House Democratic leaders want a going-away present from the members who are leaving Congress next year — their Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) dues. A dozen retiring House Democrats have racked up almost $2 million in outstanding balances with the party’s campaign committee while, in some cases, maintaining flush war chests. But retiring Democrats are leaving the political arena, and strategists want them to help their party before they go. A loss of 40 seats would shift control back to the Republicans and result in the loss of plum committee positions for Democrats.
Retiring Dems who have outstanding tabs include: Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) and Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.).
Members often roll their campaign funds into a political action committee after leaving office because it allows them to remain politically active. But with the Democrats in danger of losing their majority in the House, strategists suggest it may be a better career move to use the cash to help maintain their numbers come November. Former members have more attractive job prospects if they’re connected to the majority party.