While some politicians have canceled fundraisers for their own campaigns in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Washington's Roll Call newspaper has found that many continue in full force.
The Republicans' House and Senate campaign committees suspended all telemarketing last week in the wake of the hurricane, though they got back on the phones this week, according to Roll Call.
There was little evidence this week that hurricane relief efforts had put a damper on Members’ fundraising. [National Republican Congressional Committee Chair] Tom Reynolds (R-NY), for example, is moving ahead with a fundraiser at this weekend’s Elton John concert at the MCI Center.
On Tuesday, an NRCC staffer sent out an e-mail alerting prospective donors that only four tickets remained for the concert, an event that is benefiting Reynolds’ political action committee. Anyone who buys a ticket to the concert will receive a complimentary ticket to a Sept. 21 reception honoring the Senate’s freshmen class.
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) also have fundraisers planned at the concert.
Matt Mackowiak of Keelen Communications, an Alexandria-based GOP fundraising firm, said that none of the firm’s clients decided to cancel upcoming events in the wake of Katrina after some initial hesitation.
“We sort of saw that the Speaker did an event and he continued with his fundraising,” Mackowiak said, referring to a fundraising event House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) held in Indiana Friday morning.
Some have canceled their events. Among them are Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI). Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) canceled the official launch of his reelection bid.
The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have continued to raise political questions about the lack of preparation and subsequent comments about the attacks, though Roll Call made no mention of Democratic fundraising.
Originally published on Wednesday September 7, 2005.