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Perez's Promises

- February 20, 2018

Coming Up On His One Year Anniversary As DNC Chair, A Look At Tom Perez's Long List Of Broken Promises


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • This week is Tom Perez's one year anniversary as DNC Chair.
  • During his campaign for DNC Chair, Tom Perez made promises of every kind to Democrats of all stripes.
  • Perez promised to develop, support, and improve state parties, fundraising, party unity, transparency, grassroots organization, youth organization, data, cybersecurity, and technology.
  • But one year later, Perez has either broke or failed to follow through on many of his promises.
    • Despite his promises, Perez has been dismal on the fundraising front with the DNC going into 2018 with less than $500,000 in the bank when accounting for debt.
    • Perez has failed to effectively support and fund state parties by granting state parties just 10% of the millions he promised them.
    • Perez has failed to empower grassroots organizers by neglecting minority groups and other coalitions.
    • Perez has failed to keep his promise to unify the party and bring Democrats together by alienating the progressive wing of the party through purges and other exclusionary measures.
    • Perez has failed to keep his promise to implement the recommendations of the Unity Commission by dragging his feet on the adoption and execution of their most recent recommendations.

This Week Is Tom Perez's One Year Anniversary As DNC Chair

Tom Perez Was Elected DNC Chair On February 25, 2017. "Tom Perez, the former labor secretary for President Barack Obama, was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday, replacing interim chair Donna Brazile after a rollicking, four-month race and a chaotic final day of voting." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Perez Elected DNC Chairman," Politico , 2/25/17)

TOM PEREZ'S BROKEN PROMISES TO STATE PARTIES

During His Run For DNC Chair, Perez Promised To Expand And Support State Parties, But Since His Election He Has Not Done So As State Parties Continue To Struggle Financially And Lack Needed Resources

In January 2017, Tom Perez Said "[Democrats] Need An Every Zip Code Strategy" For Voter Outreach Nationwide To Showcase "A Party That Is For Everyone." TOM PEREZ: "And so that is why I think we need an every zip code strategy that is married around that basic message of economic opportunity and a party that is all about everyone." (Tom Perez, Remarks At Democratic Party Chair Candidates Forum, Washington, DC, 1/23/17)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken .
  • State Party Chairmen Have Said "The New DNC Is Selling Hollow Promises" And "Its Flimsy 50-State Plan Is Built On Toothpicks." "But a number of state chairmen contend the party has learned from its mistakes and that Perez is on the right path. Those who worked for Dean in 2006 don't buy it. They say the new DNC is selling hollow promises and that its flimsy 50-state plan is built on toothpicks." (Laura Barron- Lopez, "Some Democrats Aren't Buying The DNC's New 50-State Strategy," The Washington Examiner , 2/4/18)
  • A Former DNC Official Called Perez's "Every Zip Code Counts" Strategy, "Empty Rhetoric" And Something That The DNC Is "Not Serious" About Doing. "Still, one former DNC official who worked for Dean during the 2006 cycle said, 'They're not serious about doing a 50-state strategy. It's something that rings nicely,' the official said, but added, 'It's empty rhetoric.'" (Laura Barron- Lopez, "Some Democrats Aren't Buying The DNC's New 50-State Strategy," The Washington Examiner , 2/4/18)

Perez Promised To Establish "A Permanent Voter Caucus" Of Secretaries Of State And State Members Dedicated To "Voting Issues." "Create a permanent Voter Caucus of the DNC with Secretaries of State, state members and others, focused on voting issues from registration to representation." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.

Perez Promised To "Invest In State And Local Parties" And Get State Parties The "Tools And Skills They Need To Succeed At Every Level." "Empower state parties by making sure they have the skills and tools they need to succeed at every level. Invest in state and local parties to help support candidates from school board to Senate." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • Democrats Are Fearful Of A Lack Of Funding And Party Structure For 2018 And 2020. "The DNC saw a late uptick in contributions after last fall's statewide wins in Virginia and Alabama. Its fundraising report comes amid Democratic optimism about a wave in this year's midterms but anxiety that it lacks the operational structure to take advantage. What's more, some officials fear they won't have the money needed to build up that structure this year or ahead of the 2020 presidential race." (Edward Isaac- Dovere, "DNC Raises $67 Million In 2017, Half Of RNC's Haul," Politico , 1/30/18)
  • Political Strategist DeJuana Thompson Stated That "The Democratic Party And Its Major Donors Have "Largely Failed" To Invest In The Political Infrastructure That Consistently Wins Elections." "'If you're asking me which organizations have been doing long-term voter engagement work, I would say none of them,' DeJuana Thompson said. A black political strategist, Thompson coordinated more than $2 million in December's Alabama Senate special election to boost black voter turnout - funded in part by Priorities, which she called a 'partner' that listened to her. The Democratic Party and its major donors have largely failed to invest in the political infrastructure that consistently wins elections, she said in an interview." (Will Drabold, "Democrats Treating Minorities 'As An Afterthought' May Affect The Midterm Elections," Mic.com , 2/9/18).

Perez Promised The DNC Would Work More Collaboratively With State Parties. "Increase collaboration between the DNC, state parties and committees." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • A Senior DNC Operative Has Said The DNC's Role On The Ground In 2018 Will Be "Relatively Limited" As "They Played The Smallest Role Of Any Organization On The Ground In Alabama" And Virginia. "A senior Democratic operative, who asked for anonymity to speak candidly about colleagues, looked to recent elections to pinpoint problems with the DNC. 'They played the smallest role of any organization on the ground in Alabama, or for that matter Virginia. ... We have to be realistic about what role they're going to play in 2018, and I think it's relatively limited,' the operative said in an interview." (Will Drabold, "Democrats Treating Minorities 'As An Afterthought' May Affect The Midterm Elections," Mic.com , 2/9/18)

Perez Promised To Raise $10 Million For State Parties Through The Establishment Of A Competitive Grant Program Called The State Party Innovation Fund. " The DNC is also launching a State Party Innovation Fund, with $10 million earmarked for grants that state parties can compete for by organizing and modernizing; funds, according to the party, will be devoted to 'innovation, best practices and organizing in base, rural, millennial and youth communities, in addition to help with building technical infrastructure .'" (David Weigel, "DNC Invests Earlier In State Parties, Voter Persuasion," The Washington Post , 7/10/17)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • Perez And The DNC Broke This Promise When January 2018 Arrived And They Had Yet To Deliver Millions Promised To State Parties And The DNC Did Not Even Have $10 Million Cash On Hand. "That money hasn't arrived. In fact, the DNC didn't even have $10 million on hand as of November 30 and declined to comment on whether it had the money now. And even if it did, it wouldn't distribute the money right away, frustrating state party officials who are anxious about the coming midterm elections and describe the effort to rebuild as slow and halting." (Alex Thompson, "The DNC Promised $10M To Rebuild State Parties. It Has Not Delivered," Vice News , 1/19/18)
  • As Of January 2018, Only 1 Of About 24 State Parties Who Submitted Proposals For Grants From The DNC Had Received Money. "So far only one state, Washington, has received a grant from the $10 million State Party Innovation Fund while about 24 other states that submitted grant proposals are waiting. At least 10 other states are mired in lengthy performance reviews the national party is conducting in each state, which the DNC is using to inform their grant disbursement." (Alex Thompson, "The DNC Promised $10M To Rebuild State Parties. It Has Not Delivered," Vice News , 1/19/18)
  • State Parties Began Reorganizing Their Budgets Once They Realized They Would Not Be Getting Money Promised To Them By The DNC. "In some states, leaders were under the impression they would be getting money and began planning how to invest it. Now have had to reorganize their budgets, said multiple Democrats." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Local Democrats Warn DNC: Cash Crunch Threatens November Gains," Politico , 1/27/18)
  • On January 24, 2018, The DNC Began To Grant Funds To A Handful Of State Parties. "The Democratic National Committee will begin doling out $1 million among 11 state parties as part of its $10 million State Party Innovation Fund, a party spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday." (Alex Thompson, "The DNC Is Finally Sending Money To State Democratic Parties After 7 Months," Vice News , 1/24/18)
  • The DNC Announced That They Would Be Awarding 10% Of The Funds Initially Promised To A Handful Of State Parties. "The Democratic National Committee will distribute $1 million to 11 state parties from its new State Party Innovation Fund, days after questions about the grant process spilled into public view." (David Weigel, "DNC Begins Sending 'Innovation' Grants To State Parties, Following Criticism Of Process," The Washington Post , 1/24/18)
  • A Former DNC Official Said "If You're Trying To Build Long-Term Infrastructure In The States, Grants Aren't The Effective Or Efficient Way To Do It." "The official argued that by choosing grants over putting state party staffers on the DNC's payroll, there's no real "sacrifice" being made by the DNC, and there's less accountability. Those in the state on the DNC's payroll during the Dean years got healthcare, a 401(k), and were expected to be there a minimum of two years. 'If you're trying to build long-term infrastructure in the states, grants aren't the effective or efficient way to do it,' said the former DNC official." (Laura Barron- Lopez, "Some Democrats Aren't Buying The DNC's New 50-State Strategy," The Washington Examiner , 2/4/18)

BROKEN PROMISES TO GRASSROOTS AND DNC STAFF

Perez Promised To Improve Grassroots Organization And DNC Staffing, But Broke This Pledge By Failing To Fully Staff The DNC And Failing To Establish Grassroots Initiatives

During His Run For DNC Chair, Perez Promised That If He Was Elected, The DNC Would Increase Grassroots Efforts. "The DNC will build an increased grassroots effort to speak directly with all voters in every community, from rural to urban." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • Ray Buckley, Chairman Of The New Hampshire Democratic Party And Former DNC Vice Chairman, "Worries" That The Party May Lose Races In 2018 "Due To A Lack Of 'Grassroots Organization.'" "Ray Buckley, a former vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, worries that the party may lose some close races this November due to a lack of 'grassroots organization.'" (Paul Steinhauser, "Buckley Says 'D.C. Culture Has A Stranglehold' On Democratic Party," Concord Monitor , 1/23/18)
  • Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb Said "I Need 20 More Organizers On The Ground Right Now." " 'I know what I need to do: I need 20 more organizers on the ground right now,' said Jane Kleeb, the Nebraska state party chair, who instituted a 'Blue Bench program' that has trained over 800 grassroots organizers. 'The hoops the state parties have to hop through to get basic resources can be frustrating.'" (Alex Thompson, "The DNC Promised $10M To Rebuild State Parties. It Has Not Delivered," Vice News , 1/19/18)

Perez Promised To Hit "Experienced Organizers" And Create A "Permanent Organizing Department." "Recruiting experienced organizers and building a permanent organizing department." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • The DNC Has Ignored The Vocal Grassroots Movement. "As dissatisfaction grows among Democratic voters, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist the increasingly vocal grassroots movement that is pushing for progressive change within the party." (Joseph El- Cassabgui, "The Democratic Party Continues To Ignore Reality," The Huffington Post , 4/30/17)
  • In January 2018, Buckley Said The Democratic Party Needed "Long-Term, Sustained Grassroots Organization." "Buckley said the national party needs more of the 'vibrant grassroots operation,' that has led to ballot-box success for New Hampshire Democrats. 'I hope that the DNC will refocus some of its energies into building sort of that long-term, sustained grassroots organization,' Buckley said. 'I know that's not the culture of Washington and it takes a huge effort.'" (Paul Steinhauser, "Buckley Says 'D.C. Culture Has A Stranglehold' On Democratic Party," Concord Monitor , 1/23/18)

Perez Promised To Look Outside D.C. For "New Talent" And Diverse Voices In The DNC. "Seek new talent from outside DC to ensure a full range of geographic and identity diverse voices are heard in the DNC." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • Buckley Said "D.C. Culture Has A Stranglehold" On The Democratic Party. "'The bad news is that the D.C. culture has a stranglehold on our party,' he said." (Paul Steinhauser, "Buckley Says 'D.C. Culture Has A Stranglehold' On Democratic Party," Concord Monitor , 1/23/18)

Perez Promised To "Invest In Local Organizers." "Invest in local organizers and parties by increasing training and support for neighbor-to-neighbor outreach." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • As Of January 2018, Democrats Are Worried The DNC Lacks "A Permanent Army Of Organizers In Target Areas." "Still, many of the Democratic leaders say they're concerned that while the Republican National Committee and local GOP groups promote their investments in organizing in key states, the Democratic groups in charge of putting organizers and voter resources on the ground remain underfunded, and the national committee does not have a permanent army of organizers in target areas." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Local Democrats Warn DNC: Cash Crunch Threatens November Gains," Politico , 1/27/18)

Perez Promised To Create A Training Program For Advocates Focused On Outreach To Minority Groups. "Develop a program to train the next generation of diverse advocates and leaders to make sure our outreach reflects our party, including women, LGBTQ, African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, rural Americans." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • Despite Perez's Promise To Improve Engagement With Diverse Communities, Democrats Working In Minority Communities Have Said That The DNC Has "Not Kept Pace With What Has Been Promised." "Nearly a dozen organizers and operatives who work day to day with communities of color told Mic that investments over the past year from the Democratic establishment into minority communities have not kept pace with what has been promised. If 2018 is to be different than the past two midterm elections, they say Democrats must begin spending millions of dollars - now - to help black, Latino and Asian voters and other voters of color understand why they should turn out to vote for the Democratic Party. While the Democratic National Committee and other groups talk a big game, they've yet to invest heavily in selling minority voters on the Democratic Party." (Will Drabold, "Democrats Treating Minorities 'As An Afterthought' May Affect The Midterm Elections," Mic.com , 2/9/18)
  • Organizers Are Worried The Democratic Party Will Not Engage Minorities In Their Campaign Strategy For 2018 Until It Is Too Late. "Organizers worry that reason to vote Democratic will come in the form of a door knock or digital ad in October, far too late to convince voters of color they matter to the party." (Will Drabold, "Democrats Treating Minorities 'As An Afterthought' May Affect The Midterm Elections," Mic.com , 2/9/18)
  • Varun Nikore, President Of The Asian-American Pacific Islander Victory Fund, Called Talk Of Donations To Minority Communities By The Democratic Party Just "Lip Service." "'I've seen a lot of lip service to date by progressives, by donors and by the Democratic Party,' Varun Nikore, president of the Asian-American Pacific Islander Victory Fund, said in an interview. 'If you look at the amount of rhetoric to the amount of money spent on communities of color compared to the total amount spent ... we're talking about tiny, tiny fractions.'" (Will Drabold, "Democrats Treating Minorities 'As An Afterthought' May Affect The Midterm Elections," Mic.com , 2/9/18)
  • In 2018, Aimee Allison, President Of Democracy In Color, Said Of The Democratic Party, "Other Than A Few Tweets, What Are They Doing?" "'We haven't seen the Democratic Party do much more than thank us right now,' Allison, a black woman, said in an interview. 'Stop thanking us and start electing us. Other than a few tweets, what are they doing? And what are they waiting for?'" (Will Drabold, "Democrats Treating Minorities 'As An Afterthought' May Affect The Midterm Elections," Mic.com , 2/9/18)

PEREZ'S FUNDRAISING FAILURES AND BROKEN PROMISES TO DONORS

Perez Promised He Would Improve Fundraising, But Has So Far Failed To Meet This Goal By Having One Of The Worst Fundraising Years In The History Of The Party

Perez Promised To "Rebuild The Online Donor Program" And "Expand All Our Supporters Effectively." "Rebuild the online donor program to reach and expand all our supporters effectively." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promises broken.
  • DNC Chairman Tom Perez Is "Really Miserable In The Job" And "Hates The Fundraising." " 'Tom is just really miserable in the job, which is part of why it's not going well,' said one Democratic official who has worked with Perez. 'He hates the fundraising and says no to so much of the fundraising even though they are obviously not in good shape financially.'" (Alex Thompson, "The DNC Promised $10M To Rebuild State Parties. It Has Not Delivered," Vice News , 1/19/18)
  • DNC CEO Jess O'Connell Left The Organization After Being There Less Than A Year. "The CEO of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is leaving the organization after less than a year, NBC News reported Monday. Jess O'Connell, a longtime Democratic operative, is leaving for personal reasons after joining the group in May, one DNC official told NBC, but O'Donnell didn't give a specific reason for her departure in an email to DNC staffers Monday." (Jacqueline Thomsen, DNC CEO Leaves Group After Less Than A Year: Report," The Hill , 1/29/18)
  • The DNC Fired Its Top Fundraiser In November 2017. "The Democratic National Committee dismissed its top fundraiser Thursday after just five months on the job, two Democrats familiar with the move told POLITICO. Emily Mellencamp Smith, the party's finance director, was let go in a shake-up of the party's senior leadership designed to energize the party's fundraising." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "DNC Fires Its Top Fundraiser," Politico , 11/2/17)
  • The DNC Lied In Saying They Spent $1 Million On The Alabama Senate Race. "The Democratic National Committee falsely claimed that it spent $1 million on the Alabama Senate race, according to new documents. McClatchy reports that the party actually spent around $250,000 on the race, in which Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore." (Aaron P. Bernstein, "DNC Falsely Claimed It Spent $1 Million On Alabama Senate Race," The Daily Beast , 2/1/18)
  • Politico Headline: "DNC Raises $67 Million In 2017, Half Of RNC's Haul." (Edward Isaac- Dovere, "DNC Raises $67 Million In 2017, Half Of RNC's Haul," Politico , 1/30/18)

  • The DNC Raised $5.2 Million In December And $67 Million Total In 2017. "The Democratic National Committee will report raising $5.2 million in December, bringing its total 2017 fundraising to $67 million, according to paperwork that will be filed Wednesday." (Edward Isaac- Dovere, "DNC Raises $67 Million In 2017, Half Of RNC's Haul," Politico , 1/30/18)
  • The DNC's Fundraising Numbers "Badly" Trailed Those Of The RNC Which Raised $11.1 Million In December And $132.5 Million In 2017. "It also badly trails the Republican National Committee, which raised $11.1 million in December for a 2017 total of $132.5 million." (Edward Isaac- Dovere, "DNC Raises $67 Million In 2017, Half Of RNC's Haul," Politico , 1/30/18)
  • The DNC Has $6.5 Million "Cash On Hand" Before Accounting For Their Debt, While The RNC Has $38.8 Million. "The RNC has $38.8 million cash on hand. The DNC will report $6.5 million cash on hand, but its debt is now down to $6.2 million." (Edward Isaac- Dovere, "DNC Raises $67 Million In 2017, Half Of RNC's Haul," Politico , 1/30/18)
  • After Accounting For Its Debt, The DNC Has Less Than $500,000 Cash On Hand Going Into The 2018 Election Cycle. "The committee finished 2017 with roughly $6.5 million in available cash and about $6.1 million in debt, according to recently released Federal Election Commission filings. That leaves a balance of just $422,582 to start a year that will culminate in midterm elections, in which Democrats are hoping to recapture a majority in the House." (Joseph Weber, "Democratic National Committee Fundraising Hits Wall As GOP Sits Flush Ahead Of Midterm Elections," Fox News , 2/4/18)

  • Longtime DNC Member Alice Germond Said "The Money Is Not Flowing In The Way We Hoped It Would." "'We're all aware the money is not flowing in the way we hoped it would," said longtime DNC member Alice Germond, a former secretary of the committee. The abundance of new resistance-minded groups asking for cash from donors 'has been pretty overwhelming, and a newer phenomenon,' she said, and it represents 'competition for the party.'" (Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward- Isaac Dovere, "DNC Enters 2018 In Cash Panic," Politico , 10/22/17)
  • The Party's "Biggest Stars" Have Not Helped With Fundraising, And Money That Has Been Raised Has Gone To "Resistance Organizations" Over The DNC. "There has also been minimal help from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders-the biggest stars of the party-to fundraise, and a lot of money being raised on the Left is going to a host of shiny new 'resistance' organizations or candidates rather than the Democratic Party itself. Others attribute current problems to 2016 elections that left the DNC with a tarnished brand, complicating efforts to generate enthusiasm and donations." (Alex Thompson, "The DNC Promised $10M To Rebuild State Parties. It Has Not Delivered," Vice News , 1/19/18)
  • Kleeb Said "Donors, Small And Large, Are So Over The Party." "'Donors, small and large, are so over the party,' said Nebraska party chair Jane Kleeb, summing up the problem facing DNC chairman Tom Perez and his counterparts in the states. Kleeb, who is working on grass-roots fundraising efforts for the committee, said she believes the money will come eventually." (Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward- Isaac Dovere, "DNC Enters 2018 In Cash Panic," Politico , 10/22/17)
  • Tom Steyer Announced He Not "Give Anything To The National Party Committees" As A Result Of The Vote On DACA. "'I don't have a litmus test on any one thing, but I do have a litmus test for elected officials standing on principle and doing the right thing, looked at holistically. And I want to say that after the DACA vote I have decided not to give anything to the national party committees,' Steyer said in an interview with Fortune Wednesday." (Alana Abramson, "Megadonor Tom Steyer Won't Give to Democratic Groups Because of the Shutdown Deal," Fortune , 1/25/18)
  • Steyer Has Donated Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars To The Democratic Committees In The Last Few Years And Has Spent Millions On His Own Campaign Advocating For President Donald Trump's Impeachment. "Steyer has donated over $400,000 to these three committees since 2015, according to records from the Federal Election Commission; his last donation was in September of 2017, when he gave $33, 9000 to the DSCC. This number is relatively minimal, when compared to the millions he has spent over the past few months on television ads advocating for President Donald Trump's impeachment. After wide speculation that he might run for office, he announced earlier this month that he was investing $30 million to spur voter registration among young Americans for the midterm elections, and would double down on his impeachment campaign." (Alana Abramson, "Megadonor Tom Steyer Won't Give to Democratic Groups Because of the Shutdown Deal," Fortune , 1/25/18)

Perez Promised He Would "Encourage And Prioritize Small-Dollar Fundraising." "Encourage and prioritize small-dollar fundraising." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • Perez Broke His Promise To Capitalize On Small Donors By Raising $12 Million Less Than The RNC In Small Donations In His First Six Months As Chair. "During that same six-month time span, the RNC raised $33 million in small contributions-money from people who donate $200 or less over an election cycle-while that same class of donors gave the DNC just $21 million." (Michael Whitney, "The Democratic Party's Looming Fundraising Crisis," Politico , 8/10/17)

BROKEN PROMISES TO UNIFY THE PARTY

Perez Promised He Would Improve Relations Among Different Factions Of The Party, But Broke This Pledge By Continuing To Favor The Establishment And Excluding Bernie Supporters From The DNC

During His Run For DNC Chair, Perez Called For Unity And A Coming Together Within The Party. "Right now, it's more important than ever for our progressive party to come together around a coordinated strategy. We cannot operate in silos - we need to act as one. Our collective focus must be on building the most effective, unifying DNC to fight for our values and elect democrats at all levels who will stand up for what's right." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • In April 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) And Perez Announced They Would Embark On A "Cross-Country Outreach Tour" In A Unified Effort To "Revitalize The Democratic Party." "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will join Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez in a cross-country outreach tour to states Democrats lost in 2016. The trip will begin in Maine in mid-April and will reach several states, including Kentucky, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, according to The Washington Post. 'This is part of our effort to revitalize the Democratic Party, to turn it into a grassroots party - to tell people that Donald Trump's agenda is not what he promised them,' Sanders told the Post." (Brandon Carter, "Sanders, Perez Plan Cross-Country Tour," The Hill, 4/7/17)
  • Perez Said The Goal Of The Tour Was To Repair The Relationship Between The Progressive Wing Of The Party And The DNC. "Perez said the goal of the joint trip is to begin to chip away at the trust and credibility gap that currently exists between the DNC and progressive Sanders supporters. 'This is exactly why we're going to every corner of this country,' Perez said. 'To rural America, to urban America, to every corner in between. To talk and listen and learn.'" (Scott Detrow, "Sanders' Unity Tour With DNC Chair Exposes Rifts But Also Suggests Common Goals," NPR , 4/22/17)
  • At The Kick-Off Event For The Tour, The Audience Cheered For Sanders And Booed The DNC. " The early returns have not been promising. At a kick-off event in Maine on Monday, the audience roared for Sanders and booed at the mention of the DNC." (Gregory Kreig, "Democrats' 'Unity Tour' Is Highlighting Their Many Divisions," CNN , 4/21/17)
  • During Day Two Of The DNC's "Unity Tour," Sanders Reiterated The Fact That He "Does Not Consider Himself A Democrat." "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Tuesday night that he still does not consider himself a Democrat despite taking part in a Democratic National Committee (DNC) unity tour with the party's new chairman, Tom Perez. 'No, I'm an Independent,' Sanders said when asked by MSNBC's Chris Hayes whether he now identifies as a Democrat." (Ben Kamisar, "Sanders: I Don't Consider Myself A Democrat," The Hill , 4/18/17)
  • However, While On The Road, Sanders Could Not Hold Back From Critiquing The Democratic Party- Calling For It To "Better Represent" The Working Class, Rather Than Just The "Liberal Elite." "The alliance remains an uneasy one. After Tom Perez defeated the Sanders-backed Keith Ellison to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Perez extended an olive branch by heading out with Sanders on a so-called unity tour. Even while on the road, Sanders did not avoid critiquing the party and calling for it to better represent the working class rather than the liberal elite." (Jason Le Miere, If Bernie Sanders Wants To Win 2020 Election, He Needs To Control His Supporters, Democrats Say," Newsweek , 9/8/17)

Perez Promised Inclusivity Of All Constituencies In "The Process." "Make sure all voices and constituencies are heard and engaged in the process." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • Perez Removed A Slate Of Bernie Supporters From Their Long Time Positions Within The DNC And Replaced Them With Lobbyists. "Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has stripped a number of longtime party officials of their 'at-large' delegate status or leadership positions, while appointing a slate of 75 new members that include Clinton campaign veterans, lobbyists, and neophytes." (Abigail Tracy, "D.N.C. Chair Purges Dissenters In Surprise Shake-Up," Vanity Fair , 10/19/17)
  • Some Of The Lobbyists Appointed To New DNC Seats Include Media Moguls, Clinton Veterans, And Oil Patrons. "To add insult to injury, Perez also tapped several individuals who have lobbying or corporate-interest backgrounds-a move that has sparked criticism in the past. The pack of new delegates includes Joanne Dowdell, a registered lobbyist for Fox News parent company News Corp; Harold Ickes, a veteran of the Clinton White House; and Manuel Ortiz, a lobbyist for CITGO Petroleum Corp and Puerto Rican interests. At least 10 additional Perez-tapped superdelegates have previously been registered as lobbyists, Bloomberg reports." (Abigail Tracy, "D.N.C. Chair Purges Dissenters In Surprise Shake-Up," Vanity Fair , 10/19/17)
  • Those Veteran DNC Members Let Go By Perez Saw Their Termination As A Move Directly In Opposition To Any Unifying Action For The Party. "Those ousted include Ray Buckley, James Zogby, Alice Germond, and Barbara Casbar Siperstein, NBC News reports. 'I'm concerned about the optics, and I'm concerned about the impact,' Zogby said of the D.N.C. shake-up. 'I want to heal the wound of 2016.' Germond, too, noted that the move does not bode well for the party's quest to unify its progressive and establishment wings. 'It is quite unusual for a former party officer who has been serving on the D.N.C. for forever to just be left out in the cold without even a call from the chairman,' she told NBC News." (Abigail Tracy, "D.N.C. Chair Purges Dissenters In Surprise Shake-Up," Vanity Fair , 10/19/17)
  • Bernie Supporters See The DNC As Being "On A Mission To Crush The Working Side" Of The Party. "The activists say the committee appointments show Perez's DNC is not serious about addressing concerns of the party's populist wing. 'After looking at that list, it has become abundantly clear that the controlling forces of the Democratic Party want to make the other half of the party suffer,' said Nomiki Konst, a convention delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).'The DNC is not tone-deaf ― it is on a mission to crush the working side of our party,' added Konst, now an investigative reporter for the Young Turks who did not endorse a candidate in the DNC chair race." (Daniel Marans, "Progressives Slam Tom Perez's New DNC Transition Team," The Huffington Post , 3/16/17)
  • Winnie Wong, A Founder Of The People For Bernie Sanders Said "The Real Absence Of Bernie Grassroots Leadership Is Unsurprising To Me." "'The real absence of Bernie grassroots leadership is unsurprising to me,' Winnie Wong, a founder of the People for Bernie Sanders, said in an email. 'What the DNC doesn't know is that we are both resourceful and well resourced, so we'll be doing the work: organizing, RECRUITING, knocking on doors, building up our giant email lists and generally running the internet in a way that the Ds could only dream about.'" (Daniel Marans, "Progressives Slam Tom Perez's New DNC Transition Team," The Huffington Post , 3/16/17)

Perez Promised To "Implement The Unity Commission Recommendations." "Implement the Unity Commission recommendations." ("Tom's Vision," Tomperez.org, Accessed 2/13/18)

  • ANALYSIS: Promise broken.
  • The DNC Unity Reform Commission Outlined A List Of Reforms To Improve The Party's Nominating Process, Which Some Contend Is Currently Plagued With "Anti-Democratic Features." "The reform slate, negotiated by a Unity Reform Commission [URC] created during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, address the most glaring anti-democratic features of the party's last presidential nominating contest." (Steven Rosenfeld, "Bernie Sanders Supporters Aren't Exactly Getting What They Were Hoping For Out Of The DNC," Salon , 2/5/18)
  • The Reforms Suggested Include A Massive Cut In Superdelegates, Professionalization Of Caucuses, Primary Reforms, And Increased Financial Transparency And Conflict Of Interest Requirements. "These could be very significant reforms. They include cutting by 60 percent the number of superdelegates, the unpledged delegates who accounted for one-sixth of all the votes cast to nominate 2016's candidate. (Almost all backed Hillary Clinton, despite Bernie Sanders winning 46 percent of delegates from primaries and caucuses). The reforms also would professionalize caucuses, including disclosing vote counts (which didn't happen in Iowa and Nevada). They would reform primaries to include same-day voter registration and allow independents to participate (unlike New York). They would impose new standards for financial transparency and avoiding conflicts of interest." (Steven Rosenfeld, "Bernie Sanders Supporters Aren't Exactly Getting What They Were Hoping For Out Of The DNC," Salon , 2/5/18)
  • Anger In The "Berniecrat" Wing Of The Party Has Mounted As The DNC Has Yet To Adopt The Reforms Put Forth By The Commission. "The looming conflict concerns the pace and process for bringing these reforms before the entire Democratic National Committee, which would then vote to adopt or reject them. In short, the grassroots-led Berniecrat wing wants the reforms adopted as a package without further delay or modifications. In contrast, longtime party officials say the package is moving through a standard process, where they will next be vetted by the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC). That panel will decide whether to amend them, before presenting them to the full DNC for a vote." (Steven Rosenfeld, "Bernie Sanders Supporters Aren't Exactly Getting What They Were Hoping For Out Of The DNC," Salon , 2/5/18)
  • Our Revolution, A Group Headed By Sanders' Campaign Leaders, Issued A Statement Calling On The DNC To Implement The Reforms Immediately. "On Friday, Our Revolution, the campaign organization up by the Sanders' campaign's leaders, sent out an email launching a campaign and pushing for swift action to adopt them as-is. 'We've come a long way since the Unity Reform Commission was unanimously adopted by 4,500 Democratic convention delegates in Philadelphia,' the e-mail said, signed by the eight Sanders-appointed members of the URC. 'Recently, DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee took up the URC's final recommendations… Our mandates are not aspirations. They have already been debated and negotiated. The DNC should adopt and implement these reforms.'" (Steven Rosenfeld, "Bernie Sanders Supporters Aren't Exactly Getting What They Were Hoping For Out Of The DNC," Salon , 2/5/18)
  • James Roosevelt, Jr., A Member Of The Reform Commission And Co-Chair Of The DNC's Rules And Bylaws Committee, Said The DNC Would Evaluate The URC's Recommendations And Likely Implement What It Finds Best. " However, Roosevelt did not think the reforms were going to be presented in a 'take it or leave it manner,' where, for example, super delegate reform would have to accompany caucus and primary reforms - or else nothing would be done. He also emphasized the full DNC's charge when it created the reform commission was to reduce the super delegate representation." (Steven Rosenfeld, "Bernie Sanders Supporters Aren't Exactly Getting What They Were Hoping For Out Of The DNC," Salon , 2/5/18)

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