DesJarlais: ‘Independent Voice’ Generates GOP Money

Congressman Scott DesJarlais received more than $20,000 from political action committees associated with House Republican leaders in the past three months of 2011, observes The Tennessean, though he voted against the party line on occasion (and points that out in a news release on his first campaign radio ad of the year.)
DesJarlais said campaign contributions from House leaders signal their support for his “independent voice.”
“I think they have grown to know where I stand in principle, and they respect that,” he said
…Lara Brown, a specialist on American politics at Villanova University, said DesJarlais and other tea party-backed freshmen don’t necessarily pay a price for breaking with party leaders.
“It’s not unusual for leadership to understand that certain members of the legislature need to distance themselves from the establishment, especially if their reputation was gained in some of these outsider activities such as the tea party movement,” she said. “It’s less expensive and strategically beneficial for the leadership to keep an incumbent, even if that incumbent doesn’t always agree with them. Then they can redirect resources to candidates who are more endangered.”

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