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House coup members get zilch from Boehner’s PAC

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Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hasn’t given a dime this election cycle to the 10 incumbent Republicans who participated in a failed coup attempt against him nearly two years ago.

None of the troublemakers have received money from either Boehner’s political action committee or from his campaign committee during the 2014 campaign, according to an analysis of campaign records by The Hill.

{mosads}It’s possible the leader is sending a message — many of the lawmakers had received donations from his leadership PAC in the past.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), for example, received $20,000 total from Boehner’s Freedom Project during the course of the 2010 and 2012 cycles before voting against him for Speaker. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), who abstained from the Speaker vote, received $15,000 during that same period before being shut out in the midterm campaign.

Four other dissenters — GOP Reps. Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Ted Yoho (Fla.) — each received $5,000 from Boehner’s leadership PAC in the 2012 cycle but zilch since then.

All of the dissenting Republicans are expected to easily cruise to reelection on Tuesday night, however, and probably didn’t need extra help from the Speaker.

Still, Boehner has been a fundraising force, handing out tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates in an effort to grow his 17-seat majority. 

The Speaker has raised more than $100 million in campaign cash this cycle, a personal best. The haul includes millions donated to the Republican National Committee and the House GOP’s campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), as well as fundraisers held for candidates around the country.

He’s given $1.3 million from his leadership PAC to House and Senate candidates and another $200,000 from his congressional campaign committee, Friends of John Boehner. Most of that money went to GOP House candidates running for open seats or challenging vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

Boehner typically doles out cash to boost candidates who are in the party’s Young Guns program or are vulnerable incumbents in the NRCC Patriot Program.

After those needs are met, GOP sources said, Team Boehner considers a number of factors in deciding who else gets money, including whether an incumbent is facing an unexpectedly close race; whether a candidate is doing everything he or she can to win; and whether the candidate has asked Boehner for a check.

The fundraising blitz has helped him shore up support for his Speakership, even as some Tea Party conservatives have openly discussed trying to overthrow Boehner after the election. While they’re unlikely to succeed, Boehner will still need to secure a simple majority of 218 votes during a public floor vote in January, and he wants to leave no room for error.

Notably, the Speaker has funneled cash to a handful of NRCC “Young Guns” who have publicly said he should be replaced as Speaker of the House.

The fire-Boehner contingent includes Mark Walker, a pastor who’s expected to succeed retiring Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.). Walker received $10,000 from Boehner’s leadership PAC. In Alabama, Gary Palmer, who’s on his way to replacing retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus, received $5,000 from the Speaker.

Donations have also gone to Jody Hice, the Republican in line to succeed Georgia Rep. Paul Broun, another Boehner critic; Hice said during a candidate debate this year he would vote to fire Boehner as Speaker.   

Other candidates who have received money from Boehner but refused to say whether they’d back him for Speaker include John Ratcliffe, who ousted longtime Rep. Ralph Hall in his GOP primary in Texas, and conservative state Sen. Glenn Grothman, the favorite to replace retiring Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), a longtime Boehner ally.

Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally isn’t assured of victory against Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) in her race, but she’s also accepted donations from Boehner — and appeared with him at two fundraisers — without pledging her support to him.

“We support all our NRCC Young Gun and Patriot Program members,” said Boehner spokesman Cory Fritz.

Tags Boehner Jim Bridenstine John Boehner Paul Broun Ralph Hall Ron Barber Spencer Bachus Ted Yoho Tom Petri
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