On Donnie Fowler and Michigan Corruption

If the party chooses anyone but Dean I'm leaving.  This shit stinks.

link to the Detroit Free Press

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.

Tags: (all tags)



Some people will leave if Dean is not elected, and many others will leave if Dean is chosen.  I don't fall into either camp, but this post is incredibly misleading.  Fowler even speaks about this on his website www.changetheparty.com.  He was the mediator, trying to solve a problem between the coordinated campaign and the DNC, he was the Kerry-Edwards State Director and thus did not have authority over those funds.

Dean would make a good DNC Chair, but there are others in this race who would also reform the DNC, Fowler being one on them.  We should spend more of our time fighting Republicans than spewing venom at people in our own party just because we don't know the real record.

BTW, Brewer is the head of the ASDC which if you haven't forgotten endorsed Dean.

by Yellow Dog 2005-02-01 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Propaganda
Talk about misleading...

With no comment on the main diary; it is worth noting that Brewer himself personally endorsed Fowler in the executive meeting of the ASDC.  

by Tim Tagaris 2005-02-01 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Propaganda
That's actually not true.  Brewer abstains as Chair unless there is a tie, and there wasn't a tie.
by Yellow Dog 2005-02-01 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Propaganda
Brewer didn't vote in the executive committe?  Then I stand corrected, and apologize.  

Hoping that I am not channeling the spirit Nerda Pickler too much--I think its safe to say that Fowler has Brewer's full suppoter.  Which was, of course, not my original point.

Unless there has been some other public endorsement that I haven't been able to dig up.


by Tim Tagaris 2005-02-01 07:54AM | 0 recs
You are a liar
And a loser.

How dare you want to eject someone from the party who has dedicated years working endless hours to win elections.

And clean up your language.  Only a small mind needs to express itself in that manner.

by fightforamerica 2005-02-01 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: You are a liar
Liar?  For quoting the Detroit Free Press?

And this from someone who signed up as the DNC Chair race was beginning, and has posted nothing but pro-Donnie pieces.

by CentrismIsForLosers 2005-02-01 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: You are a liar
I came to the blog because I am interested in the future of the party.  I have no say or control over the outcome, like most people here.

I like Donnie because he wants to reconnect the party to the states and end the six-month-every-four-year DNC.  I know him casually from politics, but my problem is with the crapy job the DNC has done for four years opposing W.

The treatment that Donnie has received here is pathetic and I have every right to say that.  Clearly some of that has come from rival campaigns.  And if you pay attention long enough you can connect some dots that people try to hide from the casual observer, like blogswarm's connection to one of the campaigns.  It is also very well known in political circles that that same campaign has been waging negative attacks on Fowler using paid staff from a pre-existing political institution once closely tied to the DLC to spread this story.

As for your posting you claim that he stole money from Kerry.  The article is about soft money, not Kerry money.  It is illegal for Kerry staff to raise or spend soft money.  Someone needs to come on and challenge the people who have no interest in speaking the truth.

by fightforamerica 2005-02-01 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: You are a liar
No doubt there are political opponents here.  But the brunt of this is coming from people in Michigan who didn't like how Fowler screwed up.

You called me a liar, even though Donnie has repeatedly misrepresented himself, one of his fundraisers was just indicted, and there is clear and obvious corruption in MI where Donnie worked.

Fuck off.

by CentrismIsForLosers 2005-02-01 07:31AM | 0 recs
Not to get involved
in this little spat you two are having, but I would note that 1. We won MI and 2. I checked out Fowler's website, and it seems that that guy never raised any $ for Fowler or was on staff.

I also think it's interesting that everyone going after that guy (the aforementioned fundraiser) is a R.  Imagine the Rs going after someone close to the Clinton's out of political spite.  That's never happened before. . .

Let's stop buying in to the crud the Rs are spewing.

by Yellow Dog 2005-02-01 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: You are a liar
K, just in case Bob's lurking, and for Matt's benefit as well...please note CentrismIsForLosers above 5000 userid # and feel free to trash a Deaniac just as nasty as you did Yellow Dog and fightforamerica.

snarky aside, i'll post substance in a separate thread.

by fng 2005-02-01 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: You are a liar
You claimed someone stole money.  Where is that in the DFP article?
by fightforamerica 2005-02-01 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: You are a liar
Look, lay off.  I'm working for Simon, but I don't like all the mud and the pollution of these threads by trolls.
by Matt Stoller 2005-02-01 10:21AM | 0 recs
get a grip, FFA
look, i understand that you like donnie and are defending him, but you need to stop with the name-calling, PERIOD.

i'm giving you a 1 as a warning shot.  if you can't discuss this issue without resorting to sophomoric language, then maybe you need to go outside, take a walk, and come back later.

by annatopia 2005-02-01 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: get a grip, FFA
i was responding to the charge, the name calling and the cursing.  i meant no offense.
by fightforamerica 2005-02-01 09:10AM | 0 recs
sorry if i misunderstood you
i have no problem uprating to a two.  but it sure came off like you were calling the diarist a liar, etc etc.

no hard feelings.

by annatopia 2005-02-01 09:23AM | 0 recs
Any One Have a Source For This?
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.

I've seen this claim around here before, and I'm not saying that it's false, but does anyone have any independent validation of the claim?

by Alex Urevick 2005-02-01 06:59AM | 0 recs
...some michiganders can chime in.  i know that several of them frequent this site, and they've made claims like this.

it would seem that there's a bit of confirmation of that in the article, but of course the sources quoted are anonymous (in other words, grain of salt).

by annatopia 2005-02-01 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Any One Have a Source For This?
I do know that a number of paid staffers were not paid at the end of the campaign (like two out of three in my local office). And word on the street is that it was because we were badly over budget (between 1 and 1.4 million) because it was poorly managed.

And I've heard 18 vans were missing, not just 2.

by emptywheel 2005-02-01 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Any One Have a Source For This?
Staff not being paid was a national problem for the DNC. There were tales on the JK staff alum group of advance folks not being paid since August. So a) don't lay a national problem on Donnie's lap and b) remember that neither vans nor money were EVER in Donnie's hands.

He was the JK for Pres State Director, who had one employee reporting directly to him, a JK for Pres Comm Dir. Yes, everyone in each state was working together and Donnie was the State Dir. However, everyone else in the state was on the payroll of the Michigan Coordinated Campaign or (towards the end when staff was shipped in from other states) directly paid by the DNC in DC.

by fng 2005-02-01 08:38AM | 0 recs
Kos has weighed in
Michigan, the Kerry Campaign, Fowler, and the big mess

Problem for Fowler is, this is unfortunately NOT a dirty trick to undermine his candidacy. I knew the sketchy details of this just days after the election, but never had enough details to post on it. The allegations are pretty serious -- an entire fleet of vans turned up missing (not just "several"), over a million dollars unaccounted for, extortion of the Kerry campaign, and so on. I still don't know enough to determine culpability (the DNC has been investigating this for several months, so I'll wait on their conclusions), but it's simply not true to claim this has all been trumped up to damage Fowler's candidacy.

I was surprised when Fowler announced his run, given that the Michigan problem was bound to arise at some point. It has. And Fowler has to face the repercussions. Claiming it's all a witch hunt to damage his candidacy (which is on the rocks anyway) is simply disingenuous.

Incidentally, the article says $2.5 million. The numbers I've been hearing are closer to $1.25 million. Still a princely sum, to be sure.

by KimPossible 2005-02-01 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Kos has weighed in
This is really serious stuff. I can't believe that Fowler had the brass tacks to put himself in the spotlight with this controversy looming.
by Alex Urevick 2005-02-01 08:38AM | 0 recs
BTW alex....
...i wanted to explain a rating i gave you earlier.  the one where you and another poster got into it and hijacked half a thread?  well, i zeroed it out to make that hijacked part go away.  i'm giving you a three here to make up for it.  hope you understand.
by annatopia 2005-02-01 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: BTW alex....
I'm shocked. Shocked and appauled. I'm going to have to think up a really good Texas joke for that one.
by Alex Urevick 2005-02-01 09:18AM | 0 recs
...we've certainly provided you with a wealth of material.  have at it.  i'll probably laugh right along with you.
by annatopia 2005-02-01 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: well...
you can take some of my well-worn WV jokes if you'd like. i've heard them all.
by fng 2005-02-01 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Kos has weighed in
I know campaign finance law is confusing for everyone (maybe we should just simplify it, even if it means more money, so that we know what's going on) but I checked Fowler's website and it was the COORDINATED CAMPAIGN not the Kerry campaign that had the $$ and van issues (Kerry had neither managed in state but nationally instead, only the coordinated campaign which Fowler did not run managed them in state).

I personally believe we should take Fowler at his word until someone on the record who would know for certain says otherwise.  He only got involved because he had national contacts from Gore and local contacts from Kerry that made him ideal to help the problem.

I'm not convinced he's better than Dean or even Rosenberg (though I think he's good), but let's stop the witch hunt.

http://www.changetheparty.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=3&id= 70&Itemid=40

by Yellow Dog 2005-02-01 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Kos has weighed in
If you look in the comments above, I was asking for idependent verification of the claim, and I personally am not trying to indict the guy before the facts are in.

However, if you knew a controversy involving you was coming up, regardless of your guilt or innocense, would you really try and run for a major party position? I would defenitely think twice...

by Alex Urevick 2005-02-01 10:15AM | 0 recs
Nyet on the Purging
Mr. Fowler does appear to have something to answer for in Michigan, as does Mr. Brewer. And they should answer it, and if culpable, face the consequences.

Those may range from disciplinary actions within the party to prosecution for theft and extortion.

Calling for a purge at this point is a ridiculous waste of good anger. Use it where it gains you the most. And if you're in Michigan, find out when the state party convention is, and attend.

The kleptocrats may very well cut across party lines when all is said and done, and I want them held accountable. But this in itself is not sufficient to point at one or two persons and say "Off with his head."

by boadicea 2005-02-01 11:10AM | 0 recs


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