Are Multi-Million Dollar Consulting Contracts Worth the Future of the Democratic
Are Multi-Million Dollar Consulting Contracts Worth the Future of the Democratic Party?
By: Nomiki Konst – Mediem/TYT
Photo By: Nomiki Konst
The DNC is going through an existential crisis, being at its weakest state since 1920. This is not the Democrats’ first existential crisis, though. In 2005 the DNC members were at war with national consultants who they claimed were sucking up the resources of the party. It was that year when Vermont Governor Howard Dean won and enacted his 50 state strategy. But it came with a fight over resources, contracts and state funding. And while the 2017 DNC elections have been billed as the Bernie vs. Hillary or the progressives vs. establishment fight, it is actually the 2005 fight over funding, on steroids.
It’s become a common statement over the past few months: The Democrats have raised more money than ever and lost more seats than ever (1,000+ seats nationwide since 2009). They had an elaborate convention, beautifully crafted marketing, what was praised as the most sophisticated data operation to date and teams of veteran campaign strategists working in what was supposed to be the easiest Presidential race in recent history. But around 9:45pm ET on Nov 8, it was clear that the house of cards was on the verge of collapse. And that by the next day, the DNC would have to not just answer how they lost the Presidency and so many other races, but: Where did all that money go?
Former Chair Candidate, NH State Chairman Ray Buckley broke the news during the Phoenix DNC forum that as an executive member he had never seen the budget — and that most leaders at the DNC, as well as all of the members, had no idea where the record amount of money raised was being spent. When the DNC Chair candidates debated over whether the party should accept lobbyist money (which was banned under Obama’s administration), Buckley stated “the question should not be about whether we need the lobbyist money, but rather where we’ve spent all this money we’ve raised.”
There’s much finger-pointing towards OFA, President Obama’s national organizing entity that, in retrospect many members feel competed with their state’s funding. After the 2010 electoral shellacking, OFA scaled back, and mostly sent out fundraising emails. But the senior staff for OFA has not gone away, as many moved on to start consulting firms which picked up contracts with both the DNC and HFA. And the cross over contracts are jarring — with almost $1billion being allocated to eight major consulting groups from 2015–2016.
Several DNC members have privately disclosed that they received calls on behalf of Tom Perez from Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, a partner of Precision Strategies and former Executive Director of the DNC when the OFA was housed within it. Dillon is also a Co-Chair of the upcoming Unity Commission, forged out of the 2016 rules committee. The goal of the Unity commission is to set the DNC’s new rules.
Members have repeatedly discussed the frustration with the conflicts of interests within the Democratic party…
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