The phone calls come on a regular basis. So regular in fact, that my wife and I have thought about ditching our land line, on which the bulk of incoming calls are solicitations. When the DCCC calls I tell them I pick and choose my candidates, and I’m not interested in giving to DINOs. Same with the DSC, which seemed to want to send money to Ben Nelson uber alles.
A week or so ago I urged the party to shut out the Congresspersons who sided with the NRA against Eric Holder. Turns out, and this is no surprise, that those very people have gotten a disproportionate share of DCCC funding.
WASHINGTON — The 17 House Democrats who voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt last week have received more than $1.3 million in financial aid from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since the start of 2009, a review of campaign finance records shows. That total constitutes roughly one out of every nine dollars that the committee either spent or earmarked for candidates during that time period.
The aid isn’t atypical for the campaign committee, whose priority is numerical majorities rather than ideological purity.
“The DCCC is a member participation organization that supports Democrats for Congress with the goal of electing a Democratic majority,” said Jesse Ferguson, a spokesperson for the DCCC.
But with anger mounting among the Democrats over the GOP’s treatment of Holder, the money breakdown threatens to re-ignite a long-simmering debate over what type of lawmakers are best suited to fill the party’s ranks. The 17 Democrats who voted to hold Holder in contempt for the invoking of executive privilege in the Operation Fast and Furious investigation did so under pressure from the National Rifle Association. Their votes demonstrate the gun lobby’s continued power within the halls of Congress, while raising the question of why the DCCC lacks that same institutional clout.
In addition, seven of those 17 Democrats have said they either are skipping the party’s convention this summer or remain unsure of their intentions. One member has declined to endorse President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.
“[DCCC Chairman Steve Israel] is spending gargantuan amounts of money and energy on hopeless Blue Dogs … [rather] than working on winnable campaigns for independent-minded, progressive Democrats,” said Howie Klein, the co-founder of Blue America PAC, an organization devoted to promoting progressive candidates. “Those 17 Democrats didn’t just suddenly join [Rep. Darrell] Issa’s witch hunt and stray from the Democratic fold. All 17 — no exceptions — are among the Democrats who vote with [Speaker John] Boehner and [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor most frequently for the far right’s anti-family agenda.”
The vast majority of the support the DCCC offered these members (approximately 95 percent) came in the form of earmarked donations — money that came from other groups and donors but was solicited by the campaign committee.
“What the DCCC is doing for those candidates is what Act Blue does for other Democrats,” explained a prominent campaign finance lawyer who advises congressional candidates. “They are sending out an email saying, ‘Here are our top 10 target races. Will you give money to those races?’”
Because the DCCC is thereby prioritizing those races, the lawyer continued, it is fair to categorize an earmarked donation as a form of support from the committee. It’s “a conscious decision” to help that candidate.
The extent of that support is disproportionate to the help the DCCC is offering House members and candidates at large. During the same period that the committee funneled $1.3 million to those 17 anti-Holder lawmakers, it sent just over $9.1 million to all House Democratic candidates.
(via The Huffington Post)
At this point, we as a party would be better off if these pseudo-Dems would be replaced by Republicans, yet we shovel money at people who are the first to join forces with Republicans to frustrate progressive initiatives, while ignoring real Democrats struggling to take over Republican districts. In the process they confer a “bi-partisan” legitimacy on Republican extremism that the press just eats up. We'd have a leaner, meaner, more effective party if we got rid of these losers, or whipped them into shape. That assumes, of course, that the Democrats would stop drawing the lesson they always draw when they lose: that they weren’t Republican enough. (In this they agree with the Republicans, in that the Republicans always blame their own losses on not being Republican enough). If the Democrats would learn some other lessons from the Republicans, they might learn that it’s vital to speak with one more or less unified voice. We don’t need Congressmen who won’t support the party’s incumbent president, or Congressmen who will join a political witch hunt against a Democratic Attorney General. We’ll never truly win so long as we have this dead weight in the party. It’s particularly infuriating that the party seems so bent on preserving them, to the exclusion of supporting real Democrats.