Can a system still be “rigged” if you helped support the candidate who benefited from it?
That’s what Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) is trying to say in an article found over the weekend in the Wisconsin State Journal. In it, Baldwin and other high-ranking Democrats across the state are asked to comment on last week’s bombshell accusations by former interim Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Donna Brazile that the Clinton campaign had de facto control over the Democratic Party for most, if not all of the party apparatus during the 2016 primary.
The accusation, made by Brazile in an op-ed to the national website Politico as an excerpt for a new book she has authored, has rocked Democrats to the core nationally. It’s caused many supporters of Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to cry foul, others to state the timing has caused old wounds to reopen, and most Democrats to pledge to never let hit happen again.
Wisconsin’s top elected Democrat, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, said Friday that Democratic National Committee failures “led to an unfair process” in the 2016 primaries that made Hillary Clinton the party’s White House nominee.
Baldwin and(State Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Martha) Laning were responding to what Laning called “really disturbing” claims from former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile, who wrote that Clinton’s campaign secretly controlled much of the DNC’s operations during last year’s primaries.
But both commented Friday before a memo surfaced about the connection between Clinton’s campaign and the DNC’s fundraising apparatus.
A memo governing the relationship, revealed late Friday by various news outlets, showed that the fundraising arrangement was focused on preparing for the general election.
The memo also didn’t preclude the DNC from entering into similar agreements with other candidates and included language saying it was not intended to upend the committee’s pledge of neutrality during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, when Clinton was locked in a spirited race with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
However, the Clinton-DNC deal also called for Clinton’s campaign to oversee the hiring of new DNC staffers immediately after it was signed in August 2015 — well before primary voting took place.
Baldwin, D-Madison, said in a statement issued earlier Friday that “the new DNC leadership needs to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
That’s fine for Baldwin to say now, but it states nothing about Baldwin’s actions during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary and beyond.
For starter’s Baldwin was one of Mrs. Clinton’s first endorsements. She along with most of the Democratic female senators were among the first batch of endorsements Clinton rolled out.
Baldwin was so behind Clinton’s candidacy she co-authored an op-ed with Mrs. Clinton in August of 2015 for the Huffington Post about the need to reform Wall Street. Additionally, Baldwin campaigned all over the neighboring state of Iowa for Clinton prior to its “First in the Nation” caucuses and was among the many Clinton surrogates sent to act as an emissary to progressive U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) in June of 2016 to sway the Democrats’ biggest holdout to endorse Clinton prior to the California Primary.
Yet the most blatant hypocrisy of Baldwin’s own words is when she seems shocked by a candidate having control over whom the party hires. That’s because she’s does that herself as her own re-election kicked off.
Back in January 2017, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced the hiring of Gillian Drummond to serve as “Senior Communications Adviser” to the party. Drummond’s entire purpose on the state party’s payroll was to act as an unofficial spokesman for Baldwin’s re-election campaign.
Today, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced the hiring of a new member of the communications team. Gillian Drummond will join the staff as Senior Communications Advisor with a focus on the 2018 Senate race.
“Gillian is an important addition to our team as we prepare for a successful 2018 cycle in Wisconsin,” said Jason Sidener, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Her experience working on democratic campaigns at all levels of government is an asset as we fight to send Tammy Baldwin back to the U.S. Senate and make gains across the state in 2018.”
Where did Baldwin find Drummond you might ask? Why she had just wrapped up working as the spokeswoman for Clinton’s presidential campaign operation in Wisconsin.
So for Tammy Baldwin to act “shocked” and call a process “unfair” that she played an integral part of is disingenuous at best.