Steve Lonegan is back, campaigning against Rep. Smith, R-N.J. 

If you want a real story about Tea Party tension with social conservatives, here's one for you.

Former Bogota, N.J. Mayor Steve Lonegan cast himself as the "real conservative" in his primary election against Gov. Chris Christie (R) last year. Now he is campaigning on behalf of Rep. Chris Smith's (R-N.J.) primary opponent, Alan Bateman. As part of a fundraising e-mail, he writes:

Chris Smith has been Big Labor’s #1 “Republican” ally.  And one of the unions that really likes Smith is the SEIU -- the Service Employees International Union...This group has given Chris Smith AN UNBELIEVABLE $32,500 in campaign contributions since 2000!

Now why would a left-wing Socialist Labor Union support a “Republican” Congressman?

Smith has a pro-labor record in Congress, it is true, but this is not a typical liberal-versus-conservative Republican matchup. Lonegan's appeal will speak to one kind of conservative, but not necessarily to the entire movement. One would be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated champion for the rights of the unborn and for international human rights than Smith. 

Smith may be too cozy with labor -- a very dangerous alliance to have in this year's political environment, especially in a GOP primary. But he's not just some liberal, and he won't be easy to beat.

About The Author

David Freddoso

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David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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