Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are livid over Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez choosing two former Hillary Clinton surrogates to a committee overseeing the rules of the party’s July convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin — namely, John Podesta and Barney Frank.
Still sore over the way their candidate was treated by the DNC in 2016, many Sanders supporters are outraged that the DNC gave Clinton’s former campaign chairman a seat on the rules committee, which Frank will co-chair.
As the Hill reported:
Over the weekend, the DNC’s executive committee voted to appoint 25 people each to the rules, platform and credentialing committees for the nominating convention.
The appointments are only a fraction of those who will end up serving on the committees. Most of the members will be allotted in proportion to the number of delegates the candidates win over the course of the primaries and caucuses.
However, there are “a very small number of appointments of allies” to Sanders, according to DNC member Yasmine Taeb.
“The appointments also include individuals that are outright hostile to Bernie Sanders and his supporters,” she said, according to the Hill.
“It’s not the message the DNC should be sending to the grassroots right now when we’re all working aggressively to defeat the racist in the White House,” she added.
“It’s very disappointing to see Chairman Perez build a list of this magnitude,” Sanders’ national co-chair Nina Turner said in an interview with Status Coup’s Jordan Chariton, calling the DNC’s move an “embarrassment.”
“The DNC should be ashamed of itself because it really is a slap in the face to folks what we’re asking for reform,” she continued.
“If the DNC believes it’s going to get away in 2020 with what it did in 2016, it has another thing coming,” she warned:
Both Podesta and Frank have a documented history of bias against Sanders. WikiLeaks, for instance, exposed Podesta’s bias against Sanders, as Breitbart News detailed in 2016:
In a February 2016 email exchange between John Podesta and Joel Johnson, former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, Johnson suggests that Podesta needs to “crush” Bernie Sanders and leave him “ground to a pulp,” in an email with the subject line “Friendly Advice. No Mercy.”
“Bernie needs to be ground to a pulp. We can’t start believing our own primary bullshit. This is no time to run the general. Crush him as hard as you can,” Johnson said in an email in February this year.
Podesta responded by saying that he “agrees with that in principle,” asking Johnson where he would like “to stick the knife in.”
Johnson’s suggestions for crushing Sanders included attacking Sanders as an “Obama betrayer,” “hapless legislator,” “a false promiser,” and pointing out that “he can’t win.
Frank, the former Massachusetts lawmaker, also has also publicly questioned supporters of Sanders in the past, attributing his support to a “lack of information.”
“I think it is a lack of information, to be honest,” Frank said of Sanders’ support in an interview with MSNBC in 2016.
“You have people, I believe, who do not understand how hard it is to make change. [It is] the importance of not just being idealistic, but being sensibly pragmatic and keeping their ideals. Sanders is getting their support,” he added.
Meanwhile, some DNC members are bothered by the DNC appointing committee members who, they say, do not reflect the party’s grassroots members:
Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez issued a list of individuals he nominated for the 2020 Democratic National Convention committees.
Let's examine some of the individuals. I'll initially focus on the nominees for the DNC Platform Committee.
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) January 25, 2020
More via the Hill:
DNC officials said state party members will make up a far greater share of the committees once delegates are allocated and each candidate’s supporters take their spots alongside the appointed members.
On Sunday, DNC members from California sent a letter to Perez asking that paid employees or consultants to the presidential campaigns be excluded from the rules committee.
And some DNC members complained that they were only alerted to the appointments late on Friday ahead of the executive committee’s Saturday vote. Some members derisively referred to the appointments as the “midnight convention committee picks.”
“The DNC is supposed to provide resources and a platform for state parties,” California DNC member Michael Kapp said, according to the Hill. “But if we are consistently being excluded from the table, how are state parties supposed to feel?”
The 2020 Democratic National Convention will take place July 13-16, 2020.