Obama keeps Dean at DNC, bans lobbyist money
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama, now cast as the Democrats' standard-bearer, moved quickly to put his imprint on the national party Thursday, eager to reinforce its fundraising operation and pursue an aggressive general election campaign.
It would be well to note that this applies only to money raised by the DNC not the individual candidates running down ticket from Obama.
Howard Dean will remain as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, an affirmation by Obama of Dean's bottoms-up rebuilding of the party across all 50 states. Still, Obama is installing one of his top strategists, Paul Tewes, to help expand the DNC staff and oversee party operations.
The move puts Obama's ample fundraising machine at the party's disposal. In so doing, Obama imposed on the DNC the same ban on money from federal lobbyists and political action committees that he has placed on his campaign.
The DNC has trailed its GOP counterpart in fundraising. Over the past 17 months, the Republican National Committee has raised $166 million to the Democratic National Committee's $82.3 million. The DNC also has spent heavily, leaving little cash on hand while the Republican National Committee has built up its reserves. At the end of May, the RNC had nearly $54 million in the bank to the DNC's $4 million.
That Republican advantage is overshadowed by Obama's sizable edge over presumed Republican nominee John McCain. At the end of May, McCain had raised $115 million and had $31.5 million in the bank. Obama has not announced his May totals, but at the end of April had raised $264 million and had $46.5 million in the bank
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