Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Cost of Running for Democratic Party Chair

One week until the anticipated floor fight. We know that Glen Maxey, Charlie Jones, and Boyd Richie will all be nominated to be the chair of the State Party. We don’t know if there will be a dark horse or whether Lakesha Rogers will do more than stump for LaRouche.

The race for Democratic Party Chair has been engaging for the first time in over two decades and a quick look at a recent poll and the posted finance reports give a hint as to why.

Boyd Richie was named interim chair on April 22nd, a month after Charles Soechting resigned from the post and nearly 5 months after announcing he was a candidate for the position.

Boyd has run an aggressive campaign that focuses mostly on e-mail from both the party and his personal e-mail. In a poll released at BOR Richie was around 13%. The cost of that 13% has been $18,706.45 to one consultant. Peck Young has made more than I did my first year doing fieldwork across the country for environmental issues.

To put that into further perspective, Richie has raised approximately $11,645 and loaned himself $25,000. He has spent $26,913.84. Peck Young, a consultant, has received more than half of the total amount Richie has for the campaign and almost twice what individuals have given him. According to the financial records at the Texas Ethics Commission, Young’s services include e-mails, (no cost involved in production), postage ($ .20 a piece), printing (unknown), stickers ($.35 each usually), and flyers.

Will he spend the party money the same way if elected?

Charlie Jones on the other hand has raised approximately $3,925 and spent about 3,038.95. The filing was done by hand (paper record) and there is no digital record of who has donated or what he has spent money on.

Lakesha Rogers has filed, but as of May 8th has neither received or spent any money.
The Maxey camp has said they have filed with the TEC but no copy has been put online.

Richie is clearly the big money candidate and should have higher name recognition because of it. I now receive one to three e-mails from either his campaign or the party (which has triggered my spam filter for all party e-mails), but he still need 62% of the undecided delegates to win next week.

Jones and Maxey are running a conversation with all 254 counties and it shows. They are spending less money to do more with it. They are practicing what they preach by implementing new technology and empowering delegates and activist to change the party compared to the Richie plan of one consultant, $20,000, and few tangible results going into Fort Worth.


At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sometimes the party does need to spend money on consultants. they have experience and know how that some folks in the grassroots dont. its true. if maxey wasnt running from consultants, his campaign collateral might come off a little more professional. I hope when he becomes chair he runs the party in a more professional manner than his campaign has been run.

i also hope he finds happy mix of insiders, consultants and grassroots. they are all important for a successful party.

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Maxey is "running from" consultants--of course consultants are needed in certain places. He is one, which he has stated will not in any way be any sort of conflict of interest whatsoever, as he would be dedicated to his role as Chair. But the idea is that there are ways to do things that you -- ready?? -- don't have to pay consultants. With his mailer and other expenses I am sure Maxey has spent some money--the 8 day report will be more telling than these...but he hasn't had to spend much across the state because of help from his strong supporters in all pockets of the state. Boyd has had to pay Peck to try to organize that for him. It's just telling.

Of further interest at the TYP forum on April 22 when asked about technology experience, when Maxey listed several that he had used or helped to create from a concept, Boyd replied, "Of course he knows how to do it, he's a consultant!" as if the word were a hand grenade. It's just funny that someone who uses the word consultant as a four letter word to describe their opponent pays one out the wazoo. Great catch, JAB.


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