by Max Brantley
Could there be a challenge from the right flank in the Republican primary for U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro?
Some powerful interest groups seem to hope so — or at least to get him to vote right (and I do mean RIGHT) — with pressure.
* FARM BILL: Rick Crawford, who represents the state's most potent farm district, HAS to vote for farm subsidies. Doesn't he? The Heritage Action Fund thinks not. National Journal reports that Crawford is among four farm state reps being blasted by a $50,000 radio ad campaign for supporting a "food stamp bill."
* BROKEN TAX PLEDGE: Grover Norquist, national controller of the Republican Party, has already criticized Crawford for backing a surtax on millionaires despite signing the Norquist no-tax-increase pledge. (Crawford made perfect sense on this, saying he didn't like to do it but new revenues had to be part of budget correction.)
* CLUB FOR GREED: The Club for Growth has been trying to recruit opponents for Crawford because of the millionaires surtax and a list of other breaks from the Greed Club's soak-the-poor orthodoxy.
* INTERNET SALES TAX: In another praiseworthy move, Crawford has co-sponsored the legislation to allow state and local governments to more easily collect sales taxes on Internet purchases. This issue doesn't split neatly on ideological lines. Walmart is the major proponent, for example. But Grover Norquist, again, has declared this a tax increase (it isn't, really, only an existing tax that is going uncollected)
Democrats could hope that a real wingnut — I'm thinking along the lines of Jon Hubbard — would upset Crawford in the primary.
But it would be for naught if there's no Democratic candidate. Know one?
Also: that Heritage Action Fund radio ad follows on the jump.