On Thursday morning, left-leaning Politico offered a platform for Democratic National Committee’s Donna Brazile to post an excerpt of her upcoming book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House.” The entire thing is an expose on the behind the scenes crap that almost bankrupted the Democratic Party in more ways than one.
With the short bit published, Brazile lays out the true cause of the turmoil: systemic financial mismanagement, Hillary Clinton, and her campaign’s lust for cash. The long and short of it, to no one’s surprise, was that the Clinton campaign kept the party running after emptying the little that was left in the coffers after Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s mismanagement.
So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations….
Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign—and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance….
“What’s the burn rate, Gary?” I asked. “How much money do we need every month to fund the party?”
The burn rate was $3.5 million to $4 million a month, he said.
I gasped. I had a pretty good sense of the DNC’s operations after having served as interim chair five years earlier. Back then the monthly expenses were half that. What had happened? The party chair usually shrinks the staff between presidential election campaigns, but Debbie had chosen not to do that. She had stuck lots of consultants on the DNC payroll, and Obama’s consultants were being financed by the DNC, too.
And thus Donna Brazile lays out for the readers the dirty laundry of the Democrats. They have no idea how to manage money.
What Brazile sought to accomplish with the book and the naming of names who actually did the mismanagement is not exactly clear. She was not the one who mismanaged funds. However, her account of what happened is compelling and very much worth the read for a certain amount of macabre entertainment.
The Democrats are now eating their own.