Skip to comments.Conservatives seethe after attacks from allies of Boehner
Posted on 03/21/2015 1:47:50 PM PDT by iowamark
Conservatives are seething after an outside group aligned with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) spent hundreds of thousands of dollars targeting a trio of Republican lawmakers over threats to shut down the Department of Homeland Security.
Tea Party Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) equated the attack ads to GOP cannibalism, while his conservative colleague Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) called them a stupid tactic that would backfire.
American Action Network, a nonprofit whose board includes former Boehner chief of staff Barry Jackson, launched the $300,000 ad campaign earlier this month with TV spots depicting terrorists and accusing GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Tim Huelskamp (Kansas) and Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) of putting our security at risk.
The campaign also included national ads on conservative talk radio, including shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and on digital ads in the district of nine other House Republicans.
The non-election year ad buy was a shot across the bow to the newly formed House Freedom Caucus, a bloc of nearly 40 conservative rebels led by Jordan who refused to compromise on a DHS funding bill that didnt include defunding of President Obamas executive actions on immigration.
Boehner has done his best to distance himself from the AAN ads. His spokesman Kevin Smith pointed out that members of Congress are prohibited by law from coordinating with outside political groups like AAN and added that the Speaker does not think these ads attacking fellow Republicans are appropriate and strongly believes in Ronald Reagans 11th Commandment.
But that did little to mollify conservative hardliners who see the Speakers fingerprints all over the ad campaign.
Aside from Boehners ex-chief, the AAN board is loaded with GOP establishment allies, including former Republican National Committee chief of staff Mike Shields; Fred Malek, a former aide to Presidents Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush; former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.).
It looks like cannibalism by leadership to me. I mean, when you go after your own people, what else would you call that? said King, one of the most vocal advocates for defunding President Obamas executive actions on immigration.
These are Republican resources. They're being used against Republicans? And then he wants unity? the Iowa Republican asked incredulously of Boehner.
GOP leaders, with Democratic help, eventually passed a clean funding bill avoiding a shutdown.
But conservatives argued that they had not only weathered the attacks theyve emerged stronger, receiving hundreds of phone calls and thousands in donations from conservatives supporting their stand.
These ads made heroes out of the guys they were attacking, said Bridenstine spokeswoman Sheryl Kaufman.
At least one group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, has raised more than $90,000 for Huelskamp, Bridenstine and Jordan in response to the AAN campaign.
And Salmon, a perennial thorn in Boehners side, said the AAN campaign did little more than infuriate conservatives who were already fuming at the Speaker for caving.
Its kind of like taking someone whos beating you in a boxing match and throwing something in their eyes just to piss them off. It didnt accomplish anything except to make people angry, the Arizona Republican told The Hill in an interview.
It just seems stupid. Stupid politically. A gratuitous slap in the face with no real point.
But other GOP sources said the howls from conservatives about intraparty warfare were highly hypocritical. The Club for Growth has financed numerous primary challenges against sitting GOP members. And SCF launched a campaign to try to oust Boehner from power in January.
AAN spokesman Dan Conston was unapologetic about the ads and wouldnt rule out running more ads against fellow Republicans in upcoming fiscal fights to back center-right policies.
Other recent AAN ads havent been negative. After Congress passed the bill averting a DHS shutdown, the nonprofit spent $525,000 in ads thanking GOP lawmakers for voting for the $40 billion package. And the group recently launched a new campaign urging members to pass the fiscal 2016 GOP budget authored by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.).
This was all about tactics. We are all conservatives who believe that the Obama administrations executive order is unconstitutional and we were all looking for the best way to keep DHS open while fighting Obama in the courts, Conston said.
American Action Network is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that doesn't have to publicly disclose its donors. But according to OpenSecrets.org, some of its biggest donors include the American Petroleum Institute; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; and the Karl Rove-affiliated Crossroads GPS.
The DHS ads, however, only reinforced conservatives dim view and distrust of GOP leadership and the establishment.
Huelskamp even claimed that Boehner avoided eye contact when they passed on the House floor the day the ads were announced.
He just walked by, he didn't have a comment. 'Cause I was waiting to ask him about it, Huelskamp said. In Kansas, we wouldn't do that. In my family, if you've got a problem with someone, you have the wherewithal to take it up with them.
GOP leaderships retaliation may not just extend to the ads. King said he received a notice from the Speakers office that his approval for a trip to Egypt this month to meet with the countrys president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had been revoked just hours before his flight was set to depart. No other lawmaker on the congressional delegation received the same cancellation notice.
He ended up going on the trip anyway using his own money and literally reached into my kids inheritance.
By now, King, whos led the charge against many leadership initiatives, doesnt see much use in trying to confront Boehner about it in person.
At some point, what is the point? Private conversations don't count for much sometimes when you've got that kind of thing going on. You might as well just have a conversation through the press, King told The Hill.
The Speakers office declined to comment. But top Republican aides said King shouldnt expect any more federally funded travel.
Members earn the right to go on taxpayer-funded travel. Those rewards arent going to be handed out to members who oppose the broader GOP team on a regular basis, especially those whove previously asked the leaders to bail them out to keep their seat, a House GOP leadership aide said, referring to campaign committee help King got in his tough 2012 reelection.
Other conservatives havent been targeted, but theyre still sounding off about what they see as unfair attacks on members who are voting their conscience.
Why are we up here? Are we up here to be puppets for special interests and the Speaker of the House? a furious Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) said just outside the Speakers lobby. Were not puppets!
He don't care.
I predict that the NEXT Republican party will be called the ‘Cruzers’
Bolosi is killing us! Time for a new speaker.
Boehner has got to go before 2016.
It ain’t gonna be easy to set things right. The status quo numbskulls are well entrenched, organized and motivated.
The stakes couldn’t be higher; patriots have to be willing to go the distance - endurance is the key.
Norm Coleman? No freaking way.
God only knows what he has done while wasted.
God and Obama.
By earning, he meanings representing Boehner as opposed to constituents.
Boehner is an ass. Obama pisses on him and he pisses on his "underlings." Makes him feel like a man, I guess.
Apparently conservatives are not mad enough to support one of their
own as Speaker. More hot air for their home districts. Nothing more.
From the article: “But other GOP sources said the howls from conservatives about intraparty warfare were highly hypocritical. The Club for Growth has financed numerous primary challenges against sitting GOP members. And SCF launched a campaign to try to oust Boehner from power in January.”
Naturally they fight Apples with rotten tomatoes. Compare Apples with Apples, and they have no argument.
This isn’t a campaign. The campaign season is over. These RINO’s are wrong again.
The Pelosi-Boehner team is up in arms against true Americans
Divorce is the key. If ever a third party was needed.................
So-called conservatives SEEM to be all Hat no Cattle..
All mouth no gitalong...
MOST conservatives seem to be FROZEN WITH FEAR..
Proof: Boehner was just (strongly) re-elected as speaker..
by the representatives THEY ELECTED..
wondering if most “conservatives” are RINO’s....
seems so.... that conservatives are not very conservative..
UNLESS.. conservative means..... SAME OLD, SAME OLD...
The SOSO Party.. Conservative must mean Severe Apathetic Don’t bother me..
-OR- a pathological appeaseOgasm..
Running ads against conservatives was the last straw for me. After MS and Cromnibus they have made it clear they side with Democrats over conservatives. Screw the GOP.
The sooner the GOP dies, the better.
I cannot name one issue Boehner has fought for.
He spends his time and wastes his position as Speaker trying to bring down the members of the GOP caucus who dare disagree with him.
He will not take on Obama or Pelosi because he does not have the courage to do so. The only battles in which he will engage our battles against the GOP caucus. Those are the only battles can win. He is like a sixth-grade sissy boy picking on second graders, because he knows the other six graders will beat the crap out of him.
And yet [most] GOP House members line up behind him and his giant white flag. The sad thing is not one of them realizes 2016 is. We will have a Democrat president, Senate, and House. They have forgotten the very same people who gave them the majority can take it away. It will happen in 2016.
"while wasted"? When's he ever been sober? I mean, the poor sot's so full of booze, when he ever goes to his eternal reward let's hope they don't do a Viking Funeral; the boat'll burn for days.
I've reached the point where I'd rather have a dem as president than a backstabber. Unless we get a constitutional conservative president, we're going down for sure as a nation. Better sooner than later.
Better to have an enemy in front of you than a backstabber in back of you. Speaking of which...
There is no political solution in Obola’s America.
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