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Good morning all,

On The Hill newspaper this morning, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I saw this article discussing NRSC Chairman John Ensign‘s (R-NV) comments regarding taking on the Democrats “dollar for dollar” in the upcoming election.

Are you really serious Senator? I mean, the only place that money is going to come from is your own pocket. Oh WAIT! You CAN do that because your dad runs Mandalay Resort Group and has beaucoup bucks! I guess it’s a lot easier to write a big check and spend the rest of the time playing golf instead of actually doing fundraising.


Ensign: Senate GOP will match Dems dollar-for-dollar
Posted: 07/30/08 12:13 PM [ET]
The head of Senate Republicans’ campaign efforts said Wednesday that he will match the Democrats “dollar for dollar” this cycle, despite a nearly 2-to-1 disadvantage in cash on hand.

National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) said he intends to give his independent expenditure operation the budget it needs to match the Democrats in every state they run ads.

Campaign finance law limits the amount the NRSC and other committees can spend in coordination with campaigns, but places no limit on expenditures from an independent wing of the committee. As a result, independent expenditures now account for the majority of the committee’s spending on individual races.

Ensign called on his Senate colleagues, many of whom have been reluctant to contribute to the committee, to make up the difference with Democrats.

The NRSC didn’t say what it would do if members don’t come through with contributions.

“[Sen.] Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] and the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee [DSCC] have recently placed television buys totaling approximately $44.8 million in targeted Senate races across the country,” Ensign said. “I will not allow our Republican candidates to be outspent by the DSCC this cycle.”

The DSCC had about $22 million more than the NRSC at the end of June. While the NRSC is slightly ahead of its sluggish pace from last cycle, with $24.6 million on hand, the DSCC continues to raise more and has $46.2 million on hand.

If the NRSC is forced to go into debt in order to keep pace, it could rival the approximately $19 million in debt the party’s House committee went into after the 2006 election.

The House committee did not come out of that debt until March of this year and is subsequently facing an even larger cash disadvantage than the NRSC.

NRSC spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher didn’t address the possibility of going into debt Wednesday, saying that the committee has “not had that discussion yet.”

Relying on his colleagues could prove a dicey move for Ensign. He said in March that about half of his 48 Senate GOP colleagues were “not even close” to living up to their obligations to the committee.

“While I am aware we do not currently have the funds to match the DSCC, I am giving our [independent expenditure] unit this budget on faith — faith that my Republican colleagues will step up to the challenge and transfer the funds necessary to remain competitive with the Democrats,” Ensign said. “I have informed my colleagues that it is now up to them.”

Democrats said money isn’t the problem for Republicans.

“They’re in trouble because they’re out of step with the public’s desire for change in Washington, and it’s going to take more than promises from Washington to bail them out,” said DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller.