Interest groups and political parties have their hands open even when the government is closed.
Democratic and Republican committees and Tea Party groups are among those raising money as they urge their supporters to pressure lawmakers.
Most of the solicitations have the same two words in them: Ted Cruz.
He’s the freshman Texas Republican senator who has taken the lead in making sure House Republicans do not pass any funding bill that leaves the president’s signature health-care law alone.
“He has become the poster boy for the shutdown,” said Bill Allison, editorial director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based group that tracks lobbying and political giving. “You’re looking for that lightning rod. For Democrats, he’s public enemy No. 1, and for Republicans, he’s Paul Revere leading the charge against the Affordable Care Act.”
Republicans and their allies say they won’t pass a resolution to keep funding the government unless they also succeed in delaying or killing President Barack Obama’s health-care law, which expands coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, while Democrats and their allies want Congress to focus solely on keeping the government open and not re-fight battles over a law that passed both houses, was signed by the president and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Sometimes on a hot issue people donate on a higher rate than they would on a less urgent issue,” said Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, a Wilmington, Delaware-based organization that works with Tea Party groups. “It’s more the byproduct of engagement than the exploitation of gridlock. It’s engaging grassroots activists, one byproduct of which may be online donations.”