The DNC is reaching for the panic button on fundraising

By the end of last month, federal election regulators had already come to the conclusion which many media observers had been anticipating all year. For 2015, Reince Priebus and the RNC had been kicking some serious tail on the fundraising front and the the DNC under Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was barely able to pay their bills. (PBS)

The Democratic National Committee barely has more cash than it does IOUs, and it is being outraised month after month by its Republican competitor.

Its $24 million debt from the 2012 presidential election, only recently paid down, has squeezed investments in the next White House race. Underdeveloped party resources such as voter data files could become a serious disadvantage for the eventual nominee, particularly if that person is not front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who would enter a general election contest with her own outreach network…

The Republican National Committee, coming out of years in the red, posted $63 million in receipts through June, leaving it with $16.7 million cash on hand and $1.8 million in debts and loans. Party fundraising dominance has flipped: At this point before the 2012 election, the DNC was outpacing the RNC.

At the time, Wasserman-Schultz told reporters that she “wasn’t worried” and that everything was going to be just fine. This week, however, the script has begun to change. There’s a shakeup going on at DNC headquarters and new blood is being brought in to try to bump up their anemic bank account. (New York Times)

The Democratic National Committee is moving to drastically beef up its fund-raising arm, adding a finance co-chairman to the current one, who has at times prompted controversy, and announcing six others to leadership positions to help raise money for the 2016 presidential race.

Stephen H. Bittel, a real estate developer in Florida who recently hosted Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at a dinner to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, will become the new co-chairman of the national finance committee.

The position at the head of the finance committee had been held by Henry Munoz, but it seems that he’s been spending more time raising money directly for Hillary Clinton than working to help the party as a whole. This isn’t a new complaint and it’s not coming from the GOP. One of the most liberal sites you’ll find on the web has been railing about Munoz and accusing the upper echelon of the DNC of “rigging the primary” in a variety of ways, including channeling money directly to Clinton rather than having an open, competitive process.

Is this a sign that DWS has finally seen the light and wants to have a more fair and open process? That’s almost laughable. Far more likely is that they’re seeing their presumed nominee faltering every week in the polls and are beginning to grapple with the idea that they may wind up with a different candidate. And if that’s the case, having dumped all of their cash into Hillary’s basket they will find the cupboards bare when they need to fund Bernie or Uncle Joe in the general election.

Just another popcorn story for what’s turning out to be a wild primary election ride. God bless America.

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