It’s never too late to enter the political cash race.
Exhibit A: Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., who’s served in Congress since 1989, and at age 76, is the 14th oldest member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
After nearly a quarter-century without a leadership political action committee, McDermott joined hundreds of his congressional colleagues and formed one on March 8, according to Federal Election Commission records.
McDermott is calling his new fundraising vehicle the Common Good Fund, and its treasurer is Phillip Lloyd of Seattle.
McDermott’s leadership PAC will operate separate and apart from his campaign committee. And through it, McDermott may raise up to $5,000 per year from individuals and other PACs and spend accumulated money for various purposes — travel, communications, donating to political brethren — that don’t directly fuel his own re-election campaign.
Not that McDermott has needed much cash to get re-elected, having not faced significant competition in years.
During the 2012 election cycle, for example, his campaign spent just north of $600,000 — well below the more than $1.6 million incumbents on average spent on their re-election campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
A McDermott spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment on why, after all these years, the congressmen is forming a leadership PAC this month.
But if nothing else, he’ll be keeping up with the kids: The House’s youngest member, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., last month formed a leadership PAC of his own.
Once typically the domain of more senior members of Congress, leadership PACs have proliferated during the past decade, with freshmen members routinely operating them.
Help support this work
Public Integrity doesn’t have paywalls and doesn’t accept advertising so that our investigative reporting can have the widest possible impact on addressing inequality in the U.S. Our work is possible thanks to support from people like you.