Mike Coffman Sells His Soul To The NRCC

Republican uber-strategist Karl Rove, Rep. Mike Coffman.

Republican uber-strategist Karl Rove, Rep. Mike Coffman.

A fascinating report in this morning’s Washington Post about a “contract” that a number of vulnerable Republican members of Congress have agreed to sign in order to obtain assistance in the upcoming elections from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC):

Two dozen House Republicans have agreed to privately detail their “legislative strategy” to party operatives, promising to offer “political justifications” for their goals in Congress.

The Daily 202 obtained a copy of the three-page contract that the National Republican Congressional Committee requires members to sign if they want to participate in its Patriot Program. The initiative, designed to protect potentially vulnerable incumbents, brings with it special attention and access to mounds of campaign cash. But strings are attached.

One of the 13 requirements is to submit an off-year “campaign plan” that includes: “Detailed, written legislative strategy that provides short-, intermediate-, and long-term legislative goals, including political justifications for those goals.”

“Be sure to include local issues unique to the district or region,” the contract says. “Complete a Patriot Policy Priorities worksheet to be used by NRCC staff to evaluate legislative priorities for the current Congress and to promote and advocate for those priorities where appropriate.”

Here’s a link to the contract obtained by the Washington Post. It should be noted that many of the provisions in this contract, like committing to fundraising targets and keeping off-year spending at a reasonable level, are common-sense campaign best practices that any smart political strategist would want candidates to abide by. Another provision requiring candidates to use vendors who meet the NRCC’s “standards,” meaning the NRCC’s handpicked vendors, is in fact quite dubious–but more to political insiders than the general public.

Where the NRCC’s contract gets truly dicey for its vulnerable incumbent signers, especially Colorado’s most vulnerable incumbent Congressman Mike Coffman, is the promise to detail “legislative goals” for NRCC staff to “evaluate.” Given that Rep. Coffman has tried as hard as he could to put daylight between himself and the Republican party line on issues like immigration reform, LGBT rights, and even abortion, having his legislative agenda pre-cleared by national Republicans makes Coffman’s “change of heart” since redistricting look as contrived as Democrats have always insisted it was from the beginning.

But at the end of the day, there’s got to be a return on, you know, “the investment.”

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. This could be dangerous for Coffman, but if he manages to strike the right balance, it could also be a big boon. The NRCC is almost certainly asking for these surveys to figure out if endangered Republicans are worth spending money on – not to find out just how conservative they are, but to find out if they can win in their districts.

    The chair of the NRCC is Rep. Greg Walden, who is a relative moderate in the Republican caucus, especially compared to Coffman (113th House DW-NOMINATE rankings, numbered liberal to conservative: Walden #252, Coffman #350). I'm thinking that a measured response by Coffman could do him worlds of good.

  2. DaftPunk says:

    Mike Coffman has a soul?

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    A fun little skip down memory lane…

  4. OrangeFree says:

    Campaigning wing of the party promises to support vulnerable candidate with politically motivated legislative strategy (i.e. getting a pass on supporting/proposing things that would be beneficial to winning the election, but that don’t necessarily line up with Party Doctrine) during election year, news at 11. 

    Sorry, this isn't some scandal. You can also guarantee the DSCC will be doing the same with Bennet. This is how politics works, folks. This shouldn't be a surprise to, well, anyone. 

  5. bullshit! says:

    Is Bill Cadman on the list of NRCC approved vendors? Hope he's getting a piece of the action.

  6. BlueCat says:

    Sorry. This strikes me as very "meh".

  7. Moderatus says:

    Let's make a list of all the special interests Morgan Carroll has sold HER soul to, shall we? Trial lawyers, abortionists, and unions. I guarantee they have gotten their commitments from Carroll or she wouldn't be in the race. Didn't Morgan have a big meeting in Washington right before she got into the race?

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Economics 101, supply and demand … the major's soul has no value, you pathetic commie!

    • BlueCat says:

      The trouble with the Johnny does it too argument? Whether true or false, two things: One, it takes as a given that whoever you are supposedly defending in this way is just as bad as Johnny, simply not worse.  Hardly an argument for against either party. Two, offering such a weak tea defense demonstrates that you've really got nothing better. Johnny does it too is always an argument for losers and whiners.

      Hope this cancels out our "agreement".

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