Is Jared Polis Congress' Best-Ever Freshman Fudraiser?

February 9 2010, 11:29 AM

Polis, Jared2In recent weeks, Congressman Jared Polis has been pushing legislation that would seem too far left to be taken seriously by Congress. The Democratic U.S. representative from Boulder hasn't given up on including a public option in the health-care-reform legislation that has otherwise been stalled on Capitol Hill for weeks by Republicans. But Polis isn't a lone voice. Earlier this month, he sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that included the signatures of 120 representatives who support his idea (via The Colorado Independent). It's evidence that the freshman Polis can't easily be dismissed or underestimated. Not only does the millionaire businessman come from a safe congressional district; he's also been raising so much money that he's apparently making loads of political buddies. Last year, his Jared Polis Victory Fund donated $402,250 to campaigns he supports, putting the political action committee on par money-wise with that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's, according to data analysis by The Denver Post. Polis' committee gave generously to help many political campaigns, including $5,000 to Senator Michael Bennet. The money helps Polis "build a base of support within his caucus for whatever he wants to do next in the House," writes David Wasserman, an analyst with the Cook Political Report in Washington, D.C. Wasserman adds that he can't recall another first-year member of Congress raising so much money for others.