A shakeup is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
The ousters come ahead of the DNC’s first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge earlier this year that he would unite the party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary.
Complaints began immediately after party officials saw a list of Perez’ appointments to DNC committees and his roster of 75 “at-large” members, who are chosen by the chair.
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., 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 sport 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; and
- Barbra Casbar Siperstein, the first transgender member of the DNC who supported Ellison and Buckley, was tossed from the Executive Committee.
The moves exposed a rift in the partnership between Perez and his deputy chair, Ellison, who have publicly broadcast their “bromance” since Perez tapped the lawmaker for the post in a show of unity after their hard-fought race earlier this year for the party’s chairmanship.
SOURCE: ALEX SEITZ-WALD