It takes a village to stop Hillary Clinton: GOP forces launch stealth mission

“We have a straightforward mission, and we have only one reason to exist. And that is to make sure that Hillary Clinton never becomes president of the United States,” Garrett Marquis, spokesman for Stop Hillary PAC, tells Inside the Beltway.

“If she goes somewhere to support a candidate, we’ll be there, too. If she makes a speech on global warming or unions, we’ll be there to hold her accountable,” he says, noting that the newly launched political action committee will release its first critical video on Wednesday.

Of course, Matt Rhoades, former pointman for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has already created StopHillary2016.org, which went active in June and has spiffy bumper stickers and one splashy fundraising “stop Hillary” luncheon to its credit.

“There are some differences between us,” Mr. Marquis says. “We are a truly grass-roots effort, and we’re looking for a million members. We’re not looking to resurrect Mitt Romney’s campaign. We’re looking to hit the ground running. When Hillary goes active, we go active. When she moves, we move.”

Colorado state Sen. Ted Harvey serves as the honorary chairman of Stop Hillary PAC. Son of a Vietnam-era fighter pilot and a former Reagan administration appointee, he says he has “an undying passion to preserve the freedoms and liberties that generations of men and women have sacrificially secured for this nation.” Find it all here: StopHillaryPAC.org.

‘SWEET SPOT’

One group won’t be villifying the tea party any time soon. Conservative clergy have a “sweet spot” for the grass-roots groups, according to a new survey of 413 theologically conservative Protestant pastors by the nonpartisan Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith. It found that 50 percent agree with the tea party, 8 percent disagree and a “surprising” 42 percent have no opinion.

“There is significant growth potential for their movement,” predicts Bill Dallas, the executive director of the research center. “How such growth is pursued over the next three years could well determine the ultimate staying power of the movement.”

CONGRESSIONAL STAYCATION

Stay put. That is the dream of Rep. E.Scott Rigell, who is calling on Congress to skip its customary August recess and stay in the nation’s capital to finish up on a dozen appropriations bills to fund the government and avoid another dreaded continuing resolution. It’s the only way, he says.

“We’ve only passed three of the 12 appropriations bills,” the Virginia Republican observes. “Congress should be in session six days a week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., just like we would in the private sector if we were behind in our work.”

FAIR GAME

Candied bacon cannoli, deep-fried bread pudding, deep-fried meatloaf on a stick with wine glaze, deep-fried pickles with chocolate sauce, grilled glazed doughnuts with strawberry mint dipping sauce, roast pork shanks, bourbon-infused knockwurst, craft beer-battered onion rings, “comet corn” (caramel popcorn frozen with liquid nitrogen).

— From the midway menu of the Minnesota State Fair, which begins Aug. 22.

AL JAZEERA AMERICA APPROACHES

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