The Spectacle Blog

NRCC to Ellmers: You’re On Your Own

By on 11.5.10 | 10:09AM

Via the Examiner's J.P. Freire, it appears the National Republican Congressional Committee (a.k.a., "The Establishment") is perfectly happy with the 60+ House seats they've gained and don't feel the need to assure that Tea Party candidate Renee Ellmers keeps her victory over incumbent Rep. Bob "Who Are You?" Etheridge in North Carolina's 2nd District. She reported yesterday on her blog:

Election night, after the ten counties in my district had reported their votes, I led Bob Etheridge by 2,100 votes. (That number is crucial because under North Carolina law Congressman Etheridge is not entitled to an ‘automatic recount' if he trails by more than 1% - or 1,888 votes.)

Then, yesterday afternoon - unexpectedly - the vote totals changed. The State Board of Elections reported my lead had dropped to 1,600 votes. Two hours later Bob Etheridge announced he intended to call for a recount.

As a result, last night my campaign began hiring attorneys - eleven attorneys in all. One in each county to monitor each recount and an attorney to work with the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

Right now, our best estimate of the minimum cost we face is $50,000. But, of course, my campaign spent every penny we had before the election.

Yesterday, we appealed to the National Republican Congressional Committee for support, asking if they could contribute to help pay the costs of this recount. Their answer, unfortunately, was, No - that we would have to raise the money to pay for the recount ourselves.

I was afraid that would be their answer. Months ago, I went to Washington and asked the National Republican Congressional Committee and many conservative leaders to help my campaign. Many conservative groups - like the Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women of America, Freedom Works, and Sarah Palin's Sarah PAC all helped, but the NRCC declined. Later, they did support other campaigns in North Carolina - which, unfortunately, lost - but we never received their support. In fact, their spokesman told the press "that the campaign wasn't ready for prime time" - which actually made it even harder for us to raise money. So, I am doubtful we will get support from the NRCC to help with the expense of the recount.

The NRCC really misread who the vulnerable Democrats were here in North Carolina. They thought Mike McIntyre, Heath Shuler, and Larry Kissell -- all of whom voted against Obamacare and cap-and-trade -- were the right targets, and they were to a degree, but not while ignoring longtime incumbent Etheridge. Those other three won while Ellmers holds a slim lead over Etheridge.

As of Election Day the Center for Responsive Politics reports the NRCC has more than $11 million in cash-on-hand. I know that's not an earth-shattering amount, but can they be serious that they can't spare $50,000 to at least help one of their own assure her victory?

Maybe Ellmers just embarrassed them too much by her showing, so they're willing to throw her overboard.

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