Campaign committees

Campaign committees

GOP prepped to hit Dems on balanced budget votes

With the House likely to vote on a balanced budget amendment when it reconvenes the week of Nov. 14, Republicans are laying the groundwork to knock any Democrats who vote against it.

The National Republican Congressional Committee launched a website on Monday to detail how Democratic members vote on the amendment, and  to document how those who were in Congress voted during a 1995 attempt.

Users will also be able to submit their own videos in support of a balanced budget amendment.

The name of the site,, is a reference to another Code Red site the NRCC launched during the healthcare debate to raise money and target Democrats who supported Obama's push for the Affordable Care Act.

In a video posted on the site, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) calls it "a one-stop site you can use to hold House Democrats accountable for spending too much and listening too little."


DCCC chair lays out 'hyper-aggressive' strategy for Dems to take back House

Key barometers of the political climate are leading House Democrats to predict better days ahead, but with one year to go until the 2012 elections, they aren’t sitting back and waiting.

Successful recruitment efforts and fundraising, better-than-feared redistricting results and generic polling that shows Democrats on top give the minority hopes of retaking control of the House, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said Friday in a briefing with reporters.

To make that happen, he said, Democrats will continue to be hyper-aggressive, pro-active and energetic.

“We’re going to keep them on the ropes. We’re going to tie them to the ropes. We’re going to encase the ties with cement,” Israel said.


Spooky attacks on Dems from GOP on Halloween

Republican groups embraced the spooky spirit on Monday, using Halloween-themed attacks to blame Democrats for a ghoulish economy.

"This Halloween, Democrats are dressing up as themselves," blasted a release from the National Republican Congressional Committee. "The Democrats’ job-destroying policies make a frightening costume."

The NRCC then pointed to comments House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made over the weekend about Democratic economic initiatives and her support for a National Labor Relations Board decision forcing a Boeing plant to shutter in South Carolina over union issues.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee sent a memo to reporters saying they had planned to send out a statement about "Obama's Haunted House," but were thwarted.

"Unfortunately, the house was foreclosed on due to the Obama Administration’s policies and we will therefore spare you from any additional Halloween themed references," wrote RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer.

On Monday, when asked at an American Enterprise Institute event which of his GOP opponents he would dress up as for Halloween, White House hopeful Herman Cain thought for a few moments before answering: "I believe I would go as Ron Paul," his rival from Texas.


Blue Dogs hire Whalen to beef up operations

The Blue Dog PAC has tapped Andrew Whalen, a former top adviser to Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), to head its political operations heading into the 2012 cycle, and charged him with expanding the coalitions grassroots and new media efforts.

Republicans picked off many centrist and conservative Democrats — called "Blue Dogs" — when they took control of the House in 2010, leaving a smaller contingent of more liberal Democrats in office. Aggressive campaigning in centrist districts is a key component of the Democratic playbook to flip the 25 seats they need to take back control of the lower chamber.

“As the extremes on the right and the left fight for their own interests, the interests of the American people are being left behind, said Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), co-chairman of the Blue Dog PAC. “With this expanded operation, Blue Dogs will be better equipped to recruit, endorse and support candidates in the 2012 election who are committed to fiscal responsibility, everyday American values and commonsense measures that help businesses grow.”

Whalen, a campaign veteran, has also served as executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party.


RNC pulls in $8.2 million in August, surpassing DNC

The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $8.17 million in August, its highest ever for an off-year August and almost $3 million more than its Democratic counterpart pulled in for the same period.

That brought the total raised by the group this year to $52 million. RNC officials reported having more than $9 million cash on hand and almost $16 million in debt, putting them in much better shape than at the start of the year, when they had less than half a million in cash and $24 million in debt.

The DNC raised $5.5 million, Reuters reported — almost a million less than it did the month before. But its fundraising numbers for 2011 so far, when added to the money raised for Obama's reelection campaign, reached $118 million, far surpassing the Republican figures.

Off-year summers and August in particular are typically slow fundraising periods for both parties.


RNC chairman: Obama itinerary proves he’s playing politics with job plan

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus lashed out Tuesday at President Obama’s road trip to key swing states to build support for his jobs proposal, drawing a contrast between Obama’s pledge to take his plan to people all across the country and his actual itinerary. 

“It turns out he’s using it for political purposes,” Priebus said on a conference call with reporters. “We all get the joke.” 

{mosads}Obama traveled on Friday to Virginia — home of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) — and on Tuesday is in Ohio — home of Speaker John Boehner (R) — to rally support for the jobs creation package he pitched to Congress last week. He will make another stop at North Carolina State University on Wednesday. 

All three are swing states Obama won in 2008 and all are important to his reelection. 

“I don't think anybody should be surprised he's not stopping in North Dakota and Montana and Alaska to sell his ‘Stimulus 2’ package,” Priebus said. 

Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine said Obama’s plan should get proper consideration, but that if he’s serious about bipartisanship, he should give equal consideration to Republican ideas on how to spur economic growth. 

“He has a very steep hill to climb when it comes to redeeming his credibility on job creation,” DeWine said. 

Obama’s job plan occupies the delicate and muddled space between a policy issue and a campaign issue. Although the election is more than a year away and Republicans haven’t yet picked their candidate to run against Obama, the election is already poised to be at least in part a referendum on the economy and on Obama’s efforts to dig the country out of recession. 

The Democratic National Committee has already launched an ad campaign promoting the $447 billion jobs package, using clips of Obama’s speech to Congress. Meanwhile, Republican campaign groups have been pushing the message that the plan represents another attempt by Obama to spend on government programs without paying for it.


DNC touts Obama jobs plan on new website

The Democratic National Committee has come out with a new website touting President Obama's American Jobs Act, underscoring the degree to which Democrats plan to use the proposal to drive their message, during the 2012 cycle, that Obama and Democrats are working to right the economy while Republicans and congressional inaction are stalling progress.

It also represents an unusual move by a campaign organization to try to reap the benefits of legislation that not only hasn't passed yet, but hasn't even arrived on lawmakers' desks.


RNC chairman calls Obama jobs plan a 'big fraud'

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called much of President Obama's $447 billion jobs plan a "big fraud" Friday, dismissing Obama's claim that the plan is paid for but also acknowledging that Republicans might be able to stomach parts of the proposal. 

"The reality is we're facing a monstrosity of a problem, and the reality is the president is playing with Chinese checkers here," Priebus said on MSNBC. "I tended to believe a lot of what the president had to say was a big fraud last night." 

Priebus said after the plan was evaluated, it became clear it was not actually paid for, and that Obama shouldn't be touting trade agreements that have been awaiting presidential action for years. 

But asked if the House GOP leadership's decision not to totally denounce Obama's plan was a sign of some consensus, he pointed to an extension of payroll tax cuts as one of a few areas where he thought Republicans and Democrats could work together. 

"There are some things I think both parties can agree to," said Priebus, who heads the fundraising and campaign arm of the Republican party. "That's the common ground we're looking for."

In interviews and statements since Obama's Thursday night address to Congress, where he laid out a plan he said would immediately put Americans back to work, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have been quick to highlight their own plan. They have cautiously avoided dismissing Obama's, however, wary of appearing to be standing in the way of ideas they had earlier embraced.

Cantor said tax relief for small businesses, unemployment compensation reform and trade agreements were all items he thought could pass the Republican-controlled House.