Bloomberg Has Allies Looming in the DNC Rules CommitteePhoto by Bill Pugliano/Getty Politics News Michael Bloomberg
Could the state of the DNC get any worse? Well, yes, always, apparently. Look no further than the current DNC Rules Committee, who recently published new rules for who can and cannot speak during the Dem debates. The new standards do away with the grassroots funding threshold previously required, meaning billionaire former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is self-funding his campaign, could potentially be onstage at Nevada’s Feb. 16 debate.
How convenient, right? Well, that may largely be because of who has seats on the committee. Those present include Michael Nutter, Philadelphia’s mayor from 2008-2016, who is a part of the 32-member Standing Rules and Bylaws Committee and also Bloomberg’s choice for national political chair. According to a statement on Bloomberg’s site, that means he “will advise the campaign on policy development and strategy, and serve as a national surrogate on behalf of the campaign, recruiting key voices to join the campaign and traveling to field offices and events, speaking to constituents and press about why Mike Bloomberg is uniquely qualified to unite and rebuild the country at a time when it is more divided than ever.” Seems like a useful ally. Also present is California superdelegate Alexandra Rooker, who just last month was hired as Bloomberg’s senior advisor. She is currently vice chair of the California Democratic Party.
Publicly, the push for more inclusive rules for the debates did not come from Bloomberg. Instead, Julián Castro and Cory Booker, who both dropped out last year, were the ones to call for it. Andrew Yang, who most likely would not qualify for the next debate if the previous rules were in place, wrote a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez asking that there be more qualifying polls in place for this issue. Yang’s press secretary S.Y. Lee tweeted Jan. 31 in frustration for the new rules’ “yield” to billionaires like Bloomberg, arguing the loss of focus on grassroots movements take away from the party’s larger goals.
It’s a mistake for @TheDemocrats to change the rules for debates in the middle of this race to yield to a billionaire. We need to respect the grassroots movement leading this party forward. https://t.co/JekLi6eo3I
— SY Lee (@szeyian) January 31, 2020
Castro and Booker both argued that with the current qualifications, qualifiers for the debates end up overwhelmingly white. This is true, and bears change. However, these new qualifications don’t help minority candidates—no, instead they help those at the very top.
The Democrats aren’t even trying to hide it anymore
There is no Democratic election
Not only are they cheating to keep out Bernie but they are changing the rules to get Blooomberg into the debateshttps://t.co/yNXYzTd5id
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) February 1, 2020
Two candidates, @DevalPatrick and @MikeBloomberg entered the race in mid-November. The rules are now being bent to give only one of those candidates a chance to make their case to the American people. Hint: it’s not the one who was the first black governor of Massachusetts.
— Abe Rakov (@AbeRakov) January 31, 2020
Even several candidates, former and otherwise, tweeted in opposition to the changing rules.
Of course they did.https://t.co/eHPQpijbfF
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) February 1, 2020
Let’s make one thing clear: @TheDemocrats decision to change the rules now to accommodate Mike Bloomberg and not changing them in the past to ensure a more diverse debate stage is just plain wrong.https://t.co/BoCVpahWpx
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) January 31, 2020
The DNC changing its debate criteria to ignore grassroots donations seems tailor-made to get Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage in February. Having Americans willing to invest in your campaign is a key sign of a successful campaign. The people will win out in the end.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) February 1, 2020
Stay tuned to see if Bloomberg takes the stage on Feb. 16.