The 8 Most Interesting Second-Quarter Fundraising Reports

Rep. Steve Scalise raked in some cash while running for House majority whip—and did some big spending too.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) (L) speaks to members of the media as Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (R) listens after a leadership election at a House Republican Conference meeting June 19, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. House GOPs have picked Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as the new House majority leader and Scalise as the new majority whip. 
National Journal
Scott Bland
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
July 17, 2014, 4:14 p.m.

Every three months, Wash­ing­ton gets flooded with fin­an­cial re­ports from con­gres­sion­al cam­paigns across the coun­try, each tout­ing a flurry of num­bers as signs of their well-be­ing—the more zer­oes on the end, the health­i­er. The sheer volume gets re­pet­it­ive and oc­ca­sion­ally con­fus­ing. But every so of­ten, a cam­paign fin­ance dis­clos­ure catches the eye and il­lu­min­ates something about a par­tic­u­lar cam­paign.

Here are eight fin­an­cial re­ports from the second quarter that par­tic­u­larly stood out, and why.

Hey, Big Spend­er—Sen. Mary Landrieu, Louisi­ana Demo­crat

Landrieu’s big fun­drais­ing num­ber, over $2.1 mil­lion, caught at­ten­tion when she re­leased it, but the oth­er side of Landrieu’s cam­paign ledger is more in­ter­est­ing. The sen­at­or spent nearly $3.4 mil­lion in the spring as her cam­paign aired an ex­pens­ive series of TV ads aimed at re­in­tro­du­cing her to Louisi­ana voters. (For ref­er­ence, that’s along the lines of what some Demo­crat­ic Sen­ate can­did­ates in sim­il­arly sized states spent at the end of their cam­paigns in 2012.) That spend­ing is one of the clearest ef­fects we’ve seen of what out­side money has done to the 2014 elec­tions: Landrieu was the tar­get of mil­lions worth of out­side ad­vert­ising by con­ser­vat­ive groups at the end of last year, which helped prompt her early ad run. After that ex­pense, Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Bill Cas­sidy has nearly as much cash in the bank as Landrieu des­pite rais­ing less in the second quarter ($1.6 mil­lion).

Par­lay­ing Hog Cas­tra­tion In­to Cold Hard Cash—Joni Ernst, Iowa Re­pub­lic­an

Ernst shot to prom­in­ence in the Iowa Sen­ate race thanks to her fam­ous ad about cas­trat­ing hogs, but wor­ries still per­sisted about her low fun­drais­ing dur­ing the Re­pub­lic­an primary. Ernst’s second quarter re­port—nearly $1.8 mil­lion raised, just out­pa­cing Demo­crat­ic Rep. Bruce Bra­ley’s $1.7 mil­lion—demon­strates that she has found a pre­vi­ously miss­ing cam­paign piece, just as the gen­er­al elec­tion polls have tightened. Ernst still trails Bra­ley in fun­drais­ing, but the dis­par­ity isn’t as bad as some feared.

Fun­drais­ing Star—Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes, Ken­tucky Demo­crat

Last elec­tion, Eliza­beth War­ren was the un­dis­puted Demo­crat­ic fun­drais­ing star (be­sides Pres­id­ent Obama, of course). This time around, Grimes has taken over that title with sev­er­al strong fun­drais­ing re­ports, capped by a Ken­tucky re­cord $4 mil­lion raised in the second quarter. Grimes’s prob­lem, though, is that even though she’s now bested Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell in three of four fun­drais­ing quar­ters, Mc­Con­nell still has nearly $10 mil­lion in the bank after rais­ing money at a pretty healthy clip him­self. Bot­tom line: Neither is go­ing to be starved for cash this fall.

Trouble With the Day Job—Thom Tillis, North Car­o­lina Re­pub­lic­an

Weary of long le­gis­lat­ive re­cords, both parties run few­er state-level law­makers for Con­gress than they used to, even though they do have pluses, es­pe­cially cam­paign con­nec­tions and ex­per­i­ence. Tillis, the state House speak­er, high­lighted an­oth­er draw­back with his most re­cent fun­drais­ing re­port, which showed $1.6 mil­lion raised in the second quarter while Demo­crat­ic Sen. Kay Hagan raised $3.6 mil­lion. Tillis is stuck in an ex­ten­ded state le­gis­lat­ive ses­sion that’s caus­ing GOP in­fight­ing and keep­ing him from full-time cam­paign­ing. He’ll be out soon enough and there’s plenty of out­side money in North Car­o­lina to help him along, but it’s an­oth­er ex­ample of how state le­gis­latures can in­ter­fere with con­gres­sion­al cam­paigns.

Keep­ing Up With the 1 Per­cent—Rep. Chris Gib­son, New York Re­pub­lic­an

Gib­son’s well-heeled House op­pon­ent, Demo­crat­ic ven­ture cap­it­al­ist Sean Eldridge, has already giv­en his cam­paign over $1 mil­lion and could give much more between now and Novem­ber. The Re­pub­lic­an in­cum­bent’s re­sponse: nearly $820,000 raised in the second quarter, the most Gib­son has ever raised in a three-month span by some mar­gin. Eldridge could still end up swamp­ing the Re­pub­lic­an, but Gib­son is do­ing everything he can to keep up.

The Best De­fense—Rep. Patrick Murphy, Flor­ida Demo­crat

The fresh­man Murphy raised tons of money in 2012 when he was run­ning against con­tro­ver­sial Re­pub­lic­an Al­len West, but Murphy has man­aged to keep up the pace this elec­tion even without West stir­ring up Demo­crat­ic donors. Murphy’s strong fun­drais­ing—over $500,000 in every quarter, in­clud­ing nearly $760,000 in the second quarter of 2014—is one of the reas­ons a mar­quee Re­pub­lic­an chal­lenger nev­er emerged in the Port St. Lucie area, though Murphy could still have a tough fight in this dis­trict that Mitt Rom­ney won in 2012.

Stay­ing in Strik­ing Dis­tance—Martha Mc­Sally, Ari­zona Re­pub­lic­an

House Demo­crats have a fin­an­cial ad­vant­age this year, as their vul­ner­able in­cum­bents have stock­piled cash ahead of ex­pec­ted tough cam­paigns. But an­oth­er strong fun­drais­ing quarter from Mc­Sally helped her keep pace with Demo­crat­ic Rep. Ron Barber ahead of their re­match in south­east­ern Ari­zona. Mc­Sally raised over $650,000 to boost her bank ac­count to over $1.1 mil­lion, with­in strik­ing dis­tance of Barber and his nearly $1.6 mil­lion.

How to Get Ahead in the Cap­it­ol—Rep. Steve Scal­ise, Louisi­ana Re­pub­lic­an

Scal­ise doesn’t have a com­pet­it­ive elec­tion on the ho­ri­zon. But the newly min­ted ma­jor­ity whip-elect raised and spent more money than in any quarter since his 2008 elec­tion as he cam­paigned for a Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship po­s­i­tion last month, fol­low­ing House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor’s sur­pris­ing primary loss. That $359,000 in spend­ing in­cluded over $26,000 on meals for meet­ings at steak­houses and oth­er res­taur­ants (one tab, at a Cajun res­taur­ant in D.C. where Scal­ise dined with his whip team, ran nearly $9,000); $30,000 in cam­paign dona­tions to 14 dif­fer­ent Re­pub­lic­an mem­bers (in­clud­ing Can­tor); and $7,000 worth of base­ball bats (which he gave to mem­bers of his cam­paign team) in the 20 days between Can­tor’s loss and the end of the second quarter.

After the GOP con­fer­ence elec­tions, Scal­ise re­couped some of the costs: Over $122,000 came in­to Scal­ise’s cam­paign ac­count from 64 dif­fer­ent PACs on the last day of the quarter, along with a smat­ter­ing of dona­tions from pres­id­ents and part­ners of Wash­ing­ton gov­ern­ment-re­la­tions firms. That helped power Scal­ise to al­most $350,000 in total re­ceipts in the second quarter—again, more than he had brought in since he last ran a com­pet­it­ive elec­tion. Scal­ise had av­er­aged just over $200,000 per quarter in fun­drais­ing since the be­gin­ning of 2013.

What We're Following See More »
FIRST TIME SINCE COLD WAR
Nuclear Bombers Preparing to Go Back on 24-Hour Alert
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991...Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces."

Source:
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
2 days ago
THE LATEST
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
INTERVIEWED BY COMMITTEE STAFF
Lewandowski Meets with Senate Intelligence Committee
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."

Source:
FISHING EXPEDITION
Some Members Seek to Wrap Up Russia Investigations by Year’s End
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login