Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Powerful Will Susan Brooks Be in the 113th Congress?

Most of my readers are political junkies of one sort or another, so consider this me providing some insight into how the US Congress works to those who don't eat and breath politics.

It is a common misconception that Congressional chairmanships, leadership positions such as majority/minority leaders and whips, and some valued committee assignments, were largely based on seniority and who had enough time to commit to the tasks and yada-yada-yada. 

In fact, the rules of the US Congress and how to obtain that sort of power has changed over the past 10 years. The Naked Capitalism blog has a nice summary of this paper. The amount of money the Democratic leadership had to raise in the 111th Congress is absolutely astounding, and it isn't too far of a reach to think that the current Republican leadership of the 112th Congress have done the same.

What does this all have to do with Susan Brooks?

I attended a forum in Kokomo during the GOP primary in the 5th Congressional District. When asked what committees she'd like to sit on, Susan Brooks mentioned that she'd like it if there was a way for freshman and less-senior members of Congress to be in leadership positions and on chairmanships of committees. 

And looking over Brooks' fundraising numbers, she might be able to score a nice leadership position or a prized committee seat.

Remember, she's raised over $800,000 with most of that being during a contested GOP primary where the other big fundraiser was a former member of Congress. The only Congressional candidate in Indiana that has raised more than her is Todd Rokita, who has far more name recognition and is an incumbent Congressman.  She could easily keep those kind of numbers up as an incumbent, and being a federal officeholder will open up even more pocketbooks to her political campaign.

The only problem is retaining that job in Congress. Congressman Dan Burton has faced two tough primary challenges, partially due to how much time he spent fundraising outside of Indiana.

1 comment:

  1. She's married to David Brooks. That's strike one, two and three in my book.


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