Gang, sit back and let me – or, rather, Donna Brazile – tell you a tale of just how utterly corrupt and unethical the Democratic National Committee was during the 2016 election. It is a tale of shock, anger, and betrayal, and it points to Hillary Clinton.
Writing for Politico Magazine, Donna Brazile, the New Orleans-born Democratic strategist and former head of the DNC, tells us the tale of her discovery that the Hillary Clinton campaign was running the party as early as August of 2015, not even half a year after she announced her candidacy, and way before Democratic voters had the chance to decide on who they wanted as their candidate.
Brazile describes her investigation into the party, noting that she suspected there was truth in what the leaked DNC emails implied. When she ended up finding it, oh lord, did she find it.
When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.
The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.
I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.
That agreement was signed in August of 2015, and Brazile notes that it is largely the result of two things: a previous party chair – Debbit Wasserman Schultz – who was lazy and outsourced management while continuing to spend far too much, and a political machine that wanted complete control over a party in order to get an early advantage.
I had tried to search out any other evidence of internal corruption that would show that the DNC was rigging the system to throw the primary to Hillary, but I could not find any in party affairs or among the staff. I had gone department by department, investigating individual conduct for evidence of skewed decisions, and I was happy to see that I had found none. Then I found this agreement.
The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.
What had happened was this: Obama’s expensive 2012 campaign and Schultz’s mismanagement of the party sent the DNC millions of dollars into debt. The Clinton campaign, sensing an opening, came in with tons of money and a laundering scheme that would pull the DNC out of its debt, but in exchange, they had to surrender virtually all of their operations to the Clinton campaign.
That is, for lack of a better term, insane, and Brazile realized this when she found it.
The DNC was run by a clueless woman who is in completely unrelated trouble for, get this, paying too much money for services and getting screwed over in the process. The folks who worked at the DNC seemed to know at some level that some shady stuff was going on. But, most importantly, nobody seemed to have realized there was a problem with this arrangement until Brazile got there.
That’s almost as absurd as Clinton taking all but less than one half of one percent from state parties to fund her very bad campaign… which she totally did.
It is very hard to tell who was a more devastating candidate for the Democratic Party, Obama or Clinton? No matter how you slice it, though, this is a level of entitlement and ethical lapse that I don’t think many of us really realized about Hillary’s campaign. We constantly have to tell the other side that, no, the election wasn’t stolen, that Clinton was a hero, and was cheated. However, this is just proof that, really, her political career should be over now.