Inside Kevin McCarthy’s war on MAGA, America First


If you believe what you see and hear on the drive-by media, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is a changed man.  The aspiring House speaker has been promoting a sequel to ‘The Contract with America’ from the 90s, and mouthing platitudes that might sound good to the average grassroots conservative out there.

But he and his cronies could not control themselves from telling the truth recently  to, of all things, The Washington Post:

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) made a name for himself as a firebrand social media phenomenon who delighted in trolling the left, famously boasting to colleagues that he had built his House office by focusing on communications not legislation.

But the strategy made him vulnerable to forces within his own party that helped end his time in office. Top allies of Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, worked this spring to deny Cawthorn a second term in office, after the Donald Trump-endorsed lawmaker made controversial comments about cocaine use and sex parties in Washington that led McCarthy to announce he had “lost my trust,” according to multiple Republicans briefed on the effort, which has not been previously reported.

GOP lobbyist Jeff Miller, one of McCarthy’s closest friends and biggest fundraisers, and Brian O. Walsh, a Republican strategist who works for multiple McCarthy-backed groups, were both involved in an independent effort to oppose Cawthorn as part of a broader project to create a more functioning GOP caucus next year, said the Republicans, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. […]

Regardless of what you think about Cawthorn personally, he voted right. And he didn’t deserve to have his own “leader” dispatching cronies to shove knives in his back during a primary election.

North Carolina’s congressional delegation includes some of McCarthy’s most devoted loyalists and warriors:  Patrick McHenry, Richard Hudson, and Virginia Foxx.


[…] Targeting Cawthorn was part of a larger behind-the-scenes effort by top GOP donors and senior strategists to purge the influence of Republican factions that seek disruption and grandstanding, often at the expense of their GOP colleagues. The political machine around McCarthy has spent millions of dollars this year in a sometimes secretive effort to systematically weed out GOP candidates who could either cause McCarthy trouble if he becomes House speaker or jeopardize GOP victories in districts where a more moderate candidate might have a better chance at winning.

The allies close to McCarthy have sometimes taken steps to conceal their efforts, as they did in the Cawthorn case, with money passing from top GOP donors through organizations that do not disclose their donors or have limited public records, federal disclosures show.[…]

Kinda like the shadowy, DC-based “Good Government” organization that dropped $600k to benefit the  NCGOPe endorsed judicial candidates back in May.  No names, no employer info.  No addresses.  Nothing but the ironically-named “Good Government” group name.

By the way, senator Thom Tillis was a key figure in managing a RINO PAC that was opposing Cawthorn’s renomination.


[…] In safe Republican districts, controversial Republicans like former New York state party chair Carl Paladino, Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini and Trump-endorsed congressional candidate Joe Kent have been targeted after distancing themselves from McCarthy’s leadership and echoing extreme claims. McCarthy’s team has also gone to work to protect several GOP incumbents from far-right challenges, campaign finance records show.

Miller, Walsh and McCarthy’s office declined requests for comment.

McCarthy’s own approach to enforcing unity within his sometimes fractious Republican caucus has been more aggressive than his two immediate predecessors, Reps. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), whose tenures in leadership were marred by dissent and dysfunction. McCarthy has spoken publicly about the need to not just win a majority in the House, but to make sure his party wins “a governing majority.”

“We’re coming out with solutions. If we’re unified in that, even if we have a small majority, we’d be very strong in being able to pass it,” McCarthy said at a March House Republican retreat. “So we want the idea to be so strong that you overcome all the politics that people bring.”

McCarthy has a reputation for caring about politics over policy, but ultimately his fate may lie in the hands of one person: Trump. If Republicans win a small majority in the House, Trump could likely influence enough votes to determine the speakership, GOP strategists say. It’s a major reason McCarthy allies say he has remained close to Trump even when he has grown frustrated with him

Several Republican members of the House have applauded the efforts to bring more pragmatists into power who will prioritize passing conservative policies over the more disruptive tactics of the House Freedom Caucus. That group of far-right lawmakers has asked for rule changes in the next Congress that would increase their leverage over the rest of the caucus.

“One subset lives in reality, the other subset does not,” a Republican member of Congress concerned about the Freedom Caucus said.[…]

It’s AMAZING that you get labeled ‘extremist’ for supporting the party platform.


[…] Behind the scenes, some of the party’s top donors have worked with McCarthy’s allies to further the project, while taking steps to obscure their direct involvement in more controversial races.

“McCarthy is a political animal, and he has a lot of political animals working for him,” said a Republican operative close to several prominent donors who is familiar with the broader effort. “He is not a guy to be trifled with. It’s like they say in the Marine Corps, ‘No better friend, no worse enemy.’ And they mean it, and they act on it.”

McCarthy allies argue that their interventions in GOP primaries have little to do with political ideology, but rather focus on elevating politicians who will work with the rest of the Republican caucus or who have the best chance of winning their district. The Bakersfield, Calif., Republican has recently embraced some of the most far-right members of his caucus, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), whose committee assignments he plans to restore if Republicans win the House

Much of the spending in Republican primaries by McCarthy’s political operation has been done out in the open by the House GOP’s largest super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, for which McCarthy has helped raise $165 million this cycle.

CLF, which is run by Dan Conston, has spent more than $7 million in Republican primaries this cycle, much of it focused on nominating more moderate, and therefore electable, candidates in swing districts. The group also spent millions in attempts to protect incumbents like Michael Guest (R-Miss.), Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), and Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), who hail from safer Republican districts, when they faced challenges from more far-right figures.

[…] In an overwhelmingly Republican Texas district north of Houston, CLF and another group founded by McCarthy allies, American Patriots PAC, spent nearly $1 million to help McCarthy favorite Morgan Luttrell beat Christian Collins. Both Collins and Loomer were endorsed by members of the Freedom Caucus, including Greene.

CLF used a different McCarthy-aligned group this summer to intervene on behalf of Herrera Beutler, who earned Trump’s ire by voting for his impeachment in 2021. Kent, her Trump-endorsed challenger, opposed McCarthy as speaker, denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election and denounced the legal treatment of Jan. 6 rioters as “banana republic stuff.”[…]

*Oh, the horror!*


[…] But in the weeks before the Aug. 2 primary, two groups, WFW Action Fund and a previously unknown group called Conservatives for a Stronger America, began attacking Kent as a closeted leftist, with television ads misleadingly suggesting he wanted to “defund the police” or showing old photos of the former Army Special Forces officer sporting long hair alongside false claims that he supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

After Kent defeated Herrera Beutler in the primary, both PACs opposing him publicly reported contributions that tied their efforts to McCarthy’s allies. WFW Action Fund received transfers of nearly $1 million from CLF in the months before the ads.

Conservatives for a Stronger America reported after the primary that it received all its money from a group called the Eighteen Fifty-Four Fund, apparently named after the year in which the Republican Party was founded. That group, in turn, which has spent money on a number of races this cycle, has received funding from three sources, according to federal records: WFW Action Fund, American Patriots PAC and a nonprofit called Common Sense Leadership Fund, which is not required by law to report its donors. Federal records do not connect any of the specific donors to the transfers to Conservatives for a Stronger America.

[…] At the same time, the anti-Kent effort reached outside McCarthy’s immediate orbit for support. After the primary, WFW Action Fund disclosed a July 27 donation of $100,000 from Fix Congress Now!, a PAC that has been otherwise dormant this election cycle. Fix Congress Now!, in turn, had received a $102,450 donation from an affiliated group called Unite America PAC on July 2.

Unite America PAC is affiliated with a nonprofit of the same name that seeks changes to the U.S. election system that would give the nation’s political extremes less power, such as through the use of nonpartisan primaries or redistricting. […]

[…] The complex shuffling of funds through other groups became a pattern in multiple Republican House primaries, where Freedom Caucus-aligned candidates found themselves targeted. A person involved said some of the efforts were coordinated by McCarthy allies. At other times, as in a recent race in Florida’s 8th District, where $1.6 million was spent against Anna Paulina Luna, individual donors decide to intervene on their own.

A group that only came into existence in August, American Liberty Action PAC, spent more than $2.5 million in recent weeks to defeat candidates who questioned the 2020 election and expressed affinity for the Freedom Caucus in their recent campaigns, including Paladino and Sabatini.

[…]“They would have been legislative terrorists whose goal was fame,” said a person familiar with the effort to stop them.[…]

Seriously?  How many of the nimrods up there already don’t have “fame” (and fortune) as their #1 goals?


[…]After Paladino and Sabatini both lost their primaries, American Liberty Action disclosed that it was entirely funded by the Eighteen Fifty-Four Fund and a nonprofit, American Prosperity Alliance, which does not disclose its donors.

Paladino blamed McCarthy and his allies for the spending, which he said only arose because his opponent, Nick Langworthy, made it clear he would be more friendly with GOP leadership.

“Nick sold his soul,” Paladino said. “If I was going to go to Washington, I was going to go as an independent Republican. I just didn’t want to be owned by anybody.”

Sabatini also believed during his campaign that he was being attacked by the Washington establishment.

“Everything is happening behind the scenes, but obviously that is what the money shows,” Sabatini said of the involvement of McCarthy allies. “They don’t want a conservative to win. They want a brainless, spineless robot.”

Trump has so far declined to criticize McCarthy for the primary interventions. People close to both men say they continue to have a close working relationship around House races, despite other tensions, as Trump has prioritized growing the size of the House majority.

[…] As in the case of Herrera Beutler, the efforts by McCarthy and his partners have not always been successful. CLF was unable to defeat Sandy Smith, a pro-Trump candidate in North Carolina’s 1st District who faced past allegations of domestic violence. In Arizona, CLF and WFW Action spent about $1 million to support Republican Tanya Wheeless, only to watch her lose the primary to Kelly Cooper, who has challenged the legitimacy of the 2020 election and promised to seek the release of those arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol.

The Cawthorn race became a concern for McCarthy earlier this year, when the freshman member told a podcast about seeing cocaine use in Washington and being invited to sex parties. After meeting with McCarthy over the statements, Cawthorn blamed “the left and the media” for trying to use his comments to divide the GOP. His office did not respond to a request for comment for this article.

In the weeks before his primary, a group called Results for N.C. spent $1.7 million to defeat him and support his opponent. The National Association of Realtors, which gave $600,000 to CLF, gave $300,000 to the cause. A nonprofit that does not disclose its donors, Americans for a Balanced Budget, gave $830,000.

Most of the rest of the money, $700,000, came from Ryan Salame, an executive at crypto currency exchange FTX U.S., a major donor both to McCarthy’s own operation and to other groups backing McCarthy’s favored candidates. […]

12 thoughts on “Inside Kevin McCarthy’s war on MAGA, America First

  1. That RINO scoundrel McCarthy spent six figures in NC’s 1st Congressional district against Sandy Smith, who is now the conservative GOP nominee for that seat. He backed RINOs over conservatives in primaries all over America. That money should have been spent against Democrats but McCarthy spent it against conservatives instead. And this is not the first election cycle McCarthy has been intervening in primaries against conservatives.

    The Republicans have a serious problem in RINO leadership in both Raleigh and Washington, and the others, McConnell, Berger, and Moore are actually worse than McCarthy. McCarthy seems to at least have the political savvy to say the right things and pretend to be a conservative to the voters. The other three are not even that smart.

    A great way to say “up yours” to McCarthy is to send Sandy Smith a few bucks. Polls are showing her race very close.

    A great way to say “up yours” to McConnell is to send Alaska conservative Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka a few bucks. Alaska has a weird election system and the general election is between conservative Republican Tshibaka and RINO Lisa Murkowski and polls are showing the race tied.

  2. I fear that the GOP Washington Establishment is once again going to waste away their majority if they get it. That’s the shameful history of the GOP. The pattern never changes. Never has. Never will.

  3. With “leadership” like this, getting the majority doesn’t get the majority and sets the stage for soon losing the fake majority. Kabuki Theater politics gets representation for some – just not us.

  4. This is why I stopped voting after the 2020 elections. The GOP did nothing to stop the steal despite mountains of evidence. They fight against true conservatives but cower when confronted by the left. There are ways to beat the left and RINOs outside of politics, for instance building affordable, for-profit private schools and promoting apprenticeships instead of college. This sucks the life out of the left and big-government crony companies. See the writings of Lew Rockwell on the subject of anarcho-capitalism.

  5. Any R running for office willing to vote for McCarthy or McConnell DOESN”T deserve a vote.
    Any candidate not willing to affirm their support not to support either for speaker does not deserve a vote.

    THIS has been ongoing for yrs; just more evident now.
    McConnell and McCarthy have ‘selected’ and ‘picked’ candidates that support their speakerships.
    McCarthy ALLOWED Cheney to remain in leadership!

    There is NOTHING conservative about either speaker and there is NOTHING conservative about the republican party.

    1. From what I read, in the Senate, there are a few out there who have openly pledged not to vote for McConnell, but I think the only one of those still in play is in Alaska with Kelly Tshibaka, who is tied in the polls with the absolutely awful RINO Lisa Murkowski. However, some in conservative media have pointed out that an unusually large number of Republican Senate nominees are refusing to commit on who they will vote for as Senate GOP leader, and that is at least a somewhat hopeful sign. Ted Budd is in that category. From Budd’s endorsement by President Trump, the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Club for Growth as well as his voting record in the House, I will vote for him, the only GOP Senate candidate for years that I have not had to hold my nose to vote for.

      I asked Sandy Smith the question about McCarthy, and her response was that she did not know yet who would be running and would wait to see who the candidates are, which seems to be the same strategy as many of the Senate candidates.

  6. Great article that confirms everything we already know: GOP and NCGOP, led by McCarthy, McConnell, Berger and Moore, are a bunch of DIRTBAGS.

    At this point we have two choices:

    VOTE but VOTE SELECTIVELY and for every single solitary outsider. Do not vote for any fraud mentioned in this article. Of particular importance are some of the School Board positions where groomer Democrats MUST be booted. Get to the polls and bring everyone you know with you. We have to start somewhere.

    Open up your wallets and again donate to the OUTSIDERS: Bo Hines, Sandy Smith, JD Vance, Blake Masters, Joe Kent, etc. Any of these outsiders are infinitely better than the McCarthy/McConnell/Tillis/Berger/Moore cabal, who are truly the worst our country has to offer.

    We either have their backs or we don’t.

    1. I heard another outrage on Phil Berger (or should it be Thunberger?) this afternoon on Tom Lamprecht’s show on WTIB. Senator Norm Sanderson and some others introduced a bill to prohibit gender change surgeries for those under 18 and to require schools of inform parents if their children expressed concerns about gender issues. The bill was blocked from going to the floor for a vote by Phil Berger, at the request to the radical woke gender benders of “Equality NC”.. So it looks like Berger is being a go-fer for a lot of left wing special interests. Berger and TIm Moore are such prostitutes for the crooked special interests they ought to install red lights above their office doors. Meanwhile it is ordinary North Carolinians who get screwed by their hanky panky.

      Lamprecht also identified another reason Berger and Moore want to expand Medicaid. It seems Medicaid will pay for those gender bender surgeries.

      Time to “flip the Berger!”

  7. The GOP has no agenda except protecting Big Business. When Trump saved the party in 2016 and we had a congressional majority in both houses, Corporate America got its big tax cuts, but the party fought Trump on everything else. Nothing was done on illegal immigration, no federal program was shut down, the infamous Department of Education was still funded along with foreign aid and every other international giveaway boondoggle. Then about 20 RINO congressman (including the GOP Speaker) decided to quit in 2018 because they didn’t have the nerve or will to fight the Democrats and support the America First agenda. Nothing will change. Believe me.

  8. As a candidate asked to run by Cawthorn when he made the move to NC14 and someone that has worked tirelessly for the grassroots, this article made me sick! Tillis took credit in the CJ for the NC11 win over Cawthorn. 68% of primary voters voted AGAINST the nominee. A nominee that is 100% supported by establishment $$$. Which means a vote for amnesty with Tillis?
    A HUGE takeaway from this article — McCarthy wanted a go along to get along nominee.
    So the now the big question for voters in NC11 — Do we vote for an establishment good ole boy bought and paid for by Tillis? I know my answer!
    ResultsForNC PAC also receive over $1 million from Dee Stewart. $500k from Gabe Bankman-Fried (his brother was Biden’s #2 donor) and they have a Democrat crypto PAC that is “focused on pandemics.”

    1. McCarthy is a phony on immigration although his posturing plays to the base. His statements make him look okay on this issue, but if you look at the committee he put together on immigration policy, it is stacked with Chamber of Commerce types without an immigration hawk to be found. Its chairman is liberal anti-Trump Congressman Katko, RINO of New York. McCarthy talks the talk but does not walk the walk. Of course, McConnell does neither.

      Dee Stewart and Paul Shumaker are establishment opportunists who will sell their souls to anyone, as long as the money is right. For years, they have been bought and paid for by the Green Far Left, and were involved in scheming with Berger and Moore to give us NC’s Green New Deal, HB951. What is curious is their teaming up with Chuck Edwards, who was the only Senator to vote against their NC Green New Deal. But they would probably team up with Che Guevara or Mussolini if the money was right. They are that type of political whores.

      At to “Traitor Thom”, I have held my nose for that stinking turd for the last time. I don’t care how bad his opponent is. Getting stabbed in the back, with Tillis, is worse than being stabbed in the front by a Democrat. Tillis seems to be little more than a front for the Lincoln Project, and is completely unacceptable. Of course, what we really need to do is defeat Traitor Thom in the primary, so we don’t have to deal with him in the general. We need a strong conservative candidate for that, though.

      Cawthorn’s screwed up personal life is what did him in, which is just sad.

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