Republican “Young Guns” Group Betrays Conservative Movement, Dumps Money into Saving Dick Lugar

Senator Richard Lugar
Senator Richard Lugar (Photo credit: Ted Lipien)

The GOP Young Guns were, at one time, considered to be a fantastic group focused on helping young conservatives knock down old-school Democrat incumbents. NPR wrote this about the Young Guns back in 2010.

When Election Day comes around in six weeks, Republicans are expected to pick up seats in the House of Representatives — at the very least. With voter dissatisfaction high and the economy laid low, the GOP hopes that voters will give them the majority.

If that happens, a group of ambitious conservatives is waiting in the wings. They call themselves the “Young Guns” — and they know they can’t be the same old GOP.

It was an effort we all supported and wanted to see bring about much success for the true conservative cause. Which makes this news quite heart breaking.

Politico reports that the Young Guns Network, “a group affiliated with two former aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor,” just spent $104,628.00 to support six-term incumbent senator Richard Lugar in his primary battle to hold his seat against state treasurer Richard Mourdock. The money, according to disclosures, went to “mailers” in favor of the 80-year-old Lugar, who now looks likely to lose to his more conservative challenger.

I’m at a loss here. As a reminder of some of Lugar’s recent positions as a GOP Senator…

Lugar’s active support for the DREAM Act, his backing of the New START treaty, and his votes to confirm Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan have soured many Indiana conservatives on the longtime senator, who was first elected in 1976.

“In Indiana, I don’t think we feel comfortable with Obama referring to Richard Lugar as his favoriteRepublican senator. That’s not a title that I want my senator to have,” says Craig Dunn, chairman of the Howard County GOP and a former campaigner for Lugar.

How exactly does someone like Dick Lugar fit into the mold of fresh, new conservatives for the party via the Young Guns program?

-Eric Odom