The NRCC list has freshmen holding 53 fundraisers this week. Several of those will have the added star power of elected leaders and chairmen as "special guests" as a way to ensure better attendance and more campaign checks. For instance, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) is attending fundraisers for a few freshmen, including Reps. Steve Southerland (Fla.) and Cory Gardner (Colo.). Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) is attending a fundraiser for fellow Badger State Republican Rep. Sean Duffy, and Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (Ala.) is attending a financial industry lunch with freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.).
Despite the crush of GOP fundraisers, Democrats are trying to hold their ground this quarter as well.
"Things have gotten harder, there is no question about it," Democratic fundraiser Michael Fraioli said. Still, Fraioli of Fraioli & Associates said things are looking up for Democrats.
"Democrats do think they have a better shot at winning back the House than they did before April," Fraioli said. "Things are improving with every week that goes by."
Still, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tried to moderate expectations Thursday at a "Pelosi for Congress" fundraiser. The California Democrat told about 50 lobbyists at the W Hotel that it was amazing they bested Republicans in the first quarter, but "we're not going to win every quarter," according to one Democratic lobbyist who attended.
That doesn't mean they aren't trying. House Democrats are holding almost 100 fundraisers of their own this week.
Reps. Mike Ross (Ark.), David Scott (Ga.), John Olver (Mass.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.) are among the Members lining up for campaign contributions Wednesday. They are even lending a hand to Giffords, who is still recovering from being shot. The Blue Dog PAC is hosting a breakfast reception today, asking hosts to cough up $5,000 at the PAC level, $2,500 to be a PAC sponsor, $1,000 to be a PAC guest and $500 for individuals.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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