Money Dries Up for GOP's Only Supporter of Health Reform
Louisiana Rep. Cao's fundraising down 40%
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 24, 2010 10:42 AM CST
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-La. listens on Capitol Hill in this file photo.   (Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – The lone Republican lawmaker to support Democratic health care legislation has seen his fundraising drop by nearly 40% since his vote, forcing him to resort to a costly national fundraising operation as he burns through a dwindling bank account. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, the unlikely congressman from New Orleans, has the unenviable job of trying to please a heavily Democratic constituency while relying on conservatives for money to fuel his campaign.

Although Republican leaders have continued supporting Cao with money from their campaign committees despite his health care vote, other donors haven't been as forgiving. He's hired a fundraising group to make up the difference, but it's urging him to be more conservative—a perilous gambit for a lawmaker in an overwhelmingly Democratic district that awarded Barack Obama 75% of the vote in 2008; Cao won in part because his opponent, Rep. William Jefferson, was found with $90,000 in his freezer and indicted on bribery charges.