No, Greg Walden says, it's not a threat. It's just a little subtle encouragement.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

We've known for a while now that Congressman Greg Walden, the last Republican standing in Oregon, is moving up in GOP circles.

But now we know why.

The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen reports that, in March, Walden made a pitch to a group of 80 corporate leaders that, well, wasn't exactly a threat. Check it out:

We're starting to see hints of the old, ugly, corrupt machine when Republicans leaders not-so-subtly remind business leaders that the party is "keeping score." In other words, GOP officials expect to be back in the majority in 2011, and if corporate lobbyists want to start writing legislation again, the way they did before there was a Democratic majority, they'll have to buy that influence again.

When the NRCC's Greg Walden met with 80 corporate PAC leaders in March, for example, he said he wasn't making any threats. He simply said Republican leaders are "evaluating giving patterns," and in the next breath, he pointed to competitive congressional races where these lobbyists "can make an investment in a Republican candidate you will like."

I seem to recall subtle messages like these being featured on "The Sopranos." I can hear Boehner now, "That's a nice amendment you want in the appropriations bill. It'd be a shame if something happened to it."

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    Who was it who told Congressman DeFazio,""Don't think we're not keeping score, brother" after he didn't vote with him on an important issue?

    I didn't think that was Walden. Who was it? Oh, that's right, it was President Obama.

    But, of course, that wasn't a threat.

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      Of course, that was a joke.

      Is someone suggesting that Walden was joking?

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      Everyone I know cringed at that as well. Back to the mob metaphor, DeFazio/Obama was like gangsters taking shots at each other, and this is like the capo walking into the neighborhood grocery and asking for protection money!

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    There is a minor but important difference between political leaders seeking support from members of their party in the government and political leaders seeking to blackmail corporations or contributors. One is legitimate political dealmaking and the other is illegal.

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    I'd like to see specific examples where these types of so-called threats or "suggestions" aren't made within the Democratic Party. It seems obvious to me that the writer has quite the bias.

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    Remember also that Rep Walden was up in the spectator section during the Health Care Reform debate leading the Tea Party folks jeering in opposition. He embraces the Tea Party movement at every opportunity.

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    There is a risk here. If the GOP threaten corporate donors and fail to take back the House (I think the Senate is pretty much out of reach), corporations will LOSE influence.

    Walden is making a bold move, but it looks like the same hubris that marked the GOP through the Bush years. And for the GOP, that didn't turn out so well.

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    Spot on with the Sorprano's reference, Kari! They're buying protection. "Got a nice business there. Would be a shame to see your bottom line get mucked up with a lot of new environmental protection laws..." You get the idea. I can't speak like a Republican.

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