ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell wrote this column appearing December 7, 2010, on Townhall.com.
It was election night 2006, and as the results came in, one U.S. Senate seat after another turned from red to blue. And finally, during the early morning hours of November 8th, the final wall was breached. Montana’s junior Senator, Republican Conrad Burns was 3,562 votes short of defeating his Democrat opponent, Jon Tester. It was the loss of this Senate seat in Montana that was the deciding seat which handed the Senate Majority Leader gavel over to Harry Reid with a 51/49 margin in the U.S. Senate. Out of 406,505 votes cast, the race was decided by a mere 3,562 votes – the closest Senate race in the country. Three thousand five hundred and sixty two votes in Montana decided the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.
But little could we know at that time how important those 3,562 votes and that one Montana U.S. Senate seat would become.
In the past two years, that one Montana Senate seat would have made THE difference in stopping Obama, Reid, and Pelosi from passing:
• Cash for Clunkers.
• Raising the Debt Limit to $14.3 Trillion.
• Exempting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the massive financial overhaul.
• Overturning of the “Mexico City” policy preventing tax dollars from being spent on foreign abortion providers.
These are just a few examples. In each case, Jon Tester voted with Obama and Reid and not with the people of Montana and America.
Let that sink in. But for 3562 votes in Montana in 2006, ObamaCare would not be the law of the land in 2010.
This pivotal Senate seat that actually handed the gavel to Harry Reid in 2006 and made the difference on ObamaCare is now in play. The citizens of Montana, tea party members, and a popular conservative leader there, Steve Daines (www.SteveDaines.com), have already started the effort to finish what the voters of Nevada and other states could not…firing Harry Reid in 2012. Daines is a 5th generation Montanan, father of four, businessman who has helped to create hundreds of jobs in Montana over the past decade. He has already been endorsed in both the primary and the general by Concerned Women for America and Gun Owners of America. Daines has also already pledged to never request an earmark and is a strong supporter of a Balanced Budget Amendment. He is just the kind of citizen legislator Montana and Washington needs.
In October of this past year when Harry Reid was fighting for his political life in Nevada, Jon Tester sent out an urgent fundraising appeal on Harry Reid’s behalf and said, “Harry Reid is a lot like me.”
With the above knowledge, many conservatives have realized that Steve Daines is fighting for the conservative cause so they have decided to join his fight to defeat Montana liberal Jon Tester.
And, many of them went to www.SteveDaines.com and in a clever twist contributed $35.62. Then they signed up to contribute $35.62 every month until Steve Daines and the people of Montana send Jon Tester home in November 2012.
Tester and Reid gave us an unwanted Christmas present last year by jamming ObamaCare through the U.S. Senate on Christmas Eve.
Conservatives are poised to return the political gift in kind this Christmas by remembering 3562.