From: Carin Dessauer/CNN
Subject: Carville Says Democrats Are In 'Dire' Financial Straits
Democratic strategist James Carville has written a fund-raising appeal for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in which the former Clinton political advisor claims the party is in a "dire" financial situation.
In the letter, a copy of which CNN has obtained, Carville blamed the "Republicans' exploitation" of the Democrats' fund-raising troubles and called it a "witch hunt."
"From my point of view this is a witch hunt," Carville wrote. "It certainly isn't about justice, or even about cleaning up the political system in Washington. That's why Newt Gingrich and his colleagues on Capitol Hill didn't want [Rep.] Dan Burton to investigate the fund-raising efforts of the Republican Party (who raised a heck of a lot more money than we did) or of members of Congress. [Sen. Trent] Lott, Gingrich and their henchmen are not even supporting any form of campaign finance reform."
Carville wrote that the Democratic party "could be crippled for years if we don't do something about it right away." Carville also acknowledged that support for the party has dropped in recent months. "As a result," Carville wrote, "our financial resources are drying up fast."
Carville asked each recipient to give the "biggest contribution" that they had been able to give in the past. DNC officials said that this is a "low dollar" fund-raising letter, and they expect most contributions to range from $20 to $100.
DNC Communications Director Amy Weiss Tobe told CNN that the DNC asked Carville to write the fund-raising letter. "The facts remain, we are in debt and we need the money," Tobe said. The DNC still has a $16 million debt and the party plans to return $1.5 million in questionable contributions by the end of June, Tobe said.
The DNC has sent out 450,000 copies of the letter by Carville, who also wrote several appeals for the party last year.
During June, President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Al Gore are scheduled to appear at a total of 10 fund-raising events.
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