John Larson is blowing it

John Larson

In a story in The Hill, a pretty good paper covering Congress, there’s some harsh criticism of our very own congressman, party boy John Larson.

According to the July 27th story, which is about fundraising by Democratic leaders, “some Democratic sources faulted the fundraising of Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) during his first six months as caucus vice chairman, criticizing him for not using his newfound clout to step up fundraising. Many House Democrats expect their leaders to be exemplars of robust fundraising.”

“Larson’s leadership political action committee, Synergy PAC, did step up its contributions shortly after the Jan. 31 election, making 20 contributions in March totaling $42,500. But in April, activity tapered off. In the entire second quarter, Synergy made only $7,000 in donations,” the story said.

But don’t worry. Even if fellow Democrats weren’t getting any money from Larson, a poverty-stricken Indian tribe in Connecticut got some: “On May 31, Synergy paid the Mohegan Indian tribe in Uncasville, Conn., $17,175 for ‘“PAC fundraiser, catering and entertainment.'”

Larson is also one of the few Democras to contribute to the legal defense fund of Rep. William Jefferson of Lousiana, who is accused of taking bribes. I can’t think of more deserving recipient of Larson’s largesse.

The story goes on: 

“Larson’s campaign committee fared even worse than his leadership PAC. Aside from DCCC dues, the committee made only two contributions in the first half of the year, $2,000 each to Reps. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), according to campaign-finance disclosures.

“On dues, however, Larson has kept ahead of his colleagues. He has donated $325,000 of the $400,000 he owes, putting him well ahead of the 50 percent threshold.

“The DCCC also indicates that he has been active raising money. He raised $316,000 so far this cycle for the committee.

“Larson was the weakest fundraiser among the candidates for vice chairman, but he prevailed on other strengths. Many members cited his popularity as a key factor. He also received a pivotal behind-the-scenes endorsement from Pelosi, multiple Democratic sources said.”

Well, thank goodness he’s keeping Pelosi happy.

But if he can’t do better by his party, he’ll be as much of a Rising Star on Capitol Hill as Hartford is among New England cities.

I find the whole thing distasteful, but if the man wants to play the game, he damn well ought to play it better than he is. 


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