Wednesday, October 19, 2016

All The Rage On The Fringes Of Republicanville: Anyone but McCain & Ryan!


Not likely

Today I received an e-mail from a far right group I hadn't heard much about lately Alipac, with the subject line "'Vote Anyone but McCain & Ryan' Movement Picks Up Steam. Alipac-- Americans for Legal Immigration PAC-- is widely considered one of the most hateful of the anti-immigrant groups. I first heard about them in 2011 when they backed fringe GOP candidates Ken Buck (CO) and Sharon Angle (NV) in failed Senate runs and when they went on a pretty hilarious weeks-long tirade about Lindsey Graham's homosexuality. This was the ad they ran in the Republican primary this summer. Their candidate, far right crackpot and hate-monger Kelli Ward, was defeated by McCain on August 30, 51.7% to 39.2%.

Like virtually every hate group in the country, Alipac, is fanatically behind Trump's ugly, bigoted campaign. And their email today claims they are expanding their "efforts to encourage Arizona and Wisconsin GOP voters to abandon John McCain and Paul Ryan due to their opposition to Donald Trump and their support for Amnesty for illegals by increasing the organization's endorsements in each race and changing the title of the strategy to 'Anyone but McCain & Ryan'!"

They have actually endorsed Democrats Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), a conservative New Dem and Ryan Solen (WI), a normal Democrat running against Ryan. They consider the endorsements brilliant and revolutionary strategy. "After carefully analyzing the strong level of support the plan received in comments beneath articles written by Breitbart News (view) and World Net Daily (view), ALIPAC is now calling the effort 'Vote Anyone But McCain & Ryan' and creating the hashtag #NeverMcCainRyan for use in social media."
"The strongest protest vote GOP voters can cast is for the Democrats challenging McCain and Ryan," said William Gheen, President of ALPAC. "But for those that just can't bring themselves to vote for a Democrat, we are asking them to write in the GOP Primary challengers we endorsed earlier like Kelli Ward and Paul Nehlen. Or they can vote for an independent or third party candidate. The key is for GOP voters, in just these two targeted races, to rid Washington DC of two corrupt, untrustworthy, illegal immigration fostering, Trump opposing incumbents McCain & Ryan. Remember on Election Day to Vote Anyone But McCain & Ryan!"

ALIPAC is asking supporters of this plan to work on polls election day Nov 8 with signs that say "Vote Anyone But McCain & Ryan." ALIPAC is also starting online ads that begin running today that will broadcast this request to GOP voters in Wisconsin and Arizona.
What a shame! Don't you just hate it when Republicans decide to go to war against each other just weeks before an election! Yesterday, Rachael Bade and Jake Sherman, headlined a report for Politico, Republicans rush to build firewall to save the House.

A superPAC controlled by Ryan is spending "millions in districts once thought invincible for the GOP. The top House Republican super PAC had always planned to spend big to protect GOP lawmakers in Democratic-friendly districts. But Donald Trump’s free fall is forcing American Action Network and its sister PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, to also shell out millions in red-leaning districts that weren’t even in play until this month. Their suddenly urgent mission: Build a firewall to prevent a Democratic takeover of the House. With Trump fending off allegations of sexual harassment and his tanking numbers threatening to pull down once-safe GOP lawmakers, this is what 2016 now looks like for the pair of related conservative outside groups: They're dropping $500,000 on TV ads in deep-red Utah to protect Rep. Mia Love, whose Mormon-heavy district has recoiled from Trump’s vulgar comments about women. They’re spending another $700,000 in Tucson, Arizona, to protect freshman Rep. Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel who has comfortably led her Democratic challenger all year. And they're working to shore up conservative-leaning districts in the Central Valley of California, western Colorado, upstate New York and Michigan."

So far the DCCC and Pelosi's House Majority PAC haven't spent any appreciable money against Mia Love in Utah ($47,652), and Matt Heinz in Arizona (zero), although they have spent $2,646,452 against John Mica in Florida. Politico quoted Mike Shields, who runs both groups-- no coordination there, I'm certain-- and who calls their spending an "insurance policy... There’s certainly a challenge at the top of the ticket… so it’s prudent to look at what’s going on and make sure we have a firewall laid down to protect [lawmakers] in the event that things got to a place that were more challenging. It’s a lot of preventative maintenance… [laying] down a protective blanket over some races so that you can force the fight back into the top races where we’ve always known there’d be a real election." Luckily for Shields and Ryan, the DCCC is incredibly incompetent and have gone back to their old losing ways of recruiting unappetizing conservatives from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party (New Dems and Blue Dogs), while sabotaging progressives. Under Pelosi's abysmal leadership-- even an anti-Trump tsunami is likely to leave the Republicans in charge of the House. Instead of spending money on exciting progressives with great platforms-- like Zephyr Teachout (NY), Carol Shea-Porter (NH), Paul Clements (MI), DuWayne Gregory (NY), Mary Ellen Balchunis (PA), Mary Hoeft (WI), Tom Wakely (TX), Alina Valdes (FL) and Peter Jacob (NJ), they're wasting immense sums to elect vile and contemptible Blue Dogs who, if they win in an anti-Trump tsunami will spend 2017 and '18 voting with the Republicans against progressive legislation and then will be defeated in the 2018 midterms-- a pattern the sclerotic brain surgeons who run the DCCC haven't quite figured out yet. As we saw Monday, the DCCC is putting most of their big money into campaigns for worthless Blue Dogs and New Dems like Tom O'Halleran (AZ), Pete Gallego (TX), Lon Johnson (MI), Brad Schneider (IL), Josh Gottheimer (NJ) and Kim Myers (NY), Joe Garcia (FL), Emily Cain (ME) and Terri Bonoff (MN).

On the other hand, these are the Berniecrats who won their primaries. Not one of them is getting significant enough money-- if any at all-- or help from the DCCC or Pelosi's PAC. Some don't need the help, but most of them do-- and will probably lose without it. But the NRCC is still worried, not having counted on a total top-of-the-ticket meltdown.
Inside the GOP leadership there's also been a shift in thinking. Lawmakers and aides at the NRCC and atop the party's leadership structure predicted single-digit losses before they left for their election-season recess. Now, these aides and lawmakers say losses could be 10 to 20 seats, leaving the GOP with a slimmed-down majority. However, many of them concede that a 20-seat loss could easily become 30, and thus the majority.

That’s why CLF and AAN are working to build a protective shell around a group of second-tier candidates few were watching before now. They’ll spend $2 million to protect Jeff Denham of California, a three-term congressman who thumped his Democratic opponent the first time they faced off in 2014. That money will be used to counter millions being poured into the district by Democrats trying to capitalize on Denham’s district's large Hispanic population: Their ads seek to tie Denham to Trump’s controversial comments about undocumented workers.

CLF and AAN are also investing $1.3 million in Rep. Scott Tipton’s Colorado district. Tipton handily beat his Democratic challenger last cycle, 58 percent to 36 percent. But his opponent, former state Sen. Gail Schwartz, outraised him $623,000 to $423,000 in her first quarter, turning the sleepy reelection into a real race. And since then, House Majority PAC, the outside group associated with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, has poured hundreds of thousands into the district.

The conservative groups are also spending a half-million dollars for Rep. Elise Stefanik in New York, though Stefanick’s campaign just released a poll showing her leading her Democratic challenger 54 percent to 29 percent. And they’re pumping about $1.7 million into a trio of Michigan districts: to help incumbents Tim Walberg and Mike Bishop, and win an open seat being vacated by Dan Benishek.

Officials at the super PAC and related nonprofit say the uptick in spending is a protective measure and does not signal that the seats are truly up for grabs. Plus, in this climate, there aren't many competitive seats where the GOP can go on offense.

...Republicans say they hope they have seen the end of Trump's slide and the race begins to stabilize. But a Politico/Morning Consult poll from the weekend showed Democrats up in the generic ballot test, 45 percent to 38 percent. If Trump continues to drop, AAN and CLF say they have the cash and bandwidth to fight back. CLF announced it has raised $31 million, nine times more than it raised in the third quarter of the previous election cycle.

"We have the money to do it, so we’re going to take up an insurance policy and it’s going to push everything back up to where it’s supposed to be," Shields said. "If it’s close, we’ll be glad we did it.”

GOP officials say they believe they'll have a better idea of the electoral landscape after Wednesday's presidential debate in Las Vegas.

The strategy certainly helps the NRCC, freeing up the House Republicans’ campaign arm to focus on its most vulnerable members, like Rep. Will Hurd on the Texas border or Carlos Curbelo on the southern tip of Florida.
Both those races have repulsively corrupt conservative Democrats-- respectively Pete Gallego and Joe Garcia-- who were in Congress and defeated by the current incumbents. Scott Bland also reported for Politico that the Democrats are using a legal loophole to pump millions into some of the House races.
Typically, Federal Election Commission regulations limit parties to just $48,100 of spending in direct coordination with most House candidates. But under a decade-old FEC precedent, candidates that word their TV ads a certain way-- including references to generic “Democrats” and “Republicans” as well as specific candidates-- can split the cost of those ads with their party, even if that means blowing past the normal coordinated spending caps.

To date, more than a dozen Democratic challengers are benefiting from such “hybrid” advertising, getting extra hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The technique has been a small but consistent part of Democratic strategy in recent years, but new legal guidance has also allowed Democrats to share costs on ads linking their opponents to Trump on policy.

“You have a historically unpopular Republican presidential nominee, which increases the appeal of doing this sort of thing,” said a Democratic operative. “If you can find a way now that you only have to pay 50 percent of an ad, and link your opponent to Trump, and that makes strategic sense in the district, that’s a no-brainer.”

The cost-sharing has turned into a critical tool for the DCCC, as it suddenly tries to compete in more districts and support little-known challengers made unexpectedly viable by Trump’s late slide.

The ads that qualify for cost-splitting do exactly what Democrats already want to: nationalize House races and try to saddle local candidates-- from Iowa to Nevada-- with the Republican Party’s general unpopularity. And the influx of funds from the DCCC directly into candidate advertising has helped the party grow the battleground map, even including districts where the candidates themselves are perilously low on cash.
The biggest recipients, so far, have been Brad Schneider (IL), LuAnn Bennett (VA), Stephanie Murphy (FL), Colleen Deacon (NY), and Doug Applegate (CA). And meanwhile, Paul Ryan is scared enough to be running TV ads in the expensive Milwaukee media market. By this morning Politico was reporting that Ryan is now just making believe Trump doesn't exist. "Ever since Ryan distanced himself from the top of his party’s ticket one week ago," wrote Rachael Bade, "a frustrated and reeling Trump has lashed out at the Wisconsin Republican on a near-daily basis. Ryan has become one of Trump’s favorite targets. Yet instead of parrying the attacks and defending himself, the speaker has deployed a strategy of complete disregard: pretend he can’t hear the loudest guy in politics and focus solely on protecting his suddenly fragile House majority." Maybe these crazy Republican Trump fanatics in Green Bay scared him Monday:

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