(h/t Joe Sudbay @ Americablog)
Obama’s surrender on outside spending
By: Ben Smith, Politico
October 19, 2010 04:47 AM EDT
Democrats enter the homestretch of the 2010 elections complaining vocally about the flood of Republican money, much of it anonymous, pounding their candidates.
But as the White House points the finger at outside Republican groups, many Democrats point the finger back at the White House, which dismantled the Democratic Party’s own outside infrastructure in 2008 and never tried to rebuild it.
(T)o some of its more practical-minded allies, the White House is protecting the brand at a very real cost to the party.
“The leadership of the Obama campaign warned their donors against giving to outside groups, including many of the key issue groups that motivate progressives. The leadership in the White House has done the same thing,” said Erica Payne, one of the founders of the Democracy Alliance, a group of the largest liberal donors, who now heads the Agenda Project. “As a result, the administration often looks like Will Ferrell in the movie ‘Old School’ – running through the street naked, shouting, ‘Come on, everybody’s streaking,’ when in reality they are all by themselves.”
That active discouragement began in earnest in May 2008 as Democratic fundraisers began joining hands to try to take back the White House. A first effort, a 527 called the Fund for America, had boasted in March that it would spend $150 million. As it fizzled, a new nonprofit group called Progressive Media USA announced in April that it would raise and spend $40 million from anonymous donors to attack John McCain.
Then, in early May, in a conference call and at a meeting of Obama’s national finance team, Finance Chairwoman Penny Pritzker told donors and fundraisers that Obama didn’t want them helping outside groups. The money stopped so abruptly that Progressive Media was left unable to spend enough on nonpolitical causes to preserve its tax status and was folded into the Center for American Progress.
You piss on your friends and suck up to your enemies, you get what you deserve.