A prominent conservative group is hiring a consulting firm which had been all but excommunicated by national Republicans at the behest of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last year.
The Club for Growth has yet to endorse in Kentucky’s GOP primary battle between McConnell and Tea Party-backed businessman Matt Bevin, but the group has said it is paying close attention to the race.
It now appears the Club is bucking the National Republican Senatorial Committee by working with the New Jersey-based firm Jamestown Associates, which McConnell’s aides had recently blacklisted.
From The Washington Post:
The Club announced Friday that it has added the group, Jamestown Associates, to its media production team. Jamestown has worked for the Club in the past, but the group said it will take on a bigger role this cycle.
Three months ago, the New York Times’s Jonathan Martin reported that the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which leads the GOP effort to win Senate seats, had been calling Republican Senate campaigns to dissuade them from hiring Jamestown. In doing so, it cited Jamestown’s work for the Senate Conservatives Fund, another group that often supports primary challengers and insurgent candidates.
Jamestown Associates was helping the Senate Conservative Fund, which has endorsed Bevin, run attacks ads against McConnell in his political backyard.
SCF is also working with two other media firms, Red Sea LLC and Target Enterprises. Asked if they’re discouraging Republican Senate campaigns from working with those companies as well, NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring told WFPL: “The free market is a wonderful thing.”
The NY Times piece laid out just how angry McConnell’s aides were with the SCF.
Former McConnell chief of staff Josh Holmes, who now works a senior adviser on the re-election campaign, described the group as “a drunk who tears up every bar,” but added McConnell is the type of person who “doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door.”
In response to the Club’s announcement, SCF grilled McConnell’s tactics and compared them to last year’s Internal Revenue Service scandal regarding tax-exempt conservative groups.
Bevin has been endorsed by other conservative groups such as Freedom Works and the Madison Project.