New Policy Mandates DNC Staff Remain Neutral During Presidential Primaries

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A new policy crafted by the Democratic National Committee aims to ensure that no appearance of favoritism is made by any staff members of the organization toward any political candidate seeking the party’s presidential nomination over the next two years.

The new rules specifically aim to address problems that faced the DNC in 2016, when it appeared to some that the party had favored former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to become the nominee that year over independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, according to reporting from Huff Post.

“The new DNC is committed to making sure that our 2020 nominating process is fair and transparent,” committee Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement. “These new policies will help ensure that there is no perception of partiality by the DNC during the campaign for the Democratic nomination.”

Presently, there is no frontrunner for the nomination to become the next presidential nominee for the Democratic Party in 2020, presumably to take on Republican President Donald Trump when he runs for reelection. That means that a crowded field of Democrats could develop over the next two years, reported the Week, and with it the potential for DNC staff members to choose favorites, creating animosities between rival camps within the organization and beyond.

The rules, released on Monday, lay out restrictions against staff members, from the higher-ups to the general workforce in the DNC, from taking specific actions that could show favoritism. Among the restrictions, staffers cannot:

  • give monetary contributions to any candidate running in the presidential primary election races;
  • attend events of political candidates in a manner that would appear to show support for that person;
  • give public statements, in person or online, that would appear to show an endorsement or antipathy for a particular candidate;
  • use internal DNC communications to voice support for or opposition to certain candidates;
  • showcase viewpoints of candidates using physical displays, including bumper stickers and yard signs.

The DNC has been implementing many rules over the past few months to curtail the notion that the organization is trying to push one candidate over the others, and this more recent rule change isn’t the only one that’s been promoted in response to the 2016 primary contests.

In August this year, CNN reported that the DNC also announced it would change its rules on superdelegates, barring them from voting in the first round of ballots in choosing a nominee at the Democratic National Convention.