Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hartley Sends E-mail to GOPers Touting Nodler, Dinging Long

"You can't be partly pregnant . . ."
Gregg Hartley, who endorsed Sen. Gary Nodler for Congress Tuesday night, has sent an e-mail to 7th District Republicans, urging them to sign on to the campaign.
In the note, Congressman Roy Blunt's former longtime chief of staff also suggests a potential weakness of auctioneer Billy Long's campaign.

"The pundits would tell you Billy Long is in the lead and he sure has had some momentum," Hartley wrote in the e-mail forwarded to The Notebook.

"He is playing the outsider role but his campaign structure sends a different signal," Hartley goes on.

Hartley, who used to live in Missouri but now works as a lobbyist with Cassidy & Associates in Washington, D.C. said he did not intend to get involved in the 7th District primary, but that this campaign is personal to him.

"This is an important campaign. The candidate who wins the primary wins the seat. Congressmen Gene Taylor, Mel Hancock and Roy Blunt have built the seventh into one powerful seat. It is more than just one of 435. There are expectations of the one who holds the seat to live up its history. In Missouri, the 7th is the fulcrum which has leveraged tremendous growth statewide in GOP power. It is the traditional cradle of conservative Republic belief in Missouri and votes," Hartley wrote.

"I think it really matters who follows Roy," he added.

Nodler said he met with Hartley this past weekend and said he appreciates his support and welcomes it. Hartley said that while he and Nodler have not always been on the same team in the past, the Joplin Senator is best prepared to fill Blunt's shoes.
"I have known him for 30 years. Gary and I have not always agreed on campaigns or issues, and we won’t in the future. But he will do a strong job as the Congressman for the Seventh. I am going to support his efforts and endorse his campaign. Not as lobbyist or a vested interested here in DC, but as a Missourian, a former chief of staff to the Congressman from Southwest Missouri and as someone who cares deeply about the difference he can make in the Republican House Conference. I hope you will consider doing the same," Hartley wrote.

Hartley won't have a formal role with Nodler's campaign, but is expected to provide advice.
"No one in the nation's capitol -- outside Congressman Blunt -- knows the district better than Gregg Hartley," Nodler said.
"Gregg is very close to Congressman Blunt. He managed many of his campaigns, so he understands the district and the demands of the office. He's a lobbyist in Washington D.C. and knows a lot of folks both inside and outside of government," Nodler said.
Asked whether he was worried about the perception of receiving an endorsement from a Washington, D.C. based lobbyist, Nodler said every major candidate in the 7th District race has some ties to lobbyists.
"You're not going to find any significant contributor base that isn't tied to a lobbyist base. Any candidate who's raised any substantial money, has accepted money from lobbyists, people who have been lobbyists, paid lobbyists or employed lobbyists," Nodler said.
When suggested that Sen. Jack Goodman's campaign donations have been smaller, Nodler replied, "For a time, he had a relationship with David Barklage. He's a registered lobbyist." Barklage is running Sen. Goodman's campaign.
"You can't be partly pregnant. I know some people would like to be hypocritical about it. I'm not criticizing it. I'm just saying people throw allegations out there without looking in the mirror."

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