Ohio: Members Send Late Money to Marcy Kaptur

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted March 3, 2012 at 8:05am

Just days before Ohio Democratic Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich square off in a primary, two fellow Democrats, including Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), picked sides.

Earlier this week, Rep. David Price’s (D-N.C.) re-election committee and Durbin’s Prairie political action committee each donated $1,000 to Kaptur. The Congresswoman also received a $1,000 check from Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s (D-Conn.) campaign at the start of this year, according to online fundraising records. Both Price and DeLauro serve with Kaptur on the Appropriations Committee. Durbin, also an appropriator, was first elected to the House in 1982, the same year as Kaptur.

Kucinich’s fundraising reports from this year did not show any transfers from his Congressional colleagues. However, the late Rep. Tom Lantos’ (D-Calif.) campaign committee donated $2,000 to Kucinich in early February.

It’s also worth noting that Kucinich ramped up his fundraising heading into Tuesday’s primary. He had raised $406,000 since the start of the year as of Friday, while Kaptur had brought in $204,000.

Typically, Members stay out of races between their colleagues for a simple reason: If you bet on the wrong horse, you have to keep working with that Member in Congress. That’s awkward.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi learned that lesson in 2002, when she donated $12,000 to then-Rep. Lynn Rivers’ (D-Mich.) campaign against Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.). In the prior year, Dingell supported Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) over Pelosi in a leadership race.

Dingell easily defeated Rivers, and his relationship with Pelosi remained frosty for years afterward.