Vail Valley’s congressman gains clout |

Vail Valley’s congressman gains clout

Burt Hubbard
The Denver Post

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –During his first year in Congress, Rep. Jared Polis, the Vail Valley’s congressman, showed he could raise money like a House veteran, writing checks for fellow freshmen representatives at a rate that rivals the fundraising clout of even Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Polis’ political committee last year doled out more than $400,000 to Democratic members of Congress in swing districts and national political campaign groups.

Now he is branching out.

Polis said he will accelerate efforts in his second year on Capitol Hill by forming another joint fundraising committee to help Democrats willing to challenge incumbent Republicans.

Analysts said Polis – a millionaire in a safe district with access to lots of money – is in a good position


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to raise funds for others and build influence in Washington.

“In a situation like this, when you have an incumbent who is well-entrenched not facing notable opposition, this is a great time to make friends, and what better way to do that than by spreading the wealth,” said David Levinthal, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington campaign-finance watchdog group.

Polis said he is motivated by helping candidates he supports get access to campaign funds and a desire to further his congressional career.

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