Ex-DNC Chairman McAuliffe to Maine for funder

Terry McAuliffe will be at a bed and breakfast in Maine on Friday for a state Democratic Party fundraiser.

Maine Democrats are fighting two Republican-backed pieces of legislation that would eliminate the state's same-day registration law and require voters to show identification when they cast their ballot.

McAuliffe, a former Virginia gubernatorial candidate and Democratic National Committee chairman, will be the headliner at a "private cocktail reception" at the Ware Street Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lewiston Friday night.

Democrats said donations were needed in order to keep the legal status quo because some 50,000 voters registered on Election Day in 2008.

"Many of them were college students and many of them supported President Obama and Democrats down the ticket," the party said in a release advertising the reception. "The Republicans in Augusta are determined to suppress the vote from Maine's college campuses through two bills pending in the Maine state Legislature."

Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) is also set to attend the event.


GOP questions Dem convention financing

Republicans are raising questions about how Democrats are financing their national convention slated for next year in Charlotte, N.C.

The Democratic National Convention is being partly financed by a $10 million line of credit. That financing, according to the Charlotte Observer, is guaranteed by Duke Energy Corp., a company headed by a top Democratic fundraiser.

From the Observer:

The credit line from Fifth Third Bank is apparently the first time such an arrangement has been used by any Democratic convention organizers.

A Duke spokesman said stockholders, not rate-payers, would be on the line if the convention's host committee defaults. But the head of the committee said it may never have to draw on the money.
Some suggest the arrangement is tantamount to a large corporate contribution at a time when the party is touting new rules that bar corporate cash and individual contributions over $100,000. Democrats have pledged "a people's convention" and say the line of credit doesn't violate the new rules.
Republicans have called the new restrictions "sleight of hand." They say Duke's loan guarantee is more of the same.

"We said it then and we'll say it again, this rule isn't worth the paper it's written on," said party spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. "It proves the 'policy' was nothing more than a PR move from the very beginning."

Democratic spokesman Brad Woodhouse dismisses that notion. "No one is giving us anything," he said. "This is a line of credit."


Rep. Ron Paul the latest to raise in NH

The New Hampshire GOP continues to attract national Republicans to help fill its campaign coffers ahead of the 2012 campaign cycle. Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) was the latest name announced Monday. He'll be at the Hellenic Center in Dover for a "VIP" fundraiser in March.

"I am very pleased to have an opportunity to help Chairman Kimball and the New Hampshire GOP fund their fight for liberty and a return to constitutional government," Paul said in a statement released by the state party.

The March 25 event will benefit the state party, the Dover Republican Committee and the Strafford Country Republican Committee.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will also be in New Hampshire in March for fundraisers.


Rep. Bachmann to N.H. for March fundraiser

New Hampshire Republicans are bringing in Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for a fundraiser next month. The congresswoman will appear at a March 12 brunch benefiting the New Hampshire GOP, according to a release.

"Michele is an outspoken defender of our constitution and as a small business owner and a mother who has raised five children and twenty-three foster children; she knows firsthand the struggles our families face and is leading the fight to bring fiscal conservatism back to our nation," Jack Kimball, chairman of the New Hampshire GOP, said in a statement.

Bachmann was likely a popular choice for New Hampshire's GOP, which is now controlled by former Tea Party activists.

The event is the latest high-profile fundraiser announced by the state party. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is also set to travel to New Hampshire for a March fundraising event.


RNC chairman will head to N.H. for March fundraiser

The new Republican National Committee chairman will visit New Hampshire in March — his first visit to the lead-off primary state since taking office in January. 

Reince Priebus, who previously served as the Wisconsin GOP state chairman, will be the keynote speaker at a March 29 fundraiser, the New Hampshire Republicans announced Wednesday. 

"Chairman Priebus understands the critical importance fundraising will play in allowing our Party to maintain present majorities in both the House and the Senate, as well as supporting our state GOP effort to expand the Republican Party," Jack Kimball, chairman of the New Hampshire GOP, said in a statement.

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Kimball "held many personal conversations with Priebus to secure his appearance."

During the dinner, Kimball will present his predecessor, former Gov. John H. Sununu, with a new award for "dedication and service to the Republican Party."

Priebus has previously visited Florida, where there's an issue with the state's 2012 primary date. But in the five weeks he's been chairman, Priebus has yet to visit Iowa, which holds the first nominating cost in 2012.


Senate campaign committees still staring down debt

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee touted a record-breaking fundraising month Friday, revealing a $2.63 million January total and reporting $2.6 million in cash on hand. 

It's the largest first-month haul in an off-year in the committee's history, but both the DSCC and its Republican counterpart still have to climb out from under sizable debt left over from the 2010 cycle. 

Even with a solid fundraising month for Democrats, the National Republican Senatorial Committee outraised the DSCC by some $200,000 in January. The NRSC raised $2.86 million for the month and reported $483,000 in cash on hand. 

The NRSC mocked the Democrats' January haul Friday afternoon, highlighting the DSCC's $8.7 million debt. That's just over $2 million more than the $6.5 million debt reported by the NRSC. 

NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh argued that despite the DSCC's edge in cash on hand, once you factor in the difference in the debt, "both committees are on similar financial footing."

Democrats have 23 seats to defend in 2012 as they try to hang onto their slim Senate majority. The Friday announcement of Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) that he will not run for re-election next year is another early blow, setting up a more competitive open-seat race in that state. 

"Senate Democrats will prevail this cycle by raising the resources needed to wage aggressive campaigns in each of our targeted states," DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said in a statement Friday. "Our supporters are energized when they see Democrats focused on growing jobs and Republicans on everything but."


Former Pelosi foe launches PAC

Republican John Dennis, who raised some $2.5 million in his 2010 challenge to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is launching a political action committee.  

Despite coming up well short in his race against Pelosi, Dennis garnered national attention thanks to solid fundraising and catchy Web ads — one of which labeled Pelosi the "Wicked Witch of the West."  

The libertarian Republican has an ally in Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who endorsed his bid against Pelosi, and Dennis is promoting his new Freedom & Prosperity PAC at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, this week.  

Dennis said the PAC will support "liberty-oriented candidates," and that he has another issue-oriented organization in the works — either a 501(c) or 527.    

As far as winning his backing — it won't be easy. Dennis slammed the new House Republican leadership for not displaying a real backbone on spending cuts, calling the $32 billion initially proposed by House leaders "nonsense."  


Three 'favorite' conservative Joes uniting for funder

Three icons of the conservative movement are uniting for a fundraiser in California.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher and former Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller are set to appear at a March 24 fundraiser billed as "an evening you won't forget."

Tickets range from $212 to $2,012. The money raised goes to the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, a group organized by the California-based Tea Party Express.

"All attendees to the fundraiser will receive complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres," according to a release. "Also, all guests will be present for the unveiling of the debut television ad for the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, and a presentation outlining the strategy to win back the White House in 2012."

The event is being held at a private home in Montara, Calif.