The PowerPac+, which works to support minority political candidates, released a 2014 report that indicates contracting practices in three major Democratic campaign organizations have come up short in working with African-Americans.
The report is endemic of the problem many African-Americans increasingly have been having with the party—it relies heavily on Black votes while giving little in return, leaving many Black voters to feel they are being taken for granted.
The report says the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee awarded only 1.7 percent of $514 million in contracts to firms that had at least one owner or principal who was Black, Latino/a, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Native American.
At the same time, 44 percent of the Democratic electorate in 2012 came from those groups.
Worse, the Democrats push minority-owned contractors on their website, but then are not awarding them any contracts.
According to the report, “The Democratic National Committee provides an opportunity for MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) firms to submit requests to be considered for contracts via its website, www.Democrats.org. Under its Supplier Diversity List link, the Party states that, ‘The DNC is committed to diversity in the vendors and contractors we use, and we encourage minority-owned businesses—including those owned by women, veterans, and members of the LGBT community—to register for contract consideration.’ On that same link it also provides a list of 28 MBE firms that it has already vetted. Of these, we were only able to identify two that received contracts in either the 2010 or 2012 cycle.”
That paragraph makes it clear that Democrats aren’t dealing with a pipeline problem. They’re not having any problem finding minority-owned contractors. They’re simply not awarding contracts to the contractors in their own directory.
Black and Latino leaders are incensed and have demanded change. The new head of the DCCC, Ben Ray Luján, has been critical of the party for not supporting Latino contractors in the past. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) of the Congressional Black Caucus said Luján has insisted the 2016 contract awards will reflect a dramatic change in the ethnicities who get work.