Republican money is raining on Massachusetts as the Republican Governors’ Association seeks to help perhaps the most liberal GOP gubernatorial candidate in America. And some Republican National Committee members, upset at this development, are asking RNC Chairman Michael Steele to refrain from committing RNC funds to the race.
The RGA, headed by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, has already spent more than $1 million attacking independent candidate Tim Cahill, a former Democrat who serves as the state’s treasurer. With incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick, D, considered weak, Cahill may be the biggest threat to a Republican victory in the race. He is also the most conservative candidate of the three.
“My bone to pick is with Haley Barbour,” said Iowa RNC Committeewoman Kim Lehman. “I don’t appreciate that he’s putting in so much time and energy [in Massachusetts]. It appears that he’s giving more than is necessary to this candidate. We’ve got another New York situation on our hands. When do you learn your lesson?”
Cindy Costa, a committeewoman from South Carolina, would not comment specifically on Barbour, but she similarly frowned upon the idea of sending any RNC money to Massachusetts. “There are limited resources, and that’s your job, to use your judgment and determine where all of the money goes.” she said. “Why would you make this race a priority?”
In Costa’s state, Republicans will struggle to hold the governor’s mansion after the shameful exit of Republican Gov. Mark Sanford. In Lehman’s, they are favored to seize the governors’ mansion from unpopular Democratic Gov. Chet Culver.
Lehman said that the overwhelming show of financial support for Baker makes the party appear hypocritical. “They raise money talking about conservative principles, and then they spend it on a candidate who doesn’t hold any of those principles,” she said. “This is the kind of activity that hurts our grassroots.