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Progressive Challenger in Illinois Sees Donations Pour In, Thanks to DCCC’s ‘Blacklist’

Ally Boguhn

Progressive Change Campaign Committee saw its donations for Marie Newman double after news that she had lost consultants due to the DCCC's "blacklist" policy.

A progressive group doubled the number of donations it received in support of Marie Newman, who is challenging an anti-choice incumbent in an Illinois primary, after she was affected by a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) policy “blacklisting” vendors who work with those who challenge Democrats.

According to fundraising numbers provided exclusively to Rewire.News by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), PCCC members have so far raised $22,000 for Marie Newman. The progressive group saw its donations for Newman double in the three days after Politico broke news that she had lost four consultants due to the DCCC policy to cut off strategists and vendors that work with challengers to incumbent Democrats. PCCC has now seen over 2,000 small-dollar, grassroots donations for Newman—doubling the 1,000 donations from previous weeks made in response to the DCCC’s policy.

Democracy for America—which recently endorsed Newman—received more than 800 donations for Newman, according to the PCCC, after they joined the fundraising effort over the weekend.

Newman this month launched her bid to again take on U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski in the IL-03 Democratic primary. She narrowly lost a primary battle against the incumbent in 2018. Lipinski is one of the last Democrats in Congress to oppose abortion rights and has been active in attempts to restrict abortion access. In an interview with Rewire.News after announcing her campaign, Newman emphasized her support for reproductive rights.

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“This momentum shows clearly that the progressive grassroots will have the back of Marie Newman and other progressive challengers who take on out-of-touch Democrats like Dan Lipinski—a pro-life, pro-corporate Democrat in a bright blue district who the DCCC shouldn’t waste time protecting,” Marissa Barrow, a spokesperson for PCCC, said in a statement on the fundraising numbers. “The DCCC’s blacklist policy is an unforced error that is already sidelining talented consultants who want to not only help flip red districts blue, but also want to flip blue districts to being truly blue.”

Speaking with Rewire.News on Tuesday, Newman confirmed her campaign had lost consultants due to the DCCC’s “blacklist” policy supporting sitting Democrats. “There was an overwhelming response…of very small dollar amounts that were donated to the campaign” after news broke about the effect of the DCCC’s policy, she said.

“Here’s the thing is that we’re getting beyond it. We’re going to figure this thing out,” Newman said of the DCCC’s policy. “When you have challenges like this it really forces you to think in a more resourceful creative way. And that’s what this grassroots campaign is all about. This won’t be our first challenge and it won’t be our last.”

“The irony of this is that I have no interest in getting into an argument with an organization that I have the same platform with,” Newman said. “I’m in alignment with the DCCC—they have this policy that they feel like they need to put out there. I’m moving on, I hope everybody moves on, and I hope we all work together someday.”

Progressive groups have warned that the so-called blacklist of vendors would put progressive challengers at a disadvantage heading into the 2020 primaries. The DCCC agreed late last week to meet with progressive groups about its policy, as Roll Call reported. U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), chair of the DCCC, “has so far given no public indication that the committee would relax its stance” on the matter, according to the publication.

The DCCC did not reply to a request for comment.

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