Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,418

Amidst all of this talk about taking out loans to fund key races and newly emerging races, not enough attention has been given to the huge amount of money House Democrats who are unopposed for re-election are currently storing away in their campaign bank accounts. I just did a quick tallying using Open Secrets, and calculated that the 45 Democrats who are not facing a Republican opponent this November have $26,288,418 in their campaign bank accounts as of September 30th, 2006. I put together a web page that details the cahs on hand for each of the forty-five unopposed Democrats:

Unopposed Democratic Cash

For the sake of comparison, the DCCC currently has $34,867,692 cash on hand, and the NRCC has $36,019,485 cash on hand. Further, Rahm Emmanuel apparently believes that Democrats are ahead, tied or competitive in 58 Republican held seats. The amount of money unopposed House Democrats are currently sitting on would equal $453,248.59 to each of those 58 districts.

That $26.3 million should be the fruits of the successful 435-district strategy this cycle, where for the first time in a long time Democrats ran candidates in more districts than did Republicans. This is supposed to be one of the ways that the fifty-state strategy actually drives resources to swing districts, rather than draining resources from swing districts. It is particularly disgusting that unnamed Democratic consultants are trashing Howard Dean for running the fifty-state strategy, rather than pressuring all of the unchallenged Democratic incumbents to donate their entire campaign bank accounts to the DCCC and / or Democratic challengers. These incumbents do not need election cash, since they have already won their elections. What these incumbents do need is a Democratic majority so they can actually govern for their constituents.

The fifty-state strategy has put Democrats in a competitive position in more districts than few thought imaginable. It has also left more Democrats unchallenged than in any cycle in recent memory. For the strategy to work its final, brutal magic on these elections, the result of these conditions should be that the money from the record number of unchallenged incumbents be transferred to the record number of competitive Democratic challengers. As you can see, this in neither a small amount of money nor a small amount of districts: $453,248.59 to 58 competitive, Republican-held districts. This amount of money would virtually erase any remaining monetary advantage for Republican incumbents in these districts. This is money that would tip the balance of resources decisively in our favor for these elections in dozens of districts. And we have that money, right now, sitting in Democratic campaign bank accounts.

I want to start a campaign to get all forty-five of these unchallenged Democratic incumbents to transfer all of their money to the DCCC in large lumps and / or to competitive Democratic campaigns at $2,100 a pop. The candidates who follow through and give all of their money away to competitive districts should receive some kind of rewards, since the stick always works well with the carrot. I have the following carrots in mind:
  • Some sort of trophy or medal indicating their service to the party.
  • The netroots purchased donor and email lists.
  • A promise of netroots support against all primary challengers for the 2008 cycle.
  • A special Act Blue page for all participating Democrats during the entirety of the 2008 cycle.
The campaign I had in mind was to call the district and campaign offices of the forty-five representatives asking them to donate all of their current cash on hand to competitive Democratic challengers and / or the DCCC. There is no way that the blogosphere can raise $26.3 million dollars in the next three weeks, but we might be able to persuade unopposed House incumbents to do just that. In order for it to be effective, we would have less than two weeks to pull it off, but I think it is worth a try.

Who is with me? I have included a poll below this post to gauge support for this project. If you would be willing to make calls to unopposed House Democrats asking them to give up all of their money in order to target swing House districts this election cycle., vote "yes" in the poll. If not, vote "no." This is the best chance we have had to pick up seats since 1982, and it may be the best chance we have until 2030. That remaining $26.3 million could be the difference between a landslide election that changes politics in America for more than a decade to come, and an election where control of the House is determined on a knife's edge. We need this money, and we need it now. Let me know if you are willing to help.

Tags: Fundraising, House 2006, Use It (all tags)

Comments

63 Comments

Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

I'm down with it.

by PsiFighter37 2006-10-18 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed

I'm with you Chris!

by jay l 2006-10-18 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

My reps are sitting on around 9 mil, so yeah, I'll make calls tomorrow.

by Karatist Preacher 2006-10-18 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats

Fantastic idea.  I have serious doubts that it'll work but, hey, it never hurts to try.

by oldhoya 2006-10-18 05:31PM | 0 recs
Asking them for all of it is ridiculous!

1/2 maybe. Having money in the bank is one of the most underrated way to deter future challenges. Arguably, these are special circumstances, but still.....

Don't forget the Seante Dems who are sitting on $84 million (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/16 /183855/75)

by crazymoloch 2006-10-18 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

great idea... and great carrots.

it's especially galling that ordinary people on tight budgets are answering the call and ponying up while unopposed democrats are sitting on their cash.

by irene adler 2006-10-18 05:34PM | 0 recs
I guess another question is4
Would this have any chacne of working? If anyone has insight ont hat, let me know.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-18 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I guess another question is4

Chris,

How much money do those 45 owe in the dues they are supposed to contribute to the DCCC?  If it's a good chunk, that could certainly help in convincing them ("at the very least, you should pay your dues").  It might be a bit much to ask them to donate all of their money that they surely worked hard to raise (especially if they plan on running for higher office, or if the fact that they're unopposed this year is just some fluke and will face a strong challenge in 2008...).  I do really like this idea and I'll make those phone calls the first day you get this thing organized.

I just think that, strategically, it might be a bit too pushy to say "donate all your money."  Maybe "donate $100,000 each" or something like that.  That way we're asking them to donate a significant chunk (if they all did $100k for example, that'd be $4.5m), but also acknowledging the fact that they worked hard to fill their bank accounts.

by Fran for Dean 2006-10-18 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I guess another question is4

Fran, I think that's a terrific idea.  (Obviously, I think Chris' is excellent also.)

I'd just like to vent a little, though.  

I don't live in Tammy Duckworth's district.  I supported (and still support) Christine Cegelis.  I have done phone banking for Tammy, plus dropped some $$.  After all, I'm willing to suck it up because Tammy would vote for Pelosi for Speaker.  

I will be beyond pissed if the Wash DC Dem. establishment rides this election out while a bunch of us lowly bloggers do the legwork.  I will be even more pissed if they think they can promptly go back to business as usual.  I'm here to serve notice that those Dems sitting on a big wad of cash and who have not ponied up their share should get a primary challenge.  Grrr.

by weinerdog43 2006-10-18 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: I guess another question is4

Adam B is right of the daily kos  diary is right.

http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2006/10 /18/212442/04/18#18

There are some on this list who have built up this CoH over many cycles because they are saving up for bigger races --- like the Mass. reps like Frank, Meehan and Markey who were going after Kerry's seat if he had won.  Davis in Alabama is probably saving up for a statewide race.  He's the Harold Ford of Alabama. Wexler of Fla. wants to run for Senate again. Weiner for Mayor of New York.  Meeks though has barely paid his dues to the DCCC yet.

Then there are some with opponents in name only who get 60-80% of the vote without spending a penny. Check out their 2004 reelect numbers and target some of them. They should be on the spreadsheet that Adam B noted and that Markos posted.

No one and I mean no one is going to give all their money away.  In thier districts Congressmembers spend their money supporting other Democratic groups or other candidates down ballet or in odd year or special elections. No one is going to be willing to go totally naked into the storm of 2008 or beyond.

Expand the targets if you want to keep the monetary amount the same.

by debcoop 2006-10-18 07:45PM | 0 recs
OK, how about this?

Ask them to contribute half their cash on hand above $200,000.

That would still pull in $9.3 million, which would hardly be chump change.

And this way, (a) we won't be leaving anyone 'naked', and (b) those who have built up big war chests with higher office in mind won't lose their advantage over other primary contenders; it'll just be smaller.

My own rep, Steny Hoyer, is sitting on $875,000.  He's clearly NOT thinking about a future Senate or Governor's race; if he were interested, this year would have been the year.  But I'm sure he wants to scare off any possible challengers.

Under my plan, he'd part with $337K and still have $537K in the bank.

Another possibility: if they won't give all of it, they could give part of it and loan part of it.  But the DNC and DCCC shouldn't have to be borrowing money from the banks when there's $26 million in the accounts of House Dems.

by RT 2006-10-19 04:48AM | 0 recs
Would it work?

It certainly might. But I would think we'd do well to finish the research, first.

What information have we got about how much money these unopposed Dems have already given? For instance, I see that Steny Hoyer's on the list, but I think everybody knows he's given a ton of money away already. Could he give more? I don't know. Part of that answer probably depends on how much he's already given.

Just starting with the first guy on your list, Bud Cramer, I went to check his donations record, and found that he's already given away $69,000 this election cycle, not including $100,000 to the DCCC.

Now, it's true that he's still sitting on a pile of money, but I think we'd be wise to know the full picture before we start making angry demands for more money from people who may have given quite a bit out already.

by Kagro X 2006-10-19 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Would it work?

Second on the list, Artur Davis, gave $25,000 to 23 candidates, plus $65,000 to the DCCC, $5,000 to the Alabama Dems, $2,500 to the New Democrat Coalition PAC, and $1,076 to the Women's National Democratic Club PAC. A total of $93,576.

So there's probably more pieces of the puzzle we need to figure out.

I guess I'll do that.

by Kagro X 2006-10-19 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

Sounds good. I'd like to go after California congressmen first, since they are close to home. If you can get me them, I will call over the weekend.

by JewishJake 2006-10-18 05:35PM | 0 recs
Massachusetts in the house?

Holy cow, a lot of $ in that state.  

Who has sway over those guys?  Is there some kind of local machinery, or do Kennedy and Kerry have influence?  We should call that second tier of influencers too.  

by red clay dem 2006-10-18 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Massachusetts in the house?

I've noticed that before. I think the MA Demmy's are hoarding their cash for a senate primary when either Kennedy retires or Kerry runs for president. I can't imagine else why the MA delegation would be accounting for a fucking third of that $26 million Chris found.

by adamterando 2006-10-18 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Massachusetts in the house?

You hit it.

Believe me, if Kerry does run for president and decides not to run for reelection to the Senate, the Massachusetts Dem primary is going to be a real shitstorm.

The primary's so late (late September), and there will be so many candidates that it MIGHT get ugly enough for a Repug to win, although I doubt it.

If I had to pick frontrunners, my money would be on Meehan or Capuano.

by brownsox 2006-10-18 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Massachusetts in the house?

Yeah, maybe instead of Rahm publicly bashing Dean every chance he gets, maybe he could crack some skulls in MA and get the delegation to pony up an extra million or two combined from all of them.

by adamterando 2006-10-18 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Massachusetts in the house?

Meehan should give up some of that cash.  If either Senator left I don't think he'd have too much trouble getting the Dem nomination, at the least.

by Karatist Preacher 2006-10-18 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Massachusetts in the house?

I donno.  Franks is popular, and would run really well in a dem primary, I think.

Markey would do well, too.  

Hell, so would Neil or Olver.  If one of them ran well outside of 128, and people inside of 128 split the greater boston vote, they could take it.  About the only house person who wouldn't run well would be Lynch.

And then there are the various state level senators and reps, and various DAs and stuff.

The primary could get reeeealy nasty.  It's not realistic to ask them to give up gobs of cash.

For people not in our wonderfully blue state, the gobs of cash on hand helps to fend off serious challengers, so I'm not sure asking people to go totally broke would work.

I think the best thing to do would be to ask them to pay their dues, and then if unopposed give an additional percent based on:
a) ambition for higher office
b) chance of being challenged by a republican
c) chance of being primaried
d) length of building their bank (if someone has spent 10 years building an account, they should have to give less then someone who is a great fundraisor who spent one cycle working)

by dansomone 2006-10-19 06:33AM | 0 recs
Why Kerry?

Why should Kerry's seat be up if he runs for prez in 08?

Surely he won't give up until he gets the nom (which he won't).

Even if he does, he's surely not at risk of losing the Senate election. (Does MA allow someone to run for both in the same year? I know that TX law allowed LBJ to run for VP and senator in 1960.)

by skeptic06 2006-10-19 03:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Kerry?

MA allows someone to run for both. It's not that the MA reps are are sure Kerry would get the nomination, it's just hedging their bets in case he did and then did win the prez. I'm guessing a lot of Meehan's HUGE stash is leftover from '04 when everyone thought there was a good chance Kerry would win. Then that money would have been used to finance a special election candidacy after Kerry was sworn in. So now, he's just sitting on it and biding his time. It's probably more likely that Kennedy's seat will come up before Kerry's.

by adamterando 2006-10-19 08:35AM | 0 recs
Oh, I see!

I'm afraid the possibility of Kerry running and winning in the prez race somehow hadn't occurred to me! ;)

by skeptic06 2006-10-19 01:35PM | 0 recs
all of it seems unrealistic

The money is important for future races.  Andrews in NJ, for example, wants to run for Senate in 2008 (or 2006, but that is settled); he'll need his huge stash if he does.  And it seems particularly if his NJ rivals, who face only nominal opposition, don't get scolded to give away their warchest.  

Now, I have called for him to pay up his dues and he should give even more, but I can't in good faith expect him to give up his ambitions.

by John DE 2006-10-18 05:39PM | 0 recs
Can't unload 100% of it

Simply being a Congressman requires a certain amount of money in the bank; somebody to man the phones in the district office, etc. But the unchallenged could easily pony up $10M, and maybe more.

by niq 2006-10-18 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Can't unload 100% of it

The Congressional district offices are paid for by taxpayers.  Congressmen have their official offices, and their campaign offices.  In terms of funding, they must be entirely separate.

by Fran for Dean 2006-10-18 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Can't unload 100% of it

Most to maintain a skeleton campaign staff, but like Fran says the district offices are paid for my the taxpayer. Any more than 200k is excessive for the kind of campaigns staff they need to maintain.

by dantheman 2006-10-18 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting

I also think it's a phenomenal idea, and I also wonder what it's chances are of working.  What would motivate a congressperson who is not facing any challenge at the ballot box?  No doubt it's different in different cases.

-- Stu

by sdf 2006-10-18 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats

Chris I think this is a good idea, but...

I think having them give it all up might be a bad idea for some.

I think you need to filter your list for those running for higher office in 08 and

Consider than they will be using some of their money for GOTV - GOTV that will aid statewide candidates.

I do think that a sizable amount could be donated however and it would be best done so in the $2,100 lumps rather than to the DCCC.

Have 'em "buddy up" with some challengers or something.

by Pounder 2006-10-18 05:44PM | 0 recs
Need to focus on jsut a couple

1/5 of that cash is Meehan

1/2 is in the hands of just 6 Reps (Meehan, Markley, Andrews, Cramer, Costello, Neal).

I imagine the Mass Reps are stockpiling it to run for Senate when either Kennedy retires or Kerry runs for Prez again (which will be a hell of a primary battle). Andrews I'm sure was holding onto his in hopes that Menendez would implode and the NJ Dems would have to pull another Torecelli. Not sure about Costello and Cramer.

Indicating that the netroots would look more favorably on any future runs for higher office would probablly help. Ot shouldn't be hard to show them that it's better for their future ambition to give up the cash now than to sit on it for years to come.

I'm less offended by those who have less than 200k in their accounts. They wat to keep up a credible threat to remain unopposed, and even a dormant camapign committee has some costs. But dumping a couple of Meehan's millions into this race could be huge. I mean, that's four well funded house challenges right there.

by dantheman 2006-10-18 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Need to focus on jsut a couple

Meehan's saving his cash with the expectation that Kerry will run for President in 2008. Should that happen, Meehan would be one of the frontrunners for the Senate seat.

With all the MA Dems in Congress, and with the ever-present shadow of Joe Kennedy looming over every open race in Massachusetts, Meehan would want to have an early lead in fundraising.

Hence the hoarding of millions.

by brownsox 2006-10-18 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Need to focus on jsut a couple

Right, so the trick to freeing up all that cash is convincing Meehan that the good will he would earn from helping out his fellow house Dems would more that compensate for the lose of a few million.

Is Netroots support in the MA Senate primary worth four million dollars? Might just be.

by dantheman 2006-10-18 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Need to focus on jsut a couple

"Is Netroots support in the MA Senate primary worth four million dollars?"

I bet Deval Patrick would say yes.

by red clay dem 2006-10-18 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Need to focus on jsut a couple

Hmmm....

Could someone go to Deval and get HIM to pressure meehan and markey neal?

After the rally last week, and Bill's fundraisor, and with Deval not collapsing to negative ads from Muffy, he probably has some pull.

by dansomone 2006-10-19 06:35AM | 0 recs
And Meehan is a traditional politics...

Kinda guy.  I don't believe he thinks too highly of the lefty blogosphere (he's decidedly centrist) and knows his real strength is his personal connection with his working class roots in and around Lawrence and Lowell.  He'll want to hold on to as much cash as he feels it will take to run a strong voter contact and GOTV campaign, a hefty sum in Massachusetts.  

(Disclaimer: I've followed Meehan's career very closely over the years, as his wife was my closest friend in and after college.  "Was", as I stupidly chose to work for Clinton in '92 rather than support her MA House campaign, a move to this day I deeply regret.)

by MBW 2006-10-19 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

North Carolina has always been a key swing state. The campaigns in NC-11 and NC-08 are running quite well.

NC-05 is getting some attention.  The newest seat in-play is NC-06.  Both of these races are frankly underfunded and could put this kind of money to good use!

Bush spent the day, today, in NC-06, in Guilford and Randolph Counties.  Greensboro (in Guilford County) is home to many bloggers ...and is also the home of Howard Coble the 75 year old, 11 term incumbent.  Why would Bush come here?

Coble was seen as "Unbeatable" and was seldom challenged.  Bush "won" NC-06 with 70% of the vote in 2004. Who (with any sense) would challenge in that district?

We have quite a good candidate, thank you.  Our candidate, Rory Blake, has got ol' Congressman Coble on the run. (google him) Coble is so "out of shape." Blake leads in Print media endorsements and is more in tune with the anti-war sentiment of the district.  Coble, himself, is now saying the war was "badly handled."

Wouldn't it be nice to win in a district like this?  
Turnout is the key.  So far, democratic applications for absentee ballots lead the republican ballot applications by a wide margin.

Let's encourage the unopposed House Democrats to send a little love this way.  NC-05 and NC-06 both have congressional representitives who vote far to the right of their constituants. That said, the democratic candidates, Sharpe and Blake have so closed the gap between them and the incumbents, with so little money spent, it just shows the potential that is there.

by bubbleboy 2006-10-18 05:55PM | 0 recs
Okay, maybe but...

...ask nicely.

That money was raised with difficulty. Kissing K-Street ass, to be a bit blunt, is no picnic. $365,000--not an unreasonable amount for even an easy race--is a thousand dollars every cockamamie day.

Honestly, if you were in Congress, would you do this? Give away your life savings? Set yourself up for another two years of arduous begging? Encourage a primary opponent by your weakness?

As much as I love MyDD, I'd really have to think about it.

I think we should beg and plead but not threaten and demand. The request should be couched in terms of benefit to the member:

Just imagine, sir (or madam), how much more pleasant it will be in the majority. Please, give until hurts.

I'd say wait on this plan until 2008--after we've made our bones in Conn.

You want the Democratic members to listen next year? Then do the following first.

Beat Holy Joe
Beat him bad

by stevehigh 2006-10-18 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Okay, maybe but...

All good points, Steve.

We need to nudge and cajole, if we try to push we'll just look foolish and invite a backlash.

The calculus will change a bit if we stomp Holy Joe.  If not, we'll be in the back of the bus for at least another cycle.

by oldhoya 2006-10-18 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Okay, maybe but...

You might be right about not threatening, but as far as waiting till 08, I think the point here is that this is could be the "once in a generation" tidal wave, and it is critical to take full advantage. The republicans rode a tidal wave in 94 and even though they lied and misgoverned and pissed people off from the get go, they are still in power. Even in this potential wave year, only 50-60 house seats are viable, clearly incumbency (the other 370) has huge advantages, getting as many candidates in the door while it's cracked open this time seems to be the critical issue.

by jujube 2006-10-19 12:59PM | 0 recs
Strike while the iron is hot

I agree. This why the DNC, and perhaps the congressional committees as well, are going into hock for millions.

The money has to be repaid, and the warchests of the members is a likely source.

No bank can or will loan $10 million or more without security.

I'm all for pressing the pedal to medal. There are opportunities everywhere that probably won't come around for a decade or two.

I just think telling other people how to spend their own dough is a bit much. Our thoughts and energies should be focused on what we can do, not on what we think they should do.

by stevehigh 2006-10-19 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

That was my thought exactly! Except I don't have a cult following so it wasn't much use bouncing around in my head.  Look at Nelson in Fl.  He's got $6.8 million on hand according to TPM.  He should give $100K to each D candidate for U.S. Congress in a close race in FL.  And of course what about Hillary. Give me a fucking break, wouldn't she get a lot more out of give big now than hording that money?

I doubt they'd give all of their money, and maybe they shouldn't.

The unapposed members of the U.S. Senate should be called on to pool the $10 million the DSCC wants to borrow from the DNC at least!

by Demeric 2006-10-18 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

We need a script, it should be nice, it should be pointed, it should be short.  I also think we should ask to donate somewhat less than all of it;  in two years, they may have primary or general opponents.

I'm in MA-08 Capuano ($535k) and will be happy to call.  

Are their staffers allowed to discuss this, since it's really a campaign thing?  Not sure how that works.

I'll call on Friday if I've not heard a more detailed plan before then.

by Professor Foland 2006-10-18 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Dems

The story is that the party is looking to banks to borrow $5 to $10 million.  Why couldn't these guys loan the party the money and that kills two birds with one stone.  They get the attaboys for helping all these other guys AND they get their cash back from the party.  Win-win works for me.

by Demo Dan in Dayton 2006-10-18 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

Any of them in line to be chairs of any committees?

That would be some added incentive to get the majority.

by scientician 2006-10-18 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

If you think they should transfer every cent of their money I will oppose you to the end of my strength.

But something like 1/2, 2/3s is good.

by MNPundit 2006-10-18 07:38PM | 0 recs
Some Illinois Dems without serious challengers

Don't overlook Democrats with only token challengers. Here are their cash-on-hand reports.







IL-1Bobby Rush$72,694
IL-2Jesse Jackson Jr.$1,301,031
IL-3Dan Lipinski$98,427
IL-4Luis Gutierrez$162,666
IL-5Rahm Emanuel$1,224,693
IL-7Danny Davis$508,973
IL-9Jan Schakowsky$218,097

by ltsply2 2006-10-18 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Illinois Dems without serious challengers

Schakowsky is one of the aggressive members in the top rungs of the caucus who raises and gives a lot of money to Democrats around the country.  Freshman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) is another I believe.

by Sandwich Repairman 2006-10-19 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

What we need is a few of the House members on the list stepping up and giving and then we would see the rest fall in line.

I will check in with my friend who has a close friendship with John Olver, if we could get Olver and a few others to give and then get them to call their fellow reps we might get this done.

by jbou 2006-10-18 09:47PM | 0 recs
Easier to raise money if you are in the majority

I think the best way to approach this is to remind them how easy it will be to raise more money when they are in the majority ..they will be a committee chair or sub-committee etc...also as there are only 200 of them(DEMS) now they will be pretty high in seniority..it will also make it easier to run for GOV or Senator etc if you are actually THE MAN or THE WOMAN in power for a change..give $100,000 now raise $200,000 in NOV. Thanks!

by bostonbilly 2006-10-18 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

Already done.  Congressman Mike Capuano (MA-08) now has voicemail messages in his home district and DC offices, as well as an email, asking him to donate his $535,000 onhand to deserving Dem candidates.  I promised that I will donate to him after the election as a show of good faith, although he's ALWAYS unopposed.

by BarmyFotheringayPhipps 2006-10-18 10:50PM | 0 recs
netroots has a long memory

Congressmen and congresswomen will hopefully realize that the netroots has a long memory, and we'll get their back if they ever find themselves down in COH in the 2008 elections.  Bloggers like Chris has especially long memories, and I can guarantee that any extra cash given will be noted now, and remembered later, too.

Even if each of them gave only $50k extra, that's 2.5M total, and the donation will buy them more netroots advertising/appreciation than $50k worth of ads in 2008.

by aip 2006-10-18 10:50PM | 0 recs
MA is special case

In MA, if all the unopposed dems gave, say, 25% of their COH, no one would lose ground against one another in what will probably be a brutal primary fight in 2008.  Consider it "strategic disarmament" for the common good.  This could be a good way to approach Meehan and other high-rollers: get them all to agree to it, and all do it.

Let "for the common good!" be a rallying cry.

(as you probably noticed, I recommended 25%, not 100%.  I don't think it's reasonable to expect them to donate 100% of COH, for many of the reasons noted above)

by aip 2006-10-18 10:57PM | 0 recs
Two important PA ones

First is Bob Brady, who has no opponent but is sitting on half a million dollars.  Why?  He wants to run for Mayor.  There's a lot of Philadelphians on here, surely they can make it clear to Brady that if he wants to even sniff victory in 07, he better pony up to the bar.

The other one is Alysson Schwartz.  She's facing an opponent, kind of: the walking joke that is Raj Bhakta.  Shwartz will win by double digits, and she has three quarters of a million in the bank.  Couldn't this help?  Ahh, but she wants to run for Senate in four(!) years.  

If both of them gave a combined half million to Murphy, Murphy & Sestak.... wow.  That's a Democratic majority.

by Chesco Dem 2006-10-19 12:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Two important PA ones

Allyson gave 150K to the DCCC last month and has done a lot of fundraising for the local candidates -- she chaired the Hillary fundraiser last week that brought in ~200K.  Brady has given 100K to the DCCC.

by Adam B 2006-10-19 07:29AM | 0 recs
How about Senators?

Any info on their cash on hand?  Might as well ask them to pony up, too.

by RT 2006-10-19 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4
This is an interesting idea.  As others have pointed out, a number of these guys (like Meehan) are obvioulsy stockpiling for a run at something else (like Senate).  So, it'd be hard to get them to part with their $s.  And if some of them won't part with the money, then others will say "why should only i sacrifice."  So rather than donating all available dollars, maybe a percentage (50%?  30%?  60%) would be more palatable.
Another interesting point - if you do the same calculation for the GOP, you see that they have about $6 million.  (Not counting reps who are "virtually unnapposed" - something that in this cycle might be harder to find...)  So you could imagine that if this takes of, it become the thing to do for both parties and in the long term is a wash.  HOWEVER, i think that would be A GOOD THING.  Because the net effect would be increase the cost of not fielding a candidate - it would mean that candidate would dump his/her funds into other campaigns.  Having more candidates is good for america and good for democracy.
So let's have at it...
by DanD 2006-10-19 06:07AM | 0 recs
An Alternative Suggestion

Chris's find is GREAT, the concept is good.  But from reading some of the comments over at Kos, there seems to be a lot of grief (not the first word that came to mind) for some people with Chris's suggestion.  I want to try to make this a win/win situation for the greatest number of people.   Let us try to restructure the idea a bit.  Here goes...

1) Realize that these people/campaigns don't want to part with their cash, for whatever reason.

2) From a quick glance at the list, it looks like a vast majority of the money is in New England or the Mid Atlantic seaboard, fairly blue territory.

I would suggest that these people "loan" their money to the DCCC at no (or nominal)interest for distribution rather than pick and choose their own campaigns.  (Using the assumption that the money will be put to use in more "marginal" races, for example NV-02, and NV-03 the 'toss-up/lean rep' ones, or distributed evenly among all campaigns).  This accomplishes multiple goals:

A) DCCC Secures the loaners cash up front so that they may use it in future races/higher office campaigns. DCCC is responsible for paying back the money, should we take Congress, payback (to campaigns) for this should be a no brainer (money, not goodwill at this point).

B) Leverages a lot of cash for immediate use in this campaign cycle.

C) Leverages a lot of future goodwill to the campaigns that loan money from both the DCCC and those races that win.

D) Quid Pro Quo for New England and the Mid Atlantic states where  the majority of this cash comes from.  

Downside; Gotta trust Rahm Emanuel to distribute the cash in the best interest of progressive dems as well as the people he likes (not always a given).

Can anyone improve on this...???  

by NvDem 2006-10-19 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: MD candidates

Hoyer has over 800k on-hand, but my understanding is he's been shoveling it out the door at a decent pace.  He's one of the ones who will win big if a majority comes in, unless Murtha can take the Majority Leader spot away from him when Pelosi becomes Speaker.

Ruppersberger is facing token opposition - he's got $400,266 onhand, his opponent has $673.  I'll see what I can shake out of him.

Van Hollen is an excellent candidate for a friendly phone call.  $1,447,628 on hand, his opponent has $1,344.  What you saving that money for, boy?

by Nina Katarina 2006-10-19 06:40AM | 0 recs
Van Hollen for Senate 2010

he's a prime candidate to take over Barbara Mikulski's seat when she retires.

by johnny longtorso 2006-10-19 04:48PM | 0 recs
Ackerman

Because do-nothing back bencher's like Gary Ackerman ($800,000) get to take it with them when they retire.

While you are at it ask him about the sweetheart deal he got on some stock from a defense contractor.

Let's remember that legal sleaze was invented by the Dems a long time ago.

by rdf 2006-10-19 06:43AM | 0 recs
I just called Meehan's and Markey's offices

(They're two congressmen from my home state of Massachusetts who have some cash.)

Meehan's staffer was very courteous and friendly, got my contact information and everything to follow up (and probably hit me up for money later ;-)
But anyway, I called and asked them to please donate to the DNC or DCCC because we have a real chance to make serious gains this election.

Hopefully the message got across.

Go here to get the phone numbers for our congresscritters. Give 'em a ring, I didn't spend any time on hold or anything. And be polite.

by Copley 2006-10-19 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats Sitting On $26,288,4

I can't ask anyone to give all their cash, but I can certainly ask anyone with these numbers to give $2,100 to tight races with independent expenditures a possiblity.

Tony Trupiano in Mi-11 is in a very tight race and yet is 40K-50K short for the final media push. He was the very FIRST progressive national radio talk show host and blazed the trail for the rest. He deserves our support.

Stacey Tallitsch,LA-1, who is my own candidate by way of disclosure, needs 15K like oxygen for the same thing. We have the improbable happening. Jindal is reacting to us. We have radio and TV on the air in a real Louisiana smashmouth campaign and Jindal isn't exactly on the run but he's worried. The Republican tide is turning and he knows it. We have to flood the cheap media down there in the next two weeks.

Of course there are other in the same boat. I know for a fact that BARRY WELSH...who has done so much for all of us...needs the same help.

I hope these specifics are useful.

From past experience I know that approaching an Officholder with a set of specifics is more effective.

Personally giving the money to the DCCC or DNC will only get it spent on 60 may 70 o0f the top races, not like the ones above. I think taking the individual cases to the Officeholders with X per officehhold is more effective.

The DNC and DCCC have not lived up to the expectations even within some of their own 'spotlight' races. I know people within the campaigns and I know the broken funding promises.

by BigDog 2006-10-19 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Unopposed House Democrats

I think most of what ought be said here, has been. I want to support those who are not asking for all horded cash. Not because they shouldn't give it over, but because it makes it much easier to say no. They can claim it was an unrealistic demand. One made by wackos who don't understand how politics work. And thus give nothing.

I don't expect this horded cash has been lost on the managers of the DCCC/DNC, and I hope they are acting on it.
Because no one candidate's 100k is going to solely change the balance of power (where 50 candidates 5-10mil could), and because of the intraparty competitiveness I think a universal appeal and mass organization could be much more effective than individual appeals. If everyone's doing it, it would be harder to say no.

by jujube 2006-10-19 01:14PM | 0 recs

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