Thursday, September 16, 2010

The RGA Rallies Behind Bob Ehrlich

Sources tell me that the Ehrlich campaign has reached an agreement with the Republican Governors Association (RGA) that secures the organization’s active support for Ehrlich during the gubernatorial campaign.

The Ehrlich campaign first reached out to the RGA during the summer, but was initially rebuffed because Ehrlich had a primary opponent. Ehrlich then appealed directly to RGA Chairman Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) through a personal cold call, but I’m told that particular conversation did not go very well.

Anyway, the RGA has now agreed to make a major TV ad buy during the campaign. The size of that ad buy would be dependent upon the Ehrlich campaign’s ability to persuade donors to give money directly to the RGA itself.  The RGA, not the Ehrlich campaign, will determine all content for the ads. Further, I was told by someone with ties to the Ehrlich campaign that, in exchange for the RGA's support, Ehrlich may endorse Barbour's expected bid for president in 2012.

One of the fundraising obstacles that the Ehrlich campaign has encountered is the unwillingness of some major donors to alienate Governor O’Malley by writing big checks for Ehrlich. The RGA gives donors another, less public avenue through which to contribute.

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