Nation: GOP House Members Hit the Road for NRCC

Posted February 11, 2008 at 6:38pm

Hurting for cash compared to its Democratic counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee has begun a new push to recruit major donors using a program developed by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), who sits on the NRCC’s Executive Committee.

In what is scheduled to be the first of several trips throughout the country — particularly into Democratic strongholds — McCarthy and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) today are set to participate in a series of meetings in New York with potential donors. As of Dec. 31, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee led the NRCC in cash on hand by a hefty $35.1 million to $5.4 million margin.

“Earning a Republican majority will not be paved through K Street, but instead through Main Street,” McCarthy said. “We will travel to blue states and red states, big cities and small cities, and make our case to join with us in earning a Republican majority.”

The plan is to cultivate relationships with individuals who are philosophically aligned with the GOP and capable of writing large checks. McCarthy’s effort, which could see several Republican Members hit the road in the coming months to foster big donations to the NRCC, is meant to bolster NRCC Chairman Tom Cole’s (Okla.) ongoing campaign for contributions.

Besides McCarthy and Price, those GOP House Members who could be packing their bags next include Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Devin Nunes (Calif.). The most an individual can donate this cycle to any of the four Congressional campaign committees is $28,500.

This latest NRCC plan is similar to a strategy McCarthy implemented as the Minority Leader of the California Assembly. In that capacity, McCarthy and the Republican Senate leader traveled the country in search of major donors for their respective legislative caucuses.

As he found when working this program as a state legislative leader, McCarthy said half the battle is just showing up and asking for help.

By laying out Republican legislative priorities in Congress and presenting the GOP’s strategy for winning back House seats, the NRCC hopes to earn the trust of potential donors and win their financial support.

McCarthy believes that Republicans and like-minded independents who live in Democratic strongholds might be particularly fruitful, as the GOP often focuses less on such individuals than it does on those who live in regions of the country with a heavier Republican presence.
— David M. Drucker