News Release

Money and the DNC Nomination

Former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile, who has a book coming out soon, wrote a just-published piece in Politico: “Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC.”

Members of the task force that produced the new report “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” are available for comment on the anniversary of the 2016 presidential election as well as Brazile’s article. See full report as well as executive summary and breakdown by subject at: DemocraticAutopsy.org.

PIA GALLEGOS, pia at gallegoslaw.com
Gallegos is a civil rights lawyer and progressive Democratic Party activist based in New Mexico. She wrote the “Democracy and the Party” section of the Autopsy report.

KAREN BERNAL,  nekochan99 at hotmail.com, @karenbernal5
Bernal chairs one of the largest caucuses in the California Democratic Party, the Progressive Caucus. She wrote the section on social movements and co-wrote the section on the future of the Democratic Party. She spoke at a news conference about the Autopsy report on Thursday morning at the National Press Club; video.

NORMAN SOLOMON,  solomonprogressive at gmail.com, @Roots_Action
Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and former national coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network. Solomon wrote the war section of the Autopsy report and co-wrote the “The Future” section with Bernal.

Gallegos said today: “Brazile’s piece certainly conforms to what we found in our work in the Autopsy report. This was not really ‘secret.’ A large part of the Clinton strategy focused on getting the superdelegates to back her early. The Clinton camp did this by promising the state parties funds from joint fundraising with the DNC, which the superdelegates figured they’d get some of for upcoming elections. This violated the DNC’s obligations under its Charter to be impartial between the various Democratic Party primary candidates. Getting the superdelegates on board early was one of the ways the DNC process undermined democratic decision-making by creating the sense of inevitability of Clinton as the presidential nominee. In the end, the money didn’t even come through for the states — the DNC and the Clinton campaign swallowed almost all of it.

“Of course, Brazile helped tilt the scales for Clinton as well, giving her questions before a high profile debate.

“Undemocratic moves continue at the DNC. Tom Perez, the current chair of the DNC, has the right to appoint 75 superdelegates — so they’re not even elected officials.” See recent piece by Cory Doctorow: “The DNC picked a bunch of sleazy lobbyists as superdelegates, can’t figure out why no one is donating.”

Journalist Christopher D. Cook just wrote the piece “Can the Democrats Save Themselves?” for The Progressive and tried unsuccessfully to find someone at the DNC to comment: “My repeated calls to the Democratic National Committee for comment on the [Autopsy] report went unanswered. When messages left on the main line went unanswered, I called the donations and member services line, where I was sure to get a live person. Stunningly, that office claimed it had no phone number it could give me for press or communications.”Some related excerpts from the Autopsy report:

“In August 2015 — six months before the first vote was cast in any primary or caucus — the DNC worked directly with the Clinton Campaign and 32 state Democratic parties to implement the Hillary Victory Fund. … Essentially, the DNC-Clinton Campaign deal was an enticement for superdelegates from various states to get on the bandwagon early. The joint funding agreement provided that the Hillary Victory Fund was to be administered by the Clinton Campaign’s own chief operating officer, Elizabeth Jones, who notably controlled how money was transferred to both the states and the DNC. …

“The Democratic Party’s national charter requires the DNC to be evenhanded in the presidential nominating process, but the DNC’s use of a joint fundraising committee that favored one candidate during the primary season violated this charter obligation. …

“The DNC has refused to renounce, or commit to end, its undemocratic practices during the 2016 primary campaign that caused so much discord and distrust from many party activists and voters among core constituencies. …

“The superdelegate system, by its very nature, undermines the vital precept of one person, one vote … the voting power of all superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention must end. …

“A poll in spring 2017 found that two-thirds of the public sees the Democratic Party as ‘out of touch with the concerns of most people in the United States today.’ Meanwhile, a recent review of census data by the Washington Post found that African Americans are ‘the only U.S. racial group earning less than they did in 2000.’ The unfettered capitalist economy partly enabled by Democrats since the 1990s has devastated the working class, doubly so the black working class, and the Democratic Party’s major role in that devastation continues to have a harmful effect on party prospects. …

“The idea that the Democrats can somehow convince Wall Street to work on behalf of Main Street through mild chiding, rather than acting as Main Street’s champion against the wealthy, no longer resonates.”

Solomon is also the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. Research for the Autopsy report was funded by Action for a Progressive Future, the organization that sponsors RootsAction, which currently has 1.3 million active supporters online nationwide.