DCCC's Van Hollen visits Oregon for Kurt Schrader

The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee visited Oregon yesterday to stump for congressional candidate Kurt Schrader.

In particular, Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) made it clear that the DCCC is prepared to go help Schrader toe-to-toe with self-funding millionaire candidate Mike Erickson. From the Oregonian:

"This is a campaign that's going to do just great on its own, but what we're here for is in the event that unexpected things happen, that people understand this is a priority for us," said U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland at a press event in Lake Oswego.

"Sometimes you have self-funded millionaires on the other side and we just want to send a clear mesage that this is a priority for us. This is for keeps."

Schrader made it clear that he expects Erickson to spend millions more in his campaign. From OPB:

Schrader won the Democratic primary last week, and with it, the right to take on Republican Mike Erickson, a self-made millionaire who's financed his own way. Schrader says he's assuming Erickson may have more cash to spend.

Kurt Schrader: "Oh, I would almost bet the ranch on that. Although I think we're going to be prepared for whatever opponent. It'll take a lot of money . Fortunately or unfortunately in this day and age that is a big part of any campaign."

The Democrats' event yesterday had an aggressive subtext. While no dollar amounts were mentioned, Van Hollen's presence spoke volumes about what resources Schrader may draw on.

Update: Here's a few minutes of video from the press conference, shot by our own Kari Chisholm.

Learn more and join the Kurt Schrader for Congress campaign here.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Wow that's great. Interest from the National level in a Congressional race here in Oregon.

    And over in the Second CD, we have .....

    And the National Party sent ....

    And the Democrats in the Second CD felt included in the Party because ....

    And the DCCC gave Dollars to our last candidate, and will give _ Dollars to our current candidate.

    Go ahead and fill in the blanks -

    A clue .... (they are start and end with zip)

  • (Show?)

    I don't blame them for visiting the district and stumping for Schrader - they want to make sure they don't lose a seat currently held by a Dem. But they should definitely give some support to CD2 as well. Maybe we don't take it this time - but like Dean says, sometimes it takes a few tries.

    I don't know that the candidate for the Rs is going to be Erickson. There's a lot of work being done on that side to force him out of the race.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)

    I would really like to see the DCCC set aside some amount of money to go to candidates in "unwinnable" districts. It doesn't have to be a lot-- just some.

    I don't think it's reasonable to ask them to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at candidates who are expected to lose 65-35. But ten or twenty thousand can make a big difference for a 2nd CD candidate -- especially if it comes early. They can use that money to raise more money and to show they are somewhat viable.

    And we have to remember, it's always possible for a safe seat to self-destruct. Remember Congressman Foley? We can only pick those seats up if we have a candidate. And we can only field candidates if they feel they will receive some support.

    The flip side is: candidates in non-targetted races need to be fund-raising animals. They need to focus on raising money early. Why would the DCCC support a candidate who isn't willing to work hard to raise their own money? They need help, not welfare.

  • (Show?)


    Exactly. You need money to raise money. With some start-up money to get going and then some more once the candidate shows they're seriously running for the seat would be good.

    Districts can self-destruct. You can also have a tide of anti-Republican or anti-incumbent sentiment pop up partially into a race and give us the chance to win.

  • LT (unverified)

    "Exactly. You need money to raise money. With some start-up money to get going and then some more once the candidate shows they're seriously running for the seat would be good."

    Speaking as someone who has lived in a "forgotten" legislative district, this is the sort of thing from folks in the Portland area which alienates those from the rest of the state. Is every member of the central comm. in the district supposed to tithe 10% of their income to show they are serious even if they are barely making ends meet? Have you any idea of the fuel bills of those who live in sparsely populated areas? Should only wealthy candidates run, or those with wealthy friends?

    Either we believe in Dean's "show up everywhere, contest everything" philosophy, or else Democrats are still captive of "we have to target races we can win because we have limited resources".

    Gee, which party has more money to spend this year, Democrats or Republicans?

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)

    LT, I grew up in Prineville. My roots are still there. I'm in Portland because of my job. I wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat into work every day. I could hardly be called a Portland-centric elitist.

    But serious candidates in both targetted and untargetted races have to raise money. It would be childish of me to sit on my butt in Prineville and feel that the party owes me enough money to make a serious run for CD 2.

    The DPO doesn't have the money. The DNC doesn't have the money. The DCCC probably has the money, but not enough for every long-shot congressional race in the country. At they very least, they need a metric they can use to judge the seriousness of the candidate.

    Mike Dugan ran for CD2 in 1996. He ran hard. He lost a heartbreaker. But here's how he described his average campaign day to me:

    I'd get up early so I could start calling people on the East Coast between 5 and 6 asking for money. As the morning got later, I'd start calling people in the rest of the country.

    To me, that's a serious candidate. He shows initiative and an understanding of what's needed to win a congressional campaign.

    If I were running for CD2, here's what I would do:

    1.) I'd have lunch or a beer with each of my good friends. I'd ask them for money for my race. And I'd ask for a lot. I'd ask my friend who are doing well for teh federal limit or $1000.00 up front plus $250.00/month during the campaign (up to the federal limit). I'd ask my friends who are just getting by for half that.

    2.) I'd call or visit all my relatives and ask for money. I'd hop on a plane to go to the yearly reunion of the Texas side of the family. I'd ask all of them for money -- well, not the weird cousins from Kansas; they give me the creeps.

    3.) I'd contact every county party in CD2 and ask them to set up fundraising opportunities for me. I'd call the Truman Club of Central Oregon and ask them for money. When they agreed I'd ask them for more. I'd ask Mike Dugan for his fund raising list; I'd ask Carol Voisin, John McColgan, Peter Buckley and any other previous candidates for their lists (and money...and help).

    4.) I'd call my friends from college and ask money. I'd call my friends from high school and ask for money. I'd call my real estate agent and ask for money. I'd call my doctor, dentist, candlestick-maker and ask for money. I'd call anyone who I thought might remember me, and ask for money.

    5.) I'd ask everyone who showed any enthusiasm about my race to raise money for me. If my friend Darren gave me $500.00 and wished me well, I'd ask him to raise money from his friends/co-workers/army buddies. And I'd ask for a specific amount.

    6.) Finally, when all those resources we exhausted, I'd end up where Mike Dugan did: calling down the fund-raising lists the national groups gave me once I proved I was serious about winning.

    My main point is, it is hard work to raise money. But it can be done. Relying on the DCCC (or anyone else) to fund your campaign is silly. You're basically asking them to do all that work for you because you don't want to. The DCCC has money precisely because they are calling people and asking for money. I seem to get a call from them every month or two.

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