Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top 10 House Fundraising Flops

From: Hotline On Call

Coming up with a list of Congressional fundraising losers this quarter wasn't hard to do this quarter. Many of the members put into precarious situations because of redistricting did little to shore up their standing on the money front. And with fundraising down across-the-board, it wasn't uncommon to see five-figure totals - among members and recruits alike.

But while there were many candidates choose from, we chose to spotlight the 10 sitting members of Congress who stood out for their lackluster fundraising - thanks to a combination of their political vulnerability and showing little urgency in doing anything about it.

Here are Hotline's 10 most lackluster House fundraising tallies:

1. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md. Bartlett currently sits in a safe district, but he should have paid attention to the buzz that Democrats were looking to make his seat much more competitive in redistricting. He made no attempt to prepare for what's now shaping up to be a competitive re-election, bringing in $1,000 - from a single PAC donation. His lack of trying is sure to bring the retirement buzz to a roar.

2. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa. Republicans view Barletta as one of their most vulnerable members, and put him on the Patriot Program, designed to help at-risk members raise money. It didn't help Barletta at all. He raised less money than any other member on the program, barely cracking six figures. And it was a huge dropoff from last quarter, when he raised $276,000. Barletta may be getting a more-favorable district when the new lines are drawn in the Keystone State, but he can't rest on his laurels.

3. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa. Even as he faces a well-organized challenge from Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, Boswell isn't raising money like he's concerned. He only pulled in $144,000 over the past three months, and has just $375,000 in the bank. That's less than half of Latham's fundraising total, and the Republican incumbent has $1.7 million cash-on-hand - more than four times Boswell's reserves.

4. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla. Being under federal investigation certainly isn't good for fundraising. The GOP freshman, facing scrutiny over past campaign irregularities since being elected, brought in a dismal $26,500. His one saving grace: The Democrats' much-hyped challenger, Luis Garcia, brought in just $103,000.

5 . North Carolina Democrats. After Republican-controlled redistricting, Democrats in North Carolina's House delegation are looking more like an endangered species - and their fundraising has dried up since the new maps were announced. Rep. Heath Shuler, raised only $87,000 - less than the total of a leading GOP challenger, Jeff Hunt, in just six weeks. Rep. Larry Kissell, a notoriously slow fundraiser, raised just $168,000 this period.

And Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., is going to need more than the $92,000 he raised - whether it's for running in a newly-drawn solidly-Republican seat (where GOP recruits are raising money) or in a primary against Rep. David Price. Price didn't do much better than Miller in his own tally, bringing in just $112,000.

The one semi-solid fundraiser of the bunch: Rep. Mike McIntyre, who raised $232,000 - even though he barely outdistanced a GOP opponent, state senator David Rouzer, who brought in $205,000 in just six weeks.

6. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y. The GOP freshman has always been an underwhelming fundraiser, but now she faces a rematch against the congressman she defeated in 2010, former Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., and she's certainly not safe in redistricting, either. Buerkle raised only $89,000, while Maffei more than doubled that, with over $200,000.

7. Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif.: The House Rules Committee chairman was left without any good options after California's independent redistricting commission dismantled his district, and he's maintained he's not headed for the exits. Still, his fundraising reports have been dismal this year. He raised only $43,000 the past three months--roughly the same amount he raised in the second quarter, too.

8. New Hampshire Republicans. For a state where Republicans have been making a comeback, the state's two congressmen haven't been able to capitalize on that momentum. Rep. Charles Bass, R-N.H., underwhelmed, raising only $147,000 - less than half of what his Democratic opponent, Ann McLane Kuster, brought in. And Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H, did even worse, raising just $138,000, though he outpaced his Democratic challengers, including former Rep. Carol Shea Porter, D-N.H.

9. Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif. Richardson, who has come under fire over alleged ethical lapses, now faces a primary with new Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif., and Assemblyman Isadore Hall. But Richardson doesn't look prepared for a tough campaign. Richardson only brought in a paltry $72,000 and has just $116,000 in the bank. Fresh off her July special election victory, Hahn raised $139,000 and Hall outraised Richardson too, bringing in $158,000.

10.Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah: Matheson is being touted as a possible Senate candidate, but his mediocre fundraising isn't even strong for a representative preparing for a competitive re-election. He raised only $164,000 last quarter - down from $215,000 in the last period. He has a half-million in the bank, but will have to pick up his pace significantly if he harbors statewide ambitions.

Honorable mention: Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. ($137,000), Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., ($137,000), Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla. ($146,000), Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif. ($23,000); Brad Sherman ($174,000).

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