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Roll Call. (Subscription only)

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are privately bristling over Howard Dean's management of the Democratic National Committee and have made those sentiments clear after new fundraising numbers showed he has spent nearly all the committee's cash and has little left to support their efforts to gain seats this cycle.

Several well-informed Democratic sources said Congressional leaders were furious last week when they learned the DNC has just $5.5 million in the bank, compared to the Republican National Committee's $34 million.

Sources also indicated that Senate and House Minority Leaders Harry Reid (Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), along with the Senate and House campaign committee chairmen Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), have made their concerns -- directly or indirectly -- known to Dean.

"People are bringing him to Jesus," said a Democratic source familiar with DNC operations. "It's being expressed to him. He knows it."

But this source added that "Dean is very powerful within the base of the party and from the beginning hasn't [cared] about what Pelosi and Reid think. He doesn't need them, he's his own power center."

How many times do we need to call bullshit on this? I've done it here and here. Yet the cowards in this piece refuse to put their names to their criticisms. Nice way to show conviction. In fact, the two people cited by name (including our new friend Elmendorf) actually praise Dean.

Tagaris summarizes the points I've seemingly made over and over again:

1.) The DNC raised more than $51 million in 2005 - a record for a non-election year and a 20% increase over the total raised in 2003.

2.) More than 30,000 Americans have invested in the future of the Democratic Party through the Democracy Bonds program. At an average contribution of $20 a month that's roughly $7 million a year in recurring small-dollar contributions.

3.) To date, the DNC has hired talented, experienced, diverse political professionals in 43 states. Thirty of those states have sent their staffers to Washington, DC for several days of training from top Democratic operatives about how to effectively organize Democrats in their communities.

4.) Governor Dean and the DNC invested more than $7 million to elect new Democratic governors Jon Corzine in New Jersey and Tim Kaine in Virginia. Democrats also reaped important ballot box victories at the local level in places like Mobile, Alabama, St. Paul, Minnesota and King County, Washington.

5.) Governor Dean has traveled to 34 states and territories during his first year as chairman to talk about Democratic values and raise money for the local parties. Those states, red, blue, and purple, include:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

The cowardly shots in the beltway press come from disaffected insider consultants who see their lucrative gigs in danger. Dean is out raising money directly for the state parties and finally investing in the sort of infrastructure that Republicans spent decades building.

If it was up to these DC insiders, Dean would hoarde tens of millions to dump into television later this year, just as the DNC has done in the past. And just like in the past, the DNC would parsel out its advertising contracts to all the various consultancies to spread the money around, they would all take their nice fact commissions, and they'd laugh all the way to the bank as the local parties further atrophied and the Dems lost yet another election.

The RNC also has a well-oiled, well-funded GOTV machine they've spent the last three election cycles building and fine-tuning, all the while Democrats continued to pump all their resources into television. It doesn't take a genius to see which approach has worked better.

Republicans built their local parties, Dems let theirs atrophy. Finally, someone at the helm realizes that we are a national party and need to rebuild from the ground up. Finally, someone at the helm is providing resources and attention to those locals to build a counterbalance to the GOP's national machine.

And such rebuilding costs money. But in the long run, this is how you build a national party.

As for the cowardly insiders -- they don't have the force of conviction to stand publicly by their criticisms. Instead they hide behind Roll Call. But the reasons are obvious -- a real debate on the issue would expose their craven self-interest in the matter.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:17 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for calling them out (4.00)
    Dean needs all our support.
    He's doing exactly what the party needs to win.

    Sam Alito doesn't just think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided: he thinks the Revolutionary War was wrongly decided.

    by Malacandra on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:20:17 AM PST

    •  Question . . . (none)
      Saw the Roll Call guy on CSPAN Washington Journal this morning and was dumbfounded to see this story flogged again.  But does anyone know what the "$5.5 million in the bank" number refers to and/or how they get that figure?
      •  FILIBUSTER, HOW TO: (none)
        CALL NOW!
      •  If you spend your money (4.00)
        fixing up your house, you don't have it in the bank.

        But you DO have a house that keeps you warm, a roof that doesn't leak, and you've improved your investment.

        Dean has spent the money fixing the roof, replacing the windows, painting, upgrading the insulation, etc.

        So we don't have 50 mil in the bank? So what? We've got a better, more efficient party machine, at all levels, and that's what we needed.

        Not lots of TV ads that nobody really watches.

        •  Dean YES (none)
          Can any one remember mayor Daily political machine in Chicago he could get any thing he wanted once he called his area bosses out. That is where the republicans got their idea about local politics it works twice proven
          The Democrats problem is too many want to be Chief and we don't have that many indians way to fix is Dr Dean way rcruit more Indians

          The Christian Right says screw God we have Bush and the Republicans to worship and take care of us

          by roxnev on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 01:10:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's a shame... (none)
    That you have to keep repeating yourself everytime numbers come out.  But like it has been said in the comments to the polling post, the more the MSM repeats a story, the more it must be true.  They'll do everything to push the point that Dean's bad for the party.

    Which is just proof that he's doing a good job.

    "No government has the right to tell its citizens whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody." - Rita Mae Brown

    by AUBoy2007 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:21:01 AM PST

  •  Kos -- Very intersting But New thread on Alito Pls (4.00)

    I know there are a lot of interesting important stories to write and issues to discuss, but today can we please stay focused by keeping Alito at the top of the page.  

    We should set the right example for our Senators by keeping focused, and working till the last minute for what we believe in.  Please -- We need a new Alito thread now.

    Impeach Indict Incarcerate

    by 4Isis on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:21:19 AM PST

  •  Thanks, Kos, for hammering on this. (none)
    I beefed about the same issue in this diary last week. Democratic "insiders" and "consultants" need to put a name to comments like these so they can be held accountable. Otherwise they are just part of the Republican noise machine.
  •  Have to say (none)
    Your laser beam is swift and cutting. I hope this post gets wide readership, beyond this page.

    Can't wait for your book to arrive.


    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:22:41 AM PST

  •  Shocker: sun rises in east! Again! OMG! (4.00)
    Who didn't expect to hear the Beltway screaming and bitching when Dean started to change the paradign of the Democratic party?

    Adapt and change or die, Democrats. Clue upload: the old way wasn't working. Dean's way gets individuals invested in the process. You need people. You need money. You're getting both. Kindly STFU and let him do his job.

  •  The NYT's article on Alito (none)
    pertains to this, in this salient point:

    ""It was a striking example of the grass roots having strong opinions that ran counter to the party leaders about what was attainable," said Stephen G. Calabresi, a law professor at Northwestern University and another founding member of the Federalist Society."

    We need to prove to Landreaux, Obama, etal, that we have strong opinions on our side too.  I don't know what we need to do to prove it to them, other than putting principles guys like Mike Miles (he lost the CO Senate primary to Salazar), ahead of "electable" types who don't share our values.

    Here's the link:

  •  Yep (none)
    Rebuilding local parties and GOTV efforts are the key to winning, not sending gobs of money into TV ads.

    "The collapse of confidence in the Republican leadership is not enough to elect Democratic leadership." -Dean

    by MarionCountyDemocrat on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:23:08 AM PST

  •  Unnamed Democrat Volunteers Wild Praise for Dean (4.00)
    "An unnamed Democrat who uses the name Bink on popular website Daily Kos volunteered wild praise for Howard Dean ..."

    "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

    by bink on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:23:38 AM PST

  •  The real reason these critics remain anonymous... (4.00)
    Dean is very powerful within the base of the party...He doesn't need them, he's his own power center.
  •  I'd like to see... (4.00)
    Some of these f***king insiders get their fat asses out and start going door-to-door trying to scare up precinct captains and ward leaders.  I could sure use the help here in Ohio.

    Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

    by scurrvydog on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:23:54 AM PST

    •  amen (none)
      you can't buy what we need with a tv advertisements.  activists are cultivated not purchased and they are what's needed to make this party successful.

      voters aren't the half of it.

    •  Consult this . . . (none)
      Consultants and other 'insiders' are the Dem Party of old.  Kick the deadwood aside and let the grassroots challenge the Repugs.  I wouldn't even 'consult' some of the airheads over what to have for breakfast!

      The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by brit librarian on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:36:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If these anonymous sources (none)
        were true old school they would embrace what the Gov is doing.

        The dem party of FDR always knew you needed a strong base. That's why they used to win in places like Montana, Utah, got time?

        •  I'll vouch for that (none)
          I live in Tennessee and Dean has been here at least four times this year.

          This after we BEGGED the Kerry campaign to help us, due to a minor, unimportant factoid like the state has voted for the winner in every Presidential election since 1960...

          The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice - Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by Eleanor A on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:49:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Dean (4.00)
    Reid and Pelosi should dismiss these criticisms in a clear and public way.  Instead, the old power structure works to undermine Dean, and in turn the grassroots.  The world doesn't revolve around Washington Democrats. Dean knows this and I bet the State chairs don't have similar complaints.

    Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Stevo on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:23:57 AM PST

  •  Will Dean Confirm This? (none)
    Will Dean challenge this, If so when?
  •  Steven Elmendorf (4.00)
    I wonder who the unnamed Democratic insider was.  Steven Elmendorf?

    "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

    by bink on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:24:13 AM PST

  •  Permanent Dem Bond Ad (none)
    Maybe we need to help fundraise for DNC--by reminding people periodically ie Ad re to buy Democracy Bonds or quarterly bats.

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!!

    by timber on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:24:23 AM PST

    •  Link to Democracy Bonds (none)
      Buy your Democracy Bonds here.

      Invest in your party infrastructure in a way that makes a difference. 30,000 participants is not nearly enough. Every one of us should be investing in this program in some way, big or small.  

      "They may agree that failure isn't an option, but this does not mean they will necessarily avoid it." - David Manning re: BushCo in DSM

      by DavidW in SF on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:40:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Form for people who don't make online payments (none)
        I have a copy of a form for people who don't want to pay online.

        You can email me at If you'd like me to send it to you.  

        Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

        by katiebird on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:17:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Look at MLB....the money doesn't always (none)
    equal winning the World Series, ask the Yankees.
    •  So is Lieberman Brown, Contreras, or Weaver? (none)
      Just trying to keep my analogy straight. Hmm guess Kerry is Kenny Lofton, Obama can be Cano... man give me an hour or two and I can fill out the entire roster since 96.

      To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals. - Mark Twain

      by Windowdog on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:05:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sources.... (4.00)
    anybody here ever pound the pavement on election day for Sources?
    phone bank?
    paste a bumper sticker?
    send emails to friends and family?
    Anybody know Sources' position on right to choose? CAFTA? softwood lumber? body armor for GI's?

    Sources has been outsourced... that's Sources issue.

    Oh, and if "bring him to Jesus" is Sources idea of how Democrats should bring faith into political discourse, we'd better wish Sources plenty of mazel. He's gonna need it.

    "Anything that's good for your heart is good for your penis." Dr. John Mulhall,New York Presbyterian Hospital

    by sayitaintso on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:27:16 AM PST

  •  Cowardly, kind of like that hit-piece on Brazile? (none)
    Which you posted on the front page quoting anonymous sources?

    So it's ok to criticize Donna Brazille in a cowardly way but not Howard Dean.

    Fairness is a liberal value

    by diplomatic on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:27:26 AM PST

  •  in some circles (none)
    In some circles, including some that I circulate in, the fact that we've been getting outworked at the street level has been an open topic for years.  Glad to see it's finally getting through to some of the upper levels.  

    All that said, one of the problems that really did befall Dean's campaign for President was that while he raised a bucketload of money, he'd spent nearly all of it in Iowa and New Hampshire.  

    So, at the end of this, I applaud what he's up to, and still, I think it's important to be careful with what comes in.  (As in careful targeting, not in terms of being miserly.)

    If you vote Republican, you vote for corruption.

    by MN camera on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:27:28 AM PST

  •  Wes Clark now speaking on C-Span 3 (none)

    "Real State of U.S. Foreign Policy 2006" Conference

  •  DNC (none)
    DNC stands for Democratic National Committee, not the Democratic Beltway Committee.


    "It's not my business to do intelligent work." - Donald Rumsfeld

    by skibumfordean on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:27:54 AM PST

    •  Guess the GOP has been right all along. (none)
      Those high falutin DemOCRATS in Washington DC really are the problem.

      I owe Newt an apology I guess.

      To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals. - Mark Twain

      by Windowdog on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:07:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So if I understand you correctly... (none)
    He has spent 46 million building up the base at the state level.  About time if you ask me.

    Fringe is the new black. - Me

    by chillindame on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:28:53 AM PST

  •  Sigh, As I said on the Other Thread (4.00)
    This is a problematic number that goes beyond the insider spats. Dean has spent 89% of what he has raised. This is a pretty apalling burn rate, and while I understand what it has been spent on, that percentage is too high. In contrast, the RNC has a 67% burn rate.

    Yes, the RNC has a distinct historical advantage, but that's why you look at the rates, not the numbers.

    Do I support a 50 state strategy? Yes. Do I support spending every dollar we have, regardless of what it does to our short-term chances in the best cycle we've had in over a decade? No. I think Dean has the party's long term interests at heart. But I think there's needs to be some adaptation of a strategy outlines in late 2004 when 2006 seemed like a throw-away cycle.

    And nothing can excuse an 89% burn rate for me.

    "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 09:29:30 AM PST

    •  Sheeze. (4.00)
      Yes, indeed. Rebuilding the party is absolutely inexcusable.

      Let's go back to the old way.

      It worked so well.

      Oh. Uh. Nevermind.

      •  I'm not saying that (none)
        I'm saying that you can't spend almost 90% of the committees money on it. If you can't take advantage of a cycle like this, then all the infrastructure you spent all that money building will deteriorate before you get another chance to take seats like in this cycle. That doesn't mean abandon the idea, but it does mean alter your budgets.

        Think of it like this: you can't spend all of your income on a new car in the summer if that means you can't heat your house in the winter. Yes, you might need a new car, but you're either going to have to find a cheaper car, or somehow find a way to spend less on the car in order to survive the winter.

        "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 09:37:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fundraising doesn't stop on Dec. 31, 2005 (none)
          And to the extent that building up the state and local party infrastructure makes the party more visible locally, that will reinforce donations going forward.

          How does keeping money in the bank accomplish that?

          •  Well, to be blunt (none)
            The reason the Kerry campaign didn't respond to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was because there was insufficient "money in the bank" to respond to attack ads. So, when a candidate gets swiftboated by the RNC, the DNC has to be able to respond quickly. Furthermore, if you don't build name recognition now, it pays off substantively more than in October. The longer people recognize a name, the more they trust the person associated with that name.

            And, it's a matter of budgeting. You should spend money on the states, but only to the extent that you can afford. By my calculations, based on the end of year fundraising number, we could afford $34 million, or a 2/3rds burn rate. We spent $45.5. That's my issue. Plain and simple.

            "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 09:49:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, BS! (none)
              The Kerry campaign didn't respond to the swiftboat liars because they were inept and thought it would fade on its own, so they didn't start trying to respond until it was way too late - and late responses are always much more expensive.

              If there was a budget problem in that situation, it was an entirely self-inflicted one.

              •  They were clueless. (none)
                Look, I wrote about this way back during the campaign, when I still had a shred of hope they'd get a clue, but they didn't.

                I drove a minivan full of the Kerry campaign's higher-ups for three days during one of Kerry's swings through central Florida, about 5 weeks before the election.  They sat there, reading the New York Times, the Washington Post, and a couple other papers, talking on their cellphones to their strategists around the country, talking about corporate media's latest round of lies.  

                And to each one of them, they still were thinking in terms of 3-5 day "news cycles."  

                "We need to get on this in the next couple days," one of them said to another.

                I kept my mouth shut, but damn, I wanted to scream at them: "NO, you moron!  You need to be on this in the next couple hours!  You need to have every Senator on TV news tonight, you need to have a coordinated response to parcel out to the blogs, to MoveOn, to DFA, and everyone else working their ass off for you guys -- and it needs to be done NOW!"

                Kerry lost because the people at the top of his campaign still were bringing a knife to an AK-47 firefight.  

            •  You act like states don't do anything (4.00)
              and can't respond to anything.

              They can and they do. And they can do it often more effectively than the DNC precisely because they ARE local. They know what's going to get the best bang for the buck, who to talk to, and how to get to them.

              IMHO that was the biggest part of the problem with the Democratic party. They thought everything had to come from and through DC. It doesn't, and often it shouldn't.

              But you can't respond locally if you don't HAVE a local party capable of doing it. We didn't. Now we do.

              •  Exactly! (none)
                That's what I was trying to express in saying that improving the visibility and vibrancy of the state and local party will improve fundraising going forward.

                You said it better, though.

              •  Beside the point (none)
                Money alloted to A is not going to be spent on B. Even if A is more efficient.

                "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 11:50:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Furthermore (none)
                the Kerry campaign bled all the non-target states dry getting Democrats living there to send money to Washington.  It was a double whammy - they wouldn't help us, and actively hurt us.

                It'd be swell if some of that money actually got returned to the states.  Y'all don't really think everything that gets bought at the national HQ is paid for by Dems from Washington, D.C., do you?

                The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice - Martin Luther King, Jr.

                by Eleanor A on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:53:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  and the $16m kerry had leftover (none)
              at the end of his campaign?

              he didn't have money to retaliate to the swift boat ads?  please.
              what a crock.

              •  Were from different funding sources (none)
                The timing of the Swift Boat ads was in the period where the general election fund had begun for the Kerry campaign but not for the Bush campaign, so Bush had an extra month of unrestricted fundraising on the Kerry campaign. Given that, the Kerry campaign made the decision to go black in August so that the two campaigns could form some sort of parity in September.

                And much of the money left over at the end was excess primary funds that could not be used once they had gone into the general, e.g. during August. The DNC, on the other hand, was in the red.

                "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 10:18:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But that was my point ... (none)
                  They waited until the swiftboat attack was in full swing during the general election before even trying to respond.

                  Anyone who was even halfway awake knew what was coming long before that.  I don't think I saw a single claim from the swiftboat liars that was new to me after February - certainly not after March.  Now that was all in the wingnut blogosphere, of course, but that didn't make it any less real.  The Kerry campaign could have preemptively counterattacked well before the convention and thus spent from that plentiful pool of money.

                  But no doubt that would have been an "appalling burn rate".

                •  i admire your patience (none)
                  in attempting to explain your position, and the facts, to people who believe Dean can do no wrong.  Its almost as bad as the fundies on the other side, who act as tho Shrub is the second coming.
            •  No (none)
              That was for the Kerry campaign to do.  He ended up with a surplus, didn't he?. Why didn't he direct his campaign to spend a few bucks to dispel that swiftboating?  He had the bucks but still didn't do it. That's where the blame lies for that.  

              Dean has the right idea. The states run the GOTV operations and need support now.  The republicans did all this in years past so we're playing catch-up.  The national incumbents can raise their own money.  They have access to rich lobbyists don't they?

              "We ought never to do wrong when people are looking." Twain

              by dougymi on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:11:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  All Politics is Local (none)
            That being said, What is the purpose of the DNC except to manage a bank account? Those running for office must go begging hat-in-hand for the DNC largesse. Based upon the DNC evaluation of whether it is a winnable election (given past history, like they would even know). Why not allow the local parties to control the donations to the local candidates and finance according to their reading of public support. With the way the DNC is working on the Alito crap they aren't worth shit.

            Please prove me wrong.

        •  I think if he was burning (none)
          up the cash on the usual Washington crowd, I'd agree with you. Dean is building state power and that takes an investment. He's betting that not only will  dems start winning election but also that the party will become a money machine.

          Election night is the true test. So far so good.  

    •  So having a Dem governor in VA (4.00)
      Is not worth the investment? It seems that the victory in Virginia started a change in perception about Bush and exposed his vulnerability for the lie it's always been. And if it prevents the possibility of a President George Allen getting sworn in to succeed Smirk in January '09, even better.

      If Dean was spending all this money and not getting results, that's one thing. But he is getting results. Frankly, Howard Dean is about the only reason I haven't given up on the Democratic Party altogether.

      "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

      by AustinCynic on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:42:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it worth giving up on a Dem House (none)
        or a Dem Senate in 2006 is a better question....

        It's not that he spent money, it's that he spent too much money compared to the amount raised. If he had only raised $16.5, then 5.5 would be about right. But he raised $51, so he ought have $16.8 or so on hand.

        And if he'd only raised $16.5, there'd be a whole slew of other problems.

        "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 09:58:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How is this giving up? (none)
          Tell me how this money is better spent in traditional channels? Taking advantage of the cycle means going full bore and believing you can fund raise as you go based on the corruption scandals that will be breaking all year long.

          The old way hasn't worked without a guy from Arkansas at the top of the ticket. I'm for giving a new game plan the room to run in a promising year.

          We've already lost all levers of power. The Dem elite so fucked up the Alito and Abramhoff meme that they have lost traction. Why should we trust these jokers to do a better job than Dean when all they've delivered is failure in the past.

          Populist revolts entail some inefficiencies. The way to avoid that is to do your frigging job in the first place.

          To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals. - Mark Twain

          by Windowdog on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:24:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (none)
          ...without the infrastructure at the local level, we won't take back anything, not in 2006 or 2008 or ever. So no, I don't have a problem with Dean spending money, a lot of money, on those things, because I fell progressives will reap rewards far beyond the next few elections.

          That's been precisely our problem for the last decade, if not longer--that the "leaders" of the Democratic Party can't see beyond the next midterm and/or the next presidential election. I feel like Dean is trying to put a structure in place that will last. And that ain't cheap.

          "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

          by AustinCynic on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:30:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it isn't. (none)
            And I'm not saying Dean shouldn't do that, but should he really do that to the detriment of the current cycle? There's a middle ground here. IF the DNC only has $5.5, then they simply can't fulfill their basic obligations to the campaign committees. This isn't about old way v. new. Dean would never say that Media buys aren't important. You can't run a campaign without media. You just can't. And the money going to the state parties is not for media buys, it's for bench development. So the state parties aren't going to compensate in that area, nor should they be expected to. The campaign committees aren't set up to fill that roll for the entire cycle. It is the DNC's job. And just because the DNC is expanding its role and trying new methods does not mean it is excused from filling its basic job responsibility. I don't understand why this is so hard to understand. You need to have cash on hand to win.

            "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 11:39:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Money in the Bank Is Just That (none)
              ... and nothing more.

              There's little point to having cash sitting in a bank account now. Who's advocating for spending now that cannot be had because there's only $5 million in the bank? What you've cited is spending in the future.

              Burn rate - taken alone - tells no story at all.

     ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

              by wystler on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:35:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Charter of the Democratic Party of the US (none)
          Article One states that:
          "The Democratic Party of the United States of America shall:

          Section 1. Nominate and assist in the election of Democratic candidates for the office of President and Vice President.


          Section 3. Assist state and local Democratic party organizations in the election of their candidates and the education of their voters.

          The DSCC and DCCC exist to help elect Senate and House Democrats. The DNC is for us.

    •  I willing to cut him some slack (none)
      re: burn rate. He seems to be building a party on the state levels that hasn't been done in who-knows how many years.


      Dr. Dean DOES have a history on this.  His '04 campaign went through money damn fast, too.  It concerned me, as a contributor to his presidential campaign, how fast they burned through money.

      That being said, is there any way Dean or the Party will open their books and show contributors where the money is going each year?  Kind of like a corporate report?

      As for those anoynomous sources, however, screw 'em.

      The world is made for those who are not cursed with self-awareness. -- Annie Savoy, from "Bull Durham" Yeah, and George W. Bush is living proof.

      by wmtriallawyer on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:21:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems better get it together (none)
        Kids, kids--You're both right:

        Maybe Howard Dean is a reckless spendthrift with no idea how to manage money; And maybe the Beltway consultants are unimaginative hoarders of money with little clue how to start a ground-up organization.

        Seriously, it was punk of those consultants to bitch to the newspapers, even if they (might have) had a good point.

        It's an election year, the Dems have got to keep their game face on.

        •  Heh (none)
          You see, I somewhat agree with this, except that to a certain extent I don't think the "Insiders" are as opposed to state funding as you think: remember, all these folk have districts, too, and would love for their state party to pick up some of their tab.

          But, I think to some extent, the "insiders" are well aware that criticism like this of Dean reliably encourages his base to donate. Call me a cynic, but I see this as a move with limited downsides. They simultaneously address their concerns with Dean and don't really hurt him among the faithful, and cause a small bump in DNC funding, which helps everyone involved.

          "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 10:50:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Dean 2004 burn rate (none)
        His campaign did spend an awful lot of money in Iowa, but so did everyone else.  They knew that Iowa was the ballgame because of the shortened primary structure.  If he'd won in Iowa, kept his "frontrunner" status, then the fundraising would have picked up again, he'd have steamed through New Hampshire, and nobody would have ever mentioned the Iowa burn rate again.  

        Sometimes you gotta play to win.  If you don't win, then you look pretty bad, but if you do win, nobody notices your old mistakes.

    •  Not fair to compare RNC and DNC burn rates (none)
      Would we expect an entrepreneur to start a new company and make a profit in the first year?  Of course not.  Similarly, we should not expect Dean to build an infrastructure in less than a year and expect immediate, microware results.  I would argue that Dean is ahead of the curve.  New Jersey and Virginia speak for themselves.  I want to have an infrastructure that is secure.  No more band aids.  The RNC has an infrastructure in place so there is no need for them to burn through money at the same rate we are.  Let's do it right

      Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

      by Cat4everrr on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:12:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  DNC burn rate was over 101% in 2005 (none)
      The DNC started 2005 with $6 million in the bank and ended with $5.5 million, i.e. $51 million raised and $51.5 million spent. Dean spent more than he raised in 2005.

      Dean is shooting for the moon, and who knows, maybe he will hit it this time. It sure is popular around here. I supported him in the primaries and for DNC chairman, but I thought he had learned the value of planning and targeting resources from the Iowa primary.

  •  I just called Landreiu. (none)
    I let her know that she needs to support the filibuster. And she's not even my senator.

    Apparently, Ladreiu's office is getting anti-filibuster calls over pro-filibuster calls 75-25, that's why I called.

    I called Nelson (FL) too, and let him know as well.

    Keep it coming folks!

    "The collapse of confidence in the Republican leadership is not enough to elect Democratic leadership." -Dean

    by MarionCountyDemocrat on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:29:31 AM PST

  •  Right On Kos! (none)
    It's not like Dean didn't say exactly what his plan was prior to being elected DNC Chair.  I personally believe his 50 state strategy is going to have a big payoff this cycle.  Screw the nibble around the edges stategy that's been tried in the past, and failed to produce any real gains in the last two cycles.  Your GOTV observation is right on the money.
  •  Not the only thing the Rs have been building (none)
    Not only have the Republicans been building their GOTV and local party infrastructure better than us, but they've also been tilling the soil so that their poisonous plants in the Supreme Court can thrive.

    Check out this article in today's NY Times In Alito, G.O.P. Reaps Harvest Planted in '82. An excerpt:

    The team recruited conservative lawyers to study the records of 18 potential nominees -- including Judges John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. -- and trained more than three dozen lawyers across the country to respond to news reports on the president's eventual pick.

    "We boxed them in," one lawyer present during the strategy meetings said with pride in an interview over the weekend. This lawyer and others present who described the meeting were granted anonymity because the meetings were confidential and because the team had told its allies not to exult publicly until the confirmation vote was cast.

    Now, on the eve of what is expected to be the Senate confirmation of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court, coming four months after Chief Justice Roberts was installed, those planners stand on the brink of a watershed for the conservative movement.

    In 1982, the year after Mr. Alito first joined the Reagan administration, that movement was little more than the handful of legal scholars who gathered at Yale for the first meeting of the Federalist Society, a newly formed conservative legal group.

    Judge Alito's ascent to join Chief Justice Roberts on the court "would have been beyond our best expectations," said Spencer Abraham, one of the society's founders, a former secretary of energy under President Bush and now the chairman of the Committee for Justice, one of many conservative organizations set up to support judicial nominees.

    He added, "I don't think we would have put a lot of money on it in a friendly wager."

    Judge Alito's confirmation is also the culmination of a disciplined campaign begun by the Reagan administration to seed the lower federal judiciary with like-minded jurists who could reorient the federal courts toward a view of the Constitution much closer to its 18th-century authors' intent, including a much less expansive view of its application to individual rights and federal power. It was a philosophy promulgated by Edwin Meese III, attorney general in the Reagan administration, that became the gospel of the Federalist Society and the nascent conservative legal movement.

    Check out the whole thing.

    Point is, Dean has been doing exactly the right thing in building the party organizational infrastructure at the local levels.  This will pay off more and more as the local infrastructure strengthens.

    And, BTW, Buy Democracy Bonds!

    "They may agree that failure isn't an option, but this does not mean they will necessarily avoid it." - David Manning re: BushCo in DSM

    by DavidW in SF on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:31:44 AM PST

  •  Go UTAH! (4.00)
    Dean has established three staffers in Utah. They are working full time to build the Democratic party, raise money, develop candidates and give us a chance to make a difference in Utah. A state that most people don't even give a second thought to, including Bush and Kerry. During the primary, one or two Kerry staffers stopped in for a few days but we never had Kerry here. If we were still doing business as usual, Utah would vote 31% for the Democratic candidate, we would all shrug at the losers dinner party, and complain for another four years.

    Doing the same thing every time with the same undesireable result every time is madness.

    As far as I can tell, Dean is doing the grassroots work that needs to be done to make a difference. He gets my support.

    Keep up the good work!

  •  The blunt and candid title for this piece (4.00)

    is probably "Emmanuel and Hoyer stirring up the shit again".

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:32:35 AM PST

  •  Think About It (none)
    Obviously the folks behind the latest report make their livings off national campaigns. Most of them don't give a damn if Democrats win or lose, so long as their consulting firms and advertizing agencies make money.  

    Dean is spending the money on something other than national inside the beltway consultants. He is investing in state and local party building. God bless him. Such investments might not be good for the inside the beltway hangers on, but they will pay major dividends in upcoming elections.

    The only thing that concerns me is that a lot of state organizations are dominated by their own sets of entrenched consultants. Dean needs to make sure the money leaves the various state capitals and makes its way to local organizations.  

  •  And If You Think This Isn't Connected To Alito (4.00)
    ... think again.

    On EVERY point, on EVERY strategy, on EVERY assumption about the electorate, the current DC power structure has been proven over and over again to be WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. It's thinking like this that keeps the Landrieus and Salazars from sounding like actual Democrats.

    They need to go, they need to go yesterday, and the work to rebuild the party needs to continue. This article simply highlights why.

  •  No one has answered (none)
    How much is still in the bank?  

    If it really is only $5.5 M, and all that has been claimed has really been raised, isn't there a rather  large discrepancy here?

    Saying "Wrong", "Lies", "Slander", "Cowards" etc. is very informative.  Does anyone know how much is actually in the bank?

    •  He's been spending it (none)
      rebuilding the party - instead of just sticking it in the bank.

      I'm not at all clear on what's so great about a fat bank account if the party is in a shambles.

      •  That's not the problem (none)
        The problem is he spent $45.5 million on state infrastructure when he could really only afford $34 million given the parties fundraising.

        "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 09:42:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i could only afford to feed one of my children (4.00)
          today, but i fed them both anyway.
        •  Sorry ... (4.00)
          I must not have been issued a copy of the spending rulebook.

          I knew an old guy once who lost his home to foreclosure.  It turned out he had thousands of dollars stacked away in shoe boxes in the back of his closet.  Had he been willing to spend that money, he could have saved his home.

          But no doubt that would have been an "apalling burn rate".  :-/

        •  I couldn't afford to pay my (none)
          whole heating bill.  But if I didn't they were going to turn it off.  So I only have 26 dollars left, but I won't freeze to death.
        •  And you know this how? (none)
          If you have such detailed information into the budget of the DNC I'm sure lots of us would be interested.

          The chips are down. Find your outrage.

          by sj on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:26:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, if the defense (none)
            Of Dean is that he has been spending the money on the 50 state strategy, then that's what it has gone to. It's not at the DNC, otherwise it would be included in the cash on hand. Not rocket surgery to figure that one out.

            "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 11:28:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You answered the easy question ... (none)
     I a guess you can be a rocket surgeon.

              But I was asking about your assertion that "he could really only afford $34 million given the parties fundraising."

              That's the statement I want explained.

              The chips are down. Find your outrage.

              by sj on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:08:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's 2/3 of the total amount raised (none)
                But if you want to see the budget of the DNC, it comes out tomorrow.

                Happy filing!

                "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 05:40:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Except (none)
          Dean's not keeping the money. He fundraises and lets the states keep the money.
          •  Yes. That's true (none)
            That's my point. He's giving a bit more to the states than the National Committee can afford. I have no issue with the amount that Dean is capable of RAISING. I have issue with what he's KEEPING.

            "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 11:31:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Keep it for WHAT? (none)
              The 3-4 races the consultants think we're 'competitive' in? National TV ads that don't do diddly squat? Big ads in newspapers that nobody reads?

              Or should we invest it at the LOCAL level, in getting organized so that we can fund candidates LOCALLY, who can then go on to NATIONAL office, who can then raise their own damn campaign funds, as well as for the party as a whole?

              If you INVEST your money, you run the risk of losing it - but you also run the risk of making much, much more. AND if you're investing for the long haul, you don't have it to spend on day to day junk NOW.

              You really do sound like a typical MBA - pump up the stock now, short term return, no thought of what happens NEXT quarter, NEXT year, NEXT decade.

              That thinking hasn't won us ANYTHING. It hasn't done the country much good either.

              •  Media works (none)
                Listen, on average a person needs to hear a candidates name 11-12 times before it occurs to them to remember it. No field plan is going to knock on every door 11 times. That's where media comes in.

                And I'm not saying abandon the plan. I'm saying that if you invest it ALL locally, then you are abadoning this cycle. You can't be serious about making gains in 2006 and then devote no funds to it.

                "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 12:12:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Excuse me but this cycle IS all local (none)
                  ALL local. NOT national. We are NOT electing a president, we are electing Congresspersons, and some Senators. Also a whole lot of local offices - state reps, state senators, governors, etc.

                  Those do NOT necessarily require big ad buys by the DNC. They DO require LOCAL ad buys by the LOCAL party and candidates involved.

                  And that doesn't happen without skilled professionals to do it.

                  Which is PRECISELY what Dean has put in place.

                  •  Okay (none)
                    That's not what the money Dean is giving the state parties is going for. I appreciate what you're trying to say, but that's not the focus of the 50 state strategy...check out its mission statement. If you think that money is going towards media buys locally, you're wrong.

                    "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 01:45:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    • please? (none)

      Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

      by Cheez Whiz on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:39:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  5.5 million. (none)
      The total raised for the cycle was $51 million, of which 45.5 million has been spent paying off debts and in state party infrastructure, which is an 89% burn rate.

      In contrast, the RNC has raised $101.5 million and spent $67.5 million, a 67% burn rate.

      Now, before you say, well, the RNC has a historic advantage, please look at the percentage rates and the end cash on hand. 89% is pretty appalling, and I don't blame committee heads for being upset. We really could only afford to spend $34 million on state infrastructure.

      "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 09:41:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  to be fair (4.00)
        if family A, a family of four, has an income of $20k/year, they are likely to have a "burn rate" of 100%.

        family B, a family of four, has an income of $100k/year, then they are likely to have a lower "burn rate", as they can afford to save money and have a positive cash flow while establishing infrastructure.

        now, do you blame the head of household of family A for not being able to save money and build infrastructure the way family b did? or do you accept that there are limitations on family a's budget?

        you're comparing apples and oranges.  the republicans can have a lower "burn rate" b/c they have can burn the twice as much money as an overall of their income.

        that's why flat taxes are unfair.  that's why sales taxes are unfair.

        it's why saying the republicans are managing their money better is just plain bullshit.

        •  That's not an apt metaphor (none)
          If you want to look at burn rates for previous DNC cycles, do that as well. The fact is that investing in the states is useful, but it is an investment. In other words, if we are making only $20K a year, we cannot afford to invest in mutual funds like we are making $100K a year, despite the benefits of those mutual funds. Does that mean we shouldn't invest at all? No. But it means we have to limit our investments to what is within our means as a family making only $20k.

          $5.5 is not going to feed the children, even if it will give them a college education. In other words, $5.5 is not going to cut it for 2006, even if it reaps a lot of benefits in 2008, 2010, and 2012, etc.

          "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 10:09:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  at $20k/year you'll be investing in FOOD (none)
            limit investments?  could you stop circling around in outer space trying to defend your point and return to planet earth for a minute?

            there is nothing leftover at $20k/year, NOTHING.  so there's no comparison to make.

            a burn rate?  it's just nonsense.  comparing what you spend and what i spend as a ratio of our incomes when your income is twice what mine is but we both have to cover necessities is nonsense.

            those numbers can't and never will be the same.  and pretending that they should be makes you manipulative or stupid.  and frankly i don't care which.  

            but spreading around this lie that we should be burning through money at the same rate as someone who has twice as much makes you look like a republican operative.

            •  Your metaphor, not mine (none)
              But if you refuse to compare to the RNC, then how about compare the DSCC or the D-trip? I'd compare to previous cycles more but the difficulties between post and pre-BCRA fundraising makes such associations difficult.

              What is your necessity in this equation? Is building the state parties for the future more important than electing Democrats this cycle? That is the question at hand, because according to you, that is the "food" part of the equation. To me, electing Democrats THIS CYCLE is "food", and anything else is "investment". Do I think its a wise investment? Yes. But I still think it is an investment, and money to existing candidates is your bread and butter. Which is why I think that while I appreciate fully the impact of money to state parties, we've been moving at a pace faster than what we can afford funding-wise.

              And I hardly appreciate being called a Republican operative for being realistic about this. If you want to do something about it, give money to the DNC. Raise the numbers, and hopefully improve the burn rate. But to ignore the direness of the situation is to, well, ignore the direness of the situation.

              And it doesn't help that in the past Dean has had a burn problem.

              "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 10:31:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i am a democracy bond holder (none)
                it's not much, but i do all i can afford to do.  most of my resources (mostly time) go into local party efforts.  (no surprises there--and why i support his spending or burning depending on how you see it)

                you're the only one who seems to think we're sacrificing elections this cycle by rebuilding party infrastructure now.  where do you think the money that the state parties are allowed to keep and that they are finally able to raise for themselves is going to go?

                i personally think his investment will begin its payoff in 2006 and you'll see your "food" in november.  it won't payoff in districts like mine (but my district is 2-1 republican and it won't turn blue unless coble dies 2 days b4 election and prolly not then.  our only hope is redistricting in 2010) but i think nc will pick up 2 seats in 2006 and most of that will be a direct result of the 50 state strategy and the resources we were given by the dnc.

                my necessity in this equation is that a "burn rate" does not equate a "management problem".  people associate not having money to manage as being unable to manage money.  as a single mother and a historically poor person i know the difference and i resent the assumption.  having more money doesn't mean they are using it more wisely and the fact that we're using more money doesn't mean we're mismanaging it.

                •  Well, but the DNC isn't equivalent (none)
                  To a poor family of four. Maybe the RNC makes more, that's undoubtedly true, but the DNC isn't unable to make qualitative choices. Being able to choose small donors over large donors, that is to a certain extent a luxury. It means that there's a large enough base of donors that you can choose which types of money have the most benefit to you.

                  To a small extent I think it might pay off in 2006, but the way I see the 50 state program is in long term. Three operatives in a state does not win a single district. However, those three operatives can make sure that campaigns don't have to start from scratch building precint captains every cycle. And they can develop state benches so that we can run more quality candidates for state legislatures, so that in future elections we'll have properly vetted candidates. And this is all important.

                  But it doesn't win a seat or protect against a better funded machine. The reason the DNC needs to save money is because the NRSC and NRCC, whose money is on part with their Democratic counterparts (no small feat by our Campaign Committees), will pour all their money into races, building up field plans, etc. And then use the RNC to run attack ads. The D-trip and the DSCC are obligated to provide coordinated campaign support to their candidates. They've promised it in return for many of these guys running, and they want to expand the number of districts they can do it in. But, if the DNC can't run attack ads and the D-trip has to do it, then the D-trip simply can't widen the field or use the coordinated for races that aren't top tier. That's why the DNC needs money, and that's money that the 50 state campaign can't compensate for, neither can the state parties, especially, because they'll be using the money to develop the bench, which is what that money was intended for.

                  "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 11:24:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you said it (none)
                    a better funded machine.

                    you don't fight a machine with a few twigs and spitballs held together with some leftover tape, paper clips, and rubber bands from the last election cycle.


                    •  So how does fighting with nothing (none)
                      Make that better? Seriously. The defense here is that the DNC should allot NOTHING for media buys, and have NOTHING to help the campaign committees. That is worse than what we did in 2004. If you believe that the DNC should do SOMETHING against the RNC this cycle, you can't be happy with its current cash on hand. Because right now, we do not have the money to fight a single race.

                      "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 12:15:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  not one single race? (none)
                        bankrupt?  really?  we don't have a slight exaggeration problem do we?  did the dnc stop taking donations yesterday?

                        that's tragic.  i guess they won't cash in my tiny little contribution this month.  what to do, what to do.  

                        i guess that tiny little problem dean has fundraising will come in handy in the next 10 months.

                        •  Please re-read (none)
                          Before being short and consider the substance of the argument. Of course they're still taking donations, but this is NOT a good benchmark, and unless there is an alteration of the current spending pattern, it bodes poorly for the next year.

                          With the current cash on hand, the RNC could handle about 4 high profile races, at about $7 million each. We could not handle 1. Now, I know, the RNC usually has more, but the RNC is your opponent, so I am not at all okay with excusing ourselves as out of their league. Moreover, the RNC hasn't stopped taking checks either. How much you can raise is really pointless if, at the end of the day, you have nothing on-hand.

                          But because it's Dean, this isn't a problem? I'm sorry, but that's just being stubborn. The November trendlines didn't show such a disparity either, although they weren't great, which is also part of the problem. As time goes on, the disparity is widening, not shrinking. How is this not problematic?

                          "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 Jan 30, 2006 at 01:55:10 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  i don't recall saying that b/c it's dean (none)
                            its not a problem.  i'm not defending dean, the person, the god, the anything.  i'm calling bullshit on your "burn rate" comparison first and foremost.  i'm saying that i don't agree we're "sacrificing elections" by rebuilding the party infrastructure and spending our money there and more importantly leaving money there.

                            i'm saying that having $5.5m in the bank at the end of an off year election is not such a bad place to be considering what has been accomplished.  if you compare it to where we were under terry mcaulliffe i'm confident you'll find the cash on hand isn't that much different b/c under him we raised less, spent less, and had less leftover.

                            i think your doom and gloom is misplaced.  when i see real, concrete evidence that howard dean is mis-managing my money, i'll stop giving it to him. but you haven't made a case.  i'll panic when there is something to panic about.

                            dean was not my man in the primaries.  i'm not a deaniac.  he does not walk on water as far as i am concerned, but he's been a good chairman and he'll continue to get my monthly contribution.

                            we're not rolling into 2006 w/nothing on hand that's for sure.

              •  That's the question (none)
                Somehow I don't see handing money over to consultants to line their pockets with, or take obscene media buy comissions to be "food". It certainly hasn't helped elect anyone in recent history.

                However, having active agents on the ground locally just might.

                You're preseuming your conclusions, in that burning a ton of cash on the same old is somehow "food" and needed now. Personally, I could care less if Schrumm, Squier, McMahon, etc...get bupkus again.

              •  Apples to ... Cinder Blocks (none)
                ... if you refuse to compare to the RNC, then how about how about compare the DSCC or the D-trip?

                What's the DSCC or DCCC spending on local party building? I'd suspect it's absolutely nothing at all.

                Do you have any real information to the contrary? (I do know that D-trip is spending money in some places to undermine local grass roots.)

       ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

                by wystler on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:57:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Once again ... (none)
            Fundraising doesn't stop on Dec. 31, 2005.  We are not constrained to live though this cycle on that $5.5 million.

            But if we had failed once again to invest what was really needed to rebuild at the state and local levels, then we would have been doomed to the same results we've been getting with the DC-centric strategy.  We might have more money in the bank for all those "experts" who have done such a wonderful job in the last decade to spend as they see fit, but in the end we'd be pissing it all away just as we've been doing and winding up with an even sicklier party in the end.

        •  We have been losing (none)
          Republicans have been winning.

          Dean wisely has decided to change the game.

          Frankly, stacking money in the bank is the worst use of a political party's money. Party building builds the donor potential for future campaigns. I don't know how anybody can argue that we could only "afford" to spend $34,000,000. Sounds to me like the complaints of a bunch of professional losers who don't want anybody to risk their gravy train.

          Five and a half million seems like a reasonable amount of rapid response money.  The investment will pay off. In the event of a crisis or the next campaign, heavy lifting money will come in as needed, and in greater amounts.

          •  and is anyone keeping tabs (none)
            on the money being raised locally?  i mean our county organization is getting itself in a position to raise money for headquarters, and local candidates.  

            what's that worth?  is anyone measuring that?  the fact that we didn't have that before but because of all of the emphasis on local organizing, we're establishing a year-round presence in the reddest of reddest counties in a red state.  is that worth anything to any of the nay sayers?

            or is it all about staying within the burnrate percentages of the republicans?

            b/c that means nothing to me.  and it means nothing to the people who are out on the ground with me trying to organize precincts that haven't been organized in thirty years.

            what we do know is that whatever he is doing up there in washington, trickled down to raleigh, and it is trickling down to us.  and it matters.

      •  Oh horseshit (4.00)
        We spent 89% of receipts during the worst year of the cycle. There are no elections tomorrow. More will be raised. To take the GOP burn rate as the only metric that matters is baloney.

        Republicans: The Party of the Problem

        by George on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:05:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Methinks (none)
          this Virginia person is probably living in the part of Virginia that's inside the Beltway.

          I think she makes some good points, but this smacks of Washington logic that thinks those of us out in flyover country are too dumb to make our own decisions on what to do.  I guess she thinks folks out here can't make TV commercials or do radio spots (which is, yeah right, exactly what we didn't do in 2004 when the national Party told us to get lost here in TN.)

          The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice - Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by Eleanor A on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:01:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  What???? (none)
        What are you saying should have been done with the other $10.1 million? Here's a short list of alternatives, none of which seem to make a whole lot of sense:

        • Put a few more beltway insiders on the payroll to identify the two governorships, 3 senate seats and 6 house seats that "should be" targets, to the detriment of local party building.
        • Put the money into the money market and earn a cool 3% before making generic ad buys that mention no candidates by name.
        • Try to buy off some of the pundits. Take Chris Matthews, Alan Colmes & Joe Scarborough to dinner.

        Feel free to add yours ... ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

        by wystler on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:52:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  5.5M....that's pretty sad (none)
    I know the rest of it went to good use, but still. I think "Brokeback Mountain" has a bigger Oscar campaign fund than that

    Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

    by AnthonySF on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:35:17 AM PST

  •  The Producers (none)
    is a movie and play about how broadway producers figured out they could do better by producing a flop rather than a hit.

    Likewise the inside consultants do as well advising losing candidates as winning. They are scared to death that the cover for their cushy existence will be blown.

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:36:23 AM PST

  •  [Deity of your choice] bless you (none)
    for posting this. And sorry it has to said over and over and over.

    "How freeing it must be to walk through this world heeding neither conscience nor soul." - the rude pundit, 5/4/05

    by pattyp on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:36:39 AM PST

  •  Dean is the best thing to happen to the DNC (none)
    Too bad the Beltway Insiders--or our MSM band of losers--don't know it yet.
  •  This isn't Jerry Macguire (3.50) me the money. UGH!

    Why doesn't the leadership understand that this year the norms have been thrown out the window.

    There is a new way, a smarter way... the Dean way of doing business.

    I can't tell you how many times I have been told I can't win my race against Joe Barton (R-TX) because he has so much money. I call bullshit just like you.

    The change this year is palpable and every time I knock on a door - people tell you that the status quo is not for them anymore.

    It is not about money this year, even if the bottom line in the bank account is true - who cares. Through hard work and forums like this we continue to chip away at their corruption scandal at a time.

    I may not have all the money I need to win but whether we have $500 or $5 million in the bank, we are marching forward.

    I hope DKos readers will continue to FOLLOW ME TO DC and help me prove the naysayers wrong.

    We must speak as one. We must run as one. We must win as one.

    That is the bottom line.

    Thanks Kos for highlighting this.

    "Never has there been a good war or a bad peace." - Benjamin Franklin

    by rgrdave on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:39:14 AM PST

  •  Today, I became a bondholder (4.00)
    I bought my Democracy Bond today.  

    I guess my head's been in the sand (I do live in Ryleh, after all)...I'd given money to the Democrats before , but I usually ignore the party and give to individual candidates.

    But I bought a Democracy Bond today.  

    I bought it for three reasons.  First, because Howard Dean has kept his word, and embarked on a nationwide strategy that actually seems to care about the roots.  Second, because the Democrats have started fighting AS A PARTY and not fighting among themselves.  But most importantly, I bought a Democracy Bond today because I'm sick to death of the motherfucking rats who snipe endlessly at Howard Dean for his attempt to broaden the base.  

    I'm a contrary son of a bitch who can't think of any better way to stick it to the Beltway types than by contributing to Dean.  If they keep on attacking him, I'll give more, and I'll add my voice to the chorus of others, until their whispers are drowned out and their words lost.  

    And so, I bought a Democracy Bond today.

  •  Trying to weaken the spirit of the dem base. (none)
      I heard this on CSpan this morning. Ack! Another example of Right Wing Talking points coming out of the DLC.

    Kos I got to say, you are my hero.

    I hope you become the honest Karl Rove for the progressive movement.

    the pols I don't understand, yet I love how you can read those #'s.

    And I love how you call bullshit on these bloated fatheads that call themselves the "leaders" of the democratic party. I swear they are all republican operatives in disguise.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:41:13 AM PST

  •  This is just a great fucking post. n/t (none)
    The reason that the Democratic leadership worked so hard to defeat him in '04 and is slamming him now is fear. A party that had true involvement by the people would hold their asses to the fire when they voted their pocket book rather than the interests of the people they represent. Can't have that now, can we.

    Hope in Dean and his philosophy is the only thing keeping me involved with the party. Left with only the DLC and their like, I would go Green tomorrow.

    Dean is my hero.

  •  Save the ammunition for later? (none)
    Is that what people want?

    Jeez. We're being attacked right now, the war is on.

    I want Dean spending money. I like what he's doing and I will send more.

    Tracking energy and transportation news.

    by joel3000 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:44:11 AM PST

  •  Bring back the bat! (none)
    The only good thing about these sneak attacks is that they make me want to double the money I'm contributing to Dean- and Dean-friendly funds.

    Dean should take advantage of our outrage and call for a national online campaign to double the amount of money they have in the bank.

  •  Already working (none)
    The best evidence that Dean's strategy is working would be the early Congressional filings.  So far, with deadlines having passed in Illinois, Texas, and West Virginia, Democrats are running in 53 of 54 districts.  Only Midland, TX will not have a Democrat on their ballots. BTW, 31 of those districts currently have GOPers in Congress.

    With the scandals growing exponentially, some of these suddenly contested districts may turn into hot races.

  •  Dean eating a brown bag lunch at his desk. (none)
    When he could be noshing with the swells.


    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:48:52 AM PST

  •  asdf (none)
    Fuck those motherfuckers. Put em up against the wall with the repugs when the revolution comes.

    - Its time we stopped dealing in words, and started Dealing in Lead.

    by walkingshark on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:49:52 AM PST

  •  The Fair Comparison (none)
    Okay, so the Dems have 5 million in the bank and the GOP has 34 million.  What were the numbers on January 30, 2003 and January 30, 2001?  Dean has raised a lot of money as DNC chair and he has spent it, with something to show for it.  But let's not forget his record setting fund raising as a candidate.  Then he blew his was in IA and NH and had to run a highly selective campaign after that.  So there is a certain track record with him spending too much too quickly.  I can't say that's the case for sure without knowing the relevant numbers from the last congressional cycles.

    "I say unto you, in as much ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Jesus of Nazareth

    by Spider Stumbled on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:52:19 AM PST

  •  We Need Dean and We Need Money to Win (none)
    True - Roll Call is taking a swipe at Dean here.   What Dean is doing is good for the Dems in the long term and will prevent future collapses of the type we've seen in the last two election cycles.

    Yet, the dynamics have changed markedly in the last year.  Rethugs are on the ropes.  Dems have an opportunity to make big gains in 2006, but will need a lot of available cash from the DNC.  More importantly, if the RNC maintains a cash on-hand position 6X more than Dems, Rethugs could easily neutralize any advantage Dems may have or evn pick up a few seats.

    I'm for Dean.  He needs a lot more money though.  That's partly our job.  He also needs to cut the burn rate on long-term party expenditures for a while.  He is the only one that can control that.  We can continue to ramp up on the party apparatus after the election.

    We just have to cut the gap compared to the RNC entering the election.  The national committees play a vital role in coordinated advertising and GOTV.  If the RNC is 6X ahead 3 or 4 months from now, Dems will suffer.  

  •  State parties need to devolve as well (none)
    Important note: the state parties need to devolve as well.  

    Working in a southern state during the 2004 election, I was stunned by the shallow talent pool of democratic activists.  The reason this situation was allowed to develop was due to the fact that the state party was the only game in town.  The county parties (to say nothing of town committees and ward groups, if they existed) basically waited for elections every two years to fund their operations.  They actually had an RFP process!!!  

    It reminded me of a bunch of people trying to get into a popular club -- all tarted up trying to get the attention of the state party's doormen, and without the ability to grease palms.

    People around the country: don't leave the discussion at "state parties need to be built."  This effort needs to be both wide and deep.

      because the Democrats bench was wiped in '94 and the state parties never filled the breach. Dean I think is getting started but this is a long term project that won't achieve critical mass in '06 and probably not '08 either. It took us a long time to get into this mess and establishing an infrastructure of heft for state parties will take even longer. Thankfully, we're at least moving in the right direction as far as building blocks are concerned. But the message and branding of the party need to be severly re-tooled. Otherwise Dean won't be able to accomplish anything.

      Intrepid Liberal Journal

      •  I'm workin on it! (none)
        And I hope everyone else is too.  Another commenter asked a good question about when the last time any of these "sources" made phonecalls, canvassed or collected signatures.  Pick a favorite candidate (or two!) and get out there workin'.
  •  Someone send Rahm Emanuel a quart of 10W40 (4.00)
    He looks like he's a quart low.

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:57:03 AM PST

  •  I know why the media is making up stories (3.75)
    Dean is the best spokesperson this party has every had.  He states his position in a clear and decisive way.  They can't have that so now they are going about the ususal business of trying to make a headline to bring him down.  The more they attack him the more I'm committed to being steadfast behind him.

    Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

    by Cat4everrr on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:03:58 AM PST

  •  Add North Carolina to the list (none)
    of states with a Dean visit.


  •  I don't always completely agree with you (none)
    but this time I do.  You have it exactly right and thank you for this diary.

    to paraphrase Mrs Landinghamme (sp?)
    "Dean's a foot smarter than the whole bunch of them".

    You can probably guess exactly who gave these smarmy quotes and if we ever verify who's feeding this stuff to the MSM, they should be delivered a political horses head to their beds.  They should be as good as dead to the democratic party.

    •  CONspiracy theory (none)
      Insider1: Hey, Mike. Didja see where the DNC's bank account is down to about five big.

      Insider2: Yeah, Ike ... it's all over the place. Some folks are gonna say Dems still are the drunken sailor spending kings.

      Insider1: Well, Howie can't spend much less. He's spent 20+ big less than them GOoPers. Buildin' state parties ain't cheap, even when you book coach seats.

      Insider2: Yeow!!! Dr. Dean's flyin' coach? I thought those seats were reserved for them folks that we didn't have to rub elbows wit' anymore.

      Insider1: Well, somebody asked me what I thought should be done about it. I mean, needin' more money'n all.

      Insider2: We could ask Mary to organize another bake sale, but that ptomaine case from last time might put a damper on receipts.

      Insider1: Yeah. Hey ... I got an idea!

      Insider2: OK. Spill.

      Insider1: Remember how, every time, when whispers come out criticizing the chairman, the money pours in?

      Insider2: Yeah!!! So alls we got to do is have Izzy drop a dime to some ditzy reporter, and suggest that some Dems think the chairman's doin' a bad job with the cash.

      Insider1: We can use the burn rate angle. You know how them DC reporters like to be in on technical language stuff.

      Insider2: Great. So who do we give this to.

      Insider1: How 'bout them knuckleheads at RollCall? What's their names? Somethin' about a city in Montana? And a guy who owns a cat?

      Insider2: Billings. And Whittington. Got it. An' I'm on it.

      Insider1: Great chattin', Mike.

      Insider2: See ya 'roun', Ike. ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

      by wystler on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 01:21:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dean is putting in the Infrastructure (none)
    that will carry us throught the next decade.  No one should discourage that

    Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

    by Cat4everrr on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:05:13 AM PST

  •  DLC attack on Howard Dean (none)
    Please, everyone, drop Howard Dean a note at and ask Dean to dispel this divisive attack on him. IMHO he needs to address it personally as well as with some stats.


  •  Getting money the honest way is hard work (none)
    we could go the easy route and get it illegally like some involved in the republican culture of the corruption.  Building an infrastructure is hard work and in this respect Dean's job is sort like an Architecht.  No one said it was going to be easy

    Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

    by Cat4everrr on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:20:24 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the heads up Kos (none)
    I just bought another Democracy Bond.  I think we ought to wage a campaign not unlike the anti-troll campaign we used during the Dean For America days.  Everytime one of these nitwits goes off to the press and starts spreading shit about Dean, we buy another bond or make another contribution.
  •  So... (none)
    When anonymous sources leak about Bush they are "heroes", but when they leak about Dean they are "cowards"?  Wow.
  •  Money isn't the end object (none)
    Using the money is.  What was Dean supposed to do with it?  Hoard it?

    So long as he's spending it wisely to improve the infrastructure in the states, I'm ecstatic.  All that money Kerry raised in 2004?  Did it get him elected?


    Time for trying new methods.  Go, Dean, go!

  •  Dean Sainthood (none)
    I really don't think anyone can accurately critique the fundraising as this point. I'm waiting for the dust to settle in November before I pass judgement on Dean's leadership/fundraising abilities.

    Regardless of what the numbers are, however, the money needs to keep coming in.

  •  Just contributed $100 (none)
    to the DNC.  Do I have any matches?

    Seems to me, this is the time to quit yer jabberin' and empty yer pockets.  Pony-up kossacks and answer the call.  

    By the way, this is a "call" isn't it?

    •  Heh (none)
      I like your style
      •  Thank you but should add (none)
        I left the message that I wanted 25% to go to the 50 state strategy and the rest to go into 2006 election advertising and campaigns.

        I explained that I was donating today because of what I heard on C-Span this am and that, although I support Dean's strategy, with only 5.5M left, I believe it's time to beef up the coffers in the DNC.

        Once again - pony up, Kossacks.

  •  FEC figures (none)
    As of November 30th are actually a bit more favorable to Dean (I'd be interested in finding out where the Roll Call numbers came from):

    DNC:  Raised $52,998,393, Spent $51,719,564, Cash on Hand $7,330,641 (no debt).

    RNC:  Raised $95,241,757, Spent $77,915,744, Cash on Hand $31,993,324 (no debt).

    The ratio of money raised by the parties has narrowed a little further, to about 9 to 5.

    As for the "burn rate," Dean has done what McAuliffe, Rendell, Brown, etc. should have done but didn't-  establish permanent professional staffs in every state.  That was an economy measure by previous chairs (to be charitable), but it's damaged the party and it had to end.

  •  It would be nice (none)
    to know who has their panties in a bunch about Dean. If I they would move beyond "anonymous sources", I'd be able to tell them:

    You're a professional loser. I didn't give money to you before Dean arrived on the scene, and I sure won't when or if he leaves. I didn't spend time or effort on getting your Loser Candidates not get elected before Dean, and I sure won't work for you after he leaves.

    As long as Howard Dean is involved in the Democratic Party, I will give you money, time, and work. Once he's gone, I will not give a dime to the Loser Party. I will not lift a finger to help you Lose more elections.

    Of course, if you get out of Dean's way or help him in transforming the party, then I will stick around.

  •  Go Koz Go (none)
    It isn't Dean's fund raising that worries his opponen ts. It is don't suck from the same fund-raising teats that they do and then is not controllable.  

    Dean gave the Democrats a spine transplant in the last election cycle on Iraq and Washington but the transplant was rejected by Kerry, Clinton and Pelosi.

    Without Dean the Democrats are just Bush imitations.

  •  Calling BS on Your BS (none)
    I can't see how having a 7-1 cash on hand disadvantage to the Repubs is a good thing even if the money was spent on the local level last year.  

    2006 is a much bigger year than 2005 with Govs and state legislatures on the ballot all over the country instead of 2 states.  We need money for this year too for races at all levels and we seem to be way behind the 8 ball.  This is very bad news.

    •  D'oh (none)
      It was not spent last year.  It is being spent to organize in the states RIGHT NOW..this year to win in 2006.

      Did you buy your democracy bond yet?

      •  A Pattern (none)
        I like a lot of what Howard Dean has done but I see a pattern here that scares me.  In 2003, Howard Dean raised one of the largest sums of any presidential candidate and most of it was gone by the time he needed it for the primaries in early 2004.  

        He raises a lot of money in 2005 and it is mostly gone in 2006.  

        I don't like being behind the 8 ball by a 7-1 margin as the year begins.  You can spin it any way you want, this is not a good thing.

    •  McAuliffe Debt (none)
      It's interesting how many stories there were about how Terry McAuliffe helped put the Dems on solid financial footing right around the time that McAuliffe stepped out, and Dean stepped in. You can see a couple of them here, and here.

      I've been told by some of the DNC committee people I know, and by at least one state party ED in conference calls, that McAuliffe left the DNC with a few million in the bank and several times that amount in obligations -- many of which he made after it was clear that he was out as DNC chair.

      In any case, DNC money helped the DPO hire 3 new staffers in Oregon -- though as an outgoing county chair in a "red district", I have seen neither hide nor hair of any of them even though we were promised that at least one of these people would focus on grassroots building in "red districts".  

  •  All the mail I get is from Hillary (none)
    (or Bill) asking for donations so she can run for something.  I don't give to out of staters.  I live in Kentucky.  I am really tired of the DNC samo old/same old -- just asking for money and having no plan to actually win and certainly no new ideas.  Thankfully have not heard recent news of the patient's bill of rights that was their buzzword for a couple of election cycles.   Talk about loosers, this mainstream Democrat bunch takes the cake.  We are begging them to fight for us and they don't!
  •  Forgot to add this -- (none)
    I always like the "old" ideas of the democrats -- liberty, equality, public schools, wage and hour laws, public health and food and water standards -- you know, those.  The old laws that made America the beacon of the world.
    •  You mean those old ideas (none)
      that might win us some elections in Tennessee and Kentucky, and are being totally throttled by the corporations whose bottom line would be cut into if anyone actually put them into action?

      Terry McAuliffe, I'm talking to you here.

      Much as I loved Bill Clinton, I blame him for allowing the DNC to become so dependent on corporate cash that said corporations are dictating our issues.  It's a recipe for disaster.  I, for one, would like to see where Dean is getting his money, and I'm willing to bet a much higher percentage of it is coming in $100 at a time.

      The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Eleanor A on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:07:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh Yes, Eleanor A. (none)
        I could not find exacdtly the quote I was looking for about corporations and the profits of war, but if you look at Smedley Butler's book, it will be in there.  It begins something like, "for thirty years I was an enforcer for the corporations . . ."  It seemed somehow relevant to this post about who is paying for and getting the people elected to do their bidding.  I want someone to do my bidding so I can go back to my backyard and read and plant flowers and play with my pets and mind my own business instead of watching out for every halfwit presidential contender crook who is trying to fleece us.

        Butler was a very popular U.S. general and was approached by Wall Streeters to overthrow the US government in the 1920s.  He exposed the scheme and congressional hearings were held (you can find that on goggle).  You might enjoy seeing what he had to say.  Pretty strong stuff, which is probably why we hardly ever heard of him.

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