Politico let GOP strategist repeat claim that Dems won by mimicking Republicans

››› ››› KURT DONALDSON

In a January 29 Politico article about House Democrats' strategy to retain seats gained in the 2006 midterms, National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Jessica Boulanger claimed, "A significant number of [Democratic] candidates ran as 'Republicans' to get elected." But as Media Matters for America has documented (here, here, here, and here), the Democratic candidates who won Republican-held seats in the November 7, 2006, elections backed central issues in the Democratic platform -- raising the minimum wage, changing course in Iraq, and opposing any effort to privatize Social Security. They also largely agree on the most contentious social issues; all but two of the 30 newly elected Democrats support embryonic stem cell research and only five describe themselves as "pro-life" on the issue of abortion. The Politico reported Boulanger's quote unchallenged.

In its article, The Politico noted that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) plans to "ask more of the incumbents facing tough re-election contests, exacting new standards for grass-roots organizing and fundraising. ... The new requirements are especially important for members in red states where they can't rely on a Democratic presidential campaign." The Politico then quoted Boulanger: "A significant number of his candidates ran as 'Republicans' to get elected." Boulanger continued, "If they vote like Republicans, the Democrats implode in Washington, D.C. If they vote like Democrats, their candidacies implode back home," adding "It's a win-win."

According to a March 15, 2005, article in The Hill, Boulanger "has worked for [former House Majority Leader Tom] DeLay [R-TX] and GOP Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (Ohio)" as well as House Republican whip Roy Blunt (R-MO).

From the January 29 article in The Politico:

As in the 100 Hours agenda, vulnerable Democrats will enjoy leadership roles with the upcoming legislation, Van Hollen said, including the chance to sponsor amendments in committee, or on the floor.

The new minority Republicans, though, made it clear that Van Hollen will have his hands full.

"A significant number of his candidates ran as 'Republicans' to get elected," said Jessica Boulanger, communications director at the National Republican Congressional Committee. "If they vote like Republicans, the Democrats implode in Washington, D.C. If they vote like Democrats, their candidacies implode back home."

"It's a win-win," she concluded.

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2006 Elections
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