The Democrats Have a Spending Problem

DNC again spends more than it raises, falls further into debt

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Debbie Wasserman Schultz / AP
November 23, 2015

Less than a year away from the 2016 election the Democratic National Committee fell further into debt by spending nearly a million dollars more than it raised through fundraising last month, according to the committee's most recent election filing.

The DNC disclosed late Friday night that it spent $5.25 million in the past month but only brought in $4.45 million worth of contributions.

It closed the reporting period with just $4.7 million in cash on hand, which is outweighed by the $6.9 million in debts that it owes. The debt, which includes a $2 million loan from union-owned Amalgamated Bank, grew this month from the $6.7 million it reported in October.

The Republican National Committee came out on top in fundraising again this month by raising $8.65 million. Unlike the DNC, it spent less than it raised and grew its cash stockpile to just over $20 million.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus bragged in a press release that the cash advantage gives Republicans a "decisive advantage over the Democrat National Committee in preparing to win" in 2016.

"Our team is hard at work training, recruiting, and registering volunteers and voters in every community and every battleground state," said Priebus. "The RNC is the only organization on either side of the aisle currently running a full-scale General Election field operation."

The DNC fundraising problems could increase pressure on committee chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), who in recent years has consistently taken heat from her own party.

Last month, DNC vice chairman R.T. Rybak decided to "go public with [his] serious questions of whether she can lead this party" after Wasserman Schultz lied about consulting with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) about the party's debate schedule.

Rybak said that it is "increasingly clear" that Wasserman Schultz lacks "political skills."

"Like many other people, I have kept my mouth shut, and have tried to make the situation work for months. It is becoming increasingly clear that the chair doesn’t have the political skills—or more likely, want to execute the skills—to make this party a big tent," said Rybak. "I blame myself for trying to stuff it, and trying to make things work when it’s clear we have a problem."

Even before the brush-up over the debate schedule, Schultz has been called "incompetent" by Democrats and was labeled a "liability" by President Barack Obama's White House.

The DNC did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Last month, communications director Luis Miranda told the Washington Free Beacon that the reason for the DNC's debt problem was the necessity to "hold Republican candidates accountable for wanting to drag America back to policies that were in place when we were losing 750,000 jobs a month."

He also pointed to a White House statement calling Schultz "a strong partner in electing Democrats across the country and making sure the party is well positioned to succeed next fall."