From the DNC: Dean, Staff Calling Grassroots Donors During Glitzy GOP Dinner

From the diaries--Chris

While the Republicans are schmoozing corporate lobbyists and other special interests all over town today, Governor Dean and his staff will showing the difference between how the two parties do business by spending today calling grassroots donors.

In case you missed it, the GOP money for influence machine is in high gear:

$10 million is expected to come from lawmakers' fundraising and a Washington program aimed at K Street

(In addition to where their money comes from, it's also worth noting which big Republican donors may be under the radar tonight.)

Below is an email sent just now by DNC Finance Director Lindsay Lewis, who has worked for Governor Dean for a long time and is a driving force behind doing things differently.

Of course, Governor Dean and the staff won't make it through tens of thousands of phone calls today -- but isn't it refreshing to know that there's a political party interested in trying?

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Today Republican Leadership will spend the day schmoozing elite donors from across the country who have paid up to $25,000 for access. Even John McCain will check his campaign finance reform credentials at the door to dine with special interests and lobbyists paying $5,000 a plate for lunch.

That's not how we Democrats do business. We are building a broad base of donors large and small to hold our party accountable to the people.

While Republican leaders wine and dine the super rich, Chairman Dean will spend his day today talking with ordinary Americans. He will be calling regular folks who have given $25 -- not $25,000 -- and listening to what you have to say about our party, our country, and our future.

You stood with the chairman and our party during the Republican attacks of the past few days by making a contribution -- and you could be one of those getting a call. Please let me know what motivated you to give:

While the GOP is beholden to their corporate lobbyists, using big donations to buy access Governor Dean is doing business a different way. On every trip he focuses on you, blocking off time for low-dollar fundraisers and meetings with grassroots groups, community leaders and local activists.

In this culture of corruption, Republicans are willing to sell influence to the highest bidder -- which means they will always collect more of the huge checks. We're doing things differently; we're expanding the way our party is funded and putting the power in your hands.

It's already happening -- small donors are becoming the lifeblood of the Democratic Party. Thanks to contributions of whatever people can afford, the party has raised more money than in any other post-election year -- ever Republicans used to out-raise Democrats by as much as 4 to 1. But by reaching out to a broad base of ordinary people, we have cut that advantage in half. And we're just getting started.

You can add to the momentum:

While the GOP is focused on raising money from lobbyists and other powerful interests, they aren't focused on the issues that affect your life. Ask yourself: do you feel better off or safer today? Probably not. But the corporate lobbyists who'll attend tonight's dinner certainly do.

The truth is, Republican leaders grow more out of touch every day as they focus on the needs of corporate interests and the radical right-wing. And they don't even pretend to listen to the concerns of real people anymore. By day the President travels to staged town hall meetings with hand-picked favorable audiences, by night he headlines $25,000 a plate dinners with elite special interests.

We can do better than that. Democrats believe in clean and honest government. We believe in a balanced budget and a strong economy, where after a life spent working hard, you earn a secure retirement. We believe in a strong national defense, and honoring our commitments to our veterans. We believe that health care should be affordable, and we believe in an education system that works for everybody.

The Democratic Party is about everyone having a seat at the table. And your participation is transforming our party and our country.

Thank you so much for everything.


Lindsay Lewis

Finance Director

Democratic National Committee

Tags: (all tags)



Go Dean!
This is great to hear.  A real nice contrast to the GOP even that's happening tonight.

Much more productive use of time, IMO.

by KimPossible 2005-06-14 11:54AM | 0 recs
Just wanted to say that we Democrats come cheap, and I would be thrilled to win a phone call from the Gov..but frankly I don't have any major concerns which he hasn't already addressed...except that I kind of worried that the Burlington house might be needing a coat of paint soon, and I am sure Judy misses him.

Other than that, if you see the Chairman, tell him he is till aces with me.

by nanorich 2005-06-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
This reminds me....
Of that clip from Farenheit 9/11 when Bush is at some ritzy fundraising dinner and he tells his guests "Some people call you the 'elite'; I call you 'my base' "

But I thought the Fristians were his.... :-)

by Bruticus 2005-06-14 12:45PM | 0 recs
That Ritz dinner
was a co-appearance with Al Gore at the Al Smith dinner, which was a roast for both candidates.

Unfortunately for Bush, his remarks were kidding on the square:  his only only real constituency is are wealthy republican donors who think when they are handing him and his party members money they aren't buying just "face time" they giving a politican a bribe.

Lucky for the Democrats, we actually know how to handle money and spend it in very cost effective ways....

even when are big fundraisers are in hotels, they are in union hotels....and when we get small donations, a fifty buck donation is equal to a what the republicans spend to get a 150 bucks.

You won't understand, it is a Democrat thing.

by nanorich 2005-06-14 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: That Ritz dinner
"You won't understand, it is a Democrat thing. "

Excuse me? Because I'm not lock and step with the Party on Abortion then I'm not a real Democrat?

I'm sorry that I didn't get the email that left you in charge of core Democratic values.

And I bet you are one of the first ones to holler about how inclusive the Democratic Party is.

Damn hypocrite.

by Bruticus 2005-06-15 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: This reminds me....
This time, with Mary Carey at a $5,000 a plate dinner, he might say something like, "some people call you the elite, I call you the elitist of the elite, baybee.  If I give you the $5,000 back, what can you give me?"
by donna in evanston 2005-06-14 02:00PM | 0 recs
Dean's contribution to this party is
beyond quantification. It is enormous. It's like what Michael Jordan did for the Bulls.

(Assuming we have the time to develop over time without losing our democracy ...)

There is nothing Dean could do that would be more important than to transform one American party into a grass-roots fed organization. Nothing.

Money buys influence.

If the Dems come to get the bulk of their money from common folk it will utterly transform politics in this nation. The common folk will influence the people they elect. And that will be a very, very good thing.

It will transform the elctorate and doom the Thugs to minority status.

And it will affect what is done in capitals around the country.

Plus, Dean gets it about what sort of rhetoric works with the people.

Now why on earth can't we let him run for Pres. in 08?

by Thresholder 2005-06-14 01:11PM | 0 recs
I'm glad I gave $25 a bit back
Hope I win the get-a-surprise-call-from-Howard-Dean lottery...

Anna's right... I come cheap.  A call from Dean would probably get my money out of me faster than Oral Roberts used to squeeze it out of my grandma.


Really though, it's this kind of midset that makes Dean essential to the current transformation of the party.  It's overdue, and I'm LOVIN' IT!!! (to borrow a line from a gay friend)

by teknofyl 2005-06-14 01:51PM | 0 recs
The Democratic elite better wake up
and smell the coffee. If they continue to alienate Howard Dean's supporters 2006 is going to be a very dismal election for the Democratic Party.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-14 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The Democratic elite better wake up
If the Democratic Party stabs Dean in the back, I can guarantee they won;t get my vote for 10 years.  I hold grudges for a very long time, and Dean is the only reason that I even give a rat's ass what the Democratic party is doing.

I will NOT vote for Joe Lieberman...

by teknofyl 2005-06-14 06:49PM | 0 recs
Dean is the Man
Dean understands that for Democrats to be true to our roots we must stand up for the little guy.  But we can not standup for the little guy if we raise our money from the fat cats.  Dean has started the process of taking our party back from the corporate elite. If Dean was our candidate in 2004, we would have won.
by SRconbio 2005-06-14 05:00PM | 0 recs
Tribute to annatopia's tribute to Dean in 2004
I just posted this in the open thread, then I realized it really belonged here.  Big donor dinner tonight for Bush...Howard Dean doing just what he said on that June day in 2003.  

Howard Dean doing what he said he would do..empowering the people

SNIP...."And so, while the President raises $4 million more tonight to maintain his agenda, we will not be silent.
He calls his biggest fundraisers Rangers and Pioneers.
But today, we stand together with thousands in Burlington, Vermont and tens of thousands more, standing with us right now in every state in this nation. And we call ourselves, simply, Americans.
And we stand today in common purpose to take our country back."

Howard Dean June 2003

by concerned democrat 2005-06-14 07:35PM | 0 recs
Think its DFA..... Put it in your favorites...
good way for us to ALL work collectively and have the greatest impact...SQUEAKY WHEELS - Gov't and politicians hate them......Support Gov. Dean at

woot!  They have the bat!!!  Reaching for 125K - need a nudge.... Check it out!

New website dedicated to supporting Gov. Dean. Dean gear, too.

Place to make all your contributions to DNC so THEY KNOW IT IS BECAUSE OF HOWARD.....

by oakland 2005-06-14 08:17PM | 0 recs


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