Adventures in Fund Raising: Democratic Party Conflict

| July 13, 2006

Jay Cost over at Real Clear Politics does the best job I’ve seen anywhere of explaining the current dispute between Howard Dean (chairman of the Democratic National Committee) and Rahm Emanuel (chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee). The short version is obvious: Dean is trying to build up the Democratic Party on a local basis in all 50 states, while Emanuel wants to spend those funds on retaking Congress. Cost’s key point: former DNC chairman Terry McAuliff spent several years spending funds on retaking Congress and the White House and lost ground instead, while at the same time making local Democratic party leaders feel ignored by the national party leaders. Key graf:

What we are witnessing, then, is a symptom of a larger problem: Democratic elites have fundamental disagreement over organizational issues. Ideologically speaking, disagreement can be a good thing; it means a “big tent.” Organizationally speaking, it means two things: an incoherent strategy and an inefficient outcome. The disagreement between Emanuel and Dean ultimately means that neither party building nor caucus building will be done as well as they could be because the party as a whole cannot cohere around a single strategy.

By contrast, Patrick O’Connor at The Hill reports growing confidence and unity with regards to Republican fundraising for this fall’s election. Interesting times. ..bruce..

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Category: Main, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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