Red-Meat Republicans

Red-Meat Republicans

In the 2014 Republican primary, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s campaign and PAC spent nearly $170,000 at DC power steakhouses, chiefly Bobby Van’s and BLT Steak. His victorious opponent Dave Brat’s entire campaign cost $122,000.

“”It’s rare that you would see a fundraiser at a Ruby Tuesday or a Chipotle,’ said Lisa Spies, a veteran GOP fundraiser …. ‘You’ve got to spend money to raise money.’

In the 2014 cycle, all federal candidates have spent just over $9,000 on Chipotle, and $1,229 at Ruby Tuesday, according to numbers compiled by CQ Moneyline. In the same span, they have spent more than $400,000 at Bobby Van’s.”

—  “Why Eric Cantor chose Bobby Van’s,” Eric Tau, Politico

It works. Cantor’s campaign raked in $5.5 million and his PAC took in $3.5 million more while Brat raised $206,663.

But the median annual household income in Virginia’s 7th District is $64,751, the value of the average family home is $188,400, and it’s a pretty long drive to Bobby Van’s.


“Elites Beware: Eric Cantor’s Defeat May Signal a Populist Revolution,” Ron Fournier, National Journal


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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