The Democrats are having some trouble getting their usual big-money donors to shell out money to support their super PACs.
But other Democratic operatives privately told POLITICO of outside group solicitations that prompted chilly responses from donors unhappy with either the fundraising pitch, the positioning of the Democratic Party or some combination thereof.Ah, the wages of hypocrisy might start drying up. The Democrats blasted Wall Street and then are surprised that many who got rich on Wall Street don't want to hand over money so that the Democrats can go around and demonize them some more.
Specific complaints ranged from displeasure with how Obama and congressional Democrats handled the debt ceiling crisis this summer, to the party’s vilification of Wall Street, where many top Democratic donors made their fortunes, to uncertainty about the players in the new outside group universe, to displeasure with Democrats’ pursuit of big checks.
Others are noticing the disconnect between the way that Obama excoriated the Supreme Court decision, Citizens United that led to the creation of these super PACs and now his party is trying to raise money through that same method that he called "a threat to our democracy."
But in order for Democrats to come anywhere close to keeping pace with the Rove-linked groups, they’re going to need to raise much more from billionaires such as investor George Soros and insurance magnate Peter Lewis. The $275,000 they gave to the super PACs this year pales in comparison to the nearly $40 million they contributed in 2004 to two liberal outside groups that boosted Democrat John Kerry’s unsuccessful campaign against then-President George W. Bush.If Obama keeps on aiming to raise the big money for his campaign with his goal of raising a billion dollars that will mean that there will be even less money lying around for liberal groups like these super PACs to vacuum up.
After Bush won reelection, Soros, Lewis and other major Democratic donors shifted their giving away from explicitly electoral efforts and toward think tanks and other groups they considered to be part of a more permanent liberal intellectual infrastructure.
That philosophy is hampering Democratic efforts to catch up in the outside money game, complain some Democratic finance types, while others point to Obama himself as a drag.
His 2010 attacks on anonymously funded outside spending as “a threat to our democracy” scared off some wealthy liberals from the super PAC and 501(c)(4) world, and though his allies dialed back their opposition to outside spending after the election, they have pledged not to actively assist outside groups.
And once again they're blaming it all on Karl Rove.