Dan Halloran, Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New York, has been running for New York City Council for the better part of the year now. But some in the Queens Republican Party are hoping to replace Halloran with another candidate — Paul Vallone — after the Queens Tribune profiled Halloran’s religious faith. According to an article that came out earlier today, “Their choice to replace him is Paul Vallone, who finished third in the district’s recent Democratic primary.
That’s right. Replacing a Republican candidate with a current or former Democrat. This is actually an upsetting trend that I have noticed cropping up in national and state-level politics.
Why are some in the Queens GOP upset with Halloran? Well, he’s engaged in that all American ritual called religious freedom. Yes, Mr. Halloran has chose his own faith, and it’s not a popular one: he’s a practicing Theodist who worships with the pre-Christian pagan faith of Theodism.
Fortunately, it seems that the Queens Republicans are going to make the correct decision and go with their original choice. An article published just a few hours ago, entitled “GOP has faith in Halloran,” says that, “Queens Republicans said they did not believe City Council hopeful Dan Halloran’s adherence to a pagan religion would have any affect on the Auburndale attorney’s bid to fend off Democrat Kevin Kim in the race to replace Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside).”
Score one for freedom conscience and for liberty-loving Republicans. Halloran actually has a good chance of defeating Democrat Kevin Kim, and if he does so he’ll be one of only two or three Republicans serving in elected positions in New York City government.
But back to the trend of Republican establishment leaders selecting current or former Democrats over good liberty-loving Republicans.
It’s happened twice to the most prominent libertarian Republican family, the Pauls: once to RLC Advisory Board member Dr. Ron Paul and once (now) to his son Dr. Rand Paul.
In 1995, the Republican Party, which had gained a majority in the House for the first time in four decades, offered U.S. Rep. Greg Laughlin (D-TX) a seat on the Ways and Means committee if he joined the Republican Party.
In the subsequent congressional election in 1996, Laughlin was endorsed by the Republican establishment, including then-Governor George W. Bush, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and other members of the party from outside the district and the state. Despite this, Republicans in Laughlin’s district still saw him as too moderate, and he faced a primary challenge from former Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul and his 1994 opponent.
Laughlin won the initial primary election with 42 percent of the vote, but by failing to win a majority he was required to face the second-place Paul in a run-off election. Paul defeated Laughlin by a 56-44 percent margin in the runoff election and went on to win the congressional seat.
In an important race for liberty-lovers across the country, Dr. Rand Paul is running to become the junior Senator from Kentucky. Despite having grassroots support and having raised the necessary cash, he has hit a wall called the Republican Establishment — led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and fueled by National Republican Senator Committee Chair Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).
Cornyn and McConnell have selected a former Democrat, Trey Grayson, to run for the open Kentucky Senate seat as a Republican. They’ve tried to clear the way for Grayson, but thus far have been unsuccessful in doing so. Grayson is another former Democrat and supported Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992.
Why does the Republican establishment continually insist on backing poor quality candidates who lack principled commitment to the Republican Platform? Shouldn’t these candidate choices be left to Republican Party voters to decide?
These types of ex-Democrat candidates rarely turn out successful for the Republican Party, as in the case of Laughlin, who lost to Ron Paul in 1996 and has been a lobbyist in DC ever since.
UPDATE: Apparently the potential Halloran replacement nominee (a Democrat-turned-Republican) is now supporting the Democrat candidate for the Queens-area City Council seat — an election taking place in November.
UPDATE #2: Doug Guetzloe, a longtime Republican Party activist and RLC member in Florida, says the following: “Last night the Orange County (Florida) Republican Executive Committee met. The Chair is Lew Oliver, the individual who lodged the grievances against both Nick Egoroff and me for ‘violating our oath’. Last evening Oliver nominated Sarah Rumpf for REC membership. Ms. Rumpf was the campaign manager for Democrat state attorney Lawson L. Lamar last year against our GOP nominee Mercedes Leon. Ms. Rumpf also is supporting Democrat candidate for Orange County Mayor, Bill Segal. Mr. Oliver defended Ms. Rumpf and called out of order a motion from one our Liberty Coalition member David Mack to remove her from the ballot. Mr. Oliver also threatened Mr. Mack with arrest. Ms. Rumpf was elected to the Republican Executive Committee. Incredible.”
The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the RLC.