Morning Reads For October 31, 2014: Gov’t Spends 30k on Starbucks, Walden On The Road, Democrats’ Dirty Tricks

October 31, 2014


Good morning and welcome to NRCC Morning Reads for Halloween 2014.

That’s One Expensive Pumpkin Spice Latte:

The Washington Post‘s Colby Itkowitz is out this morning with a piece detailing an NBC-4 Washington investigation into why government employees put $30,000 worth of Starbucks merchandise on a government credit card:

‘Federal employees issued so-called purchase cards are permitted to spend up to $3,000 — known as “micropurchases” — and do not have to disclose those purchases publicly.

‘A House Oversight subcommittee held a congressional hearing earlier this month on misuses of the government credit card, asking why federal employees were swiping the card for seemingly personal things like hair cuts, gym memberships and movie tickets.

‘Scott MacFarlane, investigative reporter at NBC-4 Washington, discovered through Freedom of Information Act requests, that Department of Homeland Security employees put $30,000 of Starbucks on the cards in 2013. Agency employees spent about $12,000 at one Starbucks in Alameda, Calif., and several of those purchases were for just under the $3,000 “micropurchase” threshold, which means they can avoid scrutiny.”

The NRCC has been at the forefront of alerting voters to just what government is spending our money on. Last week, we told you about Sen. Tom Coburn’s “Waste Book,” a document that details the “Swedish massages for rabbits” and “stoner musicals” on which your tax dollars are spent.

Walden On The Road In Syracuse:

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden has been crisscrossing the country for the last two years on behalf of candidates and members. As the campaign season winds down, Walden was in Syracuse in support of Republican candidate John Katko. Walden was joined by NRCC Deputy Chairman Lynn Westmoreland, Georgia Congressman Tom Price, and New York Congressman Chris Collins. Katko is facing off against incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei on Tuesday and Robert Harding of the Auburn Citizen detailed Walden’s speech to an energetic crowd:

“According to Walden, his father won re-election in 1974 by 100 votes, lost in 1976 by 34 votes and lost again in 1978 by 100 votes.

‘Let us not wake up Wednesday morning and say ‘gosh that was close’ and have somebody say ‘I should’ve voted,’ Walden said. ‘This is about turnout. The ad wars are almost done… Now it comes down to who turns out the vote. Every race we’re engaged in right now is close.'”

Walden has traveled over 120,000 miles across 36 states on behalf of 80 Republican members and candidates.

Last Minute Dirty Tricks In Arizona:

As we’ve noted, we’re down to crunch time for campaigns across the country. That means desperate Democrats will resort to dirty tricks to fool voters. One such case has been discovered in Arizona’s 9th congressional district, where Obama architect and longtime liberal Kyrsten Sinema is facing off against retired Air Force vet Wendy Rogers.

According to The Arizona Republic‘s Rebekah Sanders, the Arizona Democratic Party sent mailers touting the candidacy of Libertarian candidate Powell Gammill.

“Democrats are mailing campaign fliers featuring a Libertarian candidate to conservative voters in a competitive Phoenix congressional race.

‘The effort could help U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., stay in office. Libertarian Powell Gammill assisted Sinema to victory last election by siphoning votes from her Republican challenger.”

Gammill is running again for the seat. He received approx. 17,000 votes in 2012. Sinema’s margin of victory was just around 10,000. Sinema has yet to comment on her deception. Did she approve the mailers? She’s just trying to run out the clock.

More Dirty Tricks Down In Arkansas:

Politico‘s James Hohmann details even more dirty tricks from the campaign of Arkansas liberal Patrick Henry Hays.

“Patrick Henry Hays, a Democratic candidate for an open House seat in Arkansas, has an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association. The group’s Political Victory Fund has committed to spend a million dollars defeating him.

‘But Hays bought a membership in the NRA, as can anyone, and Democrats are now pulling quotes from a generic direct-mail fundraising solicitation and using it in misleading mailers to imply that the group — and its leader, Wayne LaPierre — actually supports him.

‘The NRA Political Victory Fund sent cease-and-desist letters Thursday to the state party and Hays, demanding that they stop using LaPierre’s image.

But, just a few days before the election, Hays is not backing down. He quietly put an ad on TV that notes he’s an NRA “member” and shows off his collection of guns.”

News and Notes from the Campaign Trail: 

  • The Hill profiles longtime Democrat Collin Peterson’s fight for his political life. Peterson is facing the toughest battle he ever had against Republican candidate Torrey Westrom for Minnesota’s 7th congressional district.
  • The New York Times examined the race for Connecticut’s 5th district pitting Republican businessman Mark Greenberg against liberal incumbent Elizabeth Esty.
  • An article in The Arizona Republic defends Republican Andy Tobin against the smears hurled by Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick.
  • West Virginia liberal Nick Rahall is called out by The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler for one of the worst ads of the entire cycle. Kessler called it “deceptive and sleazy.”

Those are your NRCC Morning Reads for Friday, October 31, 2014. It’s Halloween and there are just 4 days until Election Day 2014.