Tags: boehner | business | allies | tea | party

Boehner Business Allies Take On Tea Party

Friday, 18 Oct 2013 08:15 AM

By Cathy Burke

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Business lobbyists loyal to House Speaker John Boehner are reportedly ready to take sides in a few GOP primary races against tea party candidates.

The races will target races in Michigan, Idaho and Alabama, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

The Post noted Boehner's relationships with groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have helped raise millions of dollars to put Republicans in office -- including the 2010 election of tea party lawmakers who were part of a GOP rift during the 16-day government shutdown.

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.

The Boehner loyalists say they're worried he now has a shaky hold over his caucus, The Post reported.

“I don’t think [lobbyists] are going to push John to commit suicide as a political leader,” said John Motley, a longtime lobbyist and former vice president of legislative affairs at the National Federation of Independent Business. “It’s more important to have him there than to not have him there.”

In the races in three states, Boehner and his business allies will go up against groups such as Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, the newspaper reported.

“I don’t know of anybody in the business community who takes the side of the Taliban minority,” said Dirk Van Dongen, longtime chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.

In Michigan, where Rep. Justin Amash -- who had been challenging Boehner during the debt-ceiling fight -- is facing a possible challenge from a business-backed candidate.

Business lobbyists also talk about funding a challenge to another tea-party-backed Republican incumbent, Michigan Rep. Kerry Bentivolio.

Another area for possible combat occurs in a special election next month in the 1st District of Alabama, where former state senator Bradley Byrne, a self-described business-oriented Republican, faces off against Dean Young, a tea party-endorsed candidate who says he’s “against homosexuals pretending that they are married.”

It's not the first report of tea party revolt that will reverberate in upcoming elections.

There are signs 80 House members who signed a letter to Boehner urging him to tie financing the government to defunding Obamacare, and at least some will be facing a political backlash in their districts.

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.

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