Small Donors Take Over Democratic Party

Two corporate parties no more (emphasis mine):As a fund-raiser--the first duty of a party chairman and Dean's claim to fame in '04--he isn't quite the disaster some critics suggest. Early in the last "cycle," in 2001, the Republican National Committee outraised the DNC by a 3-1 margin. So far this year, that ratio has been cut to 2-1. More important is the way it was raised. In the past the party relied on "soft money" from millionaires. But such donations are now illegal. Officials esti-mate that $12 million of the $14 million the Dean regime has collected so far this year has come from those who gave less than $250."For people who really look hard at the numbers, he's wowing people," says Elaine Kamarck, a respected DNC member. I'd love to see the avergae donation to the RNC, by way of comparison. I have little doubt that such revelations would reveal that there is a party of small donors, and a party of wealthy donors. Also, as I discussed earlier today, there is blogopshere of community, and a blogopshere of aristocracy. In both cases we are the populist party. When the people are with you, the future looks very birght indeed.

Tags: Democrats (all tags)

Comments

20 Comments

Elaine Kamarck Is Old-School DLC
For what it's worth. Maybe she actually remembers when Dean was their darling.  Fancy that. Knows how to count and possibly a memory as well.
by Paul Rosenberg 2005-06-12 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Elaine Kamarck Is Old-School DLC
Elain Kamarck has been working to elect Democrats for decades.  Hope that you do one tenth as much as she has done.  
by nascardem 2005-06-12 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Elaine Kamarck Is Old-School DLC
She also advised Dean on domestic social policy in late 2003.
by desmoulins 2005-06-13 04:11PM | 0 recs
Republicans out-fundraising Democrats 2:1
The republicans are raising 100% more
cash for the 06 elections than the dems,
at this point.

The past is just a good-bye..

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-06-12 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Republicans out-fundraising Democrats 2:1
Does this include state and local party fundraising?  Because that's where my money's been going.  If there's anything this past election taught me, it's that we need more boots on the ground at the local level.  I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet that the "2-1" advantage doesn't include funds that Dean has raised for state and local party efforts.
by kenfair 2005-06-13 09:36AM | 0 recs
Good on the increase of small-ticket fundraising.
But that's no reason to discourage large donations, either.   Money is the fuel of political war and I see no reason why we should fight with one hand tied behind our backs.   Small donations, large donations, medium donations...take 'em all, solicit 'em all.  
by InigoMontoya 2005-06-12 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Good on the increase of small-ticket fundraisi

I will table dance if you bring one in.
I will +not+ table dance, if you bring two.
by turnerbroadcasting 2005-06-12 06:45PM | 0 recs
totally agree
The democratic party needs to run with this. The spin needs to be that the dem. party is raising the cleaner money and wants a change from the inside politicians who give everything to the big corporations. Channeling: Nader and Anderson and Perot, who received 19% of the 1992 vote. And,then came Newt Gringrich and the "the repub revolution". We could finally get rid of these guys with an independent in-fusion.  
by ruralvoter 2005-06-12 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: totally disagree
The average voter--unlike us political junkies--could not care less about political fundraising.   "Cleaner money" as an issue ranks approximately 137th on the list of concerns, after jaywalking but before "dumb astrology columns in the newspaper."  Call me cynical.

In some order, the leading issues will be security, the economy, taxes & the deficit, education, health care.  Against that, "cleaner money" has the impact of stale ear wax.

by InigoMontoya 2005-06-12 11:28PM | 0 recs
GOP = Fundamentalists
Don't call the Republicans the party of Christians, that's what they want!!!

The Democrats are the party of Christians (and Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc.)!!!

The GOP is the party of FUNDAMENTALISTS!!!

Add it to your vocabulary.

by Ryan 2005-06-12 10:23PM | 0 recs
Chris, you're spinning like a top
Corporate Democrats gave Dr. Dean the head janitor's job in the DNC to keep him off of the ticket in 2008 as either a Democrat, Independent or Green. As near as I can tell, it's been a success. Simply because his fingerprints aren't on the dial doesn't prove that Democrats are weaning themselves from the corporate tit.  

I may be wrong but Dr. Dean doesn't seem very comfortable in the position and he's defintely not getting a lot of support from his fellow Democrats despite being the only official in his party capable of raising his voice above the Repug noise machine. I see winds shifting.

There is only one progressive party in America which unequivically supports national healthcare, equal rights, alternative energy, responsible gun ownership, the environment, ending the supposed war on drugs and doesn't accept either PAC money or corporate contributions.  

Both you and the good doctor are more than welcome to give us a call bubba. 'Til then, just remember that the lie is worse than the deed. See y'all soon!  

 

by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-06-12 11:57PM | 0 recs
False
If Dean wanted to run for president in 2008, he would not have run for the DNC chairman.  Plus, the anti-Dean forces were out in force when he ran for chairman, too.

As for the Green party, they will always be the party of Nader's 2.74% in 2000 to me.  America has a binary party system, and always will (unless a party in the middle emerges, or a party takes a combination of extreme left and extreme right positions, like the Libertarians).  Parties on either the far left or the far right merely hurt the Democrats and Republicans, respectively.  A vote for any minor party canidate in most elections is a vote to not to vote.

by Geotpf 2005-06-13 07:38AM | 0 recs
Smith take a look at this
Here

"No Democrat on Earth has Howard Dean's political brilliance. No one else has his instincts. He's not crazy, he's not angry, he's not mad. He's giving people the truth, and those who hear it are responding."

The greens have integrity but no power.

by aiko 2005-06-13 10:31AM | 0 recs
It is possible
to determine the small vs large donor balance of the two parties--easiest if you put the cutoff at $200, because then the FEC does the dollar balance for you.

The Republicans became a small-donor party when Barry Goldwater ran for president, and their small donor count went through the ceiling.

However, I believe it would be eduational to dredge up the facts on the matter.

by phillies 2005-06-13 05:13AM | 0 recs
Right on the head...
Small donors are changing the face of the Democratic party, and American poitics in general... thanks for the X-cellent blog.
by teknofyl 2005-06-13 12:43PM | 0 recs
Do our #s add up?
This is from a mildly conservative blog called Independent Sources. They preformed a mock job review of Dean.

1) Fundraising
Performance: Poor

Mr. Dean's primary job objective is to raise money for the Committee. His 2004 campaign's fundraising success was a principal reason he was hired. But after finally matching the other party in 2004, we have fallen far behind since he took over. In Q1 we raised only $14m vs their $32m. We had only 20,000 new donors and they had 68,200. We're left with only $7m in the bank versus their $26m. The press attributes this to Mr. Dean's lack of engagement with the fundraising effort and reticence from the business community, given Mr. Dean's anti-business stance in the last election. If we don't have money, we don't win, and if we don't win, we don't get money. This is a major problem.

Where are they getting their #s because they don't seem to jive with the one's I'm seeing here? The # of new donors looks particularly fishy. Anyone know?

by pacifico555 2005-06-13 11:29PM | 0 recs
It's a different spin,
but basically the same info. It says: "In Q1 we raised only $14m vs their $32m." That's about 2-to-1 for the Reeps.

It also focuses on the idea that the Dems matched the Reeps in 2004 fundraising. Well, that was a Presidential election year. This is 2005, three years before the next Presidential election year. Judging it against 2001 is more meaningful than comparing it with last year.

by catastrophile 2005-06-14 02:52PM | 0 recs
In 2001 at about this time...
...the ratio was 3-1 favoring the Republicans.  So Dean has done an excellent job if you look at it realistically-improving the ratio by 50%.
by Geotpf 2005-06-14 09:08PM | 0 recs
Interesting post
How about some background?

Republicans have historically beat the pants of the Democrats when it comes to small donors - almost exclusively a function of the Right's reliance and embrace of direct mail fundraising - and this goes back 40 years.

I wouldn't put the current numbers at the feet of Dean, either. Say what you will about Terry McAuliffe - he saved the DNC, big time - and he did it through: 1) big gifts to get out of debt and build infrastructure and 2) investing a pile of cash in the first real DNC donor acquisition program (in the mail)

In fact, in the first 6 months of 2004, the DNC mailed more letters than they had in the previous TEN YEARS combined.

by mkrempasky 2005-08-17 07:32AM | 0 recs
Great
Good story!
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by kevinliao 2005-09-17 07:28PM | 0 recs

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