DNC Officials Demand Refund From Hillary Clinton

Several officials with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are demanding that Hillary Clinton return over a million dollars that the organization paid her political group for her campaign email list and other resources, reports the Huffington Post's Daniel Marans.

In February 2017, the DNC agreed to pay Clinton’s group Onward Together $1.65 million for her campaign email list, analytics, donor data and related items, The Intercept reported on Wednesday. The cache of material was worth more than $5 million; Clinton’s campaign made an in-kind donation of resources worth $3.5 million, and the DNC paid for the rest.

Now a number of Democratic Party officials, including some state party chairs and DNC members, want Clinton to retroactively donate the campaign materials to the DNC and return the money that the party organ gave Onward Together. -Huffington Post

So far, the DNC has paid over $700,000 to rent the campaign's list. 

The DNC paid Onward Together $300,000 in January and $135,000 in every subsequent month, according to Federal Election Commission filings and information provided by the DNC. Thus far, it has transferred $705,000 to Clinton’s group; as of the end of this month, that sum will have increased to $840,000. -Huffington Post

Nancy Worley, chairwoman of Alabama's Democratic Party and 2016 Clinton supporter said “She should return the money for the ‘love of the Democratic Party’ to the DNC for its use." 

Wisconsin's Democratic Party chair, Martha Laning, along with Missouri Democratic National Committeeman Curtis Wylde were also among those calling on Clinton to return the DNC payments and retroactively donate her list. 

Others appealed to Clinton's faith, with DNC official Brian Wahby saying that returning the money and an in-kind donation "would be a Christian thing to do," however he stopped short of asking for it. 

In a statement to Fox News, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill defended Clinton - saying that "paying a rental fee for use of an email list is common practice, and in this case the DNC has raised over $30 million with it, an 1800 [percent] return on their investment." 

"Putting the DNC on a strong footing is something that Secretary Clinton was very focused on during the campaign," Merrill added. "She was the first presidential candidate in decades to leave the DNC in the black after a Presidential cycle. The campaign turned over an unprecedented amount of campaign data and resources."

Xochitl Hinojosa, a DNC spokeswoman, agreed that the DNC had gotten “a return on our investment and more since obtaining all of the lists and data.”

Donna Brazile forged the agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC in February 2017, while she was serving as interim DNC chairwoman. Brazile, who has been critical of how the Clinton campaign treated the DNC, said she believed the deal would help her successor as DNC chair “inherit a party in good shape.” -Huffington Post

Current DNC chairman, Tom Perez, has amended the payment schedule - however fundamental aspects of the arrangement remain in place, according to Hinojosa. 

Given the sad state of the DNC's finances, however, Clinton why wouldn't Clinton want to help the party that has done so much for her family?

The Intercept report comes as the DNC struggles with a fundraising disadvantage while the midterm campaign kicks into high gear. According to OpenSecrets, the RNC has raised $171.5 million so far this cycle, nearly double the $88.1 million raised by the DNC.

The numbers also show that the DNC has spent $90.5 million this cycle -- nearly $2 million more than it has taken in -- and has just $9.3 million in cash on hand. By contrast, the RNC has nearly $43 million in cash on hand and a surplus of $17.6 million. -Fox News

Clinton's lack of charity when it comes to her own party is nothing new for a prominent Democrat - as Barack Obama withheld his email list entirely from the DNC during his first term - instead using it as the foundation of his political group, Organizing for America (renamed Organizing for Action). Following his 2012 re-election, the former President initially allowed the DNC to use his email list before formally donating it to the party in 2015. 

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has outright refused to turn over his email list to the DNC despite calls to do so after he lost his party's nomination in the 2016 primary. 

“They weren’t saying Bernie, ‘Rent your list.’ They wanted the list,” said Jim Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute and a Sanders appointee to the DNC’s Unity and Reform Commission. “They said, ‘All candidates do this ― they turn it over to the party.’ Well, now I find out that they don’t.” -HuffPo

Zogby is a proponent of an oversight committee within the DNC in the hopes of improving financial transparency - which the party will vote on in August.  

It is critical to the ultimate survival of the party as a viable institution,” Zogby said.

Good one, Jim!