Today's DNC push comes on the heels of the DNC's release of a document laying out what it says are the plans of the "Republican Tea Party," among them repealing the health care bill, privatizing Social Security, ending Medicare in its current form, extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and abolishing the Departments of Education and Energy. They call the 10-point platform the "Republican Tea Party Contract on America."First, thanks to the DNC for letting us know which Republicans are causing them a few sleepless nights. Second, this reeks of desperation particularly in light of mounting evidence Democrats have also been actively working to get a few "tea party" spoilers listed on the ballot. Perhaps it is no coincidence Pat Meehan was not listed as that might call attention to Dem shenanigans in the PA-07 Congressional race.
(Most Republicans do support repealing the health care bill and extending all the Bush tax cuts, though the other positions here have far more limited support within the party.)
The DNC is including the "Republican Tea Party Contract on America" in its release to reporters. The Republicans being targeted are Jon Barela , Lou Barletta , Richard "Rick" Berg , Scott Bruun , Steve Chabot , Keith Fimian , Mike Fitzpatrick , Thomas Ganley , Tim Griffin , David Harmer, Randy Hultgren , George Kelly Jr. , Joe Heck , Adam Kinzinger , Kristi Noem , James Renacci , Steve Pearce , Jon Runyan , Steve Stivers , Todd Young , Brad Zaun, Eric Cantor, Joseph Cao, Michael Castle, John Boehner, Mario Diaz-Balart, Charles Dent, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, and Mark Kirk.
Democrats are also vowing to spend August pressing Republicans to "stand with or stand up to the Tea Party" in press conferences, advertising and online, according to the DNC's Hoffine.
Democratic tea party shenanigans extend beyond Pennsylvania however to a number of races that are expected to be close contests and may well determine which party controls the House. From Politico:
The accusations range from helping tea party activists circulate candidate petition sheets to underwriting the creation of official tea parties, which then put forth slates of candidates that local conservatives accuse of being rife with Democratic plants.Politico also reports on shenanigans in New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District where former Eagle tackle Jon Runyan is challenging John Adler:
In all of the affected races, the outcome is expected to be close enough that a third-party candidate who wins just a few percentage points could end up swinging the outcome to the Democratic congressman or candidate…
[T]he evidence of campaign tampering in at least two states is hard to dismiss. In Michigan, the party chairman in suburban Detroit’s Oakland County now concedes that one of his top aides played a role in helping nine tea party candidates get onto the ballot for various offices across the state — including the open 1st Congressional District and the 7th Congressional District, held by vulnerable freshman Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer.
Runyan’s aides began looking into the background of New Jersey tea party candidate Peter DeStefano after Adler’s campaign released an internal poll that showed DeStefano drawing 12 percent of the vote. Local conservatives were also miffed that most of DeStefano’s conservative firepower seemed unusually directed toward Runyan, rather than the Democrat Adler.Surprise, surprise accusations of shenanigans in Florida are linked to Alan Grayson. Fox Nation reported back in June allegations Grayson had connections to at least one fake tea party candidate. Politico outlines the supposed "in-fighting" between tea party factions that ensued since connections to Grayson were discovered among a few candidates running under the Tea Party label. Florida, however, has yet to hold its' primary election. I would expect serious tea party voters to unite behind the candidate who wins the GOP nomination to unseat Alan Grayson.
In the course of the Runyan campaign’s research, aides discovered that one of the signatures on DeStefano’s ballot petition turned out to be of a former Adler campaign aide.
They also took note that DeStefano switched his voter registration from Republican to Democrat in April and then switched it again to unaffiliated just days before the state primary. As in Michigan, DeStefano’s low profile with the news media also became viewed as a sign that he was a shadow candidate.
Da TechGuy made a valid point yesterday, "Actually this is a very old political hardball tactic, not much different than Limbaugh’s “operation chaos“. But as Politico notes, "in this case, some Democrats appear to be in cahoots with ideological adversaries whose ideas they hope to use as weapons against Republicans in the fall." As the JournoList media now have their marching orders it might be useful for targeted Republican candidates to laugh off questions whether they stand with the tea party and to question which Dem Tea Party strategy is in play.