Posts Tagged ‘National Republican Senatorial Committee’
Virginia’s Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is going to have to lose a considerable amount of weight and drastically increase his time on the tanning bed to physically resemble Charlie Crist, but Bolling’s ideological transformation is coming along nicely.
For those who don’t follow Florida politics, Charlie Crist is the former Republican governor who intended to be the state’s new US senator in 2010. When Crist announced he was well known and could raise money — music to establishment Republican ears. Crist was immediately endorsed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in an effort intimidate potential primary competition.
Life was good! Crist had essentially been handed the nomination. Time to order some staffer to start measuring for new drapes in his senate office. Except Marco Rubio decided to enter the race. Rubio had everything going against him but the voters.
Crist wasn’t worried at first. But as the campaign continued, FL voters decided Crist was too cozy with Obama and lacked conservative commitment. Rubio won the primary and in a fit of pique, Crist changed his registration to Independent and ran as a spoiler.
Rubio beat him and the Democrat both.
Now really angry and wanting to “lash out” (thank goodness there weren’t any “assault rifles” handy!) Crist endorsed Obama in 2012. And he just made the news by changing his party affiliation to Democrat. Proving Republican voters were correct all along.
Bolling’s situation is quite similar. In 2009 he was in his first term and Bob McDonnell was the Attorney General. Both wanted to run for governor, but Bolling didn’t want a fight — something that appears to be characteristic. As Pope Alexander IV divided the world between the Spanish and the Portuguese — McDonnell divided the top Virginia offices between himself and Bolling. McDonnell ran for governor and promised to support Bolling in 2013.
Unfortunately, the nomination is not McDonnell’s to confer. The wealthy may be able to hand political office from relative to relative in Massachusetts, hence the “Kennedy” senate seat, but Virginian’s don’t cotton to inheriting office.
Like the English in Pope Alexander’s time, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ignored an agreement he was not party to and worked to secure the nomination. He packed the GOP central committee with his supporters. After Cuccinelli announced, the committee changed the nomination process from a primary election to a convention.
At which point Bolling avoided another fight and dropped out in the belief he could not win a convention in which strong grass–roots support is a crucial factor.
Cuccinelli is not without sin in this saga. Ken initially promised voters he would run for re–election, which I thought was an excellent idea. He broke that promise when he announced for governor, but as former Texas Gov. Bill Clements once said in connection with a lie he told, “Well, there never was a Bible in the room.”
Few Republicans are as popular with liberals and their media choir as establishment Republicans defeated by a conservative. All it took for Bolling to become a statesman was for Cuccinelli to run him out of the primary. Now he is another unfortunate establishment moderate who — according to the media — is the best general election candidate. Unfortunately he can’t win a primary dominated by the right wing.
You know all that Democratic talk about getting big, dirty money out of politics?
National fundraising committees for the Democratic and Republican parties, President Barack Obama, and other major politicians have declined to return campaign donations totaling $1.8 million from Houston financier R. Allen Stanford, now on trial for allegedly masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.
The court-appointed receiver charged with returning money to Stanford investors obtained a federal court order last June against five Democratic and Republican campaigns. But they haven’t returned the money. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received $950,500; the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), $238,500; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $200,000; the Republican National Committee $128,500, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) $83,345.
The contributions to the campaign committees and candidates were given by Stanford himself, Stanford executives, and a political action committee associated with the financier.
The receiver, Ralph Janvey, is also trying to claw back money Stanford donated to individual politicians. The list of his recipients reads like a who’s who of Washington, including President Obama – who received $4,600 from Stanford in his 2008 election campaign – Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the NRCC, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. Janvey is seeking these funds informally, and has not filed lawsuits.
Money has already been returned by House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. John McCain, among others. But the roughly $154,000 recovered from elected officials is a fraction of the $1.8 million still outstanding.
The $4,600 Janvey is seeking from the Obama campaign reflects only direct contributions from Allen Stanford himself. The total may be as high $31,000 when Stanford’s contributions to Obama’s other campaign committees are included, along with money from senior Stanford executives, and the Stanford Financial Group’s now defunct PAC, according to campaign finance records and an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.
…The receiver first wrote to the Obama campaign five days after it gave the money to charity in 2009, asking that it instead be returned to investors.
“If you have already donated such amounts to charity, we request you consider donating an equal amount to the Receivership,” Janvey wrote back on February 23, 2009. “By returning such amounts to the Receivership Estate, you will help reduce the losses suffered by victims of the alleged fraud.”
More tainted cash out West:
Federal investigators have reportedly been handing down subpoenas in the case of a Nevada political operative who allegedly made illegal campaign contributions to politicians like Sen. Harry Reid, and who is also embroiled in a heated legal battle with former business partners that involves accusations about everything from murder threats to jewel thefts.
The case began with a lawsuit by Harvey Whittemore’s former business partners, Thomas Seeno, his brother Albert Seeno Jr. and his son Albert Seeno III, who accused Whittemore of misappropriating and embezzling over $40 million from Wingfield Nevada Group Holding Company LLC, a limited liability company in Nevada.
Whittemore is a lawyer and former lobbyist with political ties all over the state, and he and his wife have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats and Republicans alike, including Sen. Harry Reid (D), Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), Sen. Dean Heller (R) and former Sen.
A week ago, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray looked like she might be running away from Republican challenger Dino Rossi in the Washington Senate race. But that was before the GOP launched a nearly $4 million fusillade of TV advertising.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has begun running $3 million in ads that will last until the Nov. 2 election.
And Crossroads GPS, an outside group that is part of a rising infrastructure of new conservative political groups built by Republican operatives such as Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, announced Tuesday they will pump an additional $780,000 into the Evergreen State.
It’s a sign that for all their talk of a Senate takeover being a two-cycle project, Republicans think they have a chance at doing it this fall. Washington could potentially be the 10th pickup for the GOP that would push them over the top in their quest to regain a majority.
Murray’s lead over Rossi, a two-time candidate for governor in the state with broad name recognition, moved up to roughly 6 points during the latter half of September, after Rossi had pulled even in August. Murray has been running tough TV ads since Labor Day, which Republican and Democratic operatives both said were effective.
But now polls have begun to trend back in Rossi’s favor, shrinking Murray’s aggregate lead in the Real Clear Politics polling average to 3.3 points.
Jonathan Collegio, spokesman for Crossroads GPS, said that the independent group is spending the second-biggest portion of a $4.2 million several-state buy Tuesday into Washington “for two reasons: Rossi’s strength generally as a challenger, and because Seattle’s media market, while expensive in absolute terms, is cheap relative to New York, Los Angeles, or Philadelphia.”
Collegio made clear that Republicans are pushing hard to try to get to 10, even though leaders such as Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the NRSC chairman, have avoided talking about such an outcome this year.
“The math is clear – putting an end to Obama’s rubber-stamp Senate requires at least one win in either Washington, California, Connecticut or Delaware,” Collegio said.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee put $2 million toward the Washington race a month ago when the NRSC’s ad purchase was first reported. But nationally, the NRSC has had more flexibility on where to spend its money – both the NRSC and DSCC had about $24 million at the end of August – because independent groups like Crossroads GPS have been pouring money into races.
Republican Linda McMahon’s self-funded campaign in Connecticut – where the former WWE CEO has said she will spend $50 million of her own money – has also helped the NRSC avoid spending money in an expensive market that remains a long shot, though McMahon has cut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s lead in half since the summer. She still trails by about eight points, however.
Not only is Republican Linda McMahon’s self-funded steamroller of a campaign going to require national Democrats to divert money into the race at a time when they are already stretched thin, but Connecticut could be the state that moves the GOP to 10 pickups and control of the Senate.
Democrats tried Tuesday to push back against the idea that Connecticut was moving to a tossup, pointing to an internal poll from Monday showing Democrat Richard Blumenthal up 12 points over Republican Linda McMahon. But the reality of the aggregate polling is that former WWE CEO McMahon has steadily narrowed the gap with a barrage of ads, and shows no signs of easing off her stated goal of spending up to $50 million of her own money.
That is a huge boon for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which can focus its resources on other strategic states in a mad dash over the final month before Election Day. The NRSC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee both have roughly $24 million in their war chests to spend in the last 30 days.
The likelihood of a GOP Senate takeover seems a bit less likely than it did a few weeks ago, when Beltway speculation abounded. But as of now, the Nutmeg State looks like the most vulnerable of the five races that make up the Democrats final firewall: California, Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Washington.
New York remains the outlier of the five, still only a fantasy in a race where Republican Joe DioGuardi is badly outgunned in finances by incumbent Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s $12 million war chest. But recent polling has shown that race tightening, and Gillibrand’s lead in the Real Clear Politics Average has been cut from 20 points less than two weeks ago to 10 points.
Democratic incumbents Barbara Boxer in California and Patty Murray in Washington have been the brights spots of late for a national party beginning to assume the fetal position. Both have begun to put some distance between themselves and their Republican challengers in the last two weeks, and are about five or six points ahead on average.
Boxer, in particular, has done so well that national Democrats have argued that the NRSC’s withdrawal of a $1.9 million ad buy for the last week before the Nov. 2 election was a sign that the GOP wants to move the money to other races and is giving up on their candidate, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Republicans say they merely wanted to give Fiorina flexibility to spend the money around the state and not just in one city.
But a Democratic ad buyer who has watched the race closely said the GOP’s buy in late July locked in about 1200 points – or a guarantee of roughly 12 ad views per person in the target range – over that last week. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made a similar ad buy at the same time over the summer.
“Senator Murkowski has submitted her resignation by share of the Congress last Friday. There’s also an issue as to whether or not its appropriate for her under the circumstances to continue as ranking member on the energy committee. Both of those issues will be addressed tomorrow afternoon,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.
Senator John Cornyn, Texas Republican and Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters that “it’s pretty clear” that Senate Republicans will move to vote Ms. Murkowski out of her leadership position on the energy committee.
“I think it’s the appropriate thing to do. When you choose not to accept the judgement of the primary voters and to run as a write-in and not be the Republican nominee, it has consequences,” he said.
Twenty-four short hours later, the Senate Republicans backpedaled faster than circus clowns on a high wire. Via WSJ, Sen. Orrin Hatch said it was a matter of “good taste.”
In a rare triumph for Senate traditionalists in this anti-establishment year, Republicans Wednesday decided not to punish Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) by stripping her of a powerful committee post.
Senate Republicans, angered by Murkowski’s decision to run for re-election as a write-in candidate after losing the Republican primary, met behind closed doors to consider demoting her from her post as top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, a prized perch for her resource-rich state.
But with the committee unlikely to conduct any further business this year and the act seen as largely symbolic, Republicans decided not to add insult to her injury at the hands of Joe Miller, the tea party-backed candidate who beat her in the primary.
“We all respect the system, and she still is a Republican senator,’’ said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah.) after the closed party caucus. “It’s just a matter of good taste. We decided to keep the status quo as long as she’s a senator.’’
Ah, the perks of entrenched incumbency and senatorial comity.
Nope, the Senate Republicans still don’t get it. Like so many Beltway GOP boyz club members.
Time to resurrect the famous head-banging-against-the-wall GOP=Stupid Party graphic…
Allahpundit at Hot Air wants answers:
If Murkowski somehow let them know that she’d vote Democratic in the lame-duck if they stripped her of Energy seniority — I’m not saying she did, but if — then the caucus should reveal that to the world so that fencesitting Republicans in Alaska know exactly what kind of snake they’re dealing with here. It’s amazing to me that they were promising to boot her yesterday and, 24 hours later, suddenly they’ve reversed themselves and don’t want to talk about it. Spill it.
Grassroots conservatism is alive and well, as evidenced by the “upset” victory of “Tea Party” candidate Christine O’Donnell over career politician and RINO Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican Senate primary. The event is already being labeled an “upset,” although at the moment it appears that only the establishment Republicans are upset.
Grim prognostications of O’Donnell’s unelectability in November are rampant from across the political spectrum. Nevertheless, her win plainly signifies a groundswell of conservatism from the grassroots. Big money, entrenched incumbency, and all of the standard trappings of the Washington elite did not help Castle. The flickering hope of an eventual change to the Washington status quo was what prevailed in Delaware on primary day. And the establishment is clearly rattled at the prospect.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, in a breathtaking display of unbridled arrogance and contempt for grassroots conservatives, initially vowed not to help O’Donnell during the general election cycle. In so doing, it unwittingly tipped its hand. Past calls for “party unity” are now revealed as merely a tool to manipulate recalcitrant conservatives whenever a “moderate” Republican is on the ticket. Though the NRSC leadership has since backtracked, promising to support O’Donnell, its true sentiments and loyalties, which exclude any concern over the sensibilities of the peasantry, are now out in the open.
Since it spontaneously coalesced in early 2009, the “Tea Party” movement has stirred the imaginations of Americans who have long been enraged by the revolting prospect of an abominably limited choice between full-fledged socialism and societal collapse from the Democrats or a more insipient version from the Republicans. Vigorously rejecting the standard “mainstream” media assessment of the 2006 and 2008 elections as proof of America’s desire to drift left, the “Tea Party” participants understood that those electoral disasters resulted to a far greater degree from public disgust and disillusionment with the “moderate” bent of the Republican establishment.
All too often, GOP candidates campaign on the premise of providing an alternative to the liberal agenda, only to capitulate to it at critical moments once they become embedded in the Washington culture. Maintaining this scenario would only ensure America’s continuation down the dangerous course of recent years, with Republican candidates sounding “right” on the issues when stumping for votes (as do many Democrats), only to repeatedly break trust and vote with the statists when their commitment to conservative issues is most needed.
Admittedly, some have weathered the storm. John McCain’s recent win over conservative J.D. Hayworth in the Arizona Republican Primary seemed a harbinger that ultimately, nothing would change in Republican ranks. With the exception of Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania (who opportunistically crossed party lines last year), no Republican had undermined and betrayed conservative trust in the GOP as flagrantly as had McCain. In light of this truth, his win appeared to signal the triumph of RINO politics.
Yet McCain had to work harder than ever before to pull off this ruse.
When it was clear last night that “Tea Party” Republican Christine O’Donnell would going to defeat entrenched RINO Mike Castle in Delaware, the National Republican Senatorial Committee quickly congratulated her, but made it clear they wouldn’t be supporting her in the general election.
But it turns out the NRSC picked up a few tricks from John Kerry, because they were against O’Donnell before they were for her:
“Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee – and I personally as the committee’s chairman – strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.
“I reached out to Christine this morning, and as I have conveyed to all of our nominees, I offered her my personal congratulations and let her know that she has our support. This support includes a check for $42,000 – the maximum allowable donation that we have provided to all of our nominees – which the NRSC will send to her campaign today.
It’s simple math, really. The backlash directed at the NRSC from peeved conservatives clearly would have cost the NRSC well in excess of $42,000 in donations alone, so they bit their tongues and sent O’Donnell a check.
This shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but this little incident is a clear sign that the Republican leadership at many levels doesn’t understand its base and doesn’t understand that 2010 is turning out to be about cleaning up the mess, whether the mess was made by a donkey or an elephant. Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer don’t understand that — Sarah Palin does.
It’s official: the Tea Party takeover of the Republican Party is in full effect.
The candidate favored by the conservative grassroots in Delaware shocked a candidate backed by the national party, and in New Hampshire the Tea Party candidate was in a neck and neck race. The results leave no doubt — on the heels of previous Tea Party upsets in Alaska, Nevada and Utah — that anti-establishment, anti-Washington sentiment around the country is boiling over and a threat to Republicans as much as Democrats.
Christine O’Donnell, a conservative talking head, will now be the Republican nominee in Delaware for the U.S. Senate. In New Hampshire, businessman Ovide Lamontagne was a few hundred votes behind attorney general Kelly Ayotte in that state’s primary, in a race that looked likely to go down to the wire.
But it was hard to understate the impact or the shock of O’Donnell’s win.
As recently as two weeks ago, O’Donnell was barely a blip on the radar screen, and Rep. Mike Castle — who has held elected office in Delaware for nearly 30 years — was virtually assured to replace Vice President Joe Biden in the Senate, handing the GOP one of 10 seats they need to take control of the upper chamber.
In one fell swoop, all that has changed, at least according to the conventional wisdom, and a GOP takeover once again looks out of reach after becoming a perceived possibility in the last month or so. Castle led Democratic nominee Chris Coons, a county executive from New Castle County, by a comfortable margin in the polls. O’Donnell has trailed Coons by roughly 10 points in three recent polls.
“There goes the Senate,” said one Republican operative succinctly.
Karl Rove, the former Bush White House political maestro, agreed, saying on Fox News: “This is not a race we’re going to be able to win.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a clipped statement congratulating O’Donnell on her win, but told the Daily Caller that they would not be spending money in Delaware, at least for now.
“Republican candidates currently lead in 7 Democrat-held seats and are tied or within the margin of error in 4 additional states, with West Virginia rapidly coming into that picture,” a NRSC official said. “As of now, Christine O’Donnell trails Chris Coons by double-digits in a deep blue seat.”
“If she can begin to close that gap … then that will warrant a closer look. But right now, there are only a limited number of resources with a large number of states,” the official said.
Some at the O’Donnell rally seemed eager to take on the GOP even more than they did the Democrats. A leader of the Tea Party movement in Delaware, Russ Murphy of the 9/12 Delaware Patriots, made clear how much disregard he had for Washington Republicans in brief remarks from the stage after O’Donnell’s upbeat and cheery victory speech.
Yesterday, I wrote about establishment Republicans and their apparent opposition to all things Tea Party. Just who the heck are these people?
We have just had a key election in Alaska. Incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski went down in defeat to Joe Miller in the Senate primary. Joe Miller was the Conservative ‘Tea Party’ candidate. The head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee flew to Alaska to aid Lisa Murkowski with the primary. John Cornyn (R), Junior Senator from Texas, had said that his committee will observe strict neutrality.
According to Miller’s campaign there are still national operatives in the state, and they suspected an effort to sway the election results in favor of Murkowski. There were still some 1,500 absentee votes yet to be counted.
According to Tea Party activists in Cornyn’s home state of Texas, protests were held at all of Cornyn’s offices to make it clear that they did not want the GOP or the NRSC interfering with Alaska’s primary race. There has been a pattern of interference, back-room deals and underhanded tactics where Conservative Patriots and their candidates have been concerned.
The people are speaking their choices. There is a Conservative tsunami just over the horizon. If the RNC and the NRSC think that we will stand still for more of what we got from them when they were last in power, they have another think a- comin’.
The National Republican Party has been an abject failure. We need only to look around us to see the result of that. It was the irresponsible actions of the (then) majority party under George Bush that are directly responsible for Barack Hussein Obama being in office.
There are more primaries coming up soon. Delaware’s Republican primary is on Sept 14. The Tea Party Express has endorsed strong Conservative Christine O’Donnell over US Representative Mike Castle, the choice of the RNC and NRSC. It’s like this folks… Mike Castle is one of the biggest RINOs in Washington. This dude has been in virtual lockstep with Barack Obama’s agenda from the beginning. He needs to be defeated and it looks very much like he will be.
Message to the RNC. Keep it up and you’ll see the destruction of your party. You’re under as much scrutiny as the DeMarxists are. You worked very hard to lose our trust. Now you’re going to have to work much harder to get it back. Backing RINOs isn’t a very good start.
Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis
© Skip MacLure 2010