By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Scott Garrett (R, NJ-05) has no shortage of enemies on Capitol Hill, Save Jerseyans. It’s not hard to see why; he has a history of casting rogue votes including, back in January, a vote against re-upping John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Most of the time I’m glad he does.
Independence comes with a price.
Today, as you may’ve already seen/heard, POLITICO ran a piece alleging that Garrett is holding out on customary NRCC membership contributions, in part, over the campaign organization having “actively recruited gay candidates and supported homosexuals in primaries.” (quoting the story, not Garrett)
The exchange is reported to have happened during a closed committee meeting when Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) directed a party-discipline lecture in Garrett’s perceived direction.
I find it hard to believe Garrett cited gay candidates as a reason for withholding support. His position on gay marriage is plain; “I firmly believe that marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman,” the veteran federal legislation has explained in the past. “Any effort to fundamentally redefine marriage is not only contrary to public opinion, but also wrong.” Now, you may thing Garrett is dead wrong and doesn’t deserve support himself for that particular position, granted, but it ain’t the same thing as saying you won’t donate to a gay Republican.
Rep. Garrett’s office didn’t respond for comment according to the reporters. We’ll see what he has to say. I’m not piling on until we hear his side of story that, at least at the moment, is 100% hearsay.
What interests me? Since this is a political blog?
A Republican staffer (or member) clearly leaked this information since it came out of a close meeting. I AM NOT defending Garrett if he said it. Note the caps. But it’s no secret that Garrett’s seat is a possible target next year. The Democrats would never deal with a member of this caucus this way with a seat on the line…. just sayin’. So what it demonstrates for me is that the Hill GOP is as dysfunctional than ever heading into a critical election cycle, and the dysfunction isn’t strictly a “tea party” or establishment thing. There’s plenty of stupid to go around. Apparently.