This article first appeared at McAlvany Intelligence Advisor:
In gearing up for the 2014 Senate election in Tennessee, the Tennessee Alliance Tea Party & Liberty Groups announced in its newsletter last week that current Senator Lamar Alexander was ripe for extinction:
It’s well known that Lamar Alexander is considered by most as a RINO (Republican in Name Only).
If Mr. Jacobs [Glenn Jacobs, aka “Kane” of WWE fame] actually announces his candidacy against Alexander, with such a famous name known around the world, this would be a prime situation for all of the Tennessee TEA parties to strongly endorse his candidacy.
At the moment, Jacobs is playing it coy. He made a noncommittal statement but didn’t shut the door to a run against the moderate Republican:
Of course I know what’s going to happen: the media at first would treat this like a joke. There would be a lot of interest in it, but it wouldn’t be taken seriously in that respect, but that’s okay – because I think as it would move along they would find out that I do understand, and I do care, very, very, very deeply. But are those enough to be able to win? Because, frankly, if I’m going to do it, that would be my goal.
For the past 20 years, Jacobs has made a name for himself as “Kane,” a seven-foot tall, 323-pound monster in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) world, having won 18 championship awards in that time. But he hasn’t spent all of his time in the ring. When he is playing “citizen,” he reads – a lot. He reads Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian school Nobel Prize winning author of such books as Road to Serfdom and Individualism and Economic Order. He reads Ludwig von Mises, author of Human Action. He reads Murray Rothbard, author of Man, Economy and State. He calls Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson “one of the best books anyone can read.”
He also knows what’s wrong with Keynesianism: “The problem with Keynesianism is that we, as human beings, are not numbers. We’re not atoms that bounce around without free will. Human beings have individual choice, we have free will, and we make decisions … that’s what Austrian economics takes into account.”
What are Jacob’s chances? He has pegged Alexander:
[He] votes with President Obama 63 percent of the time, which is the highest percentage of any senator from the South…
Senator Alexander supported TARP and the bailouts….
He voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is maybe the most liberal Supreme Court justice we’ve ever had.
I think his performance has been abysmal. I can understand why the tea parties and the liberty groups in Tennessee would like to see Senator Alexander removed from office….
Alexander’s voting record is abysmal. According to the Freedom Index, published quarterly by The New American magazine, he scores a dismal 56 out of 100. For example, he voted in favor of an EPA ruling that would cost the coal industry $11 billion to implement, resulting in the loss of a million jobs and much higher utility rates for most Americans. He voted in favor of the Forest Service’s Legacy Program, which would remove even more land from private use and cost $1 billion over 5 years in the process. He voted for the $1 trillion farm bill as well.
Alexander has personal problems as well. He has become wealthy through so many illegal deals that they caused investigator Lisa Schiffren to state that “his fortune is founded on sweetheart deals not available to the general public, and a series of cozy sinecures provided by local businessmen. Such deals are not legal….” For example, in 1987, Alexander co-founded Bright Horizons Family Solutions, now the country’s largest provider of employer-sponsored health care. While others funded the venture with $2 million of their own money, Alexander ponied up only $5,000. When the company went public, his shares soared in value to $800,000 in just four years.
This was no fluke. That same year, he wrote a check for $10,000 to Christopher Whittle to invest in Whittle Communications. Alexander’s shares increased in value to $330,000, even though his check was never cashed.
To avoid scrutiny, Alexander frequently shifted assets to his wife’s name, violating various ethics and security laws in the process.
So, if Jacobs decides to challenge Alexander, he has a lot to work with, including a sense of humor. Last week Jacobs challenged Tennessee Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey to a public debate about the internet sales tax. Jacobs claims that it is a new tax, while Ramsey says it’s not. In his challenge Jacobs said, “There will be no physicality in the debate. It’ll be purely intellectual.” So far, Ramsey hasn’t responded.
Something else is working in Jacobs’ favor: two other moderate Republican RINOs were just bounced from office, with Freedom Index ratings similar to Alexander’s: former Utah Senator Bob Bennett (FI of 73) and former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar (FI: 58).
Oh, and there’s one more thing. Another obscure WWE wrestler ran on the Reform Party ticket for governor in Minnesota back in 1998, and won handily. His name? Jesse Ventura.