DNC has worst fundraising month in a decade
The Democratic National Committee, in dire financial straits due to lackluster fundraising this year, had its worst August raising money in a decade.
Figures reported to the FEC on Wednesday night show not only a major drop-off in cash for the Democrats, but also a substantial increase in the party's debt.
The DNC raised just $4.4 million last month, the second lowest August fundraising figure for the party in the past decade. The party had less cash on hand at the end of the month than it did at the beginning, as its spending outpaced its fundraising by $44,575.
And it gets worse. The DNC's debt substantially increased from $3.4 million to $4.1 million, a figure equal to about 60 percent of the committee's total cash on hand.
Party officials predicted in August that DNC fundraising figures would start to turn around, explaining that its fundraising staff was ten times bigger than it had been at the beginning of the year.
DNC deputy chairman Keith Ellison defended the previous month's bad fundraising figures by predicting that there would be "some really good reports to share in the weeks to come."
It is unclear what reports Ellison was referring to.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee raised $7.3 million in August. It has $45.9 million in cash on hand and no debts owed.
Political fundraising is as much about organization as it is a clash of ideas. The DNC might have ten times the number of fundraising staff it had at the beginning of the year, but if the organization is lacking direction, the number of fundraisers becomes irrelevant.
This is the clearest statement yet on the failed leadership of Tom Perez, the DNC chairman. Of course, it doesn't help that Perez doesn't have a united party to work with. Nor does the fact that the party is old, tired, and out of ideas assist in loosening the wallets of rank-and-file Democrats. That the party is still in debt almost a year after the election is also significant.
In short, Tom Perez is failing miserably to unite Democrats and present a realistic political vision that translates into successful fundraising.