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Galindez writes: "The Democratic National Committee has announced the members of its 'unity commission.' The committee will be charged with reforming the party nominating process."

Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty)
Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty)

Sanders Names Eight to Democratic Party Reform Committee

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

20 April 17


Please join Scott Galindez and RSN for a livestream video of "Bernie Sanders & Keith Ellison - Come Together & Fight Back Tour 2017" in Omaha, Nebraska, tonight, April 20 at 6PM. -AW/RSN

he Democratic National Committee has announced the members of its “unity commission.” The committee will be charged with reforming the party nominating process. They will make recommendations for limiting the role of superdelegates in the primary process, debating rules for caucuses and primaries, and bigger-picture recommendations about party structure and competitiveness.

Senator Bernie Sanders issued the following statement Wednesday:

“I look forward to working with the new Unity Reform Commission of the Democratic National Committee.

“It is my full intent, and the intent of the eight men and women I named to the commission, to fight vigorously for fundamental reforms in the Democratic Party. We must build a 50-state, grassroots party that opens its doors to the working class and to young people all across the nation – and that is prepared to take on the big money interests that have so much influence over the political and economic life of our country. We must build a strong grassroots, progressive movement at the local, state and national level that encourages bold, new leadership.

“Our political revolution is well underway, and it is my hope that this Commission will actively move the Democratic Party, its rules, and its practices, forward to ensure that we create a government that works for all Americans and not just the billionaire class.

“I chose the eight men and women listed below to sit on the commission because I know that they support meaningful reform. They have my full confidence, and I look forward to seeing the results of their hard work.”

The members of the Unity Commission appointed by Sanders are:

Larry Cohen, Vice Chair of the Unity Reform Commission, District of Columbia
Hon. Gus Newport, California
Jane Kleeb, Nebraska
Jim Zogby, District of Columbia
Hon. Nina Turner, Ohio
Hon. Lucy Flores, California
Jeff Weaver, Virginia
Nomiki Konst, New York

The members of the committee with ties to Clinton are former chief administrative officer Charlie Baker, former senior adviser Maya Harris, former delegate director David Huynh, former Nevada state director Jorge Neri, former Colorado state director Emmy Ruiz, and Elaine Kamarck, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked in former president Bill Clinton’s White House.

Iowa Democratic activist Jan Bauer, Democratic strategist Jeff Berman, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, former Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Yvette Lewis, and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb round out the group.

The commission holds its first meeting in early May in Washington, D.C., with a report due to the committee before the new year.

This commission will either open the doors to progressives or leave the “third way” Democrats in control of a shrinking party.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+38 # librarian1984 2017-04-20 16:41
What a great group. I don't know every one of these people but the ones I do are some of my very favorites: Cohen, Turner, Konst -- fantastic representatives -- and I believe they'll report honestly on what happens. Good luck to them.
+8 # Anonymot 2017-04-21 03:01
Careful, careful. Three out of 19. Eight out of 19. It will keep Sanders away from any fully independent action for a year, by which time...

Very Clintonian.
+58 # pietheyn07 2017-04-20 17:27
Last chance, DNC. Get it right or I will exit The Party, as will many others.
+20 # futhark 2017-04-20 20:49
To the Unity Committee: please give the Democratic Party back to the people and reverse its drift to being a tool of the oligarchs. We already have a party that serves that function and certainly don't need two of them.
+13 # Skyelav 2017-04-20 17:47
Whooppee, tiny steps.
0 # Robbee 2017-04-20 20:07
Quoting Skyelav:
Whooppee, tiny steps.

- if this works, this is uuuge!

devil take the hindmost!
0 # Navrongo80 2017-04-21 05:43
Better than no steps at all.
+54 # Wise woman 2017-04-20 19:06
If this movement doesn't unite the dems, nothing will. I so much support Bernie and his willingness as a long time Independent to initiate this struggle against a party that used to be able to hold its head up as one for the common people. Bless his heart and soul for his courage. He doesn't need this party. He's already far and ahead of any politician in the country because he's one of the very few honest ones. Listen up dems, either you stand behind this man and what he stands for, or you're dust because we the people have had it with you!
+32 # economagic 2017-04-20 19:12
As long as "unity" does NOT mean everybody hews to the DLC/corporate line. . . .

Actually, at this point it has to be more than that, namely, inclusive democracy: political, economic, and otherwise. Corporations, the feudal oligarchs of the 21st century, must take a back seat to EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY else, or at least we must see serious movement in that direction with solid reasons to expect more in the near future. Otherwise, the Democratic Party can and will go to hell, as the rest of us quite likely will as well.
+26 # 2017-04-20 19:28
Great start to make America Trump Free.I love you, Bernie!!
+10 # Wally Jasper 2017-04-20 19:45
Seems like the Dems are using Bernie; they know he's got the energy and momentum behind him and he's committed himself to working to reform the Dem. Party.. I trust Bernie is wise enough to know when "enough is enough" as far as how much energy he will invest in this endeavor, whether the whole rotten ship will change course or whether they will use Bernie for all they can get in order to advance their own agenda. We will see. Meanwhile, I hope you all know there is a movement brewing to draft Bernie to form a new "People's Party." They've already had several conference calls to enlist people to spread the word. Check out:
+11 # Jerome 2017-04-20 19:53
Hopeful but skeptical. The loss of Keith Ellison to Perez doubled my doubt that progressive values would prevail in any contest with "third way." I stand prepared to abandon the party even though I am once again a precinct committee person.
+7 # lfeuille 2017-04-20 20:44
They are outnumbered by the Clinton camp, so unless they are able to convert a few of them and gain support of some of those who were listed without affiliation it won't come to anything.
+1 # sdraymond 2017-04-20 21:14
It's really refreshing to see all the comments today positive about the Democratic party (Even Librarian's comments ... WOW, surprised).

I think the only way that we are going to get the country moving in the right direction is to go with Bernie and stop sniping at each other. I'm just as disappointed as the rest of you about the direction the party has taken, but we need to be unified or we'll never get there and right now a third party just won't make it.
+3 # lfeuille 2017-04-21 18:38
When the DNC says "unify" they mean unify around the corporatist agenda. It won't work and it shouldn't. They have to show that they have really learned the lesson of the '16 election if they want unity.
+3 # viejavaca 2017-04-20 21:25
Bernie chose 8 for a the Commission. HOw many people are on the commission?
+1 # Lolanne 2017-04-21 17:06
If I counted the names listed correctly, it's 18.
+8 # Cat Mom 2017-04-20 22:08
i hope progress is made...after all we are "progressives". we must be vigilant, however. on stage with Bernie, Tom Perez talked absolute pablum, sounding like the establishment Democrats we are trying to get away from.
-36 # mblockhart 2017-04-20 23:52
There is a certain arrogance here: "This commission will either open the doors to progressives or leave the “third way” Democrats in control of a shrinking party."
Do you think that the only progressives in the Democratic Party are the Sanders supporters? Really? That can't be true because if it was, Sanders would never have chosen to run in the Democratic primaries. On some level he must have known that the Democratic Party was already full of people, including Hillary Clinton, every bit as progressive as he is. By the way, the party is already growing with or without Sanders - though it's a good thing he's decided to participate in making the party better. He's just NOT the only show in town and Clinton is his equal on progressive values.
+7 # EternalTruth 2017-04-21 09:01
"On some level he must have known that the Democratic Party was already full of people, including Hillary Clinton, every bit as progressive as he is."

I'm simply speechless, dude. Just, wow!
+11 # Ken Halt 2017-04-21 11:02
Are you talking about the Clinton that said, just last year during the primaries, that universal healthcare will never happen in the US? That Clinton?
+10 # Desiderata 2017-04-21 13:58
Clinton progressive ? Since when?
+6 # Hooligan 2017-04-21 14:55
+11 # Hooligan 2017-04-21 15:04
The Corporate Dem. Party is over. They better figure this out fast. I can't tell you how many Progressives I know dumped the Dems this past election after the Corporatists stole the primary from Bernie.The few people that are barely hanging on will be GONE quickly if this Corporate Neo-con old guard doesn't stop impeding progressive policies & candidates. So far they don't get it. The barely supported the progressive candidate in Kansas but threw tons of money at the corporatist candidate in Georgia.
0 # Wally Jasper 2017-04-22 07:17
It always seemed to me that the Clintonites had their own definition of "progressive." They liked that word since it made people enthusiastic when Bernie used it, so they wanted that word applied to them too. Maybe, they thought, if we called ourselves progressives all the people would go wild over us too. So in their speeches they alluded to little pieces of what they thought the people would like (while they hosted fundraisers for the 1%, met in private with Goldman Sachs, made special deals with AIPAC, dissed Black Lives Matter, scuttled Single Payer and revved up the war machine). Guess what? Their ruse failed. Are we surprised?
PS. And Bernie still inspires, leads and generates enthusiasm wherever he goes, including the deep South. Seems like authenticity makes a big difference.
+11 # Richard Martin-Shorter 2017-04-21 09:23
How can ANYONE say what mblockhart just said:" Clinton is his equal on progressive values"??? How can ANYONE who listens to her or watches her positions say something that obviously WRONG?

Consider just 2 words: "Universal Healthcare", for instance.

I guess once again beliefs trump facts, even on the left.
+4 # Blackjack 2017-04-21 09:58
So many Dems seem not yet to understand that there is a big divide in party leadership. There are the Progressive Dems, mostly Berniecrats (but some from within the Dem Party, too) and there are the Dem Loyalists, mostly from the Clinton/Third Way/Corporatist /Centrist part of the party. It is a battle that will be played out within the DNC, and through that, through the state parties. It is clear to me, that at this stage, the Clintonistas have the majority and are trying to maintain it, regardless of the overall outcome. They want to pound the Berniecrats into oblivion, but if that happens they will likely cause the destruction of the party. They don't seem to care.

Look at what's going on in the SC Dem Party. The tenure of the current chair, Jaime Harrison, is up and he will be leaving. Recall that Harrison also ran for DNC Chair this year (a Johnny-Come-Lat ely, thrown into the mix to dilute support for Keith Ellison). In his parting tome, he says that he he will be continuing work for the party "as Associate Chair and Counselor for the DNC. . .working to build a 57-state and territory strategy. . .leading DNC initiatives including the State Party Partnership, training programs, vendor diversity, and 2020 planning including the convention, debates, and nominating process. . .also lead outreach to the DNC's Southern Caucus, Rural Caucus, Disability Caucus, and Native American Council."

Make of this what you will.

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