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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

House Majority PAC


Lapp earlier this year decided New York-26 would be the first test of her House Majority PAC, which didn’t even have office space in Washington at that point.
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Lapp eventually settled on a message that tied Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan to an increase in the national debt. “Seniors sacrifice, the wealthy gain, our debt skyrockets,” the announcer said in the ad.

It was a slight twist on the messaging being pushed by Hochul and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which focused on the Ryan plan’s impact on Medicare benefits for seniors.

Lapp subsequently raised $350,000 for the ad, whose run-time was meant to match the second half of the $650,000 ad buy made by American Crossroads.

“Without them coming in, we would have just been swamped,” said strategist Jon Vogel, who was a media consultant for Hochul. “Crossroads and the [National Republican Congressional Committee] were just pounding Kathy.”

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Lapp served as the deputy director of the DCCC’s independent-expenditure arm in 2006, when now-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran the committee. The Democrats retook the House that cycle, and several observers say the IE’s work that year became a model for the following cycles.

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John Lapp is now a consultant for the DCCC, and it would be illegal for Ali and John to coordinate their activities.

Lapp said their dinner-table conversations steer clear of any conflicts of interest.

“John and I have a very simple rule — we don’t talk about House campaigns that John is working on. Work is work. And home is home,” she said.