May 25, 2010


The Republican Party has planned two big initiatives this week. They are set to filibuster an extension of unemployment benefits for the tens of thousands of Americans who can't find work.

At the same time they've launched their rebranding effort ahead of the 2010 elections. The effort is called "America Speaking Out." It's a fairly expensive campaign with a new website, produced videos, integrated voting tools and an expensive set at the Newseum to launch the effort.

The whole thing would be fine and Democrats could just spend their time mocking the odd platform ideas (like repealing Section II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) if it was being paid for by a party committee like Michael Steele's RNC. Except that Republicans don't want Michael Steele anywhere close to their election platform. They decided to run the entire project from their minority offices in the House of Representatives.

That means that everyone reading Crooks & Liars is paying for the Republican Party's 2010 election re-branding efforts and helping foot the bill for the Party's platform in 2010.

They can't even claim that the effort isn't about the 2010 election. Kevin McCarthy, the NRCC's recruiter for 2010, said it was all about the 2010 elections in an appearance on ABC News this morning.

"There are a number of seats that you get just by being 'no,'" Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican spearheading the effort, told ABC News. "But you don't get a majority by just being 'no'. You've got to say what you're for."

Eric Cantor, the GOP's No. 2 in the House, said this about their new effort:

"Look, we understand we were fired in 2006 for a reason," Rep. Cantor said in an interview. "We have learned and we have grown. The election gives us a chance to say we get it."

Here's the deal. The RNC is going broke. The national committee is bleeding staff. The RNC's online operation is actually the worst political effort in politics at the moment, their website is actually still in Beta and they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to build it. They don't have the experience or the money to launch a Party re-branding effort. And Republicans in Congress hate and distrust Michael Steele. They don't want him to anywhere near their 2010 message.

And because of that taxpayers have to pay for the GOP's 2010 re-branding effort. By my estimation, the cost of the website, the video, the staff time, and the glitzy launch today at the museum may have cost taxpayers at least $100,000 -- and it's only the first day.

All that taxpayer money because the House Republicans don't trust Michael Steele and the RNC.

The Republican Party thanks you for bailing them out.

Can you help us out?

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