The Democratic National Committee was blasted online on Friday after changing the rules for 2020 debates in a manner that could allow billionaire Michael Bloomberg to essentially buy his way onto the stage.
“The Democratic National Committee is drastically revising its criteria to participate in primary debates after New Hampshire, doubling the polling threshold and eliminating the individual donor requirement, which could pave the way for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to make the stage beginning in mid-February,” Politico reported Friday.
“The new criteria eliminate the individual-donor threshold, which was used for the first eight debates, including next week’s debate in New Hampshire. Bloomberg, the self-funding billionaire, has refused to take donations from other individuals, which has thus far precluded his participation in any of the debates since he joined the race late last year,” Politico explained.
The decision was harshly criticized by current and former candidates.
Let’s make one thing clear: @TheDemocrats decision to change the rules now to accommodate Mike Bloomberg and not changing them in the past to ensure a more diverse debate stage is just plain wrong.https://t.co/BoCVpahWpx
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) January 31, 2020
Democrats should not be connecting the ability to be heard to money. Period.
DNC did that in setting debate requirements & in removing them. You link money & politics, process gets corrupted. Dems should be rejecting money’s influence, not letting it guide our primary.
— Steve Bullock (@GovernorBullock) January 31, 2020
Here’s what others were saying:
Mike Gravel qualified for the Democratic debate with a grassroots surge that gave him 67,000 donors. The DNC shut him out.
Mike Bloomberg spent $180 million on a massive ad campaign, donated $250,000 to the DNC, and has exactly 1 donor. The DNC let him debate.
Fuck the DNC.
— The Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) January 31, 2020
Fewer things better encapsulate just how beholden to big money the @DNC is than rewriting the rules to let billionaire Michael Bloomberg buy his way onto the debate stage.
The Democratic establishment does not care about you and will sell you out in a heartbeat.
— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 31, 2020
1. DNC members didn’t vote on this, or any of the debate rules.
2. Every candidate and every donor who gave to that candidate who played by the rules (to date) should voice outrage at Tom Perez.
3. Perez will never be Governor of MD by doing this https://t.co/p0HEXmoukR
— Nomiki Konst (@NomikiKonst) January 31, 2020
If you look at the new DNC debate thresholds as anything other than "Get Andrew Yang off stage and put Mike Bloomberg on," Then you are high.
— Brad Bauman (@bradbaumn) January 31, 2020
DNC changes debate rules so Bloomberg can buy his way in, that's how scared they are of #Bernie2020. Also: Bloomberg's bump has has zero to do with popular support – the same thing would happen to a russet potato with $150-million of TV ads behinds it. https://t.co/9MMHtnFFbf
— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) January 31, 2020
Make no mistake about it: the @DNC changing its debates rules to open the door for @MikeBloomberg is Dem elite waving white flag on @JoeBiden. They see the writing on the wall and are now moving beyond hedging their bets to propping up Bloomberg https://t.co/OdzXn6KTUj
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) January 31, 2020
Nothing to see here… just Bloomberg buying the DNC… everyone move along.https://t.co/JKRqSE9s4H
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 31, 2020
No wonder @TomPerez was thinking abt his exit pay package: this is “$ buys access” Nice job—elbow out ppl of color/ppl w ideas but give a certain billionaire a ticket in. #dnc https://t.co/h7URt7U7Nk
— Jonathan Tasini (@jonathantasini) January 31, 2020
I thought the rules were set?!?! That is what they told us when we demanded a climate debate. https://t.co/l5FV6Z60te
— Brianna Westbrook (@BWestbrookAZ8) January 31, 2020
Bloomberg should NOT be on the debate stage. It's the DNC, not the DLC. The debate stage should only feature characters that people actually want. Elections should not be pay to win.
— Ace Watkins (@GamerPres2020) January 31, 2020
So now that Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner, the DNC is changing its debate rules mid-primary, eliminating the small donor threshold to let Bloomberg buy his way onto the stage.
Bloomberg’s surrogates are openly admitting he’s running as a Sanders spoiler.
Here we go again. https://t.co/WqGTuQijKo
— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) January 31, 2020
DNC: climate debate? Nah
Bloomberg debate? Yah https://t.co/R7H7xmSq3t
— Jamal Raad (@jamalraad) January 31, 2020
this is an extremely bad call by the dnc imo, esp when this kind of bar kept cory booker and julian castro out of debates https://t.co/59lB7Kibxc
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 31, 2020
Congratulations to the DNC & its chair, Tom Perez, for altering the rules to let the world's 8th-richest person who spent $200 million of his own money on the election in 5 weeks & just happens to be big DNC donor onto the debate stage. https://t.co/7lk6Bk1l5W
— Alex Kotch (@alexkotch) January 31, 2020
There were several glaring omissions in the FBI’s bizarre announcement about election interference
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced on Wednesday in a last-minute press briefing that both Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information and have "taken specific actions to influence public opinion."
In particular, Ratcliffe said that Iran has been found to have sent "spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump." He seemed to be referring to an incident described in a Washington Post story published right before the conference, which said the U.S. has concluded that Iran had sent emails pretending to be from the right-wing group the Proud Boys to Democratic voters.
Expert: Trump’s ‘forward-leaning posture’ and ‘body tics’ are cause for serious concern
A professor of Neurology at George Washington University says he believes there may be legitimate concerns over President Donald J. Trump's "forward-listing posture" that goes beyond the comical memes and gif responses normally shared on social media.
"I know something about political figures and observable signs of illness from afar," Richard E. Cytowic M.D. wrote in Psychology Today. "... The American public deserves an accurate account of our president’s health."
Trump, Biden attorneys flock to Florida to protect votes
Miami (AFP) - Hundreds of attorneys and volunteers from the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Joe Biden have deployed to Florida polling stations to make sure votes for their candidates are respected, as record numbers of people cast ballots early.Tensions are especially high as fear about the coronavirus and violence at polling stations is compounded by Florida's history of contested elections that have ended in recounts or even court battles.Florida, where Republican Trump and Democrat Biden are practically tied, accounts for 29 crucial electoral votes, with 270 needed to win the US... (more…)