DSCC Climbing Back With $6 Million in Bank
Just two months removed from a net balance of zero, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will show a cash balance of $6 million in its April quarterly report.
The DSCC raised $11 million from Jan. 1 to March 31, including $7 million in March alone, a total that eclipses its fundraising total for any previous three-month quarter this cycle. DSCC officials could not produce a figure for their vendor debt but asserted it was significantly less than the $985,000 it carried at the end of February.
“There is a distinct difference between where we were and where we are,” said DSCC Chairman Jon Corzine (N.J.) Wednesday, citing a combination of campaign developments led by Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s (R-Colo.) retirement announcement for galvanizing the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“Our Caucus is on fire on this,” Corzine said.
“We are about to have a jump ball at center court and I think we have a tall center,” said the New Jersey Senator, drawing on a basketball metaphor on the eve of the NCAA Final Four.
Fundraising figures for the National Republican Senatorial Committee were not available at press time although knowledgeable sources indicated the Republicans would likely have roughly $16 million on hand at the end of March.
Detailed reports documenting the contributions and expenditures of the committees from Jan. 1 to March 31 must be filed with the Federal Election Commission by April 15.
Despite the expected deficit to their Republican counterparts, Democrats were gleeful about the relative financial health of the committee given the turmoil it has undergone since the start of 2004.
In January, Executive Director Andy Grossman departed and was replaced by David Rudd, a former chief of staff to Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.).
Ann Lewis, a former Clinton administration official, was brought on as deputy executive director, and former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Finance Director Jonathan Mantz was hired to fill the same role at the DSCC.
All of these changes came as the DSCC’s February monthly report was filed, showing the organization with $2.6 million on hand and $2.6 million in debt; a bit of quick math showed the committee with a net balance of a measly $1,436. The DSCC moved into solvency in its March monthly filing, which detailed its financial activities in February.
At that time, it showed $2.5 million on hand and $985,000 in vendor debt after paying off the final $1.68 million remaining on a $6 million bank note taken out in the waning days of the 2002 cycle.
Two large events in March helped the DSCC pad their impressive monthly total.
On March 24, the organization held its “Majority in the Making” spring reception, which was attended by 35 Senators and raised $3 million for the committee.
Five days earlier, Corzine along with Sens. Chris Dodd (Conn.), Edward Kennedy (Mass.), Joseph Biden (Del.), Mark Dayton (Minn.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Bob Graham (Fla.), attended an event in Palm Beach, Fla., that netted the committee $500,000.
In addition to the involvement of his colleagues, Corzine said the emerging class of Democratic Senate candidates has played a large role in the increasing financial success at the committee.
Citing the Senate primary victory of black state Sen. Barack Obama in Illinois and the emergence of Hispanic state Attorney General Ken Salazar as the favored candidate in Colorado, Corzine said that he was “as excited about this group of candidates as I would be about an incoming class at Goldman Sachs.”
Prior to spending a record $63 million of his own money to win a New Jersey Senate seat in 2000, Corzine was CEO of the powerful investment firm.