Tags: Afghanistan | DNC | debt | Obama | Czin

Fortune Magazine: DNC Owes $18.1 million

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 08:16 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The Democratic National Committee is bleeding red ink, owing a total of $18.1 million to various creditors, Fortune magazine reported Monday.

The budget hole as of Aug. 10 compares with a cushy $12.5 million the Republican National Committee holds, Fortune said.

"They really thought they could get this money raised by the summer," Fortune quoted one unnamed senior strategist as saying.

Editor’s Note: 5 Phases of a ‘Retirement Heist’ Exposed (See Video)

"But the fact is, from talking to people over there, they have no real plan for how to solve this."

The DNC's national press secretary, Michael Czin. told Fortune the committee is working with vendors on a case-by-case basis to pay down the debt. According to filings, Amalgamated Bank is owed $4.5 million and getting $1 million-a-month payments from the DNC.

The fundraiser-in-chief is picking up some of the slack. There have been 15 DNC fundraisers headlined by President Barack Obama this year, two of them last week, including one tacked onto his United Nations visit and another later in the week at the Capitol Hilton, a D.C. hotel, Fortune reported. 

A White House spokesman did not comment to Fortune.

The blame for the red ink has been placed, in part, on the White House and "the exodus of President Obama's top political brains," the report said — and partly on the emergence of Organizing for Action, an independent nonprofit created in the wake of Obama's re-election to push his second-term agenda.

The nonprofit is based in Chicago and headed by Jim Messina, who managed Obama's re-election — and leases the campaign's email list and controls the @BarackObama Twitter handle, which has 37.2 million followers.

Of 13 big donors who wrote six-figure checks to the nonprofit in the first half of this year, only three gave to the DNC in the same period, according to a review of records from the Center for Responsive Politics, Fortune noted.

"Donors are being pulled in two directions, and there's absolutely no doubt it's impacted the DNC's fundraising," Fortune quoted one unnamed Democratic operative as saying. "I'm hearing it from donors regularly that they're being told to help one and not the other."

Czin acknowledged the internal rivalry but played down its importance.

"Of course there's competition," he told Fortune, "but the Democratic family is a big one, and at the end of the day we are all on the same team, our work complements each other's, and there are enough resources for all of us."

Editor’s Note: 5 Phases of a ‘Retirement Heist’ Exposed (See Video)

The DNC also is without an executive director. Patrick Gaspard, who'd held the job since 2011, was tapped in March as ambassador to South Africa, and the committee hasn't yet settled on a permanent replacement.

"It's a surprise to most people that there isn't an executive director at this point," one source told Fortune. "There have been a number of candidates who pulled their names out after having been floated, but it should have been done by now."

Czin countered that the DNC was "retooling, building our program, and bringing on top talent to do it," with a new digital director and an acting executive director leading the search for a new leader.

The DNC has been in the red before. Campaign finance reports filed in January showed the DNC owed $21.4 million, while the RNC ended last year debt-free and started 2013 with $4.7 million in its coffers.

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