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Republican Party Spends Over $2 Million Fighting Tea Party Challenges To GOP Establishment

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"Republican Party Spends Over $2 Million Fighting Tea Party Challenges To GOP Establishment"

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Michael SteeleDespite a promise by RNC Chairman Michael Steele earlier this year that the “Republican Party will not to meddle in local races — especially GOP primaries featuring candidates backed by Tea Party activists,” the GOP appears to be focused on centrally planning their candidates. According to a report by ThinkProgress using Federal Elections Committee data, Republican political action committees controlled by current GOP members of Congress have spent at least $2,162,790 on establishment-picked candidates in primaries against tea party candidates:

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $215,000 to establishment-backed Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) in his Senate primary against tea party candidates Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee. Bennett ultimately lost his seat to his tea party challengers, and Lee triumphed over Bridgewater in the run-off in June.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $72,500 to establishment-backed former Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) in his Senate primary over tea party candidate state Sen. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN). Coats defeated Stutzman.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $124,000 to establishment-backed former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton (R-CO) in her Senate primary against tea party candidate Ken Buck. Buck is currently leading Norton in the polls.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $92,700 to establishment-backed former Republican Charlie Crist (I-FL) in his Senate primary over tea party candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL).

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $50,500 to establishment-backed Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) in his Senate primary over tea party candidate Patrick Hughes.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $85,000 to establishment-backed Trey Grayson (R-KY) in his Senate primary against tea party candidate Rand Paul (R-KY). Paul easily trounced Grayson in the primary.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $88,500 to establishment-backed Carly Fiorina (R-CA) in her Senate primary against tea party candidate Chuck DeVore. Fiorina defeated DeVore in the primary.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $137,500 to establishment-backed former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in her Senate primary against tea party candidate Ovide Lamontagne.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $34,500 to establishment-backed Martha Roby (R-AL) in her House primary against tea party candidate Roy Barber. Barber, who has gained national attention with his advertising, faces Roby in July.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $75,500 to establishment-backed Vaughn Ward (R-ID) in his House primary against tea party candidate Raul Labrador. Labrador upset Ward, despite being heavily outspent.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $21,000 to establishment-backed state Sen. Robert Hurt (R-VA) in his House primary against tea party candidates Ken Boyd, Laurence Verga, Jim McKelvey and others. Hurt defeated his challengers, but local tea parties and McKelvey are refusing to endorse him.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $28,500 to establishment-backed Tim Johnson (R-NC) in his House primary against tea party candidate Tim D’Annunzio. Johnson heads into a run-off with D’Annunzio today.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $5,000 to establishment-backed former U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan (R-PA) in her House primary against tea party candidate Keith Rothfus. Rothfus, despite being outspent, scored an upset against Buchanan by a wide margin.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $2,500 to establishment-backed Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) in his House primary against tea party candidate Trey Gowdy. Inglis lost a in landslide to Gowdy.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $20,750 to establishment-backed Rep. Parker Griffith (R-AL) in his House primary against tea party candidate Mo Brooks. Although he was quickly embraced by the GOP establishment after his party switch, Griffith was rejected by Alabama Republican primary voters in favor of Brooks.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $22,000 to establishment-backed state Sen. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS) in his House primary against tea party candidates Henry Ross and Angela McGlowan. Nunnelee avoided a run-off by edging our his tea party opponents.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $51,000 to establishment-backed Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R-NY) in her House primary against tea party candidate Doug Hoffman. The National Republican Campaign Committee also spent roughly $900,000 in support of Scozzafava’s failed bid.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $45,500 to establishment-backed Stephen Fincher (R-TN) in his House primary against tea party candidates Ron Kirkland, George Flinn, and Donn Janes. Fincher heads into a primary later this summer.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $51,500 to establishment-backed former Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) in his House primary against tea party candidate Jennifer Horn.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $15,500 to establishment-backed Scott Rigell (R-VA) in his House primary against tea party candidate Ben Loyola and others. Rigell won his election with 40% of the Republican primary vote, suggesting that Republican voters have not coalesced around his candidacy.

– Establishment Republican PACs contributed $23,840 to establishment-backed Larry Bucshon in his House primary against tea party candidate Kristi Risk. Buchson edged out Risk 32% to 29%.