More on Lamar Smith Challenger Richard Mack

The website for former sheriff Richard Mack, the man who is challenging SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith in the Republican primary for the Texas 21st congressional district, is back up.

His issues page shows there’s much to like about Sheriff Mack. He’s for restraining spending, controlling the border, and against ObamaCare. Not only does he support the Second Amendment, he was a leading opponent of the Brady Bill, was the very first Sheriff (and very possibly the first person) to file suit to get it overturned, and was the second named plaintiff in Printz Vs. U.S., which overturned key provisions. In addition to SOPA, he also opposes the indefinite incarceration of citizens provision of the NDAA.

He also seems to be active in Tea Party circles, and was named one of the Top Ten Conservative Challengers (along with Ted Cruz) by the Conservative Texans Political Action Conference.

As for his opponent, Lamar Smith has long been considered a fairly conservative Republican with some justification, including a lifetime ACU rating of over 92%. But there’s a case to be made that Lamar Smith has not exactly been a tower of conservative virtue in recent years, even apart from his key role in sponsoring SOPA. For one thing, he voted for TARP. For another, he voted to increase the minimum wage. Smith is an example of someone who has simply been in government too long; he was first elected in 1986, and a quarter-century in the House simply too long to expect someone to oppose Leviathan rather than serving it. PACs love, love, love Lamar Smith, to the tune of $467,941 in PAC contributions this election cycle alone (including, ironically enough, SOPA opponents such as Google). (I cannot confirm reports that Rep. Smith spends more time at his house on Cape Cod, which he has owned since 1992, than he does in Texas.) Rep. Smith does not seem to have learned to his lesson about SOPA, as he’s still parroting the recording industry line, and is still working to pass the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (HR 1981), which, while not as bad as SOPA, would still impose fairly onerous Internet data retention and tracking provisions for all American Internet providers.

Need a final reason to oppose Smith? He’s actually been endorsed by the Austin-American Statesman, in the same editorial they endorsed Lloyd Doggett, which should be the kiss of death for a Republican.

Rep. Smith’s problem is that of a boarding school boy being paddled for stealing cookies. It’s not that he was the first one to have his hand in the cookie jar (lots of Republicans have supported bad Internet bills in the past), nor will he be the last, but he’s the one with the misfortune to have his hand in the cookie jar at precisely the wrong time, when the headmaster (i.e., voters) were actually paying attention. He has to be punished as an example to the others.

Just as the tree of liberty must occasionally be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots, so too must the careers of 13-term incumbents be offered up in periodic sacrifice…

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15 Responses to “More on Lamar Smith Challenger Richard Mack”

  1. Steve says:

    “working to pass the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (HR 1981), which, while not as bad as SOPA, would still impose fairly onerous Internet data retention and tracking provisions for all American Internet providers. ”

    The reality of this statement is that ISP’s would be required to hold ALL data, including bank transactions (online banking) and internet purchases. Your ISP already has this info, but its encrypted and deleted (hopefully) before it could become a problem. It would now have to be held at least 90 days, plenty enough to be misused or compromised.

  2. Borepatch says:

    Dude, Instalanche …

  3. Lawrence Person says:

    Sweet! Insta linked to the previous piece I did on Mack as well. Rep. Smith seems to have made a large number of enemies in a remarkably short period of time…

  4. Sgt. Mom says:

    Yep, Smith made enemies over this – including me, and I am in his district. I’ll be more than happy to back Sherrif Mack – he came and spoke at some of our Tea Party events, and I was impressed.

  5. JorgXMcKie says:

    Long-time incumbents in both parties are [and will be], as always, slow to recognize that the ‘system’ has changed. In this case it is the information that they can’t hide *and* can be quickly disseminated to potentially unhappy voters. This will be especially true among the “Country Club” types ["not our type, dear"], both GOP and Dem who make up so much of Congress.

  6. I too am one of Smith’s constituents in TX21. I wrote him several times about SOPA and always received a very nice form letter in return, pounding the table that he knew better than I how to deal with this. Not too surprising. I’m a right-of-center, fairly libertarian moderate, and Smith has been acceptable in the past. But it’s pretty clear that Mr. Smith has gotten a bit too big for his britches since he took over Judiciary. At the very least, he needs a firm yank on the leash.

    For all intents and purposes, the Republican Primary **is** the election for Representative in TX21. There is a Democrat, Elaine Henderson, registered for the primary. But the Bexar County Democratic Party doesn’t even have an address or telephone number for her, to say nothing of any campaign info.

    I know nothing about Mr. Mack other than what’s on his website, and I don’t really expect him to get much traction in a primary challenge to one of the safest seats in the country. But I also think that Lamar Smith needs to feel as much heat as possible, and I’m perfectly willing to contribute to Mr. Mack’s campaign for now, and vote for him in the primary (whenever that turns out to be…), assuming he passes muster after a little research.

  7. John Hinds says:

    Yep, and SOPA co-sponsor John Carter, 31st cong. district, is also being challenged in the primary by Eric Klingemann for much the same reasons. Carter has withdrawn his support for SOPA, but he voted for NDAA, raising the debt ceiling, etc. Supposedly the sixth most powerful congress critter he is a statist, in my opinion, and thinks he owns his seat.

  8. good Wife says:

    There’s a choice for you – one right wing douchebag or the other right wing douchebag douchebag

  9. Mors says:

    I get that this is a conservative site, and I’m not saying this to pick a fight or anything, but I wonder if his voting to raise the minimum wage is as much a mark against him as is suggested here. I’m no fan of Smith by any means, but the real value of wages has been stagnant in the US since the 70s while the productivity of the US worker has not only increased, but done so at a faster and faster rate almost every year. Since the 70s, US workers have created more profit for the economy than ever before, while simultaneously getting the same wage, meaning they took home a smaller and smaller percentage of the profit made every year. As a result, the profits generated by that increase in productivity have been entirely gobbled up by the only other actors in the private economy; managers and financiers. That’s why managers and financiers who were making 40% of what the average US worker made in the 70s, are today making upwards of 300% of that average wage.

    Is that really an outcome to laud? Is that a result that conservatism – a philosophy dedicated to personal liberty and social stability- can cheer for? What could possibly be more disruptive to our society than such a vast accumulation of wealth by so few, done so quickly? What could possibly be more destabilizing to both political and societal relationships than such an economic imbalance between those who work and those who hire them? When a workman has to go in to debt just to provide the same lifestyle for his children that his own blue-collar parents gave to him, how can we claim to be preserving anything? Perhaps a minimum wage increase is a drastic attempt to combat this trend, but at least it is an attempt. How much longer can we sit and do nothing before there is no longer any middle class to speak of in America?

  10. richard40 says:

    It looks like they are equally conservative on most positions, but being in DC too long has made Lamar Smith too vulnerable to the K street guys, as exemplified by his terrible position on SOPA. Time to get in some new blood. I suspect if Mack is in office long enough he might be corrupted as well, but for now he looks like an improvement. If this was a contested district, I might be reluctant to jetison a decent incumbent, for fear of giving the seat to the dems O’Donnell style. But in this case, with a safe seat, why not get in some new blood. And torpedoing a decent incumbent over SOPA will serve as a good lesson to other repubs that dare to mess with the internet in the future.

  11. Dono says:

    Soo, vote for somebody who appears to be worse on all fronts except one? I don’t believe I will, thanks.

  12. Debbie says:

    Lamar’s “Cape Cod” home has no garage, no ocean view and no drive way. He has an ‘interest’ in the home and rents it out. In August, when it isn’t rented out, he takes his family there–time permitting.
    Richard Mack DOES believe in LEGALIZATION of drugs. Have you checked out how he stands on marriage?

  13. [...] supporters, with the other 25% there either for Ted Cruz or various other candidates, including Richard Mack and the Libertarian candidate for the U.S. 25th congressional district Betsy Dewey, who was running [...]

  14. [...] $1 in spending cuts, but the name Lamar Smith certainly sticks out thanks to such previous hits as “Hi, I’m a SOPA/PIPA Recording Industry Whore.” It’s no surprise, given the bill includes big tax breaks for Hollywood. I guess Smith is one [...]

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