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“There are just members of the caucus who don’t give dues, and that’s just the way it is,” said a former House Democratic campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “It’s just not the way they interact with the caucus.”
Several House Democrats have not transferred any money for DCCC dues this cycle yet, according to the sheet’s tally, including House Administration Committee ranking member Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania and House Agriculture ranking member Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota. Both Democrats have raised zero or relatively small sums for the committee as well.
Peterson faces a tough race in 2014, and some Democrats privately speculate he could announce his retirement after the farm bill passes. Still, top House Democratic leaders hosted a massive fundraiser for his re-election campaign in November.
Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus also declined to transfer any money to the DCCC yet this cycle, including Sanford D. Bishop Jr. of Georgia, William Lacy Clay of Missouri, Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania, Charles B. Rangel of New York, Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Frederica S. Wilson of Florida.
There’s been significant tension in previous cycles between the DCCC and the CBC, which includes many members who represent districts with below-average incomes. Last cycle, Israel pledged to revise the points system used to evaluate member giving to better reflect the CBC’s efforts.
A few members in tough races — Reps. John Barrow of Georgia, Timothy H. Bishop of New York, Michael M. Honda of California and John F. Tierney of Massachusetts — transferred zero funds to the DCCC, according to the dues sheet. But members of the committee’s Frontline program for endangered incumbents, such as Barrow and Bishop, rarely catch flak for skipping out on dues.
The sheet showed that several other members have paid none of their dues so far. They are Reps. Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Jim Costa of California, John D. Dingell of Michigan, Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois, Stephen F. Lynch of Massachusetts and Albio Sires of New Jersey.
Bishop and Grijalva raised $67,000 and $59,000, respectively, directly for the committee.
The NRCC runs its version of a dues program differently. Committee leaders backload their requests for fundraising and cash transfers, pushing for donations to the NRCC later in the election year.
According to an NRCC aide, the goal is to ensure their members do not post low cash-on-hand totals after the first couple of quarters of a high-stakes election year.