by Benjamin J. Kirby
The National Republican Congressional Committee -- called the NRCC -- is the Republican political arm in the U.S. House of Representatives charged with electing more Republican Members to the House.
In order to do that, you need to raise money -- a lot of money. For this election cycle, the NRCC has raised something close to $100,000,000 (that's one-hundred million dollars). And though on their "About" page they say "...the NRCC relies most heavily on individuals from all walks of life who contribute $25, $35 or $50 per year," the number one donor to the NRCC is Friends of John Boehner, the Speaker's own PAC.
The number two donor is Goldman Sachs.
(My favorite donor to the NRCC? Swisher International, maker of Swisher Sweets cigars.)
The NRCC has doled out checks -- mostly for $5,000 -- to only 31 Republican candidates for Congress this cycle (and one for the U.S. Senate, interesting).
One of those $5,000 checks went to Congressman Vern Buchanan.
What makes that so interesting?
As it happens, Congressman Buchanan is the Finance Chair for the NRCC. What does that mean? It means he's in charge of all the finances -- and fundraising -- for the NRCC. And he has a big say in whose campaign gets a check.
I highlight all of this to state this fact: for the third consecutive quarter, Keith Fitzgerald has out-raised the man in charge of fundraising for the National Republican Congressional Committee (and one of the wealthiest Members of Congress).
David, meet Goliath.
For the third consecutive fundraising period, Democrat Keith Fitzgerald has suprising[ly] outraised incumbent U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, in their battle to represent Sarasota and Manatee counties in Congress.
In the latest campaign finance reports that track donations from July 1 to July 25, Fitzgerald reported raising $66,049. In the same period, Buchanan raised $20,444, but had to refund $5,000 because one donor had given him more than the maximum allowed.
It is the third consecutive set of fundraising reports in which Fitzgerald has out raised Buchanan. Since the start of the year, the FEC records now show Fitzgerald, who lives in Sarasota, has raised about $738,000 in campaign contributions. Buchanan has raised about $582,000, not including a $250,000 personal loan to his campaign.
This doesn't mean we can let up.
See, Keith can't give himself a quarter of a million dollar loan like Vern can.
You need to help Keith. You need to keep the momentum going.
But don't take my word for it. Jeremy Wallace in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune again:
Buchanan likely will close that gap some because of Monday when he held a private fundraiser in Lakewood Ranch with basketball commentator Dick Vitale.
Yeah, that'd be the fundraiser Vern went to on the same day he bailed out on his deposition.
It's up to you. Do we want a man like Keith in Congress, or an ethically-troubled guy who raises money for Republicans?