Al Cardenas Elected President of American Conservative Union, But Is He Conservative Enough?

Al Cardenas is one of Miami's top political insiders. He's a former two-term chair of the state GOP, and a former member of the nation-wide Executive Committee of the Republican Party. The guy even gave Marco Rubio his first break in politics. The Cuban-American has just been named the president of the influential American Conservative Union, and while he's about as Republican as they come, some insiders are gasping that he may not be conservative enough. 

Cardenas, now a prominent Miami lawyer and lobbyist who previously served as the group's treasurer, will be the ACU's first new president in more than a quarter century as former head David Keene is leaving to become president of the National Rifle Association. 

While he didn't face any opposition, an anonymous ACU board member told World Net Daily that he feared Cardenas wasn't conservative enough and didn't show much dedication to social conservative policy. The organization is also in something of a state of financial turmoil. 

"From what I understand Cardenas is the insider's choice, and he looks to be unopposed," the the board member dished. "I want to see reform. It's frustrating to see a fig leaf rather than somebody who's going to implement the reforms needed at ACU. Selecting Cardenas is like papering over the problems ACU has, some of which are fundamental."

Cardenas may have given Tea Party wonder boy Marco Rubio his first break in politics by hiring him to work on Bob Dole's ill-fated 1996 presidential campaign and then eventually at his law firm, but Cardenas irked many conservatives by sticking to his support of Charlie Crist in last year's senate race. 

The ACU is best known for organizing the annual and influential Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), but has generated controversy on the right by inviting GOProud, a gay right wing group, to participate in this year's event. 

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