The National Republican Senatorial Committee this week refused to do business with a prominent GOP advertising firm because of its association with a group that targets incumbent Senate Republicans, sending a clear warning signal from the party establishment to outside conservative forces.
The effort is meant to punish Jamestown Associates for working with the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group founded by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint that targets Republican Senate incumbents whom it deems insufficiently conservative.
“We’re not going to do business with people who profit off of attacking Republicans,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the committee, according to The Times. “Purity for profit is a disease that threatens the Republican Party.”
The NRSC’s campaign against Jamestown Associates is part of a larger effort by establishment Republicans to push back against insurgent forces that are striving to push the party toward a more conservative platform.
The SCF recently blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Healthcare: Trump threatens to leave ObamaCare in place if GOP bill fails Senate GOP hedges on ObamaCare repeal timeline Chao: Trump tapped into 'a strain of anxiety,' 'fear' MORE (R-Ky.), who is up for reelection next year, for his part in the fiscal deal that reopened the government after a 16-day shutdown and averted a U.S. debt default.
The group endorsed McConnell’s GOP primary opponent, Matt Bevin, earlier this year.
"Mitch McConnell can't defend his record so he's trying to threaten and intimidate his conservative opponents. This is not what leaders do; it's what bullies do. We're not going to back down," said Matt Hoskins, SCF executive director, in an email to The Hill. "Our members are tired of watching Mitch McConnell cut deals with the Democrats to raise the debt, increase taxes, bail out big banks, and fund Obamacare. They want to help elect Matt Bevin, a Republican who believes in conservative principles and will listen to the grassroots, not attack them."
On Friday, McConnell’s chief of staff reportedly compared the conservative organization to a rambunctious drunk at a bar.
“SCF has been wandering around the country destroying the Republican Party like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into,” said Josh Holmes, who is now assigned as a senior staffer at the NRSC through the 2014 midterm elections. “The difference this cycle is that they strolled into Mitch McConnell’s bar and he doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door.”
-- This post was updated at 5:27 p.m.