9:49 am May. 8, 2012
Here's more on the conservative-backed, Texas-based political action committee that plans to spend "six figures" to help oust 21-term Rep. Charles Rangel and replace him with fellow Democrat State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
In supporting Espaillat, the Campaign for Primary Accountability's spokesman, Curtis Ellis said of the freshman state senator, "He has a solid record, [and] he has popular support."
I asked why, if the group targets incumbents, they would support Espaillat, a legislator, rather than another one of Rangel's challengers who raised more money than Espaillat: Clyde Wiliams, a former aide to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Ellis bristled at my characterization of his group as an "anti-incumbent" PAC, and said Espaillat was simply the stronger challenger.
"I would question the characterization of us as an anti-incumbency PAC. If Pelosi gets a challenger, we're not going to get involved," Ellis said.
"She's universally popular" and if she had a challenger, then "we're not interested."
"Clyde Williams is not as well known in the district as Senator Espaillat," Ellis said. " He doesn't have that solid record of representing people."
"Just because you work for the Clinton Foundation doesn't mean you're not going to fall prey to the special interest, who, by the way, donate heavily to the Clinton Foundation," Ellis said.
UPDATE: Rangel's campaign spokeswoman Ronnie Sykes told me, "You can learn a lot about an elected official by who their enemies are and these conservatives know who is effective. And that's why they want Charlie out."