Nominee Funds Revisited

Last month ActBlue created Democratic Nominee funds for all federal offices.  At the time I wrote:

We recognize that it’s early in the 2008 cycle and many candidates
are not anywhere close to announcing a run for federal office, be that
a U.S. Senate seat or Congress.  It’s natural that during this time,
potential candidates are testing the waters, talking to friends, and
contemplating the financial needs of any campaign they may choose to
embark upon.

As of today we’re going to help make that last decision a little easier to encourage Democrats to run for office. We’ve created "Democratic Nominee Funds"
for every Republican-held Senate and House seat.   All of the money
raised for these funds will be held until after a state’s primary
election and then transferred to the Democratic Nominee to help them
with their general election campaign against Republicans.

In the past month we’ve seen more states adopt this strategy to help create buzz and attention around senate races. Texans have raised ~$1000 amidst the ongoing chatter about potential candidates. Now with the talk about Oregon’s Peter DeFazio mulling a bid against Sen. Gordon Smith, draft pages are popping up in the form of OR-Sen Nominee Funds. In addition, Blue New Hampshire is starting to raise funds for the nominee against Sen. Senunu.

While you may not raise millions for the eventual nominee, Democratic Nominee Funds can be a helpful tool to raise awareness, buzz, media, and some helpful cash for Democratic candidates at the federal level.

UPDATE: I just noticed that has launched using the ActBlue as part of their ‘draft’ effort. Very cool!

  1. PeterB said:

    That’s great to see you’ve done this. As it relates to DeFazio, I have noticed there’s a fundraising ActBlue page ( called “Draft DeFazio for Senate”. However, by all appearances this goes to his existing congressional fund.
    I know you guys are not the experts in campaign finance law, but, do you know if funds given to his congressional campaign account are transferrable to a Senate run?
    If so, then there’s two methods to nudge DeFazio into the race — give it directly to him and make it clear why you’re giving; or, stick the money in the Dem nominee fund so that he can access it when he wins the nomination.
    If not, then that page is unwittingly having people misdirect their funds to an account that isn’t usable for a Senate run.
    This relates to DeFazio, but would apply to any House member considering a Senate run.

  2. PeterB said:

    I now see there’s already been a lot of good discussion over at the Draft DeFazio site about this in the comments to the reference post.
    In that discussion, it is said that transferring contributions from a House fund to Senate campaign fund is legal. However, there’s no citation. I’d love to verify this to ensure this is accurate (not that I don’t trust folks, but the last thing I want to do is be a source of incorrect information). If there’s a reference to where this is covered in the law that anybody’s got, please share. Thanks

  3. Karl-T said:

    Hey Peter, good question. Transferring funds from a House race to a Senate race is perfectly legal as it is one federal office to another. It’s similar to Clinton or Obama transferring funds from their Senate accounts to run for President.
    Money donated to DeFazio through his House account is money that he can choose to take with him to a Senate bid should he do that. Of course, if he doesn’t, then he just has it for his next Congressional bid. Donations to the “Democratic Nominee Fund” will go to whomever wins the party’s primary in Oregon and then transferred to the victor. So it is more of a ‘carrot’ to entire people into the race, but ensures that money goes towards defeating Sen. Smith no matter who ends up being the nominee.

  4. PeterB said:

    OK, good to know. How did you find this out, and can you point me to the same place? If I bring up this fact with others, I’d like to be able to point them to the source. Thanks

  5. PeterB said:

    Thanks Karl-T.

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