The Democratic National Committee will begin doling out $1 million among 11 state parties as part of its $10 million State Party Innovation Fund, a party spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
The move, first reported by the Washington Post, comes days after VICE News reported that state parties were increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of distributing the grants. More than seven months after the DNC’s July announcement of the ambitious plan to rebuild the state parties with the innovation fund, only one state—Washington—had received any money, VICE News reported.
But now, the party is officially announcing its grant to Washington along with more to Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told the Post that more grants would be approved in the coming weeks.
Some state parties had expressed concern that they weren't going to be able to take advantage of the 2018 elections without the grants from the innovation fund. The party did increase the monthly stipend to state parties from $7,500 to $10,000 last October. The lack of money raised questions of whether party chairman Tom Perez was capable of raising sufficient money to fund the state party revamp. As of November 30, the party did not even have $10 million cash on hand (the DNC declined to provide updated numbers).
The DNC has been a conspicuous outlier on the left in its inability to raise significant money in the Trump era. New progressive “resistance” groups, candidates up and down the ballot, and even the Democratic Party’s House and Senate arms are flush with cash. But the DNC has had trouble raising money for its efforts.
Perez inherited a party in disarray with significant debts when he became chairman last February, just months after one of the worst election defeats in the party’s history. The party’s three biggest stars—Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders—have done little to help Perez raise money for his efforts so far.
Cover: Tom Perez, chair, Democratic National Committee, appears on "Meet the Press" in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)