Every since John Boehner won re-election from Republicans as Speaker of the House, the scuttlebutt in Washington political circles has been that his aides and the Republican Leadership are on a mission to crush the party’s conservative opposition.
That puts a bull’s-eye on U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, the ultra-conservative Republican who represents Allen County.
If you don’t believe such a centrist- vs. right-wing battle is happening between two Ohio Republicans, then you missed the television ads in Lima the last two days.
The ads featured grainy images of terrorists saying, “Some in Washington are willing to put our security at risk by jeopardizing critical security funding. That’s the wrong message to send to our enemies.”
The ads were in reference to Jordan’s vote against Homeland Security funding and were placed by the American Action Network, whose officers just happen to include Boehner’s former chief of staff Barry Jackson. Political insiders refer to the organization as the “House Speaker’s Super PAC.”
The group sent a news release to The Lima News chastising Jordan’s vote and said it would spend about $400,000 to buy ads against Jordan and 11 other members of Congress, including fellow Ohioans Jim Renacci of Wadworth, Bob Gibbs of Holmes County, and Dave Joyce of Cleveland.
Such ads are nonsense. Accusing Jim Jordan of being soft on terrorism is equivalent of claiming Ronald Reagan was a closet liberal. It’s ridiculous beyond belief.
What’s really happening is Jordan and other House conservatives shunned Boehner by taking a stand against amnesty for illegal immigrants. Boehner ended up getting his way Tuesday when the House voted 257 to 167 to approve a measure that would fund Homeland Security without strings through the end of September.
That vote came just a week after sharply split Republicans refused to pass a bill that would fund Homeland Security without rescinding money for Obama’s immigration initiatives. Jordan and other conservatives instead favored another House-passed bill that would fund the agency, but block Obama’s immigration orders from taking effect. It was an embarrassing floor rebellion for Boehner, and now comes the political payback.
“Our vote simply said that we don’t want to fund something that everyone knows is unconstitutional, legal scholars on the right and the left have said is unconstitutional, and a federal judge has said is unlawful,” Jordan told The Lima News.
He scoffed at the attack ads.
“The groups who support amnesty are going to run ridiculous ads against those of us who are trying to stop it,” Jordan said. “We’re doing what the people elected us to do …. what we told them we would do. If pro-amnesty groups want to come after us for doing that, I think the American people will see through it. The position I support, and the position the House originally supported, is exactly the position voters elected us to fight for last November.”
At least two GOP organizations joined Jordan in criticizing the ads, which also ran on Cleveland television.
“What’s next?” Will Speaker Boehner run ads against House conservatives who oppose raising the debt ceiling or support eliminating the corporate welfare slush fund that is the Export-Import Bank?,” said a statement from David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth.
The Senate Conservatives Fund called the ads an attack on “constitutional conservatives by the GOP establishment to punish them for opposing House leadership.” It pledged to collect political donations for Jordan and other congressional members targeted by American Action Network’s ads.
The Boehner attack ads on his own party members is nothing less than a rookie type blunder by a veteran politician.