Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Senate Republicans Want to Remain the Minority Party

Or so it seems according to this article from The Hill.

In 2006, the netroots initiated the Use It or Lose It Campaign to urge "safe" Democratic members of Congress to contribute more of their funds to the national party apparati to help Democrats in tighter races.

Republicans in the Senate lack any similar desire to collectively work to return to majority status:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who won her race by 26 percent, gave $250,000 to the NRSC this year (based on publicly available figures), but said she hasn’t considered giving more of the $7.3 million still sitting in her war chest.

“Not at all,” said Hutchison. “I’m in the top three of my caucus. I certainly did my fair share.” ...

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said “not a thing” would have changed his $50,000 NRSC donation to include more of the $2.8 million on hand as of his last reporting period. “They basically had everything they needed and money wasn’t a determining factor.” ...

Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) gave $15,000 to the NRSC, leaving $11.5 million in his account even though he will not face reelection until 2010.
That must be what they mean by "fiscal conservative"!

When one considers the slim 7,000 vote margin of victory for Jim Webb in Virginia and the even slimmer 3,000 vote margin of victory for Jon Tester in Montana, and the fact that flipping those two seats would have maintained a GOP majority in the Senate, we ought to thank Senator Shelby for not coughing up even one of his (very, very safe) $11.5 million, otherwise he probably would have kept his Chairmanship and the majority status for the GOP. I sincerely hope that Hutchison and the others continue to do no more than their "fair share" as we look ahead to 2008. (And I hope the netroots continue to push "safe" Democrats to contribute to maintaining the regained Dem majority in Congress.)


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