Campaign committees

Campaign committees

NRCC banks another $5 million in June (updated)

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $9 million in June and now has $17 million cash on hand — a net gain of $5 million for the month.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also raised $9 million for the month.

Officials at the NRCC said June was its best monthly fundraising performance in four years and touted it as a sign of things to come.

The committee is now going into "fundraising mode," Pete Sessions, NRCC chairman, told reporters Tuesday. "The NRCC has raised more in January to June of this year than we did all of 2009."

The NRCC edged the DCCC by about $2 million in the second quarter, bringing in a total of $21.2 million since April 1.

Sessions said its numbers are "supportive and indicative" of a backlash against the Democrats' agenda.

"This is a referendum on the success of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi," he said.

Still, Sessions said he expected to be outraised by the DCCC, which has $33.7 million banked for the general. "We learned in '06 money isn't everything," he added, noting the GOP significantly outraised the Democrats that cycle but still lost control of the House.

[The NRCC had a cash-on-hand advantage of $2 million going into the final two weeks of the 2010 midterms. But it was outraised the DCCC by some $12 million in 2006, when both committees brought in close to $100 million by Election Day.]

Sessions's deputy, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), said the GOP is now "getting traction" in races from Arkansas to Oregon.

"Remember, 18 months ago we Republicans were treated like mold, not really alive but you couldn't kill us either," Walden said. "A lot's changed in 18 months."

--Updated at 5:38 p.m.


Steele gets party backing after war remarks

Washington state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser publicly advocated for Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to keep his job at an event Sunday in Tacoma.

"I don't think there's any support for changing horses in midstream," Esser said, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Steele was in town for a fundraiser, where he sought to clarify his recent statement that Afghanistan was "a war of Obama's choosing."

"I am 1,000 percent for victory for our men and women in the service," said Steele. "We cannot leave them on the battlefield."

He continued, "This party stands with them. I stand with them. Period. No excuses. No exceptions."

Esser praised Steele for doing a good job clarifying his remarks and said he doubted the chairman was at risk of losing his job.

Meanwhile, several Republicans, including two-time gubernatorial nominee Dino Rossi, are competing in the party's Senate primary. Steele warned against nursing hard feelings after the August 17 vote.

"Whatever candidates they may have supported in the primary doesn't matter on general election day," he said.


Kaine: GOP 'showing their hand' in midterms

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine expressed confidence Friday night that his party will fare well in the midterm elections, charging twice that Republicans are bringing back "architects of the lost decade" to propel their campaigns.

"It's going to be tough," Kaine said on MSNBC. "Midterms are always tough for parties in power, but the Republicans are showing their hand. They are adopting a game plan that is basically bringing back the architects of the lost decade -- Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie and others -- and Americans, they might not be happy yet, but they don't want to go backward, and I think we're going to have a very easy time pointing out that's where the Republicans will take us."

Kaine said that the smaller donations coming into the DNC from individuals showed that the party had a strong grassroots campaign force.

"We are climbing a ladder that we built with no help from the other side and the right answer for America is to keep climbing, not to go back in the ditch," Kaine said.


NRCC gets a ray of good news

The National Republican Congressional Committee got some good news Thursday, outraising the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in April by pulling in $7.1 million to the DCCC's $5.14 million.

During the same time, the NRCC spent $5.6 million, much of that going to its failed backing of businessman Tim Burns (R) in Tuesday's Pennsylvania special election. The rest went to "prospecting," according to a committee official. The NRCC now has $11.4 million banked for the midterms.

Meanwhile, the DCCC still holds a significant cash on hand advantage. It had $27.3 million banked after spending $3.9 million in April.


Dems, GOPers take 2010 campaign fights to iPhone, iPad

Democratic and Republican strategists are poised to take their campaign battles to the iPhone and iPad ahead of this year's tough midterm elections.

As smartphone popularity continues to grow exponentially -- with 2009 marking the first time consumers used phones for data more than calls -- strategists seem to agree the newest trench in political warfare is none other than the mobile device.

{mosads}The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) was the first party organization out of the gate with an iPhone app, released last Friday. The tool allows users to follow GOP Senate races with the help of a feed aggregates Republican campaign news across the NRSC's Twitter, Facebook and blog pages.

The app also includes Senate race descriptions, video archives and ways for users to receive more campaign information and share it with friends.

"So many more people are using mobile, using iPhones and other smart phones, and now the iPhone will be going to Verizon -- [the audience for the NRSC app is] that sort of market of folks who are dropping their landlines and using their mobile phones for connecting more and more," Katie Harbath, Chief Digital Strategist at NRSC, told TechPresident last week. (It is not clear, however, if and when the iPhone might migrate to Verizon.)

However, the Democratic National Committee soon plans to one-up the NRSC: A spokeswoman told Hillicon Valley on Monday that the DNC is planning its own campaign app, available on both the iPhone and iPad.

That tool, due out this summer, will offer Democratic voters "news updates and access to the latest election information along with a variety of other features," said the DNC's Brandi Hoffine.

“The Obama campaign and its successor Organizing for America has prided itself on being on the cutting edge technologically with respect to engaging and involving Americans in politics and in helping pass the president’s agenda for change across all types of mediums and platforms," she said. 

(Cross-posted from Hillicon Valley)


Van Hollen: Obama picks his spots when campaigning

The chairman of the House Democrats' campaign committee said Friday that President Barack Obama listens to individual lawmakers when deciding whether or not to campaign for them.

Van Hollen's comments come as it appears President Barack Obama will not make a stop for Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), whom he endorsed over Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) in the party's Senate primary. Specter and Sestak are running neck-and-neck, according to several polls.

{mosads}"I think the president realizes there are some districts where he is strong and some districts where he is not as strong, so he will take the lead from members of Congress," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said on MSNBC.

Many Democrats from traditionally Republican districts are considered vulnerable to losing their reelection bids, and Van Hollen's comments suggested they would be better served by eschewing an appearance with Obama.

Obama has made some high-profile campaign stops for several candidates who did not win reelection in close races, such as Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost to Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D), who lost to Gov. Chris Christie (R).

With regards to Specter, Vice President Joe Biden suggested that Obama's schedule wouldn't allow for a campaign stop.

But the Maryland Democrat, who helms the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that Obama is a great help to Democrats everywhere, even if he doesn't stump for all of them.

"I think Barack Obama helps everybody by making the points he made last night in terms of drawing the contrast [between Democrats and Republicans]," he said.

Cross-posted to the Briefing Room


RNC confirms '12 convo in Tampa

The Republican National Committee will have its 2012 convention in Florida's Tampa Bay Area.

"The Tampa area boasts state-of-the-art facilities, exciting and vibrant downtowns, and a clear enthusiasm from the community to host our convention," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement.

"We are very excited to accept Tampa's bid for the 2012 Republican National Convention," Holly Hughes, chair of the site selection committee, said Wednesday. "We are looking forward to a successful convention in Florida."

The RNC’s site selection committee also reviewed bids from Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Selecting Phoenix could have been a political liability after Arizona passed its new anti-illegal immigration statute. And Utah is solidly Republican. In 2008, the RNC held its convention in Minneapolis.

The Arizona Republican Party denied the state's new immigration law had anything to do with Phoenix getting passed over.

"While many will point to Arizona's new immigration law as one of the reasons that Phoenix was not chosen, nothing could be further from the truth," Arizona GOP chairman Randy Pullen said in a statement. "Members of the RNC overwhelmingly support the immigration bill signed into law by Governor Brewer, and Republicans from coast-to-coast stand with Arizonans as we fight to secure our border."

Updated at 4:51 p.m.


NRSC hires Mike DuHaime to lead IE arm

Strategist Mike DuHaime has been hired by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to direct it’s independent expenditures arm during the 2010 cycle.

"Mike DuHaime has an enormous amount of campaign experience and political expertise, and he will serve as an invaluable resource directing this important component of the NRSC's operation during the 2010 midterms," Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said in a statement.

DuHaime recently had success as the chief architect of New Jersey Gov Chris Christie's (R) 2009 defeat of Jon Corzine. He's also held positions with the Republican National Committee and President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, among others.

The New Jersey native has also had his share of failures. He was Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign manager in 2008, when the former New York City mayor focused his resources on winning Florida's GOP primary. The strategy failed and Giuliani subsequently quit the race.