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DCCC Pushes for Unpaid Dues

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel made an appeal last month to his Caucus members, asking them to cough up their unpaid dues.

Dues are frequently a point of contention in the Caucus. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus charge it is more difficult for them to raise funds from their African-American supporters, while others say they prefer to host events for colleagues rather than cutting a check to the DCCC. Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.) came under fire last cycle, when he was Energy and Commerce chairman, for sitting on a pile of cash, and he ultimately succumbed to pressure from the Caucus by exceeding his DCCC goal in the final days before the 2010 midterm elections.

According to the Nov. 4 dues sheet, Waxman, now ranking member on Energy and Commerce, has more than $1 million in cash on hand and has paid $25,000 in dues to the DCCC. He has raised $5,000 for the campaign committee as of Nov. 4.

Other veterans hoarding cash include New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, an Energy and Commerce subcommittee ranking member. He has $3.4 million in cash on hand and has given just $30,000 in dues to the DCCC. Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey, ranking member on the Natural Resources Committee, has raised more than $860,000 this year, has $3.1 million in cash on hand and has given $90,000 toward his $250,000 dues goal.

Leaders haven’t pressed hard yet but are expected to make an end-of-year push to Members and keep on them once election season heats up. “The DCCC is a Member participation organization and we appreciate everything our Members do for us,” DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in a statement. “We’re off to a strong start and our Members are critical to our success.”

Correction: Nov. 17, 2011

An earlier version of this article misstated how much Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) had paid in dues and raised for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee because of an incorrect DCCC dues sheet. Waxman has paid $25,000 in dues to the DCCC, according to federal filings. He has raised, as of Nov. 4, $5,000 for the campaign committee, according to the DCCC.

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