Institutionalized Corruption: House Democrats Cheat to Help Incumbents
As reported by The Hill:
A new policy introduced by leading House Democrats seeks to boost incumbents’ chances of retaining their seats by keeping challengers away from the party’s campaign arm.
Under the new policy, any consultants working for candidates challenging a sitting Democratic member of Congress would be blocked from working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
Consultants who promise not to work with said candidates will be added to a list of approved vendors eligible to work for the DCCC.
The policy also specifies that any vendor working with the DCCC be owned or partly owned by underrepresented groups (such as woman and minorities) OR have demonstrated “a sustained commitment to promoting diversity.”
Freshmen lawmakers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) see the policy as a “blacklist” designed to rein in the Progressive Left, but DCCC veterans insist the policy is nothing more than an old rule that was never put on paper (until now).
“Keeping the House requires the DCCC to focus on shoring up incumbents and challenging Republicans in red and purple districts, not battling in blue districts,” explains a former DCCC official. “It’s extremely difficult to keep that focus if the committee is constantly being pulled into Dem-on-Dem battles.”
In reality, few consultants who do significant business with the DCCC work for insurgent candidates. The only major example from last year’s midterms was the polling firm Lake Research Partners, who worked for AOC.
The policy is already making some would-be candidates question their bids.
Take Marie Newman, for example. Newman is a Democratic activist who last year came close to unseating Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL). Newman says the new policy is a “consideration” as she decides whether to challenge Lipinski again.
“When you’re going to those lengths to ensure that incumbents, no matter who they are, stay in office, that feels like overreach,” says Newman. “The policy feels like overreach to me, because it doesn’t feel like it’s entirely democratic, small d.”
Ocasio-Cortez has already asked her supporters to “pause” donations to the DCCC and instead give money to endangered Democrats. The request garnered $90,000 in the first day.