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DNC Resolves to Reject Corporate Donors that Conflict with Party Platform

November 2017
Election Law News

In late October, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) unanimously approved a resolution banning contributions from sources that conflict with the national party’s platform. The purpose of the resolution is to “reduce the corrosive influence of money in our politics” and “revive trust in [the] Party by encouraging grassroots donors.” Although the breadth of the corporate ban is not entirely clear, the resolution specifically names tobacco, payday lending, and gun manufacturers among the corporate interests from which the DNC will no longer accept contributions.

The resolution comes almost two years after the DNC’s February 2016 decision to roll back a ban on donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees (PACs), instituted by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008. An earlier version of the ban was introduced in February 2017 but failed to pass amid debate over whether banning certain contributors would hurt the DNC’s rebuilding efforts after its loss in the 2016 presidential election.

There remains some debate about how the non-binding resolution will be enforced. Resolution sponsor Christine Pelosi has stated in media interviews that she hopes the new ban will be implemented by the DNC’s finance team, who will evaluate contributions as they are received to determine if the funds originated from appropriate sources. On Twitter, Pelosi asked DNC Chairman Tom Perez to confirm that he will enforce the resolution. Perez has not responded.