Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Thursday pushed back on a recent report that flagged the DNC’s level of spending with minority-owned or operated political consulting firms.
Speaking to reporters at an event hosted by the centrist group Third Way, Wasserman Schultz suggested it was unfair to lump the DNC in with other Democratic committees, noting the DNC is in “a significantly better place on diversity than the other groups.”
The spending analysis was released last month by PowerPAC +, a progressive group working to increase diversity among the nation’s elected officials. It found the DNC, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) spent 98 percent of their dollars with white political consultants over the past two election cycles.
Only $8.7 million of the $514 million the three committees spent collectively went to a group of 14 minority-owned or operated consulting firms identified in the analysis.
“I’m not criticizing them,” Wasserman Schultz said of the other groups included in the analysis. “I’m just saying that report, instead of disaggregating the stats, aggregated them, and that doesn’t give a fair snapshot of the progress we made.”
Wasserman Schultz pointed to the committee’s hiring of a chief diversity officer, a move that came after a review of the DNC’s consulting contracts.
Aimee Allison, senior vice president at PowerPAC +, told C&E that regardless of the way the spending audit was conducted, the takeaway remains the same: there is a troubling disparity when it comes to hiring consultants.
“What we’ve uncovered is that the Democratic Party does not have adequate diversity in their hiring,” said Allison. “That’s unfair. You want to talk about unfair? That’s unfair.”
Allison called the report a “first step” and said “it’s clear we have much more data to uncover,” including information about hiring at the state level.