GOP Cuts Its Losses — Yanks Funding for 'Putin's Favorite Congressman' Dana Rohrabacher

Paul Ryan’s SuperPAC is declining to spend money to support 15 term incumbent Dana Rohrabacher.

Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

This is to die for. Check this out.

2 Orange County GOP incumbents were just dumped overboard by Ryan's SuperPAC. Dana Rohrabacher & Mini Walters are now seen as dead in the water & sure losers. Congratulations @KatiePorterOC & @HarleyRouda. OC voters understand Dana & Mimi are total Trump rubber-stamps. TRIAGE!

— Howie Klein (@downwithtyranny) October 13, 2018

That’s the gist of it, and with good voter turn out, that’s how it will go down. Politico puts both races, Rohrabacher and Walters in the toss up category, which is simply wonderful. They both need to go down the tubes, “Putin’s greatest congressional ally” Rohrabacher, most especially.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, Paul Ryan’s SuperPAC, is declining to spend money to support 15 term incumbent Dana Rohrabacher and 3 term incumbent Mimi Walters, both of Orange County, CA-48 and CA-45, respectively. That’s because the Los Angeles media market is the second most expensive market in the country, behind New York, and the ad rates are exorbitant. So, that translates as one of two things: either the GOP believes that Rohrabacher and Walters are shoo-ins, and the polls sure as hell don’t reflect that, or they’ve decided to cut their losses. And they’re not the only ones the GOP has given up on. Los Angeles Times:

The GOP has already cut loose several incumbents, including Reps. Mike Coffman in the Denver suburbs and Mike Bishop in southern Michigan.

“Republicans are taking a cold-blooded look at races to decide where to put resources and where to withdraw resources to put somewhere else,” said Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan election analyst who has spent decades sizing up campaigns.

On Friday, the super PAC launched an additional $5-million ad campaign on the main broadcast stations in Los Angeles, the nation’s second most expensive media market after New York.

But the fund’s opening broadcast ads support only two of the four Republican candidates in the Southland’s hardest-fought races: Rep. Steve Knight of Palmdale and Young Kim of Fullerton, relegating its Rohrabacher and Walters ads to cable channels with fewer viewers.

Young Kim’s race against against Gil Cisneros in CA-39 Is also a toss up and CA-25, Democrat Katie Hill versus incumbent Steve Knight is marked by Politico as leaning Democrat. These are glad tidings.

As to Rohrabacher, this has been a tough year in which he’s lost full party support and narrowly beat a Republican contender in the primary. And that’s not the half of it. Protesters have shown up at his home and district office, and the Mueller probe has not exactly made life breezy. As you recall, Kevin McCarthy said, “There are two people I’m pretty sure are on Putin’s payroll. One is Trump and the other is Dana Rohrabacher.” Rohrabacher is in Putin’s pocket. Here’s a map and all roads lead to Rohrabacher.

A warning from the FBI in 2012

Los Angeles Times:

FBI agents sat Rohrabacher down in the Capitol and warned him that a Russian spy was trying to recruit him as an “agent of influence” — someone the Russian government might be able to use to steer policymaking.

When the New York Times first reported the meeting in Mayamid swirling accusations about Russia’s election meddling, Rohrabacher said he appreciated the warning but didn’t need it.

“Any time you meet a Russian member of their Foreign Ministry or the Russian government, you assume those people have something to do with Russian intelligence,” he told the newspaper.

Politico:

For Rohrabacher, who often boasts about having literally gone to Afghanistan and fought the Soviets alongside the Afghan mujahedeen, the role of pro-Russia congressman is a dramatic change. He was a White House speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, and in the 1990s he famously arm-wrestled Putin, then a lowly deputy mayor, in a Washington dive bar.

Ever since, Rohrabacher’s transformation from Cold Warrior to Kremlin champion has puzzled colleagues. In Rohrabacher’s telling, Americans have gratuitously antagonized Russia instead of seeking common ground against greater threats from China and Islamic terrorism. That worldview has made him a fixture in Russian state media.

“Rohrabacher, who comes from this Reaganite background, has totally been turned around,” Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a non-partisan think tank, said. “Rohrabacher has been on this soapbox for many years and it's considered outside the norm."

It’s the new norm for the Trump administration, Russia First. McCarthy was right. Rohrabacher is on Putin’s payroll, and that’s what accounts for the turn around from Cold Warrior to Kremlin crony and Putin sycophant.  Rohrabacher needs to go and it looks like that time is now. Maybe the GOP thinks so, too.

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