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  NRCC gives Democrat its leadership award
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Last EditedArmyDem  Apr 26, 2006 09:55pm
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News DateFriday, April 28, 2006 03:55:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy Andrew Barr

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is catching flak for an award program designed to encourage political donations and mobilize community leaders, but a recent award recipient is unlikely to add to the GOP war chest.

The NRCC gave its National Leadership Award to a Democrat — former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler, who is challenging Republican Rep. Charles Taylor in North Carolina’s 11th District. Shuler owns a real-estate firm in Knoxville, Tenn., and is a former Republican. The award was sent to his work e-mail account earlier this year.

All award winners are encouraged to donate to the NRCC. The Arizona Republic reported last week that the program has raised $2 million this year and that each recipient is suggested to donate at least $500.

The NRCC’s award program prompted Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield to say the GOP will “put access up for sale in any way they can think to do it.”

“The Republican Party seems to have a hard time figuring out what they are going to do with Heath Shuler. One day they want to give him an award; the next they want to strongly oppose him,” said Shuler spokesman Andrew Whalen.
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