Major Democratic donors in New York have discreetly formed a new political alliance to raise roughly $10 million that would be injected into as many as two dozen key House battlegrounds in an effort to wrest control of Congress from Republicans.
Admission to be an official partner in what’s being called the House Victory Project comes with a $108,000 price tag. More than 80 people have each committed that sum, according to a half-dozen donors familiar with the group, whose existence has not previously been reported.
The $108,000 pledge allows each donor to effectively give the maximum $5,400 contribution to 20 different House candidates. With nearly $9 million in commitments amassed so far, each Democratic recipient could see a windfall of as much as $432,000 — an amount that, for many House candidates, equals months of fund-raising in one fell swoop.
Jane D. Hartley, a former ambassador to France under President Barack Obama, said that the donors were a “very diverse” group that included philanthropists who have previously not engaged in political giving.
“Many have not been involved in politics in the past, but they’ve said they can’t sit out this election,” she said.
Ms. Hartley, who hosted an event in recent months to pitch donors on the idea, is one of five organizers of the project, donors said. The others include Robert E. Rubin, the former treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton; Roger C. Altman, the former deputy treasury secretary in the Clinton administration; and two investment bankers who are major Democratic fund-raisers, Deven J. Parekh and Blair W. Effron.
Ms. Hartley, the only of the five to return calls for comment, declined to discuss how candidates would be chosen, but others briefed on the group’s plans said they plan to stay mostly away from contested Democratic primaries and the ideological battles that are roiling the party across the country.
Instead, the group is focusing on bolstering Democratic candidates in general election battleground races, with the goal of flipping 24 Republican seats to take the House in November.
Donors who got pitches to contribute said the group was focused on quantitative criteria that included the results in the past election, such as if President Trump or Hillary Clinton carried a district, as well as the ratings of the Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato, a race prognosticator. Candidates have not been brought in for interviews.
“The idea is to win 24 highly curated races,” said Alan Patricof, a venture capitalist and Democratic donor, who said that many of the contributors involved have worked together for decades.
Mr. Patricof said the goal was finding candidates with a “high probability of prevailing” in November.
And hey, unlike the Republican version of this, we know who the donors are, and they're putting their money where their ideals are. Pick the 24 races most likely to win, and give them the money to prevail, what a concept.
Now, I'm sure some of these candidates will turn the money down, and that's fine. But precisely zero Republicans would ever turn down a dime for attack ads, so if the issue is "Dems can't get their message out" well now here's the money to do that.
It's better than the alternative, which is "complain that Republicans are spending money to win" and then Democrats kicking rocks.
Let's fight to win, guys.