- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Democratic Party Fraud

The mainstream media—perhaps not surprisingly—is virtually ignoring three pending lawsuits against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Commission on Presidential Debates, all of which cast a glaring light on the bald corruption eating away at the current political process. But they should not be ignored. More than just footnotes to the tumultuous 2016 election, these are legal battles that could have broader implications on third-party and independent political movements in U.S. elections going forward.

Thanks to disclosures from WikiLeaks, it became obvious late last year that the Democratic National Committee privately colluded to block Bernie Sanders from winning the presidential nomination. These were damning exposures that eventually cost then-DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job. The worst of course, was the revelation that former DNC chair, Donna Brazile, secretly [1] provided Hillary Clinton with the topics ahead of CNN’s televised debates.

A group of Bernie Sanders supporters who made contributions to the DNC responded in kind. They filed a class-action lawsuit last year in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Represented by a Miami-based firm, Beck & Lee Trial Lawyers, the plaintiffs’ allegations in this case [2], Carol Wilding et al. v. DNC Services Corp. include fraud, impartiality, and collusion.

The DNC hasn’t denied most of the allegations. The current DNC chair, Tom Perez, even admitted in February that the primaries were rigged against Bernie Sanders. He said [3], “We heard loudly and clearly yesterday from Bernie supporters that the process was rigged, and it was. And you’ve got to be honest about it. That’s why we need a chair who is transparent.” Predictably, Perez recanted his statement hours later.

Advertisement

It’s remarkable that the DNC fraud case has essentially been ignored by most major media outlets because it has been an unbelievably newsworthy event. Case in point: the Democratic Party has argued in court against the core values of its name; the Democratic Party has thumbed its nose at the democratic process. To be specific, Jordan Chariton of the TYT Network reported [4] that a DNC lawyer stated in court, “We could have voluntarily decided that, ‘Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way’” — because it was in their legal right to do so.

Although this story has been largely ignored, it hasn’t come from a lack of effort from the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs, Jared and Elizabeth Beck. They’ve been interviewed by numerous sources in the alternative media world, and as a result, they’ve raised a tremendous amount of grassroots interest. There is a Facebook [5] page with over 58,000 followers that is dedicated solely to this case.

Then again, it’s easy for the casual observer to cast this aside because, at the superficial level, it looks like sour grapes. But there’s a lot at stake for future elections, particularly for anti-establishment candidates who ever want a fair shake on either side of the aisle. The attorneys for the Sanders group are merely making a case that the DNC has a fiduciary duty to uphold the democratic process. The same goes for Republicans, since we all know how they treated former Rep. Ron Paul during his unsuccessful runs for the GOP nomination in 2008 and 2012.

In his case, the bitter reality of partisan collusion was evident even without a WikiLeaks email dump. The Republican National Committee opposed Ron Paul’s nomination both cycles. It was all out in the open. For example, Bill Crocker of the RNC sent out this mass email [6] in 2012:

“Please plan to attend the SD [Senate District] conventions next Saturday and bring all your friends. We need to be sure we are not overwhelmed by the Ron Paul people, who still want to send a list of all Ron Paul people to the state convention.”

There were also controversies with allegations of voter fraud in multiple state caucuses [7]. In fact, Mitt Romney actually admitted that the party committed underhanded acts to give him the nomination. In the documentary film, Mitt, he relayed what someone from the RNC [8] leadership told him:

“In some ways, we kind of had to steal the Republican nomination. Our party is Southern, evangelical and populist. And you’re Northern, and you’re Mormon, and you’re rich. And these do not match well with our party.”

It’s also worth noting that the RNC shot themselves in the foot by interfering with the democratic process. In 2008 Ron Paul seemed well-positioned to generate a Republican wave against Obama. While his libertarian, anti-war positions repelled the GOP establishment, he was bolstered by a grassroots swell of passionate support from youthful, tech-savvy voters poised to influence left-of-center independents and even disillusioned Democrats. Much like Bernie Sanders was doing for progressives and independents in 2016.

Getting left out of the debates

That leads to the other pending litigation affecting independent, third-party politics and the election process as a whole. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein, and the Green Party are currently fighting the Commission on Presidential Debates in court. This group has two separate lawsuits, Level the Playing Field v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Johnson v. Commission on Presidential Debates.

The FEC has faced these kinds of lawsuits every election cycle since the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed in 1987. However, this is the first time when such a lawsuit has been juxtaposed with something like the DNC Fraud case.

The lawsuits against the DNC and Commission on Presidential Debates are indirectly connected because candidates such as Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders have essentially been forced to run within the two-party system. In other words, if independent candidates can’t get a fair shot within the two-party system, then there need to be fair opportunities for third-party candidates. Simply put, there are too many unreasonable barriers against third-party candidates, in particular, the Commission on Presidential Debates.

These lawsuits contest that the 15 percent polling requirement by the Commission on Presidential Debates isn’t a reasonable threshold. They’re absolutely right. If a third-party candidate couldn’t reach 15 percent during this election, then it is an indicator that the barriers to entry are nearly insurmountable. After all, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the most unfavorable candidates in American history. Also, a record-high 43 percent [9]of Americans identified themselves as independents during this election cycle.

A strict polling requirement is also a poor metric for eligibility because many of the polls used simply don’t include the third-party candidates. Secondly, only independently wealthy candidates, such as Ross Perot, can pay for enough advertising to reach the 15 percent figure before the debates take place.

Perot spent $63.5 million of his own money to finance his campaign in 1992. However, that amount of money is only a drop in the bucket now that campaign financing has exploded to the tune of $1.5 billion [10] in the last presidential election. That’s over six times the figure from 1992 [11]. With that in mind, it makes the message of Gary Johnson’s campaign more impressive considering that he polled [12] as high as 13 percent in September with only $11.6 million [10] in donations.

Whether you voted for Gary Johnson or didn’t support him in any way, his candidacy was an important one for democracy. Third-party candidates haven’t had much success on Election Day, but our country benefits from the presence of third-party candidates as they often pressure the main party candidates to modify their stances on various issues.

Of course there need to be barriers to entry, albeit more reasonable ones. Otherwise, the debate stage could be filled with politicians only seeking their 15 minutes of fame. The plaintiffs in this case believe that a candidate should be able to debate if he or she is on enough ballots [13] to win the Electoral College. With that suggested criteria, the presidential debates would have included Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein. The same requirements would have enabled Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan to debate in 2000.

All that said, these lawsuits, even the one against the DNC, are longshots. Ultimately, the courts are unlikely to curb corruption within the two major parties. However, with enough public pressure, the Commission on Presidential Debates could be dissolved or forced to reform its ways. In the end, we all benefit from more competition in the political process.

Brian Saady is the author of the three-book series, Rackets, which is about the legalization of drugs [14] & gambling [15], and the decriminalization of prostitution [16]. www.briansaady.com [17]. Twitter handle @briansaady [18]

23 Comments (Open | Close)

23 Comments To "Democratic Party Fraud"

#1 Comment By MM On June 28, 2017 @ 11:43 pm

I recall vividly that when the DNC’s dirty little secrets were first published by Wikileaks, right before the convention, there was absolutely no outrage over a foreign organization and/or government interfering in a U.S. election. There was only outrage from the Sanders camp and progressives in general at the DNC’s rank dishonesty, collusion with the Clinton campaign, and its sandbagggin during the primary.

It was only after Secretary Clinton secured the nomination and the general election campaign was in full swing that the outrage was turned towards the cliched “foreign influence”, which in hindsight amounted to disclosing the truth and confirming the public’s perception of the Democratic Party as a fundamentally dishonest club run by very wealthy hypocrites.

Absolutely gorgeous…

And Podesta wasn’t hacked, as I understand that case. He or a staffer responded to a phishing email. So I guess you can be a member of the elite overclass and a complete idiot at the same time?

#2 Comment By BCZ On June 29, 2017 @ 1:05 am

I must say, this discussion tires this old person logical scientist. ‘Boo-hoo, political parties are a cartel that doesn’t operate democratically’… yeah… and? Is this really surprising to ANYONE who understands political parties or American political history?

This is NOT the scandal. The scandal is the degree to which our two parties (which are private civic organizations… or were) have insinuated themselves DEEP into our constitutional structure… getting local taxpayers to pay for their primary elections and caucuses so that these behemoths can engage in the performance of internal democracy (which, if they were serious, would occur in every state on the same day).

Third parties used to be a far larger player on the America. Scene, particularly at the state level… in some cases – like in Minnesota – taking over one of the main parties.

To say Gary Johnson’s candidacy was important for democracy is as deluded and naive as the shock horror of our two main political cartels not being democratic. Please. The Libertarian party controls nearly no elected seats anywhere. Stein, even fewer. These aren’t candidates that push the major parties to do jack or squat. The major parties, frankly, have bigger issues facing their messaging internally than a spoiler candidate. Third parties have never been less powerful and less important to our democracy than they are today.

Our electoral system provides a natural barrier to the number of candidates that will garner much in the way of public support. These two EPICLY terrible candidates this cycle garnered no candidates reaching the threshold to debate. If we lowered it a bit… One would have. A bit more… a manageable four. We’d have to go to crazy low thresholds to get more than four… in a contest between DJT AND HRC!!!

I think our barriers to entry are well handled by the dynamics of our first past the post single district and electoral college majoritarian electoral system. In the case of the Presidency it lays to remember that Gary Johnson was NO threat to the Republican candidate if he didn’t only pull the Reoublocam down… because if he proper spoiled the contest rendering no candidate with the electoral vote it would go to the Reoibkkcam dominated house where there are.. yup… NO Libertarians.

So the real problem are our restrictive ballot access laws down ballot, public money subsidizing the ooerations of the major parties, a flood of cronyism money rather than citizen and member contributions, and other extra constitutional forces that lock these majors further and further into the sinews of the state.

#3 Comment By EliteCommInc. On June 29, 2017 @ 4:56 am

“While his libertarian, anti-war positions repelled the GOP establishment, he was bolstered by a grassroots swell of passionate support from youthful, tech-savvy voters poised to influence left-of-center independents and even disillusioned Democrats”

I can only speak for myself. It was the positions that Sen Rand Paul advocated that cut my support. The Republican Party had nothing to do with it.

#4 Comment By greenbook On June 29, 2017 @ 8:41 am

I have to ask Brian, which number is higher?

16,914,722 or 13,206,428?

According to Brian, the larger number on the left is a conspiracy made in smoke filled back rooms. While the smaller number on the right is the true number of people that were “real” Democrats.

It is this constant disgusting lie I cannot stand. Those wikileaks dumps said nothing of the sort that said they colluded to stop him. They were written in May onl, well past the point when he lost the primary due to elected delegates not super delegates, but that doesn’t matter to you. You have a narrative to sell. You have your selective quotes, and you have your need to get more liberals believing in the lies to make it harder for any realistic liberal policies to be enacted.

Nevermind that Sanders BSed his way in the same way Trump did promising the moon, the stars, and free free free stuff by taxing the mil-yanairs and bill-yanairs. Who ran as a democrat in the primary to get his Senate seat, then withdrew to be an Independent when it suited him.

Do we even have to go into Sander’s stories saying that women enjoyed being raped? Or how his wife is under FBI investigation (started while under the Obama administration) for bank fraud? Or how he is a big supporter of the F-35? And we can’t forget the time he said a big F-you to the Latino town who became a waste dump because it wasn’t his constituency.

As a liberal who wanted strong policy based in reality, I am disheartened by how many stupid people fell into the trap of soundbites. I was skeptical of Obama in 2008, but he earned my trust by trying to find the middle ground despite GOP obstruction (The stimulus was 30% tax cuts, and there were many GOP amendments in the ACA if you don’t believe me).

So I spit on your lies, and I fully expect cowards like you to hide when another democrat runs in 2020 because they aren’t pure enough.

#5 Comment By greenbook On June 29, 2017 @ 11:19 am

MM

You vividly recall? Where to begin with your ignorance?

The DNC convention was in late July 2016. The threat of foreign interference only became known to the public in September/October 2016, it was only brought up right before the first debate.

So your memory is faulty. And your outrage is selective. As a Trump supporter, I am not surprised.

#6 Comment By MM On June 29, 2017 @ 12:18 pm

greenbook: “Where to begin with your ignorance?”

Fact: 06/14/16 – Major media outlets reported publicly that the DNC computer network had been hacked. Cyber security firm CrowdStrike claimed that Fancy Bear, a group believed to work for Russian state security, penetrated the network in April 2016.
Fact: 06/21/16 – In an interview with Vice, hacker Guccifer 2.0 stated he was Romanian. His activities had been tracked to a Russian language VPN.
Fact: 07/22/16 – WikiLeaks published hacked DNC emails and refused to identify its source. Guccifer 2.0 claimed responsibility.
Fact: 07/25/16 – Democratic National Convention begins, with Sanders supporters threatening a floor fight for the nomination.

So if you’re going to insult my intelligence, at least do your homework regarding the sequence of events. Unless you’re being intentionally dishonest, that is.

Your response to the facts, please?

And I’m not outraged about any of this. I hope there’s more hacking of both political parties. Might encourage a little honesty.

#7 Comment By MM On June 29, 2017 @ 1:07 pm

“Those WikiLeaks dumps said nothing of the sort that said they colluded to stop him.”

The DNC is currently being sued by Sanders supporters in U.S. District Court. Their lawyers filed this motion to dismiss:

[19]

In this motion, they state the following on behalf of their client:

“This is a litigation based on a political party’s alleged failure to comply with its own internal rules. Plaintiffs’ theory that any alleged ‘bias’ was improper is grounded entirely in the DNC’s Charter; not a substantive source of law… The government may not, consistent with the First Amendment, tell a political party how to conduct its own internal affairs (where such conduct violates no law), especially as relates to choosing its nominee, or what its leaders or employees may say about the same, publicly or privately.”

In the court of public opinion, that’s as close as you’ll get to an admission of bias, collusion, and dishonesty by a political party. The DNC is on pretty firm legal ground, but it’s also complete CYA, without a shred of self-consciousness as to how bad this stinks…

#8 Comment By sid_finster On June 29, 2017 @ 1:38 pm

I thought the whole point of rigging an election was to make sure your candidate ends up with the higher vote total?

#9 Comment By Ken T On June 29, 2017 @ 3:11 pm

MM:
I guess you can be a member of the elite overclass and a complete idiot at the same time?

I don’t think you’ll find many people on either the right or the left who would argue against that point.

#10 Comment By Ken T On June 29, 2017 @ 3:21 pm

The author’s points about the debate qualifications are not invalid, but they are ultimately irrelevant. It really doesn’t matter who gets up on stage at the debates, our electoral system of the Electoral College and first-past-the-post voting makes it almost mathematically impossible for anyone other than one of the two major party candidates to be elected. The most that any third party candidate could hope to do is garner enough EVs to prevent either major candidate from reaching 270. In which case the election is thrown to the House of Representatives, where the two major parties by definition hold most (if not all) of seats. (Otherwise, that “third party” would not be the “third party”.)

#11 Comment By blimbax On June 29, 2017 @ 6:40 pm

To EliteCommInc, in your post you are confusing Rand Paul with his father Ron Paul. The article was referring to Ron Paul, not to Rand Paul, when it says,

In 2008 Ron Paul seemed well-positioned to generate a Republican wave against Obama. While his libertarian, anti-war positions repelled the GOP establishment, he was bolstered by a grassroots swell of passionate support from youthful, tech-savvy voters poised to influence left-of-center independents and even disillusioned Democrats.

Rand Paul was not as appealing a candidate to me as was Ron Paul, but more appealing than the the ones who ended up being nominated.

#12 Comment By Stovepiper On June 29, 2017 @ 6:46 pm

@MM “[…] I guess you can be a member of the elite overclass and a complete idiot at the same time?”

These days it would appear to be de rigueur. It’s also an economical explanation for where we find ourselves.

#13 Comment By Frank Parker On June 29, 2017 @ 7:46 pm

Sanders & Paul.

Two true American heroes.

#14 Comment By sam On June 29, 2017 @ 8:30 pm

I am a registered Democrat and if CNN will not tell me how DNC rigged vote against Sanders and if New York Times will not tell me how CNN fed questions to Hillary before the debate, and if mainstream media will not produce photo of slick Willie meting with miz. Loretta , {there were reporters there] if the only ones are the Russian spies then tomorrow I will call Russian embassy and ask them how can I pay for a subscription to Pravda. I say that as a registered Democrat.

#15 Comment By MM On June 30, 2017 @ 9:50 pm

Even though he/she hasn’t responded, and I don’t expect a response to the facts laid out, I’d like to retract my suggestion that M. greenbook had dishonest intentions.

As an obvious Clinton hack, calling such a person dishonest is redundant, and goes without saying.

#16 Comment By Kenneth Almquist On July 1, 2017 @ 4:19 am

“The DNC is on pretty firm legal ground, but it’s also complete CYA, without a shred of self-consciousness as to how bad this stinks…”

It’s standard practice for a defendant to present all plausible arguments for dismissal. In fact, it’s unethical for a lawyer to fail to make a valid argument for dismissal in order to drag out the case and run up client billings. If you really think this is a problem, it’s a problem with how our legal system works in general, and not something specific to the DNC or this case.

#17 Comment By Mark Richardson On July 1, 2017 @ 1:53 pm

Good piece even from a conservative source, that asks hard questions about both the major political parties in the US, election fraud, and the apparent fact that both parties appoint vetted wealthy candidates sworn to uphold existing corporate interests, rather than risk the outcome of a vote by the American people.

#18 Comment By Leslie Jacobs On July 2, 2017 @ 3:35 am

Bernie Sanders was born in 1941. Had he been elected this last time around he would have been far older than Reagan was, and his age was a problem by the time he retired. I am a very competent man at 70 years of age, and my father is still alive in his 90s, but voting for anyone for president who is over 70 is misguided. That is no time to begin a very demanding job that may last for eight years.

#19 Comment By Leslie Jacobs On July 2, 2017 @ 3:43 am

I was just being funny when I complained that Bernie was born in 1941. Ron Paul was born in 1935. He will be 82 in August. It is not ageist to say that these guys are well beyond anyone sane voting for them. But hey, in America what the press can convince people to choose is always right, isn’t it? The really weird thing is that nobody points this out.

#20 Comment By Patricus On July 3, 2017 @ 5:10 pm

Rand Paul was the only candidate to advocate for reducing government spending. At some point this must be done or the state will collapse. Unfortunately he lacked the charisma of Trump.

The winner has some positive traits. There is nothing wrong with a leader championing American greatness. Do we want leaders undermining our country like the last loser? I personally think the hysteria about global warming was and is mistaken. I could be proved wrong with future evidence but that will take many decades. Developing our energy will have positive economic effects. Deregulation will help. We can’t accept every illegal migrant, in fact, enforcing existing immigration laws will help our country. I think a more restrained Supreme Court is better than the alternative. That’s a pretty good list. His flaws are mostly trivial such as tweeting about Mika Brezinski’s face lifts. It looks like the electorate may have made the best choice from the odd group of vainglorious people who select themselves to be our leaders.

#21 Comment By Rob On July 4, 2017 @ 9:48 pm

OP: God bless the Libertarians who have held the balance of power in US elections for years, nudging the country towards policies like better Civil Rights, LGBT tolerance, and fiscal transparency to empower the citizen The 3% in the last election leaves no doubt, not to mention the 1000’s of local elected and appointed libertarians…They’re completely right in their lawsuit, and we’re seeing libertarian parties pop up across the world.

What irks me is that 6% reported voting LP but only 3% were counted as Pro-Johnson. The missing 3% were mostly in California–did they pop up as Clinton’s supposed electoral majority? Why is no one looking at this?

#22 Comment By Anonne On July 5, 2017 @ 2:04 pm

I knew it was in the bag for Hillary when the media was silent when Bernie was drawing crowds of 20k people. The Wikileaks dump only confirmed what we knew, though the lagniappe of Donna Brazile feeding questions to Hillary Clinton was new.

That said, the problem is as Ken T noted: the first-past-the-post system. We do not have a parliamentary system and the two-party structure is deeply ingrained to the point that we would need several Constitutional amendments to fix things.

That the parties can do these kinds of things with the public’s tax dollars is outrageous. That’s the real scandal.

#23 Comment By Alfred On July 14, 2017 @ 1:29 am

@greenbook “Nevermind that Sanders BSed his way in the same way Trump did promising the moon, the stars, and free free free stuff by taxing the mil-yanairs and bill-yanairs. ”

…You must be color blind.