This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
I have found a motive for Sen. Mike Lee's proposal to defund Obamacare by threatening to shut down the government, and his Sisyphus-like insistence to push ahead even while his Republican colleagues say it is a dumb idea and has no chance of success.
He wants your money.
In order to kill Obamacare once and for all, and help Lee and his white horse save the republic, you need to donate to his campaign "right now!"
That's the essence of an email he sent to potential donors that begins: "Dear Fellow American …"
The solicitation employs familiar scare tactics: Obama and the Democrats will ruin the country unless you help him, the hero, stop their evil onslaught.
"As I told my good friend Sean Hannity last week, the upcoming budget vote is truly the last stop on the Obamacare express," Lee wrote. "We can't afford to let this opportunity pass us by."
To do your part to save America, you are to "make an emergency contribution of $25, $35, $50, $100, $200 or whatever you can afford to my campaign right now, and help me continue spearheading the national effort to defund Obamacare before it's too late."
One of Lee's first acts in the Senate, you might recall, was to attempt to set up a super PAC for himself that would allow him to control unlimited amounts of money to elect "fellow Americans" like himself. (The Federal Election Commission rejected Lee's super PAC.)
Now Lee is asking for money as he travels the media circuit (mostly Fox News) to push his plan to force Democrats to abandon Obamacare by voting against the continuing resolution needed to keep funding the government.
He needs 41 votes to do it. So far, he's got 11 fellow tea-party types while many Republicans are acting embarrassed by Lee and his circus act.
Here's a thought • By making an emergency contribution to Mike Lee's campaign, you not only will encourage him to continue to tilt at the Obama windmills, you might help him fend off what appears to be a growing sentiment among Utah Republicans to give him the boot.
Lee has completed just two years of his six-year term and already there are three prominent names buzzing about as potential Republican foes in 2016.
Former State Republican Chairman Thomas Wright, businessman and Mitt Romney's son Josh Romney, and former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, who forced Sen. Orrin Hatch into a primary last year, are frequently mentioned as candidates to challenge Lee in the GOP state convention when he runs for re-election.
Channeling Yogi Berra • Lee seems to have scripted his own version of famous Yankee catcher Yogi Berra's book, I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said.
After criticism from fellow Senate Republicans for his claims to block the continuing resolution to keep funding the government, Lee decided to find a friendly venue that would allow him to say that he didn't say what he said.
"That's not my threat. That is not me. I don't want that. I don't need that. I want to avoid that," he said in an interview with the Deseret News that ran Saturday.
"It is stunning to me that anybody would think of shutting down the government over this."
An earlier news release from Lee's office that began the firestorm quoted from a letter he and his supporters were sending to Senate President Harry Reid that plainly said: "We will not support any continuing resolution or appropriations legislation that funds further implementation or enforcement of Obamacare."
Well, if you defeat the continuing resolution, you shut down the government.