Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) urged Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) to not stack the rules and platform committees against him at the party’s convention — and warned a mobilization of his supporters in Philadelphia if the unfairness continues.
In a letter to Wasserman Schultz today, Sanders indicates that he’s following up on a conversation the two had “about the composition of the standing committees of the Democratic National Convention.”
“In order to reflect the views and aspirations of the millions who support both my candidacy and Secretary Clinton’s, I believe that the composition of the standing committees must reflect the relative support that has been received by both campaigns,” he wrote.
“That was why I was so disappointed to learn that of the over forty people our campaign submitted at your request you chose to select only three of my recommendations for the three standing committees. Moreover, you did not assign even one of the people submitted by our campaign to the very important Rules Committee of the Democratic National Convention.”
Sanders added that people from his side of the party need to be included “if we are to have a unified party in the fall.”
Otherwise, he warned, Wasserman Schultz “sends the very real message that the Democratic Party is not open to the millions of new people that our campaign has brought into the political process, does not want to hear new voices, and is unwilling to respect the broader base of people that this party needs to win over in November and beyond.”
“Fairness, inclusion and transparency should be the standard under which we operate,” he added.
The senator said he was asked to submit 10 names to the committee that would draft the party platform. Hillary Clinton would also submit 10 names. Wasserman Schultz would pick four people from each camp, then add seven additional members of her choosing to the committee. Sanders argued that each campaign should pick seven people, with Wasserman Schultz picking a chairman for the committee.
Clinton supporters have already been appointed to key positions: Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy was put in charge of the Platform Committee and former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will head the Rules Committee.
Sanders noted that Malloy and Frank aren’t just Hillary backers, but “they both are aggressive attack surrogates on the campaign trail.”
“I do not, and the millions who have supported our campaign will not, have any confidence that either of them will conduct committee proceeding in an even-handed manner,” he added. “In fact, the suggestion that they would be appropriate chairs in and of itself suggests the standing committees are being established in an overtly partisan way meant to exclude the input of the voters who have supported my candidacy.”
Bernie said the DNC is ignoring the fact that he’s won about 45 percent of pledged delegates. “Frankly, we believe that percentage will go up in the coming weeks and, of course, we hope it will end up being a majority,” he added.
“As you know, there are already over 9 million voters who, during this nominating process, have indicated that they want to go beyond establishment politics and establishment economics – and want to transform our country with bold initiatives. I will not allow them be silenced at the Democratic National Convention,” Sanders warned.
“It is my hope we can quickly resolve this in a fair way. If the process is set up to produce an unfair, one-sided result, we are prepared to mobilize our delegates to force as many votes as necessary to amend the platform and rules on the floor of the convention.”