GOP Establishment: House control not worth this price (2).
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In a year when White House blunders appear to have created a formidably lethal undertow for GOP House candidates, one might expect that the national party leadership would be extra alert for races where local circumstances have created favorable possibilities.

If the circumstances involve immigration policy, one would be dead wrong.

Democratic Congressman John Spratt’s hold on South Carolina’s 5th District has become quite anomalous in recent years. Although from a local patrician family and solicitous of business interests, Oxford-educated Spratt has moved steadily left – his ADA rating finally hit 100% in 2005. Meanwhile, his district, always pretty conservative in the old Southern style, has increasingly experienced heavy suburbanization from Charlotte, N.C. – right on the north eastern border.

Charlotte, and surrounding Mecklenburg County, is not only the stronghold of Representative Sue Myrick (ADA rating: 0%) but has also emerged as a hotbed of immigration patriotism, as exemplified by local Sheriff Jim Pendergraph. This followed a number of immigration atrocities, and caused a dramatic improvement in Congresswoman Myrick’s Immigration record from poor to excellent.

Spratt’s record is no good.

The Republicans produced a candidate willing to use the issue – see for instance U.S. House: Candidates trade barbs over immigration issue By Matt Garfield 10/30/06.

The National Republican Campaign Committee’s response? As Treason Lobby organ The Charlotte Observer gleefully notes:

Last month, the National Republican Campaign Committee canceled $820,000 of the $1.3 million worth of TV advertising time it had reserved for Norman .

(Starting with hopes, ending with struggle – by Henry Eichel Sunday November 05, 2006.)

Just as in the Graf race, it is easy to see why. Absolutely the last thing RNC head Ken Mehlman and his cronies want is a handful of immigration-reform driven victories against a background of disaster. Victories like that in the ’64 Goldwater debacle gave the GOP Southern Strategy decisive momentum. The national GOP establishment would rather lose.

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