June 3, 2005
Howard Dean's Raised Voice Isn't Raising Cash (Eamon Javers and Richard S. Dunham, 6/06/05, Business Week)
Dean wowed the faithful in '04 with his Web-based fund-raising magic. But major business donors still count, and in his new role as party honcho, the feisty doctor seems to be struggling to connect. After achieving money parity with the GOP in 2004, Democrats have fallen far behind. According to the Federal Election Commission, the DNC raised $14.1 million in the first quarter of 2005, vs. the Republican National Committee's $32.3 million. Dean drew about 20,000 new donors, while his rivals picked up 68,200. The bottom line: Republicans have $26.2 million in the bank vs. $7.2 million for the Dems.
Why the yawning gap? For starters, Dean is not a natural fit for the "stroke and joke" style that traditional party chiefs use to extract cash from well-heeled contributors. "It appears that the chairman has come to the conclusion that he doesn't need major donors," sniffs one fat cat. "He hasn't made any effort to reach out."
Personality factors aside, Dean's business-bashing '04 campaign makes him a hard sell in corporate circles. "There's a wait-and-see attitude from business and major contributors," says Nathan Landow, a Maryland developer and big-time donor. "This guy has some work to do to get the comfort level up." William W. Batoff, a Philadelphia real estate developer and longtime Democratic fund-raiser who backed President Bush in 2000 and 2004, is less diplomatic. "Howard Dean is the wrong person to be chair," says Batoff, who claims he will help fund the Dems' congressional efforts but will boycott the national committee while Dean reigns.
They brought him in to do for the national party what he did for his own campaign--kind of pointless then to complain that he's strangling it. Posted by Orrin Judd at June 3, 2005 12:00 AM