‘Independent’ Scott Brown Receives $178K From GOP Establishment

Scott Brown meets with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (Credit: AP)

Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) entire re-election campaign messaging is centered around his alleged independence — trying to sell him to Massachusetts voters as being for them and not a creature of his party. Given that Democrats enjoy about a 20-point advantage over Republicans in party leanings in the Bay State, Brown’s only hope for victory against Democrat Elizabeth Warren this November is successfully distancing himself from the unpopular national GOP establishment. But revelations about his coordination with the national party and a ThinkProgress examination of his campaign fundraising suggest the freshman Republican’s record does not match his rhetoric.

In his campaign kickoff last month, Brown boasted:

Once again I won’t have the political establishment behind me – not the one on Beacon Hill, and certainly not the one on Capitol Hill. All I will have going for me is my independent record as your United States Senator, and the independent spirit of the Massachusetts voter. I’ll take those advantages any day over the political machine, and with your help in this campaign we will beat the odds again together.

Brown has attempted to solidify his independence by taking credit for an agreement in which he and Warren agreed try to prevent outside groups from spending their money on independent expenditure advertisements. But according to a Huffington Post report, even that non-coordination agreement was a product of Brown campaign coordination with the top lawyer for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign (NRSC), the Washington, DC-based party committee charged with electing Republican candidates to the Senate. The Microsoft Word document files sent to reporters by the Brown campaign indicated that the NRSC counsel authored both the original version of the agreement and the cover letter.

This coordination between candidates and the national party committees is nothing unusual, but is hardly the benchmark of a candidate without the political establishment behind him.

Beyond just the logistical aid, the Brown campaign has received significant financial backing from the Republican establishment. The NRSC has already given Brown $43,100 — the legal maximum.

And it’s not the just party committee opening its wallet to back Brown; his campaign has received $134,500 from the leadership PACs of former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and 20 of his Senate Republican colleagues. That total includes $10,000 from Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (KY) Bluegrass Committee, $5,000 from Sen. Minority Whip Jon Kyl’s (AZ) Senate Majority Fund, and $10,000 from NRSC Chairman John Cornyn’s (TX) Alamo PAC.

Again–this sort of national party support is typical for a vulnerable member of either party. But, given Brown’s instance that he belongs not to the national GOP but to the Massachusetts voters, that level of “typical” is precisely the problem.