January 4, 2016

Self-Proclaimed “Outsider” Jason Kander Did The Most D.C. Insider Thing Possible

What’s more “Washington insider” than talking about race ratings by Beltway media outlets? Candidates groveling to Beltway media outlets in an effort to change their race’s rating. Yet that’s exactly what Missouri’s Jason Kander, who has desperately tried to position himself as a political outsider, did this fall.

Former Missouri journalist Eli Yokley, now with D.C.-based Roll Call, calls race rankings “peak-Washington, D.C. political media” and details how hard Kander worked to play the insider game to influence his ranking in a column for The Joplin Globe:

Candidly, Kander flew to Washington as many candidates do to make his viability pitch to the race raters. I sat in on the Roll Call meeting, at which Kander was armed with statistics on other statewide elections, information about his plans to raise money, plans about how he will contrast himself with Blunt, and the repeated insistence that Show-Me State voters are known to split their tickets.

Oops. Kander was probably hoping that little junket would stay under wraps. Personally lobbying political prognosticators for ratings points is rich coming from a candidate who accused Washington politicians of being “more concerned with scoring political points than doing what’s right for our country” in his campaign launch video.

It’s not the first time Kander’s faux outsider persona has clashed with reality. According to an earlier report by Yokley, Kander was fundraising with D.C. lobbyists as early as March of 2015:

But as he looks to fund his young campaign, it is the lobbyists who he is meeting with early to ask for their fundraising help.

Last Wednesday, Kander attended a fundraiser at the lobbying firm Porterfield, Lowenthal, Fettig & Sears. According to Open Secrets, the company made more than $2.7 million last year to advocate on behalf of the banking industry.

An America Rising tracker caught up with Kander as he headed in to collect inside-the-Beltway campaign cash: