On Donnie Fowler and Michigan Corruption
by CentrismIsForLosers, Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 06:28:17 AM EST
As Howard Dean's campaign for chairman of the Democratic National Committee got a boost Monday, one of Dean's strongest opponents faced allegations that his leadership of the Michigan Kerry for President campaign was in disarray days before the election.
People who said they were familiar with the situation told the Free Press that national party activist Donnie Fowler and Michigan campaign officials notified national party leaders they needed an extra $2.5 million on the last weekend before the Nov. 2 vote.
They said they would have to curtail the state campaign if the money wasn't forthcoming, used lax accounting practices and were so disorganized that several campaign vans turned up missing, said the Democrats, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Fowler and Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer vigorously disputed those charges Monday, which they said were part of an effort by party rivals to undermine Fowler's DNC candidacy.
Fowler suffered a sharp setback in his campaign for the chairmanship Monday when the Association of State Democratic Chairs, a group headed by Brewer, voted overwhelmingly to endorse former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for the post.
Dean already had about 50 endorsements of DNC members, including five chairs. He needs a majority of the 447 members to win the post. The election is scheduled Feb. 12.
On Sunday, the executive committee of the state chairs had come out for Fowler and appeared to give him some momentum in the race to become an alternative to presumed front-runner Dean. Brewer has been trying for several months to increase the influence of the state chairs by developing a consensus endorsement.
On Monday, Brewer also defended Fowler's performance with the Michigan Democratic coordinated campaign. Although there was a dispute over how much money the DNC would spend on the Michigan campaign, Brewer said he and Fowler had not requested $2.5 million, or any other large sum, just before the election.
"We raised some additional money. They gave us some more money. We worked it out and we won by 3 and a half percentage points" in the state, Brewer said.
The Michigan campaign got an additional $1 million for the final weekend.
Fowler could not be reached Monday. Over the weekend, he released a vaguely worded response to unspecified allegations about the Michigan campaign.
In it, he said the interaction of state and federal campaigns was complex and did not fall directly under his authority as the Michigan state director for the Kerry campaign. He claimed to have acted as a go-between in a disagreement about whether the DNC had fulfilled its Michigan commitment.
Brewer also acknowledged that there were questions about vans the state party had leased as part of its get-out-the-vote effort. He said the party reported two vans stolen to Detroit police, and added, "They're still looking for them."
Brewer said the endorsement of 96 state party chairs and vice chairs who voted Monday is a big boost for Dean. Brewer said he, as head of the state chairs, did not vote, nor did he support any candidate.
This guy's a joke and should be ejected from the party. Image the audacity of this guy, running for party chair after stealing from the Kerry campaign. Fuck that.
Dean is the only one who can reform the DNC. Thank God it looks like Dean is going to win. Color me one happy Deaniac.
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