DNC Email Leaks Prove that the Primary was Unfairly Biased in Hillary’s Favor

© Josh Sager – July 2016

During the Democratic Primary contest, many Bernie supporters were derided as conspiracy theorists for asserting that it looks like the DNC had heavily tilted the playing field in favor of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. DNC officials were outraged when people called them biased and many Hillary supporters simply assumed that the Bernie voters had sour grapes.

Last week, Wikileaks released a trove of DNC emails, conclusively proving the anti-Bernie bias within the DNC. While these emails are damaging and prove some extremely unethical conduct by DNC officials, there is apparently more on the way and Wikileaks has promised additional releases in the coming weeks.

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It is important to note that the DNC is a supposed to be a NEUTRAL entity during any primary contest and is banned by its charter from having any bias towards any primary candidate. While I have seen some say that Bernie isn’t a “real” Democrat, so the DNC’s bias isn’t wrong, this is simply inaccurate and, from the moment he was announced as a Democratic candidate, the DNC was bound not to work against him.

Before I explain the biased actions exposed in the Wikileaks emails, here is a short primer of most damaging DNC biases that we have seen before these releases:

  • Debbie Wasserman Shultz limited the number of debates during the primary to 6 and scheduled them to times where very few people would watch (e.g. on Saturday night, competing with an NFL playoff game). This benefits the candidate with more name recognition (Hillary) and made it very hard for Bernie to gain traction.
  • The DNC has helped Hillary launder a significant amount of donor money through joint fundraising. Hillary donors donated to over 30 state DNC funds, then the DNC would funnel those funds up to the national DNC and put it under the control of Hillary’s campaign treasurer. This allowed Hillary to legally evade contribution limits while attaching strings to DNC money that she could yank if they refused to support her.

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  • During the primaries in several key states, there were serious voting irregularities where hundreds of thousands of people were disenfranchised by party rules. New York is the most extreme example of this and approximately 54,000 Democratic voters were mysteriously purged from the party rolls in the Bronx (Bernie’s old home) alone, denying them the ability to vote in the primary.
  • Previous email leaks have demonstrated that DNC staffers were tasked with creating defensive talking points for Hillary Clinton as early as May 2015. They specifically aimed to “muddy the waters around ethics, transparency and campaign finance attacks on HRC” and were spending money to craft this narrative before Hillary even officially declared her candidacy.

The Wikileaks emails add to this list of DNC actions that gave Hillary an advantage in the primary. They show that DNC officials colluded behind the scenes to attack Bernie, using religious bigotry, whisper campaigns and planted stories to undermine his campaign.

In leaked emails, DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall discusses how the DNC should call Bernie’s religion into question in order to hurt him with very religious voters. In effect, Marshall wanted to accuse Bernie of not being a “real” Jew, but rather an atheist, so that the DNC could tar him with anti-atheist bigotry. Polls show Americans are very hesitant to vote for an atheist (43% refuse to support an atheist as opposed to 6% for Jews) and making a significant amount of voters believe that Bernie is an atheist would have harmed him in the south significantly. It appears that this suggestion was acted upon during the Flint primary debate in March, where several strange religious questions found their way into the lineup of the night (e.g. “Senator Sanders, do you believe that God is relevant? Why or why not?”).

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Put simply, this is an example of politicians using religious bigotry to gain votes. Beyond the fact that the DNC should be neutral—thus any attempts to attack Bernie by the DNC are wrong—the idea that Democratic leaders would atheist-shame a political opponent is simply reprehensible. It is no different than Trump attacking Muslims and using them to enflame angry white Christians, and anybody who was involved in this attempted attack should be removed from their position of power.

The DNC National Press Secretary, Mark Paustenbach, proposed creating a false “Bernie Narrative” that his campaign was disorganized and failing. He wanted to leak various quotes to friendly media outlets which create the perception that the Bernie camp is in disarray so that people no longer see him as a viable candidate. In an act of supreme self-obliviousness, he concluded this email by deriding Bernie for thinking that there is some DNC conspiracy against him.

Emails from Debbie Wasserman Shultz show disturbing levels of collusion between leadership at the DNC and powerful media figures. Not only did several supposedly nonpartisan news outlets (e.g. CNN) let the DNC preview their stories, but it appears as though DNC leadership has had significant influence over media narratives. For example, when Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC pointed out that the DNC appears to be biased against Bernie on Morning Joe, DWS contacted both Chuck Todd and Phil Griffin (the head of MSNBC), demanding that she stop and apologize. DWS and Griffin had a meeting over breakfast and, while we don’t know what was said, there was no further discussion over the idea that the DNC primary may be rigged by Mika.

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Numerous interview requests of DNC officials were summarily declined because the reporter was considered a “Bernie Bro” by the DNC leadership. While the DNC officials would give time and scheduling reasons to the reporters in question as an excuse why they couldn’t do certain interviews, the internal emails reveal that they didn’t want to talk to reporters who covered the (now proven) perception that the primary was being unfairly biased.

In addition to the substantive efforts that DNC officials took to undermine Bernie’s campaign revealed in the emails, there was a general tone to many of the exchanges which illustrates a deep, entrenched, bias. In many exchanges, DNC officials used “we” language when referring to the Hillary campaign, and there was a general air of distain for Bernie, both as a candidate and a person. While everybody is entitled to their opinions, this speaks to the climate that leadership created and helps explain why so many

Given that the DNC Chair, the top financial officer in the DNC, and the top messaging officer in the DNC have been exposed as biased against Bernie, it is no surprise that the organization has taken the biased actions that it has. This isn’t to say that all DNC chapters or officials are biased, merely that the leadership at the top was corrupted and the organization followed their poor leadership.

The exposure of the anti-Bernie bias in the DNC leadership forced DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz to resign her position and give up her speaking platform and the DNC convention. In what can only be described as either an act of political hubris, record-breaking tone deafness, or simply arrogance, Hillary Clinton decided to hire Debbie Wasserman Shultz to act as the Honorary Chair of her 50-state plan mere hours after she was forced to resign her position. Put simply, this looks like payment for services rendered and Hillary’s choice to embrace the chairwoman hours after she was forced to resign for helping rig the primary in Hillary’s favor is one of the worst things she could have done to retain Bernie voters.

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This is what Hillary has now opened herself up to in the coming weeks…

Donald Trump is a lunatic who would ruin our country and the stupid, short-sighted, unethical, and immoral conduct of the DNC leadership may very well help him win the general election in November. By trying to rig the primary, they have alienated a huge percentage of the Democratic base, which will likely depress turnout in the general. While I will hold my nose and vote for Hillary there are many Bernie supporters who will not be as pragmatic and who will either stay home (don’t do that—at minimum vote progressive in all down-ticket races), vote green (a good, albeit futile, idea if you don’t live in a swing state) or even vote Trump (lunacy) because they want to punish the people who disenfranchised them.

11 thoughts on “DNC Email Leaks Prove that the Primary was Unfairly Biased in Hillary’s Favor

  1. Given this latest Wikileaks DNC email leak, & added to all the prior election rigging, is it fair to say that HClinton/DNC/Govs including NY & RI Gov/etc rigging of 2016 D Primary is as ethically immoral & illegal as Bush43/SCOTUS 2000 election rig?

    Meanwhile I read a HClintonBot blog where the author laughably claimed
    1 HClinton did no cheating in the 2016 D Primary
    2 0bama actually did major cheating in the 2008 Primary

    ProgressiveCynic perhaps you could rate these 3 incidents on a 0-10 cheating scale, with 10/10 being cartoonish totalitarian dictator fake election level of cheating.

    Great blog, BTW

    Like

  2. A ;post worthy of Fox News. A whole lot of “interpretation” and selective use of information. Too bad.

    1. To suggest that the SCHEDULE of debates helped one candidate or another is almost beyond ludicrous. All debates were public. All were on TV. All were covered by Newspapers, the internet and news channels of your choice.And if someone was too busy to watch them they are all available, even today, on Youtube. If anyone who claims to be an informed voter is too lazy to take advantage of all the avenues open to them it is their problem. Sounds like the sour grapes.

    2. Yes, the DNC and Clinton had a fund together. As did the DNC and Sanders. The Clinton Fund was called the HILLARY VCTORY FUND. Now, who do you think the Dems were donating to when they donated to the HILLARY VICTORY FUND? It is too bad that Sanders just did not raise much money in his joint fund. He could have, but didn’t. More sour grapes.

    3. The ONE email regarding a person’s religion never mentioned Sanders. Read it. This is the USA. Like it or not, religion does matter to voters. Did the leadership of the Dems want Clinton? Probably. After all, she is a lifelong Dem who has supported the party for years. She did not pull a Trump…join a political party as an outsider and attempt to take it over. Like it or not, Bernie has been a Socialist until this last nominating process. He has raised some money for the Dems, but doesn’t come close to Hillary’s lifelong commitment. Of course lifelong Dems are going to favor lifelong Dems. Sour grapes.

    4. Nothing in this post tells us how the election was “rigged”. Bottom line, Clinton got MORE VOTES than Sanders. Or are you suggesting that the vote count was crooked? Live with it. Unless you are suggesting that the typical would be Sanders supporter is easily led and cannot think for himself? How, EXACTLY, was the voting rigged?

    5. The debunked “54,000 Democrats unable to vote story” has been around awhile. And debunked a number of times. Many people showed up at the polls in New York who were NOT REGISTERED DEMOCRATS. The Sanders supporters encouraged people to TRY to vote, even though they were not registered as Dems. In NY, you cannot register for a party at the last minute. Those are NY state laws, not Clinton laws. If many Sanders supporters did not register in time that is their problem. Follow the law. Sour grapes.

    It is time for the Sanders supporters to grow up and face the music. I like Bernie and his ideas. He is a good man. He is a smart man. BUT HE LOST. Get over it.

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  3. I disagree with the first commentor. Of course it was rigged. The problem that I fail to see, is why anyone is surprised. The simple fact of the matter, is that primaries are a show. Even by having a single closed primary, it is rigged. The parties have always selected their candidates. And since it is their money, their reputation, and their organization and hard work on the line…they should.

    I was all about Bernie. I think he is great. But early on, it was clear there is no democracy in primaries. It is one giant show. What upsets me more than the outcome, is why Bernie Sanders or anyone else thinks they have to play the game. Could he have succeeded as a third party candidate? Probably not, but I knew if the Democratic leadership didn’t want him to, then he wouldn’t succeed as a Democrat either. It would all be a waste of time. And it was.

    If he was a third party candidate maybe he could have built the a viable third party. Maybe not.

    Instead, he ran a race he knew would be stacked against him, and then cries about it when he loses.

    We should do away with primaries altogether. They are pointless and a waste of time, money, and take too much attention form the things that are really going on.

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  4. This is what happens when someone with a glaring Bernie Bias haphazardly scans a bunch of leaked emails that were stolen from a political organization. And before taking the time to fully authenticate the information, or to develop an understanding as to why this leak was made public precisely at this time, you merely speculate what some of these private emails only imply without citing any real concrete, smoking gun evidence that the DNC -which is obviously a chaotic and disorganized political organization- could systematically rig this primary election against a man who only a year ago decided to run for President -AS A SOCIALIST- against a former Secretary of State who already had a four year start. Hillary began the election year with more money, more air time and more exposure than Bernie could ever have raised in 10 election seasons, and despite what unfortunate fund raising practices were revealed in this leak, the Supreme Court is to blame for why any of it is ‘legal’.

    (Democrats have an opportunity to reform Congress this year, and with a majority could do wonders with the passing of the Government By the People Act H.R. 20). https://sarbanes.house.gov/bythepeople

    Hillary’s platform was centrist at the beginning of this political season, and now she’s taken a few hops to the left, thanks to Bernie. Thanks to the people, that she is listening to. She explicitly called for the public funding of Congress a few weeks ago, dude. Thanks to Bernie :-). And that’s why his vision and leadership are still essential to the reformation of Congress. He can still lead and be effective without being President.

    I voted for Bernie, and I think he has the correct platform. Just not the correct message. Because when it comes to practical politics, when an Independent Socialist says he’s going to run for President as a Democrat, and starts making promises that are based on fantasy policies and fantasy economics, how would you expect the Democrats to react? The Democrats, who after six years since the passing the ACA (where the party risked and LOST a lot of political capital to bring healthcare to millions), are STILL trying to convince Americans that Obamacare isn’t a SOCIALIST TAKE OVER of the Healthcare industry, and that OBAMA is NOT a socialist.

    Suddenly a geriatric socialist and his campaign want the DNC to provide them a private jet – and what? – the DNC’s supposed to take them seriously? They’ve been annoying little shits from the beginning, and these emails reveal just how annoying they were. BUT – it’s still an embarrassing leak. Heads are rolling, and rightly so. There are more leaks to come, but in the end the DNC stands to benefit from all this, because now they have an opportunity to replace the bad seeds, improve their security, communications and their bylaws for the greater good. Other political organizations are exposed, and they are probably cleaning house accordingly.

    THE BIGGER STORY HERE, JOSH, is organizational doxxing. Cyber warfare. Hackers/Governments are using criminal means to effect the outcome of our election. Don’t you think this is a little more serious than DNC gossip? And this leak wasn’t intended to help Bernie, because of its timing. Too late to help him, and early enough to hurt Hillary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. HERE IS ANOTHER ONE *****

    *** WIKILEAKES DNC EMAIL SHOWS FOREKNOWLEDGE BY DWS ***
    Debbie Wesserman Shultz says “Bernie will not be President” in MAY-2016
    HOW COULD SHE POSSIBLE KNOW THE OUTCOME AT THIS POINT?
    email posted below—

    (hrtsleeve@gmail) is Debbie Wesserman Shultz
    Re: Sanders: If I’m elected, DNC leader would be out
    From:hrtsleeve@gmail.com To: MirandaL@dnc.org
    Date: 2016-05-21 18:31
    Subject: Re: Sanders: If I’m elected, DNC leader would be out
    This is a silly story. He isn’t going to be president.
    On May 21, 2016, at 4:21 PM,
    ________________________________________________

    Miranda, Luis wrote:
    Do you all think it’s worth highlighting for CNN that her term ends the day after the inauguration when a new DNC Chair is elected anyway? From: Steve Paikowsky [paikowsky@gmail.com]
    Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2016 4:13 PM To: Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Tracie Pough; Ryan Banfill; Ed Peavy; Dave Beattie; Miranda, Luis; Jodi Davidson Subject: CNN: Sanders: If I’m elected, DNC leader would be out Sanders: If I’m elected, DNC leader would be out CNN Bernie Sanders tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that if he is elected president, Debbie Wasserman Schultz would not be reappointed as DNC chairwoman. Read the full story Shared from Apple News Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  6. *** WIKILEAKES DNC EMAIL SHOWS FOREKNOWLEDGE BY DWS ***
    Debbie Wesserman Shultz says “Bernie will not be President” in MAY-2016
    HOW COULD SHE POSSIBLE KNOW THE OUTCOME AT THIS POINT?
    email posted below—

    (hrtsleeve@gmail) is Debbie Wesserman Shultz
    Re: Sanders: If I’m elected, DNC leader would be out
    From:hrtsleeve@gmail.com To: MirandaL@dnc.org
    Date: 2016-05-21 18:31
    Subject: Re: Sanders: If I’m elected, DNC leader would be out
    This is a silly story. He isn’t going to be president.
    On May 21, 2016, at 4:21 PM,
    ________________________________________________

    Miranda, Luis wrote:
    Do you all think it’s worth highlighting for CNN that her term ends the day after the inauguration when a new DNC Chair is elected anyway? From: Steve Paikowsky [paikowsky@gmail.com]
    Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2016 4:13 PM To: Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Tracie Pough; Ryan Banfill; Ed Peavy; Dave Beattie; Miranda, Luis; Jodi Davidson Subject: CNN: Sanders: If I’m elected, DNC leader would be out Sanders: If I’m elected, DNC leader would be out CNN Bernie Sanders tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that if he is elected president, Debbie Wasserman Schultz would not be reappointed as DNC chairwoman. Read the full story Shared from Apple News Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  7. After twelve posts on Hillary and the Democratic convention, I discover this post! I must confess I haven’t checked the reader for awhile. However, after reading this very informative article, then reading the comment by josephurban showed me just how superior the Hillary supporters believe they are! To describe the facts in this article as “A ;post worthy of Fox News. A whole lot of “interpretation” and selective use of information” really says it all! josephurban’s “list of his opinions” (no actual facts), again, shows his hubris!
    His #5 does not tell the whole story of the 54,000 Democrats unable to vote. The “factual story” explains the tricks used to stop them from voting! The “factual story” has never been “debunked”

    As to Josh Wrenn comment. I mostly agree with him. The one statement I take issue with is when he said Bernie “cries about it when he loses.” His supporters may have cried but Bernie did what he always said he would do. He endorsed Hillary and even said she would be a good president. I hardly call that crying after losing!

    The Elliot Thomas Hayes comment was so convoluted it was hard to read. However, his attempt to call the e-mail that “proved” the DNC was actually working against Bernie was just a long diatribe. Ask yourself, Do you think The DNC with Hillary’s approval (they don’t do anything without her approval) would actually “fire” their most helpful surrogate if it wasn’t true! Please! Hayes vacillated between praising Sanders: “Thanks to Bernie:-). And that’s why his vision and leadership are still essential to the reformation of Congress. He can still lead and be effective without being President”, then degrading him: “promises that are based on fantasy policies and fantasy economics” and, Hayes goes on to insult him more.! My head is spinning! To each his own!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Every one of my points stands as factual.
    1. Anyone who wanted to watch the debates could do so. FACT How was anyone prevented from doing so?
    2. The DNC had joint funds with BOTH candidates. Hillary simply had a lot more donors than Bernie. FACT
    3. One email out of almost 20,000 written by ONE person suggested that one candidate would have a problem with religion (or lack thereof) in the south. No subsequent emails suggested that anyone in the DNC was going to bring up this point. No conspiracy.Nothing was done by the DNC . FACT.
    4. No evidence in the original post that the election was “rigged” All Democrats were encouraged to vote. Bernie voters were not somehow singled out and prevented from voting. FACT (And calling a process “rigged” without any evidence is what I was talking about when I suggested the post was typical of Fox News) FACT
    5. As I stated. In NY you must be a REGISTERED DEMOCRAT to vote in the primary. FACT. You cannot change party registration after the last election (November 2015). Many Sanders supporters were young people who were registering for the first time. TOO LATE to vote in the Primary. Many independents may have wanted to vote for Bernie. They could not. Many GOPers may have wanted to cross party lines to vote for Bernie. They could not. That is not a Democratic Party rule. FACT. It is a NY state LAW. Fact. Also, in NY state if you think you should be allowed to vote but are not on the rolls you can submit an AFFIDAVIT ballot. That is NY law. The NY Board of Elections takes these ballots and double checks to see if the voter was, in fact, legal. No plot. No conspiracy. Just the law. NO TRICKS. Just the law.

    Regarding my “hubris”. Most definitely. I do suffer from excessive arrogance, superiority, conceit, etc. No doubt. What does that have to do with FACTS? That does not change the fact that all of my points are factual.

    For argument sake. But let’s say you are correct about the “mysterious” plot to keep Sanders voters off the rolls in NY.. And 54,000 Bernie supporters were somehow kept from voting by a some “mysterious” Clinton plot. How did that effect the outcome of the vote in NY? Final tally: Clinton 1,054,083. Sanders 763, 469. In my OPINION, even with those 54,000 vote Clinton still wins.
    Let’s go one step further. In BROOKLYN, where the Sanders people claim the 54,000 Sanders voters were eliminated. The final tally (in BROOKLYN, Bernie’s home) Clinton 174, 236, Sanders 116, 327. Add 54,000 to Sanders total and he still does not even win his home borough. FACT.

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  9. josephurban, What you do is the same thing you accused Josh Sager of. You use ” A whole lot of “interpretation” and selective use of information”. So, I am not going to continue going over point by point every time you post a reply..My response to your original comment was because, as I remember, in other comments you made throughout the primary, you always spoke well of Bernie. In this comment you wrote ” Bernie has been a Socialist until this last nominating process”. That is another “selective use of information”! I am surprised that a man of your intellect does not know the difference between a “Democratic socialist” and a true “SOCIALIST” He has always run as an Independent, not a “Socialiist”! Your “interpretation” is certainly not true in this case!
    When I first started responding to your likes on my posts, you seemed like a person who cared about other people’s feelings. It appeared you were careful not to “insult” anyone. It made me sad to see you to tell the Bernie supporters to “Get Over It!
    That is what all the other Hillary supporters say. You and the rest have no understanding of the deep loss the Bernie supporters feel. Show some empathy and allow them their “grieving time”. I expected more of you! I am so disappointed!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Irfal. I appreciate your comments. And we can agree to disagree 1% of the time, I think, I agree with Josh 99% of the time. But not always. As I have said in the past I support Bernie Sanders ideas and philosophy. In fact, I am to the left of him politically. He has self-identified as a socialist, democratic socialist and liberal. I see nothing wrong with that. He has not been a strong member of the Democratic Party. i see nothing wrong with that.But he has not built up Dem party support like Clinton has. So I would not expect the party to support him over her.
    I feel your pain. I was a Robert Kennedy supporter and when he was killed I was not happy. I supported McGovern. I supported Jesse Jackson. I supported Gore and Kerry. I fully understand the emotional depths of political defeat.
    I guess it is too raw for the Bernie people. But you have to look at Clinton and look at Trump and decide which one you want to support. When I say “Get Over It” I do not mean emotionally. What I mean is this. What is the point of continuing to harp on the narrative that Clinton is somehow a crook and dishonest? That is what I object to in Josh’s last post.
    She is the nominee. You can try to undermine her with accusations which, in my opinion, do not stand up to scrutiny. Or you can support her going forward. Bernie has clearly thrown his support to her. His followers need to change gears and follow suit.
    PS. I know I suffer from hubris. My wife tells me it is one of my better qualities.

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  11. ju, You wrote “What I mean is this. What is the point of continuing to harp on the narrative that Clinton is somehow a crook and dishonest? … “You can try to undermine her with accusations which, in my opinion, do not stand up to scrutiny. ” You brought up a good point about Hillary’s dishonesty. You were truthful when you said “in your opinion”!
    You also wrote: “His followers need to change gears and follow suit.” Bernie’s supporters are not “sheep” who follow their leader! They are individuals who have a mind of their own and they have a right to “vote their conscience” as well as anyone else! Just because they refuse to follow the “lead of the Democratic establishment” does not mean they are wrong! Like, you, “they have their opinions as well”!

    Like

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