Democrats have a legitimate gripe about their new party chair — and probably his deputy, too. Despite having what should be a great environment for fundraising, neither Tom Perez nor Rep. Keith Ellison have performed nearly as well at the DNC as other party organs have in 2017. The DCCC has outraised the NRCC by tens of millions in direct contributions, while the DSCC has outpaced the NRSC by just about $10 million. Not only has the RNC outraised Perez and Ellison, they’ve beaten them in small donations alone this year by $12 million — normally a Democratic strength.
As The Hill’s Amie Parnes reports, Democrats are starting to revolt:
As the party undergoes a facelift after last year’s disastrous election, some DNC members and fundraisers say Perez hasn’t done enough to improve fundraising or build enthusiasm since taking the helm in February.
In July, the DNC raised just $3.8 million, its worst fundraising month since 2007. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee raised $10.2 million the same month. The DNC also added $154,000 to its debt, bringing its total debt load to $3.4 million.
“A lot of us feel like there’s nothing exciting, nothing invigorating coming from that building and particularly from Tom Perez,” said one top Democratic bundler, who complained that the DNC chairman didn’t even coordinate the first meeting for fundraisers until several weeks ago.
“I’ve never heard from him. Not once,” the bundler said. “If you want to show strength, you personally reach out to all the big fundraisers.”
So what gives? “Being DNC chair is a full time job,” a Democrat source told The Hill’s . “There isn’t time for side gigs.” Really? Seemed to work out all right for Debbie Wasserman Schultz during her unbroken string of success in Congressional elections — oh, wait ….
Perez and Ellison are both odd choices for these positions anyway. As Parnes and some of her sources point out, neither came up through the party organization in the same manner that Reince Priebus did at the RNC, or Ronna Romney McDaniel for that matter. Ellison got elected in a hard-Left district and has a lot of baggage that might discourage some big donors from engaging, but at least he’s run his own Congressional campaigns and has some experience at fundraising and donor engagement.
Perez, on the other hand, has only run for two offices — a successful campaign for Montgomery County (MD) council, and an aborted attempt to run for state attorney general despite not meeting the prerequisites for the job. Ever since, Perez has served in bureaucracies, not campaigns. Perez won on the strength of his service to Barack Obama, but shows little if any of Obama’s talent for outreach and electoral organization. His idea of talking to people outside the Democratic Party’s urban core is mainly to express himself in scatalogical and profane vocabulary. Unsurprisingly, that approach has not resulted in an avalanche of donations, even in an environment as ripe for success as Democrats have at the moment.
Perez’ allies insist he’s working hard, and that Democrats need to be patient. Republicans would probably concur.