Sali ROMPS in D.C.

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>Updated to correct an error about House Minority Leader John Boehner's title.

The D.C. Republicans are taking care of their own. In a party last night, U.S. Rep. Bill Sali picked up $66,000 worth of campaign cash.

The fundraising came courtesy of House Minority Leader John Boehner and the party's Regain Our Majority Program. The ROMP program is designed for candidates who are "politically vulnerable and/or have been targeted by the Democrats for defeat," according to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Boehner has been a good friend to Sali, who faces a primary candidate in Matt Salisbury, followed by the well-funded Democrat Walt Minnick in November.

The new money would also augment Sali's relatively weak fundraising record so far.

In addition to last night's fundraiser, Sali's office reports that Boehner has personally donated $9,000 to Sali. The money includes cash from Boehner's personal campaign account and his Political Action Committee.

Earlier this month, Boehner appointed Sali to a House economic development task force. In comments relayed by Sali's office, Boehner called Sali , “creative, knowledgeable" and said he possessed "a real knack working [for] together with divergent interests in order to benefit his constituents and the nation.”

“I am honored that my campaign is receiving such overwhelming support,” said Sali in a prepared statement. "The message I am getting day after day is that people appreciate my willingness to stand firm for Idaho values, for lower taxes and smaller government, to reform Congress and to return to conservative principles."

Ever since Larry Grant dropped out of the Democratic primary against Minnick, the Sali campaign has pumped up the volume. A flurry of news releases tout Sali's comments on various Congressional issues, and the National Republican Congressional Committee wasted no time in hitting against Minnick.

For his part, fresh from a run in the Boston Marathon, Minnick has hired a new campaign manager to replace local political consultant Tara Wolfson. Minnick announced this week he's hired Adam Harris to be his new campaign manager.

Harris worked on the successful 2006 re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. John Spratt from South Carolina. He was recently unemployed when his new boss, Democrat Mike Ciresi dropped out of a nomination race in Minnesota against former Saturday Night Live comedian Al Franken. Harris had been Ciresi's field director.

Minnick is buoyed by support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which named him to a list not unlike Sali's ROMP group, the Red to Blue Program. To get on their list, DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen said, you have to show an ability to raise money.

“Walt Minnick’s Idaho values, experience as a business and community leader and commitment to bringing people together to solve problems make him an independent, effective voice for change for Idaho’s families," said Van Hollen. Being on the list means the DCCC will help Minnick with financial, communications, and strategic support.

The new money appears to have emboldened Sali a bit; in a release today he chided House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for hiding a "super-secret" gas price relief plan.

“If Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have a plan to reduce gas prices, let’s see it. So far, the only solutions we’ve seen are non-solutions, because they involve raising taxes so that consumers pay more," Sali said.