Last year Democrats burned a ghastly amount of money on a vanity campaign by corporate lobbyist Jaime Harrison in South Carolina. Democratic contributors were foolish enough to donate $130,542,234 to a joke campaign. The DSCC and its allies spent another $17.5 million supporting Harrison. This is all money that could have gone to support races the Democrats narrowly lost. Harrison didn't lose narrowly. Despite outspending Lindsey Graham by over $33 million, he lost tp Graham by over 10 points. Democrats lost North Carolina by a mere 1.75% and lost races by less than three point in 10 districts:
IA-02- six votes
NY-22- 109 votes (0.04%)
Harrison spent much of his professional career working for one of DC's shadiest lobbying firms, the Podesta Group, where he endeavored to further the very special interests of criminal operations and tax avoiders like Bank of America, the American Coalition for Clean Coal, Wells Fargo, Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway, as well as for a horrifying array of pharmaceutical companies and casinos. Biden picked him to be the head of the DNC-- another pay-back to Jim Clyburn for sabotaging Bernie's primary campaign-- after Harrison's miserable and expensive loss in South Carolina.
Since then he's been working diligently to turn the DNC into an even worse swamp than it has already been, no less disgusting and shameful than the RNC. David Moore blew the whistle on his sleazy activities today, particularly on the "election" this morning of at-large members to the top governing body of the Democratic Party, chosen by Harrison with no input from other members. Predictably for someone whose whole career has been spent bathing in corruption, Harrison picked lots of other shady lobbyists like himself, rotgut corporate executives from the fossil fuel industry, pharmaceutical companies, electric utilities, defense contractors and even Facebook, as well as the kinds of crooked consultants he wasted so much of that $130 million his campaign burned through last year.
"Many of these at-large nominees, who make up an influential faction of the approximately 447 voting DNC members, will select other members of the DNC committees that issue decisions on topics like whether the party groups will continue to accept donations from executives in the fossil fuel industry. Harrison's slate of sleaze was approved 304-59. And people wonder why so many grassroots Democrats feel hopeless about the party's future?
With a new Democratic administration in the White House and a new DNC chair in Harrison, who had experience as a state party chair in South Carolina, DNC members calling for reforms had been hoping that the new leadership would be open to changes in how the party operates. But some members say the slate of nominees is being rushed and that they were not properly notified of the process.
“This is supposed to be an election-- there should be notices that go out with enough time for there to be a genuine democracy around these positions and for people to be able to run, and that just isn’t happening,” said David Atkins, a pro-transparency DNC member from California. “It’s an election in name only, but in reality we’re being presented with a slate of appointments.”
Lists of Harrison’s at-large DNC member nominees and the roster of committee appointees to be approved were published on October 6 on the website DemRulz, along with capsules on their careers and affiliations. The website is run by longtime DNC member and attorney Frank Leone, who is this year an at-large nominee and was appointed again to the Rules and Bylaws Committee. The lists of at-large nominees are not posted on the Democratic Party website or its verified social media accounts, and there exists no official party website listing all 447 DNC members.
Earlier this year, Democratic party leaders did not allow for any competing candidates to gather signatures ahead of the election for DNC chair. Harrison, a former corporate lobbyist and U.S. Senate candidate who was the Biden political team’s choice to lead the national party, was officially made DNC chair on January 21 in a virtual winter meeting through a process that was reported to be “near-unanimous.”
Despite calls from some DNC members for more transparency and grassroots engagement, several told Sludge that DNC leadership is continuing the top-down decision-making of his predecessor, Tom Perez. Reformist DNC members say that Harrison has not responded to their November 2020 letter proposing reforms to party rules, and that he has not opened up deliberation among DNC members and between the party’s regions. The letter, which seeks greater dialogue with party leadership in D.C., has been signed by 40 DNC members, making up over 10% of the DNC members who were elected by their state parties.
“I’m very disappointed we have not heard anything tangible as a result of the letter. We would like to have a response. More importantly, we want the Democratic Party to serve the needs of the people, not the other way around,” said Jeri Shepherd, a DNC member from Colorado. “The DNC does itself a disservice by preferring to have most decisions made behind the scenes with a mere ratification by the DNC membership, prioritizing the consultant class in its at-large membership at the expense of geographical diversity and people with valuable experience whose absence will be felt, and making it harder for diverse voices to be heard and have influence.”
A leading pro-reform DNC member, Dr. James Zogby, was not renominated by Harrison to be an at-large member. Zogby had proposed a conflict-of-interest policy and other transparency measures during and since the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission process of 2017. Last summer, delegates to the virtual Democratic National Convention’s Rules Committee hastily rejected a reform proposal that would have barred corporate lobbyists from serving as DNC members by a vote of 122-46.