Skip to comments.House conservatives create PAC for the 'majority of the majority'
Posted on 04/06/2005 12:19:21 PM PDT by Gipper08
After exerting its influence on the budget, the conservative Republican Study Committee is gearing up to flex its muscle politically.
The group has created a new political action committee, the House Conservatives Fund (HCF), with the aim of electing more conservatives to Congress. HCFs first fundraiser is scheduled for later this month.
Organizers of the effort, which is being led by Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.), said that, with conservatives now billing themselves as the majority of the majority after wins in the last election, a greater political presence was overdue.
There had been a lot of discussion about the need for this for a great many months, but no one had taken bull by the horns, Istook said. Certainly were aware that several other groups in Congress have had funds of their own. The [centrist Republican] Main Street Partnership has been involved in elections for several years. This would be the conservative counterpart.
While the effort will benefit conservatives in general, it may also raise the profile of Istook, who lost his status as a cardinal a nickname for the chairs of appropriations subcommittees earlier this year after a clash with House leadership.
It shows that hes not going to wither away and sulk about what happened, a lobbyist familiar with HCF said. If he wants to become a cardinal again, it does make him look like a team player.
The rising political awareness of the Republican Study Committee also reflects the new leadership of Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who adopted more openly aggressive approach after taking over from former chair Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.).
The new fund will not challenge incumbent Republican members, however, said Istook, which will make it somewhat different from well-known conservative group Club for Growth, which challenges incumbent Republicans.
One thing were not going to do is oppose any incumbent Republican. We are not trying to get rid of any Republicans in the House, he said.
The groups first event will be a reception geared toward K Street donors at Capitol Hill eatery La Colline on April 26. Likely attendees at the reception are Republican Reps. John Doolittle (Calif.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Chris Cox (Calif.), Phil Gringrey (Ga.), Bobby Jindal (La.), Sam Johnson (Texas), Marilyn Musgrave (Colo.), Todd Tiahrt (Kan.), Dave Weldon (Fla.) and Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.), in addition to Pence and Istook.
A number of lobbyists with conservative ties have joined HCFs steering committee to help organize fundraisers. They include former Rep. David McIntosh (R-Ind.), former RSC executive directors Kevin Ring of Barnes & Thornburg and Jen Larkin of Barbour Griffith and Rogers, Terry Allen at the Alexander Strategy Group, Roger Morse at Preston Gates, Chris Myers at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Michael Hanson at the C2 Group and Teddy Eynon at the DCI Group.
Istook said that he planned to hold a larger kickoff event later in the year that would focus more on fundraising nationwide.
This is not only going to be in Washington but around the country with a major donor program, telemarketing, direct mail and Internet. Certainly weve heard lot of Republicans at town-hall events express discouragement at the level of spending. Its important that they know that there is a core group that stands for conservatives.
Istook said he hoped to have the 100-plus members of the Republican Study Committee contribute to the fund, although there would be no specific requirements.
A spokeswoman for Istook said that he had reserved the Web address houseconservatives.com for the funds website.
HCF replaces an earlier, and largely dormant, Republican Study Committee PAC known as CATPAC, which was run by Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) in the mid- to late 90s. K Street lobbyists working with the effort said that the fund would probably raise several hundred thousand dollars this year.
As the Republican Study Committee has grown in numbers and clout, lobbyists have sought to strengthen their ties to the group.
I dont think K Street understood just how important that group was going to be to the agenda on the House side, the lobbyist said. [Lobbyists] dont have the relationships with that group that they should have. So part of the idea is to build relationships with that group.
Pence has attempted to unify members and better organize the group. It recently established its own whip operation, with Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) taking the lead. Because it was able to keep its members in line, the group last month gained concessions from GOP leadership after initially refusing to vote for the budget resolution.
"Pence has attempted to unify members and better organize the group."
These are the first steps of a conservative "revival"
I still think you are better off in sending your money to Club for Growth.
The conservatives in the House are one of the few groups of elected leaders I have much confidence in anymore.
We all need to remember to pray for them every day.
Good idea... "IF"...
They first determine what the heck "conservative" means first.. Could cause some fights..
Really? I hadn't heard. This means the budget was slashed such that the projected deficit is zero. Right?
Glad to see Sam Johnson, a true (TRUE) American hero in that group!
yeah, he is. and it makes me think these are REAL conservatives seeing Liberty Committee member Musgrave involved. she is a real conservative..
Don't you think John McCain is in the 'centrist Republican' camp?
Believe it or not, John McCain at this point is a strong runner for '08.
RINOs have ruled to long.
Rep Ernest Istook is a Conversative Republican -- I can attest to that. He is from the Congressional District just north of mine here in Oklahoma.
That's fine for his group -- but it would be in the country's best interest to toss out as many RINOs and Democrats as possible, indiscriminately. Both of those groups cause long-term damage to the whole nation, stripping the wealth from American citizens, and re-distributing it to their cronies.
I ditto that.
Lets hope so...
Go for it, guys! More power to you!