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Laggards Aside, GOP Plan Meets Goal

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Battleground” program exceeded its $16 million target Wednesday, even as a handful of senior lawmakers remained delinquent in their payments.

The fundraising effort calls on incumbent Members to deliver money from their own re-election accounts so the NRCC can apportion it to the most competitive districts in the country. While the program represents a relatively small portion of the committee’s total haul for the cycle, GOP lawmakers called Wednesday’s milestone an important one.

“This is the first hard-money battleground,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (Mich.), who was tapped to run the program by the party leadership. “We met our goal because people overperformed.”

Members were asked to contribute on a sliding scale that factored in their committee and leadership positions as well as the relative difficulty of their own re-election bids.

One lawmaker who “overperformed” was Florida Rep. Clay Shaw, who forked over a $300,000 check Wednesday morning — double what a Ways and Means subcommittee chairman would be expected to give.

Shaw’s contribution was notable because he resides in a competitive district, although his re-election race got significantly easier last month when his opponent, former Wilton Manors Mayor Jim Stork (D), withdrew from the contest.

Another senior Ways and Means member, Rep. Nancy Johnson (Conn.), also exceeded her expected donation Wednesday, as did Rep. Jim McCrery (La.) last month.

On the other end of the spectrum, a handful of senior lawmakers have yet to contribute anything to Battleground.

According to an aide familiar with the program, those GOP Members include Reps. Terry Everett (Ala.), Elton Gallegly (Calif.), Joel Hefley (Colo.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.). As subcommittee chairmen on nonexclusive panels, they would be expected to contribute $65,000 apiece.

As of the latest reporting period, Gallegly had more than $1.1 million in the bank. Everett and Moran each had more than $800,000 on hand. Hefley reported just $82,000.

None of the four lawmakers’ offices returned calls seeking comment.

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