Is the Democratic National Committee holding on to the $5 million it has committed to the Creigh Deeds gubernatorial campaign out of concern for the campaign’s direction? The short answer to that is no, looking at campaign-finance records.
The DNC has contributed $1.225 million toward the $5 million it committed to the Deeds campaign last month, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project.
The cash came in three installments – $500,000 each on June 30 and Aug. 18 and $225,000 on Aug. 26.
So what about the remaining $3.775 million that is on the hook for the final four-plus weeks of campaigning? The AFP reported on Wednesday that the DNC has been balking at releasing committed funds to the Deeds campaign because of internal dissension over the approach of the Deeds campaign in the wake of news reports on the controversial 1989 grad-school thesis of Republican nominee Bob McDonnell that gave the Deeds effort a significant shot in the arm in the polls.
The story circulating in Democratic circles this week has top state and national party leaders at odds with Deeds strategists over what the campaign needs to do to pivot from the thesis to putting in front of voters a message as to why voters should pull the lever for Deeds.
I was able to ask DNC chair Tim Kaine about this Thursday afternoon in Staunton after the Virginia governor rolled out a new program promoting energy efficiency at a Lowe’s superstore. Specifically, I asked if there was anything to the talk about friction between the DNC and the Deeds campaign.
“Nope, nope, we made a sizable commitment. We knew we were going to make a big commitment. We made a $5 million commitment in late August, and we’re on track to meet it, and that’s the dollars. But more than that is kind of expertise and work and time. And we’re putting all of that in,” Kaine said.
A Deeds campaign spokesman later Thursday categorically denied the reports that there was any friction between the campaign and the DNC.
In addition to the monies already contributed to the Deeds campaign from the DNC, the Democratic Governors Association has also come through with $1 million to date for the Deeds campaign, including a $250,000 contribution reported by the Virginia Public Access Project on Wednesday.
The McDonnell campaign is also looking for the bulk of the $7 million committed to it by the Republican National Committee. According to VPAP, the RNC has to date contributed $1.95 million to the McDonnell campaign, leaving it with $5.05 million to go to fulfill its commitment.
– Story by Chris Graham