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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Crush the tea party in GOP primaries

Art credit: illinoisreview.touchpad.com

Allahpunditat Hot Air has this to say about the Tuesday primaries and Tea Party losses:

Outside groups spent $23 million to crush the tea party in GOP primaries this year

To be clear, the $23 million here is on top of the cash spent by each GOP incumbent’s own campaign. It doesn’t include a dime of what, say, Mitch McConnell’s operation dropped to defend his seat. This is crony money, showered on establishment candidates to make sure the gravy train keeps running.

The scope of the effort to suppress activist-backed candidates has been broader and costlier than is widely understood, covering at least 20 House and Senate primaries from North Carolina to California, and from coastal Mississippi to the outer tip of Long Island. The loose coalition of establishment forces encompasses two dozen advocacy groups, industry associations and super PACs that have raised and spent millions on behalf of Washington’s chosen candidates.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said the “quote ‘establishment’” had successfully divided up the primary map this year to avoid duplicating one another’s efforts…

Nearly a third of the establishment money has come from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The business lobby’s spending in this year’s toughest primaries has about equaled the $7 million that the conservative Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund have spent together on the most fractious elections — excluding races, like the Senate campaigns in Arkansas and Alaska, where there’s been no meaningful clash between establishment-sanctioned outside groups and the activist right.

Among other big establishment spenders: Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, the National Association of Realtors, and the Main Street Partnership, which vowed months ago to “beat the snot” out of conservatives in primaries and which used to be called the “Republican Main Street Partnership” before it dropped the troublesome “Republican” part. (The NRA also kicked in some money for Thad Cochran, do note.) What’s galling about this isn’t the amount spent or the fact that centrists would rise to meet a challenge from the right on ideological terms. The Club for Growth spends boatloads of money on elections too, after all. What’s galling, especially in the Cochran/McDaniel race, is the sense of how transactional the incumbent’s relationship with his money men is. That’s the real lesson from Mississippi, writes Jay Cost. There was nothing particularly ideological driving Cochran or the Mississippi GOP establishment. This was business. As always, as always, Republicans present themselves as one thing and then behave as something else [emphasis added]:

Cochran is a classic example of the disconnect. He has been in the Senate for nearly forty years. To what lasting conservative triumph is his name attached? I cannot think of any, nor can I think of any fight against the liberal agenda in which he was a crucial ally. Instead, his claim to fame – as he proudly advertised during the campaign – was leveraging his seniority to steer government largesse to Mississippi…

Read the rest here.
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