Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) emerged from a week-long hospital stay after suffering a heart attack angrier than ever at Republicans, Democrats, the media, and corporate America. Vowing to end all corporate and political action committee donations to quadrennial political party conventions, Sanders also hinted that the elite DNC members are hypocrites who sit on boards or chair industries that are against the socialist’s platform.
Apparently, the recent brush with death has the frumpiest of public servants steering away from the regular old Democrats and more towards his socialist calling. But does the gentleman from Vermont know something the rest of the electorate does not?
The Democratic Party is controlled by 359 members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), selected and installed by leadership encompassing all 50 state party chairs and 200 or so elected officials. They set the tone and standards for the nominating process – which Sanders was cheated out of in 2016 to shove Mrs. Clinton into the spotlight. But it’s a bit of a clandestine group as no one seems to have a public list of members, the inner workings are usually secretive, and meetings about expenditures and budgets are private.
Well, it was until Wikileaks publicized the confidential memos and former Chairwoman Donna Brazille wrote her tell-all book verifying the alleged shenanigans perpetrated by former Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Who Bankrolls the DNC ?
Rolling into the 2020 presidential race, Dems are being scrutinized for their associations. After all, how can climate change, Medicare for All, and open borders be the official platform for the next several months if the DNC is financially backed by questionable sources?
The list is downright scandalous: Hedge funds, fossil fuel executives, health care industry muckety-mucks. Even the DNC’s primary legal counsel, Perkins Coie LLP – one of the firms that survived the 2016 shedding of corruption – holds lobbying contracts with oil and gas companies. If the tiny truant, Greta Thunberg, reads this, her already ruined childhood will be formally euthanized.
During the 2016 fundraising for blue state domination, the DNC put together $75.9 million – the largest single donations came from a hedge fund business ($677,850) and a media conglomerate ($334,000).
But so far this year, the DNC has accepted over $60,000 from individual fossil fuel executives. Another ironic factor is that several DNC member superdelegates are executives within the health care insurance industry.
Sanders should question the DNC connections with current platforms – even more boisterously as we head into the 2020 DNC Convention next July.
Another thorn in Sander’s side is the amount of money political parties spend on hosting election year convention. Sanders wants to abolish the fundraising by host state committees and instead have the government pick up the tab – about $70 million for each party. His socialistic idea is whack-a-doodle: But looking at who is in charge of these external fundraising, it is clear as to why he might propose such nonsense.
The 2016 effort in Philadelphia was spearheaded by Daniel J. Hilferty, Chief Executive Officer of Independence Blue Cross and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of America – a trade group that lobbies for the insurance industry. Ironic. He also serves on the board of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the lobbying group against the Affordable Care Act.
But the guy was a fundraising machine – the uncharacteristic relationship with Democratic policy and ideology, however, did not go unnoticed by Sanders.
Fast forward to convention 2020 in Milwaukee, WI, the site of a Trump rally that found 40,000 plus screaming “four-more-years” in a saturated blue district. The latest to be tagged in the job of party fundraising is Joe Solmonese, a local heavy hitter who once served as chief executive of EMILY’s List and was president of the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for LGBTQ equality. Adding to his Dem chops, he boasts of being the transition chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America after Cecile Richards stepped down.
Solmonese is joined in the effort to make people like whoever makes it to the main stage in Wisconsin by Debra Allgood White, former senior vice president and general counsel for Planned Parenthood, and Alex Lasry, a Milwaukee Bucks executive.
It’s a drastic change from 2016, steering more towards abortion rights as health care and the all-so-important pandering to the 3.5% LGBTQ demographic. Perhaps this is the safest way to go for the Dems but rest assured the crotchety senator from Vermont is going to be attacking at every turn to ensure his rise to the main event come convention time isn’t marred by poor optics, questionable DNA tests, hand-cuffable business deals, or a big corporate presence at the “Not Me-Us” official nominating ceremony.
At least the disheveled old coot is consistent in his beliefs and is willing to call out his idea of Democratic hypocrisy when he sees it.