Blue Dog PAC Lends Vulnerable Members a Hand

Posted January 1, 2010 at 1:11pm

As a group, the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats may be the most vulnerable House incumbents in the 2010 election. But they are getting an assist from the Blue Dog political action committee, which handed out the most contributions of any politician-controlled PAC through November 2009, according to CQ MoneyLine.The Blue Dog PAC has made $635,000 in donations thus far this cycle, $500,000 of which went to members of the coalition and their PACs. The rest went to home-state party committees of a number of Blue Dogs, including many facing competitive re-election contests, and to one House candidate, Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards (D), who is running for the open seat in Florida’s 12th district.The PAC’s money came largely from other political committees — it reported $1.3 million in receipts through Nov. 30, $1.2 million of which came from PACs. The majority of donors to the Blue Dog PAC were trade association and corporate political committees, many of which have also given thousands of dollars to Blue Dog members individually.Though much of it originated with the corporate and trade association PACs, the money doled out by the Blue Dog committee does not count against the limits on donations those PACs make to members directly. Blue Dogs are among the top Republican targets in 2010, given that many hold seats in Republican-leaning districts. Three of the members the Blue Dog PAC gave money to — Reps. Bobby Bright (Ala.), Frank Kratovil (Md.) and Walt Minnick (Idaho) — are in races CQ Politics has rated “tossup.— Another nine recipients are on the GOP’s list of Democrats it is hoping to pressure into retirement. Two others, Reps. John Tanner (Tenn.) and Bart Gordon (Tenn.), have already announced they are retiring. A third, Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith, announced earlier this month that he was switching parties and becoming a Republican. All three received $10,000 apiece from the Blue Dog PAC.