The damage done to the Republican ad firm Jamestown Associates as punishment for working for the controversial outside group Senate Conservatives Fund could be even more substantial than first thought. It was originally reported that the National Republican Senatorial Committee would blacklist the company. But that might be just the beginning.
Aside from the NRSC, Jamestown has, in the past, been awarded contracts to create independent expenditure ads for groups like the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Chamber of Commerce.
In the campaign world, these I.E. accounts are considered especially lucrative business. But according to sources, these contracts are drying up and likely won’t be renewed.
“They were in line for a bunch of I.E. expenditures, and that’s not coming together for them,” said one Republican in consultation with leadership. “They made a business decision, so were going to make a business decision.”
And make no mistake, this is serious business. According to RollCall,
“In 2013, the Senate Conservatives fund has paid $1,433,355 to Jamestown Associates. Rep. Mark Sanford’s campaign paid Jamestown $841,568.
“In 2012, Jamestown was paid by a long list of campaigns and committees, including the Republican National Committee ($45,795), the National Republican Congressional Committee ($355,360), and the Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund ($1,693,321) …”
Now, the message coming from the Republican establishment is simple: If you show up on the Senate Conservatives Fund’s financial report going forward (after November), you’re not likely to have any business with the committees or Republican organizations.
Jonathan Martin’s initial story in the New York Times noted that the NRSC privately contacted “2014 Senate candidates, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee (the senatorial committee’s House counterpart), the Republican Governors Association and Mike DuHaime, the chief strategist for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, for whom Jamestown also does work.” It appears at least some of these groups and individuals are following suit.
In a sense, this effort is targeted. I’m told it doesn’t extend past the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Jim DeMint-founded group the Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate views to be as dangerous as the Democrats.
On the other hand, it does appear that the effort to scare off SCF’s vendors won’t be limited to Jamestown Associates. As Jonathan Strong reported at National Review, SCF’s bookkeeper has resigned. My guess is this is not a coincidence.
Note: I’ve reached out to Jamestown and to the Chamber and will update this post if and when they respond.