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Hahn: Why Don’t We Meet Over Money

Rep. Janice Hahn, California’s newest Member, is already trolling for K Street dollars.

In an email sent Thursday afternoon, the Democrat, who was sworn in a month ago, told some lobbyists and political action committee directors that she would like to meet with them — particularly if they were bearing checks.

“I am interested in meeting with you and your industry,” she wrote in the message, sent from her personal Gmail address. “It would be wonderful if you would host a fundraiser for me in September. I realize that the timeframe is rather quick, however I am trying to settle my debt as quickly as possible.”

The message added, “I look forward to hearing from you and working with you over the years.”

According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Hahn’s campaign is about $266,000 in debt after spending more than $1.5 million in a particularly nasty special election to replace Democratic Rep. Jane Harman, who resigned earlier this year,

The fundraising appeal came just days after Hahn, who served for a decade as a Los Angeles City Councilwoman, announced she would run for re-election in California’s newly drawn 44th district, little of which overlaps with her current district.

The solicitation was sent by a young “assistant fundraiser” to a “handful of PAC directors who have traditional donorship to Democratic candidates,” according to John Shallman, a campaign consultant for Hahn.

Dave Vance, a spokesman for the Campaign Legal Center, said there was nothing illegal about the communication.

“It seems to be a pretty unpolished solicitation,” he said. “It’s the way Washington works, but generally it’s done much more circuitously. It doesn’t look good.”

Shallman acknowledged that the message could have been written more deftly. The Congresswoman was out of the country and did not review the email before it was sent, he said.

Hahn’s battle for a first full term will be tough, likely pitting her against at least two fellow Democrats, Rep. Laura Richardson and Assemblyman Isadore Hall. The new district, located in South Los Angeles, is one of three drawn with significant African-American voting populations.

Hahn was sworn in July 19 and sits on the House Homeland Security Committee and is a member of the Out of Afghanistan Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

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