Funding the Race, Part III; Congressional Donors
This is a revisit of two older posts, Funding the Race, Part I and Funding the Race, Part II. Both of those talk about the amount of money incumbents up and down the ballot from members of Congress to City Counil sit on despite having some of the most uncompetitive races. This is a follow up with 2006 donor information, focusing only on NY Democratic Congressional members.
2006 Donors to Stephen Harrison (both are also 2004 donors);
Rep. Jerry Nadler 4/21: $1,000
Rep. Nydia Valezquex 10/27: $2,000
Back in April I outlined a concept similar to what Chris Bowers over at MyDD ended up similarly pushing on a national level (Use it or Lose it), and that being current members of Congress putting up money to fund Democratic challenger races instead of sitting on piles of cash in their campaign coffers. I prefaced my entry then addressing 2004 donors to Barbaro with the following;
There are 20 Democratic members of Congress from New York state, of those 12 are in New York City. In 2004 8 of the 20 donated to Barbaro’s campaign, 6 from New York City. One item of note is that the Bush v. Kerry race topped the ballot and may have pulled money away from Barbaro. Of those twenty only two, Higgins NY-20 and Bishop NY-01 faced a competitive race winning with 51% and 56% respectively and had a dire need to keep their funds and fundraising efforts within their own district. No other members were re-relected with less than 63%. Excluding Higgins and Bishop, the 18 other members of Congress have a combined $7.21 million cash-on-hand.
The following are members of Congress who failed to give either in 2004 or in 2006, with their percentage of vote in 2004, 2006 and 2004 CoH followed by 2006 CoH;
|04||06||name (district)||04 CoH||06 CoH|
|94%||96%||Jose E. Serrano (NY-16)||$73k||$20k|
|93%||92%||Edolphus Towns (NY 10)||$208k||$92k|
|80%||84%||Joseph Crowley (NY-07)||$546k||$718k|
|75%||76%||Eliot L. Engel (NY-17)||$131k||$199k|
|72%||73%||Louise M. Slaughter (NY-28)||$378k||$257k|
|71%||100%||Gary Ackerman (NY-05)||$834k||$862k|
|70%||70%||Nita M. Lowey (NY-18)||$878k||$1.07m|
|66%||70%||Steve Israel (NY-02)||$808k||$1.13m|
|63%||65%||Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04)||$521k||$627k|
|56%||61%||Timothy H. Bishop (NY-01)||$449k||$716k|
|51%||79%||Brian M. Higgins (NY-27)||$530k||$463k|
This year has been a little more bleak, despite Harrison's eventual better results than Barbaro. Only 2 of the 20 members of Congress in NY state contributed (Nadler, Valezquez), down from 8 of 20 in 2004. Of the two then competitive seats, Higgins and Bishop, both of them won re-election this year with over 60%. Thus none of the 20 members of Congress in 2004 (not including 2006 freshmen) were re-elected with less than 61% this year. 7 of the 11 on the list above are now sitting on more CoH than they did in April.
Of the 2004 donors who did not contribute in 2006 here are their numbers;
|100%||100%||Gregory W. Meeks (NY-06)||$146k||$166k|
|89%||94%||Charles B. Rangel (NY–15)||$455k||$474k|
|81%||84%||Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-14)||$646k||$697k|
|70%||100%||Anthony D. Weiner (NY-09)||$528k||$177k|
|70%||78%||Michael R. McNulty (NY-21)||$303k||$303k|
|67%||100%||Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)||$125k||$143k|
4 of these 6, 11 of the 17 listed are now sitting on more CoH than they did after 2004. Combined, these 17 members who did not give are now, post election sitting on $8.18 million. That is up from the 18 members who after 2004 were sitting on $7.21 million.
Just to close out this post, I am not suggesting that all of these members must fund every challenger, as that would quickly wipe out their CoH which is needed for some. What I am suggesting though is that in light of the sweep of Congress and the 29+ new members, the foresight was there to know that Democratic challengers were strong this year and any funding would go a lot longer than it did in 2004. For these members to sit on so much money is ridiculous. Now I haven't had a chance to cross reference if they contributed to other races, but I do know that they overlooked the only race in their backyard (for most of them). They easily could have swung $20-40k into this race if they wanted, and now we have to wonder how much it would have cost to reach out to 7% of the district. Even if say $40k at the high end did not flip the seat, a closer margin of victory for Vito would have put this seat on notice for the DCCC and 2008 donors. What we need to look at going forward is a commitment of $20-40k from these members of Congress to the Democratic nominee at the start of their campaign, or the day after the primary should it be contested.
Rep. Weiner; none
Sem. Schumer; none
Sen. Clinton 10/27: $1,000
Vitory '06 11/02: $1,000
Also Part II:
I need to say a special note of thanks to Rep. Nadler. Not only did he give, but he gave to the campaign back in April. That money back then goes a lot further than some of the last minute donations the week leading up to the elections when advertising and printing costs are already budgeted and paid for. This is not a knock on Nydia though, my understanding is that there were campaign laws that prevented her from contributing earlier.