Newly appointed members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s leadership team got off to a quick start Thursday morning with a meeting on recruitment. After watching Republicans post a net gain of 63 seats in the 2010 elections, recruitment will be critical for Democrats in 2012.
New York Rep. Steve Israel, the new chairman of the DCCC, appointed New York Rep. Joe Crowley, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi as national chairmen of the committee. The Members had a morning meeting on recruitment, and in the afternoon their staffers met to discuss how to divide up responsibilities.
The new leadership team represents a new generation of Democratic leaders. Crowley, who served as vice chairman for finance during the previous cycle, is the only Member on the team who won election before 2000. Wasserman Schultz will again oversee incumbent retention, but she’ll add the committee’s redistricting efforts to her portfolio. Schwartz, a co-chairman of the committee’s Red to Blue program in the 2010 cycle, will oversee recruitment. Ellison, who was elected in 2006, will oversee community outreach. Pierluisi was elected in 2008 and will take charge of community mobilization, getting key Democratic groups involved in the election.
Pierluisi was an interesting choice because the DCCC doesn’t help nonvoting Delegates to the House win their races. During the 2010 cycle he campaigned with Democrats in districts with high Puerto Rican populations in Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, his office said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.