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Posts tagged ‘Democratic National Committee’

Obama, Hillary Join Forces to Raise Money for Democrats.


President Barack Obama is bolstering his party’s campaign coffers, joining an ally of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to help the Democratic National Committee climb out of a worrisome deficit. It’s the latest alignment of the Obama and Clinton orbits, as the former first lady considers a White House bid in 2016.

Obama is traveling to New York Tuesday to raise money for the party at two events, including a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of Alan Patricof, the founder of a New York venture capital fund. Patricof is a longtime Clinton friend and financial bundler for her Senate and presidential campaigns.

The event illustrates the overlapping fundraising draw that Obama and the former first lady, senator and secretary of state represent for the party at a crucial time for the cash-strapped DNC. It also helps bridge some internal party tensions between donors who are merely interested in presidential politics and the Democrats’ needs during this year’s midterm elections.

Patricof wrote in a February email to contributors that he and his wife, Susan, had been “relatively quiet on the political front” following Clinton’s loss to Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary.

“The most effective way that we all can be helpful to Hillary, and the Democratic Party in general, is to make sure that the Democratic National Committee is as strong as possible if Hillary should decide to run in 2016 and, for that matter, if any other good candidate appears on the scene if she decides not to be in the race,” Patricof wrote in the email, first reported by Politico.

He called the fundraiser with Obama a “fireside chat” that would include 13 couples — 26 people — paying $32,500 per person.

The DNC has been trying to pare down millions of dollars in debt accumulated during Obama’s re-election campaign; through the end of January the DNC owed more than $15 million.

Obama, who will also raise money at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser while in New York, has been making a sober fundraising pitch of late, warning that Democrats run the risk of losing control of the Senate if the party doesn’t have the resources to motivate voters this November.

The president’s cash-raising comes amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine and a fast-approaching health care sign-up deadline that have been preoccupying the White House, underscoring the competing demands on Obama. It also comes as Obama is struggling with tepid approval ratings. Recent Gallup and CNN/Opinion Research polls place his job approval at 45 and 43 percent respectively. Over the past year, Obama’s approval ratings as measured by Gallup have fluctuated between a high of 51 percent last April and 39 percent in January.

If Clinton runs and wins the party’s nomination in 2016, the DNC would serve as a platform of continuity between the Obama White House and a future Clinton campaign. Party leaders recently outlined plans to build upon its technological advantage over Republicans and expand its voter registration and protection work in key states, steps that will help Obama’s successor.

The DNC already has plenty of Clinton connections. Committee members include Harold Ickes and Minyon Moore, both longtime advisers to Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. One of its top fundraisers is Michael Kempner, a New Jersey public relations executive who served as co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 national finance committee and was a top bundler for Obama in 2012.

For many Clinton backers, the DNC is a natural place to offer help while the former New York senator mulls her future.

“It’s a clear signal that the Clinton faction of the party is seeking to help the president any way possible,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic strategist who advised Bill Clinton’s campaigns. “Money is still the mother’s milk of American politics.”

The fundraiser is the latest in a series of steps that have helped bring together the Obama and Clinton camps after the bitterness of the 2008 primary fight.

Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action recently brought on board Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, to lead the group. It made clear that it will back Clinton if she seeks the nomination. The super PAC’s executive director is Buffy Wicks, a former top Obama campaign staffer.

Ready for Hillary, a grassroots group aiming to lay the groundwork for a Clinton campaign, is advised by former Obama campaign aides Jeremy Bird and Mitch Stewart. In Iowa, which traditionally holds the nation’s first presidential caucus, the super PAC dispatched 250 volunteers last weekend to sign up new members at county Democratic conventions. The group covered 84 of the state’s 99 counties.

Patricof is managing director of Greycroft LLC, a venture capital firm he founded in 2006. In November, Obama appointed him to the President’s Global Development Council.

 

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

‘Growing Crescendo’ in GOP to Hold Lerner in Contempt


There’s a “growing crescendo” to hold retired IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for her repeated refusal to testify about the tax agency’s targeted scrutiny of tea party groups, one House Oversight Committee member said Wednesday.

In the wake of a contentious less-than-10-minute hearing where Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination — triggering an angry exchange between committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa and ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings — North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows said “The American people … want to hold those people accountable.. and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“There is a growing crescendo that they should hold her in contempt of Congress and the American people get what they deserve,” Meadows told Fox News.

Among the GOP chorus calling for a contempt charge is House Speaker John Boehner.

“She has to testify or she should be held in contempt,” the Ohio Republican said after the hearing, saying he’d wait for a report from Issa.

A contempt vote could lead to a criminal prosecution — and fan the controversy that erupted last year when the agency’s extra scrutiny of tea party-backed nonprofits came to light.

Issa’s committee since then has held five hearings, issued three subpoenas for documents and interviewed IRS officials.

Democrats howled after the hearing, where Cummings had demanded he be given a right to speak before adjournment — but instead had his microphone turned off.

“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America,” Cummings yelled as Issa dismissed the meeting and cut of microphones. “I am tired of this.

“We have members over here, each who represent 700,000 people. You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that. And, it’s absolutely un-American,” Cummings yelled.

“We had a hearing. We are adjourned. I gave you an opportunity to ask a question. You had no questions,” Issa, a Republican from California, responded.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, slammed Issa for conducting a “witch hunt.”

“What we’re seeing in the House today is a sign of larger dysfunction and partisanship on behalf of Republicans,” Van Hollen told MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown,” according to Politico.

“Darrell Issa has been conducting this political witch hunt for a long time now. He’s frustrated because he hasn’t been able to come up with any evidence of intentional political wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration, and so he’s getting frustrated and making stuff up.”

Democratic National Committee chair, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, called Issa’s conduct at the Wednesday hearing comparable to oppression in Ukraine and Venezuela, according to Politico, saying she was “stunned” that Issa would try to silence Cummings by cutting off his mic.

Cummings continued speaking for about 10 minutes; Lerner remained seated.

Issa said he’ll decide by next week whether his committee will seek to hold Lerner in contempt.

Lerner first appeared before the committee last May, when she also invoked the Fifth Amendment after maintaining that she was innocent of wrongdoing. The committee determined the following month that Lerner waived her right against self-incrimination by making that statement.

A Treasury inspector general’s report has since determined the IRS had used inappropriate criteria to scrutinize groups, though it found no evidence of a political motivation.

The Justice Department is involved in a criminal probe of the matter.

The IRS has since proposed new rules for handling social welfare groups engaged in political activity, though conservative groups have called them too restrictive.

Bloomberg news contributed to this report

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers and Cathy Burke

Biden: ‘We May Not Get to 7 Million’ by Obamacare Deadline.


Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged on Wednesday that it will be hard to reach the target on the number of people signing up for health insurance by a looming March 31 deadline for Obamacare enrollment.

The Congressional Budget Office had originally forecast that 7 million people would sign up for insurance, many with help from subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

But the program got off to a rough start in October when a website used to shop for insurance plans failed to work for almost two months. The nonpartisan CBO recently trimmed its enrollment forecast for 2014 to 6 million.

Biden, on his way to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Minneapolis, spoke with a small group of people in the city who are working to help others sign up for insurance, and thanked them for their work.

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“We may not get to seven million, we may get to five or six, but that’s a hell of a start,” Biden said, according to a pool report of his meeting.

The Obama administration said last week that 3.3 million people have enrolled in private Obamacare health plans between Oct. 1 and Feb 1.

The deadline for 2014 coverage is March 31, and the administration and allied groups are pushing to convince more uninsured people in big cities to sign up.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Democrats Have 11 Videos Ready to Slam Christie on Bridge-gate.


Democratic Party strategists are focusing on a systematic strategy to undermine New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s national image by capitalizing on the backlash from the George Washington bridge scandal.

According to The New York Times, Democratic operatives reaching up to the highest levels of the party are using every opportunity to define Christie as a corrupt bully as they aim to sabotaging his chances of mounting a successful run for the White House.

Democrats have already created 11 different videos to capitalize on Christie’s links to the bridge-gate scandal. They are also organizing protests and news conferences in different parts of the country to dog Christie during his travels in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

“If Republican governors want to keep embracing him as their chair, as their model for the future, we’re happy to help them out,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, told the Times.

Democrats have also resorted to attacking GOP candidates and lawmakers who have come to Christie’s defense, from a potential Senate candidate in New Hampshire to a New York congressman, according to The Times.

For example, when former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is considering a run for Senate in New Hampshire, defended Christie on television, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee immediately ridiculed him as being “defender-in-chief of scandal-ridden Chris Christie,” according to The Times.

The Democratic National Committee has issued 58 emails to the media about the Christie administration’s alleged acts of political revenge, while American Bridge, a Democratic research group, has issued 169 requests for internal documents from the Christie Administration, the Times reports.

The escalating attacks have begun to limit Christie’s ability to work on behalf of GOP candidates, with aides being forced to conceal the details of fundraisers and events. But key donors have so far said they will not turn their backs on him.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melanie Batley

Howard Dean: Obamacare Mandate Not Needed, Has Hurt President.


 Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says the Obamacare mandate that all Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine is not only unpopular — it’s totally unnecessary.

Dean told CNBC Monday that the number of young, healthy people signing up for President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, broadening the risk pool for everyone buying their insurance in the Obamacare insurance marketplace, “doesn’t really matter that much,” the Washington Times reported.

“This is about the individual mandate,” the former Vermont governor and onetime presidential candidate said. “The individual mandate was not necessary, and it’s probably a big political thing, and that is going to hurt the Democrats because people don’t like to be told what to do by the government no matter what party they’re in.”

“But the truth is, that wasn’t necessary, and the insurance companies like it because it does bring young, healthy people who aren’t likely to get sick into the system,” he said.

A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans don’t like the individual mandate. The Rasmussen poll, released Dec. 17, shows that 58 percent of those surveyed opposed the requirement.

Dean argued as much more than a year ago, warning, prophetically, that the mandate would hurt the president.

As the Supreme Court of the United States was deliberating the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Dean said it wouldn’t matter even if the high court struck down the mandate.

“The mandate is something that’s not really necessary, first of all,” Dean told Fox News Sunday on April 1, 2012. “If the justices strike it down, it might actually help the president, because the people don’t like the mandate. But if the rest of the bill stays intact, I think it will ultimately be seen as a victory for the president.”

The Supreme Court in June 2012 upheld the 2010 law.

On Monday, Dean said that for young people under 18 in Vermont, “the individual mandate is really not that necessary, and the actual data does not lead to the conclusion that you’re going to have huge cost overruns for the insurance companies.”

Still, Dean is now predicting the law itself will eventually work.

“I think there are going to be some more bumps, but I do think ultimately this is going to get better, not worse,” he said. “We’re not out of the woods, but I think by March we will be, and a lot more people will have insurance.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

DNC Sends Email Preparing To Defend Against Obama Impeachment.


The Democratic National Committee (DNC) sent out a paranoid email Saturday evening urging supporters to vote for Democrats so that Republicans can’t impeach President Obama.

impeach-obama
The email, subject line “Impeachment,” was sent to Obama for America supporters, imploring them to contribute to the DNC’s 2014 efforts. “What do these people all have in common?,” the email asked, featuring quotes from Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas discussing the possibility of impeaching Obama for one of his numerous instances of presidential misconduct.

The DNC email discussed the “I-Word” and said that “Republicans are actually excited about the idea.”

“Show these Republicans that they are way, way off-base, and give President Obama a Congress that has his back,” according to the DNC email, noting that Democrats need to win 17 GOP House seats to reclaim a majority.

The DNC, which recently expanded its political tactics to include boycotting independent news outlets, previously supported the last president to be impeached: Bill Clinton.

Obama’s staff changed key talking points on the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack; his Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle; and Obama personally lied to the American people when he told them that they could keep their existing doctors and health insurance plans under Obamacare.

Obama’s expansion of executive branch authority is “setting the stage for something very dangerous in the future” according to Republican Rep. Justin Amashsource- Daily Caller.

by NTEB News Desk

Hillary Group Attacks Christie Over ‘Bridgegate’.


Image: Hillary Group Attacks Christie Over 'Bridgegate'

By Melanie Batley

A group linked to Hillary Clinton has joined the fray to attack New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over the bridge closure controversy that has dogged his administration for weeks, already resulting in the resignation of two officials and a firestorm of accusations from state and national Democrats.

Correct the Record, a group formed by top supporters of the former first lady, created a graphic showing the Republican governor’s frowning face, a highway sign that reads “Lanes Closed. Expect Christie?” with another road sign say “political retribution.” The bottom of the ad says, “…the emerging facts aren’t lining up with the administration’s story,” CNN reported.

“Welcome to the world that is 2016,” Adrienne Elrod, communications director for the group, told The Washington Post.

“We’re watching every word that comes out of his mouth… He’s been able to enjoy for the most part being a pretty popular governor, but he’s never really been tested on the national stage.”

The organization is an offshoot of Democratic super PAC American Bridge, and is a research and response project dedicated to mobilizing against possible 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls, as part of a larger push to lay the groundwork for a 2016 Clinton candidacy.

Democrats allege that Christie ordered a September closure of lanes onto the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey to New York as retribution for the refusal of Fort Lee Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich to join other New Jersey mayors in endorsing Christie for re-election.

This week, Democrats in Washington D.C. turned up the heat on Christie with Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate’s transportation committee, asking Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to investigate the closures.

“You’ve got the DNC, some of the Hillary-tied PACs diving into this story,” Kevin Hagan, a New Jersey-based Democratic strategist told the Post. “You don’t want to continue to give your perceived opponent a pass.”

Democrats have also created a politically-charged YouTube video  with a narrative designed to raise the profile of the issue and link it to questions about Christie’s character and integrity.

“It undercuts his key argument that he’s a straight shooter,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin said of the controversy, according to the Post.
“It highlights the worst about his bombast and his condescension.”

And in a signal that Democrats intend to continue to escalate the issue, one Democratic leader told the Post that the “Bridgegate” episode reveals the Christie administration’s “Nixon-like dirty tricks,” while another compared it to Watergate, and a third speculated about impeachment.

Christie has continued to downplay accusations of wrongdoing, suggesting they are politically motivated and have been “sensationalized.”

“National Democrats will make an issue about everything about me, so get used to the new world everybody, you know?” Christie told a news conference Friday.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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