Boehner drives bus

House Republican Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Bottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future MORE (Ohio) has been hitting the road, riding in a bus some 5,700 miles to fundraisers for House incumbents and contenders.

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Bottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future MORE’s bus — a motor coach — roamed around the Midwest last month, raising more than $800,000 for 19 Republicans in 10 states. So far this year,  Friends of John Boehner, his campaign fund, has raised about  $1.4 million. Boehner’s leadership political action committee, named The Freedom Project, has raised more than $700,000 and has sent more than $375,000 to GOP House candidates. Boehner has also contributed to and raised more than $500,000 directly for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). He was also the chairman of the annual NRCC March Dinner, a mega-event bringing in more than $6 million for the NRCC. In June he hosted his15th annual “Boehner Beach Party” at Cantina Marina in Washington. The event raised $135,000, up from  $90,000 in 2006.
As a draw at fundraisers, Boehner had helped House Republican hopefuls take in about $3.8 million.

“Boehner believes Republicans need to earn back the majority by reclaiming our position as the party of ideas and change,” said his spokesman, Don Seymour. “As Republican leader, he wants to help build grassroots support for House incumbents and candidates who believe in a limited and accountable government — one that guarantees the freedom and security Americans expect. We’re implementing an extensive communications and grassroots fundraising plan to help drive that effort.

The Boehner bus tour includes stops in Lansing, Mich., for Tim Walberg; Pontiac, Mich., for Mike Rogers, Thaddeus McCotter and Joe Knollenberg; Wheaton, Ill., for Peter Roskam; Prior Lake, Minn., for John Kline; Ankeny, Iowa, for Tom Latham; Omaha, Neb., for Lee Terry; Lincoln, Neb., for Jeff FortenberryJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FortenberrySave wildlife, save ourselves Lawmakers cry foul as Trump considers retreating from Open Skies Treaty Where do we go from here? Conservation can show the way MORE; Mullen, Neb., for Adrian Smith; White Fish, Mont., for Denny Rehberg; Colorado Springs, Colo., for Doug Lamborn; Denver for Marilyn Musgrave; Wichita, Kan., for Todd Tiahrt; Kansas City, Mo., for Nick Jordan (a candidate) and Sam GravesSamuel (Sam) Bruce GravesMissouri Rep. Sam Graves wins GOP primary OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated House approves .5T green infrastructure plan MORE; Columbia, Mo., for Kenny Hulshof; St. Louis, Mo., for John Shimkus (whose Illinois district is just across  the Mississippi River); and Indianapolis for Dan Burton.


Over on the Senate side, Sen. John Ensign (Nev.), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), has whipped up a direct-mail piece appealing to donors by promising to put their name on a Republican honor roll over at the NRSC’s headquarters in Washington. The bigger enticement is to offer them a “commission” as a member of the committee’s Republican Presidential Task Force, created during the Reagan years. It’s not an exclusive club. In each state, the prospective donor is told in a letter signed by Ensign that the task force will have an allotment of only 500 people who can get in on the deal. The direct mail is customized with each person’s name and hometown.

A card that’s part of the packet — suitable for framing — states that the donor is conferred with a “commission of accomplishment” as a steadfast Republican. Ensign and J. Scott Bensing, the NRSC executive director, close with this above their signatures: that they have “applied the Grand Seal of the Republican Presidential Task Force and duly affixed our names in confirmation.”

Sweet is the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. E-mail: