Politic365

 
 


Culture

2:42pm January 14, 2013

Does the DCCC Maintain Congress’ White Male Status Quo?

congress

More Latinos than ever before are serving in Congress this year in large part because several were able to take open seats, or win seats from Republicans. Several new Latino Democratic congressmen were also the beneficiaries of generous TV ad spending from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the organization is funded by members of Congress to help those same members stay in Congress.

But because the DCCC is funded by members of Congress, the organization always supports incumbents, which may contribute to the reason Congress is full with white men.

We spoke to DCCC Spokesman Jesse Ferguson about this issue, who pointed out that this year the organization had the most diverse recruitment of Democratic House candidates in history, and this led to the first Democratic Caucus that is not majority white men. The Caucus is 54% non-white men, while the Republican House Caucus is close to 90% white men, Ferguson told Politic365.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

“That happened because there was a successful effort to recruit and support candidates like Raul Ruiz [California] and Joe García [Florida] and Pete Gallego [Texas],” Ferguson said. “There was a major commitment of time and resources in those races, it’s one of the reasons that the Caucus has seen the changes that it has.”

Ferguson provided Politic365 with the following data on independent expenditure (TV ad) spending in the last cycle as evidence of how the DCCC has helped Latino candidates to win seats:

  • $2,637,138.72 – Jose Hernandez
  • $2,252,671.21 – John Oceguera
  • $1,691,529.89 – Pete Gallego
  • $1,110,871.22 – Raul Ruiz

The DCCC has also previously brought in Latinos to its leadership, such as New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. More recently, Ferguson told us that newly minted Texas Congressman Joaquín Castro is on the recruitment committee for the 2014 cycle, and Maryland Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards was going to head up recruitment for the DCCC.

That the DCCC would be self-serving is obvious, according to Professor Lisa García Bedolla, Chair for the Center for Latino Policy Research at the University of California Berkeley. Although a member-funded organization is structurally predisposed to protect incumbents, a commitment to diversity is apparent in the manner in which the DCCC choose to recruit candidates to open seats.

“There you see that more often parties support white male candidates because they’re more likely to be seen as ‘electable,’” she said. “This is where parties have more discretion, and where I think racial [and] gender bias is more evident.”

She cited the example of term limits in California for the state legislature, which ultimately allowed Latinos to serve in greater numbers, but has the downside of forcing them out once they finally gain political traction.

Ferguson notes that, in the case of Pete Gallego, the DCCC not only spent one of the most significant amounts of money on TV ads, but also sent staffers and other resources. Making Congress more diverse takes resources, he said, and so by using funds from existing members of Congress to recruit, support and elect diverse candidates, Ferguson said the DCCC is illustrating the importance of diversity.

“To make the DCCC more diverse and reflect the new American electorate, that takes a commitment that has been demonstrated in this last election cycle, and will continue into 2014,” he said.



About the Author

Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón is a journalist and writer bouncing between California and Texas.




 
 

 
art1

The New Rules of Campaigns: 2015 Art of Political Campaigning Conference

Campaigns & Elections Magazine holds several annual events that you’d be crazy to miss if you’re a political operative.  The first is a conference called The Art of Political Campaigning.  The second is Campai...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
barnes1

Denise Rolark Barnes, New NNPA Chair: Black Press Critical to America & The World

Whether the focus is income inequality, unemployment and educational disparities, one-dimensional portrayals of minorities on film and television, or the over-policing and criminalization of Black bodies, the crises facing Blac...
by Kristal High
0

 
 
MMs

On Dems Who Say They’re Against Mandatory Minimums But Keep Voting For Them

So what have we long known — based on studied facts and data — about mandatory minimums?  That they are, 1. Racially applied, 2. Waste tax money, 3. Drive over-incarceration.  These facts are well established.  A...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
1

 

Advertisement
 
chaka3

Mollohan, Murtha, Lewis, Young, Weldon, Dicks, Kanjorski… Fattah Indicted

Let’s take a look at who the Department of Justice has recently investigated for reasons similar to the allegations alleged in the indictment of Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA). Rep. Allan Mollohan (D-WV) was investigated by DoJ...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
2

 
 
Tim2

Sen. Tim Scott Talks Justice Reform and Outlines His Police Body Camera Bill

Yesterday, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced a bill that would provide local jurisdictions with $100 million per year in body cameras. Though there is no specific set of standards for states to receive money for the cameras, Sen...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 




2 Comments


  1. [...] Gallego’s election the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent over $1 million on TV ads to support his election and campaign workers engaged in data-heavy, culturally-sensitive [...]


  2. [...] the last election cycle, DCCC helped recruit and support candidates such as Raul Ruiz (CA), Joe García (FL), and Pete Galleg…. Latinos are still likely to lean Democratic with recent polling showing that Democrats enjoy a 2-1 [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>