American Conservative Organizations Yell: Keep out Kagen!

Tomorrow, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) along with Young Americas Foundation and other conservative political organizations will be joining together to contact their Senators against Obama’s current Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagen.

Citing factors such as her actions against the military’s right to be on campuses, her Princeton thesis lamenting the decline of socialism in America and other objectives, coalitions such as the Clare Booth Luce Policy Instituted and the Judicial Crisis Network are urging citizens to contact their legislators against the nominee through the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

“Her record on abortion, donations to pro-abortion organizations and work while in the Clinton Administration shows I am a 100 percent confident she will be a pro-abortion justice in the Supreme Court.” Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life said.

With the hearings set for June 30th and reports of papers slowly coming from resources whose offices Kagen served such as the President Clinton Archives, time is running short but the strength against Kagen seems to be very strong.

“We are one vote away from the Supreme Court reversing Roe vs. Wade, the decision which legalized abortion; to a pro-lifer the appointment of a pro choice justice on the Supreme Court means thousands of lives will be snuffed out because of President Obama’s nomination,” Hawkins continued.

Jordan Marks, Executive Director of Young Americans for Freedom said, “Kagen is a self identified socialist, nominated by Obama to carry out his socialist policies.”

The Young Americans For Freedom have also called Kagen a person who has continuously trampled on student and individual rights, arguing that the government has the right to ban or censor certain publications. They hence conclude her confirmation can and will result in the destruction of many human rights and freedoms.

“Kagen’s only established track record is of violating student’s constitutional rights, which can be best exemplified by her work to take military recruiters off campus and censor student publications.” Marks said.

Organizations joining Young America’s Foundation in this fight include but are not limited to: Young Americans for Freedom, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, Citizens United, Eagle Forum, Judicial Crisis Network, Council for America, Let Freedom Ring, Religious Freedom Coalition, Gun Owners of America and Students for Life, Young Conservatives Coalition, 60 Plus Association.

“We as Americans need to defend the Constitution from Elena Kagen because it defends Americans.” Marks said.

Heather Bachman

Newsweek Frets Over Conservative Hotties; Newsweek, Heal Thyself

by Lori Ziganto
from Snarks and Boobs

On June 1st, Right Wing News posted their “20 Hottest Conservative Women in New Media (2010 Edition)”. Their first edition was last year and it was born in response to Playboy’s Guy Cimbalo and his disgusting hit piece on conservative women. His article (term used loosely) was a list which was comprised of conservative women that he’d like to “Hate Kedoodle”. Only, you know, he used the F word.

In full disclosure, I am on Right Wing News‘ 20 Hottest list. According to Newsweek, I should be ashamed of this and feel objectified. Call me crazy, but I’d rather be on this list than on the list made by their fellow lefty, where one gleefully crows about imagining ways to violently and hatefully assault me. But, that’s just me.

In their lame attempt to try to dismiss conservatives by pulling the tired old hypocrite card, Newsweek once again shows that they are willfully ignorant because they don’t understand us and do not care enough to even try to do so, and that they are rank hypocrites themselves, and sexists to boot.

They don’t comprehend that as strong and confident conservative women, lacking an ounce of our liberal counterparts’ perpetual victim hood, we embrace all aspects of our gender. As such, we have no problem looking pretty whilst vivisecting you verbally in an argument. We aren’t simpletons; we can multi-task! And we know that if one appreciates how you look, it doesn’t preclude them from also appreciating your mind and your political discourse. Well, at least it shouldn’t. Evidently, that isn’t possible on the left.

Newsweek was so concerned about this list, they decided to sneer contemptuously, disguised as “concern,” while painting the entire list as merely women who look good in face book pages. They also attempted to smear me personally as some dum-dum bimbo. To wit:

“… but by any sensible standard, it’s clear-cut sexism: women trying to compete on the same intellectual playing field as the men being ranked for how sexy they look in their online profile, not how scathingly they dissect Obamacare.

But let’s say you don’t buy the idea that this is objectification. Come on, you say, anyone who calls her blog Snark and Boobs knows she’s trading on sex appeal.”

Listen, Newsweek. Most women like being complimented. Here’s an estrogen-insider secret for you; when a woman asks you if her arse looks fat, it is because she knows it does not. She just wants to hear you say it. She knows she looks good; she’s already run the outfit by three girlfriends and her sister. She wants to be told she’s purty. And being told she is pretty doesn’t somehow magically remove her cerebral cortex (except maybe in Janeane Garofalo’s case. I’m pretty sure that’s what happened there).

Secondly, If any of your reputed journalists had bothered to simply ask me, I would have told you what the name meant. No, it is not “trading in sex appeal.” It is meant in humor. You see, we conservative women like our girl parts and will even poke fun of them from time to time. Good thing I didn’t name it my other thought, Boobsandsammiches, huh? Your heads would have exploded. Oh well. Next time!

I’ll speak only for myself because, unlike you, I don’t speak out of my arse – which doesn’t look fat, by the way, even if that offends your sanctimonious sensibilities – for others. I’m not trading in sex appeal. I’m a mother who home schools her daughter. I am a bookworm, a nerd, a person who cares deeply about the state of our country and the world, and someone who is quite content staying home.

I blog at several sites, most of which are comprised of mainly men, and I didn’t “trade on sex appeal” to get there, nor do I bring sammiches. (Although I would, if asked. Cooking doesn’t demean me either. I’m good at it and also enjoy the ego stroke of being told so). I’m also a woman who will not apologize for, nor feel demeaned by, the fact that she can, at age 39, wear a bikini to the pool and look darn good in it.

The problem is, you don’t truly think that is possible. How could a woman look feminine, yet still be accomplished? Worse, a mother! That’s crazy talk! You made that perfectly clear with the oh-so-respectful cover that you ran (shown above) on Sarah Palin. A Governor. With more executive experience than our current President and Vice President combined (and it sure shows now, doesn’t it?) To you, none of that mattered; She can’t possibly have a brain. She’s a beauty queen and all!

Y’all never stopped writing in your slam books, did you? Still smarting from the sting of being shot down for prom? It’s time to grow up. Learn these lessons first: Women are beautiful and successful. Women are feminine and accomplished. Women can look good and spout political opinion with the best of them. Women are not children and can handle being told that they are attractive and not feel diminished by it.

Perhaps it’s not your fault. Y’all must not get out much, since you are busy frantically trying to save your magazine and all. I suggest that once you are officially out of work and have more free time, you look to yourselves and your esteemed colleagues and take on your own sexist hypocrisy.

Americorps Begins $234M Handout to Community Groups

WASHINGTON — The government took the first step Monday in expanding the AmeriCorps program, awarding grants to nonprofits and other organizations to put 57,000 AmeriCorps members to work in communities around the country.

The grants, totaling $234 million, are the first to be released under a new law aimed at tripling the national service program by 2017. States and territories will also get an additional $129 million for AmeriCorps slots. Officials expect to have a total of 85,000 people enrolled in the program this year.

AmeriCorps participants mentor children, clean up parks or buildings and weatherize homes for the poor among other activities. Some get a living stipend while they are working for up to a year. Most participants, who are predominantly 18 to 26, get about $11,800.

Teach for America, the program that trains top college students to teach in poor communities, received the largest grant—$11.4 million for 6,621 AmeriCorps members. It’s just one of hundreds of national and local organizations, state service commissions, religious groups and other institutions getting the awards from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service.

In April 2009, President Barack Obama signed a law to gradually increase the size of the Clinton-era AmeriCorps to 250,000 enrollees from 75,000. The measure outlines five broad categories where people can direct their service: helping the poor, improving education, encouraging energy efficiency, strengthening access to health care and assisting veterans.

Because of the law’s focus, programs that help veterans were among the newest recipients of AmeriCorps grants. Operation Welcome Home, run by the California Department of Veterans Affairs, will get almost $560,000 for 80 AmeriCorps members who will help returning service members in California with the transition back to civilian life.


By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann

There are howls of outrage coming from the liberal community in Alberta, Canada. It seems that some doctors, desperate to protect their patients from the overcrowded and failing socialized medical system in their country, have set up private clinics to treat them. To circumvent Canadian laws, which prohibit charging for medical care, they have set up private, membership clinics where, for $2,000 a year, patients can access well staffed and equipped clinics and avoid the long waits and compromised care of the public system.

The leading Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail, reports that “critics say that the clinics are taking physicians away from the public system making it even harder…to find a family doctor.” David Eggen, executive director of a group that supports the Canadian socialized system, Friends of Medicare, said that it’s already hard to find a family physician in Canada and that clinics like these, springing up in several Canadian cities, could make it even harder.

It does not seem to have occurred to defenders of socialized medicine that the system itself is causing the doctor shortage. Cuts in medical fees, overcrowding of facilities, shortages of equipment and space, and bureaucratic oversight have all combined to drive men and women out of family medical practice. Now, with a critical shortage looming, those who can afford to pay for adequate care are opting out of the public system and, literally, taking their lives into their own hands.

But it is illegal to make patients “have to pay a fee to gain access to health services” that are provided free by the government system. So patients and doctors are forming membership-only groups to avoid the legal penalties that could potential stop them from getting or giving the care that they need.

This is where the United States is headed. Socialism dries up the supply of medical care and forces ever stricter rationing of the available resources. As Margaret Thatcher famously said, “Eventually socialism runs out of other peoples’ money.”

With the full implementation of Obamacare and its likely cuts in physician reimbursement, more and more doctors will choose to opt out of Medicare and charge their patients for their care. The elderly who need specialized care will have no choice but to take out insurance, not to fill gaps in Medicare coverage, but to overlay the system with private coverage so they can get the care Medicare now provides to all seniors. If you want to see a family doctor, it will be rough unless you are paying for the care privately. And to see a specialist, at the low reimbursement rates afforded by the program in the future, will be well nigh impossible.

Medical care for the elderly will become like public housing or public education in the inner city. Those who can afford to go elsewhere will. Those who can’t will be left to fend for themselves in overcrowded public facilities that will be, at least, free.

And then, as in Canada, liberal critics will rail, not against the system that dried up the resources in the first place or against the socialist rules that drove doctors out of medicine, but against the private clinics for resources from the public sector.

By plunging our excellent medical care system into this new world of regulation, fee cuts, and care rationing, the U.S. is going down the disastrous road Canada has taken.

Unless we can elect a Republican majority in November and a GOP president in 2012, this is our future.

WHITE HOUSE GONE WILD: Shirtless Favreau And Vietor’s Sunday/Funday Beer Pong Match

Suns out, guns out…

It’s going to take more than a little oil and a brittle economy to keep these White House staffers down…or their shirts on. Check out White House spokesman Tommy Vietor and chief speechwriter Jon Favreau partaking in an impromptu, shirtless beer pong match at Old Glory in Georgetown on Sunday.

Who says working at the White House is all work and no play?

Soldier Busted for Leaking to WikiLeaks

by: Justin Fishel

Washington D.C. — Army officials apprehended an intelligence analyst accused of releasing classified military information to the self-proclaimed “whistle-blowing” website, WikiLeaks.

The militay said Monday Specialist Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland is being held in pre-trial confinement in Kuwait. Manning is deployed with 2nd Brigade 10th Mountain Division, in Baghdad, Iraq.

“The Department of Defense takes the management of classified information very seriously because it affects our national security, the lives of our Soldiers, and our operations abroad,” a statement from U.S Forces-Iraq reads.

In April WikiLeaks made headlines when it released classified military footage it titled “Collateral Murder”, which showed showed Army forces shooting Iraqis from helicopters and killing two Reuters cameramen, among others. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the video amounted to the “indiscriminate slaying” of Iraqis and “another day at the office” for the U.S. Army.

Fox News later reported that Assange failed show that some of the Iraqi’s in that video were carrying weapons, including RPG’s and AK-47’s.

According the, Manning was exposed after telling online hacker, Adrian Lamo, that he was the one who released the video. Lamo told the FBI and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command that he felt compelled to turn Manning in after Manning also took credit for releasing hundreds of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables from the State Department. Lamo said Manning also boasted of using his top secret clearance to access a separate video he gave to WikiLeaks that captured the deadly 2009 Garani air strike in Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks told Fox News in April that it has that video in its possession and that it will eventually be made public.

On its website WikiLeaks published two references to diplomatic cables in January and February of 2010, but so far neither of those documents have received as much attention as the video it released.

Christopher Grey, a spokesman for Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID), says an investigation into Manning’s alleged crimes is ongoing and that his division is in contact with prosecutors in Iraq. Formal charges could be announced out at any point.

States Illogically Looking to Cigarette Taxes as Deficit Panacea

by Capitol Confidential

Across the country, states big and small are facing significant budget gaps. In California, the worst case by far, candidates for state office are debating how to close a $19 billion budget deficit. In Florida, meanwhile, another multi-billion dollar budget hole is on the cards, and looks set to grow with oil drilling off the Florida coast now off the table. Still other states are facing similar situations, if on a less disastrous scale. While many serving in statehouses nationwide will advocate for spending cuts, as opposed to tax increases, in some states, tax hikes are already being put on the table, with so-called “sin taxes” demonstrating renewed appeal.

Washington State recently increased taxes on beer and cigarettes in an effort to stop its own fiscal bleeding (though left-leaning figures in the state have also been arguing for a state income tax).

In Illinois, a proposal to increase cigarette taxes that went nowhere last year has now been resuscitated.

In Florida, where ongoing budget woes are anticipated, concern exists that legislators could jack up cigarette taxes again. Last year, the State Senate—including its Republican members, led by Senate President Jeff Atwater and budget committee chief J.D. Alexander—unanimously voted to increase cigarette taxes by $1 a pack. The House ultimately played ball, too, and Gov. Charlie Crist gave a thumbs up to the tax hike, which was expected to bring in anything from $700 million to $1 billion.

In New York, where cigarettes are already extensively taxed and can sell for as much as $9 per pack, further increases could be on the agenda, too.

At the end of the day, taxing those with a hard-to-break habit looks like easy pickings to those on the search for easy money. But, critics say, revenue from cigarette tax increases is more akin to Fool’s Gold than anything else, and those attempting to close state budget deficits should be wary of relying on them.

According to experts at the Reason Foundation, as of 2009, out of the 57 cigarette tax increases instituted by states since 2003, only 20 had delivered the projected amount of revenue (so, cigarette tax hikes for the relevant period had a stunning 68 percent failure rate). In what taxpayer rights groups say may be the most egregious instance of failure, New Jersey boosted its cigarette tax in 2006, hoping the hike would bring in an extra $30 million. In actual fact, the Garden State saw tax revenue derived from cigarette taxes plummet by over $20 million leaving the state without $50 million it had banked on.

Those studying the matter say there are various reasons why cigarette tax increases represent a risky gamble for cash-strapped state governments looking for a quick revenue hit. One is that when smokers see their costs go up, many of them quit. In the wake of Florida’s $1 per pack hike last year, Florida media was saturated with reports of smokers flooding stop-smoking helplines in an effort to avoid shelling out more on taxes. Another is that when a state surrounded by low (or lower) tax jurisdictions raises its taxes, smuggled cigarettes on which the higher taxes are not levied become a heavily-purchased item.

Some opponents of cigarette tax increases say it is ironic that discussion continues in Illinois about a possible further cigarette tax increase, given reports that Chicago, where $4.67 in taxes were being levied per pack of cigarettes last year, has already experienced a loss of revenue apparently as a result of smokers in the city traveling to Indiana, where cigarette taxes are lower, to stock up.

Indeed, it was recently reported that Chicago could be losing $10 million a year as a result of its high taxes versus Indiana’s low taxes—and related smuggling. Professor David Merriman, chairman of the Economics Department at the University of Illinois, in a not-so-routine research exercise, undertook a study of discarded cigarette packs from 100 Chicago neighborhoods. 75 percent of the discarded cigarette packs he examined in fact bore no Chicago cigarette tax stamp; furthermore, most of the untaxed, discarded cigarette packs were found close to the Indiana border, or counties that levied lower taxes than Chicago. Professor Merriman has reportedly since concluded that were a proposed $1 per pack tax hike pushed through in Illinois, it would lead to even more smuggling. This is a conclusion shared by Michael LaFaive, the executive director of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who said on the topic last year that “the proximity of Chicago to other cities could lead to an increase in smuggling in Chicago if taxes are raised.”

Other opponents of cigarette tax hikes espouse different reasons for their position, of course. For example, in Florida, one of the groups leading the charge last year against the $1 per pack hike was a collection of gas station owners. According to Jim Smith, president and CEO of the Florida Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, “If you’re a customer and you’re not going in for cigarettes, you’re not going to go in at all. And a lot of sales at convenience stores are impulse buys. That cuts into the bottom line.” Smith also commented that “Any time you reduce [cigarette] sales by big percentages, you eliminate a significant portion of profit that retailers use for things like payroll and rent,” something that retailers think represents an important consideration, given persistent high unemployment across the country.

Smokers, meanwhile, object to cigarette tax increases as backdoor nanny-state initiatives, and say they feel targeted, and unfairly so, given that smokers are disproportionately poorer. After last year’s SCHIP cigarette tax hike went through, CNN reported that Larry Jukes, a 65 year-old Coloradan, complained that ”They’re picking on us poor people, the ones that smoke… They have been for years.” Americans for Tax Reform, a staunch opponent of cigarette tax increases on principle, published data last year demonstrating that 55 percent of smokers qualify as “working poor,” and that 25 percent of smokers lives below the poverty line.

Whether the trend that Mr. Jukes identified will continue remains to be seen; smokers, convenience store owners’ groups and fiscal responsibility advocates can however be expected to argue hard against further increases in the coming months.

Pelosi’s Loss Could Be Obama’s Gain

A pivot to the center (and re-election) would be easier without the House speaker.


In Washington these days, President Obama is rumored to be hoping Republicans capture the House of Representatives in the midterm election in November. There’s no evidence for this speculation, so far as I know, but it’s hardly far-fetched. If Mr. Obama wants to avert a fiscal crisis and win re-election in 2012, he needs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be removed from her powerful post. A GOP takeover may be the only way.

Given the deficit-and-debt mess that Mr. Obama has on his hands, a Republican House would be a godsend. A Republican Senate would help, too. A Republican majority, should it materialize, could be counted on to pass significant cuts in domestic spending next year—cuts that Mrs. Pelosi and her allies in the House Democratic hierarchy would never countenance.

Though Mr. Obama’s preferred solution to his fiscal predicament would probably be a very large tax increase, it’s a nonstarter. He needs spending cuts to assuage both markets and voters. It was the surge in spending—the stimulus, omnibus budget and the health-care legislation—that prompted the tea party protests, alienated independent voters, and caused the rapid decline in his popularity.

The test is whether Mr. Obama can restrain nondefense discretionary spending. That’s the spending over which Washington exerts the greatest control. Even small cuts in entitlement spending are difficult to enact, but the president and Republicans might reach agreement there as well. That would be a political bonus for Mr. Obama, softening his image as a tax-and-spend liberal. Again, this would be impossible if Ms. Pelosi still runs the House.

Over the past 50 years, it should be no surprise which president has the best record for holding down discretionary spending. It was President Reagan. But who was second best? President Clinton, a Democrat. His record of frugality was better than Presidents Nixon, Ford and both Bushes. Mr. Clinton couldn’t have done it if Republicans hadn’t won the House and Senate in the 1994 election. They insisted on substantial cuts, he went along and then whistled his way to an easy re-election in 1996.

Here are the numbers: Average nondefense discretionary outlays per year under Nixon and Ford increased 39.7% over those of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, followed by another 39% boost under Mr. Carter, a 14% drop under Mr. Reagan, a 12% jump under the first Mr. Bush, a 7.6% hike under Mr. Clinton, and a 31.2% increase under the second Mr. Bush.

Only four times in the past half century have nondefense discretionary expenditures in real terms decreased in a two-year congressional cycle. And only Reagan’s first Congress—controlled by Democrats—cut more (15.5%) than the Republican Congress that Mr. Clinton faced after the 1994 election (3.7%). The other two reductions came under Reagan (2.5%, the 1986-87 budgets) and the younger Mr. Bush (.01%, the 2006-07 budgets).

If defense spending, which is also discretionary, is included, the result is the same. Mr. Clinton, working with a Republican majority, is second to Reagan. And in his new book, “Never Enough, America’s Limitless Welfare State,” William Voegeli of the Claremont Institute found that “welfare state” spending since FDR increased less under Mr. Clinton than under any president except Reagan.

Let’s assume Mr. Obama recognizes that the fiscal and economic peril facing the country because of trillion dollar deficits is a problem for him as well. At the moment, the 10-year deficit tab is pegged to be as low as $6 billion (Congressional Budget Office) or as high as $13 trillion (Heritage Foundation). Either way, the public is alarmed.

Mr. Obama’s re-election to a second term is heavily dependent on his ability to deal effectively with the fiscal mess. He could try to push a big tax hike, like a value-added tax, through a lame duck Congress after the November election. But that’s very much a long shot. Besides, higher taxes—on top of those from expiration of the Bush tax cuts—could infuriate voters all the more.

For Mr. Obama, serious spending cuts are the only sensible means of dealing with a potential debt crisis or at least an unsustainable fiscal situation. However, he may not be able to rely on reductions in military spending, as liberal Democrats usually prefer. Mr. Obama has already included deep defense cuts in his budget, and Republicans are unlikely to go along with even deeper cuts.

Mrs. Pelosi won’t be any help. She’s committed to enacting the Democratic Party’s entire liberal agenda, and next to the president she is the most powerful person in Washington. When the president flirted with scaling back his health-care bill last January, Ms. Pelosi stiffened his spine, and the bill passed. As long as she is House speaker, bucking her would be painful, especially if Mr. Obama proposes to eliminate a chunk of the spending she was instrumental in passing in 2009 and 2010.

But if Republicans win the House, everything changes. Mrs. Pelosi’s influence as minority leader would be minimal—that is, assuming she’s not ousted by Democrats upset over losing the majority.

Mr. Obama would be in a position to make his long-awaited pivot to the center. With Republicans in charge, he’d have to be bipartisan. He’d surely have to accede to serious cuts in spending—even as he complains they are harsh and mean-spirited. Mr. Obama could play a double game, appeasing Democrats by criticizing the cuts and getting credit with everyone else by acquiescing to them.

Mr. Clinton did this brilliantly in 1996. He fought with Republicans over the budget, winning some battles, losing others, as he lurched to the center. He twice vetoed Republican welfare reform bills, then signed a similar measure. He was hailed as the president who overhauled the unpopular welfare system.

In recent months, the president has met repeatedly with Mr. Clinton. We can only guess what they talked about. But given Mr. Clinton’s own experience, I suspect he suggested to Mr. Obama that Republicans could be the answer to his political prayers. In 1994, Republicans freed the president from the clutches of liberal Democratic leaders in Congress. In 2010, they can do it again.

Mr. Barnes is executive editor of the Weekly Standard and a commentator on Fox News Channel. Weekly Standard intern Peyton Miller provided research for this article.

Big States Dilute Tea-Party Strength


The raucous and costly Republican primary races in California and Nevada, like those in other states, attest to the tea-party movement’s rising influence. But Tuesday’s votes in the two states will be the first big test of the movement’s promise and limits—and offer clues to its nationwide strength this fall.

In Nevada, voters are poised to deliver an upset in the race for the GOP Senate nomination, as tea-party favorite Sharron Angle leads her establishment-supported rival in recent polls.

The pride of the California tea party, Chuck DeVore, has failed to catch fire in the Republican Senate race to challenge Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. On Tuesday, polls suggest he will finish well behind Carly Fiorina, a wealthy former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive endorsed by the GOP establishment.

The California and Nevada primaries illustrate a potential weakness of the tea-party movement: The bigger and more complex the stage, the more money and organization the movement needs. It has little of either now.

Tea-party activists, in their crusade to reduce government spending and taxation, have notched three victories so far this year. But all occurred in small-turnout, low-cost Senate races: a state-convention vote in Utah, a primary in Kentucky and a special election in Massachusetts, although other factors were also at play there. Nevada, with its population of 2.6 million, promises to provide the next victory in this category.

In California, with a population nearing 40 million, the movement has had trouble sustaining itself without adequate resources. That suggests some populist candidates may face challenges in the general election, which draws far more voters than primaries and requires more money for advertising.

“We are 14 months old as an organization,” said Steve Brandau, coordinator of the Central Valley Tea Party in California. “We’re not quite as effective as we want to be all over, but by the 2012 election we will be a force to contend with.”

Political experts say the tea party could still sway the California vote. The movement has already forced establishment candidates such as Ms. Fiorina to stake out more-conservative positions. And a populist candidate could yet win Tuesday if voter turnout is low and tea-party activists vote in disproportionately high numbers.

In Nevada, Ms. Angle garnered just 5% support in April polls. But with the backing of groups such as the Tea Party Express and anti-tax Club for Growth, she grabbed the lead by late May. The GOP governor, Jim Gibbons, is also surging on tea-party support, despite a series of ethics scandals that prompted many in the Republican establishment to abandon him.

By contrast, California’s Mr. DeVore seemed the perfect embodiment of the tea-party mantra. A state assemblyman known for his outspoken stance on limited government, he ran billboards depicting himself beside the U.S. Constitution and the motto “Support and Defend.”

Yet Mr. DeVore has consistently trailed Ms. Fiorina in polls. In recent weeks, she even picked up the support of voters who consider themselves tea-party members. This comes despite her more-liberal stances on issues such climate change.

Mr. DeVore, in an interview Friday, wasn’t ready to concede defeat. But he said the race shows the realities facing the movement in a state like California. “The issue is there are so many more of them in California,” he said of tea-party members, “and there is no central leadership like there would be in a smaller state. But it’s the nature of California, where one-eighth of the country lives and [which] is very diverse.”

Analysts credit Ms. Fiorina’s edge to her spending power. As of May 19, she had spent $6.7 million in her largely self-funded campaign, versus $2.1 million by Mr. DeVore and $1.7 million by Tom Campbell, an ex-congressman who is a social moderate.

But the state’s diversity has also been a factor, as has the movement’s fractiousness.

One DeVore-turned-Fiorina supporter is Mr. Brandau, of the Central Valley Tea Party. He switched allegiance because he felt she had a better chance of beating Ms. Boxer in the general election. One fellow tea-party member called him a sellout for doing so, but Mr. Brandau responded that Ms. Fiorina shares enough of his conservative ideals for him to support her.

“She hit it out of the park with us,” Mr. Brandau says, referring to Ms. Fiorina’s recent appearance at a Clovis, Calif., tea-party meeting.

Ms. Fiorina called the movement “incredibly important” after an appearance in Bakersfield Saturday. “You can’t be winning without that support from the tea party,” she said.

For California’s tea-party activists, the nation’s most-populous state presents unrivaled challenges. To reach 38 million residents, candidates there must have the money to buy television ads—they cost $3 million a week to run statewide—and enough organization to reach voters in all 58 counties.

“In some respects, the tea-party movement resembles the Christian right of the late 1980s and early 1990s—its clout was in inverse proportion to the size of the playing field,” says John Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College.

The movement has influenced Ms. Fiorina and former eBay Inc. CEO Meg Whitman, who is aiming for the governor’s office, to stake out more-conservative positions. But both appear to have safe polling leads, with Ms. Whitman and Ms. Fiorina leading their closet opponents by 26 and 15 percentage points, respectively, in a Field Poll released during the weekend.

In the GOP gubernatorial primary, no tea-party contender has broken through. Analysts say even though Ms. Whitman and her opponent, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, are relatively moderate, the money spent between them—$105 million so far, much on TV ads—makes it impossible for a tea-party candidate without serious cash or statewide organization to gain traction.

One statewide tea-party candidate is faring somewhat better. John Eastman, the former law school dean at Orange County’s famously conservative Chapman University, has finished a close third in recent polls in the race for the Republican attorney general nomination. “If I win this thing Tuesday, you can attribute this to the tea-party people, absolutely,” he said. “I think they would be the margin of victory.”

—Tamara Audi and
John R. Emshwiller
contributed to this article.

%d bloggers like this: