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DCCC Chief Touts Dues at Private Dinner for Members

Israel leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)
Israel leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel announced at a Tuesday evening private dinner for the caucus that 80 percent of House Democrats have paid at least some portion of their dues.

Israel boasted to the 75 members in attendance that DCCC money was put to use in GOP-held districts during August recess. The New York representative also pushed members to open their campaign pocketbooks to the committee before the Sept. 30 monthly fundraising deadline, according to a source in the room.

In her remarks to the crowd, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi specifically hailed the fundraising efforts of Reps. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Jared Polis of Colorado, Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts, and John B. Larson of Connecticut.

House Democratic leadership has been pushing rank-and-file members in safe seats to financially invest in the 2014 midterms, when the party must pick up 17 seats to win control of the chamber. Traditionally, the DCCC puts an emphasis on paying dues early in the cycle to build up its cash reserves before the onslaught of the on-year campaign.

The dinner took place at the DCCC offices, where members dined on salad, chicken, salmon, green beans and apricots, the source noted.

In July, when a DCCC aide circulated the previous month’s fundraising numbers, the information included a note that 75 percent of the caucus had paid at least part of their dues at the time. It also listed the names of five House Democrats who had paid 100 percent of their dues.

Friday marks the deadline for the DCCC and its rival National Republican Congressional Committee to file August fundraising numbers.

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