Less than 2 percent of the money disbursed by the Democratic Party’s three largest committees went to firms with full or partial minority ownership, according to a new report released Wednesday that suggests a disconnect between the party’s increasingly diverse voter base and its Beltway leadership.
The report, compiled by PowerPAC+, a political action committee funded by Democratic megadonor Steve Phillips, takes the Democratic committees to task for their failure to solicit a broad group of minority consultants to compete for the hundreds of millions of dollars they dole out for political activities.
“The fact that this is occurring under the first black president’s watch should be a wake-up call because it’s embarrassing,” said veteran strategist Donna Brazile, vice chair of the Democratic Party for voter registration and participation. “The people exist, the organizations exist, and the resources are there. This is a failure by those that are running and managing the party.”
The report analyzes Federal Election Commission data of expenditures in the 2010 and 2012 cycles made by the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Responding to the findings, Democratic Party officials acknowledged the need to diversify their base of consultants, though they stressed that they are already taking steps to broaden outreach. That includes in-house training programs that aren’t reflected in the spending reports, the officials said.
“When you look at the two parties, it is clear which party has a demonstrated commitment to diversity and policies that will help all communities,” said DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee. “Having said that, we can always do better. And I’m happy there are people out there holding our feet to the fire.”
Of the $514 million paid to consulting firms overall, the study found, only $8.7 million went to firms with “any ownership share African-American, Latino, Asian American or Pacific Islander, or Native American individuals.” That amounts to 1.7 percent of all the money disbursed to consultants by the three committees.
The total share of contracts given to firms with partial minority ownership…..
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