Following up on Paul’s insanely useful look at Sen. Jon Kyl, who will replace departing Sen. Trent Lott as minority whip, here’s a slightly different look at those jockeying to move on up in the leadership and take over Kyl’s old job as Republican conference chairman (I’m using the Washington Post’s list of likely contenders).
If Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison rises in the hierarchy, 20 former staffers of hers who are now lobbyists can say they once worked for the person responsible for the Senate GOP’s message operations (compared to three for Sen. Richard Burr and none for Sen. Lamar Alexander — so far at least). Hutchison has the most robust leadership PAC, called KPAC; in 2007, it has raised $632,952, of which $549,250 has been contributed by individuals, with the balance coming from other PACs. Burr has raised $215,500 — most of which comes from other PACs, according to the latest FEC filing. Just $15,000 of the donations to the Next Century Fund came from individuals. Alexander’s leadership PAC, the Tenn PAC, has raised $15,000 so far in 2007.
If you’re just following the money, you might infer that more people with more at stake on Capitol Hill have a vested interest in Hutchison moving up as opposed to Burr or Alexander. That holds for earmark recipients as well (see below the fold for more…)
Via GovTrack.us, we know that Alexander and Hutchison are both appropriators; Burr isn’t. Looking through the various appropriations bills tracked at Taxpayers for Common Sense, we see that Hutchison got a dozen earmarks in the Senate Agriculture bill worth $2.7 million; Alexander got one worth $1 million, and Burr got two (along with co-requester Sen. Elizabeth Dole) worth $825,000. In Defense (since not all of the bills have gone to conference, I’m just using the Senate versions for consistency’s sake), Hutchison landed 17 earmarks worth more than $38 million; Alexander got six worth more than $22 million, and Burr got five worth $8 million (all three jointly requested multiple other earmarks with other members). In the Energy and Water bill, Hutchison got eight earmarks worth more than $12 million; Alexander got two worth about $1.5 million, while Burr got one worth $300,000. EarmarkWatch.org makes it easier to check the earmarks in the Senate Labor, Education & HHS bill — Hutchison, with co-sponsors, stuffed it with 26 earmarks worth $6.5 million; Alexander, all by himself, got 10 earmarks worth $3 million, while Burr got 5 worth $750,000 (four of which were co-sponsored by Dole).
One final thing worth taking a peak at: the Voting Trend Analysis on OpenCongress. Scroll about halfway down each page to learn that Hutchison votes most frequently with fellow Texas Sen. John Cornyn, likewise fellow Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker has the closest vote pattern to Alexander. The oddball is Burr, whose votes most often match Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Hutchison and Alexander least often vote with Sen. Russ Feingold, whole Burr votes least often with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. The Democrat all three vote most often with is Sen. Ben Nelson, while the Republican they disagree with most often is Sen. Olympia Snowe. In terms of policy, it doesn’t seem like there’s too much distant between any of the three…