By Jackie Kucinich- THE HILL- Full Story below
November 07, 2007
House Republican leaders called on rank-and-file members Tuesday to step up their contributions to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) or face life in the minority for many cycles to come.
During a closed-door meeting, NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) told members that donations to the campaign committee should be a major priority, according to sources in the room. Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) said it is normal for leaders to nudge members to part with some of their campaign funds since many have a natural tendency to be stingy. “[Cole] was encouraging members to meet their obligations to the committee, attend dinners and regional events,” he said, adding that it was common to have speeches such as Cole’s when Republicans were in the majority as well. “Members work hard to raise money, and it is a lot harder [in the minority],” he said. “They can get a little tight-fisted.”
Boehner and Cole clashed earlier this fall over fundraising and staffing issues at the NRCC. Both men downplayed the dispute and claim their differences have been settled.
Cole said in an interview later that appealing to members is a part of the job. “We are in the middle of our dues drive,” Cole explained, adding he was confident members had a “pretty good handle” on what they need to do financially to win back the majority.
According to sources in the room, Ogonowski explained that his anti-Washington establishment campaign resonated with voters. Ogonowski blasted both parties throughout his campaign, going so far as to criticize Boehner over controversial comments on Iraq. Cole described Ogonowski as the GOP “Rocky,” adding, “He was playing in some very tough terrain.” Asked whether the Massachusetts Republican would run again next year, Cole said Ogonowski had not decided.