More Ineptitude from Pete Sessions: Earmarks and Recruiting Failures


This has not been a good past 48 hours for National Republican Campaign Committee chair Pete Sessions. In fact the past two days have been horrible. Perhaps Sessions should fly out to Vegas for one of his risque fundraisers . Badump Tish

First The earmarks flap

Then the recruiting flap where he fails to get top prospect John McKinley to take on Jim Himes (CT-04).

And now we are finding out there are all kinds of holes in his Young Guns Project . Well if you call it Young Guns – not sure that some of his catches count as “Young”.

Keep up the good work Pete and you might be left with just the wignuttiest of the wignuttery in Congress. No complaints here. But the NRCC might want to second guess its decision to put you in charge. Well you are probably taking the rest of the boys to Vegas for another Leadership PAC fundraiser so I’m sure they are just looking forward to a couple of lap dances and craps.

1. Strike One

According to Pete

earmarks have become “a symbol of a broken Washington to the American people

So it’s probably no surprise that He doesn’t tell us on his website that in 2008 he steered 1.6 million to a company doing some research on a blimp. The company has no experience in government contracts, no experience in building airships or blimps and it just by the way employed a former Sessions staffer as a lobbyist. And the best part that former staffer turned lobbyist has a criminal record.

Oh and by the way this father son team (The Fergusons) that own this company – contributed $5,000 to Sessions Leadership Pac in 2007.

Wonder if they were at the Vegas Risque fundraiser.

And not only was this former staffer Plesha convicted on a gun charge but he also has a criminal record from some FEC violations related to lying to investigators about creating some false mailers.

Oh and see Pete here while Jeff Flake talks about earmarks today

2. Strike Two

Sessions announced on Tuesday

There are people proactively coming to us. We are doing far less recruiting and more catching.”

That’s a day before

“Republicans’ hopes of ousting freshman Democrat Jim Himes in Connecticut’s 4th District suffered a serious blow, as heavily recruited GOP state legislator John McKinney has taken himself out of the running.” [CQ Politics, 7/30/09]

Maybe you should be doing more recruiting then Pete.

3. Strike Three

Oh and then we just found out from this article that Sessions thinks that Mississipi State Senator Alan Nunnelee (see below) is running in Alabama against Freshman Parker Griffith (AL-05). h/t to Left in Alabama for this discovery

A few top candidates who entered their races in the last month have yet to be placed on the list but could be soon. Sessions said, for instance, that Alabama state Sen. Alan Nunnelee, who just announced he would challenge Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.), would soon be a part of the program.

Way to be on top of it sport. Nunnelee has announced to run against Blue Dog Travis Childers (MS-01). The one that the NRCC ran the same candidate against in a Special Election and then a few months later again in the General and lost both times.

Not sure that this Nunellee guy (see below) really qualifies as a “Young Gun” either


But as Swing State Project points out that being young is not really a requirement of the “Young Guns” program

And let’s leave aside the issue of calling 62 year-old Steve Pearce and 56 year-old Steve Chabot “Young Guns” for the moment.

You are outtttttttttttt of there buddy. See ya in Vegas.  

How’d the NRCC Do?

Back in September, the NRCC was talking some big talk:

The committee is expecting recruits to emerge soon against Reps. Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), David Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), who are all without major committee-recruited GOP challengers. All but Barrow are freshmen.

The NRCC is meeting with potential candidates against Murphy and Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), another freshman without a major opponent.

Meanwhile, Indiana Republicans have been anxiously awaiting word from former Rep. Mike Sodrel (R), who is rumored to be in for a fourth straight match-up with Hill. And Iraq veteran Wayne Mosley, an orthopedic surgeon, has been mentioned as a potential challenger to Barrow.

How did Tom Cole and his merry crew fare with recruitment? Tell us in comments.

The Year of Republican Recruiting Debacles

These are just a few of my favorite bits of Republican misfortune this year. I’m sure you can think of more.

  • VA-Sen: A seat your party holds in a purple-trending state somewhat unexpectedly opens up. The good news is that you have an ideal successor, ready-to-go. He’s won hard-fought elections, cultivated a “moderate” record, and has tons of cash in the bank. What do you do? Well, obviously, if you are the modern Republican Party, you tell him to fuck off. Congrats and thanks to the VA GOP for running Tom Davis out of town by cancelling their primary and scheduling a wingnut festival instead.
  • NY-19: The gall! The unmitigated gall! How could a Democrat ever dare to represent Westchester! Why, such things just aren’t done! Well, of course they are (after all, a Dem represents the 18th), but so said the NY GOP after 2006. So they set their sights on Rep. John Hall and rallied around uber-rich self-funder Andrew Saul. Only problem: After months of gangbusters fundraising, it turns out Saul’s up to his ears in ethics violations – and now out of the race. A Republican engaging in corruption? Why, such things just aren’t done!
  • NJ-07: Here’s a job no Republican wants: food-taster for Markos Moulitsas. Here’s another job no Republican wants, either: United States Representative for New Jersey’s Seventh Congressional District. Within just a single day of this seat opening up, Tom Kean, Jr., Jon Bramnick and Bob Franks all took a pass. Three up, three down, end of the inning. Better luck in the next frame, compadres.
  • OH-15: First there was Jim Petro. But Petro said no. Then there was Steve Stivers. But Stivers said no. Then there was Jim Hughes, but Jim Hughes said no. Then there was Greg Lashutka but Lashutka said no. Then, there was… three months of silence. And finally, Steve Stivers decided he was fer it after he was agin’ it, undoubtedly after Tom Cole twisted his arm 180 degrees behind his back. Hint to Republicans: Money won’t spring loose if you shove it the full 360. Nor will victory.
  • CT-02: The NRCC called him a “heavyweight.” Thing is, Mike Tyson is also a heavyweight. No, Sean Sullivan doesn’t sport any facial tattoos, but he might as well be wearing a scarlet letter, given how unloved he is these days in DC. “Persona non grata,” declared one insider after Sully scraped together a miserable $25K in the second quarter. Personally, I prefer another Latin phrase: bigus dickus. Good luck, skipper.

Crumb-bums will be crumb-bums; they can’t help it – it’s just in their nature.