WaPo To DNC Chair: Uh, Your January Fundraising Numbers Were Not the Best
Matt Vespa  |  @mvespa1  | March 08, 2018

So, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez had some news about the January fundraising numbers. The DNC had their best numbers ever for the month in its history. 

“We raised more money in January, for instance, of 2018 than any January in our history. So if the question is, ‘Do we have enough money to implement our game plan?’ Absolutely,” said Perez.

So, is that indicative that enthusiasm is spiking with Democrats? Is this ship turning around? Yes and no. Yes, Democrats are very enthused about the 2018 midterms right now. We still have eight months until Election Day. No, this was not the best January in the DNC’s history—and The Washington Post found out how this chairman can say this. They’re combining the totals between the DNC and some other grassroots fund that seems to cater to wealthy liberal voters. Also, the DNC said that Mr. Perez misspoke when he said that the DNC’s January 2018 numbers set a record; he merely meant the most money since before 2012:

The DNC raised $6 million in January 2018, according to its most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission. That was below what it raised in January 2014 ($6.6 million), January 2012 ($13.2 million), January 2011 ($7.1 million) and January 2010 ($9.1 million).

DNC spokesman Michael Tyler said Perez had a slip of the tongue on C-SPAN and did not mean to claim a historical record. “Tom meant to say that we raised more money in January than we had in any January since 2012,” Tyler said. It’s quite a blunder, since the DNC’s history began 164 years before 2012, but at least Perez is conceding the error.

What about the $6.6 million raised in January 2014, though? For those keeping score, that’s more than half a million dollars more than in January 2018.

Tyler said that for January 2018, the DNC is counting its own fundraising ($6 million) and “nearly $1 million” raised by a separate entity, the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund. The grand total comes to “nearly $7 million.” (The DNC did not say specifically how much the victory fund raised, and that fund has not yet filed a report with the FEC covering January 2018.)


The Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund is a new addition to the family, having been established in October 2017. It’s a joint fundraising committee made up of 52 entities: the DNC and the party committees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


Although the group has the word “grassroots” in its name, the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund appears to be a vehicle for high-dollar donations from wealthy donors.


Although we don’t award Pinocchios when a politician admits error, the response from Perez’s spokesman raised new questions. The DNC now uses monthly fundraising totals that merge its own numbers with whatever is raised by a different entity called the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund.

This is a break from tradition, and it blurs the lines of a complicated financial arrangement.

Okay, so Perez misspoke, which probably has some Democrats rolling their eyes—given that there appears to be an increased frustration with the chairman and his inability to get the DNC out of the mud. The Republican National Committee has consistently out raised the DNC. The December 2017 Federal Election Commission for the DNC was nothing short of a disaster, showing the committee saddled with millions of dollars in debt. Since he’s taken over, Perez has executed two purges of the committee. He’s fired his top fundraiser, despite saying that the money hauls were fine. Even with some wins in 2017 and 2018, the Democrats are heading into 2018 still divided. The mess in Texas shows that. There’s still an uneasy peace between the establishment and progressive wings of the party that could very well erupt into full-blown civil war, something that could torpedo the Democrats’ 2018 plans. In Texas, there are a handful of races that are heading into run-offs on the Democratic side, so get your popcorn ready.

As for Perez, well, he's dedicated to his job so much that he's decided to teach at Brown. Always good to have a back-up plan, huh?

More Stories
Loading ...