If the Democratic Primary had elected Bernie Sanders as the party’s candidate, how different of a world would we live in today? Could Sanders have defeated Trump solidly? If Sanders had won the presidency, would there be a possibility of repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or would there be a move towards Single Payer? Economically, would we be faced with budget cuts that threaten our commons – our water, food, environment, public lands and benefit corporations? Was the Democratic National Committee correct in possibly “fixing” the Primary Election? In a lawsuit, the DNC has just admitted they have the right to choose their candidate in the “back rooms,” no matter who the voters voted for. What is the point of having a Primary Election then? Perhaps everything the people loose to corporations under Trump should be blamed on the DNC. – Ann
A lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee, and its former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, by Bernie Sanders donors has revealed the DNC believes its own rules of impartiality don’t apply, and they can pick whatever candidate they wish.
“We could have voluntarily decided that, ‘Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way,” DNC’s lawyer Bruce Spiva told a Florida court.
The class-action suit was filed in June 2016, and accuses the DNC and its former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz of seven different violations, including fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and negligence.
The suit has three different classes of plaintiffs – those who donated to the DNC, those who donated to the Bernie Sanders campaign and all members of the Democratic Party.
So far in court, the DNC's lawyers haven't denied the primary was rigged, but only argued it was their right to rig it. #DismantleDuopoly— Michael Salamone (@MichaelSalamone) April 28, 2017
Donors made contributions to the DNC and the Bernie Sanders campaign with the understanding that the presidential primaries would be conducted in a fair manner, and are seeking damages for being misled.
The DNC nominates and confirms the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, after arranging the state caucuses and primaries which determine who is eligible.
The DNC is governed by the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party. The DNC chair should “exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns,” reads Article 5, Section 4 of the Charter.
Dem party FINALLY spoke the truth out loud and in public. They have no obligation to serve, or interest in serving, voters. #NeverOligarchy— Kenny Marshall (@urknighterrant) May 1, 2017
The most shocking was the argument that, despite impartiality being part of both its charter and bylaws, the DNC is free to choose the nominee it wishes, and could “go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way.”
The defendants’ lawyers also argued the suit is based on an “internal rule” which cannot be enforced, and that the term “impartial” can’t be defined.
“But that’s what the Democratic National Committee’s own charter says. It says it in black and white.”
The defendants also argued the judge cannot determine how the Democratic Party carries out its nomination process, as that would “drag the Court right into the political squabbles.”
“So you are suggesting that this is just part of the business, so to speak, that it’s not unusual for, let’s say, the DNC, the RNC to take sides with respect to any particular candidate and to support that candidate over another?” Judge Zloch responded.
DNC lawyers also appeared unsure of what the committee’s role is, with Spiva saying he wasn’t sure whether the DNC funded primaries.
Judge Zloch will rule on the motion to dismiss, although a date has yet to be set. “I’ll be candid with you, that’s going to take some time,” the judge said. “The legal issues are complex.”
If the case isn’t dismissed, the suit will go to discovery stage, which would include depositions from Wasserman Schultz and others, before proceeding to trial. It is then that evidence from WikiLeaks, Guccifer and others will be presented.