoric, Lewis told the West Chester Fox affiliate. Specifically, Lewis cited Boehners failure to defund both ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood, saying it was completely in Speaker Boehners power to cut off funding for both.

Boehner had, in fact, indicated that he would seek to defund ObamaCare. Asked specifically by in September 2010 if he was committed to de-funding the health care bill, Boehner replied, I am committed to doing everything that I can do and our team can do to prevent Obamacare from being implemented. Now, when I say everything, I mean everything.

When it came to defunding Planned Parenthood, Boehner was even more specific. In their Pledge to America, House Republicans, led by Boehner, stated that they would establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion.

ObamaCare, however, continues to be funded; and during the spring budget battle the House Republican leadership acceded to Democrats demands to retain federal funding for family planning, though that money was to be funneled through the states, giving them the option to pay for abortions at their own discretion.

Observers note that these are just two of Boehners violations of his campaign rhetoric and his oath to uphold the Constitution. One could add to the list his agreeing to the August debt-ceiling deal, his maneuvering to keep Obama's Libya intervention going, and his stumping for continued U.S. aid to Pakistan, among others. But these two especially abortion are what motivate Lewis, who says his goal is to make it a criminal act to kill a child from conception until birth. (He says his first campaign ads will feature graphic depictions of the results of abortions.)

Does Lewis stand a chance of defeating Boehner? The candidate himself says hes not delusional, knowing that hes fighting an uphill battle against a political juggernaut. Though he may not be able to win, Lewis told the Enquirer, what I can do is show the Ohio voters that Boehner has a box full of empty rhetoric. He doesn't really vote for his convictions. Hes an establishment Republican. He doesnt believe in the tea party. He doesn't really believe in the pro-life issues.

Constitutionalists are saying that whether or not Lewis takes down the Speaker of the House, the battle between a man of principle and a man frequently of political expedience will be interesting to watch.

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