by WorldTribune Staff, November 2, 2017
In her effort to discover whether the Democratic Party had rigged last year’s nomination process in Hillary Clinton’s favor, former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Donna Brazile found that, long before Clinton was the nominee, arrangements had been made in secret for her to “control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.”
In her new book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House”, to be published on Nov. 7, Brazile also wrote that President Barack Obama left the party deeply in debt and former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz “was not a good manager.”
Highlights from an excerpt published on Nov. 2 by Politico from Brazile’s book:
“I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.
“So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.
“Debbie was not a good manager. She hadn’t been very interested in controlling the party – she let Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn do as it desired so she didn’t have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was.
“Obama left the party $24 million in debt – $15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016.
“I knew that Debbie had outsourced a lot of the management of the party and had not been the greatest at fundraising. I would not be that kind of chair, even if I was only an interim chair. Did they think I would just be a surrogate for them, get on the road and rouse up the crowds? I was going to manage this party the best I could and try to make it better, even if Brooklyn did not like this. It would be weeks before I would fully understand the financial shenanigans that were keeping the party on life support.
“When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.
“The agreement – signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias – specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.
“I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.
“I told Bernie I had found Hillary’s Joint Fundraising Agreement. I explained that the cancer was that she had exerted this control of the party long before she became its nominee. Had I known this, I never would have accepted the interim chair position, but here we were with only weeks before the election.
“Bernie took this stoically. He did not yell or express outrage. Instead he asked me what I thought Hillary’s chances were. The polls were unanimous in her winning but what, he wanted to know, was my own assessment?
“I had to be frank with him. I did not trust the polls, I said. I told him I had visited states around the country and I found a lack of enthusiasm for her everywhere.”
Read the full excerpt here