The political gasbag crowd in Washington may focus directly on the upset primary loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. But whomever wins the seat—Republican or Democrat—they’ll arrive at a House of Representatives not only raising money for themselves but for every other member of their party as well.
It’s more or less an open secret in Washington, but little known outside the Beltway. Each incumbent member, no matter which political party, is expected to raise funds based on a sliding scale to help elect other members of his or her party. Critics, like Peter Schweizer, head of the watchdog group The Government Accountability Institute, call it a “pay to play” system. Leaders are expected to raise upwards of $500,000 each election cycle; committee chairs about $200,000 or so and then on downwards. Are you head of an important committee in the House? That will cost you more. Committee assignments are rated “A”, “B” and “C”, with the “A” committee chairs expected to raise more than the people who chair the “C” committees.
CNN Investigations obtained some still photographs from inside the Republican National Campaign Committee showing to the penny how much money each member has raised to date, how much they are expected to raise and how far behind they may be.
Watch Senior Investigations Correspondent Drew Griffin unpeel the onion in Washington again, all part of AC360’s “Congress For Sale” series running all this year.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with