The Bernie Sanders campaign has demanded that former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy be bounced as chairs of key committees at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
[see update below]
In a four-page letter dated yesterday, a Sanders lawyer also suggests that the campaign will make a stink at the convention as one of its first orders of business if the Democratic National Committee is unwilling to give in on Frank and Malloy
Bernie Sanders has repeatedly charged that the way the Democrats nominate their presidential candidate is rigged, particularly but not limited to unelected so-called super delegates, most of whom are backing the Vermont senator’s rival, Hillary Clinton. Allegations of vote fraud have also been raised during the primary process.
As of now, Barney Frank is co-chair of the rules committee, while Malloy is co-chair of the platform committee.
Sanders, a self-described socialist, is running for president as a Democrat.
In the above-mentioned letter that forms a credentials challenge, Team Sanders declares that these two officials should no longer hold their gavels.
“Governor Malloy and Mr. Frank have both been aggressive attack surrogates for the Clinton campaign. Their criticisms of Senator Sanders have gone beyond dispassionate ideological disagreement and have exposed a deeper professional, political and personal hostility toward the Senator and his Campaign. The Chairs therefore cannot be relied upon to perform their Convention duties fairly and capably while laboring under such deeply held bias. The appointment of two individuals so outspokenly critical of Senator Sanders, and so closely affiliated with Secretary Clinton’s campaign, raises concerns that two of the three Convention Standing Committees are being constituted in an overtly partisan way designed to exclude meaningful input from supporters of Senator Sanders’ candidacy. The Campaign respectfully but emphatically requests…that both Governor Malloy and Mr. Frank be disqualified from their respective positions with the Standing Platform and Rules Committees.”
— MostEpicBernie (@MostEpicBernie) May 28, 2016
Confounding the almost-giddy media predictions that the GOP would face a brokered or contested convention to select a candidate, Donald Trump locked up the Republican nomination this week by securing enough delegates to become the official party standard-bearer after previously vanquishing 16 other candidates during the primary season as the Trump train rolled up one win after another. Most, but not all, GOP officials seem to be consolidating behind Trump.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are still competing for the Democrat nomination heading into the June 7 California primary, which is supposedly too close to call, although the Real Clear Politics average gives Clinton an eight-point edge over Sanders. It appears that a bitter convention struggle between the establishment and the insurgents over rules and procedures, and perhaps the ultimate presidential nominee, may be on the horizon for the Democrats at their Philadelphia convention on July 25-28.
Bernie Sanders is also supporting Tim Canova, a challenger to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, because of her Clinton favoritism. In contrast, GOP chair Reince Priebus remained neutral during the primaries.
Wasserman Schultz also allegedly loaded up convention committees with Hillary Clinton supporters, in addition to those appointees who got there based on primary/caucus results.
“Frank has sharply criticized Sanders’ positions on breaking up big banks and Malloy has criticized Sanders on guns,” USA TODAY explained.
Big bank foe Barney Frank is taking some heat on social media for becoming a member of the board of directors of a New York bank.
— melissa jacobs (@deathrep) May 28, 2016
Hillary Clinton won the April 26 primary in Connecticut, in which she received 28 delegates, while Sanders was awarded 27. “The number excludes 16 super delegates, a group of party leaders and elected officials that includes Malloy. All but one, who is neutral, are backing Clinton,” the Connecticut Post detailed.
Barney Frank is a Clinton attack dog against Bernie. Why put attack dog as chair except to make that point? DWS teed this up. #StillSanders
— mitera (@greenmitera) May 28, 2016
“Governor Malloy has been and will continue to be a strong supporter of Secretary Clinton, but has said throughout this process, he will advocate for a process that is fair and a platform that stands in stark contrast to the hateful, divisive and dangerous policies of Donald Trump,” a spokesperson for the Connecticut Democrats told the Post.
The letter from Bernie Sanders’ campaign lawyer noted that Malloy has negatively compared the senator to Donald Trump.
Yesterday, in a Fresno, California, campaign appearance, Trump channeled Bernie Sanders by accusing Hillary Clinton of bad judgment. “That was said by Bernie Sanders… He’s given me a lot of my best lines. I mean, he has given me such great lines on her, and if I say it, they’re gonna say, ‘That’s not a nice thing to say,’ so I always refer to Bernie Sanders,” the New York Post reported.
It does not matter what Barney Frank's politics are the only thing that matters is that he is to biased to head the rules committee
— Jack Maedgen (@JackMaedgen) May 28, 2016
Bernie Sanders (as well as Trump) has criticized Clinton for her financial ties to Wall Street, voting for the Iraq War, and supporting international trade deals. Sanders has declined to weigh in, however, on the private server/emails scandal, which is subject to an FBI investigation.
It remains to be seen if Bernie Sanders will actually make Barney Frank and Dannel Malloy “feel the Bern.”
Update: Democrat officials in charge of the rules and bylaws committee wasted no time in brushing aside the Sanders challenge. “The campaign’s complaint, they wrote in a letter to Sanders lawyer Brad Deutsch, failed to allege a violation of the convention’s rules governing the conduct of elections or delegate selection.” The Hill reported.
[Photo by Damian Dovarganes/AP]