GOP cash fills coffers of ‘tea party’ hopefuls

Funding helps to salve rifts

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“For Republicans, what once seemed radical is now wholly in the mainstream,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said in a fundraising e-mail sent Wednesday.

The former Virginia governor drove home his point by noting that Mr. Miller has said that the GOP “must have the courage to shut down the government” to stop the expansion of government.

“A government shutdown would cut off the programs, benefits, and services relied upon by millions of seniors, veterans, and families around the country. Veterans’ hospitals would be closed; Social Security checks would not go out,” Mr. Kaine said. “This is the political equivalent of a temper tantrum - and it hurts those who need help the most.”

The Republican campaign committees are pushing ahead with the candidates that Republican primary voters have given them.

The groups’ assistance to Senate candidates includes $2.5 million that helped Marco Rubio pay for television ads in Florida and pledged commitments of $2 million for Rand Paul in Kentucky and $700,000 for Sharron Angle in Nevada. In fact, the NRSC last week started running its first ad of the election cycle in Kentucky, where widely divergent polls show either Mr. Paul up by as many as 15 points or in a statistical dead heat with the Democratic candidate, Attorney General Jack Conway.

“In key states across the country, the NRSC is heavily invested and is committed to ensuring they have the resources to win,” said Brian Walsh, NRSC spokesman.

On the House side, the NRCC has reserved airtime for eight candidates with local tea party backing and tried to elevate the profiles of others by listing them as “Young Guns” - candidates that the NRCC says gives the country the best opportunity to move the country in the right direction.

NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay tried to dispel any notion that the NRCC is not prepared to put its full weight behind tea party primary winners and warned that it is too early in the campaign season to read much into where the NRCC is spending money.

“We have many tea party candidates that we are supporting,” he said.

With roughly 40 days to go before voters head to the polls, the tea party movement is credited with pulling off some of the biggest upsets of the election season - the latest coming last week after Ms. O'Donnell’s stunning victory over Mr. Castle, a nine-term incumbent.

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