- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2009

A MAN TO WATCH

While Republicans dither over party identity, one of their own has stepped forward and cut to the chase with a clear take on what matters and what works in a complicated political landscape.

“There is a better, more responsible way. It’s called the American way,” Ryan Frazier tells Inside the Beltway.

A city council member from Aurora, Colo., Mr. Frazier is running for U.S. Senate with a straightforward campaign.

“Fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, energy independence, education reform, affordable health care and strong national security,” he says. “I’m running because we owe our children a better America, where they are free to pursue their dreams, and everyone has an opportunity to make a life for themselves.”

He has been there, and done that.

Father of three, Navy veteran and a small-business owner, he was raised by his mother “to have faith in God and do what’s right” and is first to say he started out married life with wife, Kathy, with a Honda Civic, a 13-inch TV, a pillow, a blanket and their clothes.

“That’s it,” Mr. Frazier says. His children Sven, Elise and Jaren, he says, are “our diamonds.”

A former intelligence analyst in the Navy, he founded an information-technology business and Highpoint Academy - a public charter school. During his two-term tenure as city council member, Mr. Frazier worked on bipartisan projects to curb spending, eliminate personal property taxes and boost communications for law enforcement statewide.

“I do believe in the American way - based on our traditional can-do spirit of merit, hard work and innovation. It’s always made this country the greatest nation on the planet, and it will continue to do so,” Mr. Frazier says.

He faces a crowded primary next year. Should he win the nomination, he’ll face off against Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat. And yes, there are already whispers that Mr. Frazier could be “the Republican answer to Obama,” one source says.

TEA IS BREWING

There’s been a mighty hubbub about town hall meetings and tea parties. Critics better brace for impact, however. The coast-to-coast “Tea Party Express” tour will depart at the end of the month and visit 33 cities, culminating in a Sept. 12 rally at the U.S. Capitol.

The tour’s mission - set forth from a snappy looking campaign bus - is to “to encourage Americans to rise up and speak out” against spending, bailouts and socialized medicine.

“The rallies will focus on holding local policymakers accountable for destructive legislation and policy that reeks of socialism and threatens to permanently cripple the American economy,” say organizers, who have some muscle.

There are 20 sponsors, including the National Taxpayers Union and the Freedom Works Foundation, chaired by former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey and former presidential hopeful Steve Forbes..

CHARTING SARAH

Friends and enemies alike await news of Sarah Palin’s disposition, pouncing upon her Facebook announcements the moment they appear. Mrs. Palin, by the way, has more than 780,000 Facebook “friends.”

Meanwhile, the American Spectator is plumbing public opinion of the former Alaska governor. More than 1,200 people have weighed in on an online survey to reveal that only 6 percent disapproved of her decision to step down and prepare a presidential bid.

Twenty-two percent said she’d end up a conservative pundit, 38 percent said she would be a “voice for the party” and 34 percent said she would pursue the White House. Sixty-one percent “still think she’s great,” while 27 percent “think more highly of her now.” Eleven percent gave Mrs. Palin unfavorable ratings.

Weigh in yourself at https://spectator.org.

FOR YOUR LEXICON

Now that a spate of Republicans are acting upon their constitutional right to assemble, we may find that the term “town hall” becomes a convenient, catchall term for aggressive, grass-roots politics with unexpected clout. Kind of like “swift boating.”

Imagine. One strategist says to the other, “Hey. Dude. Be careful, or they may ‘town hall’ you.”

Even Bill Maher is acknowledging, in his inimitable fashion, that town hall meetings are a cultural force of sorts.

“Have you seen what’s going on with these town halls? I don’t want to say they’re out of control. But they’re starting to show them on ESPN,” Mr. Maher observes.

POLL DU JOUR

• 60 percent of Americans overall favor the “CIA program to assassinate al Qaeda leaders.”

• 77 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats favor the program.

• 48 percent of Americans overall favor the program even if the CIA did not inform Congress about it.

• 64 percent of Republicans and 43 percent of Democrats favor it under those circumstances.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,506 adults conducted July 22-26.

Hollers, commentary, announcements to jharper@washington times.com or 202/636-3085.

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