The RNC under Reince Priebus frequently finds itself walking on eggshells in an attempt to make sure that everyone who wants a shot at the presidential nomination gets their fair chance. This can be tricky when you have to schedule a lot of debates and dodge your way past the various fundraising activities, PACs, Super PACs and campaign aides dashing around the country. But there are rules in place, and the committee needs to remain as agnostic as possible while the primary process plays out. But as Politico reports this week, the DNC doesn’t seem to need to worry about such trivial things. In fact, their finance chief seems to be all in on the Ready For Hillary train. (Politico Pro subscription required.)
In an apparent violation of party rules requiring Democratic National Committee officers to remain neutral in presidential primaries, the DNC’s finance chairman has been raising money for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Henry Muñoz III, a former fundraiser for President Barack Obama who became DNC finance chairman in 2013, is helping organize a Wednesday fundraising event for Clinton in San Antonio, according to longtime Democratic operative Gilberto Ocañas and Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Manuel Medina.
“I know he’s made a few calls to raise money,” said Medina of Muñoz.“He’s certainly taking it upon himself to make tomorrow’s fundraiser a success.” Muñoz was also present at a Clinton campaign kickoff breakfast in San Antonio last month at which local supporters met the campaign’s national political director, Amanda Renteria, and other staff, according to Ocañas.
DNC rules, designed to ensure all candidates get a fair shake in presidential primaries, state, “The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and even-handedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.”
So far, the response from the DNC has been pretty much radio silence. Asked for a comment, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz had nothing to say. Nor did Munoz himself. But there was one person who seemed ready to jump in with an opinion, and that was one of Clinton’s opponents, Senator Bernie Sanders.
“All parties should follow their own rules,” said Sanders adviser Tad Devine. “It’s very important in the primary process that the DNC not take sides before the voters have made their decision.”
I seem to recall a lot of Democrats being quite emphatic about the fact that their party is not hosting a coronation for Hillary Clinton and that there would be a vigorous debate in the primary. That’s particularly important for what has now come to be known as the Liz Warren wing of the party. (I would jump on the bandwagon of calling it the Liberal Tea Party, but let’s face it… that’s pretty insulting to the Tea Party.) It also seemed to be accepted conventional wisdom that Hillary needed some strong opponents and that a fair and rigorous primary battle would be to her benefit anyway. She needs to “shake the rust off” and “get into fighting shape” for the general election battle to come.
So how is one of the leaders of the DNC so deeply in Clinton’s purse? This isn’t just the appearance of impropriety. This is a blatant violation of their own rules and a clear sign that the party power structure is 100% on board with Hillary, scandals be damned and full speed ahead. If the RNC leadership were found to be out there hustling money for Jeb Bush or Scott Walker you’d be hearing the sounds of explosions from across the country.
One also wonders why Munoz would take the chance over this sort of exposure to begin with. It’s not as if Clinton is hurting for bundlers at this point. In fact, she has more than two dozen big ticket fundraisers lined up this month alone.
Hillary Clinton has an aggressive fundraising schedule featuring at least 26 donor events across the country over the next month — including stops in states she hasn’t yet visited as a candidate — according to a campaign list obtained by POLITICO.
The lineup of hosts includes a range of financiers and celebrities, from “Great Gatsby” actor Tobey Maguire to executive Lynn Forester de Rothschild. The events take her across the map — to states including Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and Minnesota — reflecting a busy early summer schedule for the Democratic front-runner, whose campaign and supportive super PAC are expected to raise well over $1 billion over the next 17 months.
Then again, if they turn out as “well” as her recent women only event, maybe the Munoz money will come in handy after all.