Concerns that the 2016 Democratic Primaries Were Rigged

Donna Brazile's book Hacks (Hachette Book Group, Nov. 7, 2017) raised anew concerns that the DNC had favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries, as Sanders had maintained.  Additionally NPR obtained an additional memo from Aug. 26, 2015, released on Nov. 3, 2017, which outlined how Hillary for America would have a say on key hiring and strategic decisions as part of a joint fundraising agreement.  Below are responses from current DNC leadership.

Scott Detrow.  "Clinton Campaign Had Additional Signed Agreement With DNC in 2015,"  NPR, Nov. 3, 2017.
posted Nov. 4, 2017

Nov. 3, 2017

Ellison Statement on DNC Reforms

November 3, 2017
Contact: Karthik Ganapathy

WASHINGTON – One day after reports detailed the contents of the Democratic National Committee's joint fundraising agreements with its 2016 presidential candidates, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison issued the following statement:

"As leaders of the Democratic Party, it is our responsibility to acknowledge that millions of Americans still feel hurt and betrayed by the events of the 2016 presidential primary. We can’t allow this idea to persist that any candidate has an inside track, because the DNC must be an impartial and transparent organization that welcomes all people who share our core values of economic justice and human rights for all. Democrats will retake power if people truly believe we are a party that values every voice and every American, and that can happen only if our core supporters feel like our nominating process is on the level, and that their concerns are being taken seriously.
"Donna Brazile's account cannot simply be dismissed. We must heed the call for our party to enact real reforms that ensure a fair, open, and impartial nominating process in elections to come. I'm committed to working with Chairman Perez to make the DNC more transparent and accountable to the American people, whether that's by ensuring that debates are scheduled far ahead of time or by guaranteeing that the terms of joint fundraising agreements give no candidate undue control or influence over the party. Additionally, when the DNC Unity Commission presents its recommendations on reforming our party, we must listen and act. If we do, Democrats can move forward and retake power at every level of government across the nation." 


Nov. 4, 2017

Making 2020 Transparent 

By DNC Chair Tom Perez
When I ran to serve as chair of the DNC following the 2016 election — a cycle unlike any other in American history — I knew that repairing our party’s structural flaws and healing the deep divisions among our supporters would not be easy. While we’ve made remarkable progress since last November, we still have a long way to go.
I am more committed than ever before to restoring voters’ faith in our democratic process because even the perception of impartiality or an unfair advantage undermines our ability to win. That is unacceptable.
To that end, the new DNC under my leadership is committed to the task of making sure that our 2020 nominating process will be unquestionably fair and transparent. And all the people I’ve brought on board since taking over as chair are working according to the following principles:
  • We believe that only through transparency and accountability can we rebuild the trust we need to win elections.
  • We believe that it’s critical to build an infrastructure that supports all candidates and helps Democrats win.
  • We believe that a party must listen if it seeks to lead.
  • We believe in the principle of equal opportunity for the American people and for our candidates in our party elections.
Of course, as any leader knows, principles only matter when they inform and inspire action. After listening to Democrats from every wing of our party, I’ve developed a series of concrete reforms to put our principles into action and guarantee that under my watch, the new DNC will work to rebuild trust with the people we represent. These principles are:
  1. To ensure that no candidate participating in our presidential nominating process gains any unfair advantage- real or perceived- during our primary season. We will decide the debate schedule in advance, instead of negotiating it after all our candidates have entered the race.
  1. I will ensure that any and all joint fundraising agreements will be transparent, including the new Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund agreements we’ve developed with all 50 state parties. This is the first time the DNC has signed joint fundraising agreements like this so early and before the mid-term elections.
  1. At all times, I will follow the rules established in the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party, not least of all as they pertain to the selection of our nominee for president of the United States. If there are opportunities for the DNC to make changes to the Charter and Bylaws to be even more transparent, I will work with the DNC body to pass those changes.
  1. I will continue to support the Unity Reform Commission, whose goals are both to unify and reform the party we all love. We will work with the Unity Reform Commission to implement their collective recommendations for meaningful change in our party.
  1. I will continue working to reform and revive our party by empowering diverse grassroots Democrats at the leadership table. We will build on our recent successes with small-dollar fundraising. And we will reject contributions from corporate PAC donors whose goals conflict with our platform.
  1. In addition to committing to a transparent process, I will work with all members of the Democratic Party to make the 2020 process as inclusive as possible, including working to protect the right of every Democrat to make their vote and their voice heard in the primary process.
  1. I will work with our DNC members and progressive partners to ensure that the 2020 process is transparent, accountable, and representative of the will of rank-and-file Democrats
We should never confuse unity with unanimity, and it is my unequivocal goal to regain the trust of voters and unify and strengthen our party to ensure we can elect Democrats from the school board to the oval office. I will not rest in the fight to restore the faith of hardworking families in the political party I love.