Dear Commons Community
The media has widely been reporting on how the Democratic National Committee (DNC) struck a deal with Hillary Clinton in 2015 that gave her campaign input on some party hiring and spending decisions. NBC News has obtained a memo between Clinton and the DNC outlining the conditions of the deal. As reported by NBC:
“The document provides context to the explosive claims made by former DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile in a forthcoming book, an excerpt of which was published this week.
The August 26, 2015, memorandum of understanding from Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook to DNC CEO Amy Dacey details the relationship between Clinton’s campaign and the DNC long before she won her party’s nomination.
In exchange for Hillary for America’s (HFA) helping the cash-strapped DNC raise money, the party committee agreed “that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research.”
Specifically, the DNC agreed to hire a communications director from “one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to HFA.” And while the DNC maintained “the authority to make the final decision” on senior staff in the communications, technology and research departments, the party organization said it would choose “between candidates acceptable to HFA.”
The memo stipulates the DNC had to hire a communications director by September 11, 2015, months before the first nominating contests in early 2016.
However, the memo also made clear that the arrangement pertained to only the general election, not the primary season, and it left open the possibility that it would sign similar agreements with other candidates.
Still, it clearly allowed the Clinton campaign to influence DNC decisions made during an active primary, even if intended for preparations later.
“Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC’s obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary,” the memo states.
“Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates,” it continues.
The Clinton campaign agreed to make an initial payment of $1.2 million to DNC, which was crippled by debt at the time, as well as providing a monthly allowance and other funds. The agreement appears intended to give the campaign oversight over how its money was spent.
The agreement supplemented a separate Clinton-DNC standard joint fundraising agreement, which was first reported over a year and a half ago, but gained new attention this week with Brazile’s book.
In an excerpt of her book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,” published this week in Politico, Brazile wrote she was stunned to find out about the agreement, which she called a “cancer” on the party and claimed led the DNC to treat Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., unfairly during the primaries.
The Sanders’ campaign later signed its own joint fundraising agreement with the DNC, but did not utilize it.”
It is incredible that the Democratic Party can be so unaware of the consequences of its actions. This gives so much credence to those who are thoroughly disillusioned with the state of our political systems.