Former interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile confirmed what many widely suspected in an essay published in Politico today where she called out former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for unfairly rigging the 2016 primary against Bernie Sanders.
In her expose, Brazile described how the Clinton campaign siphoned money from state party chapters, and asserted her control over the DNC by making it financially reliant on her fundraising abilities, even describing the campaign’s actions as “essentially money laundering.”
The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—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’s revelations have revived conversations about whether the party has an obligation to ensure a fair primary (one judge who dismissed a lawsuit against the DNC suggested the organization is actually under no obligation to do so, even confirming that it showed a “palpable bias” toward Clinton).
Offering their two cents on the issue, a group of former Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign staffers chimed in on the debate, claiming that “corruption has plagued” the DNC for years and that the problem stretches far beyond the 2016 campaign, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Saikat Chakrabarti, who was director of organizing strategy for the Sanders campaign and now runs a group aiming to change the Democratic Party, said he wasn't surprised to hear the admission from Brazile.
"We all knew that the primary was rigged," Chakrabarti said on behalf of Justice Democrats, a group he founded. "But the corruption that plagues the Democratic Party is bigger than one primary—it's become a rot set at the very root of a party [that] claims to be for working people."
Chakrabarti added that the Democratic Party is currently "devoid of message, devoid of money, and devoid of a winning strategy."
"The people want a party that works for the people and wins," he said. "We are sick and tired of wasting money on helping a party that wastes it through incompetence and corrupt negligence."
Justice Democrats says it has seen an uptick in donations—$2,500 an hour—since Brazile's admission broke on Thursday morning. The group currently has a slate of candidates running for office in 2018, many of them challenging Democratic incumbents.
Of course, despite Brazile’s sanctimonious posturing and her claims that she was ignorant of the control Clinton exerted over the party before taking over as interim chair last summer (Tom Perez has since been named permanent chair), leaked DNC emails revealed that she played a role in tilting the primary in Clinton’s favor by leaking debate questions and town hall topics to her one-time political ally.
Recent polling shows Bernie Sanders is presently the most popular politician in the country, and he’s an independent candidate. That’s hardly a coincidence. We didn’t need Brazile to tell us how Clinton effectively ran the DNC - the public has widely believed this for years.
The question now is: Will anything change?