Allen West Placed in GOP Incumbent Protection Program

The National Republican Congressional Committee says it's not giving out free campaign money to Republicans facing a tough reelection campaign anymore -- you have to earn it.

That's why it started the Patriot Program for the last election cycle, making different benchmarks for lawmakers to meet before it throws them the cash.

The NRCC announced its first ten inductees into the program for next November's election, including our very own Rep. Allen West.

Now West will be responsible for collecting some campaign contributions, improving his communications skill set, or getting a grassroots movement going -- effectively whatever the RNCC tells him to.

"Allen West has demonstrated the leadership and ability to wage an aggressive campaign based on rigorous goals and proven strategies for victory," RNCC Chairman Pete Sessions says in a news release. "I'm very proud of Allen West and these Patriot Members who are leading the fight for victory in 2012."

According to Politico, Republicans aren't always happy about being placed in the Patriot Program, as they "expressed discomfort with the idea of being held accountable for their political operations."

But the RNCC thinks the program works.

"Under the new model, lawmakers would move to address their vulnerabilities early on and hope to scare off potential opponents based on the strength of their campaign," Politico's Alex Isenstadt says. "Party officials credit the program with strengthening endangered lawmakers and allowing the NRCC to focus its spending almost exclusively on a TV ad campaign targeting Democrats."

It's probably not a good sign for West that he was one of the first drafted into the program, but hey, the RNCC has a record of spending money by the truckload once you're on their good side.

And thanks to the RNCC's tax filing status as a 501(c)(4), you'll never know where that money comes from.

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