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POLITICS: PennAve

Conservative email listserv shuts down after messages leak

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PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Conservatism,Technology

A non-government email listserv that fostered frequent, in-depth policy and strategy discussions among conservatives throughout the government funding debate was disbanded after some messages were leaked to the Washington Examiner last week.

The listserv, called "We Win, They Lose," was run by staff for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and served as a strategic communications tool in the lead-up to and aftermath of the government shutdown for House and Senate senior staff, media, outside groups and Tea Party leaders .

But Amanda Carpenter, a senior communications adviser to Cruz, informed members of the listserv last week that the group would be dissolved in light of the emails that were shared with the Examiner, a source confirmed.

Members of the group used the listserv to discuss everything from whether to call the shutdown "Harry Reid's shutdown" or "Obama's shutdown," to whether Republicans should push to eliminate health care subsidies for members of Congress and their staff. Questions about legislative procedure or political strategy were often posed and answered in real time as issues emerged on Capitol Hill.

In more than 100 email threads during the government funding debate, outside groups also interacted with House and Senate senior staff to a remarkable extent. Matt Hoskins, who runs the Senate Conservatives Fund, was an active participant in the listserv, as was Jason Yaworske, a legislative strategist at Heritage Action.

The discussions on the email listserv reflected a larger effort by House and Senate conservatives to coordinate during the debate over whether and how to fund the government. Conservative Senate and House lawmakers have also held regular meetings in person and over the phone to discuss their strategy at certain junctures.

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Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner