As it Works to Stifle Primary Challengers,DCCC Takes More Money from Corporate..


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A number of lobbyists representing major health insurers and oil and gas giants are bundling big checks for the DCCC.

Corporate lobbyists are raising an increasing amount of money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) at a time when the House Democrats’ campaign arm is taking fire from the left for its effort to freeze out primary challengers.

Progressives have roundly criticized the DCCC for its plan to not conduct business with political vendors that work for candidates who plan to challenge incumbent Democrats. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said the new policy could have prevented him from winning his congressional seat. Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said the DCCC’s vendor policy would empower lobbyists because “voters will have one less avenue to pursue change.”

The DCCC raised nearly $19 million in the first two months of this year, more money than it had raised by this point last election cycle, and the committee is relying more heavily on corporate lobbyists to collect checks. Lobbyists whose clients include health care, oil, gas, and coal interests, raised almost $440,000 for the DCCC in January and February, Federal Election Commission records show. Many of their clients oppose progressive priorities like a “Medicare for All” health-care system or a Green New Deal to mitigate climate change.

A DCCC spokesperson did not respond to questions from MapLight and Sludge, nor did any of the committee’s lobbyist bundlers. 

In February 2016, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) quietly reversed an Obama-era ban on contributions from federal lobbyists and political action committees. Lobbyists raised roughly $100,000 for the DCCC in 2015-16, before raising close to $1.9 million for the committee during the 2018 election cycle. This year, led by centrist Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, the DCCC has already received almost as much money via donations bundled by corporate lobbyists than in all of 2017.

As Democratic House leaders undermine the left’s push for universal health care, lobbyists representing major health insurance and pharmaceutical companies have been flooding the DCCC with cash. All six corporate lobbyists who have bundled donations for the DCCC this year represent at least one health-care business or trade organization.

David Thomas, a partner at Mehlman Castagnetti, raised $30,000 for the DCCC in January. He has lobbied for at least five members of the partnership: America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the health insurance industry’s top trade organization; the Association of Accessible Medicines, a trade group for generic drugmakers; the American Medical Association, a physician trade group; health insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield; and Ascension Health, a Catholic nonprofit health provider.

Until November, Thomas lobbied on taxes and banking regulations for the Job Creators Network, a conservative nonprofit linked to billionaire GOP donor Charles Koch that recently purchased billboard ads attacking Ocasio-Cortez.

While the DCCC is trying to keep its vendors from aiding primary challengers, there has been no such push to prevent its consultants from advising corporate clients, whose goals are often at odds with much of the Democratic Party.

( Above article was snipped in various places, for space reasons. )

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Well, it seems the Democrats learned nothing.