GOP leaders spread the wealth

GOP leaders spread the wealth
© Greg Nash

The top three House Republicans have continued to sprinkle around cash to GOP candidates as they look to expand their majority and shore up their own positions in leadership.

This election cycle, Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerSudan sanctions spur intense lobbying OPINION | GOP's 7-year ObamaCare blood oath ends in failure A simple fix to encourage bipartisanship in the House MORE (R-Ohio) has maintained the most prodigious fundraising pace of all.

For the quarter that ended Sept. 30, Boehner raked in $5.7 million for his Boehner for Speaker joint committee and more than $180,000 for his Freedom Project leadership PAC, though he hasn’t yet detailed which candidates have received donations from his leadership committee.

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Boehner also raised more than $1 million for his own reelection campaign in the third quarter. He is cruising toward another term, so he spread $54,000 of that to 24 House GOP candidates, including Andy Tobin of Arizona; Elan Carr of California; Elise Stefanik and John Katko of New York; David Young of Iowa; and Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas.

In addition to the money raised by Boehner’s various committees, the Speaker has also traversed the country, appearing at fundraisers that benefit candidates directly, or help the national party. When those endeavors are factored in, his aides say the total funds he has raised in the 2014 cycle amount to almost $100 million.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who assumed new leadership roles this past summer, have not yet reported third-quarter figures for their respective leadership political action committees.

But Scalise, who was elected to the No. 3 leadership slot in June, has used his reelection committee to donate to GOP candidates. He raised $621,000 last quarter, bringing the total amount he raised in the 2014 cycle to $2.3 million, $1 million more than he pulled in during the same time in the 2012 cycle.

In the third quarter alone, Scalise contributed $110,000 to fellow Republicans, including Tea Party conservatives Dave Brat of Virginia, who ousted former Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the GOP primary, and Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho, who unsuccessfully challenged McCarthy for the majority leader post in June.

Scalise also gave $2,000 each to GOP incumbents who either oppose Boehner for another term as Speaker or won’t say whether they will back him: Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Steve King of Iowa.

McCarthy, who holds the No. 2 job in leadership, donated $26,000 to GOP candidates from his reelection committee. He raised $719,000 for his reelection in the most recent quarter, pushing him over the $4 million mark for the entire cycle. That was slightly less than the $4.2 million he raised by this time in the 2012 cycle.

For the third quarter, McCarthy’s leadership PAC raised more than $800,000, an aide said — $360,000 of which he donated to GOP incumbents, candidates and other federal committees.

No one has stepped forward to challenge Boehner, McCarthy and Scalise for their leadership spots, but the three have been aggressively raising money for, and donating to, fellow Republicans who will pick their leadership team for the 114th Congress after the Nov. 4 election.