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RNC Fundraising Operation Staffs Up

Amid some grumbling about the pace of fundraising for Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee has hired veteran cash collector Kara Ahern to lead their effort in the runup to the November election.

Ahern cut her teeth during the 2004 re-election campaign of President George W. Bush, serving as Northeast finance director under deputy national finance chairman Jack Oliver. Following that campaign she worked as political director for Vice President Dick Cheney in 2005 and then as deputy campaign manager and finance director for Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey's unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2006.

After Healey's loss, Ahern took a post as national finance director for then New York Gov. George Pataki's 21st Century Freedom PAC -- the vehicle through which he explored, before deciding against, a presidential bid this cycle.

Ahern will coordinate the RNC's fundraising for the 2008 election under the watchful eye of Lew Eisenberg, chairman of the "Victory" campaign. Eisenberg is a former partner at Goldman Sachs and a longtime player in Republican fundraising circles.

At the end of February, the most recent month for which reports are available, the RNC had $25 million in the bank, compared to just $4.8 million for the Democratic National Committee -- the reverse of the cash crunch the National Republican Congressional Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee are suffering compared with their Democratic counterparts.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 29, 2008; 7:11 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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