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Which party would benefit from nationalizing the election?

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 13:04:39 PM CST

Some Republicans are excited about making this year's Congressional races a referendum on Barack Obama's policies. I see their point, since Democrats the president has lost some ground with independents, and Republicans benefit from an "enthusiasm gap" right now. The right direction/wrong track numbers are also frightening for Democrats, and the health reform bill is likely to give the GOP good fodder for attacks.

However, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Chris Van Hollen told Greg Sargent that he isn't worried about Republicans nationalizing this year's House races. (continues after the jump)

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 412 words in story)

Safe House incumbents need to pay their DCCC dues

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 20:40:43 PM CST

Representative Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has appointed two out of the DCCC's three vice chairs. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida is the DCCC Vice Chair for incumbent retention. Bruce Braley of Iowa will be responsible for "offensive efforts including recruitment, money, and training."

The third vice chair, yet to be named, "will seek to increase House member participation in DCCC efforts," which presumably means getting more safe Democratic incumbents to pay their DCCC dues.

That's going to be a big job, since the DCCC ended the 2008 campaign some $21 million in debt.

The debt has reportedly been reduced to $13 million, with the help of a $3.5 million transfer from Barack Obama's presidential campaign. But that is still a large debt, especially since Democrats have a lot of one-term and two-term representatives to defend in 2010, which will probably be a less favorable political environment.

According to Politico,

Democrats are gearing up for a tougher, more defensive cycle. While Democrats want to take advantage of Obama's bank account, party officials are anxious about getting out of the red and are telling members and donors to pay up - quickly.

Democratic leaders put the squeeze on last month, asking each member in a memo for $35,000 before Christmas. The memo also listed, by name, those who had paid their committee dues and those who hadn't.

Shortly before the election, Chris Bowers spearheaded an effort to put grassroots pressure on safe Democratic incumbents who had not paid their DCCC dues. We all have a lot on our plate this year, and Bowers is recovering from a broken arm, but the netroots need to assist the DCCC vice chair for member participation once that person has been named. We should not wait until a few weeks before the 2010 election to start pressuring incumbents who are delinquent on DCCC dues. The sooner the DCCC retires its debt, the easier it will be to recruit strong challengers and build a healthy bank balance for the next campaign.

If you are willing to help with this effort in any way (such as compiling a spreadsheet showing who has not paid and how to contact those representatives), please post a comment in this thread.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Braley named Vice Chair of DCCC

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 21:32:04 PM CST

Bruce Braley was elected to Congress in 2006 with the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program. In 2008 he helped manage the DCCC's Red to Blue efforts. For the next election cycle, he's been promoted again:

The DCCC today named the second of its three Vice Chairs - Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) will serve as Vice Chair for candidate services, responsible for the DCCC's offensive efforts including recruitment, money, and training.  

DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen said, "The DCCC will stay aggressive this cycle and continue to challenge Republicans who are out of step with their districts.  As a former chair and former member of the Red to Blue program, Bruce Braley knows first hand what it takes to be a successful candidate; his battle tested leadership will be a real asset to our candidates facing tough elections."

Congressman Bruce Braley brings his experience as chair of the DCCC's successful and effective 2008 Red to Blue Program and as a former member of the Red to Blue Program.

Vice Chair Bruce Braley said, "I'm looking forward to continuing my work at the DCCC in this new leadership role.  It's critical for us to continue assisting our candidates with the money, messaging and mobilization they will need to get elected in the 2010 election cycle.  I will work hard to help our candidates win their races."

Congressman Bruce Braley will serve as Vice Chair for candidate services.  The DCCC's candidate services include recruiting, money, and training.  A Vice Chair focusing on Member participation will be named at a later date.

Last month, Van Hollen named Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida the DCCC Vice Chair for incumbent retention. Given her refusal to endorse three Democratic challengers to Republican incumbents in south Florida, it was appropriate for Van Hollen to remove her from a leadership role in the Red to Blue program.

The third vice chair "will seek to increase House member participation in DCCC efforts," which presumably means getting more safe Democratic incumbents to pay their DCCC dues.

So Braley's niche will be finding and capitalizing on opportunities to pick up Republican-held seats. 2010 is likely to be a more challenging environment for Democratic candidates than the past two cycles, but it's good to know the DCCC is planning to remain on offense as well. We have a chance to achieve a political realignment, given the Democratic advantages with certain demographic groups in recent elections. Building on our success in 2006 and 2008 will require the DCCC to do more than protect our own vulnerable incumbents.

Good luck to Representative Braley in his new role. He'll be quite busy the next couple of years, with a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a Populist Caucus to lead.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)
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