Senator Casey is a quiet sort and we don't read much about him. Now and then, though, Bob Casey, Jr., does something that stands out. Take leadership committes, for instance. According to the Politico ("Freshmen try for Senate honor roll," by Carrie Budoff Brown*, 9/04), nine out of the ten freshman senators have started leadership committees. These are legal slush funds for senators and congressional representatives to collect donations and distribute them willy nilly among other candidates and officials as a way of buying up political favors. Or maybe people just give them money out of the goodness of their hearts and the senators, having watched "Barney" and "Sesame Street" decide to share the largesse with their friends. You decide.
Here's the scoop on Casey:
Bob Casey (D-Pa.), the only freshman who has not opened a leadership PAC.
“After raising more than $17 million for the Senate race, we are taking some time off and focusing on work in the Senate,” said his spokesman, Larry Smar.
That’s so retro of him, so utterly 2000, a time when senators opened one fundraising committee — their own — and tried to avoid donor calls from the day they won office until it was absolutely necessary.
But Casey’s fundraising fizzle might say more about the Pennsylvanian’s ambitions. He isn’t aiming to be the next majority leader. Casey said as much during his successful campaign last year to unseat Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), whose swift rise into leadership — he assumed the No. 3 Republican post at the start of his second term — contributed to his overwhelming defeat. Casey painted him as out of touch with Pennsylvania.
*Carrie Budoff BROWN? Where did the Brown come from? She was plain Carrie Budoff when she wrote for the Inquirer, before the bright lights and big city lured her away. Did she get married? Who is this guy? Can anyone vouch for his character? I'm concerned.