Tom Pérez Beefs with State Dems
DNC Chair Tom Pérez is beefing with members of his own party. At issue? Voter data. Under the current setup, state parties collect data, and the DNC covers the cost of cleaning up and analyzing it. The party wants to upgrade the data sets, adding information such as email addresses, social media accounts, and mobile phone numbers. The DNC has proposed mimicking the RNC’s data project, where they would set up a separate trust to warehouse the information and license it to all members of the party and allies, including super PACs and other outside groups. However, Ken Martin, President of the Association of State Democratic Committees, rejected that idea and instead proposed to his members that state parties cut out the DNC altogether and work with TargetSmart -- a for-profit company with whom they have an existing financial relationship -- which would give state parties a commission when it licenses their raw voter data to its other clients. “For some inexplicable reason, this proposal would tear down just about everything about our current data structure, reversing so much of the progress we made over the past decade,” Pérez wrote in an email to members. That email immediately triggered an uproar and multiple clapbacks on Saturday from some state party leaders, who held conference calls and communicated with a flurry of emails and texts. According to Politico, Pérez was referred to in a call as “a bull in a china shop,” and another state party official called him “petulant,” via text message. Pérez even threatened to cut off access to campaign tech tools like VoteBuilder, an online organizing platform, if state parties go forward with their plan. The DNC and state parties have shared a national data set of voter information since 2005. It starts with voter rolls provided by state election officials and enriched by information that candidates and Democratic allies gather during campaigns. The more data points, the easier it is for candidates and party committees to decide which messages to use in communicating with different types of voters. But the GOP upped their game in the last few years including digital information, whereas the Dem data is mostly physical information such as home addresses and in-person contacts. Now, going into a presidential election season, this beef threatens to sew more discord between the national body and the states. More here.