Retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton is giving $400,000 of his roughly $1 million war chest to the cash strapped National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), by far the largest donation he’s ever made to the organization.
If the NRCC chooses, they can pour some or all of that money into ad buys in the 3rd Congressional District, where Saxton’s heir apparent, Medford Mayor Chris Myers, is outfunded by opponent John Adler by a margin of 10-1. As of the last FEC report, Myers had $155,000 on hand to Adler’s nearly $1.5 million.
The problem is that Saxton can’t even suggest to NRCC officials where they should send the money. It’s illegal to earmark funds for a candidate.
“He can’t do that. There are absolutely no strings attached by law,” said Saxton Communications Director Jeff Sagnip, who used to work part-time for the Myers campaign as well. “There’s no guarantee that they could send it here.”
Saxton has given yearly donations to the NRCC, but never more than $250,000 at one time.
Saxton is still sitting on $600,000, however, and will likely keep his campiang account open after retirement.
“The remainder he’s going to retain to help future Republican candidates in future elections to try to get out the GOP message,” said Sagnip.
Myers Campaign Manager Chris Russell wouldn’t even go as far as to say he hopes the money somehow winds up in District 3.
“As you know, its not up to us what Congressman Saxton or the NRCC do with their money. What is in our controlisrunning an aggressive campaign that continuestohighlight the stark differences between Chris Myers and John Adler,” he said.
No comment was immediately available from the NRCC.