Donations to DCCC Spike after Clinton Threat To Pelosi

The effort by Hillary Clinton’s bundlers to pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi into retracting her comments about superdelegates has caused a spurt of Obama-linked donations to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democrats with direct knowledge of the situation said.

The letter, sent last week, was interpreted as an extortion threat; the 20 signatories seemed to suggest that they would withhold donations from the DCCC if Pelosi did not change her position. --- that superdelegates ought strongly consider the expressed will of voters in their states.

“We have been strong supporters of the DCCC,” the letter stated. “We therefore urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments a more open [view] to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the National Convention in August.”

But the letter may have backfired:, the DCCC saw a surge in online contributions, which officials there attribute to a mass action to protest the Clinton donor threat, and several major Obama donors called Speaker Pelosi and DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen asking how they could be helpful. Sources also said that several major Clinton donors, outraged at the letter sent in the name of the campaign, privately offered their assurances to the DCCC that no money would be cut off.

Mark Gorenberg, a member of Obama’s national finance team, and a long-time DCCC fundraiser, met with Pelosi last Friday.

“I met with the head of DCCC fundraising and agreed to dedicate real effort to raising money for the DCCC this coming quarter because they have 30 races to protect and at the same time there are 30 more republicans retiring and Nancy is the best,” Gorenberg wrote in an e-mail. “I assume the fundraisers in San Francisco will include hillary, obama, and edwards supporters. Nancy is a great unifying force out here and everyone loves her.”

Two sources close to Pelosi said that the Speaker did not appreciate being called out by the Clinton campaign so publicly. “I I can tell you she’s been disturbed about some of the Clinton campaign’s comments and tactics the last two months, especially saying John McCain would be a better Commander in Chief,” said one Washington-based Democrat who has spoken with Pelosi about the matter.

Pelosi has not endorsed; Clinton advisers and many journalists believe she is a secret supporter of Barack Obama's, although Pelosi aides insist that she's been careful to be - and to appear to be -- neutral.