Terrorism, disasters can't stop political fundraising

Lawmakers, parties continue quest for cash amid high-profile tragedies

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The terrorist bombing in Boston and the subsequent manhunt there provided tragic bookends to a horrific week also marred by a massive industrial explosion in Texas, a tornado outbreak in Oklahoma, flooding in Illinois and attempted ricin attacks in Washington, D.C.

All of that wasn't enough, however, to keep several prominent politicians, political parties and special interest groups from attending to other business: fundraising.

"Giant thorn in Boehner's side" is the title of one fundraising message Thursday from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to supporters, which warns them: "Tomorrow is our ad buy deadline in the South Carolina special election. Elizabeth Colbert Busch (yeah, Stephen’s sister!) has a real chance to become the first Democrat to represent this ruby-red district in 30 years."

But it continues, ominously: "Right now, Elizabeth is in danger of getting drowned out by misleading Republican attacks. We can’t let that happen — especially in a tough district like this. We need $200,000 by midnight tomorrow for our Democratic Rapid Response Fund to fight Republican attacks like these and set the record straight."

It followed a Wednesday morning e-mail in which DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward writes on Colbert Busch's behalf: "Look, stand with us right now and chip in $3 or more today" before providing a hyperlink to a contribution form.

Sponsors of an upcoming fundraiser for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Thursday emailed potential attendees to "cordially invite" them to a Wednesday event on Capitol Hill hosted in part by lobbyists, such as Sam Geduldig and Dejan Pavlovic, and Charlie Spies, a political strategist who helped run the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future super PAC.

The event, which requires a minimum $250 contribution, will benefit the Rubio Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee that splits money raised between Rubio's campaign committee and leadership political action committee.

Ken Martin of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, meanwhile, wrote backers Thursday to promote congressional candidate Jim Graves — and beat up on Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. — while asking for cash.

"We know that early money can make all the difference in a close race like this," Martin writes. "So please, don’t wait. Now is the time to get involved. We must seize this chance to defeat Rep. Bachmann."

Today, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee didn't fundraise but informed supporters of the fruits of its fundraising: a $100,000 ad buy that will first "pressure Sen. Max Baucus this Sunday in seven papers across Montana" as part of holding "the four Democratic senators who voted against background checks this week accountable."

President Barack Obama's lobbying nonprofit, Organizing for Action, also expressed agitation over the Senate's gun vote Wednesday in a message to supporters.

"The special interests have been at this longer, and they can do a real good job at scaring people by distorting the facts — they think we'll go away quietly," Executive Director Jon Carson writes. "But there are so many more of us than there are of them. And as long as you don't give up, we're going to keep fighting, and someday soon, we will win."

The email steers clear of fundraising through most of the message, but includes a quick pitch after Carson's signature.

"Let's keep fighting for change," it reads. "Chip in $5 or more to support Organizing for Action today."