Yes, Virginia, There Really Are Fiscal Conservative Voters

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: May 17, 2006 4:03 PM

And, the Pennsylvania Primary Earthquake of '06 proves it.

Capt. Ed says this is an illustration of why conservatives should get more engaged in '06, not less (Re: The Geraghtyite vs. Tapscottian debate):

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review calls this a political "earthquake", as long-entrenched GOP incumbents have lost or are losing races to political neophytes. Brightbill lost to a tire salesman with only a single term on a city council on his resume, but who espoused fiscal responsibility and an end to government handouts. Jubelirer lost to a county commissioner who champions free markets. Another representative, Tom Lawson, trails a 21-year-old college graduate running for his first office.

The existing Republican leadership in Pennsylvania outraged fiscal conservatives with their pay raises and spending habits. However, instead of declaring defeat and retreating to their homes, these conservatives organized and found candidates for primaries -- especially those for the leadership that betrayed them. They donated, raised more funds, campaigned, and ensured a strong turnout to counter the incumbent advantage.

And they succeeded.

Tony Phyrillas says this is payback time, and incumbents better beware.

The Young Conservatives of PA deserve some credit for this. They launched a great billboard campaign after Pa. lawmakers gave themselves a huge pay raise in the dark of night. The YCOP offer blog coverage of the shake-up, here.