Financial services lobbyists are holding a Washington fundraiser this week for Ohio House candidate Steve Stivers.
The Republican's bid to unseat Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio) is one of the most competitive races in the country. It pits Stivers, a former bank lobbyist, against Kilroy, a freshman member who has campaigned, in part, on her work to overhaul financial regulations.
The Wednesday lunch fundraiser is with Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, to raise money for Stivers. Gold level donors are suggested to make a $5,000 political action committee donation. Silver level donors are suggested to give $2,000 in PAC money or $1,000 personal. And bronze level donors are suggested to give $1,000 in PAC money or $500 in personal money.
The fundraiser invitation was circulated by the Financial Services Roundtable.
Stivers raised $533,000 in the last quarter and has $1.25 million in cash on hand. Kilroy raised $230,000 in the last quarter and has $934,000 in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Kilroy was one of two freshman House Democrats appointed to a 43-member conference of lawmakers finalizing the financial regulatory bill, one of the party's highest domestic priorities. Kilroy has campaigned hard against Stivers as "part of a culture" of deregulation that led to the financial crisis.
Meanwhile, the Stivers campaign has criticized Kilroy for holding fundraisers during the conference committee proceedings. Stivers has pulled in more campaign cash than Kilroy from financial services interests.
"We were critical of the connection between Congresswoman Kilroy’s selection to the Fin-Reg conference committee and the fundraiser that went to PAC’s, noting her committee assignment on Financial Services, one day later," said a Stivers spokesman. "Congresswoman Kilroy’s fundraising activity was out-of-step with the canceled fundraisers during Fin-Reg conference committee activity by Chairman Frank and ranking member Bachus, and it was out of step with the precedent established by the Office of Congressional Ethics investigation of eight members who held fundraisers in close proximity to the first House Fin-Reg vote.
"Steve Stivers is not a member of Congress and has no issue regarding conflict of interest. Moreover, he is not acting outside the accepted norms of Congress, as the Kilroy fundraiser clearly did," the spokesman said.
--Updated at 4:32 p.m.