The New York Times commits an act of journalism. The Dems put vulnerable freshmen on the House Financial Services Committee to make it easier for them to raise money. In fact, I can’t find a link right now, but Chairman Barney Frank has complained about how many members are seated on his committee because it takes all day to get through one round of questioning. And, guess what? It works.

So far in the 2010 election cycle, members of the financial committees have far outpaced those of other committees in fund-raising parties by holding 845 events, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington nonprofit group that tracks fund-raisers…

…The money from the financial sector goes not only to high-profile leaders of the financial committees — like Mr. Frank in the House and Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who sponsored the bill in the Senate, or Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the leading Republican on the banking committee — but also to less-prominent committee members who may ultimately play a role in important votes, according to a new analysis provided to The New York Times by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan group.

The group’s analysis found that the 14 freshmen who serve on the House Financial Services Committee raised 56 percent more in campaign contributions than other freshmen. And most freshmen on the panel, the analysis found, are now in competitive re-election fights.

So, this is how a conservative Congress gets more conservative. Don’t go wasting valuable slots on the Financial Services Committee on liberals from safe districts. Give those spots to Blue Dogs who need money for their competitive reelection campaigns. Not a bad strategy, actually, if you want to keep your majority. But not a good strategy for creating policy that matches mainstream Democratic values.

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