DNC Urged to Help Fund Congressional Candidates

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian DeBose, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she expects hefty payouts from the national party in 2006 to help congressional candidates.

"We think that there are resources at the DNC [Democratic National Committee] that should be at our disposal in 2006, and winning those races, I think, will help us more in the election in 2008 for the White House," the California Democrat said.

The DNC is in good shape coming off an expensive presidential and congressional election season. Outgoing DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe said grass-roots fund raising led to more than $400 million in donations for the 2004 election cycle, with the committee taking in $13 million after Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry lost on Election Day.

"We now have the tools and resources to start day one building for the next election. Evidenced by the fund-raising totals after November 2, this party is primed and ready to take on the Republicans in 2005 and beyond," Mr. McAuliffe said.

The party is debt-free for the first time in years and has more than $8 million in the bank. But recent losses in Congress concern lawmakers that they are not receiving the support they need and that the party is too focused on regional, not national, campaigning.

These issues will fall to a new chairman and possibly a restructured DNC.

Mrs. Pelosi said she was not concerned about rumors that the executive committee is looking to change the structure of the party to a "bifurcated" structure with a general chairman and an operational chairman.

"That is really up to them. I don't think it will make too much difference," Mrs. Pelosi said, adding that in the party's search for its new chairman, it should "avoid something that will be divisive to the party," but she did not elaborate as to which candidate she felt would cause a rift. …