Jeff Stein reports: A former Democratic National Committee chair on Thursday revealed the existence of a previously secret agreement that appeared to confirm some of Bernie Sanders supporters’ fears about the 2016 Democratic primary.
Donna Brazile, a longtime Clinton ally who stepped in as DNC chair last year in the wake of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation, published an excerpt of her upcoming book in Politico in which she disclosed the details of a fundraising agreement between the DNC and the Clinton campaign reached in August 2015.
“The agreement — signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and [Clinton campaign manager] Robby Mook with a copy to [Clinton campaign counsel] 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,” Brazile wrote in the story under the headline “Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC.”
Brazile added of the deal: “[Clinton’s] 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.”
During the 2016 election, Sanders allies alleged that the DNC did not act as a neutral arbiter of the Democratic primary, favoring Clinton in its selection of debate times and fundraising. Their suspicions were only heightened when leaked emails published by WikiLeaks, and now reported to have been hacked by the Russians, appeared to show DNC staffers deriding Sanders and plotting ways to help Clinton. The accusations grew so heated that Wasserman Schultz resigned, which is when Brazile took over.
But now Brazile has provided explosive new evidence for the initial allegations. “The shocking news here is this idea they were exerting a level of control over DNC affairs that we didn’t know about,” said Kenneth Pennington, who served as digital director for the Sanders campaign. “If you had told me this during the primary — that they’re using the joint fundraising committee to get veto power over DNC functions — I would have called you a conspiracy nut.” [Continue reading…]