Sean Duffy spoke with McCarthy constantly throughout the campaign. So did a South Dakota farmer named Kristi Noem — though she received what she calls "good messaging advice" covertly, as Noem's entire campaign was based on her wholesale rejection of Beltway orthodoxy.I suppose it shouldn't be shocking that Duffy got messaging advice during the campaign. But note the distinction there between Noem, who had to at least pretend that she wasn't communicating with party leaders, and Duffy who didn't. It does underline the point that Duffy is very much a team player, in-with-GOP-leadership kind of representative. I suppose your feelings about that will depend on your feelings about GOP leadership.
A more philosophical question is do you prefer for your representative to be someone who pretends to be independent but really isn't or someone who doesn't especially pretend.