Big Dem Donors forming alliance to take House from Republicans

Major Democratic donors are forming a behind the scenes alliance to take back the House from the Republicans.


Major Democratic donors in New York have discreetly formed a new political alliance to raise roughly $10 million that would be injected into as many as two dozen key House battlegrounds in an effort to wrest control of Congress from Republicans.

Admission to be an official partner in what’s being called the House Victory Project comes with a $108,000 price tag. More than 80 people have each committed that sum, according to a half-dozen donors familiar with the group, whose existence has not previously been reported.

The $108,000 pledge allows each donor to effectively give the maximum $5,400 contribution to 20 different House candidates. With nearly $9 million in commitments amassed so far, each Democratic recipient could see a windfall of as much as $432,000 — an amount that, for many House candidates, equals months of fund-raising in one fell swoop.

Jane D. Hartley, a former ambassador to France under President Barack Obama, said that the donors were a “very diverse” group that included philanthropists who have previously not engaged in political giving.

“Many have not been involved in politics in the past, but they’ve said they can’t sit out this election,” she said.

Ms. Hartley, who hosted an event in recent months to pitch donors on the idea, is one of five organizers of the project, donors said. The others include Robert E. Rubin, the former treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton; Roger C. Altman, the former deputy treasury secretary in the Clinton administration; and two investment bankers who are major Democratic fund-raisers, Deven J. Parekh and Blair W. Effron.


The New York Times report also outlined how effective this group will be.

For House candidates, large-scale direct campaign contributions are a hard commodity to come by.

Federal election rules limit direct donations to candidates to $2,700 per donor for both the primary and general election, but joint committees, such as the House Victory Project, can bundle those contributions into one larger check.

For three of the candidates — Mr. Crow, Mr. Ashford and Ms. Luria — the full $432,000 from 80 donors would represent more than they raised altogether in the first quarter of 2018. (During the primary, they would be eligible for the first half: $216,000.)

The House Victory Project is continuing to look for more donors, which the group calls “partners,” but its leaders are already happy with the pledge rate.

“The response we’ve been getting is just much more than we thought,” Ms. Hartley said.

These donors aren’t planning on targeting other Democrats. Their goal is to win 24 seats and defeat Republicans.

The Democrats are continuing to slip in the Generic Congressional Ballot.

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