NRCC Blacklists Conservative Firm Jamestown for Fighting Republican Incumbents

House GOP campaign committee joins Senate counterpart in banning a company that targeted Mitch McConnell.

US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (C) of Kentucky, smiles as he speaks to the press with fellow Republican senators John Barrasso (L) of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas at the Capitol in Washington on August 2, 2011 after the Senate approved a plan to raise the debt ceiling. The Senate approved legislation to avert a disastrous debt default and cut trillions in government spending, sending the contentious bill to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Lawmakers voted 74-26 to pass the measure -- which cleared the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 269-161 margin a day earlier -- with just hours to spare before a midnight (0400 Wednesday) deadline. 
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Add to Briefcase
Alex Roarty
Jan. 15, 2014, 8:30 a.m.

Up­dated at 3:20 p.m.

The Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee has quietly black­lis­ted the con­ser­vat­ive polit­ic­al firm Jamestown As­so­ci­ates, ac­cord­ing to three sources with dir­ect know­ledge of the de­cision, an ap­par­ent pay­back for the group’s pre­vi­ous work tar­get­ing Sen­ate GOP in­cum­bents.

The NR­CC is the second ma­jor polit­ic­al com­mit­tee to ef­fect­ively ex­com­mu­nic­ate Jamestown from its op­er­a­tion, join­ing the Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Sen­at­ori­al Com­mit­tee, which an­nounced in Novem­ber that it would no longer work with the firm.

Un­like the NR­SC, however, the NR­CC — which made the move at the same time as its Sen­ate coun­ter­part — kept its de­cision a secret.

“Jamestown has made it very dif­fi­cult to sup­port their work and give them com­mit­tee busi­ness,” said one Re­pub­lic­an House cam­paign aide, who de­clined to speak on the re­cord.

The de­cision means that Jamestown will not be hired to work for the com­mit­tee’s luc­rat­ive in­de­pend­ent-ex­pendit­ure arm. And, ac­cord­ing to sources, the NR­CC has also dis­cour­aged in­di­vidu­al House cam­paigns from us­ing the firm. This is all likely to be a ma­jor fin­an­cial blow to Jamestown, which counts New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie among its cli­ents.

In ad­di­tion to the two Sen­ate and House polit­ic­al arms, sources also con­firm that the Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee has also cut off Jamestown — al­though be­cause the RNC doesn’t dole out con­tracts, its de­cision is far less con­sequen­tial. The New York Times also re­por­ted in Novem­ber that the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce would no longer work with the com­pany.

The ac­tions by the party’s of­fi­cial polit­ic­al ap­par­at­us — and per­haps its biggest in­de­pend­ent back­er — amount to de­cis­ive ac­tion from the Re­pub­lic­an Party es­tab­lish­ment against a com­pany it be­lieves has be­trayed the GOP. The con­tro­versy stems from Jamestown’s work with the Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund, a group that has tar­geted Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors in TV ads for their per­ceived un­will­ing­ness to de­fund and re­peal Obama­care.

The group has most ag­gress­ively at­tacked Sen­ate GOP Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, en­dors­ing his primary op­pon­ent and spend­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars in TV ads cri­ti­ciz­ing him. “It is stand­ard prac­tice for Re­pub­lic­an polit­ic­al com­mit­tees not to do busi­ness with vendors who work to elect Demo­crats, and this cycle SCF has of­fi­cially been clas­si­fied in the same cat­egory as Demo­crat cam­paign com­mit­tees,” one Re­pub­lic­an cam­paign of­fi­cial said.

The ac­tion will be con­tro­ver­sial. Con­ser­vat­ives had pre­vi­ously de­cried the NR­SC’s move as ar­bit­rary and thug­gish.

“SCF only sup­ports con­ser­vat­ive can­did­ates and we have nev­er sup­por­ted a Demo­crat,” said Matt Hoskins, SCF’s ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or. “The Re­pub­lic­an es­tab­lish­ment, however, votes with the Demo­crats and sup­ports can­did­ates who of­ten be­come Demo­crats when [they] lose to a con­ser­vat­ive in a primary. The Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship in Wash­ing­ton should be black­list­ing them­selves for help­ing the Demo­crats en­act their lib­er­al agenda.”

Rep­res­ent­at­ives for Jamestown As­so­ci­ates did not im­me­di­ately re­turn re­quests for com­ment.

A spokes­wo­man for the NR­CC, An­drea Bozek, de­clined to com­ment on the re­port.

“We don’t dis­cuss in­tern­al con­ver­sa­tions with vendors pub­licly,” she said.

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