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Fall Into the Gap

The National Republican Congressional Committee reported late last week that it raised $7.7 million during the third quarter of 2007, to end September with $1.6 million in the bank and a debt of $3.85 million. [IMGCAP(1)]

That leaves the NRCC worse off compared to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee than it was as at the end of the second quarter. The DCCC raised $16 million from July 1 to Sept. 30, finishing with $28.3 million in the bank and a debt of $2.9 million.

NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) said in a briefing with reporters this week that he has prioritized paying off a $16 million debt that the NRCC incurred in the previous cycle. Cole also said he is investing money in rebuilding some of the NRCC’s fundraising operations — a move he said will pay dividends down the road.

Judging Leslie. The Senate is expected to vote this week on the controversial nomination of Leslie Southwick to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Reid indicated Friday that Southwick’s installment was moving forward. The former Mississippi judge has been awaiting full Senate consideration for three months as Republicans lobby for the 60 votes they need to win his confirmation. While GOP Senators argue Southwick is a qualified, moderate jurist, Democrats largely oppose his installment given civil and human rights record.

Human Rights Honor. The Institute of Policy Studies presented advocacy group DC Vote with its Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award last week for the organization’s efforts to bring full Congressional voting rights to the District of Columbia.

The award is named after Chilean activists Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, who were killed in a 1976 car bombing linked to then-dictator Augusto Pinochet. It goes to “celebrate new heroes of the human rights movement from the United States and elsewhere in the Americas.”

Other 2007 honorees included Columbian Sen. Gustavo Petro, who has fought the paramilitary infiltration of Columbian society, and Appeal for Redress, which strives to end the war in Iraq.

DC Vote lobbied hard this year for the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act, which passed the House but failed a tight cloture vote in the Senate.

— David M. Drucker, Erin P. Billings and Elizabeth Brotherton

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