From day one, members of Congress must spend time raising enough money to prepare for their next election, be it two years away or six. And the fundraising doesn't stop--even if you're in a safe seat or facing no opposition. The Washington Times reported yesterday on those members with "safe seats," or no opposition and the fundraisers they continue to have. Without opposition, these candidates are able to build up their campaign war chests to fend off future challengers or donate their money to other candidates to build power with in their caucus.
Public Campaign alum and current Sunlight Foundation consultant Nancy Watzman had this to say about the situation, "It shows the party goes on, even when these folks don't have to raise a lot of campaign cash," said Nancy Watzman of the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which tracks congressional fundraising parties. "The bigger your campaign PAC, the more powerful and formidable you seem."
Some of these candidates, free from the pressure of fighting off other candidates, are raising money at levels similar to candidates in tight races. The dash for campaign cash never ends in Congress, and as Public Campaign has been reporting, those donors aren't making $20 or $30 donations. They are maxing out at higher percentages than ever before.