“It would be weeks before I would fully understand the financial shenanigans that were keeping the party on life support.”
(Editor’s Note: Brazile also details how Obama bled the party to enrich his consultants, driving it into a staggering $24 million debt. And now Clinton/Obamaton Tom Perez is DNC chair? With friends like that…? Who the hell would donate to the DNC now? At a time when the need for a strong, vibrant and honest Democratic party couldn’t be greater we see a party in shambles. Donate only directly to progressive candidates, groups and causes and for those of us who still belong to the Democratic party we have to fight like hell to ‘throw the bums out’. – Mark L. Taylor)
By Donna Brazile
Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.
I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.
“Right around the time of the convention, the leaked emails revealed Hillary’s campaign was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes, leaving the states with very little to support down-ballot races.”
So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.
Debbie was not a good manager. She hadn’t been very interested in controlling the party—she let Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn do as it desired so she didn’t have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was. How much control Brooklyn had and for how long was still something I had been trying to uncover for the last few weeks.
By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart.
The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.
“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”
That wasn’t true, he said. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2016. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
‘Deeply Disturbing’: Bombshell Piece Exposes ‘Unethical’ Clinton-DNC Fundraising Deal
By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams (11/2/17)
In an explosive and “deeply disturbing” piece for Politico Magazine on Thursday, former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Donna Brazile drew upon her brief experience at the organization’s helm to reveal the extent to which the 2016 nomination process was “rigged” in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In her account, Brazile details the deep “internal corruption” of the DNC, the role the ostensibly neutral governing body played as a “fundraising clearing house” for the Clinton team, and how those dynamics unfairly handicapped primary challenger Bernie Sanders.
Many of the DNC’s most deeply embedded issues, Brazile notes, spring both from former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s poor management and former President Barack Obama’s neglect, which left the committee deeply in debt.
Former interim chair of the DNC Donna Brazile highlights the agreement that effectively gave the Clinton team full control of the organization as early as 2015.
In August 2015, the Clinton campaign—along with the joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund—came to an agreement with the committee to begin to pay off this debt, which had soared to $24 million. In exchange, the DNC’s finances were placed “fully under the control” of the Clinton team, “which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp,” Brazile writes.
“When the party chooses the nominee, the custom is that the candidate’s team starts to exercise more control over the party,” Brazile observed. “This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed…just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.”
Brazile goes on to describe the terms of the agreement, which she describes as “unethical”:
“The 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. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.”
Brazile concludes the piece, which is an adapted excerpt from her forthcoming book, by detailing a conversation she had with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) shortly after she found the “cancer” at the heart of the DNC—this so-called “Joint Fundraising Agreement.”
“How much control Brooklyn had and for how long was still something I had been trying to uncover for the last few weeks. By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart,” Brazile writes. “I explained that the cancer was that she had exerted this control of the party long before she became its nominee….Bernie took this stoically. He did not yell or express outrage. Instead he asked me what I thought Hillary’s chances were.”
Unsurprisingly, Brazile’s account immediately caught fire on social media, provoking a mixture of outrage and vindication—particularly given that it comes from a “stalwart” establishment insider who admitted to passing debate topics to the Clinton team during her time as a CNN contributor.
“Shame on the DNC, on Hillary Clinton, and every Democratic operative responsible for this bullshit. What a mess,” The Intercept‘s Shaun King wrote on Twitter:
If you ask ANYONE who is close to operations of the DNC today they will tell you that things are still a complete mess there financially.
“Since the election, it is not clear that the DNC has dealt with these problems yet,” writesClio Chang of Splinter News, building on King’s point. “Tom Perez was installed as DNC chair over Keith Ellison, a move that was largely seen as giving Democratic elites more control over the party….The DNC is not doomed to repeat the problems of the past, but from Brazile’s account, it’s clear that the organization requires a major reckoning.”
(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)
BOMBSHELL: Donna Brazile Tells All, Admiting Corrupt DNC Rigged Primary Against Bernie
“Enough with corporate democrats.”
The Young Turks (11/2/17)
“Although he eventually campaigned for Clinton after she clinched the nomination, Sanders spent the next several months claiming that the primary system was “rigged” against him, only to be roundly dismissed by party leadership. But according to Donna Brazile, who served as the interim D.N.C. chairwoman after Debbie Wasserman Schultz’souster, Sanders’s accusations were hardly baseless. In her new book, Hacks, an excerpt of which was published Thursday by Politico, Brazile says she found concrete “proof” that the Clinton campaign stacked the deck: an August 2015 document outlining the “Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the D.N.C., the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America” that effectively allowed Clinton to control the D.N.C.’s purse strings.”
- Was Democratic Primary Rigged Against Sanders? Warren Says Definitively ‘Yes’ – When asked by CNN‘s Jake Tapper in an interview on Thursday if she believes the 2016 Democratic primary was “rigged” in favor of Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gave a definitive one-word answer: “Yes.” Tapper’s question came in response to the bombshell piece by former interim Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Donna Brazile, which detailed the party organization’s “unethical” fundraising agreement with former Secretary of State Clinton’s presidential campaign. Story and 1-Minute Video
- Calling For Real Party Reform, Deputy Chairman Rep. Keith Ellison Says DNC ‘Rigging’ Of Primary ‘Cannot Be Dismissed’ – “The DNC must be an impartial and transparent organization that welcomes all people who share our core values of economic justice and human rights for all.” … Democratic National Committee (DNC) deputy chairman Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) waded into the growing outrage over the party organ’s “rigging” of the 2016 primary in a statement on Friday, arguing that Donna Brazile’s explosive account of the committee’s moves to stack the deck against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and in favor of Hillary Clinton “cannot simply be dismissed.” Highlighting the necessity of “real reforms,” Ellison said it is Democrats’ “responsibility to acknowledge that millions of Americans still feel hurt and betrayed by the events of the 2016 presidential primary.” … Read the Rest
- Donna Brazile Tells George Stephanopoulos Her Critics Can “Go to hell!”: 6-Minute Video