Today, Roll Call published a story that made it clear that the Blue Dogs have power because they have money - lots of it.
The Blue Dog PAC handed out more contributions in 2009 than any other politician-controlled PAC - and virtually all of it was corporate money, rinsed clean.
So it's no surprise when corporate interests dominate the Blue Dogs; corporate interests fund the Blue Dogs. And the Blue Dogs dominate the Democratic Caucus - they have more money than anyone else.
If we want to change the game, one of the things we have to do is fix the funding imbalance.
From Roll Call 1/1/2010(subscription required):
...[T]he Blue Dog political action committee... handed out the most contributions of any politician-controlled PAC through November 2009...
The Blue Dog PAC has made $635,000 in donations thus far this cycle, $500,000 of which went to members of the coalition and their PACs. The rest went to home-state party committees of a number of Blue Dogs, including many facing competitive re-election contests, and to one House candidate, Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards (D), who is running for the open seat in Florida’s 12th district.
The PAC’s money came largely from other political committees — it reported $1.3 million in receipts through Nov. 30, $1.2 million of which came from PACs. The majority of donors to the Blue Dog PAC were trade association and corporate political committees, many of which have also given thousands of dollars to Blue Dog members individually.
Though much of it originated with the corporate and trade association PACs, the money doled out by the Blue Dog committee does not count against the limits on donations those PACs make to members directly.
If we want progressives to win primaries; if we want them to win general elections; if we want them to have weight to throw around in DC while governing - then we need to eliminate the overwhelming financial advantages the Blue Dogs have.
The only possible progressive counterweight to the Blue Dogs in the House is the Congressional Progressive Caucus. They have a PAC, which I helped them start a couple of months ago. Corporations are not going to fund this PAC.
So here's what I'm going to ask: if you want the progressives to build the political infrastructure to change the way DC works, make a contribution to the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC. Every penny will go towards helping great progressives like Alan Grayson and Donna Edwards stay elected and towards electing more like them.
A donation of ANY size will help; we need to get serious if we want to start winning in DC. Can you help us reach 250 donors in the first week of the new year?