September is prime fundraising time in Washington, D.C., for Congressional incumbents, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is setting the pace holding at least four big-ticket events in less than two weeks to finance a precarious re-election bid.
Democratic lobbyists said the Nevada Democrats latest fundraising drive is aggressive, but they noted that the Majority Leader has been furiously raising money throughout the 2010 cycle, which is not unusual given that he is the Senates top Democrat and a leading Republican target. Reid is attempting to stave off a stiff challenge from former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R).
His fundraising has never lacked intensity, but it is definitely at a high volume just because the stakes are so high, former Reid senior adviser Penny Lee said Wednesday. Lee is president of Venn Strategies, a Washington lobbying firm.
Reids recent fundraisers include a
Sept. 15 breakfast at a Capitol Hill hotel hosted by the freshman Democratic Senate classes of 2006 and 2008, as well as a Sunday noontime event at the McLean, Va., home of former Virginia Gov. Chuck Robb and his wife, Lynda, whose co-hosts included Christopher Nassetta of Hilton Worldwide and George Vradenburg of America Online Inc. Suggested contributions ranged from $500 to $2,500 for the breakfast and from $1,000 to $5,000 for Sundays event.
Reid also held a fundraiser Wednesday morning at the Capitol Hill restaurant Charlie Palmer Steak, hosted by the political action committees of the American Wind Energy Association, Edison International, ITC Holdings Corp. and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The suggested contributions for that event ranged from $500 to $2,500. And today, Reid is scheduled to hold a lunch fundraiser at Dutko Worldwide that is co-hosted by Union Pacific Railroad and CTIA, an industry association of wireless telecommunications companies.
This will be one of our last events in Washington, D.C., before the election in November, read an invite to the Wednesday morning event at Charlie Palmers that was sent out by Reid campaign operative Josh Alcorn. I encourage all of you to attend and to pass this invite along to your clients and colleagues.
Angle, who emerged from the Republican primary nearly broke, is also feverishly raising money. She raised more than
$1 million online in September alone, according to GOP sources. Sources also said Angle is in good enough shape financially that the National Republican Senatorial Committee only reserved $700,000 worth of television time for the race thus far.