The media has been having a lot of fun with an old, unproven rumor that Rep. Renee Ellmers and Rep. Kevin McCarthy have been carrying on an extra-marital affair.
What’s unfortunate to see is another North Carolina Republican jumping on the rumor bandwagon.
Rep. Walter B. Jones acknowledged to CQ Roll Call Friday that he wrote a letter asking leaders to attest they had not committed any embarrassing misdeeds in part because he had seen rumors published of an affair between fellow North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
On Thursday, McCarthy denied Jones’ letter had an impact on his decision to abruptly quit the race for speaker, and Ellmers released a statement Friday addressing what she called “completely false accusations and innuendo” and praying for those who bear false witness.
Jones said he hopes his letter didn’t effect McCarthy’s decision.
“I hope it didn’t, I really do,” he said.
But while he has mostly been cagey about what exactly prompted him to write it, when asked by CQ Roll Call, he said Friday that the rumors played a role.
“Yep — and what I have seen in the past. That was part of it. … It was a combination of different things that have happened over the years and this was one of them. … I had a sense that the conference should ask each one running for majority leader, for whip and speaker, ‘Is there anything that you’ve got in your closet that could be embarrassing.’” Source: Roll Call
The Opie-esque shoulder shrug from Jones about hoping his letter didn’t affect McCarthy’s decision was icing on what I surmise to be little more than a rather nasty speakership ground game tactic.
Roll Call doesn’t follow-up by asking there anything in Jones’ 20 year-long political closet that might be embarrassing? Like being a Democrat when he served on the state legislature? Or maybe something else?
Heritage Action gave Jones a decently high Conservative rating score, but I’d like to highlight a contradictory area of Jones’ actions that people might not be aware of: The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA) of 2015.
What LARA does, in short, is place monetary sanctions on lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits. Cutting down the number of ambulance chaser and nuisance suits? Sounds like a no-brainer ‘yes’ vote, right?
According to the FEC as of this past September, guess where around 9% (over 65k) of Jones’s donations came from? Individual donors and PACS from the legal community.
Lawyers/Law Firms are the 3rd largest group contributor so far in the 2015-16 cycle.
2016: Jones received $2,000 from American Association For Justice
2014: Jones received $15,000 from American Association For Justice and 45,000 from Legal PACS. The Ward & Smith PA Political Action Committee was the biggest donor, with $25,000.
Top Recipients of American Association For Justice cash in 2014 were:
Senate Majority PAC
House Majority PAC
American Bridge 21st Century
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee