Ain’t No Party Like A Shutdown Party: Your 2014 GOP

A year ago today was a dark day for Washington. Like, literally dark — the Republican Party turned off the lights to the federal government, holding the economy hostage to try to score political points. It didn’t work.

In fact, all the government shutdown did was suck $24 billion out of the US economy, while leaving the Republican Party deeply damaged. It’s easy to associate the shutdown with the likes of Ted Cruz, the man who drives the GOP strategy. But it’s not just Ted Cruz who supported the shutdown. It’s nearly every Republican Senate candidate in key races and a slew of 2016 frontrunners.

Their support manifested itself in different ways. Cory Gardner voted for the shutdown, risked default by voting against raising the debt ceiling, voted to prolong the shutdown, and then hobnobbed with Karl Rove and his big-money donor friends while America paid the price for his actions.

View supporting research after the jump.

A Thursday Morning Koch Hangover For GOP Senate Candidates

Yesterday morning, newly released audio recordings from a secretive Koch brothers summit earlier this year offered an even clearer window into just how cozy today’s Republican candidates are with the Kochs and their powerful network.

Speaking with rare candor, key Republican senate nominees thanked the billionaires for getting them to where they are today, lavished the entire Koch community with praise, and doubled down on their adherence to the Kochs’ extreme, anti-working family agenda.

Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, and Tom Cotton all gave speeches at Koch summit in June. Yesterday, they had less to say. But the coverage spoke for itself, and it wasn’t pretty — check out the brutal headlines and key passages below from Wednesday’s reporting:

At Koch Retreat, Top GOP Senate Candidates Credited Koch Network For Their Rise
Huffington Post // Sam Stein

None of the three candidates returned a request for comment for this article. But their attendance at the retreat offered both reward and risk.
A few days after Ernst’s appearance, Charles Koch, his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law each gave the Iowa candidate the legal maximum contribution of $2,600.
Cotton, meanwhile, took heat for backing out of the local Pink Tomato Festival to attend the Koch affair, with his opponent, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), all but accusing him of lacking home-state sensibilities. A willingness to go against the prevailing winds at home has endeared Cotton to the Koch brothers’ crowd, however.

Caught on Tape: What Mitch McConnell Complained About to a Roomful of Billionaires (Exclusive)
The Nation // Lauren Windsor

To put that in perspective, Mitch McConnell’s thirty-five-year career in the Senate saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans, the 2008 housing meltdown that threatened the entire economy and Barack Obama’s election, to cite a conservative bête noire. But it was McCain-Feingold, the bill that banned soft money and unlimited donations to party committees, that constitutes the worst day of his political life.

Secret audio nails Mitch! Endangered McConnell busted humiliating himself on tape
Salon // Joan Walsh

This year Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chose to spend Father’s Day with two GOP political sugar daddies, Charles and David Koch, at their annual retreat, this time at the lovely St. Regis Monarch Bay resort in Orange County, California. As befit the day, McConnell brought the love: “I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David, for the important work you’re doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you.”

Read more after the jump.

The Truth About GOP Opposition to Paycheck Fairness

As Senate Republicans today blocked passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, supporting legislation to strengthen equal pay protections for women might seem like a no brainer for Republicans whose own party autopsy cited the need to improve outreach to female voters. But for the extreme conservative Republicans in the Senate – and the Republican candidates seeking to join them – no excuse for voting against this bill has been too low. Just yesterday, Mitch McConnell called the Paycheck Fairness Act a “bizarre obsession” of the left, while Marco Rubio said “I think we’re just wasting time” holding a vote on this bill.

These sad efforts to diminish the very real problem of pay inequality facing many American women are merely an attempt to distract from the fact that so many extreme Republicans, both current Senators and 2014 candidates, don’t support remedies to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work.

Supporting research after the jump.

Unequal Pay Day

It’s 2014. Paying women the same as men for the same work should be a no-brainer, right? Not for many right-wing Republicans. The extreme conservatives highlighted in American Bridge’s new website UnequalPay.com have gone to absurd lengths to block and even undo equal pay protections for women: voting against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, paying female employees less than their male counterparts, and arguing that women don’t really want equal pay anyway, so what’s all the fuss about? The list of these shameful tactics and faulty arguments goes on and on.

In honor of this year’s Equal Pay Day, check out American Bridge’s new website and read below for a few highlights of Republican office holders and candidates whose opposition to equal pay protections should give female voters serious pause at the ballot box.

View supporting research after the jump.