Cornyn: NRSC Will Rely Less on Hitting Colleagues Up for Money

Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:04am

In what appears to be an about-face from part of his predecessor’s fundraising strategy, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said Wednesday he will not look to transfers from Senators’ campaign accounts as a key method of filling the committee coffers.

“I’ve always wondered about the basic health of a political party that lives off the contributions of its candidates,” Cornyn said Wednesday in a wide-ranging discussion on his goals for the committee during the 2010 cycle. “It ought to be the job of the party structure to help those candidates raise money and to get elected, not sort of cannibalize their efforts.”

Former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) proved successful in appealing to members of his caucus for several million dollars in transfers during the 2006 and 2008 cycles when he led the committee. But similar pleas from former NRSC Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) fell largely on deaf ears in the 2008 cycle. Cornyn said he would be following a different course as he attempts to reverse a tide that has seen Senate Republicans sustain significant election losses two cycles in a row.

“On one hand it’s a lot harder to go to these people and say, ‘Give us all your accumulated money,’ when they are looking at campaigns like we had in 2008 where even when given the financial advantage we had incumbents get beat,” Cornyn said Wednesday. “So while I hope to get some good-hearted Senators to transfer money … I think when you look at where the money comes from that’s a small part. That doesn’t get us very far, and we need to do better in other areas to make up for our competitive disadvantage when it comes to transfers.”