House Leaders Step Up Fundraising

Posted July 30, 2003 at 6:14pm

The campaign money chase will intensify in August, as House leaders from both sides of the aisle plan busy fundraising schedules.

Capping off a month of solid fundraising for House Democrats, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will literally bring it home at the end of August by hosting a “special event” at her Napa Valley residence. (Pelosi lives in San Francisco but has property elsewhere, including Napa Valley.)

The event will be part of a larger fundraising weekend Aug. 22-24 at the swank Silverado Country Club and Resort, which is being hosted by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Matsui (Calif.) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.).

The hobnobbing with Democratic lawmakers, dubbed the First Annual Business Council Victory Fund Napa Valley Weekend, carries a price tag of $10,000 per political action committee and $5,000 per individual.

“She’s had fundraisers at her home here in Washington, and she thought that this would be a good thing to do,” said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.

The Napa weekend will mark the end of a prolific fundraising month for Pelosi, who has been traveling the nation to help carry the fundraising load for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Minority Leader will headline nearly two-dozen events over the break, beginning her tour Aug. 8 with an event in Denver, followed by a stop in Aspen, Colo. She then heads to Houston, Austin and Dallas to headline several DCCC receptions later in the month. Pelosi rounds out August with party fundraisers in Ohio and in San Diego, Calif.

“She is very committed to taking back the House and realizes part of that is traveling around the country to speak to Democrats and raise money,” Daly said. “She understands that role, and she takes it very seriously.”

While Pelosi hits the trail, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will be doing some fundraising as well as traveling on behalf of the party to recruit Democratic candidates. Hoyer spent this week in Las Vegas and California recruiting and raising money for his leadership PAC, AMERIPAC. Later in August, the Maryland lawmaker will do some additional fundraising and candidate recruitment in Ohio and Indiana.

Hoyer will also spend a good share of the August break in Israel leading a 29-member Congressional delegation. The week-long trip, which begins Sunday, is sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation.

Matsui has several DCCC-related meetings in Washington and is scheduled to do three fundraisers in California at the end of the month. He has tentative plans to go to three other fundraisers in Maryland, Georgia and Colorado pending the birth of his first grandchild.

On the Republican side, Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) will hit the ground running when he returns to domestic soil from this week’s official trip to Europe, hosting five events to benefit the National Republican Congressional Committee, three for his Keep Our Majority PAC and more than a dozen for individual House GOP lawmakers.

For the NRCC, Hastert will be hosting a fishing trip in Minnesota and events in Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, Seattle and Medford, Ore.

KOMPAC will also benefit from a Hastert fishing excursion — a three-day jaunt to Alaska — as well as events in San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif.

In between those stops, Hastert will criss-cross the country raising money to help 14 GOP lawmakers in their home districts — Reps. John Kline (Minn.), Todd Tiahrt (Kan.), Tom Cole (Okla), John Sullivan (Okla.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Heather Wilson (N.M.), Jon Porter (Nev.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Bill Thomas (Calif.), Butch Otter (Idaho), Greg Walden (Ore.), Jennifer Dunn (Wash.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Mark Souder (Ind.).

Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) is also abroad this week, touring Israel, Jordan and Iraq. His fundraising schedule will be quieter than Hastert’s, though he is scheduled to attend a golf tournament hosted by Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) on Aug. 17 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) will spend the early part of the month recuperating from prostate surgery. The week of Aug. 21, he plans to do two events in his district for his re-election committee. Then, on Aug. 28, the Whip will headline an event for Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) in the freshman lawmaker’s district.

NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds will also be active. The New Yorker will be on the West Coast Aug. 4 and 5 and will do events in the Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Chris Cillizza contributed to this report.