GOP Corporate PAC, Club For Growth, Fails In Latest Attempt To Coopt The Tea Party
Club's Chris Chocola, inveterate loser
Club For Growth is primarily a corporate group backing outsourcing American jobs overseas, which has tried-- with some success-- to glom onto the populist, if diffused, Tea Party. Their agenda isn't especially related to the Tea Party but many observers have noticed that if someone is loud, incoherent and filled with Limbaugh-like hatred they can usually get some teabaggers to follow along. The Club took it upon themselves yesterday to issue a score card for the 87 freshmen elected in 2010-- Just How Tea Party Are They? They ranked everyone based on Club For Growth precepts, not Tea Party principles or values. Only three very extreme right freaks scored 100%, Justin Amash (MI), Tim Huelskamp (KS) and Raul Labrador (ID). Three other whack jobs-- Mick Mulvaney (SC), Marlin Stutzman (IN) and Joe Walsh (IL) were just behind with 99%.
Failing at corporate-teabaggery were Lou Barletta (PA- 47%), Charlie Bass (NH- 48%), Bob Dold (IL- 42%), Michael Fitzpatrick (PA- 43%), Chris Gibson (NY-44%), Micahel "Mikey Suits" Grimm (NY- 46%), Richard Hanna (NY- 44%), David McKinley (WV- 37%), Patrick Meehan (PA- 42%), David Rivera (FL- 47%), Jon Runyan (NJ- 45%), and Steve Stivers (OH-45%). Club for Growth characterized their rating system this way:
This study was compiled from the Club for Growth's Congressional Scorecard, which evaluates lawmakers based upon their commitment to limited government and pro-growth policies. What we found was that while some freshmen have lived up to the promises they made to the tea party movement, dozens of them are big-spenders and are no different from many of the veteran Republicans they serve with.
The only freshman looking to go on to higher office is North Dakota's Rick Berg, who rated a 54% and who the Club For Growth has said they will not support in his bid for the open Senate seat in his state.
Club for Growth is trying to claim some credit for the defeat of GOP Establishment hack Jon Bruning in Nebraska Tuesday night. But their pathetic candidate, state Treasurer Don Stenberg, came in third and the actual Tea Party candidate-- with backing from Sarah Palin and Herman Cain-- was the victor. Fischer took 41% of the vote to Bruning's 36 with the Club for Growth nonentity at under 20%, even though he had the endorsements of Jim DeMint and Rick Santorum, two corporate-greed candidates who, like the Club for Growth, have tried to use the Tea Party energy to advance their own career trajectories. And the next morning Republican Senator Mike Johanns told the press the reason Stenberg lost (again) is because he was tainted with Club for Growth's support.
Johanns, a former Nebraska governor, said the Club for Growth’s television ad campaign that targeted frontrunner Jon Bruning, the state attorney general, was “tone deaf” and left Nebraska GOP primary voters with an overwhelmingly negative impression of Stenberg, the state treasurer. Johanns referred to Stenberg as a “true blue conservative” who has a solid base of support in Nebraska and should have finished with at least around 35 percent of the vote. Bruning, who fought back against with negative attacks of his own, was also damaged in the fray.
“In a state like Nebraska, when the dirt starts flying, those throwing the dirt are going to get dirty too. It not only cost Bruning, it cost Stenberg significantly,” Johanns said this morning in a telephone interview. “It was an error in strategy.”
Johanns said Stenberg’s outside support damaged his candidacy such that even the extensive positive ad campaign run on his behalf by Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) Senate Conservatives Fund was viewed by voters as being a part of the negative air war run to damage Bruning, who finished second in the three-way contest. Johanns said Stenberg “stalled, and then his numbers started to go backward” from the moment the Club for Growth and other outside groups entered the race.
Nebraska’s junior Senator expressed sympathy for Stenberg and dismissed claims by the club-- made in a statement released following Fischer’s victory-- that it succeeded in the Cornhusker State primary because defeating Bruning was its main goal. In a statement, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola congratulated Fischer for defeating Bruning but made no mention of Stenberg.
“I feel bad for Don because he is a good guy that worked hard and beat his brains out trying to put this Senate race together. But at the end of the day I really think [the outside groups] hurt,” Johanns said. “The club came to Nebraska to elect Don Stenberg. Deb Fischer wasn’t on the radar screen with them. For them to argue that this was about Bruning is to rewrite recent history.”
Johanns is up for reelection next cycle and I take it he was sending Chocola a message to keep his filthy and ineffective politics out of Nebraska.