As the first quarter's campaign contribution numbers come in, one clear powerhouse has emerged in the form of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va), who more than doubled his non-election year first quarter fundraising record (from 2007) with a hefty $963,900. As reported by CQ:
While the fifth-term Virginian more than doubled his take from the comparable first quarter of the last non-election year -- 2007 -- the other six members of the House Republican leadership combined to produce $25,900 less in the first three months of 2009 than they had two years earlier. Together, those six raised $1,031,100 for the first quarter of 2009 -- only $67,200 more than Cantor. [...]
Cantor always has been a talented fundraiser, but he is quickly becoming a dominant force at a time when the other leaders of a powerless Republican minority (and even some majority Democratic leaders) are struggling to scrape together money.
Beyond his natural fundraising talent and constant media and cable news appearances, Roll Call has found something else that could be serving as a secret weapon of sorts for Cantor: a Hollywood speechwriter. From Roll Call:
The Virginia Republican snared the services of a speechwriter who apparently has silver-screen credits, including work on the 2007 "tweener" flick "Nancy Drew," starring Julia Roberts' niece, Emma Roberts. According to his most recent quarterly filings with the Federal Election Commission, Cantor paid $2,000 to Joshua Sostrin on March 3. According to the exhaustive Internet Movie Database, or imdb.com, a Joshua Sostrin assisted legendary writer Jerry Weintraub on "Nancy Drew" as well as all three of the "Ocean's" movies starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and a host of other A-list actors.
Cantor also may be getting some help from the local press back home in Virginia. Culpeper's Star Exponent, for example, published a beaming review of the Congressman Tuesday that touts his increased role in the Republican party, as well as the grace with which he is handling his newfound fame.
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