Key Point: The NRCC recruited Bill Flores, a carpet-bagging, wealthy oilman from Houston to run in a district he knows nothing about, and now his incompetent campaign is stumbling as he reaches the finish line.
Bill Flores — the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) recruited candidate for Texas' 17th Congressional District — is struggling in the final days of the primary campaign. Today, in his latest bumbling mistake, Flores e-mailed his supporters asking them to support an Attorney General candidate in Michigan…several hours before he e-mailed them to ask him to support his own race.
Flores' blunder would be more surprising if he was just another Republican, but since it is the recruited candidate by the NRCC and their leader, Congressman Pete Sessions, the gaffe should almost be expected. Sessions has always struggled with this complicated new technology we call the internet. In fact, just last week Sessions attacked one of his fellow members in a fundraising e-mail. From Hotline:
In a fundraising letter, NRCC chair Pete Sessions lets donors in AL 05 know their “Democrat in Congress has been falling in line with Nancy Pelosi's destructive liberal agenda.” The only problem is the NRCC is backing that incumbent, Rep. Parker Griffith (R).
Now it looks like Sessions & the NRCC are having more troubles with technology.
Here's the header of Flores' first e-mail — sent earlier today at 1:15pm CST — in support of Bill Schuette, a Republican running for Attorney General in Michigan.
Now here's the header of the second e-mail — sent earlier today at 3:09pm CST — where Bill Flores is choosing to support himself. Take note that the “from” and “reply-to” lines are the exact same for each:
Why would Bill Flores think that Texas Republicans want to know about a race in Michigan? Two scenarios come to mind, to potentially explain this very odd turn of events:
- Bill Flores is running an incompetent campaign and hired an e-mail client that doesn't know what the heck they are doing;
- The NRCC has given up on Flores' campaign and are using his e-mail list to support other Republican races across the country.
The NRCC first recruited Flores into the race months ago. As a RedState post from December 24th says:
Enter Bill Flores … He moved to the district in July 2008, from the Houston area, which is well outside the district. A wealthy oilman, he has close ties to the party machine and in particular Pete Sessions at the NRCC. He also gave nothing and did nothing to try to help win the 2008 race.
Last week Flores filed for Congress here, and the NRCC provided him with a supporting quote in his release. The NRCC has put him on their “Key Races” list on the Freedom Project web site, and they refuse to list anyone else in the race. They have listed a story about him on their web site. It’s clear he’s their guy, and the people in this area are fed up with it.
Source: RedState, “The Texas 17th and the NRCC” 12/24/09
Last week, Flores lost the endorsement of The Eagle, the major paper from the Bryan / College Station area, to Chuck Wilson, one of the other four Republicans in the race. Michael Shapiro, a writer of the Waco Tribune-Herald, commented on the significance of the endorsement:
The Eagle is the second-largest paper in terms of readership in the 17th Congressional District — which stretches from Aggieland through Waco and up to Burleson — and the largest paper that's endorsing primary candidates. (The Tribune-Herald ed. board is keeping its powder dry for now. Click here for candidate forum story.)
The endorsement may be notable for a number of reasons, but it sticks out to me because Wilson is not from the Bryan-College Station area, while three of his opponents are. The paper's support could give the former CIA agent and now Waco residential developer some help in an area outside of Wilson's backyard.
- Bill Flores is e-mailing Texas Republicans about an out-of-state race and candidate they know nothing about
- Flores has already lost the endorsement of the largest paper that will endorse in his district
- This is the candidate the NRCC recruited to run in the district
Something tells me that Democrat incumbent Chet Edwards and his $1.3 million cash-on-hand are not going to get much of a challenge this November.