McCain to raise money for Kennedy seat hopeful

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will host an event for Rhode Island state Rep. John Loughlin in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

The event will be at the National Republican Club, with a suggested contribution of $750.

Loughlin has also secured commitments from two other 2008 presidential hopefuls -- Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney -- to campaign for him.

He is the GOP favorite in the race to replace retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.).


GOP outraises Dems in February

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) outraised its Democratic counterpart in February, $5.1 million to $4.4 million.


Pelosi floats public financing for elections

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Thursday night floated the idea of implementing public financing for political campaigns as a long-term goal.

In an interview on MSNBC, the top House member was asked what she could do to limit the impact of a Supreme Court decision that could allow corporations to spend freely on politics.

{mosads}"I hope that we can build a coalition for public financing of campaigns," she said. "It will be so much more wholesome for our country and for our democratic process and for the attitude that the public would have toward politics."

The Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission angered many Democrats, including President Barack Obama, who support limits on corporate political spending in order to reduce the influence of special interests. The ruling could also allow unions to spend in an unlimited fashion.

Pelosi's statement comes nearly a month after several hefty Democratic donors wrote Pelosi in support of public financing for congressional campaigns.

In the short-term, Pelosi touted a bill to be put forth by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that would impose new accountability and disclosure requirements for corporations who want to spend an unlimited amount of money.

A Democratic aide said that Pelosi has long supported the idea, but it is unlikely to link it to the Van Hollen bill because it does not have the votes to pass.


Biden to raise money for Driehaus

Vice President Joe Biden will raise money for Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) on March 15.

The AP reports Biden will be speaking at a lunch for Driehaus, with tickets going for between $100 and $150.

Driehaus faces a rematch with former Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), whom he unseated in 2008. Chabot has been named to the final stage of the NRCC's Young Guns program for challengers, and the district is a top target.


Schwarzenegger to raise money for Stivers

Ohio GOP House candidate Steve Stivers will hold a fundraiser with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) next week, Stivers’s campaign tells The Ballot Box.

Stivers and Schwarzenegger will team up to raise money on March 5, in an event that will also benefit the state GOP.

Schwarzenegger visits the Columbus area annually for his yearly Arnold Sports Festival. The city is a former home to the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest, where Schwarzenegger made his name by winning six straight titles and then served as a promoter.

“He’s very popular in Columbus and has been forever,” Stivers spokesman John Damschroder said. “Columbus loves what he has done for the community, and he’s heavily invested in the area. He’s been very loyal in keeping things in Columbus even as he’s become a big star.”

Interestingly, the event will be held the same day former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) raises money for Ohio Right to Life. That group’s backing has emerged as a key factor for Stivers, who lost votes to anti-abortion rights candidates in 2008 and has struggled to please anti-abortion rights forces.

So while Palin raises money for an anti-abortion group, Stivers will raise money with a pro-abortion rights politician.

Democrats sought to play up that fact Friday.

"Stivers is trying to have it both ways: while he begs Ohio Right To Life for their support, he is standing with the most well known pro-choice Republican," said DCCC spokeswoman Gabby Adler.

Regardless, the event should be a provide Stivers with a nice chunk of change.

UPDATE 5:32 p.m.: NRCC spokesman Ken Spain responds to the DCCC: "The differences between the two candidates in this race couldn’t be clearer. Steve Stivers opposes federal funding of abortions as well as the unconscionable practice of partial-birth abortion, unlike Mary Jo Kilroy whose far-left stance on the issue has earned her the endorsement of a radical pro-abortion group that has poured thousands of dollars into her campaign coffers."



What do you get when Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) host a fundraiser for Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.)?

Confusion? Well, yes, if you're not familiar with the congressional Murphys of the Northeast. But you also get MURPHYPALOOZA, an event being held March 17 in Washington.

The fundraiser features the two second-term Murphys raising money for the 2009 special election-winner Murphy.

It also might be the most clever name for a fundraising event this cycle.


No political recession

The cost of the 2010 midterm elections will be $3.7 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The watchdog's estimate would mean a 30 percent increase over the last midterm election in 2006. It also doesn't include the potential influx of corporate spending, which watchdogs have feared ever since the Supreme Court ruled on the Citizens United case.

Check out CRP's analysis here.


Bayh doesn't know what to do with campaign funds

Retiring Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) on Monday said he does not know what he will do with the $13 million he had amassed for his re-election bid.

Bayh, who announced last week he won't seek re-election in November, had enjoyed a significant advantage over any potential competitors because of the size of his campaign coffers. Where it will go instead, he said, is "a good question.

"I haven't decided yet. As you can imagine, there's been a lot of things I've been dealing with so I'll be making those decisions at some point in the future," he said.|

Asked if he might donate it to the as-yet unknown Democratic candidate for his seat, Bayh said he might.
"I'd like to help whoever the Democratic Party nominee is to be my successor," he said. "And then some other money to other Democrats also, maybe."

Cross-posted to the Briefing Room