CALLS BLUNT, BOND "BITTER"
"Ms. Steelman is clearly doing something right," writes Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel
***THE MUST READ WSJ COLUMN POLITICOS WILL BE TALKING ABOUT FRIDAY IS HERE***
KEY PASSAGES ARE BELOW:
"So bitter are House Minority Whip Roy Blunt and Sen. Kit Bond at Ms. Steelman's attack on their cherished spending beliefs that last month they rallied the entire Missouri congressional delegation to put out a public statement openly criticizing her campaign against six-term U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof."
"Her sin is in fact to belong to that new mold of Republican – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint – who know it's no longer enough to simply hawk lower taxes. In 10 years as a state legislator and treasurer, her target has been the slothful political favor factory that's led Republicans away from small-government principles and outraged conservative voters."
"For Mr. Blunt, this is also just a wee bit personal. His son, Matt, is the outgoing governor, and has been on the receiving end of a few Treasurer Steelman blasts. Last year she stopped payment on a $70,000 secret check his administration cut to settle a sexual harassment suit against an official. Her demand for transparency blew the case into the open, infuriating GOP colleagues."
"Mr. Hulshof has been able to tout his own history as an ethics reformer, though the fervor with which his party's regulars have embraced him has undercut that message. His real weakness is that despite conservative credentials on taxes or social issues, he's run wild with the GOP crowd that just won't relinquish the pork."
"Ms. Steelman's ads have noted Mr. Hulshof's support for the Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere, the Maine Lobster Institute, the Perfect Christmas Tree exhibit and the Woodstock concert hall. Their first debate last week centered on Mr. Hulshof's spending record. In an interview with a local reporter, he felt so cornered that he asked the interviewer what earmarks have "to do" with being "governor" anyway."
"If Ms. Steelman's bid shows anything, it's how determined a wandering Republican Party, both nationally and locally, is to hold on to the bad habits that lost them their reputation. Beware to the reformer."