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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

 
Sorry Charlie

by digby

It would appear that they don't want to get slapped with hot teabags:

On the heels of the NY-23 special House election, in which Conservative Party insurgent Doug Hoffman overtook moderate GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava, only to lose to Democrat Bill Owens, NRSC chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) has announced that the GOP's national Senate committee will not be spending money in contested primaries.

"There's no incentive for us to weigh in," Cornyn told ABC News. "We have to look at our resources."

This could have huge ramifications in the Florida Senate race, where moderate Gov. Charlie Crist has been endorsed by the NRSC, and faces the more conservative former state House Speaker Marco Rubio. Crist has already emerged as a new top target for the same right-wing activists who went after Scozzafava.

Crist may be the officially endorsed candidate of the national GOP, but this official support won't count for much if he doesn't get actual money from the party. At best, he could be able to round up extra fundraising and endorsements, separate from the official party apparatus but thanks to its imprimatur. The campaign of the likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Kendrick Meek, sent out the story in a release today, calling the news a "major development."



Eric at Red State sez:

For all intents and purposes, NY-23 is a trial run for Florida


Go team go!

I actually think that's the democratic thing to do. Let the people have their say without the institutions weighing in. And they're going to try. The teabag leaders are all gathering together to plot strategy:
[T]he Courant is reporting that Armey plans to go to Fairfield, CT on November 11th for a “strategy session” with conservative activists and MacGuffie, the original author of the town hall harassment strategy.

An announcement sent out by MacGuffie proclaimed that he, like Armey, has actively supported Doug Hoffman’s bid to rid the NY-23 special election of moderate Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R-NY). Now, both Armey and MacGuffie are planning to purge the Republican Party of more moderate politicians.

MacGuffie has declared that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) are RINOs (Republicans in name only) who “have routinely abandoned or betrayed us.” Similarly, the next step of Armey’s agenda appears to be an intensified crusade to challenge moderate Republicans in primaries. The Politico reports that Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL), former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) and other Republicans who have strayed from rigid party-line positions face primaries from candidates inspired by the tea parties and town hall disruption type tactics.


The corporate shill Armey, is the tip-off to what's going on here. Why should the NRSC spend money on races that their contributors can finance through the teabaggers?

Recall what Freedomworks is all about and who it actually serves:

In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Empower America merged to form FreedomWorks.

CSE was founded by prominent right-wing funder David Koch in 1984. In the 1990s the group "won plaudits from both the business community and GOP leaders" for its role in mobilizing grassroots opposition against Clinton administration proposals on an energy tax and health care, according to National Journal, which noted that "Even some business lobbyists acknowledged that CSE has at times served as a fig leaf for corporate lobbying efforts." CSE spent $1 million on a 1993 campaign against the proposed energy tax, including advertising and bringing grassroots pressure on Congress; most of the money came from corporations and trade groups such as the American Petroleum Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers. CSE spent $5 million against Clinton's health care proposal, dogging the White House's nationwide bus tour with its own bus and rallies. For a 1997 campaign, CSE spent hundreds of thousands of dollars per week running radio ads in 20 markets against proposed new EPA air standards.

An internal CSE document obtained by The Washington Post in 2000 outlined the close correlation between corporate donations and issue advocacy.

Empower America was founded in 1993, after Bill Clinton's election to the presidency, as a kind of "shadow government" of policy advocacy, in the words of co-founder Jack Kemp, a former congressman and Housing secretary and future vice-presidential candidate. Gathering Kemp, Bush "drug czar" William Bennett, former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, The Wall Street Journal said the group "illustrates how such tax-exempt nonprofits have become safe harbors for elite figures in the conservative movement." Leading up to Kemp's 1996 bid, the group provided a "base" for him "to make $1 million to $2 million a year" giving speeches, and it played a key role in the Dole-Kemp campaign.

Its early activities included operating "candidate schools" for Republicans in the 1994 elections, running attack ads against Clinton's health plan, and opposing from the right an early Republican plan for welfare reform.

This fluff job from the NY Times magazine about Dick Armey actually tells you everything you need to know about what he's all about:

FreedomWorks and a related organization, the FreedomWorks Foundation, emerged in 2003 from the splintering and merging of several conservative groups and took their names from Armey’s longtime mantra “freedom works.” (The foundation’s board includes Steve Forbes, the former presidential candidate and longtime flat-tax advocate.) The organizations raised about $7 million from donors in 2008, most of it in large donations — including gifts of $1 million and $750,000. The organizations refuse to reveal the sources of their money. They have “not received a dime” from any health insurance or pharmaceutical interests, according to Brandon, but that is impossible to confirm because under I.R.S. rules, while the organizations must list donations of more than $5,000, they are not required to publicly disclose who made those bequests.

As we drove between stops in North Carolina, I asked Armey if it bothered him that he fit the profile of the proverbial Washington fat cat — the pol who steps down from office but stays around to cash in on his connections. “The fact of the matter is when you walk out of Congress, if you’ve been effective and kept your nose clean, you have a market value in D.C. that you don’t have anyplace else,” he said. “You’re a free man on your own hoof, so why not make the best living you can for yourself?”
That's your grassroots teabag movement that allegedly has the Republican establishment running scared. It is the Republican establishment. They and like minded corporate interests like News Corp are wisely infiltrating and investing in this "grassroots" organization. They don't leave anything to chance. If Marco Rubio wins in Florida, he'll know who his daddy is. They all will.


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