(Manassas, Virginia) Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, has expressed opposition to Fred Upton (R-MI) as a candidate for Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (HECC).
"The election of Fred Upton to head this important committee would be a slap in the face to conservatives and Tea Partiers," Viguerie said. "Following the 2010 elections, Republican members of Congress have been given a chance to re-establish the GOP as the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility. But the election of Upton would signal a return to the disastrous big government policies of George W. Bush, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, and Bill Frist."
The chairman of the HECC will be determined by a vote of all GOP house members.
Viguerie cited Upton's lifetime rating of 72.42% from the American Conservative Union (ACU) as an indicator that he would lead the HECC in a moderate to liberal direction.
By contrast, all of the other contenders for chairman of the committee have much higher ACU lifetime ratings: John Shimkus (R-IL) 88.51%; Joe Barton (R-TX) 94.14%; and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) 94.53%.
"Not only are Shimkus, Barton, and Stearns better choices than Upton, almost any Republican in the House would be better. Upton has cast so many bad votes for wasteful spending and big government, it would be hard to do worse," Viguerie said.
Viguerie cited multiple votes by Upton for increased federal spending in appropriation bills, the Cash for Clunkers Bill, the Wall Street bailout, and the automobile company bailout.
"The Republican Party is on probation with conservatives. This is their first test to see if they've learned anything from their previous over-indulgence in obese government," Viguerie said.