Nolan lifts curtain on backroom congressional fundraising

WTIP’s Jay Andersen has this intriguing interview with Rep.-elect Rick Nolan (D-MN8) as he prepares to take office in January. It was noted in the interview that Nolan’s election this November represents a 32-year span between his last term, which ended in 1980, and the one he’ll begin soon. Nolan spends most of the interview describing the key difference between his orientation for this year’s Congress and the times he served before: Money.

Specifically, he describes the advice and accommodations given to all member of Congress by both parties related to time spent raising money for their re-elections.

It’s an interesting look behind the curtain.


  1. I heard Congressman-elect Nolan on NRP’s Talk of the Nation last Wednesday and he commented on the 30 hours a week that Members were expected to devote to fundraising as a big difference between now and his previous stint. What he did not mention was the use of a Congressional Political Action Committee … Erik Paulsen has an ICE PAC, John Kline has Freedom & SecurityPAC, Tim Walz has American Dream PAC, Collin Peterson has Valley PAC, Michele Bachman has MICHELE PAC, and Betty McCollum has BETTY PAC.

    This has an impact on elections as Members channel monies to help other Members/candidates … for example, Raymond Cravaack received monies from Kline, Paulsen and Bachmann’s PAC … plus John Kline transferred at least $85,000 to the RNCC this year … and some of that money was spent by the RNCC to help other Republicans (like Chip Cravaack).
    Congressman-elect Nolan’s campaign benefited from the BETTY PAC to the tune of $3000.
    Interestingly, Jim Oberstar’s Mesabi Fund closed its doors last cycle giving its monies to Amy Klobuchar and Tim Walz … not back the Minnesota’s Eighth District contest.

    The other difference that was not mentioned was what Speaker Boehner is now doing in Committee assignments as he has moved Members out of committees that have voted against the Republican Leadership … this may be a preemptive warning as Members begin to speak out on the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. Speaker Boehner is taking a PartyFirst approach and Congressman-elect Nolan remembers the old days when Members could disagree with their Leadership.

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