DNC Chairman Tom Perez is used to taking Republican criticism, but it’s Democrats who are vocally unhappy with him for his job performance.
In the early months of 2017, no one fought harder to become DNC chairman than Tom Perez, the Obama administration labor secretary with a relatively thin resume. What Perez lacked in experience, he made up for with coarse language and false bravado.
It was enough to secure the nomination, but a series of disastrous events at the DNC are leading some to question Perez’s abilities.
Perez announced last month he would be taking a part-time job as a senior fellow at Brown University. That move surprised many after Perez campaigned on a platform that stated the role of DNC chair was a full-time job.
But more than just breaking his word, Democrats are genuinely concerned about his ability to lead the DNC. May was the DNC’s worst fundraising month since 2003, and the Republican National Committee is crushing its Democratic counterpart in fundraising to date.
During the first half of the year, the DNC raised $38.1 million, while the RNC brought in $75.4 million. And while the RNC had nearly $45 million in the bank, the DNC had less than $7.5 million.
In July, the DNC raised $3.8 million, while the RNC raised $10.2 million. That prompted one Democratic donor to unleash on Perez:
“A lot of us feel like there’s nothing exciting, nothing invigorating coming from that building and particularly from Tom Perez,” said one top Democratic bundler, who complained that the DNC chairman didn’t even coordinate the first meeting for fundraisers until several weeks ago.
“I’ve never heard from him. Not once,” the bundler said. “If you want to show strength, you personally reach out to all the big fundraisers.”
Democrat members of Congress aren’t holding back, either. Rep. Luis Guiterrez (D-IL) said of Perez’s job performance, “There’s a lot of room for improvement.”
“Part of the problem is that when you’re a parachutist into the party [and] you didn’t work yourself up the party chain and in the trenches, I think you’re going to have problems, especially with [what] is still a very divisive and contested match,” Gutiérrez said Wednesday.
Are Perez’s days as DNC chairman numbered? It’s unclear if Democrats could unite behind another candidate, but the top vote-getter behind Perez in this year’s DNC elections was Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a controversial congressman with ties to Louis Farrakhan.
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