I wrote a few weeks ago thatÂ if the Dems havenâ€™t gotten rid of the superdelegates by 2020, itâ€™s going to hurt them. People will remember 2016. Well, it turns out they don’t plan to get rid of the superdelegates; they are going to make the superdelegate system even worse.Â Bloomberg News:
The Democratic Party this week plans to name 75 people including lobbyists and political operatives to leadership posts that come with superdelegate votes at its next presidential convention, potentially aggravating old intraparty tensions as it struggles to confront President Donald Trump.
The new members-at-large of the Democratic National Committee will vote on party rules and in 2020 will be convention delegates free to vote for a primary candidate of their choice. They include lobbyists for Venezuelaâ€™s national petroleum company and for the parent company of Fox News, according to a list obtained by Bloomberg News.
Apologists for the Democratic Party tell me that progressives are purists who are going to destroy the Democratic Party with their narrow minded litmus tests and intolerance for other views. I keep saying I don’t care about purity; I just want the party leaders to get their heads out of their asses. This tells me they haven’t.
The appointment of active corporate lobbyists as at-large members of the 447-member Democratic National Committee has aroused controversy in the past.
â€œI will register my customary objections” to the selection of at-large members, said Christine Pelosi, a California-based vice-chair of the DNC who in February authored a proposal to bar the appointment of corporate lobbyists as superdelegates. The national committee voted down her proposal.
Party spokesman Michael Tyler stressed the demographic reach of the at-large nominees, saying they â€œreflect the unprecedented diversity of our partyâ€™s coalition.â€ The party is doubling the representation of millennials and Native Americans on the DNC and increasing the number of Puerto Ricans, he said.
The party is being hurt by claims it is too indebted to corporate money and influence, and this is the trick it pulls? What is wrong with these people? Diversity is great, but diversity should NOT include corporations and their lobbyists. What is wrong with these people?
A DNC aide who asked not to be identified defended including the lobbyists, saying they were all carry-overs from the last presidential election cycle and were renominated because of their service to the party.
The results of the last election cycle should have prompted the Democratic Party to clean house, not double down. What is wrong with these people?
One of the lobbyists is Joanne Dowdell, whoâ€™s registered as a federal lobbyist forÂ News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, where sheâ€™s senior vice president for global government affairs. Dowdell ran for New Hampshireâ€™s House seat as a Democrat in 2012 and is a party donor.
Two other lobbyists who disclosed corporate clients in their most recent public reports are Clinton White House veteran Harold Ickes and Manuel Ortiz. Ortizâ€™s clients this year includeÂ CITGO Petroleum Corp, owned by the Venezuelan government, andÂ Citigroup Management Corp.Â Ortiz also lobbies for Puerto Rican interests.
The three lobbyists didnâ€™t respond to requests for comment.
At least 10 of the other superdelegates chosen by Perez have in the past been registered federal corporate lobbyists, with their most recent filings ranging from late last year to nearly a decade ago. …
…The new at-large members also includes operatives who worked on 2016 presidential campaigns who, if hired again in 2020, would each deliver one delegate vote to their bosses. At least three of the at-large members on Perezâ€™s slate were both superdelegatesÂ in the last election and worked on primary campaigns: Jeff Berman, who planned delegate strategy for Clinton; Minyon Moore, a senior adviser who worked on Clintonâ€™s White House transition; and Larry Cohen, a labor liaison for Sanders.
Two other former Clinton campaign workers, Emmy Ruiz and Craig Smith, are also among Perezâ€™s slate of new at-large members, along with Sandersâ€™s former press secretary, Symone Sanders.
The deadheads probably think they are covering their asses by including a couple of former Sanders people in with the lobbyists. But the whole superdelegate voting thing needs to end, first of all; second of all, the last thing the Democrats need is to be openly in bed with lobbyists of any sort. This confirms the worst fears of most leftist-progressive voters who distrust the Democratic Party.
See also Alex Seitz-Wald at NBC News:
A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
The ousters come ahead of the DNC’s first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race.
Complaints began immediately after party officials saw a list of Perez’s appointments to DNC committees and his roster of 75 “at-large” members, who are chosen by the chair.
The removal and demotion of a handful of veteran operatives stood out, as did what critics charge is the over-representation of Clinton-backed members on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which helps set the terms for the party’s presidential primary, though other Sanders and Ellison backers remain represented.
The superdelegates were a source of hard feelings in 2008 and 2016, and until they are gotten rid of they will continue to be a source of division. And openly allowing lobbyists to determine party policy and rules, and possibly choose the nominee, pretty much tells me the party elites are more interested in holding on to their own influence than in winning elections or growing the party’s voter base. What a waste.
Lobbyists for Venezuelaâ€™s national petroleum company? Seriously?