DNC requiring campaigns seeking voter file to fundraise, record videos: report

DNC requiring campaigns seeking voter file to fundraise, record videos: report
© Greg Nash

Candidates seeking the Democratic Party’s coveted 50-state voter file will have to agree to a series of terms mandated by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), BuzzFeed News reports.

According to a memo reported by the outlet on Saturday, candidates have to pay $175,000 for the file, appear at one or more DNC fundraising events every three months during the duration of their campaign, and record a short video supporting the DNC at each appearance.

Campaigns are also required to sign at least one DNC fundraising email every three months, splitting the donations evenly between the campaign and the DNC, and participate in a partywide fundraising day in August.


Candidates who use the file, which contains data on millions of voters and is used by campaigns to track support, will have to continue raising money for the DNC even if they drop out of the race.

Some campaigns told BuzzFeed that the move, which is designed to bolster the DNC ahead of the 2020 election, are overly costly and specific.

The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. The organization declined to comment to BuzzFeed on a proprietary legal document.

The DNC has consistently lagged behind its Republican counterpart in terms of fundraising and emerged as a focus of anti-establishment sentiment in 2016 after supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (I-Vt.) accused the primary system of being biased toward Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race In 2020, democracy will be decided at the margins Michelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award MORE.

DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE has worked to restore trust in the national party committee and improve the group’s fundraising infrastructure to rake in more funds to defeat Republicans. 

Sanders famously sued the DNC in 2015 over a voter file dispute. Then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Dem rep defends calling Ken Cuccinelli a white supremacist Both sides claim win in White House official's impeachment testimony MORE temporarily blocked his campaign from using the party’s voter file after aides were caught accessing proprietary Clinton data via a glitch in the DNC’s voter software.

Two people close to Sanders’s current presidential campaign told BuzzFeed that the Vermont Independent has not yet agreed to the DNC conditions for his 2020 bid. The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.