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.