Saturday, May 25, 2019

Cheri Bustos Has Some Kindred Souls-- At The NRSC


Same kind of authoritarian, anti-democratic mindset and instincts. Bustos, chair of the DCCC, is trying to prevent primaries of Blue Dogs and New Dems in Congress, while she recruits New Dem and Blue Dog-types to run against progressives. Yesterday evening, Politico ran a report by Alex Isenstadt showing how the McTurtle and Todd Young, who are running the NRSC, are coming from the exact same place. Does this sound familiar? "Senate Republicans and their establishment allies are vowing to blackball any political consulting firm that works to defeat GOP incumbents, a dramatic step likely to further inflame intraparty tensions over 2020 primaries."

McTurtle and Young are all riled up because the far right is attempting to primary Thom Tillis (R-NC), who's more like the near-right. McTurtle was heard screeching that there will be a "zero tolerance policy." That kind of thing is more likely to work in a fascist-oriented party than among Democrats, where Bustos is rapidly destroying her own credibility and her career.
“It is the policy of the NRSC that we will defend any member of our caucus from any challenge-- be it in a primary or general election-- by any means necessary,” Kevin McLaughlin, the National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director, said in a statement. “It is a zero tolerance policy and we will not work with any vendors who work for campaigns or outside groups challenging incumbent Republican senators.”

The announcement is the most public brushback to those working for primary challengers since 2014, when the NRSC-- looking to beat back a wave of conservative insurgents-- cut off a consulting firm that had targeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other incumbents up for reelection that year.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a well-funded super PAC closely aligned with McConnell, joined the committee in its decision.

“We have a long-standing policy of not using consultants who are assisting primary challenges against our Senate incumbents,” said Steven Law, the group's president.

The Club for Growth has not opposed an incumbent Republican senator since 2014, when it tried to unseat then-Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran. But this week, the organization indicated it was trying to nudge North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, a staunch Trump ally, into the primary. The Club for Growth also released a poll suggesting that Tillis would be vulnerable in a primary and general election.

The flare-up threatens to divide Republicans in a state at the center of the party’s 2020 strategy. Senate GOP campaign officials have warned aides to President Donald Trump that a disruptive and chaotic North Carolina Senate primary could hurt Trump in the battleground state.

North Carolina had already become an early focus of GOP concerns. The state Republican Party, whose chairman was recently indicted in a corruption case, has been wracked by turmoil. And there is considerable angst within the party about a field of lackluster gubernatorial candidates.

Senate Republicans are vigorously working to protect Tillis. In recent weeks, NRSC officials raised concerns with Trump campaign aides over the work that John McLaughlin, one of the president’s pollsters, was doing for Tillis primary challenger Garland Tucker. On Tuesday, McLaughlin’s firm withdrew from the North Carolina race.

The NRSC has indicated that it’s prepared to aggressively go after Walker, a third-term evangelical pastor. The committee, for example, has pointed out that the congressman has become entangled in the same federal corruption probe that led to the indictment of state party chairman Robin Hayes.

Major donors and outside groups are also coming to the senator’s defense. A spokesman for GOP megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson said the couple “stands by Thom Tillis.”

Ending Spending Action Fund, a super PAC that in the past has received funding from the billionaire Ricketts and Adelson families, said it “will proudly support his reelection and vigorously oppose candidates or groups that seek to challenge the senator.”

Club for Growth officials say Tillis’ past differences with the White House have made him vulnerable in a state where Trump is popular among Republicans. Last year, the senator was criticized by fellow Republicans for co-sponsoring legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. Earlier this year, Tillis wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which he announced his opposition to Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a border wall, though he ultimately voted in favor of it.

The Club for Growth tried to defeat the president in the 2016 GOP primary but has since refashioned itself into a pro-Trump outfit. On Friday, the group said it is still assessing whether to oppose Tillis.

“The Club for Growth has not made a determination if we will support a primary challenge to Sen. Tillis’ seat in North Carolina,” said Joe Kildea, a spokesman for the organization. “If we do endorse Walker, it will only be if we believe he is a stronger candidate in the general election.”

Republicans are not alone in trying to cut off oxygen to primary challengers. At a time when progressive insurgents are looking to unseat establishment incumbents, the House Democratic campaign arm has said it will no longer do business with vendors who are working to defeat sitting lawmakers.

The Club for Growth’s threat to Tillis puts some of the Republican Party's incumbents, who typically treat their fellow colleagues with deference, in an awkward position. Arizona Sen. Martha McSally has previously used two consulting firms, Axiom Strategies and WPA Intelligence, who have done work for the Club for Growth and Walker.

WPA Intelligence oversaw the Club for Growth’s new North Carolina survey, though a person familiar with the arrangement said it was done through a firewalled division of the polling firm. Jeff Roe, founder of Axiom Strategies and a top McSally adviser, said his firm would not be involved in any effort to defeat Tillis.

McSally is one of the most endangered senators up for reelection in 2020. A spokeswoman for the senator suggested that she took the same no-tolerance approach as the party committee.

"Sen. McSally strongly supports the reelection of Thom Tillis,” said McSally spokeswoman Katie Waldman, “and has made it clear that she will not use any vendors who are involved in a primary against the senator or any other Republican senator in the 2020 cycle.”

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At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While the Senate has some power, the democraps are doing nothing with the House. They could bring Trump to a halt by NOT approving the war budget, among other things. Are they? HELL, NO! When the Pentagon shows up in their dress uniforms with their chests full of phony baloney ribbons, the House lines up like rock star groupies and gives them billions of dollars we need for other things.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger BeliTsari said...

Largely because of unelected, corrupt DNC & DCCC corporations, we basically have a reactionary Republican Supreme Court and Judiciary. By and large New/ Blue Dog Democrats collude with, enable or assist Repiblicans in our tag-team kleptocracy, since well before Powell's memo: silencing dissent, enacting reactionary legislation and ensuring multinational corporate control of our duopoly against the popular will. If life long Keynesian Democrats sued these entities, whatever would the SCOTUS do about it?

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

proving yet again that the whole party needs to be euthanized or it will finish the job that BeliTsari so eloquently describes.

why do we waste time trying to make that party something it cannot ever become again? You don't try to convert a malignancy back to useful tissue. You just cut it out before it kills the host.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger BeliTsari said...

Lesser of two evils translates as: whatever our betters do TO us is now LEGAL (laudable, heroic & patriotic). Whereas, anything WE try, to survive is felonious, treasonous and anti-Baby Jesus. The Resistance™ was the top 9.9% vs we the peons. Last time, it was CNBC cashing in on the white-flight suburbanites, now it's the Yuppies, all fahklempt at po' ass deplorables, discovering the term "working class" sleeping in the $40K Ubers they're trying to hide from the repo-man, skip tracker, PO and deputies.


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