Perez Compares DNC’s Infrastructure Plight to Flint Water Crisis

DNC Chair Tom Perez / Getty
DNC chair Tom Perez / Getty

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez compared his party's infrastructure plight with the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

"You know when your plumbing goes out in your house or the water pipes in Flint corrode, it has life threatening consequences," Perez said in a recent interview. "And similarly when the political infrastructure corrodes, we lose elections."

Perez discussed the party's financial problems in comparison to the Republican Party's, telling CNN's Mark Preston that when he became DNC chair, he inherited a host of problems with party operations, particularly with fundraising. The Republican National Committee has nearly six times the cash on hand ($44 million) of the DNC ($7.5 million), and the DNC has $3.3 million in debt.

"We're making progress; we have more work to do," Perez said. "When I walked into the DNC, we had to rebuild our systems, and our fundraising department was a very good group of people, but we needed to quadruple their size and we're in the process of doing just that."

The Flint water crisis refers to to the exposure of the Michigan city's residents to high levels of lead in their drinking water, and the subsequent health problems after its water source changed and its piping corroded. Gov. Rick Snyder (R.) was severely criticized for his handling of the crisis.

The crisis formed a temporary backdrop for the 2016 battle for the Democratic nomination between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). The two debated in Flint last March.