Democratic party chair to lose convention role in wake of e-mail leak: CNN
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and his supporters on Sunday (July 24) said leaks of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails seeming to discredit Sanders’ campaign were not surprising, as CNN reported DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz would no longer preside over the party’s convention this week.
The party’s Rules Committee rescinded Wasserman Schultz’s role as the chair of the convention, which begins Monday (July 25), and will replace her with Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Congresswoman, CNN reported, citing a DNC source.
Wikileaks posted an email attributed to DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall, in which he discussed how some voters in upcoming nominating contests in Kentucky and West Virginia would reject an atheist.
No names were mentioned, but Sanders was the only Jewish candidate.
“He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage,” Marshall wrote in a May 5 email to three top DNC officials. “I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Sanders said he had not received a personal apology, but Marshall apologized on Facebook on Saturday (July 23).
CNN reported Wasserman Schultz would not speak or preside at the convention, a blow to the leadership of a party keen on projecting steadiness in contrast to the volatility of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Lingering bitterness from the heated primary campaign between Clinton and Sanders erupted after more than 19,000 leaked DNC emails seemed to confirm Sanders’ frequent charge that the DNC played favorites in the race.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Sanders said this and other incidents with Schultz underscore why she should resign her position.
“There is no question but the DNC was on Secretary Clinton’s side from day one. We all know that. And I think, because I have said a long time ago, that the time is now for Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step aside, not only for these issues. We need a Democratic Party that is open, that’s going to bring young people and working people into it, that is going to stand up and take on the big money interests and fight for working families. I don’t think that Debbie has been that type of leader. So I would hope and I said this many months ago that she would step aside and we would have new leadership,” he said.
Sanders’ supporters, who gathered peacefully in Philadelphia ahead of the convention wearing T-shirts with his likeness and carrying signs in support of the Vermont senator, were equally unfazed, but annoyed by the news.
“It just validated everything we thought, everything we believed to be true, that this was completely rigged right from the beginning, and that you know it was really about what they were doing everything to set it up so she would win,” Gwen Sperling said.
Kent Eaton, a Sanders supporter from Vermont said the news changed the DNC’s narrative of the campaign.
“They want to make Bernie supporters the scapegoats for creating a divisive movement, when in reality the DNC has created their own challenge in terms of undermining Bernie’s campaign from the very beginning. We are very aware of it, the legal processes are working slowly but ultimately the truth will out,” he said.
Eaton’s partner agreed.
“We saw that the DNC was not impartial from the beginning. So I think that the emails just sort of, you know if they’re true, then we have proof, and if even if they’re made up we still know that that was what was happening from the beginning,” Rebecca Brooklyn said.
“And it’s hard to vote for somebody that doesn’t have integrity,” she added.
The controversy overshadowed preparations in Philadelphia for the four-day coronation of Clinton as the Democratic nominee to face Trump in the Nov. 8 White House election.
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