Hillary Clinton’s allies at the Democratic National Committee have pulled out all the stops to ensure she is crowned the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
Supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders can now cite drastic changes to donation rules instituted by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 as further proof the process is rigged against them. The Washington Post revealed Friday that a ban on donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees was quietly lifted months ago – a move anathema to Sanders’ campaign. The self-described socialist routinely boasts that his supporters’ average donation is $27.
The newspaper, which deemed the move a “sweeping reversal” of Obama’s attempt to “change how Washington works,” was confirmed by three Democrat lobbyists who said they have already received solicitations from the DNC. The individuals requested anonymity before discussing the issue.
“It is a major step in the wrong direction,” reform advocate Fred Wertheimer told the newspaper. “It is completely out of touch with the clear public rejection of the role of political money in Washington.”
The new rules will feel like salt in the wounds of liberal voters who watched Clinton collect more delegates than Sanders in New Hampshire despite getting clobbered in the state’s primary election 60 to 38 percent.
“What do you tell voters who are new to the process who say this makes them feel like it’s all rigged?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Thursday.
“Unpledged delegates exist, really, to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. We, as a Democratic Party, really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention and we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention and so we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them,” Wasserman Schultz responded.
“I’m not sure that that answer would satisfy an anxious, young voter, but let’s move on,” Tapper deadpanned.
Former presidential candidate Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who dropped out of the race after a disappointing Iowa caucus, warned in September 2015 of the DNC’s desire to protect Clinton at all costs. He said the number of debates scheduled was a clear indicator the DNC wanted to guarantee a specific outcome.
“I’m told that this is the prerogative of the chair,” O’Malley said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Sept. 10, 2015, WND reported. “There’s always an inclination, I think, for old relationships to kind of circle the wagons and protect one another.”
Sanders was able to overcome the DNC’s debate schedule and capture 49.59 percent of the vote Feb. 1 in the Iowa caucus. His campaign has accused the DNC of dragging its feet on examining voting irregularities that might reverse Clinton’s razor-thin victory.
“We’re going precinct to precinct across the state to individually check the results with our precinct captains,” Sanders’ Iowa communications director, Rania Batrice, told Politico Feb. 4. “We’re hoping to know more within several days.”
Sanders and Clinton squared off again Thursday night in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but even that seemed orchestrated to protect the former secretary of state. Neither PBS moderator Gwen Ifill nor co-moderator Judy Woodruff mentioned the State Department’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation. A subpoena was issued last fall, but news of the investigation was revealed by the Washington Post Thursday afternoon.
Woodruff is a donor to the Clinton Foundation, Breitbart News reported Thursday.
FBI agents are also trying to discern whether Clinton violated provisions of the Espionage Act related to “gross negligence” in handling government documents during her time as secretary of state. The probe of her “home brew” email server will address whether co-mingling of the Clinton Foundation and State Department business violated public corruption laws.