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House Democratic Leaders Stuff DCCC Coffers

Democratic leaders leapt out of the blocks when it came to raising and giving money to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year.

Leadership Members have doubled or tripled their DCCC contributions compared with this point in the previous cycle, according to figures obtained by Roll Call.

The DCCC distributed a dues report to Members on Monday but, as a matter of policy, did not make it public.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) donated $400,000 to the committee as of mid-June, compared with the $215,000 she had contributed at the same point in the 2006 cycle. She already has raised $7 million for the DCCC this year. In 2005 she had raised $5.9 million at this point.

It is not surprising that Democrats can raise more money now that they are in the majority, but one Democratic operative who did not want to be named said that the early and aggressive level of support demonstrates the leaders’ dedication to keeping the majority.

At a Members-only dinner last week, DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) said the DCCC plans to compete in 60 districts next year, repeating the pledge he made in a June 7 strategy memo.

“The DCCC plans to invest a record amount of money in individual races this cycle,” he said in the memo. “Last cycle, the DCCC independent expenditure campaign spent $66.6 million. This cycle … the DCCC will need much more to stay competitive.”

At the dinner, Van Hollen also reminded his colleagues that the entire Democratic Caucus’ fate depends on the different factions sticking together, according to the operative.

Democratic leaders, ranging from Majority Whip and Congressional Black Caucus member James Clyburn (S.C.) to Congressional Hispanic Caucus member and Assistant to the Speaker Xavier Becerra (Calif.) look, from their level of giving, to already have gotten the message.

— Nicole Duran

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