Officials at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee continue to refine their operations to ferret out donations and get their 2008 ground game started.
To that end, Leticia Martinez has been hired to serve as the committee’s outreach director. Martinez left her position as legislative director for the Service Employees International Union to help House Democrats deliver their message to key groups.
“The outreach director will build coalitions between targeted groups and the Members, DCCC staff and candidates and provide communication updates, schedule outreach meetings and conduct message development and dissemination,” said DCCC spokeswoman Jennifer Crider.
Martinez will work with labor groups, the Blue Dogs, state parties, presidential campaigns and other Democratic activists, Crider said.
Also on Monday, DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) tapped Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) to head the committee’s “Women LEAD” program.
The program, which Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) steered last cycle, tries to get more women engaged in politics and, by extension, to donate to the DCCC.
Schwartz plans to expand Schakowsky’s “ultimate women’s power lunch,” which were held primarily in Chicago, by scheduling them all over the country.
“Engaging more Democratic women in the political process is a winning formula for our party as we move toward 2008,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement. “Congresswoman Schwartz will do a fantastic job building on the success of last cycle and engaging even more women in the Democratic Party.”
The 110th Congress has a record number of women serving — 74 in the House and 16 in the Senate.
Democratic pollsters, notably Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc., have conducted numerous surveys showing that unmarried women are increasingly an important slice of the electorate, and that they are a prime target for Democrats.
Unmarried women were the largest increase of any voting demographic in 2004 — 39 percent of all new voters, according to Greenberg’s data.
“Women voters, activists and donors were vital to Democrats’ success last November and they will be even more important this cycle in helping Democrats continuing our change agenda,” Van Hollen said. “There is no better person than Congresswoman Schwartz to tap into the tremendous energy around the country for our first woman Speaker, the record number of women in Congress and a viable Democratic woman presidential candidate.”
Also on Monday, Van Hollen announced that Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.) will take a second turn leading up the DCCC’s Business Council program.
Last cycle, Crowley brought in almost $7 million to the DCCC through his work with the business community, his spokesman Rohit Mahajan said.
Tonight the DCCC will throw its annual spring political action committee event on the rooftop of 101 Constitution Ave. NW.
The B Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band, is the headliner but Members are expected to lend their voices to the evening’s musical lineup.
Scheduled to show off their crooning abilities are: Crowley; freshman Rep. Paul Hodes (N.H.); Rep. Dennis Moore (Kan.); and possibly Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.), leader of his own band, The Second Amendments.
While the DCCC is launching its programs and landed the first punch of the cycle with its “rerun” Web site poking fun at Republican ex-Members who are contemplating comebacks, the National Republican Congressional Committee released its first “Democratic Dirty Laundry” news release.
The interactive e-mail allows viewers to click the “spin” and “rinse” cycles to see examples of alleged Democratic hypocrisy.
For example, the “spin” quotes Pelosi in 2005 saying that corrupt Members should be barred from accessing sensitive national security matters. The rinse is the recent appointment of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) to the Homeland Security Committee.
Jefferson is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly taking bribes but has not been indicted.
“[Minority] Leader [John] Boehner (R-Ohio) keeps saying that Republicans are looking for new ideas, and apparently their answer is to recirculate old, misleading attacks,” Crider countered. “Unlike the Republicans — who have two Members from their majority in jail and another under indictment — Democrats have delivered on our commitment to make this the most open and honest Congress.”