Power meter

Here’s an interesting little item from a report in today’s Politico headlined, “Pelosi to Dems: Pay up.”

The story is about the reluctance of some House Democrats to “pony up” some of the money in their campaign accounts for the benefit of their most vulnerable colleagues in Congress.

“The list of Democrats who have come up short ranges from veterans like Rep. Jim Cooper, the prominent Tennessee Blue Dog, and Rep. Robert Brady, the Philadelphia Democratic Party boss, to younger members like Anthony Weiner, the fiery New York liberal,” Politico reports. “There is also a slate of retiring members who have yet to pony up – Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry, Washington Rep. Brian Baird, and Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak among them.”

The reasons for the tight fists, Politico’s Alex Isenstadt reports, include resentment over the legislative agenda pursued, resentment over the legislative agenda not pursued, and the desire to hold onto the cash for a planned run for office in the future.

Not mentioned as a reason: the possibility that fundraising has become a lot more difficult now that the smart money has judged the Democratic majority to be history.

Here’s some evidence to support that theory:

“Even powerful senior Democrats have been slow to cough up funds and have failed to put their considerable fundraising muscle to use,” Politico reports. “California Rep. Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has raised just $530,000 for the DCCC—far short of the $1 million he was expected to raise for the committee.”

Not for lack of trying, you can be sure.

Is it the prospect of losing his gavel that has made Henry Waxman half the fundraiser he was expected to be?

That’s the way to bet.

Over at the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Chairman David Obey, who is retiring from Congress at the end of the year, has set a goal of raising $1 million to help his colleagues win in November.

So far, he has raised $20,000.

The Democrats are out of power already.

Copyright 2010

Susan Shelley posted at 2010-9-10 Category: Uncategorized