Politicians Filling Coffers as Fiscal Battles Rage

Democrats, Republicans alike use Obamacare defunding, budget clash to raise political cash


Image: Anthony Freda

Defunding Obamacare. Shuttering the government. Defaulting on federal obligations.

No matter that most every headline today is shouting about disappearing money: Legions of Democrats and Republicans alike are trying to cash in politically on the turbulance, buffeting supporters with messaging urging them to open their wallets.

A sampling of pitches, pleas and come-ons from a variety of political candidates, committees and party organizations during the past several hours:

  • Organizing for Action, President Barack Obama’s nonprofit lobbying organization: “A group of far-right Republicans in Congress is obsessed with making an ideological point. They refuse to pass a budget unless I let them sabotage Obamacare, something they know is not going to happen,” Obama writes. “Now, we’re left with only four days before a government shutdown.” The email tells readers to “add your voice” by offering an email address and ZIP code. Doing so leads to the donation page soliciting cash in amounts ranging from $15 to $1,000. A separate OFA message late Thursday introduced a “donor wall” to honor contributors. “With all the craziness going on in Washington right now, it’s pretty clear why our work matters,” wrote Kathy Gasperine, the group’s development director.
  • Republican National Committee: “The foundation of our democracy is built upon accountability. And the Republican National Committee has made it their mission to hold accountable each and every Democrat who chooses to embrace the President’s health care train wreck at the expense of their constituents,” writesRep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee. He then asks potential backers to “please contribute $14 today to keep up the fight and elect a Republican Senate in 2014!”
  • Ready for Hillary, a super PAC supporting a potential 2016 presidential bid by Democrat Hillary Clinton: “As Republicans continue with their threats to shut down the federal government if Obamacare isn’t completely defunded, Hillary is speaking out,” reads a message from Adam Parkhomenko, the group’s executive director, above a large red “CONTRIBUTE” button. “This is too important for us to come up short.”
  • Reclaim America PAC, a leadership PAC led by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: “[T]o make our absolute goal of repealing ObamaCare a reality, we need the right leaders in the Senate. This begins with Tom Cotton,” Rubio writes about Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. “Let’s send a message to the Democrats by raising $10,000 for Tom by the end of the quarter.”
  • U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, a Georgia Democrat: “Name-calling. Brinksmanship. Political posturing. We are seeing a lot of this from Washington these days,” Nunn writes. “Will you contribute $10 or more to my campaign now and show Congress that we demand something different?”
  • U.S. House candidate Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican: “Like Ted Cruz? You Will Love Bob Barr!” reads the subject line of a lengthy fundraising email from the former congressman and Libertarian presidential candidate, referring to the Republican senator from Texas who this week spoke out against Obamacare (among other things) on the Senate floor.
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: “House Republicans are threatening either to shut down the government or shut down Obamacare,” the DCCC writes, pasting a message Obama himself wrote below its own “Help us reach 25,000 strong standing with President Obama — contribute $3 right now.”
  • House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC: “BREAKING: 72 hours until a possible government shutdown. Help us fight back and hold the right accountable,” an email to supporters blares. “We are working hard to avert a shutdown, but we can’t do it alone. Can you click here and contribute today?”

Articles by: Dave Levinthal

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