Grant Starrett is running for Congress in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District. A year ago, I introduced Grant to our readers and explained why I intend to support him.
Grant is a rising conservative star. He’s a graduate of Stanford, where he founded the Stanford Conservative Society and grew it to over 500 members, and of Vanderbilt Law School, where he was president of its Federalist Society.
He was the Students for Mitt Chair in Romney’s 2008 Presidential campaign and the Coalitions Coordinator in the 2012 Romney campaign. He has taken a lead role in Tennessee’s judicial wars, fighting trial lawyers and activist judges to restore constitutional order to Tennessee’s judicial selection process.
Grant’s opponent, Republican incumbent Scott DesJarlais, is neither rising nor reliably conservative, and he’s no one’s idea of a star. His lifetime ratings from Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, Citizens Against Government Waste, and National Taxpayers Union range from 76 percent to 79 percent — not good enough for a Tennessee congressman.
Conservative Review gives DesJarlais a 83 rating. It notes:
DesJarlais has been careful to make sure he votes more conservatively during election years. . .A more careful look at this record, however, reveals more than a few constitutional blind spots. DesJarlais’ history on budget items is a mixed bag, to say the least. He has championed fiscal sanity when convenient, but opposed a balanced budget amendment when the legislation finally came to a vote. . . .
The Congressman’s tragic hypocrisy on the score of traditional values issues and the sanctity of life proves near impossible for conservatives to stomach. Even DesJarlais’s supposed economic sensibility and willingness to fight for the Constitution are now slowly being revealed as an election year mirage. It is difficult, at this time, for the conservatives to understand what, if anything, Rep. DesJarlais truly believes in given the severe conflict between his actions, rhetoric, and his record.
Last year, DesJarlais voted for $33 billion in Obama defense cuts.
As for immigration, Des Jarlais recently said this:
But one thing we could do and it’s a solution I think would work, is you give a timeframe to everyone who is here illegally to come out of the shadows, identify em, I want to be an American but I’m here illegally and I acknowledge that, so if we have a system of deportation, fine, but we need to identify these folks, and after that timeframe, anyone who is picked up who does not have the card saying I’m here illegally, you deport them straight away. They need to go home because they’re not even trying to play by the rules.
In other words, if illegal immigrants have a card that says they are here illegally, they will not be deported. This is amnesty for anyone who gets the card. Even aggressive advocates of amnesty typically demand that illegal immigrants do more than just obtain a card.
In the Tennessee presdiential primary this year, DesJarlais endorsed Donald Trump. Grant endorsed Ted Cruz. This speaks volume.
Des Jarlais has also been plagued by personal scandal. This too matters.
The U.S. House needs reliable, principled conservatives, not squishy, scandal-ridden ones. We saw in 2006 what happens when entrenched Republican incumbents become embarrassments. DesJarlais is an embarrassment.
You can support Grant Starrett by contributing here. I just did.