Rock On, Distinguished Sir or Madam

Posted February 5, 2008 at 6:31pm

Jon Bon Jovi might be an avowed Democrat — showing up on the presidential campaign trail for both Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) — but the rocker’s upcoming concert in Washington, D.C., is proving to be a bipartisan fundraising opportunity.

[IMGCAP(1)]Bon Jovi’s home-state Senator, Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), reportedly is planning an event at the rocker’s upcoming Verizon Center show on Feb. 28 ($1,500 per ticket, $2,500 for a pair, or $5,000 for four). So is Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), though her supporters need to cough up only $1,000 per person, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s directory of events.

Republicans are cashing in, too. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.) has an event scheduled for the concert, part of Bon Jovi’s “Lost Highway” tour.

And Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) has rented a luxury box for the show, asking political action committees to fork over $2,500 per seat because space is limited to about a dozen seats.

Nerd Fight. With Microsoft bidding for Yahoo, and Google trying to scuttle the deal, the tech world is bracing for a clash of the titans. The fight makes its debut on Capitol Hill on Friday when the House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the state of competition on the Internet that will feature the proposed merger.

Tech sources say both Microsoft and Google already have lobbyists fanning out to the lay the groundwork for a political proxy fight on the deal. So what of the two sides’ political strength?

Google’s political action committee, which just wrapped its first full year in operation, doled out $119,100 in 2007. Of that total, it directed 55 percent to Democrats, according to a Roll Call analysis of Federal Election Commission records. Microsoft’s fund, launched in 1993, handed out $278,006 last year, giving a slightly larger edge to the majority party: 58 percent, FEC records show.

Rep. Thomasina Allen (F-Maine)? EMILY’s List, which supports pro-abortion rights female Democratic candidates, has given decidedly male Rep. Tom Allen’s (D-Maine) 2008 Senate run $3,834 so far this cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The political action committee has written Allen’s campaign eight checks since Aug. 6 in his bid to unseat Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Campaign records indicate that the payments were reimbursements for a political loan. NARAL Pro-Choice America, another reproductive-rights advocacy group, rated Allen’s voting record 100 percent in 2006, compared with 50 percent for Collins.

Incoming! NARAL Pro-Choice America also has spent the past two weeks pounding incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski’s (D-Ill.) record to South Side Chicago voters ahead of Tuesday’s primary election. Lipinski, who was favored to win Tuesday’s vote, has received a surprisingly strong challenge from attorney Mark Pera, a Democratic machine outsider, this cycle.

Through Jan. 16, Pera had outraised Lipinski, son of former Rep. and former Chicago Alderman Bill Lipinski (D), by almost $150,000 this cycle. NARAL, which has spent more than $30,000 on phone calls and direct mail for the Lipinski-Pera matchup during the past two weeks, rated Lipinski’s voting record at 0 percent in 2006.

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