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IN THE NEWS: Mitch McConnell to help Rep. Braun court K Street lobbyists and wealthy donors

INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun continues to shed his “outsider” candidate moniker as he heads back to the Washington swamp to raise money for his campaign from Mitch McConnell and the K Street lobbyists “he previously derided,” the Indy Star reported this morning.

Rep. Braun’s fundraiser with McConnell on Monday is one of two being held for him at lobbying firms that day, and a continuation of his meetings in D.C. with establishment donors this week. The Star also notes that Rep. Braun is referring to his primary campaign self-funding as a “loan” and is actively soliciting donations at these fundraisers to repay him. It appears that if Rep. Braun has his way, he’ll be just as guilty of funding his primary campaign with lobbyist donations as the two GOP opponents whom he attacked for the practice — he’ll have simply done it at a different time.

From the Indy StarGOP’s Mike Braun, Indiana’s ‘outsider’ Senate candidate, enters ‘swampy’ D.C. to raise cash

GOP Senate nominee Mike Braun is making his second trip to swampy Washington, D.C., since winning the May 8 primary, this time to get fundraising help from the career politicians and lobbyists he previously derided.

Several lobbyists, including two former aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are holding a fundraising lunch for Braun Monday at a lobbying shop.

In case Braun isn’t enough of a draw for donors being asked to give at least $1,000 to attend, McConnell and Indiana Sen. Todd Young will be there as “special guests,” according to a copy of the invitation obtained by IndyStar.

The fundraising lunch follows a fundraising breakfast being hosted by another lobbying firm, BGR Group, Politico reported Thursday. BGR Group collected more than $26 million in lobbying income last year, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Braun largely self-funded his primary campaign, enabling him to assert that he would go to Washington “not beholden to anyone.”

“My supporters are not insiders. They’re folks like you,” Braun said at the Decatur County Lincoln Day Dinner.

He accused the “Washington swamp” of “ruining America,” and criticized “career politicians in D.C.” who serve “special interests and lobbyists.”  He dismissed his primary opponents — Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer — as the “swamp brothers.”

Monday’s fundraiser is being held at Fierce Government Relations, which took in more than $13 million in lobbying fees last year.

Political Action Committees are being encouraged to give $5,000, the maximum contribution allowed for the general election campaign. The fundraising invitation notes, however, that if donors haven’t already given Braun the maximum contribution for the primary, they can still help him pay off the more than $5 million he loaned his campaign.

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