Beltway Happenings
June 11, 2005 -- "We are going to change America," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told the DNC 's 64-person executive committee during its regular meeting.  Four months into his tenure, Dean is the subject of some controversy over recent remarks.  At a fundraiser in San Francisco on June 7 Dean said of Republicans, "They all look the same.  It's pretty much a white Christian party."  Earlier in June at the "Take Back America" conference in Washington, DC Dean referred to Republicans who "never made an honest living in their lives," a statement he later qualified.  Futher pressure has come from news stories suggesting that the DNC is not keeping up with the RNC in its fundraising, and criticism that the party does not have enough African-Americans in leadership positions.

Publicly Dean and the executive committee appeared unphased.  Since becoming chair, Dean has been building his staff and implementing a state partnership program; he has visited 22 states and done 26 fundraising events.  The DNC raised more than $1 million a week in the first four months of 2003, a total of $18.6 million. 
The party has established a National Lawyers Council and plans to establish chapters in each state.  A Veterans' Council is to be announced shortly, a new website is scheduled to be unveiled at the end of the month, and a huge outreach effort is promised. 
DNC polling director Cornell Belcher, in a presentation titled "Mosaic of a Presidency in Decline," noted that the Democratic Party is more trusted than the Republican party for the first time since 9-11.  Belcher said that Republicans have "misread their mandate."  On the subject of faith voters he stated, "A lot of them are quite frankly up for grabs."

Democratic National Committee

Copyright © 2005  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action