Club For Growth: O’Donnell the Man, Lamborn “Won”

With Rick O’Donnell embracing liberal Democratic icon Pat Shroeder as his “role model,” someone may want to let the Club for Growth in on the surprise.

At its Website, the anti-tax, pro-voucher group, which supports privatizing Social Security, currently lists O’Donnell as its top pick of 13 “recommended candidates” for the November election.

The Washington-based political action committee and 527 is recommending its vast network of like-minded financiers around the country write out checks supporting their man in one of the most heated congressional battles in the country.Here’s the praise that the Club for Growth heaps onto the Republican:

“O’Donnell is great on our issues. He’s a strong fiscal conservative who supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent, strong budget reforms, and personal accounts for Social Security. He is also a big supporter of free trade.”

At the same time, the Club for Growth does not currently list 5th CD candidate Doug Lamborn as one of its highlighted candidates for the general election. The organization heavily promoted – including reporting raising $200,000 – to help elect Lamborn during his bitterly contested 6-way primary race. Now, the Club for Growth doesn’t even identify the increasingly beleaguered Republican candidate as one of its identified “other important races.” Instead, it lists Lamborn, far down on the front page of its Website, as a “past candidate” who already won.

Club for Growth President Pat Toomey wrote this after Lamborn won the August primary, with 27 percent of the vote:

“This is a huge win for Doug Lamborn and the pro-growth agenda. Doug has demonstrated a consistently strong commitment to limited government and opposing higher taxes and the 5th District voters have responded”.

O’Donnell, the Club for Growth’s current top pick for Congress, has been criticized for his past stance that Social Security should be abolished. On Sept. 22 the Rocky Mountain News reported that O’Donnell now “supports personal accounts and wants to fix Social Security without increasing taxes or cutting benefits. He rebuts Democratic claims that he now wants to privatize Social Security.”

Last week, O’Donnell identified Pat Schroeder as his “political hero” during a candidates’ debate with his opponent, Democrat Ed Perlmutter. “I disagree with her on most issues,” O’Donnell was quoted saying in the Rocky. “But she fought hard for her district, her door was always open, she always listened to her constituents and she was tireless for Colorado.”

Perlmutter responded, telling the newspaper it is “proof that O’Donnell is trying to insulate himself politically from his troubled Republican Party.”

The Club for Growth has one thing in common with the liberal ideals long held by Schroeder, the former congresswoman from Denver. It patterns itself after EMILY’s List, a progressive group that aggressively raises money for pro-choice women candidates. But that’s where the similarities end.

Here are the Club for Growth’s stated policy goals:

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Cara Degette

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