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Entries in Democratic National Committee (26)

Tuesday
Feb012011

Democrats Pick Charlotte for 2012 Convention

Photo Courtesy - JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The 2012 Democratic National Convention will be held during the week of Sept. 3 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., the DNC announced Tuesday.

First lady Michelle Obama announced the pick in an email to “Organizing for America” supporters, noting that Charlotte is a city marked by “southern charm, warm hospitality, and an 'up by the bootstraps’” mentality.

During the 2008 presidential election, then-Senator Obama fought hard as the party’s nominee to flip the state from red to blue.  Mr. Obama won the state narrowly in the general election 50 percent to John McCain’s 49 percent.

In 2012 the president will likely make an equally heavy push targeting the state in the general election. The choice of Charlotte to hold the party’s convention is just another sign the party hopes to keep the state squarely blue in 2012.

The city of Charlotte beat St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Cleveland.

The Republican Party has set their own convention for Tampa, Fla., the week before the Democrats have their convention.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Tuesday
Nov022010

DNC, RNC Spokesmen Set Expectations for Election Day

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Other than, of course, the voting, it's all about the expectations-setting now -- with both major political parties' fates judged not just based on numbers of votes, but how they fare against the collective conventional wisdom.

ABC News invited the communications directors for the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee to make their final pitches.

The DNC's Brad Woodhouse said the night won't be as bad as Republicans might have voters believe.

"I think it is great -- just go ahead and set those expectations," Woodhouse told us. "But I will tell you: we feel really good about what we are seeing in the early vote. If there was going to be a tsunami, it would be in the early vote. We are winning with sporadic and new voters and we are running even or ahead in the other states with actual votes...I think we can surprise some people."

The RNC’s Doug Heye joked that the empty studio he was in made him "feel like I am at the Obama rally."

"The voters certainly want to make adjustments and corrections and whatever number people want to pick out and speculate...we are optimistic," Heye said. "We are seeing, in our early voting in Florida, where we are clobbering the DNC who clobbered us in 2008 in early voting. We think we are in a good position, and to use a sports term: We have got the ball, it is the end of the game, we want to score the basket."

Woodhouse said Democrats should have been less shy about touting their accomplishments on items like health care.

"That has been our perspective the whole time. If you take tough votes, if you think that the votes are right, then you should be proud of what you voted for," he said. "I am not sure what we could have done to change the dynamic of the election. One thing we do have though is a ground game that is turning people out, and I think we are going to surprise people tomorrow."

We also asked them both if they'd like their opposing party chairman -- the DNC's Tim Kaine and the RNC's Michael Steele -- to serve additional terms.

Said Heye: "If that is what the chairman of the Democrats wants, that is fine. We don't care who their chairman is, we care about who the candidate is."

Said Woodhouse: "I would like to see nothing more than to see Michael Steele reelected as the chair of the Republican National Committee."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct282010

Pawlenty Plays FOIA Game With DNC

Photo Courtesy - Governor dot State dot MN dot US(WASHINGTON) -- A day after ABC News reported that Democratic Party officials asked the Pentagon for records of communication between military agencies and nine Republican presidential contenders, one of those possible candidates is firing back with his own public records request. 

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., was set to announce Thursday that he’s filing his own Freedom of Information Act request with a range of federal agencies. He’s asking for details of the Democratic National Committee’s role in promoting President Obama’s health care law.

"Next week’s election isn't even here -- and it will largely be a referendum on the president’s failure to create jobs, out of control government spending, and an ill-conceived health care bill -- but I find it ironic that they have given up the current fight and are instead so focused on the president's own re-election," Pawlenty said in a statement.

"But since they asked, and since they are so worried, I have some questions of my own about President Obama's time in the White House. For example, what was the DNC's role in selling Obamacare? Did the president's political advisers know the true costs of Obamacare?"

The DNC’s request for documents also drew a response from former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., who joked to CNN that it was “flattering” to be on the Democrats’ short list for 2012, after a 2008 candidacy where he struggled to gain traction. 

He said the opposition research effort reflects Democrats’ concerns about a "political tsunami" next week.

"They know they are going to get wiped out next Tuesday," he said. "They wouldn't be looking down the road in two years if they thought that they really had any shot at winning these races next week."
The DNC fired back Thursday evening, hitting Pawlenty for his frequent out-of-state travels as governor:

“That Tim Pawlenty, who has taken more trips to Iowa and New Hampshire this year than to several counties in Minnesota - the state he’s supposedly governing - would lecture anyone about where their focus is certainly funny.  As a matter of fact, if Pawlenty is so suddenly interested in transparency he should start by releasing his political travel records and meetings with lobbyists that he’s adamantly refusing to allow the people and press of Minnesota to review despite repeated requests,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan.  

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct272010

Early Voting On Track To Set Midterm Election Record

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FAIRFAX, Va.) -- With less than a week to go until Election Day, more than 9.4 million Americans have already cast their ballots in what experts say could be a banner midterm election season for early voting.

More than 1.5 million people have voted early in California, 1.2 million in Florida, 237,000 in Iowa and 266,000 in Nevada. Those numbers are likely to be lowball estimates, since some counties have been slow to report early voting statistics.

Local newspaper headlines from around the country tell the story. It's shaping up to be a record-breaking year in places like Polk County, Iowa; Kanawha County, West Virginia; Tazewell County, Illinois and Travis County, Texas. In St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, where early voting ended on Tuesday, the line to cast a ballot stretched out the door.

"It looks like we're on track to beat 2006," said George Mason University political scientist Michael McDonald, who has been tracking the early vote almost around the clock. "It's not clear if we're going to get up to 2008 levels yet."

Republicans and Democrats can point to key states and counties where they are out in front, and neither party has passed up the opportunity to spin the returns in their favor.

On Wednesday, the Democratic National Committee released a memo dismissing the notion that Democrats were the ones facing an enthusiasm gap this year, saying that in 11 key states Democrats were doing better than their GOP counterparts in early voting.

"The results to date are not only not consistent with the existence of a Republican enthusiasm gap," the DNC memo said, "they show that in key races Democrats are winning."

Democrats pointed to their early voting advantage in Nevada, Iowa, California Wisconsin, Washington state, Illinois and West Virginia.

"If Republicans were more enthusiastic in 2010, they would see significantly higher early vote across all levels of vote history than Democrats," said the DNC memo. "Most importantly, sporadic Republicans would consistently out-turnout sporadic Democrats in early voting. This hasn't materialized in early vote."

However, in other important states like Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania, the GOP is in the lead -- a fact that the Republican National Committee highlighted in a memo on Tuesday that argued the Democratic enthusiasm gap was alive and well.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct142010

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine Compares Controversy Over Interest Group Funding To Watergate

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine sharpened his criticism of the well-funded outside groups whose campaign war chests are swelling this year thanks to the contributions of anonymous donors.

Kaine predicted that the lack of transparency among these organizations, which have been putting most of their muscle behind Republican candidates and causes, represented “one of the biggest political process stories since Watergate.”

“As we see this trend toward funding campaigns through non-reportable entities, the Democrats stand squarely for requiring disclosure of who is funding campaigns,” Kaine said at a breakfast in Washington organized by the Christian Science Monitor. “And I don't think it’s an accident that you’re seeing this happen.”

The DNC chairman drew several comparisons between the current outcry among top Democrats about anonymous donors and the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, saying that by the time the Nixon-era drama fully unfolded, “it had its tentacles on a whole lot of areas including the financing of campaigns."

Watergate, Kaine said, led to “one or two most salutary developments in American politics in the last 30 years, which is the trend toward openness and disclosure.”

Kaine also weighed in on the recent campaign ad unveiled by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin’s Senate campaign that shows Manchin shooting a rifle at a copy of the cap-and-trade bill promoted by the Obama administration. In the ad, Manchin also vows to “repeal the bad parts of Obamacare.”

“I'm not wild about it," Kaine said of the campaign commercial. “The part that I most don't like is fixing what's bad about Obamacare. He had two Democratic senators -- very good senators -- who voted for that bill and they voted for it because it probably has as much to offer the residents of West Virginia as virtually any state.”

Kaine, however, did acknowledge that Manchin, who is running in a tight race against Republican businessman John Raese, was “a hell of a shot.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

September Marks Successful Fundraising Month for Democrats

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that September was its most successful fundraising month of the year. It raked in more than $16 million last month, nearly $3 million more than their previous high in March.

"Demonstrating the increased energy we've seen in the polls and among our grassroots activists, more than 80 percent of the more than $16 million we raised in September came from low dollar donors online and in the mail," DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in a statement. "We've found that our supporters are now focused on the election, are responding to the president's message laying out the choice and understand the stakes."

To keep up what the Democrats see as growing momentum heading into the final weeks before Election Day, President Obama will head back out on the campaign trail later in the week.  He will make stops in New Jersey for a DNC dinner, followed by visits to Prince George’s County, Maryland to attend an event for Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Chicago to campaign for Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias.´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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