Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC, spoken as the D triple-C or the D-trip) is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States House of Representatives, working to elect Democrats to that body. They recruit candidates, raise funds, and organize races in districts that are expected to yield politically notable or close elections. The structure of the committee consists, essentially, of the Chairperson (who according to current Democratic Caucus rules is a fellow member of the Caucus appointed by the party leader in the House), their staff, and other Democratic members of Congress that serve in roles supporting the functions of the committee (candidate recruitment, fundraising, etc.).

The Chairperson of the DCCC is the fourth ranking position among House Democrats, after the Minority Leader, the Minority Whip and the Democratic Caucus Chairperson.


The DCCC originated in 1866 as the Democratic National Congressional Committee.

Due to the reform of campaign finance legislation that took effect in the 2004 election cycle, the DCCC splits into two organizations a few months before each Election Day:

  1. One organization (the "Coordinated" campaign) can continue to stay in contact with the individual congressional campaigns, offering advice and suggestions to candidates and their staffs in each race.
  2. The other organization (the "Independent Expenditure" campaign), which makes independent expenditures in congressional districts on behalf of the campaigns, is not allowed to coordinate activities with the campaigns.

In recent elections, the DCCC has played an expansive role in supporting Democratic candidates with independently produced television ads and mail pieces.

Chris Van Hollen, flanked by Democratic House challengers, speaks during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in his capacity as chair of the DCCC.

Rahm Emanuel assumed the position of DCCC committee chair after the death of the previous chair, Bob Matsui, at the end of the 2004 election cycle. Emanuel led the Democratic Party's effort to capture the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections. After Emanuel's election as chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Chris Van Hollen became committee chair for the 110th Congress, and thus for the 2008 elections. He continued through the 2010 elections. For the 2014 election cycle, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed congressman Ben Ray Luján to serve as the committee's chair.

In August 2014, the DCCC said it had 444 field staff working in 48 states and planned to add 219 more by the end of August as part of its efforts to manage an expanded ground game across the nation for the 2014 midterm elections.[1]

Research department

Of the four congressional campaign committees, the DCCC, with a staff of 25, has the largest in-house research department. In a February 2012 profile of the department, Roll Call wrote that "The DCCC's team of mostly 20-somethings researches opposition targets for eight weeks at a time, scouring news clips and YouTube videos and traveling across the country to comb through public records, all in hopes of finding a good hit. Discoveries go into hundred-page research books on their targets that are used as bait to recruit candidates, leaked to reporters or cited in campaign advertisements and mail pieces."[2]

Support for Occupy Wall Street

The DCCC's support for the Occupy Wall Street movement attracted attention and caused some controversy. Politico reported in October 2011 that the DCCC's position on Occupy Wall Street was making Democratic contributors in the banking and financial services sectors "livid".[3] After the DCCC sent out an email urging supporters to sign a petition backing the Occupy movement, banking executives called the DCCC's office demanding answers, according to three financial services lobbyists.[3]


Controversy arose after the DCCC issued press releases on June 29 and July 2, 2012 which claimed that funds from which Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino owner, donates to the Republican Party come in part from "Chinese prostitution money".[4] The press releases were repeating allegations from one of Adelson's former employees who filed a lawsuit and alleged that Adelson "approved of prostitution at a casino in Macau".[5] The DCCC repeated the charges in press releases that attacked Republicans Jim Renacci, Scott DesJarlais, and Jim Gerlach.[4]

Adelson fought back against the claims, which he called "outrageous", and filed a brief threatening a libel suit against the DCCC which demanded that the "DCCC retract the claims, apologize for them, and retain any documents associated with them in preparation for a potential lawsuit".[6] Politifact, a nonpartisan fact checking organization, rated the DCCC's claims as "pants on fire", saying that the DCCC "seized upon [a] questionable claim, extrapolated and exaggerated it to taint all of Adelson's political donations with prostitution earnings" and then carried "that on down a convoluted line to Scott DesJarlais and talk about "his Chinese prostitution money"".[5]

On August 2 the DCCC issued a public apology, saying:

In press statements issued on June 29 and July 2, 2012, the DCCC made unsubstantiated allegations that attacked Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of the opposing party. This was wrong. The statements were untrue and unfair and we retract them. The DCCC extends its sincere apology to Mr. Adelson and his family for any injury we have caused.[7]

List of Chairs

Name State Term of Service
James Rood Doolittle WI 1868
Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn KY 1878
William A. Wallace PA 1880
William Rosecrans CA 1882
Arthur Pue Gorman MD 1884
John E. Kenna WV 1886
James T. Jones AL 1888
Roswell P. Flower NY 1890
John L. Mitchell WI 1892
Charles James Faulkner WV 1894–1896
Stephen M. White CA 1898
James D. Richardson TN 1900
James M. Griggs GA 1902–1908
James Tilghman Lloyd MO 1909–1913
Frank Ellsworth Doremus MI 1913–1917
Scott Ferris OK 1917–1921
Arthur B. Rouse KY 1921–1924
William Allan Oldfield AR 1925–1928
Joseph W. Byrns, Sr. TN 1928–1935
Patrick H. Drewry VA 1935–1947
Michael J. Kirwan OH 1947–1969
Michael A. Feighan OH 1969–1971
Tip O'Neill MA 1971–1973
Wayne Hays OH 1973–1976
James C. Corman CA 1976–1981
Tony Coelho CA 1981–1987
Beryl Anthony, Jr. AR 1987–1991
Vic Fazio CA 1991–1995
Martin Frost TX 1995–1999
Patrick J. Kennedy RI 1999–2001
Nita Lowey NY 2001–2003
Bob Matsui CA 2003–2005
Rahm Emanuel IL 2005–2007
Chris Van Hollen MD 2007–2011
Steve Israel NY 2011–2014
Ben Ray Luján NM 2014–

See also


  1. Gonzales, Nathan. "Inside House Democrats' Expanding Ground Game". Roll Call. Retrieved 7 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "An Inside Look at the DCCC Research Department : Roll Call Politics". 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2013-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Wall Street to Dems: you can't have it both ways - Robin Bravender and Anna Palmer". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Marc, Reuel. "GOP donor Adelson threatens to sue DCCC for "Chinese prostitution" claim". Retrieved 2013-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "PolitiFact Tennessee | DCCC claims Chinese prostitution money funding DesJarlais campaign". Retrieved 2013-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Sheldon Adelson fights back against prostitution claims - Abby Phillip". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "DCCC apologizes to Sheldon Adelson - Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links