In a recent letter to Democratic Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged the DNC head not to stack the committees at this summer’s Democratic National Convention with Hillary Clinton’s “aggressive attack surrogates.” Although the DNC has already assigned two Clinton supporters to lead committees and selected only three out of Sanders’ 40 recommendations for the three standing committees, the DNC refuses to admit stacking the deck against Sanders.
“If we are to have a unified party in the fall, no matter who wins the nomination, we cannot have a Democratic National Convention in which the views of millions of people who participated in the Democratic nominating process are unrepresented in the committee membership appointed by you, the Chair,” Sanders wrote in a letter to Schultz on Friday. “That sends the very real message that the Democratic Party is not open to the millions of new people that our campaign has brought into the political process, does not want to hear new voices, and is unwilling to respect the broader base of people that this party needs to win over in November and beyond. Fairness, inclusion and transparency should be the standard under which we operate.”
Besides selecting only three out of the 40 people that Sanders’ campaign submitted for the three standing committees, the DNC failed to assign even one of Sanders’ recommendations to the “very important Rules Committee of the Democratic National Convention.” Instead, Schultz installed Clinton loyalists, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and former Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts in charge of the Platform Committee and Rules Committee respectively.
“As it stands now, the chairs of the Rules Committee and the Platform Committee are active supporters of Secretary Clinton’s campaign,” Sanders continued. “But even more than that, they both are aggressive attack surrogates on the campaign trail. I do not, and the millions who have supported our campaign will not, have any confidence that either of them will conduct committee proceeding in an even-handed manner. In fact, the suggestion that they would be appropriate chairs in and of itself suggests the standing committees are being established in an overtly partisan way meant to exclude the input of the voters who have supported my candidacy.”
According to Sanders, Bernie 2016 has secured some 45% of the pledged delegates. In order to actually exercise democracy at this summer’s Democratic National Convention, Sanders has called on Schultz to stop stacking the deck in Clinton’s favor.
“As you know, there are already over 9 million voters who, during this nominating process, have indicated that they want to go beyond establishment politics and establishment economics—and want to transform our country with bold initiatives,” Sanders wrote. “I will not allow them to be silenced at the Democratic National Convention.”
In response to Sanders’ letter, the DNC immediately wrote, “Because the Party’s platform is a statement of our values, the DNC is committed to an open, inclusive and representative process. Both of our campaigns will be represented on the Drafting Committee, and just as we did in 2008 and 2012, the public will have opportunities to participate.”
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