The Majority Project. So what does this group do that Senator Adelstein funds them so generously?
A pair of senior Senate Republicans lashed out at former Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) because of his association with a liberal 527 group that is trying to mount a permanent campaign against GOP Senators not currently facing re-election.Read the full article here. Read more about the Senate Majority here on their website.
Two GOP chairmen, Sens. Ted Stevens (Alaska) and Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), expressed their displeasure with Daschle because he was helping raise money for the Senate Majority Project, a 527 founded by Democratic operatives who have put both Stevens and Chambliss, as well as most of the Republican Conference, in its crosshairs in recent months.
Stevens, who first voiced his outrage to his GOP colleagues at their weekly luncheon, said in an interview that he considered sending a letter to Daschle to share his discontent - but ultimately opted against following through on the effort.
"I did draft one and I tore it up. I didn't want to sink to that level," the chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said.
The head of the Senate Majority Project, which launched last summer with the objective of keeping the heat on Senators who aren't up for election this year, said Stevens and Chambliss have directed their ire toward the wrong man.
"We are grateful for Sen. Daschle's inspiration and kind words for our efforts, but he's never had a bad thing to say personally about either Sen. Stevens or Sen. Chambliss as far as I know," said Mike Gehrke, executive director of the Senate Majority Project.
Daschle drafted a two-paragraph letter early last month on behalf of the organization but never mentioned any of his former GOP colleagues in the missive, which served as a cover sheet for a fundraising pitch penned by Jim Jordan, the former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and who co-founded the 527.
Gehrke said the bitter response from Stevens and Chambliss demonstrated that the Republicans are not used to facing constant attacks from Democrats.
Run on a relative shoe-string budget in 2005 - the Senate Majority Project raised just $185,000 last year from a handful of large donors, according to IRS records - the organization is trying to drum up a steady diet of negative stories about GOP Senators in their home states.
Its Web site contains many accusations of corruption against GOP Senators, including a shot at Bo Chambliss, the Georgian's son. Bo Chambliss lobbies for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, an entity with issues before the Senate Agriculture Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Chambliss.
Sen. Chambliss blasted Daschle for having "had the gall" to criticize him because his son is a lobbyist, when Daschle's wife, Linda, is a lobbyist as well.
"It was a pretty cheap shot," Chambliss said. "But, that's what you expect from Daschle."
Thune, who has been on the receiving end of some attacks from former Daschle aides in South Dakota, said the latest 527 activities are not being well received.
"I think the attacks are not consistent with what I think is the protocol and decorum that the United States Senate is all about," he said. Hildebrand said that Daschle was committed to helping Democrats win back the chamber.
"It's time to put the Senate back in Democratic control, and if this effort helps, he will fully support it," he said.
Now, I will concede to Chad that he may be correct about Daschle not having a direct input into the organization. But media reports seems to bear out that he's formed a PAC for the purpose of supporting it:
“Without a place like New Hampshire, to be frank, there is no way that a guy from a small state like me would ever have a shot to be president. If this were New York I simply would have a shot,” Daschle said. “I understand the need to have more diverse states to play a bigger role, but they can easily do that by being the third for fourth state.”
Ever since losing his re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2002, Daschle has gone on to form a political action committee backing the Senate Majority Project.
Read that all here. So, is supporting it with a PAC different than supporting it directly? I'm not sure. It may be different in the technical sense.
But regardless, he's supporting an organization whose sole goal is to turn Senate campaigns into a 24/7 campaign as opposed to a 6 year cycle. So as opposed to Republican Senators trying to be statesmen, and do the best for our country, they're being put in a position where planning for the future is much less important than avoiding being in the cross hairs.
My whole point to even mention in the first place a couple of posts ago was that the South Dakota Republican Party, and our own Republican US Senator John Thune has Stan Adelstein to thank for $10,000 worth of misery caused by this group.
And I hope they don't forget it. Ever.