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'Deeply Disturbing': Bombshell Piece Exposes 'Unethical' Clinton-DNC Fundraising Deal

So the campaign did not trust the DNC so they asked for lots of changes in the standard agreement (the “fine print” mentioned by the NYT in the article you posted) and the DNC did not initially want to go with the proposal that the Clinton campaign created (per the Politico article that you posted) - so it sounds like you’ve made my case - thanks for sharing. Bottom line - the document you pointed is just the standard form and not the true Joint Fundraising Agreement. Donna Brazile clearly has access to the final document and there is absolutely no evidence to falsify her claims (made more credible since she is a longtime Clinton ally).

You also seem to have a misimpression of the debate scheduling issue and why it was important to the O’Malley and Sanders campaigns. It wasn’t just a matter of scheduling prime time events. The Clinton campaign actually restricted the number of debates and more importantly, had the DNC create an exclusivity arrangement so that even if Sanders and O’Malley wanted to debate each other without Clinton - they were specifically prohibited from doing so. For candidates with much less name recognition - that is definitely considered a “rig”.

Some specific DNC email lists were provided only to the Clinton campaign because of the JFA (while normally that wouldn’t be shared until there was a nominee chosen) - that can be used not just for fundraising but also for primary campaigning - another “rig”

The fact that Brazile gave her primary debate questions to the Clinton campaign was another “rig”

The accusation by Brazile that non-battleground state funds raised by the Victory Fund were sent to be deposited in state accounts to make them legal then transferred to the DNC and then transferred to the Clinton campaign accounts while the primaries were still going on is definitely a “rig” (even if they held onto them to be used in the general election campaign). Overall Brazile made it clear that the idea that the money going into the Victory Fund during the primary season would not really be available to any one besides Clinton if they became the nominee as was announced at the time.

The accusation by Brazile that the JFA allowed the Clinton campaign to control some staffing positions is also a “rig” (though overblown since those same folks were already in her camp).

The accusation by Brazile that DWS made decisions on her own in conjunction with the Clinton campaign and kept even the DNC officers out of the loop on important financial matters like this JFA also indicates a “rig” (though Brazille has a personal interest in saying she was out of the loop on this stuff).

The DNC changed the rules in February 2016 (put in place by Obama’s team) about accepting money from lobbyists - yet another “rig” against Bernie’s campaign.

The DNC sends out lots of mail to registered Democrats with those mailings often containing so-called “push poll surveys” as a way to attract funds. I received some of those in late 2015 and during the primary season in 2016 and they were all written from the point of view of Clinton Campaign policy positions - (e.g. questions about health care that did not even mention single payer as an option) - again another “rig”

I believe these things are inappropriate for a national committee to do despite their legality and despite the fact that Bernie was able to adeptly counter them with an anti-establishment campaign. But note that these “rigs” also hurt Martin O’Malley’s campaign and he did not run the kind of campaign that could counter them.


The “statement” is baseless opinion. Not fact. That you ignore this is typical

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As I explained to you before, in the previous election where there were debates, there were six sanctioned debates and a number of other debates. The DNC this time barred the candidates from taking part in non-sanctioned debates, thus limiting the exposure of anyone that could have challenged Clinton, which in this instance was Sanders. It also kept her out of the public eye, which is good for her, since people tend to like her less as time goes on.

Can you acknowledge this obvious difference? Yes, or no? It’s “weak tea” because you pretend to not be able to see the obvious difference.


The kicker is that whenever DNC honchos were confronted on the often blatant ‘rigging,’ they chose to promote the fallacy that they were running a fair and impartial primary system.

So Hillary, already overwhelming perceived as a liar, relied on liars lying to make it look like the liar-controlled DNC was playing nice with all of their candidates.

I don’t expect the truth from politicians. But the Ds are sinking further into a sewer of corruption.

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I do think you make a valid point about the parallel to the Republican side in the sense that the RNC was also attempting to “rig” the primaries against the Trump campaign and yet he was successful despite that.

But I definitely disagree about the value of caucuses (which I support) and the value of superdelegates (which I don’t).
Caucuses allow a potentially popular candidate with little name recognition to be competitive (e.g. Jimmy Carter would never have been President if Iowa ran a primary). They also provide a means to bring an energetic group of potential voters into a party (remember that the current non-voters are the most important voting block to attract in any election).


Interesting read and points. I’m far from a prop 13 expert so definitely appreciate the informed perspective.

No, the overall argument that she was making was correct, without any question. There was an agreement between the state parties, the DNC and the Clinton campaign. A Clinton surrogate, one of the most important people in her campaign, was put in charge of that and did not disperse much money to the state parties. Not only did they not get a lot of money, but a lot of the money that was given to them was immediately sent back to the DNC. The intent of the damn fund was to get around campaign finance laws, and it is obvious. It is also a bit different than situations in the past in the sense that this agreement was signed in 2015, a few months after she announced that she was running, and not after she won the nomination. It was a situation in which one candidate running in a primary was going to be financially relied upon, a year before the damn primary was over. You claimed that the money was to be dispersed until after the primary, well, deals like this aren’t formed until about that time either. This one was formed a year before the primaries were over, while she was supposed to be competing with other candidates for her party’s nomination in a free and open election, not a corrupt and rigged mess like what happened. This type of stuff is what we see in banana republics, and you are here defending it. I know that you have a long standing relationship with the party, are you too a consultant?

The fund was created as a means of getting Clinton larger donations than her campaign could receive, it was a means of laundering money and the agreement gave her even more power within the Democratic Party. She also had a say on the operations of the DNC that no other candidate had, in fact I would guess that no non-incumbent candidate has had in a long time, if ever, long before she actually secured her party’s nomination.

The point is that this was another instance in which the primaries were not on the up and up, and were not fair. And if you want to argue otherwise, would you be okay if Republicans did this to the Democrats in the general election from here on out? Would that be okay with you? If a Republican candidate did this exact thing to a Democratic candidate, if the entirety of what we know happened in regards to a Republican, would you be fine with it? Rhetorical question, don’t bother answering. If you defend this, don’t bothering trying to convince people to trust your party. Stuff like this is why the Democrats have collapsed and likely won’t recover, and that will lead to an even worse party having far more power than it deserves.


They also disenfranchise a large number of people—the numbers are absolutely clear on that. I think in smaller states they may be useful, but my preference is semi-open primaries generally.

Amongst the three options of

  1. trying to defend this stuff
  2. working to eliminate this stuff
  3. throwing our hands up and declaring everything rigged

I vote for #2


I agree that a direct vote with as high a turnout as possible is generally better. The key is to strike an appropriate balance and timing of these things. If I created the rues I would hold some caucuses early and have a fund available that is distributed to campaigns proportional to their results in those early caucuses and then have primaries after that until the end.

People do not get the governments they deserve.

This is a liberal nation on every score.
If that were true, we’d have a liberal government.

I don’t blame you, but if you did pay attention at the time, it would have been obvious. Now, there are some people (some people maybe even posting here in this thread) that financially depend on not noticing these things, and even provide cover for it. I would bet, if we ever can see the books at the DNC, that these “consultants” are getting a hell of a lot of money, and for what?

Party caucuses are an entirely appropriate method for the members of a political party to determine which member of the party to put forward as the party candidate in an election.

There should be no state-sponsored party primaries.

There should be a single election run by the state, in which all qualified candidates - including any party candidates who are qualified candidates - compete.

And there should be a voting system - like Rank Choice Voting, or Approval Voting, or Score Voting - that completes the election in a single round, and allows voters to weigh in on ALL candidates (not reduce their input to a single vote that must go to a single candidate), eliminating the manufactured problems of “lesser evil voting” and “wasted votes.”

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Pray tell, who in the Swamp is not?

Really? There’s been no analysis of this? If a tree falls in a forest but you don’t hear it, did it fall?

“It’s like the coach of the losing football team blaming the refs for the loss rather than looking at game film to see what happened.”

No, more like a basketball coach that keeps screaming to the refs that there are seven players on the court for the other team, and the refs responding by calling the coach a “whiner”. Then, when the cheating team wins, the winning coach pretends the cheating and the bias from the ref had nothing to do with it. That’d be more accurate.


Don’t you feel that the inability for some people to be able to participate in caucuses (such as working people who cannot spend the whole day at a caucus) is a problem? I like the highly engaged nature of a caucus and I definitely prefer voting systems like the ones you mention - but we’d need to make them more accessible to people - just like elections in general I suppose. Perhaps some of the online participatory democracy ideas that @natureboy often posts about would be a good system.

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I can almost make a case for caucuses for primaries.

Theory of the case as follows - Caucuses reward organization, dedication to the party and (generally) awareness of the issues. At least in theory, this should lead to a candidate who best, ideologically, fits the profile of the party.

The general election then allows those competing ideologies to vie for votes among the population at large. In effect, each party puts the person who best represents the views of the party stalwarts forward and the public selects it vision.

At least it wouldn’t have left us with the two candidates we had last year…

Caucuses and primaries have different attributes for sure - hence the idea of having a mixture is reasonable to allow for the benefits of each to appear and the problems with each to not dominate the nominating process. The eligibility issue is also a fundamental part of the presidential nomination process in the U.S. (same day registration for independents being the key controversy - something I support but party loyalists do not). Your argument for caucuses implies some sort of party loyalty that doesn’t really square with reality.

In a post above I tried to address the issue of having a situation that allows a party to “find a diamond in the rough” by recommending more caucuses early on in the process and a party fund to help-kick start promising campaigns. Taking a play from @natureboy I think it would be more accessible if we also looked at virtual caucuses as a component of the nominating process.

Testing innovative nominating processes is something that third parties should really take a stab at - but they rarely have the logistical skills to pull off more than the minimum process required by law. That’s a shame - providing a model for a transparent process with a truly neutral referee might really help such groups make a name for themselves.


In further relation to the aftermath of the Sen. Sanders nationwide scandal, an insider coup against Keith Ellison, Tom Perez, and the continuing M.O. of the DNC:

Tom Perez, the current chair of the DNC, has the right to appoint 75 superdelegates – so they’re not even elected officials." See recent piece by Cory Doctorow: “The DNC picked a bunch of sleazy lobbyists as superdelegates, can’t figure out why no one is donating.

The 2018 “superdelegates” to the Democratic National Convention will include lobbyists for Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp, CITGO petroleum, Citigroup, and other large corporations.

Superdelegates are unelected party favorites who get to vote for the party leader in primaries. The DNC was sued for dirty tricks in the 2016 primaries, and in its defense, DNC leaders insisted the party could “pick candidates in smoke-filled back-rooms” and ignore the votes of party members.

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Where and when did the Clinton campaign do this? From reporting at the time, the six sanctioned debates were in line with precedent. I’ve answered the debate issue above and I think there is nothing to it, except the sanctioned thing, which I agree was stupid. Factually though, it was Clinton and O’Malley that agreed to non-sanctioned debates first, not Sanders. Sanders came in later. Here’s a good explainer from May 2015 before it was even an issue:

As for the other charges, here’s the just released MOU on the Victory Fund:

Myself, I think it shows the Clinton campaign was legitimately concerned about the DNC’s mismanagement. I’d sure like to see Bernie’s MOU now so we can compare apples to apples. But my preference and hope for the future is that Victory Funds aren’t needed. On that score, I think we both agree.