Van Hollen Offers Up Another $800,000 to Boost Party

Posted October 21, 2010 at 1:23pm

Dramatically increasing his own personal investment in the November midterms, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen this week will send another $800,000 in checks to the DCCC and individual candidates from his personal campaign account, a source close to Van Hollen told Roll Call.

The Maryland Democrat, who also serves as Assistant to the Speaker, will send a $700,000 check to the DCCC and another $100,000 to individual candidates. Van Hollen now has given a total of $1.6 million to the DCCC from his own account — the most of any Democrat — more than tripling his $450,000 dues.

Van Hollen has topped House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) by $50,000, according to the latest DCCC dues sheet dated Tuesday, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) by $100,000.

No other Democrat outside the top three leaders has given more than $575,000, the amount given by Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (Calif.).

Van Hollen and other Democrats in safe seats with large war chests have been under pressure from their colleagues to up their giving from the their personal accounts. Van Hollen had $2.7 million in his account on Sept. 30 and $2.5 million on Tuesday.

Van Hollen’s checks appear to bring his cash on hand down to about $1.7 million, in line with the $1.7 million in Hoyer’s account and the $1.3 million in Clyburn’s. Pelosi has effectively gone all in with $140,000 on hand, according to the DCCC dues sheet.

The DCCC will use Van Hollen’s check to encourage other Member contributions, the source close to Van Hollen said, adding that Members and DCCC staff are reaching out to lawmakers who “either haven’t fulfilled their dues obligations or who can do more and asking them to contribute as well.”

The source also said that DCCC is seeking late Member donations to increase their TV ad budget for the final stretch of the campaign.

Earlier this cycle, strategists said the committee planned to spend $52 million.

As of Wednesday, the DCCC had reported spending $35.8 million through its independent expenditure arm.

Pre-election fundraising reports are due to be filed with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday.

In addition to his dues, Van Hollen has separately raised or given nearly $20 million for the DCCC or to Frontline and Red to Blue candidates this cycle, second only to Pelosi’s $43 million.