Washington (CNN) - The Republican Governors Association inserted itself into the health care debate Wednesday, launching an on-line effort to rally opposition to the reform legislation that Congress is expected to vote on later this week.
The RGA is spending "six figures" to pay for on-line ads and has launched a Web site as closing arguments are made on President Obama's top domestic priority. GOP governors argue that the health care reform legislation advocated by President Obama and Congressional Democrats imposes an unfunded mandate upon the states. Instead, the RGA is promoting "lawsuit liability reform" as a better way to help lower health care costs. Ten Democratic governors and candidates are singled out with their own 30 second videos clips that are posted on the RGA's new Web site.
Separately, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour posted a video to his YouTube channel Tuesday in which he spent nearly four minutes criticizing the Democratic health care proposal.
"I am urging you and all of my friends to contact your representatives in Congress ask them to vote against this irresponsible legislation," said Barbour, chairman of the RGA and a potential 2012 presidential candidate. "It would only result in higher taxes in both the state and federal level increase costs for health insurance and ultimately worse quality care."
Washington (CNN) - The Republican Governors Association raised $13.5 million in the first seven weeks of the year, a figure that coincides with the organization's annual fundraising dinner Monday evening here in the nation's capital.
The RGA, the political arm of GOP governors, raised $10.2 million during this same time period in 2009.
"This record participation demonstrates that more and more people are excited about our party and recognize governors will lead our comeback," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, chairman of the RGA, said in a statement accompanying the fundraising numbers. "We're off to a good start, but we still have a lot of work to do between now and the November elections."
The RGA had $25 million in the bank as of January 1, 2010.
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(CNN) – The Democratic and Republican Governor's Associations both said Monday that they had broken their own one-year fundraising records, though the GOP is headed into the New Year with the clear financial advantage.
The DGA raised just over $23.1 million in 2009, the organization announced, and currently holds $17.5 million cash-on-hand. The group says its cash-on-hand figure is nearly 12 times as much as it had during the same period in 2010.
Republicans, meanwhile, raised $30 million in 2009, and begin 2010 with $25 million cash-on-hand. That record-breaking figure comes on the heels of gubernatorial victories for the GOP in Virginia and New Jersey.
The RGA is in a significantly healthier position than it was at this point in 2006, when the organization only had $4 million cash on hand.
Story updated at 4:10 p.m. EST
Washington (CNN) – In the early days of his campaign for governor in Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell hired veteran GOP pollster Glen Bolger to take the pulse of the state's notoriously independent-minded voters.
Bolger asked voters if they'd rather elect of governor who would work with President Obama to implement his plans for the economy, or a governor who would serve as a check on Democrats in Washington.
Fifty-five percent wanted a governor who planned to stand up the president, Bolger discovered, while just 35 percent desired someone who would help the White House. It wasn't what he'd expected to find.
"I was kind surprised by that result, because I thought people would say that's not really a factor in the governor's race," Bolger said, noting that McDonnell won the race by a similar margin. "But people saw it as almost like Democrats are oversteering too much in one direction, and they wanted correction."
After dismal election cycles in 2006 and 2008, Republicans are hoping that signs of discomfort with President Obama's agenda will translate into big gains in governor's mansions around the country next November. They point to off-year wins this month in Virginia and New Jersey as early proof that a backlash against Democratic overreach in Washington is underway.
Cedar Creek, Texas (CNN)– Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Thursday that he hopes Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison remains in the Senate and acknowledged that he has spoken with her about challenging Gov. Rick Perry in the GOP primary.
Barbour, head of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), would not elaborate on his conversation with Hutchison, but did say he personally hopes Perry wins another term.
"I would just hate to lose Kay Bailey in the Senate," Barbour said at a news conference during the RGA's annual meeting. "She has been a great senator. I would just hate to lose a great senator like that when we have a fine governor."
Barbour did note that the RGA, which is the campaign arm for GOP governors, would not be taking a side in the primary. Still, this week's conference is being held in Perry's home state and he has played a prominent role as host of the event.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin helped the Republican Governors Association get a discount on "several thousand" copies of her new book so the group can use them as a fundraising tool, RGA chairman Haley Barbour said Tuesday.
Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, said Palin has been "very gracious as a former governor" and helped the group negotiate a bulk purchase price.
"We purchased them at a great discount, at the publisher's price, God bless her," Barbour said during a conference call with reporters ahead of the RGA's annual conference in Austin, Texas.
"I suspect we are going to raise a whole lot of money with this," Barbour predicted. "Hopefully we'll have to re-order."
(CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been elected as the vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, the organization announced Monday.
"His firsthand knowledge of how to win in a so-called purple state will be a major asset to the RGA," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the RGA's chairman, said in the statement.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford stepped down from his post as the RGA's chairman in the wake of admitting to an extramarital affair. When Sanford's resigned from his RGA leadership post, Barbour ascended from vice chair to chairman, leaving the group's no. 2 spot open until Pawlenty's election.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican Governors Association Tuesday announced it raised more than $12.2 million dollars for the first six months of the year.
The RGA's announcement came just hours after the Democratic Governors Association announced that they raised a record-breaking $11.6 million in the first six months of the year.
The RGA also reported having a record $20.4 million cash on hand.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Republican Governors Association released a statement Friday in response to the Palin announcement:
RGA Statement on Governor Palin’s Announcement
Republican Governors Association Executive Director Nick Ayers issued the following statement in regards to Sarah Palin’s announcement today that she will not seek reelection in 2010 and will step down from the governorship on July 25th.
“While we regret the news announced by Governor Palin today, Alaska will continue to have a Republican governor through 2010 and we are confident the state will elect a Republican in next year’s election.
The RGA’s focus remains firmly on the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia this year, and the 37 gubernatorial elections that will take place in 2010. We know that winning these races is the most important task facing our Party over the next two years.”