Bruce Poliquin reportedly signs contract with NRCC’s ‘Patriot Program’

Good morning, folks. Doesn’t that crisp, cool air feel wonderful? Makes me want to go outside and take a walk but alas, I have the Daily Brief to write. This funky Red Hot Chili Peppers cut from One Hot Minute should keep my eye on the prize.

Report: Poliquin signs NRCC ‘contract’

(Hat tip to soon-to-be Daily Brief co-author and Bangor Daily News political reporter Mike Shepherd for flagging this one.)

According to the Washington Post, Rep. Bruce Poliquin and a couple dozen other House Republicans have signed a sort of contract with the National Republican Congressional Committee that trades campaign cash and support in next year’s election for the candidates agreeing to a list of 13 requirements. The NRCC’s “Patriot Program” requires candidates to fill out this three-page contract, which includes a legislative strategy statement that includes short-, intermediate- and long-term goals.

“Complete a Patriot Policy Priorities worksheet to be used by NRCC staff to evaluate legislative priorities for the current Congress and to promote and advocate for those priorities where appropriate,” reads the contract, which is also heavy on fundraising requirements. For example, participants must agree to keep a certain level of cash on hand and raise money for the NRCC (the amounts vary by individual), and to use certain vendors in their campaigns.

There’s nothing nefarious here, as far as I’m concerned. Looks to me like a cooperative agreement between Republicans and House members and it’s not as if the NRCC is an unexpected source of campaign support for a first-term House member. But as the Post pointed out, it highlights the vast extent of a congressman’s responsibility to his or her party in fundraising, the scope of which is something I don’t think many voters are aware of.

As reported before here at State & Capitol, Poliquin has been positioned by party leaders from the start — primarily with his placement on the House Committee on Financial Services, which is seen as an A-list assignment — for a crushing campaign cash haul.

It’s working. Poliquin took in more than $1 million in the first half of 2015, according to the Federal Election Commission, and still had $950,000 on hand at the end of June.

One thing is clear: Poliquin is ready for a vigorous re-election campaign, which will likely include a lot of time next summer appearing on your television.

Brent Littlefield, a political consultant for Poliquin, said Friday he was unsure whether the congressman has signed the contract.

“As Bruce has said repeatedly and as his voting record has shown, he doesn’t work for the Republican Party, he doesn’t work for the Democratic Party and he doesn’t work for any leadership groups in Washington,” said Littlefield. “He works for the people of the 2nd Congressional District of Maine.”

Fore! PGA snubs Trump

An interesting tidbit from the presidential campaign: The PGA (that’s the professional golfers association) is so disenchanted with Donald Trump and comments he’s made about immigration that it has canceled its annual Grand Slam of Golf Tournament, according to The Hill.

The event was supposed to be held in October at the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, but the PGA decided to switch venues in July. On Thursday, the organization announced that it could not find another suitable venue in time, so it has scuttled the event. (See the Reading List below for another Trump golf story)

Oh well. October is for football and playoff baseball, anyway.

Reading list

You won’t see me on Monday

Have a great three-day weekend, folks. Don’t be concerned when you don’t see the Daily Brief on Monday; we’ll be back on Tuesday.

Check out this history of Labor Day if you’re looking for some interesting reading.

And another heads up: Not sure what the Daily Brief will look like a week from today but it’s likely to be a little scant and with a mention of Tom Brady’s glorious victory the night before. — Christopher Cousins



Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.