Thanks to shayera for a ton of help compiling all of this
Back in 2006, Chris Bowers launched the Use It or Lose It campaign, calling on all House Democrats who were running unopposed to contribute 10% of their cash on hand to the DCCC. Finance laws allow unlimited transfers from candidates to the committee, and that money was otherwise just going to sit around collecting dust. We had far more pickup opportunities than most people had planned for, and that extra cash could have really helped out.
Shortly after, I piled on, noting that there were an additional 64 House Democrats who were facing token opposition (Republican opponent had raised $10,000 or less for the cycle). That was millions more that wasn't needed in 2006 but could have gone to pushing tight races into the win column; candidates like Larry Kissell who came up 329 votes short or Christine Jennings who lost by 373 (notwithstanding undervote questions).
But even more than the potential to win a few extra races was the potential for changing the way the party operates. Many incumbents are tremendously generous with their money, fundraising connections, time and clout as they support challengers throughout the country. But some (I'm looking squarely at Marty Meehan) have been perfectly content to sit on millions of dollars and do nothing to support the broader goals of strengthening the party and pushing a Democratic agenda forward. Further developing a sense of community- where safe Democrats support competitive races knowing that if conditions change in the future, the support will flow in the opposite direction- makes the entire party stronger.
This year we've seen the DCCC expand the map like never before, and the cash advantage enjoyed over the NRCC is tremendous. But to capitalize on national conditions that have provided all the opportunities we have across the country, we need to bring to bear all the resources available.
To that end is the beginning of Use It or Lose It 2008. At this link is a list of all House Democrats who face either no Republican opponent or a Republican opponent who has grossed $10,000 or less for the cycle. It covers 126 Democrats with $83,468,647 cash on hand. Just ten percent of that would drop more than $8.3 million into tight House races across the country.
This list doesn't presume to declare that only these Democrats are safe- conditions are different in every district. It also does not take into account how active or inactive these Democrats have already been in supporting competitive races and/or the DCCC- many of them have long been fantastic in this regard. But if you see your representative on this list, give them a call and see what they're planning to do. And like 2006, see if they could part with an extra 10% of their cash. It's an investment in the party, in good government, and in netroots love.
The full list with details and phone numbers lives here (it's really long), but here's where it ends:
Use It or Lose It.