Editor’s note: This article is in response to Roberto Escoban’s “Turning Conservatism Into A Racket“
I read with fascination the piece in the Daily Surge attempting to compare Haley Barbour’s operation with the American Conservative Union. The writer (alias, “Roberto Escoban”) seems very concerned about the direction my new chairman, Matt Schlapp, will lead our venerable organization. I have good news: Matt has already shown the way.
It is ironic that Escoban tries to draw a comparison between ACU and Barbour’s efforts to elect Thad Cochran. ACU endorsed Chris McDaniel over Cochran and worked to take back that Senate seat for conservatives. Matt Schlapp then called on Cochran to do the honorable thing and step down after he lost the Republican vote in the primary.
I also found the piece odd since it is factually untrue that Marc Rotterman and Craig Shirley resigned after Matt was elected chairman. Those gentlemen resigned from the ACU board in 2007, seven years before Matt’s election.
I even found the piece a little weird since the policy criticisms expressed in it relate to a former ACU chairman, not the current one.
The writer could have called the ACU office to inquire about ACU’s new direction. He certainly should have called Matt to hear directly from him before making snide accusations. And it is irresponsible that the writer didn’t consult the public record to see for himself what ACU has been doing in recent weeks; our activities are well documented.
I’ve been the executive director at ACU for just 6 months. Matt has been chairman for a handful of weeks. But since his election Matt and ACU have called on Congress to terminate the Ex-Im Bank, opposed gas tax increases in the transportation bill, and pushed back on the “comprehensive” immigration reform effort. We have also hosted a pro-life event on the Hill, advocated for efforts to strengthen our national defense and pushed for legal reforms to block patent trolls. This week alone we worked closely with Congress to reduce spending on appropriations bills, fought EPA’s overreach and called for repeal of the Death Tax.
We are proud of our heritage. The founders of ACU and the list of board members over the years form the All Star team of conservatism. I understand why conscientious conservatives share a deep desire to see that legacy continue. We are working hard to live up to the highest standards, because we know that our country and the liberty of the American people require that we succeed.
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