Pensées à la Pelosi

Yesterday Punchbowl News featured an insidery report on Chuck Schumer speaking to a few of his Democratic colleagues over dinner at a DC restaurant. This morning Punchbowl features an insidery report on Nancy Pelosi sharing concerns internally with her Democratic caucus:

During a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Wednesday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi relayed to her members something she’s been hearing from donors.

Donors have been asking Pelosi why more House Democrats don’t donate to the DCCC. Pelosi, famous for her fundraising prowess, was trying to make the point that it doesn’t send a good message to donors if members aren’t doing their part to keep the House majority.

Put more bluntly, Pelosi was complaining about her Democratic colleagues not ponying up their dues to the DCCC.

* * * * *

The statistics are surprising, to say the least. Ninety-eight House Democrats have paid less than half of their dues. Even worse, this doesn’t include Frontliners, who are essentially exempt from funding the DCCC because they need that money for their own races.

The Schadenfreude takes a timeout:

As of July 31, the DCCC has raised more than $252 million this cycle, with more than $118 million in cash on hand, according to its FEC report. However, the committee has already reserved tens of millions of dollars in TV ads, with every vulnerable incumbent clamoring for more help as Pelosi and Democratic leaders defend their razor-thin majority.

We get down to a few interesting cases:

→ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), who has north of $6 million in the bank, hasn’t given a dime to the committee. The DCCC has her down for having raised $1,000 for the committee and $145,000 raised or given to “Red-to-Blue” candidates and Frontliners.

“I’ve contributed at the beginning of the term by essentially providing over a quarter million in direct donations. It’s been kind of documented, but I try not to put grassroots money and commingle it with big money.”

In other words, AOC doesn’t like how the DCCC raises money – from lobbyists, corporate executives and the like – so count her out.

AOC also didn’t like how [DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney] decided to run in Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones’ district following New York’s chaotic redistricting process. She endorsed SPM’s primary opponent (who lost, of course.) Jones was defeated handily by Dan Goldman, the former Donald Trump impeachment counsel who put $4 million from his own pocket into the race.

→ Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents a safe seat in Minneapolis, said “I’m not one of those” when we asked if she’d pay dues. Omar hasn’t given a dime of the $150,000 she’s expected to donate. Omar spent heavily in a Democratic primary and has $471,000 in the bank as of her July 20 FEC report.

Whole Punchbowl News morning newsletter here.

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