Democrats Post $27 Million Campaign Debt

Posted February 1, 2009 at 10:17pm

The House and Senate Democratic campaign committees ended 2008 with a combined $27 million in leftover debts, after growing their majorities in both chambers in last year’s elections.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee showed a whopping $16 million in debt as of Dec. 31, according to fundraising reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Saturday.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ended the year with close to $11 million in campaign debt, the year-end FEC reports showed. The DSCC also showed just $297,000 in cash on hand.

The DSCC raised just less than $7 million in the final reporting period, covering Nov. 25 to Dec. 31. The DSCC also spent about $6.9 million.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee brought in just more than $1 million and spent $3.1 million in the same time period. The NRSC finished 2008 with about $749,000 in cash on hand but $4.9 million in debt.

A major portion of both Senate committees’ receipts and expenses can be traced to the runoff in Georgia that took place on Dec. 2. In that race, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) scored a resounding 14-point victory over Democrat Jim Martin.

With a debt of just less than $11 million, the DSCC owes significantly more than it did coming off the 2006 cycle, when it was $6.6 million in the red. But it also raised less than $2.5 million in the final month of 2006.

The NRSC is also carrying more debt than it was two years ago. At the end of 2006, the committee was about $1.3 million in debt.

On the House side, the DCCC also brought in more and spent more than its Republican counterpart in the final weeks of 2008.

The DCCC raised $5 million in the final reporting period, while spending $7.2 million.

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised about $1.5 million and spent about $1.8 million over the same period.

During the early part of the reporting period, both House committees were spending and raising large sums of money on two late contests in Louisiana. The GOP ended up winning both of those races.

The DCCC ended the year with $492,000 in cash on hand. The NRCC reported $760,000 in cash on hand but also carried $6.5 million in campaign debt.

The NRCC’s debt is vastly less than that leftover from the 2006 cycle, when the NRCC was at least $18 million in the red. The NRCC also endured an embezzlement scandal surrounding its former treasurer in the 2008 cycle, which further added to an already toxic fundraising environment for Republicans.