Federal Politics

Published — November 19, 2010 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

The Republican governors’ San Diego schmooze

Introduction

After spending $102 million to help its party pick up six new gubernatorial seats, the Republican Governors Association finds that its annual meeting in San Diego is swarming with eager fundraisers and operatives — several of whom are already hustling to make a current or former GOP governor the party’s presidential nominee in 2012.

Among the 800-odd attendees at the RGA gathering this week are a host of veteran Washington money harvesters, lobbyists and power players who are working for — or sizing up — possible candidates. Like Ron Kaufman, an ex-RGA finance chair who works for the lobbying firm Dutko World Wide; he’s a key backer of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Also in attendance: Phil Musser, a former executive director of the RGA who heads the consulting firm New Frontier Strategy and is a key supporter of Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty; and Rick Shelby, the top lobbyist with the American Gas Association, who backed Romney in the 2008 primary season but is also a long time fan of Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, the RGA’s outgoing chairman and legendary fundraiser.

Another Washington attendee with plenty of friends at the gathering is long-time GOP fundraiser Fred Malek. At Barbour’s request, Malek did yeoman’s work corralling funds for the RGA’s “executive roundtable.” Since 2009, the roundtable has increased the number of individuals who donate at least $25,000 a year to the RGA from 15 to more than 500. Malek, a major fundraiser for Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, is expected to be a prize asset for any candidate who can sign him up.

Both Romney and Pawlenty — neither of whom is officially running yet — have set up state leadership PACs that have been used this year to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in unlimited donations: these funds help them build potential campaign infrastructures and meet would-be supporters and donors prior to the formal announcement of a presidential candidacy. Barbour is considered a potential candidate too but has told would-be supporters to keep their powder dry and avoid signing on with anyone else just yet.

This week’s San Diego confab has also drawn Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, both of whom are said to be seriously considering a run for the GOP nomination.

Charlie Black, a Washington lobbyist and veteran GOP operative in presidential campaigns — who is not at the meeting — said there will no doubt “be a lot of politicking and networking going on.” Black added that potential presidential candidates in San Diego “will be making friends who they might want to sign up later.”

The RGA is a “527” political organization that can accept unlimited corporate and individual donations. This year’s record fundraising haul included seven figure checks from billionaires such as Texas developer Bob Perry of Perry Homes ($6 million) and New York hedge fund mogul Paul Singer ($2.6 million).

The governors’ association has also had plenty of large trade group donors, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, plus corporate backers such as tobacco giant Altria Group and drug maker Eli Lilly and Company, all of which wrote checks of at least six figures this election cycle.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.