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.
“Shame on the DNC, on Hillary Clinton, and every Democratic operative responsible for this bullshit. What a mess.”
—Shaun King, The Intercept
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.
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”:
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.”
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