Andrew Kerr, DCNF
“NOT asking you for money.”
That was the subject line of a fundraising email sent by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to supporters in February.
Pelosi’s email, sent on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the official campaign arm of House Democrats, accused Republicans of “playing politics” with U.S. national security for failing to fully investigate Russian election interference.
“It’s clear to me that these Republicans have more loyalty to their political party than our country,” her email read. “Their actions are dangerous. They’re reckless. And they’re disqualifying.”
After baiting her supporters with inflammatory language against her political opponents, Pelosi’s email asked supporters to partake in a “Russian Investigation Survey,” which, despite her initial claim that she wouldn’t do so, asked for money.
“Will you pitch in $3 (or more!) to help the DCCC support Democratic House candidates every step of the way to victory and flip the House in 2018?” the last question of the survey asked.
Pelosi’s bait-and-switch fundraising email was just one of the more than two dozen DCCC emails since the beginning of 2017 that asked for money after promising initially not to do so, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
The DCCC’s penchant for sending fundraising emails with false promises is unparalleled in national politics, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Aside from a few similarly misleading fundraising emails from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, no other national political committee solicits funds from supporters with such brazen lies like the DCCC does.
The scheme appears to be working in the DCCC’s favor, according to campaign finance disclosures. Since the beginning of 2017, the DCCC has raised $86.3 million in mostly small-dollar donations, more than three times the $24.6 million raised by its counterpart, the National Republic Congressional Committee.
Former Texas Rep. Martin Frost, who served as DCCC chairman in the late ’90s, said House Democrats need not apologize for utilizing bait-and-switch fundraising tactics.
“Criticism isn’t deserved. They’re doing a hell of a job fundraising,” Frost told the Center for Public Integrity.