Rupert Murdoch Contacted AT&T CEO about Acquiring CNN!

Dear Commons Community,

Reuters is reporting that Rupert Murdoch contacted AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson twice in the last six months to ask about a sale of CNN.  As reported:

“It’s not clear if the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox was interested in purchasing CNN or if Murdoch was simply gathering information. One source said he offered to purchase the network in both phone calls, while another said Fox has no interest in acquiring CNN, according to Reuters, which first reported the calls.

CNN has come under the microscope of the Justice Department’s new antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, who warned that either CNN’s parent, Turner Broadcasting, or DirecTV would have to be sold before the federal government would allow a planned $85.4 billion merger between Time Warner and AT&T. Stephenson has said he has no interest in selling CNN.

A Murdoch purchase of the network could threaten to quiet a voice that has been critical of the Trump administration. The president has consistently accused CNN of being “fake news.” Meanwhile, the Murdoch-owned Fox News network has steadfastly offered sympathetic coverage of the Trump White House. 

Earlier this year, Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with Time Warner executive Gary Ginsberg and said that 20 percent of the CNN staff should be fired because they were so “wrong” about the Trump campaign, sources told The Wall Street Journal. A White House official said the comments were not intended to be taken seriously, but they rattled Time Warner, the Journal reported yesterday.

The merger would consolidate tremendous power in two united behemoth communication companies. But critics fear that the federal government may be using its power not to battle a monopoly but to hurt CNN.”

In his business operations, Murdoch is driven by a need a control especially when it comes to media and  news sources.  And a Murdoch/Trump White House connection would not be out of the realm of the possible.

Tony

Roy Moore, Republican Nominee for Alabama Senate Seat, Accused of Making Advances to Underage Women!

Dear Commons Community,

Roy Moore, the Republican Nominee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, has been accused by several women as having made sexual advances to them.  As reported by The Washington Post:

“Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore.

It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.

“He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her,’ ” says Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, 71. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.”

Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.

“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.

Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge.

Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.”

While some Republicans have called on Moore to step aside if these allegations are true, the fallout was uncertain for a candidate who is considered a hero in some Alabama circles for his conservative cultural stances. Mr. Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was twice removed from that office for his positions on gay marriage and a Ten Commandments display. Yesterday he strenuously denied the allegations the women made about him in on-the-record interviews included in the report, published by The Washington Post.  And it was clear that many in his conservative base were in no mood to desert him in a race for a Senate seat Republicans consider crucial to maintaining their majority in the upper chamber.

John Skipper, 66, a former chair of the Mobile County Republican Party, declared the allegations “total contrived media garbage.” Mr. Skipper said that he would still support the candidate and that he figured most of the Alabama Republicans he knew would probably do the same.

“Most of them will not be shocked,” he said, “and will rather be expecting these shenanigans being pulled by the Democrats as standard operating procedure.”

Whether Mr. Skipper’s prediction proves true remains to be seen. But the report unquestionably introduced new waves of uncertainty and turmoil into a race for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, the attorney general.  The Democrats would love to win this seat to give them one more vote in the Senate.

Tony

 

EDUCAUSE Announces 2018 Top Ten IT Issues!

Dear Commons Community,

Attendees at the EDUCAUSE Conference this week were given a preview of the organization’s “2018’s Top 10 IT Issues. ” Here is the list.

The Top 10 IT issues for 2018

  1. Information security: Developing a risk-based security strategy that keeps pace with security threats and challenges.
  2. Student success: Managing the system implementations and integrations that support multiple student success initiatives.
  3. Institution-wide IT strategy: Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as an integral strategic partner of institutional leadership in achieving institutions missions.
  4. Data-enabled institutional culture: Using BI and analytics to inform the broad conversation and answer big questions.
  5. Student-centered institution: Understanding and advancing technology’s role in defining the student experience on campus (from applicants to alumni).
  6. Higher education affordability: Balancing and rightsizing IT priorities and budget to support IT-enabled institutional efficiencies and innovations in the context if institutional funding realities.
  7. IT staffing and organizational models: Ensuring adequate staffing capacity and staff retention in the face of retirements, new sourcing models, growing external competition, rising salaries, and the demands of technology initiatives on both IT and non-IT staff.
  8. (tie) Data management and governance: Implementing effective institutional data governance practices.
  9. (tie) Digital integrations: Ensuring system interoperability, scalability, and extensibility, as well as data integrity, standards, and governance, across multiple applications and platforms.
  10. Change leadership: Helping institutional constituents (including the IT staff) adapt to the increasing pace of technology change.

The two top issues for 2018 (Information Security and Student Success) were the same as in 2017.

Tony

College Endowments Investing in Overseas Investments to Skirt Taxes!

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times has a featured article this morning describing the way American universities are using offshore strategies “to swell their coffers, skirt taxes and obscure investments that could spark campus protests.”  Entitled, Endowments Boom as Colleges Bury Earnings Overseas, here is an excerpt:

“A trove of millions of leaked documents from a Bermuda-based law firm, Appleby, reflects some of the tax wizardry used by American colleges and universities. Schools have increasingly turned to secretive offshore investments, the files show, which let them swell their endowments with blocker corporations, and avoid scrutiny of ventures involving fossil fuels or other issues that could set off campus controversy.

Buoyed by lucrative tax breaks, college endowments have amassed more than $500 billion nationwide. The wealth is concentrated in a small group of schools, tilting toward private institutions like those in the Ivy League and other highly selective colleges.

About 11 percent of higher-education institutions in the United States hold 74 percent of the money, according to an analysis in 2015 by the Congressional Research Service.

 “It’s overwhelmingly weighted towards the 1 percent,” said Dean Zerbe, former tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee. “Most of the schools are the most elites in the country.”

The House Republican tax plan includes a 1.4 percent tax on the investment income of private colleges and universities with endowment assets of $250,000 or more per student. It would not apply to public schools. If passed, the new tax would affect about 70 elite private colleges, though it would not touch the type of offshore benefits the Texan partnership pursued.”

The article gave a number of examples of the investment practices.

“The Appleby records show that investment funds of Columbia and Duke, both ranked in the top 20 endowments, held shares as recently as 2015 in Ferrous Resources, registered in the Isle of Man. Its primary business is iron mining in Brazil.

The company drew criticism there with a planned 480 kilometer pipeline to transport iron slurry from a mine in Minas Gerais to a port.

“Major demonstrations took place against this project, which culminated in the creation of a campaign,’” researchers wrote in a 2015 paper published in the journal Society & Nature.

A 2010 environmental study of the pipeline revealed that more than 110,000 people might be affected by noise, dust, soil degradation and water quality issues. The project was postponed in 2012 after a downturn in iron prices.

The company, Ferrous Resouces, declined to comment, except to say that the project had been discontinued.

Columbia, which owned more than eight million shares in Ferrous Recources, or 1.1 percent of the company, declined to comment. Various investment funds connected to Duke, which also declined to comment, held more than two million shares in the company.

While some schools have announced shifts away from controversial investments, others have pointed out that divesting from fossil fuels would probably lead to a significant drop in operating funds.

Underscoring endowments’ reliance on hydrocarbon holdings, 10 schools invested in a Cayman Islands partnership in 2012 known as EnCap Energy Capital Fund IX-C, part of EnCap Investments, a private equity firm known for the acquisition and development of North American oil and gas properties.

Among the investors were the University of Alabama, DePauw, Northeastern, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Reed College, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas Tech and Washington State.”

Endowment managers are supposed to maximize earnings but it seems that they should have exercised some judgment as to the appropriateness of these activities.

Tony

 

 

Election 2018 Results – Good Night for Democrats!

Dear Commons Communty,

It was a good election for Democrats yesterday as they were able to win several important statewide races.  Here is a quick recap.

Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, a physician and Army veteran, won a commanding victory for governor, overcoming a racially charged campaign by his Republican opponent and cementing Virginia’s transformation into a reliably Democratic state largely immune to Trump-style appeals.  Mr. Northam was propelled to victory over Ed Gillespie, the Republican nominee, by liberal and moderate voters who were eager to send a message to Mr. Trump in a state that rejected him in 2016. Mr. Northam led Mr. Gillespie by nearly nine percentage points with 99 percent of precincts reporting, the widest victory in decades for a Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia.

In New Jersey, Philip D. Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, won the governorship, according to The Associated Press, by a vast margin that brought an unceremonious end to Gov. Chris Christie’s tumultuous tenure.  The Democratic ticket established a decisive advantage early in the campaign season, and that lead never flagged. Mr. Murphy, a wealthy Democratic donor who served as ambassador to Germany under Mr. Obama, ran on a message of rejecting both Mr. Trump and Mr. Christie, who is a politically toxic figure in the state. National Republicans virtually ignored the race, viewing their nominee, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, as doomed by a deeply hostile political environment and her association with Mr. Christie. 

Voters in Maine approved a ballot measure on Tuesday to allow many more low-income residents to qualify for Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, The Associated Press said. The vote was a rebuke of Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican who has repeatedly vetoed legislation to expand Medicaid.

In Washington State, early ballot returns show Democrat Manka Dhingra with a sizable lead over her Republican opponent Jinyoung Lee Englund in a State Senate race that will decide the balance of power in the Legislature.  Last night, Dhingra had roughly 55.4 percent of the vote to Englund’s 44.5 percent.  That margin puts Dhingra on track to win the election in Seattle’s Eastside suburbs, despite thousands of votes that still need to be counted over the next few days due to Washington’s mail-in system. Democrats hailed the lead as a sure sign Democrats would control both chambers of Washington’s Legislature for the first time since 2012.

In a local election in Northern Virginia, Democrat Danica Roem, 33, defeated a Republican who had served in the state’s House of Delegates for a quarter of a century — and, in doing so, Ms. Roem became the first transgender person to be elected to the Virginia legislature.

And last but not least, Bill de Blasio was re-elected on Tuesday as the mayor of New York City, overwhelming his Republican challenger, Nicole Malliotakis, and a handful of independent candidates in what he declared a persuasive affirmation of his progressive agenda.

Congratulations to the winners!

Tony

College Endowments Come Under Scrutiny Again!

Dear Commons Community,

College and university endowments are coming under scrutiny again as the media focuses on the Republican tax plan which among other things calls for a 1.4 percent tax on college investment earnings.  The New York Times today reviews the issue.  Here is an excerpt:

“For years, lawmakers in Washington have made swelling university endowments a focus of the populist backlash against high tuition and the concentration of rich students in elite universities.

Now they are harnessing that anger with a proposed tax on private colleges and universities that have the wealthiest endowments.

“The House Republican tax plan released last week includes a 1.4 percent tax on the investment income of private colleges and universities with at least 500 students and assets of $100,000 or more per full-time student. It would not apply to public colleges.

The endowments are currently untaxed, as they are considered part of the nonprofit mission of the colleges. The new tax, if it passed, would bring in an estimated $3 billion from 2018 to 2027, one of many new revenue sources Congress is considering to pay for broad tax cuts.

Universities criticized the proposed tax Friday as a blunt instrument that would curb their autonomy and reduce support for poor and moderate-income students.

“There is a difference between directing institutions to make sure they’re using their resources toward their stated mission — missions of education, missions of access — versus directing institutions toward filling gaps in Washington, and this seems to be the latter,” Sean Decatur, president of Kenyon College, said Friday.

Supporters of the proposed tax said it was an acknowledgment that universities increasingly were being run like businesses, with tuition continuing to rise and administrative ranks growing, especially at the wealthiest institutions.

Representative Tom Reed, a New York Republican whose district includes Cornell University, supports the proposed tax, though his main wish is to force schools with large endowments to spend more of them on tuition assistance. Like other proponents of an endowment tax, he noted that private foundations, which also are nonprofits under the tax code, already pay a tax of 1 to 2 percent on their investment income.

“Rather than fight for special treatment, universities should join me in recognizing that young adults are facing a college debt crisis as a result of the uncontrolled escalating costs,” Mr. Reed said in an email. “We should work together to solve this runaway price issue once and for all.”

The tax would affect about 140 colleges and universities, according to a list compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education.”

This issue will continue to attract attention but I am not sure it will survive the House and Senate bill revision process.

Tony

Election Day Today – Don’t Forget to Vote!

Dear Commons Community,

Don’t forget to vote today.  Below are recommendations from Michael Fabricant, Vice President of the Professional Staff Congress.

Tony

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Vote NO on the Constitutional Convention
Your ballot will include a question on whether the state should hold a Constitutional Convention (a “Con Con”). The PSC is one of many organizations urging you to vote NO on that question—it’s Proposition 1 on the back of the ballot. A Con Con could endanger public pensions, workers compensation, union rights and even the Adirondack and Catskill preserves. Here’s more about why I’m voting NO.
 
Vote for Mayor de Blasio and the PSC’s Other Endorsed Candidates
Bill de Blasio has earned a second term as Mayor. (The New York Times agrees.) He has increased funding for CUNY every year he has been in office, including funding for our union contract. He has stood up for immigrants in the face of attacks from Washington and fought to reduce income inequality. He has delivered on promises to enact universal pre-K, expand paid sick leave and raise the minimum wage for City workers.
 
Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer also deserve your vote. Both are strong supporters of CUNY and public education, outspoken advocates for union workers, and champions of progressive policies. PSC is proud to endorse them.
All of the PSC’s endorsed candidates for City Council and Borough President are committed to protecting access to a top-quality, affordable college education in our city, and they need our support.
 
 
Thank you,
Mike Fabricant,
First Vice President

Gunman Kills 26 Parishioners at a Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas!

Dear Commons Community,

Reuters and other news media are reporting that at 11:30 yesterday morning, a gunman killed at least 26 worshipers and wounded 20 others in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 40 miles east of San Antonio.  The gunman, Devin P. Kelley,  a white man, was found dead in his car a little while later.  As reported by Reuters.

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SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas, Nov 5 (Reuters) – A gunman massacred at least 26 worshipers and wounded 20 others at a white-steepled church in southeast Texas on Sunday, carrying out the latest in a series of mass shootings that have plagued the United States, authorities said.

The lone suspect, wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest and carrying an assault rifle, opened fire after entering the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in Wilson County, about 40 miles (65 km) east of San Antonio.

The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old, law enforcement officials said at a news conference.

After the shooting, the gunman, described as a white man in his 20s, was fired on by a local resident. He fled in his vehicle and was later found dead in neighboring Guadalupe County.

It was not immediately clear if the suspect killed himself or he was hit by gunfire by the resident, authorities said.

“We are dealing with the largest mass shooting in our state’s history,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said at the news conference. “The tragedy of course is worsened by the fact that it occurred in a church, a place of worship where these people were innocently gunned down.”

Neither the suspect’s identity nor motive were disclosed by authorities.

But law enforcement officials who were not identified have said the gunman was Devin P. Kelley, describe as a white, 26-year-old man, the New York Times and other media reported.

The 14-year-old daughter of pastor Frank Pomeroy was killed, the family told several television stations.

Jeff Forrest, a 36-year-old military veteran who lives a block away from the church, said what sounded like high-caliber, semi-automatic gunfire triggered memories of his four combat deployments with the Marine Corps.

“I was on the porch, I heard 10 rounds go off and then my ears just started ringing,” Forrest said. “I hit the deck and I just lay there.”

The massacre comes just weeks after a sniper killed 58 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The shootings have stirred a years-long national debate over whether easy access to firearms was contributing to the trend.

President Donald Trump said he was monitoring the situation while in Japan on a 12-day Asian trip.

“May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene,” he said on Twitter.

According to the witnesses, about 20 shots rang out at 11:30 a.m. (1730 GMT) during the church services, according to media reports. It was unclear how many worshippers were inside at the time.

After the shooting, the suspect sped away in a car and was soon cornered by sheriff’s deputies just outside of Wilson County in Guadalupe County, Wiley told Reuters. He did not know if the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot or was killed by deputies.

Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville received eight patients, the hospital said in a statement, while Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston received another eight.

At Connally, three people were treated and released, one is in critical condition and four were transferred to the University Hospital in San Antonio for a higher level of care.

The First Baptist Church is one of two houses of worship in Sutherland Springs, an area that is home to fewer than 900 residents, according to the 2010 Census. There are also two gas stations and a Dollar General store in town.

The white-painted, one-story structure features a small steeple and a single front door. On Sunday, the Lone Star flag of Texas was flying alongside the U.S. flag and a third, unidentified banner.

Inside there is a small raised platform on which members sang worship songs to guitar music and the pastor delivered a weekly sermon, according to videos posted on YouTube. In one of the clips, a few dozen people, including young children, can be seen sitting in the wooden pews.

The shooting occurred on the eighth anniversary of the Nov. 5, 2009, massacre of 13 people at the Fort Hood Army base in central Texas. A U.S. Army Medical Corps psychiatrist convicted of the killings is now awaiting execution.”

This is all so sad.  We grieve with the family and friends of the victims!

Tony

Election Day Recommendation:  Bill de Blasio for NYC Mayor!

Dear Commons Community,

This is an off-year election but here in New York we have Bill de Blasio running for re-election as mayor.  It is my opinion that he has done an excellent job for the City.  He is progressive without being aloof.  He knows the city well and can relate to the diverse spectrum of people who live here.  Crime is down, the economy is fine, and public education has improved significantly under his watch.  His universal pre-K initiative was a Godsend for young children and their families.  He is also articulate and can led during a crisis as was evident last week when eight people were killed in a terrorist attack in Manhattan.  Below is the New York Times endorsement that was published on Friday.

Please vote on Tuesday!

Tony

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Mayor de Blasio Has Earned a Second Term

New York Times

November 2, 2017

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Unless the pollsters have all taken leave of their senses, Bill de Blasio is about to win re-election as New York’s mayor, probably by a wide margin. So it is not too soon for New Yorkers to focus on what they expect for his second term, the last one he is allowed under the city’s term-limits law.

While they’re at it, they may want to think hard about their own commitment to civic life. Democracy functions only if its citizens make it work. They do that by showing up on Election Day. But far too many of the city’s nearly 4.5 million registered voters are AWOL. Only 26 percent of them went to the polls in the 2013 mayoral election, and that turnout was spectacular compared with the dismal 14 percent in this year’s primaries. Even allowing that this campaign has hardly been rousing, the apathy is troublesome.

We supported Mr. de Blasio for the Democratic nomination in the September primaries because the city in the main has been well run on his watch. Nothing on that score has changed. Obviously, serious problems remain, with unrelenting homelessness and tottering mass transit high on the list. But, over all, Mr. de Blasio has been an able mayor who can point to an impressively low crime rate, sound municipal finances and progress on revivifying schools and on creating reasonably priced apartments.

And so we give him our endorsement in the general election on Tuesday.

His principal opponent is Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican who represents slices of Staten Island and Brooklyn. An unfamiliar figure in wide swaths of the five boroughs, Ms. Malliotakis has run a spirited campaign and deserves credit for it. But her ambition seems to outpace her vision for the city. And her resolute conservatism puts her out of sync with most New Yorkers — and us — on pivotal matters like raising the state minimum wage (she opposed it), legalizing same-sex marriage (she voted no on that, too, though she later expressed regret) and immigration policy (she is tepid on the “sanctuary city” concept).

Catching up to the mayor is not Ms. Malliotakis’s only Election Day concern. Bo Dietl, the showboating former police detective who’s running as an independent, could take center-right votes from her. Sal Albanese, a respected former city councilman who has the Reform Party line, lives on Staten Island and might cut into her support there.

 

The bedeviling crisis of homelessness, many years in the making, mocks principles of social equality that the mayor holds dear. Building or restoring tens of thousands of units of affordable housing, a signature de Blasio program, is one response, but it’s not enough. Another mayoral goal, to scatter 90 new homeless shelters across the city, has produced predictable neighborhood backlashes. And as ever, there are no easy solutions for taking care of the thousands of mentally ill people sleeping on the streets and in the subways.

New Yorkers need to hear more from the mayor on a range of vital matters: how he intends to narrow the racial gap in educational achievement, push crime still lower, build the borough-based jails he has advocated, foster new public health initiatives and ease the epidemic of small-store closings. He also must do a better job than he has thus far to make sure campaign donors are kept at arm’s length — even two arms’ length. There are quality-of-life issues as well. Why not, for instance, take on building owners who leave sidewalk sheds in place long past their expiration date, blighting miles upon miles of urban landscape? Or crack down on noise pollution, a dominant complaint in the city that says it doesn’t sleep — but would like to.

Then we have the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, neither notably friendly to big cities. A bad moon could be rising for New York, with federal dollars for mass transit, hospitals, housing and schools at risk. Mr. de Blasio knows it, and he has wisely built up cash reserves as a buffer.

But having lots of money on hand puts pressure on him to peel off a few hundred million, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo insists, to help repair the subways. Relations between these two men are toxic. The governor plainly delights in making the mayor’s life unpleasant; he needs to knock it off. But he’s not going away, and so it falls in good measure on Mr. de Blasio to figure out how to make the relationship work. Their united stand after the terrorist attack Tuesday in Lower Manhattan showed it can be done.

There’s another aspect to his job: The best mayors have been brazen civic cheerleaders, and too often Mr. de Blasio seems aloof. For starters, he should step up his game: ride the subways more, hold news conferences on the subject — in short, pound the table for a mass-transit system worthy of a great city. Mayors are also called on to be consolers in chief. Mr. de Blasio ought to appreciate that there are times when his constituents need their collective hand held. One such moment came in July when a police officer, Miosotis Familia, was gunned down. The next day, with the city in pain, Mr. de Blasio flew off to Germany. That was a mistake.

Maybe he has since learned the importance of sticking around. His impulse is to travel the land as an agent of progressivism. But he can do best for himself by doing best for his city — staying close to home, building upon past successes and working on those areas of the report card marked “needs improvement.”

 

Memorandum of Understanding Between Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee!

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. 

Tony