Four former executive directors of the organization that elects House Democrats work for firms that are being paid to defeat House Democrats in primary races.

By David Dayen, The American Prospect

In 2019, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which exists to elect House Democrats, instituted what came to be known as the blacklist. Any vendor—a consultant, media placement firm, pollster, or provider of services to campaigns—who worked for a challenger to an incumbent House Democrat would be barred from working for the DCCC, and the DCCC would block them from an approved vendor list used to recommend firms to other campaigns.

Representative Jamaal Bowman and Speaker Nancy Pelosi holding town hall at Mount Saint Vincent College

While the blacklist was a blanket proposal, it was rather obviously targeted to progressive groups that had provided support to successful primary challengers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) in the previous cycle. The DCCC steers millions of dollars to vendors through independent expenditures and recommendations for frontline races; the ban threatened to bankrupt campaign firms for working with progressives.

For this reason, the blacklist was controversial, though some argued that it actually helped progressive campaigns build their own network of grassroots organizers that won several key campaigns in 2020. When Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) took over the DCCC in 2021 from Cheri Bustos (D-IL), he ended the ban, though Maloney did add, “No one should be looking for work around here if they want to go after one of our members at the same time.”

Read More