Pelosi, Boehner Hitting the Money Trail
Now that they're finally free of the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will spend the next several weeks working the other aspect of their leadership posts: raising money.
Combined, the two leaders will be hitting 15 different states as they attend fund-raisers mostly for incumbent lawmakers trying to raise early campaign cash so they can ward off a stiff challenge next year.
Pelosi kick starts her political travels Wednesday in New Hampshire. No, no, no, she's not testing the waters for a White House bid! She's there to raise cash for two freshmen who upset GOP incumbents last fall, helping boost the campaign coffers of Reps. Paul Hodes (D) and Carol Shea-Porter (D).
As will likely be the case with almost every stop she makes along the way, Pelosi is being greeted there by local Republicans who accuse her of being out of step with local constituents. "Shea-Porter and Hodes have become the Pelosi Twins. Instead of being independent voices for New Hampshire, they've been rubber stamps for Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic leadership in Washington," said Fergus Cullen, state Republican Party chairman. (According to washingtonpost.com's database measuring partisan unity, Hodes and Shea-Porter have voted with the majority of House Democrats on 98 and 98.2 percent of the more than 800 roll calls so far this year, respectively.)
Pelosi has always been phenomenal at raising money, particularly among liberal base activists and female donors. As of June 30, Hodes had raised $586,000 for his 2008 campaign and had more than $390,000 sitting in his war chest. Shea-Porter, who has opted to run her campaign without the financial help of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is trailing in terms of money raised among the 42 freshman Democrats: $270,000 raised through June 30, with $255,000 in the bank.
While her schedule has not been finalized, Pelosi will also be traveling to raise money for incumbents and Democratic political committees in Arizona, Connecticut and California.
As for Boehner, what he lacks in terms of votes on his side of the aisle he is trying to make up for by out-hustling everyone else on the campaign trail this month. According to his staff, he's hitting 11 different states raising money for 18 different incumbents, a dizzying pace that he covers in just 3 Â½ weeks.
In addition to campaigning in his home state of Ohio, Boehner will host fundraisers for the following GOP lawmakers through Aug. 30:
Colorado: Reps. Doug Lamborn and Marilyn Musgrave
Illinois: Peter Roskam and John Shimkus
Indiana: Dan Burton
Iowa: Tom Latham
Kansas: Todd Tiahrt
Michigan: Tim Walberg, Joseph Knollenberg, Thaddeus G. McCotter, and Michael J. Rogers
Minnesota: John Kline
Missouri: Kenny Hulshof and Sam Graves
Montana: Dennis Rehberg
Nebraska: Jeff Fortenberry, Lee Terry and Adrian Smith
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