Democrats Forced To Bail Out Their Own Campaign Chief With $605,000 As Race Tightens

(Photo by Yara Nardi-Pool/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will spend $605,000 to boost the struggling campaign of committee chairman Sean Patrick Maloney, whose district was moved to “toss-up” status by a top pollster on Monday.

Maloney is facing off against State Assemblyman Mike Lawler in a district that leans seven points towards the Democratic Party. An internal poll released by the Lawler campaign on Oct. 14 showed the Republican leading by six points. The Cook Political Report named the race a “toss-up.” (RELATED: Dem Donors Make Last-Ditch Effort To Save DCCC Chair From Republican Challenger)

The DCCC’s advertising seeks to tie Lawler to prominent Republicans like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

“What do MAGA extremists look like in the Hudson Valley? Like MAGA Mike Lawler,” a narrator says in a video advertisement for Maloney. “They have ties to right-wing militias that tried to overturn the election. Police died. And Lawler and MAGA extremists were accused of stoking antisemitism, fueling hate and division. Lawler and MAGA extremists spend their time fighting to ban abortion, not tackling crime and inflation, or improving healthcare. MAGA extremists have advanced an agenda that divides America.”

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC affiliated with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has spent nearly $5 million against Maloney, and the National Republican Congressional Committee has spent over $480,000 more, according to the spending tracker AdImpact. No DCCC chairman has lost a reelection bid since 1980, while no NRCC chairman has lost a reelection bid since 1992, according to Cook Political U.S. House Editor Dave Wasserman.

Maloney has faced widespread criticism from throughout the party for his handling of the campaign arm. He even drew a left-wing primary challenger after pushing out Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones, who ran in New York’s 1oth District. Maloney also angered Blue Dog moderates like Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy by reportedly threatening to withhold campaign funds unless they supported President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better package. Under Maloney’s leadership, the DCCC also spent extravagant amounts on flowers, furniture, and plane tickets.

“Since day one, Chairman Maloney has been working tirelessly as a player-coach — He’s built a campaign and we’ve built an operation at the DCCC that can support that reality,” DCCC spokesman Chris Taylor told Politico in defense of the ad. “As we have with every decision this cycle, we are making investments that ensure Democrats hold our House Majority.”