Sen. Cornyn’s stealth role in Brown’s MA victory

by Maria Recio
January 22, 2010

The stunning Republican come-from-behind victory in Massachusetts’ special U.S. Senate election wasn’t entirely a shock to Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The Texas senator had led a stealth Republican operation in the Bay State since December that quietly funneled top staffers, $1 million in cash and campaign know-how to Republican candidate Scott Brown.

While crediting Sen.-elect Brown with running a “perfect campaign,” committee officials are thrilled that their effort may not have come to Democrats’ attention until it was too late.

“This was something we were playing close to the vest the whole time,” Cornyn said in an interview. “We really caught the other side napping.”

Added committee spokesman Brian Walsh: “We kept it all very, very quiet.”

Massachusetts Democrats say they knew that the national Republicans were in the state.

“We were very much aware that this was a national election,” said Tim Sullivan, the legislative and communications director for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “Contrary to popular belief, our side was running a campaign. When it came down to the race being a race, everyone got mobilized.”…

…”We polled Dec. 16 and 17,” Walsh said. “We heard there was a buzz about Brown. He was down 13 points. But we looked closely at the numbers, and among those most likely to vote, he was three points behind.”

Armed with that intelligence, as well as polling data that underscored the electorate’s unhappiness with the healthcare bill being fought out in Congress, the Republican campaign staff swung into action.

On New Year’s Eve weekend, the committee dispatched several experienced staffers to Massachusetts and within a week cut a $500,000 check to the state’s Republican committee to support Brown’s effort…

The entire article is at the Star-Telegram of Texas.

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