Ensign: Colleagues Are Starting to Pony Up

Posted September 17, 2008 at 12:00pm

Ask, and ye shall receive.

A handful of Senators have ponied up to the National Republican Senatorial Committee about a month after Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) asked his colleagues in safe seats to step up to the plate and transfer their funds to the cash-strapped committee.

In a news conference Wednesday morning, Ensign announced that Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) had given $150,000, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) had given $250,000, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) had given $250,000, and Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) had given $200,000 to the committee recently.

The NRSC also added that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) transferred $260,000, while Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) transferred $100,000 and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had given an additional $50,000 recently for a total of $100,000 this cycle.

In the committee’s first pen-and-pad briefing of the 2008 cycle, Ensign also said he has transferred an additional $300,000 out of his campaign committee to the NRSC, for a total of $500,000 this cycle.

“In the next several weeks, we expect others to be following suit with either that much or even larger amounts,” Ensign said.

Ensign also announced that the committee had raised $5.1 million in August and expect to be $8 million ahead in cash on hand compared to this point in the 2006 cycle.

The Nevada Senator acknowledged that polls in some of the committee’s targeted Senate races had already perked up in August because of energy issues, but he added that the addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to the national ticket also helped.

“We felt that the momentum already starting to move in our direction,” Ensign said. “And there’s no question though, that Sarah Palin has given that much more energy to our side.”