Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the 78-person Congressional Progressive Caucus, was quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune over the weekend saying he had decided against paying his DCCC dues money that will largely be funneled back out to fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats and instead would direct his political support to like-minded liberals.
Grijalva offered a more conciliatory assessment Tuesday, saying he would pay dues but would like to be able to earmark those funds for liberal candidates.
I hate to think the money that I and any progressive or any member of the Hispanic caucus gives goes directly to the most vehement anti-immigrant people on that list. Thats an example, he said. We dont mind paying our dues, but we would like it to go to people who are consistent with some of the things that we believe. I could be cutting my nose to spite my face here.
The party counts on direct transfers from Democratic lawmakers campaign accounts for about a third of its funds. The ask for Members varies, with top leaders owing $800,000 per cycle, exclusive committee chairmen being asked to give $500,000 and back benchers owing $125,000.
Through May 26, Democrats had given more than $19.5 million, according to a Roll Call analysis of a party fundraising tally. Leaders generally exempt the 41 Frontline program members or those lawmakers who face the most difficult re-election races. Likewise, leaders arent counting on much support from the five Members who are running for higher office.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.