Politics & Policy

Stop Waiting on Politicians Like Representative Renee Ellmers to Act

Ellmers on Capitol Hill, October 2013. (Alex Wong/Getty)
Why Jim Duncan is running for her seat.

In 2010, Renee Ellmers ran as a self-described tea-party candidate in North Carolina’s second congressional district, who eschewed the National Republican Congressional Committee and the D.C. establishment. She was endorsed by Sarah Palin and was even dubbed “Mama Grizzly” by the former Alaskan governor. On the campaign trail, she pledged to put conservative principles first: “We’ve got to turn this country around. We’ve got to cut taxes. We’ve got to cut spending. We’ve got to repeal Obamacare and get government out of everyone’s lives.”

When she won by a mere 1,500 votes, she promised to “keep those in Washington in line.”

Five years later, Renee Ellmers’s 2016 reelection campaign is being paved on the shattered pieces of her broken promises. The tea-party candidate of 2010 has morphed into Speaker John Boehner’s loyal foot soldier, or as the New York Times put it, “one of the Republican leadership’s greatest freshman allies, and a rising star in the conference she once derided from her perch at Tea Party rallies back home.” She has become the ultimate Washington insider, forgetting why the voters sent her there.

The 2010 candidate Ellmers, whom many of us worked tirelessly to elect, has shown herself to be a very different representative.

After promising to cut government spending, she voted to increase the debt ceiling twice, to the tune of $2.5 trillion. Speaker Boehner even tasked Representative Ellmers with the job of persuading her fellow Republicans to support the debt-limit increase in 2011.

The 2010 candidate Ellmers, whom many of us worked tirelessly to elect, has shown herself to be a very different representative.

After promising to dismantle Obamacare, Representative Ellmers voted to fund it.

After promising to oppose amnesty, she embraced legal work status for illegal aliens. Later, she distinguished herself as the lone Republican in the House of Representatives to oppose the DeSantis amendment, which would prioritize the deportation of illegal immigrants convicted of violent sex crimes.

After promising to stand up for pro-life values, this past January, she led the fight to kill the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that would ban elective abortions at 20 weeks — the age when babies can feel pain. She even went so far as to deride the very pro-life groups that endorsed her in 2010, calling them “abhorrent” and “childish.”

After promising to protect our military, she has consistently acted to make our military weaker, voting to cut take-home pay for military members and funding for readiness training.

After promising to cut taxes, she sponsored an Internet sales tax in Congress.

After slamming her Democratic opponent for using taxpayer dollars for promotional mailings to constituents (known as franked mail), Representative Ellmers has spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars doing the exact same thing.

After promising to “put an end to politics as usual in Washington,” Representative Ellmers has become part of the status quo. She has continued to embrace a failed strategy of kicking the can down the road, which leaves many of us shaking our heads in disbelief.

In 2010, Representative Ellmers accused her Democratic opponent of voting against the values of his constituents. Today, Ellmers has done the exact same thing. She has put her political ambitions ahead of the people in North Carolina’s second district.

#share#I am running against Representative Ellmers because, quite frankly, the voters have had enough and have asked me to rise to this challenge. Voters are tired of the status quo that puts Washington ahead of the people. America is fed up with the professional politician who says one thing at home and does an entirely different thing in D.C. Our state motto “Esse Quam Videri” or “To be, rather than seem” — should be a fitting motto for our all of our North Carolina representatives.

After promising to ‘put an end to politics as usual in Washington, Representative Ellmers has become part of the status quo.

Voters want real solutions to the big problems we are facing. They do not want people who are professional politicians. I listen to my friends and neighbors across the district, and I hear fear and anger in their voices about the economic state of our nation and disregard for the rule of law. We listen to the political class in Washington, D.C., talk about making our country better, getting our debt under control, defending the U.S. from growing threats oversees, protecting our conservative values . . . and then we wait for them to act.

And we wait.

I am tired of waiting. Voters are tired of waiting, and they are saying, “Enough!”

I come from a family that believes in public service, volunteering, and working with our neighbors. That’s why I enlisted in the National Guard at age 21. That is why I volunteered at my inner-city high school with other alumni to give young people better opportunities through education. When I saw liberal politics in action in my home county of Chatham, N.C., including sanctuary-city proposals and higher tax rates, I got involved in my local party. I did the one thing I believed I could do to help fix it. I rolled up my sleeves, got to work, and was later nominated for GOP county chair.

#related#Running against an incumbent member of Congress is not something I take lightly. I have seen what happens to conservatives who dare to challenge professional politicians, whether conservative members of Congress or candidates like myself. The D.C. special-interest groups will swoop in to protect the status quo. But, a bulls-eye on my back is a small price to pay for the future of our district and our country.

North Carolina’s second congressional district is made up of good, hard-working people. We have a large military population in our district — men and women who have risked their lives so that we can live in freedom. Many of us supported candidate Renee Ellmers when she first ran for Congress. We believed her when she said she would be a different kind of politician, but time has proven that to be false. Three congressional terms was long enough to get it right; she failed. Renee Ellmers has abandoned the people of North Carolina’s second district, and they deserve better.

We need to send a message to politicians who promise one thing on the campaign trail and act altogether differently in Washington, D.C. It is time to remind politicians in both parties that their vote cards belong to the district. It is time for us — the people — to hold them accountable.

—​ Jim Duncan is a conservative congressional candidate in North Carolina’s second congressional district. Find out more about him at www.JimForNC.com. To learn more about Representative Ellmers’s voting record go to www.AskHerWhy.net.

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