Over the weekend, the Democratic National Committee formally approved DNC Chair Tom Perez’s appointments to the Rules and Bylaws Committee. This blandly named and staffed Committee will allegedly enforce the rules during the 2020 Democratic primaries and that year’s Democratic Convention, which, if last year was any guide, is going to make the entire country want to metaphorically get down on its knees and puke into a very big toilet.
Perez’s appointments consist entirely of former Hillary Clinton supporters and establishment Democrats who opposed Bernie Sanders in 2016, and likely would do the same in 2020 if he decided to run again. Out of 30 members, not a single Sanders supporter was appointed to the committee. The appointments renege on promises of unity from Perez, who picked four Clinton supporters on the DNC Unity Reform Commission to place on the committee.
Some of the committee members who pose a concern in operating a fair and impartial primary election include former DNC Vice Chair and Interim Chair Donna Brazile. In October 2016, Brazile was fired by CNN for providing the Clinton campaign with questions before debates, but the DNC kept her on their payroll. A group called Brand New Congress has already started a petition in response calling for Perez to remove Brazile from the committee.
In response to criticism of Brazile’s appointment, the ghastly BuzzFeed published an article on “rumors” that progressives were pushing to remove three black women from their DNC positions. The source of the rumor were anonymous “Democratic sources” who claimed Sanders supporters were behind the push. In reality, the pliant and corrupt BuzzFeed was likely being used by Democratic Party Hacks to push the bullshit story as a means of stifling dissent over Perez’s appointments.
Stephen Bittel, a billionaire donor and close ally of former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was one of those appointed by Perez. Bittel became Chair of the Florida Democratic Party under controversial circumstances in January 2017, defeating five opponents who banded together against him, with help from Wasserman Schultz.
Former lobbyists Jeff Berman, who represented the private prison GEO Group and the Keystone XL company, along with Maria Cardona and Minyon Moore, senior officials at Dewey Square Partners who represented predatory lender Countrywide Financial, were appointed to the committee. Tax lobbyist Chris Lu and Frank Leone, a lobbyist for rape-and-pillage anti-environmental interests, were also appointed to the committee.
Perez removed New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckey from the committee after he supported Keith Ellison for DNC Chair in his race against Perez himself. Perez appointed in his place Kathy Sullivan from New Hampshire, who supported Perez, natch.
Former Bill Clinton advisor Harold Ickes was also appointed to the Rules Committee, despite his unhinged record of outbursts that include biting a political rival on the leg.
Perez re-appointed Rules and Bylaws Committee co-chairs, Lorraine Moore and James Roosevelt Jr., passing on an opportunity to demonstrate to voters that the DNC intends to change. The same committee remained silent when former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz changed a rule during the primaries that solely benefited the Clinton Campaign.
The DNC, of course, heavily favored Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primaries and has only broadened distrust among Bernie Sanders supporters with recent actions. As they have called for reforms and a more representative voice in the Democratic Party, Perez has repeatedly opted to preserve the status quo, as he did once again this weekend.