Morning, let’s start today with a friendly riddle brought to you by your friends at the NRCC. Don’t worry, it’s multiple choice, and you’ll find the answer in today’s report by Erin McPike of Congress Daily. The full story is included below. Reply back to me with your answer. I’ll circulate the answer today at 4 p.m.
When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist?
a) When the lobbyist is a state lobbyist
b) When the lobbyist is a friend
c) When the lobbyist gives through the DCCC
d) All of the Above
GOP: Shea-Porter Misled Constituents About Lobby Dollars
By Erin McPike
September 9, 2009
Republicans see a road back to relevance in the Northeast, and it runs through Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's New Hampshire district. With the lawmaker already in their sights, the GOP was quick to pounce when Shea-Porter drew a line in the sand over campaign fundraising during the August recess.
"I don't accept any business PAC money; I don't take any corporate PAC money; I don't have any lobbyist money -- at all, at all."
The National Republican Congressional Committee pointed out a contradiction: contributions from James Demers, a registered lobbyist in New Hampshire and founder and president of The Demers Group.
Demers, a former congressional candidate, contributed $750 to Shea-Porter's campaign last year and has chipped in $250 this cycle. Her spokeswoman, Ellen Fleming, dismissed the attacks. "James Demers is a friend, he gave as an individual, and he's not registered as a federal lobbyist and does not work on federal legislative issues," she said.
Demers has been down this road before as a state co-chairman of President Obama's campaign last year. At the time, while Obama was distancing himself from lobbyists, Demers represented a variety of groups both inside and outside the state, including Bank of America and PhRMA.
According to the Concord Monitor in early 2008, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs "told the Associated Press that Demers does not do business involving federal legislation or regulation. He said the campaign has drawn a distinction between lobbyists who are registered to work at the state level and those who lobby the federal government."
An NRCC aide said Shea-Porter went a step further by flatly saying she took no money from lobbyists "at all."
"We're talking about honesty and transparency, but she's selling fool's gold," the aide said. "Despite the fact that she took money from a lobbyist for Shea-Porter for Congress, there's only one degree of separation from her accepting a million dollars from lobbyists funneled through the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee]."
Fleming fired back that Shea-Porter "has said that the DCCC is her team, and she reserves the right to take money from members of her team. She has stated this from the very beginning."
One DCCC operative waved off the NRCC's view as "a stretch" and pointed out that the Republican candidate in the race, Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, was widely mocked for failing to notify police about a fight that broke out in a Manchester bar while he was there. The fight made local headlines, as did the disclosure that the mayor was there when it happened.