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The DNC’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Weekend

- October 23, 2017

Out Of Power And Out Of Money, DNC Chair Tom Perez Throws Progressives Under The Bus

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • During its fall meeting, DNC Chair Tom Perez revealed his vision for the DNC by kicking out progressives and bringing in corporate lobbyists.
  • Perez "purged" several DNC delegates who either opposed him during his run for DNC chair, or supported Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
    • Progressives accused Perez of removing them as an act of retribution and retaliation, with the Executive Director of the National Nurses Union accusing Perez of "purging progressives."
  • The DNC had already rolled back restrictions in 2016 that banned donations from federal lobbyists, but Perez went a step further last weekend by naming lobbyists as super delegates.
  • Perez also appointed Donna Brazile, who was fired from CNN after providing Hillary Clinton with questions in advance of a CNN sponsored event during the Democratic primary, to be an at-large delegate.
  • During the DNC's tumultuous weekend, it was revealed the DNC's financial disadvantage continued as the RNC finished September with $44 million cash on hand compared to the DNC's $3.3 million when accounting for debt.

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AT THE PARTY MEETING IN LAS VEGAS, TOM PEREZ CAME UNDER FIRE OVER HIS SELECTIONS FOR KEY DNC POSTS AND HIS REMOVAL OF THOSE WHO DID NOT SUPPORT HIM

At His First Party Wide Meeting As DNC Chair, Tom Perez Was Faced With The Tough Task Of Trying To Create Unity Between Warring Factions Of The Democratic Party

This Weekend, Amidst Party Infighting, Tom Perez Hosted His First Party Wide Meeting . "The infighting comes at a sensitive time for the party, as Perez presides over his first party-wide meeting as chair after closely watched race against the candidate favored by progressives, Rep. Keith Ellison, who now serves as deputy chair in a still-divided party.'" (Ruby Cramer and Darren Sands, "Drama Unfolds Between Democrats Over Rumor About Ousting Three Black Women DNC Members," Buzzfeed News , 10/19/17)

Tom Perez Faced Criticism Over His Selections For At-Large DNC Members, Which Some Felt Pushed Out Progressives From Leadership Positions

Tom Perez Stripped A Number Of Longtime Party Officials Of Their At-Large Delegate Status Or Leadership Positions While Appointing 75 New Members That Include Clinton Campaign Veterans. "Tom Perez has stripped a number of longtime party officials of their 'at-large' delegate status or leadership positions, while appointing a slate of 75 new members that include Clinton campaign veterans, lobbyists, and neophytes." (Abigail Tracy, "DNC Chair Purges Dissenters In Surprise Shake-Up," Vanity Fair , 10/19/11)

Several Clinton Insiders Were Appointed To Be At-Large DNC Members, Including Former Hillary Clinton Campaign Staffers Ellie Perez, Craig Smith, And Cristobal Alex, And President Clinton's Former Chief Of Staff Harold Ickes. "Several Clinton insiders received DNC positions as well. Former Bill Clinton Chief of Staff Harold Ickes and Hillary Clinton Advisor Tony Coelho received committee appointments. Former Ready For Hillary National Finance Co-Chair Francisco Domenech was nominated to an at-large position, despite his formal support last year for Republican Jenniffer Gonzalez's bid for Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner. Hillary Clinton's Nevada and Colorado state director, Emmy Ruiz, was nominated for an at-large position. Clinton campaign staffers Ellie Perez, Craig Smith, and Cristobal Alex were also nominated." (Michael Sainato, "DNC Chair Tom Perez Gives Up On Unity, Rewards Loyalists," Observer , 10/19/17)

Several Lobbyists Received DNC Appointments And Nominations, Outnumbering Those Given To Senator Sanders Supporters . "Several former and current lobbyists received DNC appointments and nominations, outnumbering those given to Sanders supporters. Jeff Berman, a former lobbyist for the private prison company GEO Group and the Keystone XL pipeline, received an appointment as a DNC at-large member. Jaime Harrison, a former coal lobbyist who ran for DNC chair and endorsed Perez after dropping out, was nominated for an Executive Committee at-large member position." (Michael Sainato, "DNC Chair Tom Perez Gives Up On Unity, Rewards Loyalists," Observer , 10/19/17)

  • Clinton Fundraiser And Lobbyist Tonio Burgos Was Appointed To The DNC Finance Committee. "Registered lobbyists Calla and Roxanne Brown were nominated to be at-large members. Clinton fundraiser and registered lobbyist Tonio Burgos was appointed to the DNC Finance Committee. Minyon Moore and Maria Cardona, senior officials at the lobbying firm Dewey Square, received an Executive Committee at-large and DNC at-large member nomination." (Michael Sainato, "DNC Chair Tom Perez Gives Up On Unity, Rewards Loyalists," Observer , 10/19/17)
  • During His Run For DNC Chairman Tom Perez Refused To Support A Ban On Corporate Money And Lobbyists. "Asked at a DNC forum in Phoenix last Saturday whether he will 'revive President Obama's ban on corporate donations to the DNC' and a ban on appointing lobbyists as party leaders, Perez demurred. 'It's actually not that simple a question,' Perez responded, adding that such a move might have 'unintended consequences.' Perez argued that such a ban might impact 'union members who are lobbyists,' though the question explicitly only addressed corporate lobbyists." (Lee Fang, "DNC Chair Candidate Tom Perez Refuses To Support Ban On Corporate Money And Lobbyists," The Intercept , 1/18/17)
  • In 2016, The Democratic National Committee Has Rolled Back Restrictions That Banned Donations From Federal Lobbyists And Political Action Committees. "The Democratic National Committee has rolled back restrictions introduced by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees. The decision was viewed with disappointment Friday morning by good government activists who saw it as a step backward in the effort to limit special interest influence in Washington. Some suggested it could provide an advantage to Hillary Clinton's fundraising efforts." (Tom Hamburger and Paul Kane, "DNC Rolls Back Obama Ban On Contributions From Federal Lobbyists," The Washington Post , 2/12/16)

Progressives Initially Pushed Out From Leadership Positions Include Ray Buckley, New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Who Ran Against Perez In The Chairman's Race Before Backing Ellison And Lost His Spot On The Executive Committee And The DNC Rules Committee. "Those who have been pushed out include: Ray Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic chairman and longtime DNC official who ran against Perez for chair before backing Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Buckley lost his spots on the Executive Committee and DNC Rules Committee." (Alex Seitz-Wald, "Shake-Up At Democratic National Committee, Longtime Officials Ousted," NBC News , 10/19/17)

  • James Zogby, A "Prominent" Senator Sanders Supporter, Was Removed As Co-Chair Of The Resolutions Committee And From The Executive Committee Where He Had Served Since 2001. "James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute and prominent Sanders backer, is no longer co-chair of the Resolutions Committee and is off the Executive Committee, a spot he has held since 2001." (Alex Seitz-Wald, "Shake-Up At Democratic National Committee, Longtime Officials Ousted," NBC News , 10/19/17)
  • Longtime Party Secretary Alice Germond, A Vocal Ellison Backer, Was Removed From Her At-Large Appointment To The DNC. "Alice Germond, the party's longtime former secretary and a vocal Ellison backer, who was removed from her at-large appointment to the DNC." (Alex Seitz-Wald, "Shake-Up At Democratic National Committee, Longtime Officials Ousted," NBC News , 10/19/17)
  • Barbra Casbar Siperstein, An Ellison Supporter, Was Removed From The Executive Committee. "Barbra Casbar Siperstein, who supported Ellison and Buckley, was tossed from the Executive Committee." (Alex Seitz-Wald, "Shake-Up At Democratic National Committee, Longtime Officials Ousted," NBC News , 10/19/17)

RoseAnn DeMoro, Executive Director Of The National Nurses Union, Slammed Tom Perez, Accusing Him Of "Purging Progressives," And Nominating Lobbyists To Superdelegate Positions. "Tom Perez's DNC: purge progressives, hire anti-$15 minimum wage finance chair and name lobbyists to superdelegate positions. #FridayFeeling" (RoseAnn DeMoro, Twitter Feed , 10/20/17)DNC leaders are so content w/ the way 2016 went that they don't want to even consider modifying the way presidential candidates are selected

Former Bernie Sanders Campaign Official Claire Sandberg Complained About The Lack Of Bernie Supporters Among The New DNC Delegates Saying "What Kind Of Unity Is This?" "Bernie wing now has zero representation on rules committee, which will determine how the 2020 primary is run. What kind of unity is this?" (Claire Sandberg, Twitter Feed , 10/20/17)

Progressives Felt These Removals Were Retribution Towards Those Who Supported Perez's Opponent, Rep. Keith Ellison, In The Race For DNC Chair And Senator Bernie Sanders In The Presidential Primary

Prominent DNC Members Are Frustrated With The New At-Large Delegates, And The Selections Have Been Criticized By Progressives Who See The Shakeups As Retribution For Opposing Tom Perez During The Chairman Race. "Some prominent members of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) are frustrated with the party's new slate of at-large delegates. The moves have drawn criticism the progressive-leaning Democrats who feel the staff shakeup is retribution for their opposition to its new Chairman Tom Perez during February's chairman race." (Ben Kamisar and Olivia Beavers, "Longtime DNC Officials Frustrated With Delegate Shake-Up," The Hill , 10/19/17)

Some Members Who Supported Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) During The Chairman Race Or Senator Sanders During The Presidential Primary Saw Themselves Demoted. "Perez made his picks for the DNC's at-large positions ahead of this week's fall meeting in Las Vegas. In some cases, Perez tapped those who had supported Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who ran against Perez in the DNC race earlier this year. But in others, prominent members who supported Ellison during the chair race or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the presidential race, saw themselves demoted." (Ben Kamisar and Olivia Beavers, "Longtime DNC Officials Frustrated With Delegate Shake-Up," The Hill , 10/19/17)

Alice Germond, Who Served As A Member Of The DNC Since The 1980s, Stated That It Is "Unusual" For Longtime Members To Be Ousted Without A Call From The Chairman So She "Assumed It Had Something To Do With Myself Support For Keith [Ellison]." "'It is quite unusual for a former party officer who has been serving on the DNC for forever to just be left out in the cold without even a call from the chairman,' said Germond, who had served on the DNC since the 1980s. 'So I assumed it had something to do with myself support for Keith.'" (Ben Kamisar and Olivia Beavers, "Longtime DNC Officials Frustrated With Delegate Shake-Up," The Hill , 10/19/17)

James Zogby, A Longtime DNC Member And "Key Sanders Ally" Who Lost His Spot Believed That He Lost It As Retaliation For Not Supporting Perez. "James Zogby, a key Sanders ally and a longtime DNC member who found out he would lose his spot on the party's executive committee, was among several progressives who cast the move as a form of retaliation against those who did not support Perez in his bid for chair earlier this year." (Ruby Cramer and Darren Sands, "Drama Unfolds Between Democrats Over Rumor About Ousting Three Black Women DNC Members," Buzzfeed News , 10/19/17)

Perez Nominated Donna Brazile To Be An At-Large Delegate-Despite The Fact That She Was Fired From CNN For Giving Hillary Clinton Debate Questions In Advance

Tom Perez Also Nominated Donna Brazile For An At-Large Position And Appointed Her To He Ruled And Bylaws Committee, A "Divisive" Move After Brazile Violated The DNC Charter In 2016. "Former DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile was nominated for an at-large position and appointed to the Rules and Bylaws Committee-a divisive pick given Brazile's record of violating the DNC Charter during the 2016 primaries at the benefit of Hillary Clinton." (Michael Sainato, "DNC Chair Tom Perez Gives Up On Unity, Rewards Loyalists," Observer , 10/19/17)

  • CNN Fired Brazile After WikiLeaks Emails Showed She Shared Questions For CNN-Sponsored Candidate Events With Members Of Hillary Clinton's Campaign Staff. "CNN has severed ties with the Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, after hacked emails from WikiLeaks showed that she shared questions for CNN-sponsored candidate events in advance with friends on Hillary Clinton's campaign." (Michael M. Grynbaum, "CNN Parts Ways With Donna Brazile, A Hillary Clinton Supporter," The New York Times , 10/31/16

MEANWHILE, AS DEMOCRATS SQUABBLE IN VEGAS, THEIR FINANCIAL WOES GROW INCREASINGLY DIRE

The DNC's Fundraising Numbers Have Trailed Far Behind The RNC's In 2017

The RNC Ended September With $44 Million Dollars, And The DNC With Just $7 Million. "The Republican National Committee ended September with $44 million in the bank, according to its latest filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The Democratic National Committee (DNC), which emerged from a devastating loss in 2016 and a contentious leadership fight earlier this year, has only $7 million on hand, new FEC reports show." (Reid Wilson, Alexandra Aaron and Cole Gray, "How Trump's Twitter Account Is Fueling A GOP Money Surge," The Hill , 10/21/17)

The RNC Raised More Than $100 Million In The First Nine Months Of 2017, The Fastest It Has Raised That Much In A Non-Presidential Election Year. "The Republican National Committee raised more than $100 million in the first nine months of 2017, marking the first time it has raised that much, that fast, in a non-presidential election year." (Anita Kumar, "Trump's Small-Dollar Donors Fuel Surge In GOP Fundraising," Mcclatchy , 10/18/17)

The RNC Raised Over $6 Million Dollars More Than The DNC In September. "The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by more than $6 million last month, according to federal filings. Recently released numbers show the DNC raised around $4 million during the month of September, while the RNC raised about $10 million." (Julia Manchester, "RNC Outpaces DNC In September Fundraising," The Hill , 10/21/17)

  • The DNC Is Also $3.7 Million In Debt. "The RNC reports having no debt, while the DNC has $3.7 million in debt" (Julia Manchester, "RNC Outpaces DNC In September Fundraising," The Hill , 10/21/17)

Bill Derrough, The Party's New Treasurer, Said In Las Vegas That "None Of Us Are Satisfied." "'In general, we're in decent shape,' he said, pushing a sentiment echoed by national finance chair Henry Muñoz. 'But none of us are satisfied.'" (Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward-Issaac Dovere, "DNC Enters 2018 In Cash Panic," Politico , 10/22/17)

The Hill's Nomiki Konst Stated That "If The DNC Were Running For Governor In 2018, It Would Be Behind In Fundraising." "The DNC has $7m on hand. If the DNC were running for Governor in 2018, it would be behind in fundraising." (Nomiki Konst, Twitter Feed , 10/22/17)

Democrats Are Worried Poor Fundraising Will Hurt Them In 2018 And 2020

In The Halls Of Bally's Hotel In Las Vegas, Democratic Donors And Strategists Are Beginning To Panic That The DNC's Slow Recovery From 2016 Might Have "Serious Repercussions For The Party In Coming Years." "Here in the halls of Bally's hotel and casino for the DNC's fall meeting through the weekend, state committee chairs and operatives echoed a now-common concern among donors and strategists: The DNC's recovery is still a ways away, and that could have serious repercussions for the party in the coming years." (Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward-Issaac Dovere, "DNC Enters 2018 In Cash Panic," Politico , 10/22/17)

The DNC Is Struggling To Raise Money As It Faces Down 2018, And On The Ground Operatives Are Worried That They Will Not Have The Infrastructure Needed To Compete In 2018 And 2020 . "The Democratic National Committee is reeling, facing a turnaround that's proving a much bigger lift than anyone expected as it struggles to raise enough money to cover its basic promises. Many donors are refusing to write checks. And on-the-ground operatives worry they won't have the resources to build the infrastructure they need to compete effectively in next year's midterms and in the run-up to 2020." (Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward-Issaac Dovere, "DNC Enters 2018 In Cash Panic," Politico , 10/22/17)

Poor DNC Fundraising Could Effect On The Ground Organizing Across The Country If The DNC Leadership Can't To Afford To Pay Obligations To State Parties. "Anemic cash flow at the central committee and state branches could affect organizing efforts on the ground across the country. Much of the immediate anxiety centers on the State Party Innovation Fund, a planned $10.5 million competitive grant program that DNC leadership has made available to interested state parties over the next year. The money is meant to pay for organizing, ground operations and other mechanics seen as essential to countering Republican National Committee investments that helped elect Donald Trump and a slew of other Republican candidates in 2016, leapfrogging Democrats in the process." (Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward-Issaac Dovere, "DNC Enters 2018 In Cash Panic," Politico , 10/22/17)


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