One thing about American politics that I admire, apart from the robust sledging that goes on, is their ability to raise squillions via various fundraising methods.
Labour could certainly do with learning some of these techniques…especially now Moira and Tim are off on an overseas junket.
Twenty-six senators raced in and out of the Ronald Reagan Republican Center last week with varying enthusiasm for a most-often-dreaded, but necessary, activity: fundraising.
Inside the National Republican Senatorial Committeeâ€™s marathon call day, even the GOPâ€™s weakest fundraisers were on hand to dial for dollars to help the party gain the net six seats necessary to win the majority.
â€śIâ€™m not real good at it, asking people to give money,â€ť said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who had one of the lowest fundraising hauls in the second quarter. â€śBut I do, because itâ€™s just part of it. People are nice when you talk to them. They understand the process.â€ť
South Dakota Sen. John Thune made it look easy. He strolled in just after a vote, took a seat toward the back and placed a plastic cup of lemonade and bag of Nutter Butter cookies on the table. With the phone to his ear, he leaned back in his chair and said, â€śHey, Al, howâ€™s it going?â€ť Al did much of the talking.
More than half of the caucus stopped in July 18 to fundraise for the NRSC, and CQ Roll Call was given exclusive access to the marathon call session.
The effort to get more senators personally involved was intended, in part, to help reverse a trend. Recently, Democrats have been far more generous in committee donations out of their personal campaign accounts.
How do they get the cash?
Lined with black-framed state maps featuring the presidentâ€™s disapproval ratings, the room is normally reserved for large meetings, reporter briefings and fundraisers. But on this day, eight rectangular tables draped in yellow were topped with a phone and stack of tip sheets and talking points. A couple of young aides sat at a table to the side updating the leader board â€” and switched screens as a reporter scribbled down names and dollar figures.
A few Senate candidates took part in the process as well. Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, phoned a donor, thanked him for giving to his campaign this year and asked for another donation â€” this time for the NRSC.
â€śAs generous as youâ€™ve been with us,â€ť he said, â€śtheyâ€™re wondering if youâ€™re willing to re-up your Majority Maker status. Thatâ€™s going to cost you $32,400.â€ť
According to a tip sheet that lay on a table, a â€śMajority Makersâ€ť membership offers donors two tickets to monthly dinners and the NRSCâ€™s fall political victory conference. A â€śSenatorial Trustâ€ť membership sets donors back $15,000 per year.