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Posts Tagged ‘NRSC’
July 22nd, 2011 at 1:24 pm
The NRSC’s Hush Money Angers Tea Party

The fight between the Tea Party and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is heating up again.  The Daily Caller says that the group quietly gave money to Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dick Lugar (R-IN), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), among other incumbents.

Tea Party activists are claiming the NRSC is once again trying to influence GOP primaries that are likely to be contested between establishment types and newer blood fiscal conservatives.  But although Lugar has an official Tea Party opponent (Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock), no official challenger has filed paperwork against Hatch and Snowe.  (Though Rep. Jason Chaffetz is widely expected to compete against Hatch.)

The complaints of NRSC favoritism have more sway in Lugar’s case since Mourdock is actively campaigning against him.  If the Tea Party wants to make its point heard in the other cases, it better get challengers like Chaffetz to get off the fence and into the race.

June 27th, 2011 at 5:42 pm
Tea Party Clash with GOP Establishment Will Continue in 2012
Posted by Troy Senik Print

You would’ve thought that the leaders of the National Republican Senatorial Committee — the Senate GOP caucus’s in-house mechanism for supporting candidates for the upper chamber — would have learned their lesson in 2010. Rather than waiting for Republican nominees to emerge before throwing their support behind them, the NRSC intervened in primaries throughout the nation, opposing such strong conservative candidates as Florida’s Marco Rubio and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey. It should have been a source of public shame. Yet it doesn’t look that way, based on a report in the New York Times’ Caucus Blog:

A group of placard-waving Tea Party activists converged on the headquarters of the National Republican Senatorial Committee early Monday afternoon, demanding that its leaders refrain from supporting incumbents facing primary challenges, and serving as a reminder that the intraparty fight over party purity continues…

One reason the activists are angry with the Republican senatorial committee is that it is holding fund-raisers for [Utah Senator Orrin] Hatch — they waved signs reading “Retire Hatch.” But more generally, they want the committee to withhold political or financial support from any incumbents in the primary.

“It’s like they haven’t learned the lessons of the midterms,” said Brendan Steinhauser, an organizer for FreedomWorks who urged on the marchers.

And indeed, the committee has heard this tune before, particularly in the 2010 Florida primary for United States Senate, when the committee initially backed Charlie Crist, then a popular Republican governor, over a scrappy challenger, Marco Rubio. Mr. Rubio did so well in polls that Mr. Crist abandoned the party, ran as an independent, and lost, badly, to Mr. Rubio, a Tea Party darling.

Of the 47 Republicans currently serving in the United States Senate, none is as likely to someday become president as Marco Rubio. And his ascendancy was nearly extinguished at the hands of the NRSC. If that isn’t a sign that they shouldn’t be weighing in during primaries, it’s hard to imagine what would be.

September 3rd, 2010 at 7:22 pm
Tough Primary Fights For Democrats Too

Fresh off home state protests against Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) who, as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), continues to back losing candidates against Tea Party opposition comes a similar bit of news from Florida.  The minority leader of the Sunshine State’s state senate, Al Lawson, just endorsed Governor Charlie Crist (I-FL) for U.S. Senator.  As an African-American and Democratic leader in the Florida Senate, Lawson’s support is a blow to Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL), the Democrats’ African-American Senate candidates.

But Lawson’s endorsement of Crist is apparently motivated by the Democratic establishment’s successful moves to defeat his recent primary challenge to Rep. Alan Boyd (D-FL).  That includes strong-arm tactics by President Barack Obama’s Organizing for America campaign operation.

Unlike Tea Party insurgents Joe Miller in Alaska, Rand Paul in Kentucky and Sharron Angle in Nevada, Lawson couldn’t overcome his party’s establishment.  Cornyn’s saving grace is that he still has time to make up with the grassroots voters before November.  Unless Obama & Co. can find a way to unify their base in the next two months, chances are people like Al Lawson will stay home on Election Day; making GOP control of both houses of Congress that much more likely.

January 8th, 2010 at 6:09 pm
The GOP Power Vacuum

Who says the Republican Party is a staid, top-down organization that values order over creativity? With the announcement of his book on how to regain majority status, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has something for everyone in the GOP to be shocked about. For congressional leaders it’s that Steele didn’t consult them before publishing it. And for conservative activists the most surprising thing about Steele’s book is that it indicates that at least one person in the party’s establishment has actually committed a plan to paper.

So why is Steele now claiming that he “wrote the book before he became chairman?” Granted, most chairmen keep a low profile while raising huge sums of money in order to let the politicians grab all the headlines. But come on. It’s not like the current congressional leadership has shown a knack for implementing winning campaign strategies the last two cycles. In fact, so far the most consequential decision made by the National Republican Senatorial Committee was not to spend money in contested Republican primaries because of the backlash from conservative activists and Tea Party members.

Maybe Steele shouldn’t be so public about pushing one specific plan for winning elections. Maybe he should sit back, collect checks, and let minority leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Boehner (R-OH) find a path back to power.

Then again, maybe not.