News Release

How DNC Manipulated 2016 Presidential Race: A Timeline

MICHAEL BRENNAN, mryanbrennan at gmail.com
Brennan is a graduate student in public policy at the University of Maryland and a past intern at the Institute for Public Accuracy. He just wrote “Timeline: How DNC Manipulated 2016 Presidential Race.” Here’s a summary:

* April 7, 2015: Clinton campaign memo to the DNC articulates “Pied Piper” strategy to elevate the most extreme Republican candidates: “Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.” (Salon)

* August 27, 2015: DNC announces “Hillary Victory Fund” joint fundraising agreement with Hillary Clinton’s campaign with a maximum possible individual contribution of $356,100 ($2,700 to Hillary for America, $33,400 to the DNC, and $10,000 to 32 of the state parties).

* November 13, 2015: Associated Press releases a widely-cited survey of superdelegates’ public support: 359 for Clinton, 8 for Bernie Sanders, 2 for Martin O’Malley, and 210 uncommitted.

* February 21, 2016: New York Times publishes front-page story proclaiming Sanders faces “steep climb” in delegates, despite trailing Clinton by only one pledged delegate following the Nevada caucus.

* March 5, 2016: DNC vice-chair Donna Brazile provides Clinton with a debate question on the Flint water crisis the day prior (as disclosed by Wikileaks on 10/11/16).

* March 12, 2016: Brazile shares question with Clinton on the death penalty the day before a CNN town hall (as disclosed by Wikileaks on 10/11/16). (Washington Post)

* April 26, 2016: DNC staffer shares messaging preparing for when Sanders ends his campaign (as disclosed by Wikileaks on 7/22/16). (The Intercept)

* May 2, 2016: Politico reports bombshell on how the Hillary Victory Fund was being utilized to circumvent campaign contribution limits by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

* May 5, 2016: DNC CFO Brad Marshall conspires “atheist” smear against Sanders: “It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist,” (as disclosed by Wikileaks on 7/22/16). (Washington Post)

* May 14, 2016: The Nevada Democratic convention unfolds chaotically. Despite no evidence suggesting violence, major outlets uncritically repeat the myth of “pro-Sanders violence and chair throwing.“

* May 17, 2016: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz calls Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver a “damn liar” in DNC internal emails (as disclosed by Wikileaks on 7/22/16).

* May 18, 2016: Wasserman-Schultz promotes “pro-Sanders violence at Nevada convention” myth on MSNBC.

* May 21, 2016: DNC national press secretary pitches an anti-Sanders story to DNC comms director: “Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess,” (as disclosed by Wikileaks on 7/22/16). (The Intercept)

* June 6, 2016: On eve of the second biggest primary day (California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, and South Dakota), Associated Press publishes major story calling the primary for Clinton: “Clinton has delegates to win Democratic nomination”. This count includes public superdelegate commitments who will not vote until July 25.

* April 25, 2017: In class action lawsuit alleging DNC fraud, DNC attorney argues the party has the right to ignore primary voters: “The party could have favored a candidate… We could have voluntarily decided that, ‘Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way.’” (See Newsweek: “Was the Election Rigged Against Bernie Sanders? DNC Lawsuit Demands Repayment for Campaign Donors.“)

* November 2, 2017: Brazile reveals Hillary Victory Fund agreement “specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.” (Vox)