After spending a truly obscene amount of money on the Georgia special election last month, money that was proven to be completely wasted after Jon Ossoff was destroyed by Karen Handel, the DNC’s balance sheet is looking a little deflated. Of course, spending $22 million dollars for a seat where candidates usually spend about $1 million each tends to take a toll on your political war chest.
Unfortunately, even $176 per vote, or roughly 7.6x more than what Karen Handel spent, wasn’t enough to buy a Georgia House seat. Oops.
And while we’re sure that the new DNC Chair would love to forget all about that Georgia race, as the Federal Election Commission’s June financial reports reveal, his deflated balance sheet, which included only $7.5mm of cash and $3.3mm of debt, serves as a constant reminder of the wasted money that he’d undoubtedly love to get back.
As The Observer reported last month, this is hardly a new phenomenon for the DNC as May 2017 was the worst fundraising month since the Iraq War in 2003.
DNC Chair Tom Perez recently sent out a fundraising email to supporters claiming, “I know garbage when I see it,” citing that he once worked on a dump truck. It’s ironic that he referred to the GOP health care bill as a “flaming dumpster fire” because he has been presiding over the disaster that is the Democratic National Committee. The organization reported that May 2017 was its worst fundraising month since the Iraq War in 2003, and April 2017 was its worst fundraising month since 2009. In May, the DNC also reported that it has $1.9 million in debt. Despite the fact that former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez was recruited by Barack Obama to appease the party’s donors, lobbyists and PACs, even they have refused to prop up the failing brand.
Not approving of the strategies laid out at a retreat for donors in January 2017, billionaires Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman started their own political organization, Win the Future. As donors are increasingly tired of seeing their investments go to waste, many have started their own funds or used their access to take over leadership positions themselves—such as Florida billionaire donor Stephen Bittel did to become the Florida Democratic Party chair earlier this year. Democratic billionaire J.B. Pritzker is running for governor of Illinois, and billionaire Tom Steyer is debating running for governor of California. Haim Saban and James Simons poured millions into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but they have yet to be listed by the FEC as DNC donors in 2017. Additionally, George Soros has only given $33,900 to the DNC in 2017, but he poured millions of dollars into the Democratic Party in 2016.
By contrast, as The Hill notes, June was a record breaking fundraising month for the RNC bringing their YTD haul to over $75 million, or roughly double what the DNC has managed to raise so far in 2017.