Deadbeats and All-Stars

DEADBEATS AND ALL-STARS….In the Washington Post today, E.J. Dionne notes that Democrats have a problem: the big money donors who contributed millions of dollars to the party during the 2004 race have largely disappeared now that the election was over. As Rahm Emanuel put it, “they walked off the field.”

But what about the Democratic politicians themselves, many of whom are in line for powerful committee chairmanships if they take control of the House in November? Surely Democratic House members hate being in the minority enough that those in safe seats are burning through their cell phone minutes to raise money for challengers trying to knock off incumbent Republicans.

You might think that. But you would be wrong. Or, at least, you?d be wrong in a lot of cases.

Through a congressional source, we?ve obtained an internal scorecard showing which House Democrats have been the most diligent at dialing for dollars on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and which have been the least diligent. The DCCC sets fundraising goals for each member based on committee assignment and whether the member stands to become a committee or subcommittee chair should the Democrats win the majority. Each member is then expected to contribute to the team in three ways: by paying ?dues? directly to the DCCC (which the committee then spends on TV ads in competitive districts); by holding fundraisers that benefit the DCCC; and by directly giving to or raising money for Democratic challengers through a program called ?Red to Blue.?

You can read the results in the two lists below, which also show how much money each member has in his or her campaign bank accounts. As you can see, there are some real heroes, like Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Ca) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla), who have raised millions for their fellow Dems. And there are serious laggards, like Reps. Pete Stark (D-Ca) and Jim Moran (D-Va), who have not only raised little or nothing for others but haven?t even paid their own dues.

Technically, these deadbeats have until the end of the year to meet their quotas. But given that there?s this election thing happening in November, maybe it?d be a good idea for these folks to start picking up the phone, you know, now.

Paul Glastris

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly.