GOP's Lugar Resigns from Occupy Wall Street Support Group

John Ransom
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Posted: Oct 14, 2011 12:01 AM

Is Republican Senator Dick Lugar really a radical, left-leaning, bleeding heart, global warming, farmer-labor New Dealer?

Uh, yeah, as my son would say.  

Republican US Senator from Indiana Richard Lugar resigned from the board of a radical left activism group called the Campus Network after the Tea Party endorsed challenger in the GOP Senate primary, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, accused Lugar of supporting the big government agenda of the group, including support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“Lugar's presence and involvement on this organization's board unmasks him as a willing participant and a supporter of big government,” said Mourdock. “The fact that so many of the posts on the website are directly supporting the agenda of the Democrat Party should have caused the Senator to resign from the organization long ago.”

The blog contains articles that oppose US energy development and school choice, while it advocates for the GLBT community and “reproductive” justice, whatever that means.   

The Campus Network is a project of the Roosevelt Institute, which also maintains a blog called New Deal 2.0.

Amongst the featured titles on New Deal 2.0 are these left-wing eye-rollers:

Occupy Wall Street Emerges as "First Populist Movement" on the Left Since the 1930s  

Occupy Wall Street: Not Anarchy, But Beautiful Sincerity

What Would Our Founding Radicals Have Thought About Occupy Wall Street?

“Hoosier Republicans, like me, who voted for Dick Lugar in the past,” continued Mourdock, “have wondered why he has not taken an active role in promoting the cause of conservatism across Indiana and the nation for many years. Now, we know why. No true conservative could be a board member of an organization like the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network.”

The roster of other board members doesn’t help Lugar’s cause either. These include: Al From, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Robert Reich and Representative Zoe Lofgren, just to name a few of the socialist headliners.  

Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark for Lugar. And not the one he intended.

Because it’s hard to argue with Mourdock’s logic here.

Going through ideological miasma on the Roosevelt Institute’s and the Campus Network’s websites, it’s hard to understand how any Republican could have signed up with a lefty group while expecting to hold on to the nomination for US Senate from his supposedly conservative party.

But David Willkie, Lugar’s political director says that the intent of the group has changed since Lugar signed on after the 2008 elections.   

“He never really did anything with it,” Willkie said. “It was a different organization when he signed on in 2008.”

How different? We consulted the WayBack Machine to take a look at the original website. This is how the Campus Network, which first had an internet presence in March 2009, and was just known as the Roosevelt Institution, described its birth:    

“Soon after the 2004 election, Kai Stinchcomb returned to Stanford after working for John Kerry's campaign in Nevada to think about what came next,” says the site. “He sent out an email to Stanford list servs suggesting the idea of a progressive student think tank to fight the influence of the conservative Hoover Institution.” [Emphasis added]

Sure that’s sounds way different than the progressive, tax-the-rich “think tank” that the Campus Network has become.

This is not the first brush Lugar has had with Hypocrisy of Dopes either.    

Last month we wrote about how Lugar had previously joined Al Gore’s Chicago Climate Exchange (CCE) and how he had received farm subsidies while condemning the practice of subsidies “generally.”  .

In 2006, Indiana University and Purdue University jointly announced via a Lugar press release that Lugar’s farm had joined the climate exchange.

“I am pleased to announce that the Lugar Stock Farm has enrolled as an offset provider in the Chicago Climate Exchange,” said Lugar at the time.

In order for Lugar to have benefited however from membership in CCE, Congress needed to provide the regulatory framework through so-called Cap and Tax regulations. At the height of trading, carbon credits were fetching as much as $7.50 per metric ton of carbon. Lugar estimated that his farm would be eligible for about 3400 metric tons of carbon capture credit or $25,000 at peak value.  

Throughout the debate on Cap and Tax Lugar played coy with voters and the media on how he would vote, saying at times that carbon was a serious problem, but then admitting that Cap and Tax would likely hurt the coal industry in Indiana. 

Ultimately he voted against moving the bill to a final vote in the Senate. And the CCE died shortly after that.

Conservatives such as presidential candidate Herman Cain, Red State’s Erick Erickson, Steve Forbes and Tea Party Express have endorsed Mourdock with a FreedomWorks endorsement coming shortly, according to the Washington Post.

Senator Jim DeMint so far has stayed out of the race, notes the Post, but the Club for Growth just hasn’t “made a decision on the race.”

Hey, guys? What are you waiting for?

Lugar’s part of the problem in the GOP; he’s not part of the solution.

Uh, yeah.


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