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View Diary: Dean and the DNC (167 comments)

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  •  Big Donor fundraising (none)
    While big donors may be whiny, it's still important to reach out to them.  They can bring a large amount of money fairly easily to the DNC, and it would be good if Dean would be able to put up with them a little better.  His fundraising has been very solid, and the grassroots has been fantastic, but it would be nice to see the big donor funds (which I have a feeling Schumer has been able to tap for the DSCC) raised a little better, even if it means putting up with snobs.
    •  Disagree (4.00)
      I disagree cause big donors expect something in return other than good governance.  They expect pull within the party and when they don't get special attention they whine like this bastard.

      I'd much rather replace a few big donors with a lot of smaller donors.  Its healthier for the party.

      •  Not necessarily 'either' 'or' (4.00)
        I want big money contributors as well as my $10 a month going to the party. Maybe needs a person who is responsible for the big donor courtship and then Dean just shows up to the functions and makes the requisite number of 'thank you' phone calls while someone else sends the fruit basket thank yous.

        I don't know but I do know that there has to be a fusion of 'outside the Beltway' freshness which he is infusing into the process and 'inside the Beltway' elbows and knee strikes and if he has to get somebody on board for that, go get 'em.

        Blah, blah, blah. Pretend that was something profound and that I said it.

        by niteskolar on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 10:09:15 AM PST

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      •  The thing is.... (none)
        The DNC Chair has "ass-kisser" in the job description. Maybe they're whiney, maybe it's absurd, but if he's not getting a maxed out donation from a donor that should be donating, then it's a missed opportunity.

        And I think that 3 to 1 down to 2 to 1 figure has to be taken in consideration with the difference in circumstances between 2003 and 2005.

        I think the article is out to pick on Dean. I also think he could be doing a better job at traditional fundraising. It doesn't have to be all or nothing defense.

        "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

        by VirginiaBelle on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 10:09:27 AM PST

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        •  Agreed (none)
          But let's make sure we know where that competency lies on the resume. Is it at the top or is it number three or four behind fifty state infrastructure, solidifying party platform, etc.?

          Blah, blah, blah. Pretend that was something profound and that I said it.

          by niteskolar on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 10:13:33 AM PST

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        •  Ass kisser? No (4.00)
          I can understand Dean's discomfort with asking for money after just one meeting with a donor.  I don't think I could do it either: "Glad to meet you, just make your check out to the Democratic National Committee..."

          Here's what I can see Howard doing: As his 50-state strategy becomes more established, he then has something tangible to show these big dollar donors and can talk to them in terms of how their donation would be invested and demonstrate what the returns would look like.

          I think the article is out to pick on Dean.

          Absolutely; the timing is incredibly suspect--the day before Dean appears on 'Meet the Press'--and Chris Cillizza hasn't distinguished himself at WaPo.com as a balanced reporter.

          I also think he could be doing a better job at traditional fundraising.

          Dean has turned a lot of things on their heads--traditional fundraising as we know it is probably on the list...

          Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

          by mini mum on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 11:13:30 AM PST

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      •  That's Cynical...and Often Untrue (none)
        Political giving is like gambling...you are betting on your guy winning. A lot of big-ticket donors are backing people who already have an ideological kinship with them.

        It is too simplistic to say that these people are trying to "buy a Congress" or expecting "special favors."

        They are using their financial wherewithal to try to elect people who share their views on the world. News flash--that is the exact same thing we (small donors do). If you don't believe me, go read the 8 or 9 million posts on this site that have excoriated various Democrats from straying from the flock, and demanding their heads on the proverbial platter.

        •  No (4.00)
          I think when someone writes a check for $5,000 or $10,000 or finds a way to contribute $100,000 that it's a business decision.  They get attention and access for that money if not quid pro quo.

          Look at the history of ambassadorships.  Those are handed out like candy to donors.  Under Bush it's extended to jobs like FEMA director, but the basic principle has been in place for ages.

        •  you don't have it quite right (none)
          While in some cases, one can rather easily trace the linkage between money and favors (check into the contribution record of former Senator Fritz "Hollywood" Hollings and laws written/bills supported on behalf of the record/film industries - none of which had offices in his state), in general, large donors expect access, when they want to contact a politician, they expect at least high-level staff access... they don't expect to send letters expressing concerns to politicians and get form letters back.

          In other words, a large donor expects privileged access in return for money.

          The other point is that donors don't necessarily contribute to people who agree with their viewpoints, many contribute to both parties.

          If you want elected public officials enacting a corporate agenda instead of yours or ours, encourage them to raise corporate money, i.e. go the traditional Democratic Leadership Council route.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Tue Nov 15, 2005 at 03:31:00 AM PST

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    •  Agreed (4.00)
      I completely agree.  I am glad that Dean has been focusing on grassroots fundraising.  We need to see him in our towns and get the troops excited and giving.  Democrats have not traditionally been the party of a broad base of small donors in addition to the major donors.  When I saw Dean in the spring, there was a HUGE turnout for the $25 a head event and his message was clear:  we need to buy our country back - you and me, the regular citizens.  He is promoting small amounts of constant giving and the democracy bond project is a stroke of genius in that regard.  

      He is taking the party in a new direction that has large start-up costs but will be lucrative in the longer term.  I think we will be well poised in a few years if the momentum keeps up, but we have to endure the leaner times at the national level to allow money to flow into the state parties.  

      I really like Dean's strategy, but many question it.  Nobody likes change, especially politicians.

      I think that major donors will like the idea in the long run, but once again, it is a paradigm shift.  

      Patience is the order of the day.  Dean hasn't even been chairman for a year.  Frankly, I'm pretty impressed with his progress so far, especially considering the view of the national party after the election, which was fairly negative here and elsewhere.

      Closed minds should come with closed mouths.

      by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 10:33:29 AM PST

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    •  They are hedging bets (4.00)
      These people have an insider-outsider view of politcs (as an ex-insider I know how heady being there can be).  They need to be stroked.  A little of that ought to go a long way, though.  

      The problem is that most people in that economic strata think it's 'all about them', not about the country.  The country is just a prop for their egocentricity.  The Republicans figured that out a long time ago, and have mastered the art of stroking.

      Why can't we have real democracy for a change?  The answer is simple: no expenditure limits on campaigns.  As long as we are in the mutual assured destruction mode of politics, the cost of the arms race will ensure that the big donors get fed before the small ones.  Probably the best long-run change that could be made to our political system would be strict limits on campaign spending, the kind they have in other ostensibly democratic nations like Canada.  It works.

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