Monday, November 2, 2009

Money is Drying Up for Blue Dogs

In March of 2009, Chris Bowers from Open Left suggested that, "We simply must stop funneling money to the Blue Dog coalition."

Let's take a quick review of the Blue Dog behavior we are ratifying. The Blue Dog coalition has made it clear that they believe they have veto power over the entire agenda of the Obama administration and the Democratic congressional leadership. After a meeting with President Obama three weeks before the election, the Blue Dogs declared:

"He also recognized that we had the numbers to block or clear" legislation coming from the White House if he is elected.
If they are coasting that they can block or clear whatever legislation they want, the Blue Dogs consider themselves to be in charge of D.C., not Speaker Pelosi or President Obama. Some highlight of their past behavior include being the driving force in the Democratic Party behind the 2005 bankruptcy bill (they voted 32-4 in favor), the 2006 ending of habeus corpus, the 2007 Iraq War blank check, and the 2008 FISA re-write (see here for both). So far in 2009, they only allowed the stimulus package to go through after extracting a pay-go promise from the Obama administration. Last month, they joined with the New Democrats to block foreclosure relief legislation, which Evan Bayh's Blue Dogs in the Senate seem to have killed. And most of them will vote against the budget, too.

The Blue Dogs are an overt obstacle to progressive governance. For crying out loud, their entire name comes from feeling "choked blue by the left-wing of the party." In the recent past, they have refused to send money to the DCCC because another member of Congress criticized them on Iraq. They are overtly anti-progressive and anti-left wing. They don't even work to help other members of the party. So, why are we working to help them?
As previously discussed, Blue Dog Sen Evan Bayh has a monetary incentive to stop a real and robust healthcare reform including a Public Option from becoming reality.

Finally, a Center for Public Integrity analysis shows that fundraising for the Blue Dog Democrat Coalition has significantly been cut over the course of the year.

It’s official. The Blue Dog’s fundraising slowdown was not just a symptom of the dog days of summer. Newly released public disclosure forms indicate that over September, the coalition’s PAC took in its smallest monthly total yet this year.

Our analysis of the fiscally conservative and increasingly influential Blue Dog Coalition and its funding noted that the group’s political action committee had averaged more than $176,000 in receipts from other PACs over the first half of 2009. Their monthly haul dropped to a surprisingly low $27,000 in July, rebounded somewhat in August, and but then dropped again to just $12,500 in September.

That September money came from just three donations — $5,000 from accounting and professional services giant Ernst & Young’s PAC, $2,500 from the Food Marketing Institute PAC, and $5,000 from the National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund.

After raising $1.1 million from January to June, the committee raised less than $87,000 between July and September — less than it brought in during any one of the preceding five months. And in just three months, the Blue Dog PAC’s monthly fundraising average dropped by more than $50,000 — probably not the sort of fiscal conservatism the 52-member coalition was hoping for.

Ask yourself, is it undemocratic when our elected officials believe that their constituents are corporate supporters rather than the people who elected them?

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