No Labels, a “centrist” advocacy group, was founded about four years ago “to move America from the old politics of point-scoring towards a new politics of problem-solving.” But as Yahoo News reported, the group came under scrutiny from the Left over the summer when a leaked memo showed communication about how Republican control of the Senate might work better for No Labels.
“Should the balance of power in the U.S. Senate flip following the 2014 midterm elections and Republicans gain control, No Labels sees an opportunity to bridge the gap between Congress and the White House,” the document reads in its “Break Through Strategy” section. “With Republicans holding control of both chambers in Congress and a Democrat in the White House, the likelihood of gridlock will be higher than ever before.
“We have already begun back door conversations with Senate leaders to discuss this increasingly likely scenario,” the document continues.”
This leak came on the heels of No Labels essentially endorsing Colorado’s Republican candidate for Senate, Cory Gardner, earlier this spring. “Senate Democrats … are still fuming from an April incident in which the group supported [Gardner] in Colorado over [Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s (WV),] college, incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.”
The group, of which Manchin is an honorary co-chair, then tried to do damage control and said that any candidate could win their “Seal of Approval” if they agreed to be a member and focus on the group’s goals.
Gardner has referenced this approval repeatedly on the campaign trail, and even told Colorado public radio station KVNF last week that No Labels had given him their “Problem-Solver” seal of approval because of the work he had done “across the aisle.”
No Labels has officially taken their support to a new level, however, announcing earlier this week that the group will “actively support Rep. Cory Gardner in the final days of his challenge against Colorado Sen. Mark Udall,” Real Clear Politics reported.
Upon the group’s announcement, a spokesman for Sen. Manchin told RCP that the senator “100 percent” supports Udall and “will do anything he can to help him with this election because he believes that moderates like Senator Udall can help move this country forward. Senator Manchin just learned about the actions of No Labels and does not agree with this approach. He is going to discuss this with No Labels and will take the appropriate action.”
A group that claims to want to end Washington gridlock should endorse/support/whatever No Labels does candidates from both parties. However, that memo shows that the group needs the gridlock to justify its existence, the $12 million in donations they’ve raised since 2010, and the $4 million pledged for this year.
Supporting candidates who actually eliminate gridlock could eventually phase out the need for the group. Supporting candidates who don’t means they can stay in business.