A couple weeks ago, House Member Eleanor Holmes Norton made a fundraising call to a lobbyist. The lobbyist wasn’t available, so Holmes Norton left a voicemail.
By way of background, with their prospects for November quickly deteriorating, Congressional Democrats are scrambling to assemble the financial resources they hope can stave off their electoral armageddon. Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team are putting a lot of pressure on Democrat members to pony up campaign contributions to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In the article linked above, Politico noted:
In August, Pelosi and other top leaders wrote members, saying, “We need to know your commitment is to maintaining a strong Democratic majority now” and pleading with them to call “to let us know what you are able to do and when.”
The pressure is especially strong on members from “safe” districts, who need little campaign money of their own to win reelection. The catch, though, is that many of these members haven’t amassed vast campaign war-chests, for the simple reason that they haven’t needed them. So, they are scrambling to meet their Pelosi-imposed obligations. Holmes Norton is from one such “safe” district–the District of Columbia.
In the following voicemail recording, Holmes Norton seeks a campaign contribution from the lobbyist and even mentions that she hadn’t previously asked for a donation. Such is the pressure Speaker Pelosi has placed on the members. But, it is the content of Holmes Norton’s message that is interesting. (Note: the first few seconds of the recording, where the name of the lobbyist is said by Holmes Norton, have been redacted by the source.)