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A big night for Democrats

By Scott Tibbs, November 9, 2006

As you know by now, the Republicans suffered some huge losses this year. Nationally, The Republican Party has no one to blame for this loss but themselves. Republicans deserved to lose the House, and Republicans have deserved to lose the Senate for a long time.

In 1994, you had energy, positive ideas, and a commitment to conservative moral values and limited government. There was serious talk about comprehensive tax reform, abolishing the federal Department of Education, devolving federal power back to the states, and other conservative issues. For the last several years, however, we have seen a "do-nothing" Congress... except when it comes to advancing items high on the Democrat agenda. These items include:

  • The Medicare prescription drugs benefit. The Republican Congress gave us a brand new federal entitlement.
  • The No Child Left Behind Act, which was a significant expansion of the federal government into primary and secondary education.
  • Campaign Finance Reform. Republicans decided they did not trust the marketplace of ideas, and passed a horrible law that actually goes to the extreme of regulating the content of political speech.
  • The President and the Senate pushed amnesty for illegal aliens. Many conservatives felt personally betrayed by this.
  • Federal spending is out of control. Even though revenues to the Treasury Department are increasing following the Bush tax cuts, spending has more than made up for it.

Conservatives did not elect a Republican Congress twelve years ago to cooperate with the Democrats to get the Democratic agenda passed. We elected a Republican Congress to advance limited government, individual liberty and conservative moral values. Republicans got complacent, and holding power became more important than the reasons why they won it in the first place. Now, they are out of power again.

This loss will be good for the Republican Party in the long run if the Republican leadership wakes up and realizes that we cannot win unless we stand by our conservative principles. It is not an accident that Democrats recruited a number of conservatives (including in Indiana's Eighth District) nationwide to run against vulnerable incumbents. Now that Republicans are in the minority, they can focus on what they need to do to get that power back. 1994 provides a good template for that, especially if a Democrat is elected President in 2008.

Unfortunately, true conservatives like Mike Sodrel and John Hostettler also lost their seats when voters took out the trash. I hope that Sodrel runs again in 2008. Sodrel was elected to Congress at the wrong time, and a national anti-Republican tide swept him out of office.

Once again, Bloomington and Monroe County (Indiana) swung with the national tide. Local Republicans had big wins in 2000 and 2002, but 2004 was a disaster and we got thumped again this year. Hopefully, with the Democrats in power and with President Bush not on the ballot, there will not be a national tide working against us in 2008 and we can recapture some of the offices we lost in 2004.

I was shocked to see Pat Haley lose the race for county Recorder. She was an institution and I expected her to win in a landslide as she has so many times in the past. Seeing my friend Jim Billingsley lose was a great disappointment. Marty Hawk's victory was by far the brightest spot of the night. We will benefit from her fiscal conservatism and knowledge of county government for another four years. That she defeated Mark Stoops and forced him off the County Council made her victory that much sweeter.

But we cannot make excuses. National tide or not, Democrats got more votes, period.

Now for a personal note. A very special "thank you" to all of the people in Bloomington Township who voted for me on Tuesday. I appreciate and am humbled by the support, even though I lost badly. Congratulations to Bill Sturbaum, Dawn Allen and Barbara McKinney, who won the right to serve on the Township Board for four more years.

Bloomington Township Board.

Percentages are compared to the number of people who voted in the Township Trustee race.

Barbara McKinney (D) 4653 67%
Bill Sturbaum (D) 4629 66%
Dawn Allen (D) 4511 65%
Robert Naylor (R) 2227 32%
Scott Tibbs (R) 1985 28%
Jeffrey Barth-Schauss (R)1903 27%

While "landslide" is an understatement when used to describe my defeat, I am not going anywhere. I'm involved in politics because of the principles that I hold. I may or may not run for office again, but my committment to conservative values is not going to change. After all, I am ConservaTibbs.