ACTION: Help Raise $6,587,635

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 02:15

Update: The spreadsheet is ready. Thanks to everyone who volunteered! Look for more on this early tomorrow afternoon.

Cross Posted On Daily Kos

In just eleven days, we will have an opportunity to elect the largest Democratic trifecta in thirty years. Not only is Barack Obama headed toward victory (though we must take nothing for granted), not only are Senate Democrats headed toward at least six pickups (though we must work to increase that number as much as possible), but in the U.S. House, Democrats could score a 100-seat majority.

If Democrats net 32 seats in the House, the partisan breakdown will be D 268-167 R. Even internal Republican targeting is aware of this possibility, as they rate 34 Republican held seats as at least "toss-ups," with nearly half of them already viewed as lost. Charlie Cook agrees, as he now sees Democratic net pickups in the mid-twenties, and rising fast.

I say, with a generational opportunity like this, let's throw out a lifeline to as many of our Democratic challengers as possible. I have a plan, based on the 2006 Use It Or Lose It Campaign, to help raise $6,587,635 for Democratic House candidates. Without opening your wallet, and with only a few minutes of your time, over the next few days we can meet this goal, and pull off this 100-seat majority. In the extended entry, I explain how.

Chris Bowers :: ACTION: Help Raise $6,587,635
Here is a quick timeline of events that led me to this plan:

  1. Two years ago, in an open sourced campaign known as Use It Or Lose It, the communities of Daily Kos and MyDD raised over $2,300,000 for down-ticket Democrats during the final two weeks of the 2006 campaign. As Democratic campaign committees were taking out large loans to try and expand the playing field, netroots activists called their ultra-safe, in-state Democratic House Representatives and asked them to help fully fund all of our competitive challengers. This effort probably helped tip a couple of campaigns over to our side.

  2. Three weeks ago, it was revealed that House Democrats were $14,000,000 behind in their dues to the DCCC:

    In a closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) implored their colleagues to come up with the $14 million in Members' dues needed to meet their overall $50 million goal, according to people who were present.

  3. One week ago, the DCCC took out a $15,000,000 loan to help fund the now dozens of strong challengers to Republican held seats:

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC0 has taken out $15 million in loans to use to help secure victories for Democrats in House races throughout the country.

    Citing an opportunity to pick off vulnerable Republican incumbents, and secure victories in open Republican seats, the DCCC said it took out the loan to help secure large majorities in the 111th Congress.

  4. Working behind the scenes with the good folks over at Swing State Project, yesterday, we acquired a list of about 105 Democrats who had not paid their DCCC dues in full. I then removed about four dozen of them from the list, if they met any of the following characteristics:

    • The 33 Democrats who are in the "Frontline" program to defend endangered House incumbents;
    • A few Democrats who had not paid their dues but who had met their collective fundraising targets (House Dems also pledge to raise a certain amount for Frontline and Red To Blue candidates)
    • Four Democrats who I have since confirmed have paid up in the last few days
    • Three House Democrats who are running for Senate,
    • Nancy Boyda and Paul Kanjorski (who are not Frontline Dems, but who are seriously endangered)
    • Tim Mahoney and William Jefferson, since it might be best if we do without their money

  5. I then put the names of the remaining fifty-four Democrats, along with the amounts of dues they still owe, into a spreadsheet that anyone can view. You can view this spreadsheet here:

    Use It Or Lose It, 2008

    The final bill comes to $6,587,635. This would be enough for the DCCC to fully fund at least another 13 campaigns during the final week.

If you have read this far, no doubt you can see where I am going with this. With this information, I propose the following course of action:

  1. First, with the help of volunteers, tonight we gather the campaign office phone numbers and campaign contact emails of the fifty-four Democrats listed on the spreadsheets. If you have a few minutes of your time and would like to help with this project, shoot me an email at This is a lot of work, and I can't do it on my own. Please, if you have a little time tonight send me an email.

  2. Second, once we have gathered all of the phone numbers and emails, starting tomorrow morning have members of the netroots community contact the Representative on the list nearest them. We will ask for the members of Congress to pay all, or at least some, of their remaining dues in order to build a larger Democratic majority. We will be polite, and we will call their campaign offices, as it is inappropriate to ask for campaign money when calling a congressional office.

  3. Third, we continue the calls until Tuesday evening, since final ad buys will be made one week before Election Day. When a person on the list pledges to give some money, we remove their contact information and send them a big "Thank You."

Basically, that is the entire plan and rationale. It ain't complicated, but two years ago it helped pump over $2.3 million into competitive, Democratic congressional. This year, I would like to surpass that total. It all starts tonight, as in right now, with volunteers to help me track down the fifty-four phone numbers and email address that we need. If you can do this, please send me an email at I will give you access to the spreadsheet, and we can begin working.

I won't be sleeping until there is contact info for every member of Congress on the list, but that's OK. Two years ago, nineteen days before the election, I stayed up until 4 a.m. with a group of seven volunteers doing exactly this task. It was fun, and our work made a real difference. I've got a big pot of tea at the ready, and I look forward to a second famous night.

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the "net" thing (0.00 / 0)
If we net 32 seats, it means we gained 16 at their expense...a +16 vs 16.  So if we "net" 32, the house would stand at 252182.  That is all.

oops (0.00 / 0)
ignore the strikethrough? should say 252 - 182

[ Parent ]
By "net" I meant (0.00 / 0)
Total seats we gained minus total seats we lost.

[ Parent ]
Et Tu DeFazio? (0.00 / 0)
I emailed that deadbeat; he should know better. And he certainly isn't going to need much cash this round.

a phone call will be noticed more (0.00 / 0)
Staff don't always check e-mails promptly.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Actually, as a rule... (0.00 / 0)'s a fax (paper), followed by a phone call, followed by an email, in terms of what gets noticed most.

I suspect Congressional offices would have a run of heart attacks if we did telegrams.  ;-)

[ Parent ]
Handwritten letter (0.00 / 0)
Topping them all...

John McCain opposes the GI Bill.

[ Parent ]
why is Leonard Boswell not on the list? (0.00 / 0)
Did he pay up recently?

Or did you remove him because he is a "frontline Democrat"?

If the latter, you should put him back on. He was put on the frontline because of the primary challenge from Ed Fallon. His challenger in the general does not pose any kind of threat at all. The DCCC spent a lot of money in past cycles to save Boswell's ass. He should pay up if he hasn't already.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

Good campaign (0.00 / 0)
I'll see what I can do to help, although as a non-US national I probably shouldn't be calling campaign offices.

Is there a plan to roll this out to Senate candidates too? The utility is probably slightly reduced, but I remember hearing that Evan Bayh and Chuck Schumer both control immense war chests.

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Chris, I love you man (0.00 / 0)
I am out of town on business this weekend or I would be up with you. Although I would have a pot of dark, fair trade java at the ready, but same same.  

We won the Battle. Now the Real Fight for Change Begins. Join and fight for progressive change.  

Rush, McDermott (0.00 / 0)
Rep Rush had serious surgery and was on leave during the past term. Would that excuse him? Rep Jim McDermott sent appeals to his supporters on behalf of Darcy Burner, and that was after many, many appeals for donations for his own legal battles with John Boehner. Just saying.

Rep. McDermott.... (0.00 / 0) he out of his financial situation resulting from the lawsuit against him yet?

[ Parent ]
Tally ho (0.00 / 0)
Louise, I expected more from the Rules Committee Chair.

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Wow (4.00 / 1)
really not cool...

John McCain opposes the GI Bill.

Chris, is there a reason that you recreated all this work? (4.00 / 2)
Lucas and Shayera did most of this work already, and posted it here a few weeks ago:

Seems silly to replicate all of their work. Here's their probably would have saved you a lot of sleep: The progressive community blog for California.

Cohen from Memphis (0.00 / 0)
Cohen is sending another 25 grand this week.

Correction... (0.00 / 0)
Apparently that was the 25 he already sent.  Never mind.

[ Parent ]
Is the contacting phase underway? (0.00 / 0)
Chris:  I see Chaka Fattah is on the list, having paid only about 20% of his dues.  He's your congressman, I think.  Will you be reaching out his people personally?

Also, I'm glad to not see my congressman Bob Brady on the list.

Maybe someone can explain this to me (0.00 / 0)
I understand that it's a waste of money for these safe congressmen to sit on lots of extra money that they don't need for this election.  But something seems wrong about Congressman A giving away money donated to Congressman B that were sent to help Congressman A's campaign.  Or are donors expected to understand that when they donate to a safe congressman's campaign that he probably won't use it for his own campaign?


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