Tea Party and the Right  
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Hating Karl Rove: Not Just For Liberals Anymore

With his new Conservative Victory Project, Rove seeks to knock off Tea Party candidates in GOP primaries. Tea Party leaders are crying treason.

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“In any logical universe, the architects of the 2012 disaster -- establishment Republican consultants such as Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, Romney campaign senior adviser Stewart Stevens and pollster Neil Newhouse would never be hired to run or consult on a national campaign again and no one would give a dime to their ineffective Super PACs (such as American Crossroads or its new mini-me, the deceptively named “Conservative Victory project”).

A commenter on the site noted: “Ironic that the purpose of the Conservative Victory Project is to keep conservatives off the ballot.”

At FreedomWorks, itself riven with intrigues (the acorn falling not far from the tree), President Matt Kibbe issued a statement, saying of the new venture:

“The Empire is striking back.  A clear pattern has emerged, beginning with the GOP leadership’s efforts to silence delegates on the floor of the RNC, continuing with House Leadership's purge of fiscally conservative congressmen from their committee positions for voting out of line with the GOP establishment. Now, an Orwellian-named ‘Conservative Victory Project’ is created with the sole operating mission of blocking the efforts of fiscally conservative activists across the country.

Tea Party Express honcho Sal Russo sent out a fundraising e-mail blast (apparently sent from his phone), the group’s second on the Rove project in the last two days, announcing:

We were so enraged by this new Super PAC created to destroy us, that we decided to take our fight to the belly of the beast and submitted an Op-Ed to Washington D.C.'s The Hill and they publis (sic). 


But as much as they play underdog to Rove’s deep-pocketed establishmentarians, Tea Partiers are not without their resources. The Koch brothers add more billions to their net worth every year, which they use to support a bevy of right-wing organizations, including the Tea Party-allied Americans For Prosperity, whose leadership is said to be mulling a more direct role in Republican primaries than its traditional issue-based advertising. (For the $140 million spent by AFP in the 2012 election cycle -- some of it to pay for free gas for voters it hoped to woo -- the group didn’t get much for its money.)

Then there’s the Club for Growth. A recent article by Politico’s Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen illustrated that group’s role in helping the most right-wing candidates in GOP primaries with infusions of cash. As an example, the reporters tell the story of Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who went on to win his primary after receiving a FedEx mailer from the Club, stuffed with $300,000 in checks, all unsolicited donations.

Of the Rovian Conservative Victory Project, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola told NewsMax, a right-wing outlet:

“I think there might be some money that is wasted because the question isn’t why Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost — we know why they lost,” said Chocola in an exclusive interview on Monday. “The question is really why did Heather Wilson in New Mexico, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Denny Rehberg in Montana, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, George Allen in Virginia and Linda Lingle in Hawaii — why did they lose?”

The names in that second list? All supported by American Crossroads.


Adele M. Stan is a journalist based in Washington, D.C., who specializes in covering the intersection of religion and politics. She is RH Reality Check's senior Washington correspondent.