It's an unfortunate truth in American politics that without dollars (big ones) you can't be competitive in campaigns, which creates an awkward situation for candidates that are elected as "outsiders", but are required to act like "insiders" in order to raise funds for subsequent elections. This is exactly the situation that many of the Tea Party elected House Republican freshmen are facing in the upcoming 2012 races. If they want to return as House sophomores, they're going to need to shake all the right hands, pat all the right backs, and maybe even start passing some special interest legislation. With the 2012 Republican Primary campaign season officially underway, POLITICO reports that House freshmen are gearing up for the race by scheduling at least 100 fundraisers around Capitol Hill.
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks has scheduled a luncheon running $500 a plate, $1,500 if you're a political action committee (PAC). South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney, likewise, will be holding one on Tuesday featuring Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for $1,000 a plate, $1,500 for PACs. Mulvaney spoke of the necessity of raising money on Capitol Hill, telling POLITICO, "“It’s not been nearly [as] easy as we were told it would be,” said Mulvaney. “Everyone tells you when you become a member of Congress that it will be easy to raise a quarter million dollars in the first week, and that’s not accurate." Indiana Freshman Rep. Marlin Stutzman sounded more confident, saying, "“It’s about getting a message out. To get a message out, it takes money.”