Several longtime officials with the Democrat National Committee have lost their positions ahead of the DNC’s upcoming meeting in Las Vegas, the first since Tom Perez became Chairman.
The 2016 presidential primary race left a great rift in the party between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters.
Perez made promises to heal and unite the party, but the latest oustings have cast some doubt. Removals and demotions seemed to focus on those who opposed Perez in the past, particularly anyone who supported Keith Ellison or Bernie Sanders. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is already full of members backed by the Clintons.
NBC News reports:
The removal and demotion of a handful of veteran operatives stood out, as did what critics charge is the over-representation of Clinton-backed members on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which helps set the terms for the party’s presidential primary, though other Sanders and Ellison backers remain represented.
Those who have been pushed out include:
Ray Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic chairman and longtime DNC official who ran against Perez for chair before backing Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Buckley lost his spots on the Executive Committee and DNC Rules Committee.
James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute and prominent Sanders backer, is no longer co-chair of the Resolutions Committee and is off the Executive Committee, a spot he has held since 2001.
Alice Germond, the party’s longtime former secretary and a vocal Ellison backer, who was removed from her at-large appointment to the DNC.
Barbra Casbar Siperstein, who supported Ellison and Buckley, was tossed from the Executive Committee.
Ellison and Perez seem to support one another in the public eye. NBC News and other news outlets frequently cites their “bromance,” which appears to be an effort to downplay past public tension between the two.
For a party currently obsessed with Russian conspiracy theories and the dead hope of impeaching President Trump, the move appears to be a purge. Anyone who dared cross Hillary Clinton is being punished for their treachery while the DNC gears up for some serious Trump bashing.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
The announcements exposed a rift between Ellison and Perez, who have publicly expressed their support for each other since the election of Perez as chairman.
One DNC committee member pushed out, James Zogby of the Arab American Institute, expressed displeasure with his ouster.
“I’m concerned about the optics, and I’m concerned about the impact. I want to heal the wound of 2016,” Zogby said.
Alice Germond, who previously served as the party’s longtime secretary, was removed from her at-large position and found her removal unusual.
“It is quite unusual for a former party official who has been serving on the DNC for like forever to just be left out in the cold without even a call from the chairman. So I assumed it had something to do with my support for Keith,” Germond said.
The DNC denied any retaliation and claimed changes were to diversify and freshen the party’s leadership.
“This year’s slate of at-large DNC member nominees reflects the unprecedented diversity of our party’s coalition,” said DNC spokesperson Michael Tyler.
Anyone who thinks the DNC should be able to accomplish their goals (currently limited to resisting Trump’s) together, doesn’t know Democrats.