‘Permanent political class’ back and ready to roll

By KTTH | March 18, 2014

A new report from Politico may spell trouble for grassroots conservatives.

KTTH host Ben Shapiro welcomed Politico reporter Ken Vogel Monday to talk about a new report that shows that the political consultants who reaped hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get Mitt Romney elected in 2012 are back.

And, they’re richer and cementing strong relationships with top conservative politicians.


“It has created this privatized brain trust, this permanent political class of folks who no matter [which candidate] wins or loses, they really remain with a great deal of power and a great deal of money.”

Vogel’s reporting shows that through January this year, the top Republican political consulting firms have already earned $19.6 million for campaign work. These were the same firms – ten in total, including Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS – that earned $1 billion consulting for Romney in 2012. The same firms, Shapiro said, that people felt shoved Romney down conservatives’ throats.

These firms, disconnected from the grassroots efforts of Tea Party voters and organizers, will likely handle important Senate elections this year, and may be in a position to run Republican presidential campaigns in 2016.

“They’re just like the vultures from ‘The Jungle Book,’” Shapiro observed. Shapiro said that it appears the current Republican strategy is less grassroots and more top-down, as opposed to Democrats, who use targeted appeals to motivate voters.

Vogel agreed, and said that many of the richest Republican donors are not asking questions about where their money is being spent. Some Republican donors are demanding more accountability from consultants, Vogel said, but the trends of 2012 are “still lingering.”

“Unlike the left where the donors get involved in almost a micromanaging basis, the Republican donors, though they have ties to these consultants, they end up writing the check and then leaving well enough alone,” Vogel said.

Ultimately, Shapiro said, these kinds of practices simply widen the gap between Washington and Tea Party voters across the country.

“This perpetuates the gap between the Tea Party and the so-called Republican establishment,” Shapiro said.

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