The Dick Lugar campaign recently trumpeted its endorsement from the Lunch Pail Republicans, expressing “gratitude” to the new organization for it support. The Lunch Pail Republicans committee claims to be comprised of “Indiana Republicans” striving to return Indiana to “traditional core Republican values that used to define who we are.” Extensive research suggests both claims are a distortion of the truth!
According to the organization’s first and only quarterly FEC filing, the Lunch Pail Republicans received $100,000 funding earlier this year. ALL of this funding came from the Engineers Political Education Committee (EPEC). To be clear, every dollar of funds collected by the Lunch Pail Republicans came from a single donor, the EPEC. Not a single dollar reported came from any of the “Indiana Republicans” the organization claims to represent.
Let’s follow the money now. Every dollar funding Lunch Pail Republicans came from EPEC. What types of candidates does EPEC typically support? During the last election cycle, EPEC contributed over $2,000,000 to congressional races. Nearly 90% of those funds went to Democrats. EPEC’s most recent monthly filing covering March of this year shows a similar breakdown. In March, EPEC contributed to Representative Jim Moran, who recently tried to censor advertisement critical of Obamacare. In addition, EPEC contributed to Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who once suggested the Constitution guarantees a right to dental care! It gets worse…EPEC also gave to notorious Democrat Alan Grayson, who earned the title “America’s Worst Politician” for intellectually inept and incendiary outbursts and Representative Jan Schakowsky, a member of the radical Progressive Caucus. To top it off, in March of 2012, EPEC contributed $100,000 to AFL-CIO and $250,000 to the Michigan Democratic Party 21st Century Fund.
Yet, the Lugar campaign proudly touts an endorsement from an group funded in its entirety by EPEC. Ironically, a Lugar surrogate declared that “endorsements matter” while decrying Grover Norquist’s (of Americans for Tax Reform) endorsement of Mourdock. Is the Lugar campaign unaware that most conservatives would appreciate the endorsement of a person known for fighting against tax increases rather than from an organization entirely funded by EPEC?
The Lunch Pail Republicans is an organization entirely funded by a “political education committee” funding opponents of Republican candidates 90% of the time. Unfortunately, the impact from the deceptively named organization extends beyond the Indiana Senate race. Lunch Pail Republicans recently endorsed six Republicans running for the Indiana House of Representatives. Conservatives should cast a wary eye on all of them.
Follow Joel Griffith on Twitter @joelgriffith