LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Some of the top dogs in the Republican party have made their feelings known. They want Congressmen Radel to stay in office despite the coke bust. Fox 4 is finding out the House Republican leadership is invested in Radel's political future.
The answer may lie in some of Washington's top house leadership PACs, or political action committees. Leading members House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) all gave money to fund Congressman Trey Radel's campaign.
"I'd say that he seems pretty popular," said Viveca Novak, the editorial and communications director for OpenSecrets.org.
The group crunched the numbers. Last year, PACs donated $39,000 to the freshman Republican. Cantor gave $10,000; Boehner $5,000 and McCarthy $3,000, according to OpenSecrets.org. So far this year, it's $18,000, which brings the total amount they've given to $57,000 since the congressman filed to run for office two years ago.
"It is interesting to note that he's received a fair bit of money from the leadership," added Novak.
The House's leadership hasn't called for Rep. Radel to resign. On Wednesday, he admitted in federal court to buying cocaine in an undercover sting. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession.
Although the congressman's future hangs in the balance, one thing's clear: the house's leading men believed in him.
"I think when you put all of those things together, you begin to get a picture of a larger relationship, a closer relationship," said Novak.