The cash-strapped Democratic National Committee has hired new fundraising chairs to beef up the party's efforts to raise the money to compete with Republicans in 2016.
The new finance co-chair of the Democratic Party, Stephen H. Bittel, has been a longtime supporter of both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, most recently hosting the vice president at a dinner to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Prior to Bittel's hire, the DNC's finances rested entirely in the hands of Henry Munoz, a Texas Democrat who has been criticized for having too close ties to the Clintons. Bittel coming aboard will help combat perceptions the DNC is biased in favor of Clinton, the New York Times first reported.
The DNC entered into a joint-fundraising agreement with the Clinton campaign in late August, in an attempt to help the party raise more money. The DNC has reached out to the campaigns of both Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley to sign similar pacts, so far without success.
Six chairmen and vice chairmen will also join Bittel and Munoz on the finance team in order to combat the Republican National Committee's fundraising, which far outpaced the DNC's last quarter. Barack Obama backers Lena Kennedy and Naomi Aberly will join the efforts along with Democrats Ken Solomon, Michele Taylor, Dale LeFebcre and Patrick Guarasci.
"We are thrilled to welcome the new members of our top-notch team," DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "We are building the organization now to make sure that whoever our ultimate nominee is, he or she is in the best possible position to win next November."