Pelosi Sets DCCC Fundraising Pace
When it comes to fundraising, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) likes to lead by example. This year is no different.Two months into the new Congress, Pelosi has already banked more than $2.3 million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to a committee fundraising tally. That amount represents nearly one-tenth of the $25 million that Pelosi has committed to raising for the DCCC over the two-year cycle.The Speaker has also contributed $250,000 toward the $800,000 she owes in dues, as have House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).House Democratic leaders are urging their colleagues to pony up early and often to help build a bulwark against what could be heavy midterm losses. A DCCC memo to lawmakers last week noted that all but two newly elected presidents since Abraham Lincoln saw their party lose seats in their first midterm election, with an average loss of 30 seats. Democrats have the added burden of retiring $16.5 million in debt, according to the memo.“We enter this cycle with potentially 50 threatened incumbents. The financial cost of mounting this defense will be staggering,— it said.The leaders themselves are making staggered progress toward early dues payments. Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) has paid just $50,000 of his $450,000 obligation. In that second tier of leadership — all of whom owe the same amount — only Steering and Policy Committee Co-Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) has contributed less than Larson — nothing so far, according to the tally. DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) has paid $250,000, and Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.) and Steering and Policy Committee Co-Chairman George Miller (Calif.) have each contributed $100,000.Of the exclusive committee chairmen, Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is the only gavel holder to make a dent in his $500,000 tab. Waxman has contributed $100,000 so far.So far, only a handful of Democrats outside the top ranks have cut checks to the DCCC. Rep. Brad Sherman (Calif.) owns the distinction of being the first rank-and-file Member to pay his dues in full, after forking over $200,000 to the campaign committee, the tally shows.But House Democrats aren’t the only ones rebuffing their party’s call.During a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference on Tuesday morning, Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) stressed the importance of winning the March 31 special election in New York’s 20th district, and said it was time for Members who hadn’t contributed to the race to “stand up,— GOP sources said.The Republican candidate, New York Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco, attended the meeting at the Capitol Club and thanked Members who contributed already, but asked for more funds to carry him through the end of the race. So far, GOP lawmakers have given the House hopeful $175,000.Rep. Peter Roskam (Ill.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual March fundraising dinner, told Conference attendees that while they are getting closer to their goal of $5 million, there are still members of the “goose egg caucus— who have yet to participate.