DNC Links Donations to Allegations
As allegations unfolded last week that President Clinton had sexual encounters with a former White House intern and asked her to lie about it, Democratic faithful responded by opening their checkbooks, the party’s chairman said Friday.
“A sense of urgency has been created to be there with the president and the party,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Steve Grossman.
In the first two days after the Clinton allegations surfaced, contributions to the party fell precipitously, Grossman said. But since then--spurred in part by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s spirited counterattack--donors have responded enthusiastically to the party’s request for money, he said.
“This is powerful validation of what the president and first lady have been up to,” Grossman said.
Each January the DNC mounts a donor renewal program asking past supporters to pledge again. Grossman said the average pledge prior to the allegations involving the intern Monica S. Lewinsky was $28; it dropped to $25 a week ago and is now $30.
Even before this week’s uptick in donations, the party’s financial picture had been slowly improving. In a year-end report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, the DNC reported a debt of $9.1 million, down from $16.9 million six months ago.