Only One Freshman Has Paid All His DCCC Dues, and His Name Is Kennedy

Dishing cash is a time-honored tradition to rise up through the ranks. Rep. Joe Kennedy is following in his famous family’s footsteps.

Joe Kennedy III, candidate for the US House of Representatives, Massachusetts speaks to the audience at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). The DNC is expected to nominate US President Barack Obama to run for a second term as president. 
National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
March 16, 2014, 8:01 a.m.

It’s the sea­son for ritu­al­ist­ic sham­ing of House Demo­crats, a time when the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee hands out a list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice — as meas­ured by checks sent to the DCCC — to every mem­ber of the caucus.

And while the point of the ex­er­cise is to out those law­makers who are hoard­ing cam­paign cash for them­selves (Cough, cough: Rep. Robert Brady of Pennsylvania, who, des­pite serving as rank­ing mem­ber of House Ad­min­is­tra­tion, has giv­en noth­ing dir­ectly to the DCCC and raised zero dol­lars from oth­ers), it is also a cheat sheet for those who are try­ing to make moves polit­ic­ally.

Hand­ing out checks to col­leagues is a time-honored tra­di­tion of the polit­ic­ally am­bi­tious. And in this cat­egory, one name stands out: Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Mas­sachu­setts.

In the DCCC’s latest tally, Kennedy is the only fresh­man to have already reached his “dues goal” by send­ing $125,000 of his hard-earned cam­paign cash to the party com­mit­tee. Fur­ther, he blew past the sec­ond­ary goal of rais­ing $75,000 for the DCCC from oth­ers, bring­ing in a haul of $278,500 so far this cycle — nearly quad­ruple what has been asked of him.

It’s a sure sign that the 33-year old scion of one of Amer­ica’s best-known polit­ic­al fam­il­ies is plan­ning to fol­low in his re­l­at­ives’ fam­ous foot­steps. Kennedy has all the ad­vant­ages needed to climb the polit­ic­al lad­der, in­clud­ing his youth and a safe Mas­sachu­setts seat.

“Con­gress­man Kennedy is fo­cused on stand­ing up for his con­stitu­ents back home, build­ing re­la­tion­ships with his col­leagues, and pur­su­ing his le­gis­lat­ive pri­or­it­ies,” Kennedy spokes­wo­man Emily Browne said in an email.

Kennedy him­self de­clined an in­ter­view for this story.

The DCCC dues that mem­bers are asked to con­trib­ute rise on a slid­ing scale, with fresh­man ow­ing the least and more seni­or law­makers, those on more ex­clus­ive com­mit­tee, and those in lead­er­ship asked for more.

Still, Kennedy is in elite com­pany to have paid all his dues already. Oth­er names on the short list are the top House Demo­crat­ic lead­ers: Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoy­er, James Cly­burn, Xavi­er Be­cerra, and Steve Is­rael. Buzzfeed first pos­ted the latest DCCC dues sheet. Na­tion­al Journ­al also ob­tained a copy.

The only oth­ers, out­side of Pelosi’s of­fi­cial lead­er­ship team, are Chris Van Hol­len, the top Demo­crat on the Budget Com­mit­tee and a rising star viewed as a speak­er­ship con­tender; Henry Cuel­lar of Texas, who sits on the Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee; and Anna Eshoo of Cali­for­nia and Frank Pal­lone of New Jer­sey. The lat­ter two are locked in a fierce fight to be the top Demo­crat on the power­ful En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee in 2015.

What We're Following See More »
WEST WING REDUX
Allison Janney Takes to the Real White House Podium
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Carolyn Kaster/AP

STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
×