Atlanta (CNN) – The Republican Governors Association delivered a not-so-blunt message to donors Thursday: your contributions are safe with us.
The RGA emphasized this point just as the Republican National Committee is coming under fire from social conservatives for picking up the tab at a risqué Los Angeles nightclub.
“The smart money is with the RGA this year,” Nick Ayers, executive director of the RGA, said in a statement announcing the organization’s latest fundraising numbers. “We are receiving a record number of donations from supporters at all levels because they are confident in our strategy and know we will win back a majority of governorships this November.”
(CNN) - The head of an influential social conservative organization urged supporters Wednesday to stop donating to the Republican National Committee and instead contribute to its own coffers or to candidates with like-minded goals.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made the plea in his "Washington Update" column posted on the organization's Web site following the revelation that the RNC paid for a night out at a risqué Hollywood nightclub.
"I've hinted at this before, but now I am saying it - don't give money to the RNC," Perkins wrote in his column. "If you want to put money into the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who you know reflect your values. Better yet, become a member of FRC Action and learn about the benefits it offers, including participating in the FRC Action PAC which can support candidates who will advance faith, family and freedom!"
Washington (CNN) – Aides to Sarah Palin have asked the Republican National Committee to remove her name from an invitation that suggests she might attend a series of committee fundraising events timed to coincide with next week's Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
Though Palin will speak on Friday at the SRLC, a gathering of top Republican officials and an early cattle call for potential 2012 presidential candidates, the former Alaska governor will not be participating in any RNC fundraising event, a Palin adviser told CNN.
Palin's staff has twice asked the RNC to remove her name from the invitation, the adviser said, adding that the request had nothing to do with the nightclub controversy currently making headlines.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama makes his first trip to Maine in over two years Thursday, to tout the insurance reforms in the new health care law.
The president is expected to speak at the Portland Expo Center Thursday afternoon.
"The president will be in Maine where he'll be talking about some of the benefits that small businesses will get in the short term and the long term as it relates to health care," White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said Wednesday.
(CNN) - The Republican Governors Association raised $9 million in the first quarter of 2010 and has $31 million cash on hand, an RGA official told CNN Thursday morning. The RGA's fundraising totals are expected to be officially released later in the day.
The RGA's counterpart, the Democratic Governors Association, says they raised a record $8 million in the first three months of the year. The DGA also reported Wednesday that they have $22 million in the bank.
"Our donors are giving because this election cycle will shape our political landscape for a generation to come. Even in a tough fundraising climate, our donors know this is an historic election, and they've stepped up to make sure we have the resources to compete," said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who is chairman of the DGA.
Washington (CNN) - Americans overwhelmingly say that the census is useful and not an invasion of their privacy, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that 80 percent of the public says that the census is useful, with just one in four saying the census is a waste of money. And 83 percent of people questioned in the poll say they don't consider the census an invasion of their privacy.
"These numbers are virtually unchanged from a decade ago," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In 2000, only 18 percent said the census was an invasion of privacy and only 14 percent thought it was a waste of money."
The survey's Thursday morning release comes on National Census Day. Census forms ask all Americans to describe everyone who is living in their household as of April 1, and some cities will host rallies on April 1 in an attempt to get as many Americans as possible to mail in their completed census questionnaires.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: Obama energy plan would open Atlantic and Gulf drilling
President Obama unveiled plans Wednesday to open large swaths of U.S. coastal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas drilling - a move likely to please the energy industry but upset the administration's environmentalist supporters.
Politico: President Obama's new push meets Capitol Hill resistance
The president’s push to turn health care reform into a catalyst for the rest of his agenda is getting mixed early reactions on Capitol Hill, where Democratic leaders' desire to take advantage of healthy majorities before the November elections must contend with lawmakers’ survival instincts. White House aides told POLITICO earlier this week that an emboldened Barack Obama plans to parlay his win on health care into a crackdown on Wall Street excesses, a rewrite of education and campaign finance laws and possibly a climate change bill — all before the fall's midterms.
CNN: Democrats raise money off of Biden's F-bomb
President Obama's political organization agrees with Vice President Joe Biden: "Health Reform is a BFD." While using a four-letter word could land an elementary school kid in detention, Organizing for America is embracing it with the hope of raising some cash. OFA, the president's political arm housed at the Democratic National Committee, is using Biden's now infamous phrase on a T-shirt to commemorate the signing of health care reform into law.
CNN: Conservative leader tells donors to stop giving to RNC
The head of an influential social conservative organization urged supporters Wednesday to stop donating to the Republican National Committee and instead contribute to its own coffers or to candidates with like-minded goals.
New York Daily News: Report: Big donors jumping ship from Republican National Committee, Michael Steele over spending
The RNC may be in need of some TLC. In the wake of an embarrassing spending spree of nearly $2,000 at a risque strip joint, which led to one staffer being fired, a new report suggests donors are abandoning the Republican National Committee – and have been for a while. Daily Caller reports that Federal Election Commission filings show at least eight top donors, including Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, have declined to contribute for more than a year.
Washington Post: Administration seeks to change pay incentives at major firms
When the Obama administration imposed restrictions on executive pay last year at some of the largest companies the government had bailed out, officials said they were aiming to set a new standard for compensation across corporate America that would discourage risky business practices. But as firms begin to disclose last year's bonuses ahead of annual shareholder meetings, it is becoming clear that companies across a wide range of industries are paying executives in ways that officials worry will not discourage the kind of excessive short-term risk-taking that led to the financial crisis.
New York Times: Secretary of the Army Says He Will Not Pursue ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Discharges
The secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, said Wednesday that he was effectively ignoring the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law because he had no intention of pursuing discharges of active-duty service members who have recently told him that they are gay. President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have all called on Congress to repeal the 17-year-old law and allow gay service members to serve openly. Although Mr. Gates announced revised standards last week that make it harder for the military to discharge service members whose sexual orientation is revealed by third parties, gay men and lesbians who willingly reveal their sexual orientation still face ouster from the military, at least as the law is written.