Wasserman Schultz will not be taking PAC money
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is pledging not to accept PAC money in her personal campaign account to be consistent with the practices of the Democratic National Committee, where she will take over as chair on May 4, her spokesperson said.
Tuesday will be the last day for PACs to donate to her campaign, and they will have the chance at a top dollar fundraiser Monday night, according to an invitation to the event.
The DNC has vowed to steer clear of both PAC and lobbyist money since 2008, when Barack Obama, as the Democrats’ presumptive candidate for president, made the announcement.
“Since she’ll be the DNC chair, on her personal campaign she’ll be following that same guideline,” the congresswoman’s spokesperson Jonathan Beeton said.
Beeton said he did not know whether she would accept donations from lobbyists to her re-election fund going forward.
The Monday night fundraiser allows PACs one more chance to show the new chief fundraiser for the Democratic Party how much they support her.
The flyer notes that “PAC contributions must be received by May 3, 2011” and solicits an unusually high donation from PACs for a single event: $10,000. The maximum PAC-to-candidate contribution is $5,000 per election but that amount can be applied to the primary and general elections.
If $10,000 is too high for some, the invitation also suggests that PACs give $5,000, $2,500 or $1,000. Individuals may attend for $500.
Without PAC money, the Florida congresswoman—who is running for re-election—will have to rely much more heavily on individual donors if she wants to raise the kind of money she did in 2010. For that election, nearly 60 percent of her over $1.9 million campaign fund was supplied by PAC money, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Lobbyists gave her over $85,000, according to CRP.
In the first quarter of this year, only about one quarter of the nearly $245,000 she raised came from PACs, including $5,000 from the American Hospital Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union Unite Here, and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Beeton added that, “She’ll take the steps necessary steps to remain competitive in her congressional district."