Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

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Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
AbbreviationDCCC
Founded1866; 158 years ago (1866)
PurposeTo elect Democrats to the US House of Representatives
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Chair
Suzan DelBene
Websitedccc.org Edit this at Wikidata
Formerly called
Democratic National Congressional Committee

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)[a] is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States House of Representatives, working to elect Democrats to that body.[1] The DCCC recruits candidates, raises funds and organizes races in districts expected to yield politically notable or close elections. The committee consists of the Chairperson (who according to Democratic Caucus rules is a fellow member of the caucus appointed by the party leader in the House), their staff, and other Democratic members of Congress in various executive roles.

The Chairperson of the DCCC is the sixth-ranking position among House Democrats, after the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Majority Whip, the House Assistant Democratic Leader, and the Democratic Caucus Chairperson. The current chair is Suzan DelBene of Washington, who assumed the position in 2023.[2]

History[edit]

The DCCC was created in 1866 as the Democratic National Congressional Committee. Due to the reform of campaign finance legislation in 2004, the DCCC divides its activities among two organizations prior to Election Day:

  1. One organization (the "Coordinated" campaign) continues to work on congressional campaigns, offering relevant campaign advice.
  2. The other organization (the "Independent Expenditure" campaign), makes independent expenditures in congressional districts on behalf of the campaigns but is not allowed to coordinate activities with the campaigns.

In recent elections, the DCCC has played an expansive role in supporting Democratic candidates with independently produced television ads and mail pieces.

Rahm Emanuel assumed the position of DCCC committee chair after the death of the previous chair, Bob Matsui, at the end of the 2004 election cycle. Emanuel led the Democratic Party's successful effort to capture the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections. After Emanuel's election as chair of the Democratic Caucus, Chris Van Hollen became committee chair for the 110th Congress and the 2008 elections. He continued through the 2010 elections. Steve Israel served as chair for the 2012 and 2014 election cycles.[3] For the 2016 election cycle, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed congressman Ben Ray Luján to serve as the committee's chair. Luján was selected to serve again for the 2018 election cycle.[4]

For the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, DCCC chairs were elected by the caucus, rather than selected by the party leader.[5][6] After the 2022 election cycle, the Democratic caucus voted to return to having the position be appointed by the leader.[7]

In 2022, workers at the DCCC announced they were forming a union affiliated with the Teamsters.[8]

Controversy[edit]

Consultant blacklist[edit]

After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her upset congressional victory over Joe Crowley, the DCCC implemented a policy blacklisting consultants who worked for primary opponents of Democratic Party incumbents. Highly unpopular among progressives, the organization rolled back the policy in 2021.[9]

Primary preferences[edit]

In the 2018 election cycle, the DCCC released negative information about candidate Laura Moser, who ran for US Congress in Texas' 7th congressional district.[10] The move backfired, as Moser gained donations and support en route to making the runoff before falling short against Lizzie Fletcher.[11][12] A month after the attack on Moser, the DCCC showed preference in another Texas primary, supporting Colin Allred.[13] The decisions were two among many similar choices made by the organization throughout its history.[14] Similar criticism carried into the next election cycle, prompting Progressive Caucus member Ro Khanna to say:

This unprecedented grab of power is a slap in the face of Democratic voters across the nation. It's something even Rahm Emanuel would not have done and is totally tone-deaf to the grassroots activists across our nation. Voters are sick of the status quo holding on to power and stifling new voices. They are sick of D.C. politicians who care more about holding on to power than a true competition of ideas.[15]

Russian hacking[edit]

In July 2016, the DCCC said it was hacked.[16][17][18][19][20] Subsequently, a person described as a hacker and known as "Guccifer 2.0" (Russian Main Intelligence Directorate persona) reportedly released documents and information that were obtained from the cyberattack on the DCCC.[21]

Supporting election deniers[edit]

In the 2022 primary cycle, the DCCC assisted Republican candidates that supported the claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. This assistance took the form of attack ads aired during Republican primaries, the content of which ostensibly decried the further-right candidate's election denialism and other views described as "dangerous", with the aim of making that candidate more appealing to Republican primary voters. It was hoped that those more extreme Republican candidates would be more vulnerable to defeat in the subsequent general election. For instance, in Michigan, they aired ads supposedly against John Gibbs, a far-right challenger to incumbent Peter Meijer, who had voted to impeach Donald Trump in the second impeachment.[22][23] Gibbs ultimately lost in the general election to Democratic candidate Hillary Scholten.[24]

List of chairs[edit]

Name State Term of service
James Rood Doolittle Wisconsin 1868
Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn Kentucky 1878
William A. Wallace Pennsylvania 1880
William Rosecrans California 1882
Arthur Pue Gorman Maryland 1884
John E. Kenna West Virginia 1886
James T. Jones Alabama 1888
Roswell P. Flower New York 1890
John L. Mitchell Wisconsin 1892
Charles James Faulkner West Virginia 1894–1896
Stephen M. White California 1898
James D. Richardson Tennessee 1900
James M. Griggs Georgia 1902–1908
James Tilghman Lloyd Missouri 1909–1913
Frank Ellsworth Doremus Michigan 1913–1917
Scott Ferris Oklahoma 1917–1921
Arthur B. Rouse Kentucky 1921–1924
William Allan Oldfield Arkansas 1925–1928
Joseph W. Byrns Sr. Tennessee 1928–1935
Patrick H. Drewry Virginia 1935–1947
Michael J. Kirwan Ohio 1947–1969
Michael A. Feighan Ohio 1969–1971
Tip O'Neill Massachusetts 1971–1973
Wayne Hays Ohio 1973–1976
James C. Corman California 1976–1981
Tony Coelho California 1981–1987
Beryl Anthony Jr. Arkansas 1987–1991
Victor H. Fazio California 1991–1995
Martin Frost Texas 1995–1999
Patrick J. Kennedy Rhode Island 1999–2001
Nita Lowey New York 2001–2003
Bob Matsui California 2003–2005
Rahm Emanuel Illinois 2005–2007
Chris Van Hollen Maryland 2007–2011
Steve Israel New York 2011–2015
Ben Ray Luján New Mexico 2015–2019
Cheri Bustos Illinois 2019–2021
Sean Patrick Maloney New York 2021–2023
Suzan DelBene Washington 2023–present

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pronounced /d ˈtrɪpəl s/ DEE TRIH-pəl SEE; sometimes abbreviated as /d trɪp/ DEE TRIP.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bowden, John (March 30, 2019). "Progressives hammer DCCC over blacklist targeting primary challenges". The Hill.
  2. ^ Marans, Daniel (December 3, 2020). "Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney Elected To Run House Democrats' Campaign Arm". www.huffpost.com. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  3. ^ "Rep. Steve Israel, member of Democratic leadership, retiring". POLITICO. January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  4. ^ "Luján remains DCCC chair, Pelosi still Minority Leader - NM Political Report". November 30, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  5. ^ Pathé, Simone (November 29, 2018). "Cheri Bustos Elected DCCC Chair". Roll Call. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  6. ^ Rogers, Alex (December 3, 2020). "House Democrats elect Sean Patrick Maloney as DCCC chairman | CNN Politics". CNN. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  7. ^ "Jeffries faces decision as House Dems' next campaign chair still a mystery". POLITICO. December 12, 2022. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  8. ^ Munroe, Galen (January 28, 2022). "Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Staff to Form Party's Largest Collective Bargaining Unit". International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  9. ^ Birenbaum, Gabby (March 10, 2021). "In a victory for progressives, the DCCC ends its consultant blacklist". Vox.
  10. ^ Nilsen, Ella (March 7, 2018). "The DCCC's scorched-earth campaign against Texas Democrat Laura Moser backfired". Vox.
  11. ^ Hardy, Michael (February 27, 2018). "Laura Moser Shakes Off the DCCC". Texas Monthly.
  12. ^ Weigel, David (February 23, 2018). "Progressives rage at DCCC after it attacks Texas candidate for 'begrudgingly' moving to Houston". Washington Post.
  13. ^ Livingston, Abby (March 22, 2018). "1 month after attacking Laura Moser, DCCC spars with another Texas Democrat". Texas Tribune.
  14. ^ Weigel, David (March 2, 2018). "Democratic group faces backlash after intervening in crowded House primaries". Washington Post.
  15. ^ Grim, Ryan (March 27, 2019). "PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS SLAMS DCCC HEAD CHERI BUSTOS FOR HER ASSAULT ON PRIMARY CHALLENGERS". The Intercept.
  16. ^ Neidig, Harper (July 29, 2016). "House Dem campaign arm says it was hacked". The Hill. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "Exclusive: FBI probes hacking of Democratic congressional group - sources". Reuters. July 29, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  18. ^ "Fundraising Nonprofit Says It Wasn't Compromised In DCCC Hack". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  19. ^ "Democratic Party's congressional fundraising committee was also hacked". Ars Technica. July 29, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  20. ^ King, Bob; Starks, Tim (July 28, 2016). "Hackers suspected in new attack on Democrats". Politico.Com. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  21. ^ Diaz, Daniella (August 13, 2016). "Hacker releases cell phone numbers, personal emails of House Democrats". CNN. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  22. ^ Ferris, Sarah. "House Dems berate campaign arm over 'very dangerous' GOP primary scheme". Politico. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  23. ^ Levine, Sam. "Democrats split by bid to boost election denier in Michigan Republican primary". The Guardian. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  24. ^ McVicar, Brian (November 18, 2022). "Hillary Scholten flipped several Republican-leaning areas blue in West Michigan congressional race". mlive. Retrieved December 18, 2022.

External links[edit]