Republican senators with millions of dollars in their campaign accounts have given little or nothing to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), despite its desperate pleas for cash funds.
Fewer than 10 Senate Republicans met goals they received for an NRSC fundraiser with President Bush in McLean, Va., Tuesday evening. GOP senators were asked to contribute $100,000 from their campaign accounts or recruit four major donors for the event. [...]
Republican Sens. Arlen Specter (Pa.), Jim Bunning (Ky.), Richard Lugar (Ind.), Pete Domenici (N.M.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Tom Coburn (Okla.), and Larry Craig (Idaho) have given nothing to the NRSC, according to campaign finance data collected by the Federal Election Commission and CQ Money Line, a website that tracks fundraising.
These lawmakers have kept their wallets shut despite having millions and not facing reelection this year. Specter, for example, reported $4.2 million in his war chest. Lugar has $2.2 million in his account. Domenici has $840,000 and has announced his retirement. [...]
During a recent interview with The Hill, Ensign said about half the Senate's 49 Republicans were "not even close" to the pace needed to meet their fundraising goals. Ensign has asked members to raise $750,000-$3 million depending on seniority, leadership positions, and committee assignments.
"We've tried fear, we've tried positive reward, positive reinforcement, we've tried being a little harder on them, we use different things at different times - begging, we beg a lot," he said.
But NRSC officials often hear excuses in response.
"I think they're all pathetic excuses, but that's just my own take on it," Ensign told The Hill only half-jokingly.
Even worse, look at Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who isn't even up for re-election this year. With $13 million sitting in his campaign fund, the Senator has not surrendered a dime of it to the NRSC. Instead, he's given a meager $15K from his leadership PAC. It's like he wants the GOP to lose seats.