Remember Joe Miller, the Alaska attorney who ran for Senate in 2010 amid the tea-party wave? The guy who shocked just about everyone by winning his Republican primary against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), an incumbent presumed to be safe? How his campaign was brought down by past ethics troubles and, perhaps, by an adversarial media relationship that included an incident of handcuffing? Or how he dragged out the election results in an uphill court battle until New Year's Eve?
Miller was among the most prominent faces of last year's tea-party trend, which brought us such novice candidates as Nevada's Sharron Angle and Delaware's Christine O'Donnell, newcomers who fascinated the media with rough edges and unbridled fiscal hawkisheness, and who threatened to take over the Republican Party with primary wins.
Nowadays, he's campaigning against Mitt Romney.
In March, Miller took over as chairman of a Nevada-based conservative group, the Western Representation PAC, which supported Miller in his 2010 race and says it has 250,000 members.
With Mitt Romney officially announcing his presidential candidacy today, Miller unveiled the group's new "Stop Romney" campaign.
From the group's press-release announcement:
"In a matchup against Obama, Tea Party voters are looking for a consistent constitutional conservative," said Miller. "We will never get behind Mitt Romney. On issues like gun rights, gay rights, abortion, immigration, and health care, Romney has flipped more than John Kerry flopped." ...
Western Representation PAC will roll out its strategy over the next several weeks, but the group has a history of utilizing grassroots mobilization, online and net-roots appeals, and broadcast advertisements. The group has, however, purchased the domain name StopRomney.org and has started a Facebook group by the same name.
"We're committed to making sure Mitt Romney spends 2012 in his home state of Massachusetts, or whatever state he's calling home today," said Miller, "because conservatives deserve a better choice than Mitt Romney."
Romney might be the only high-profile Republican not to aggressively court the tea-party vote over the past year and a half or so, and he figures to endure attacks from the fiscal and libertarian right, given his past support for a health-insurance mandate in Massachusetts. Joe Miller just got the ball rolling.
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