Rick Boylan’s Report on the
Democratic National Committee
Winter Meeting — Washington, DC
February 27-March 1, 2014
Democratic National Committee Meeting
President Barack Obama addressed the National Committee members and spoke about what has been
accomplished under his Administration. He also noted how much there is still left to do to grow our economy
and restore opportunity for all. His remarks highlighted some fundamental differences between what
Democrats are for and what Republicans are against.
DNC Chair, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave DNC members an update on the party’s
investment in what she called the four pillars of the party: voting rights, technology, investment in talent, and
holding Republicans accountable.
• Voting Rights — The DNC’s Voter Protection program is now the Voter Expansion Project. This represents a
move beyond protecting the right to vote to being the leader in expanding the vote by ensuring that every
eligible voter can register, that every registered voter can vote, and that every vote is accurately counted.
This project, which is now part of the DNC institutional framework, will accomplish these goals through
voter education, election administration, legislation and litigation.
• Technology — The DNC announced that it will invest millions of dollars this year in a new program called
Project Ivy that will use the Party’s data and technology to empower state parties, campaigns, organizers
and voters to engage in elections at all levels. The project includes the Party’s voter file and data
warehouse, its analytics infrastructure, field and marketing tools, and training to foster more technological
• Investment in Talent — The DNC recognizes that investing and collaborating with state parties is key to
success in elections. Chair Wasserman Schultz announced that the DNC will continue to work closely with
state parties and will support state parties through direct investment (building on Howard Dean’s 50-state
strategy) and through expanded training programs.
• Holding Republicans Accountable — The DNC has launched a new expanded rapid response operation that
it is calling Factivists. This program will define Republicans and hold them accountable, and also defend the
Democratic brand and engage our grassroots supporters to do so. The program is based on the Obama
campaign’s highly effective “Truth Team,” and will ensure the Democratic Party maintains its offensive
edge and focus.
DNC Executive Committee Meeting
At the DNC Executive Committee meeting, DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias talked about the party’s $11 million
debt from the 2012 presidential and other elections. He said that over the last year, the party has cut the
debt in half, while investing in elections like the New Jersey special senate election (Corey Booker), the
Virginia gubernatorial election (Terry McAuliffe), and new technology and programs at the national
Tobias made a point about how to respond when people tell you that they’re socially liberal, but vote
Republican because they’re fiscally conservative. He said we need to point out that business and the stock
market does better under Democrats. He said if you’re a really smart capitalist, investor or businessperson,
you vote Democrat. Tobias explained that if you had invested $10,000 in 1929 only during Republican
administrations, you would now have $12,000. But, if you had invested $10,000 since 1929 only during years
when there was a Democratic Administration, you would now have $570,000.Resolutions Committee
The Resolutions Committee considered 20 resolutions, including resolutions on the following matters:
• Highlighting President Obama’s accomplishments and agenda moving forward
• Highlighting President Obama’s Economic Opportunity Agenda
• Marking the 50th Anniversary of the war on poverty and in support of ending income inequality
• Honoring Black History Month
• Honoring Women’s History Month and the Democratic Party’s commitment to protecting women’s rights
• Commemorating the life and career of former Florida Democratic Party Chair Charles Whitehead
Rules and Bylaws Committee
The Rules & Bylaws Committee received an update about the RNC rules related to the GOP’s 2016
presidential primary and caucus calendar. The DNC’s Rules Committee will be reviewing the Democratic
Party’s 2016 presidential nominating process and rules over the next several months and will present the
2016 rules for approval at the national committee meeting later this summer. As a first step in the
committee’s review process, members received a historical overview of the evolution of the Party’s
presidential nominating process.
Southern Caucus Meeting
Pratt Wiley, the Director of Voter Protection for the Democratic National Committee told the Southern
Caucus members about the Party’s voter protection program becoming the “Voter Expansion Project.” This
represents a shift beyond protecting the right to vote to expanding voting access. The new emphasis builds
on the Party’s experiences in mobilizing voters to “ensure that every eligible voter can register, that every
registered voter can vote, and that every vote is accurately counted.” Wiley specifically noted that when
these efforts ultimately help to get Florida’s voting problems fixed, the rest of the country will follow.
Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia) told caucus members that we have an opportunity to take back the
South because the people are ready for the Democratic Party to lead. Lewis called on the members to be
hopeful in fighting the good fight — and to push for comprehensive immigration reform. He noted that there
is no such thing as an illegal human being. Lewis believes there are enough votes to pass the immigration
legislation if Speaker Boehner would allow it to come to the floor.
Florida Executive Director Scott Arceneaux gave members an overview of an article he recently authored for
Politico Magazine: “Painting Dixie Blue; Can Democrats retake the South? Yes, and here’s how.” Arceneaux
spoke about how the South is changing, how the Democratic Party recognizes this, and how the Republican
Party’s strategy is based on the past. Here is the link to Arceneaux’s article:
LGBT Caucus Meeting
The DNC’s new CEO, Amy Dacey addressed the LGBT Caucus members. Dacey was previously, the Executive
Director of EMILYs’ List and she spoke about her background. She said she is thrilled to be at the Party as it
gears up for the 2014 election cycle.
Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) talked about the Democratic Party’s values of inclusion. He noted the many
significant advances in LGBT rights during President Obama’s Administration — but noted there is still a lot of
work to do. Polis stated there is no “gay agenda” or “straight agenda” — only an agenda that strives for full
equality for every American.
California State Assembly Speaker John Perez said that having a member of the LGBT community in the room
and part of the conversation changes the conversation. He talked about California’s leadership on LGBT
issues and said that the success of these issues in California is helping to create momentum for other states
and ultimately, Congress.