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Galindez writes: "There were no protesters in the streets. The crowd had no hecklers. There was, however, a forceful protest at the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting. It wasn't Bernie Sanders, who did tell the DNC that establishment politics won't work this time around. It was Martin O'Malley who delivered a scathing rebuke of the DNC debate schedule."

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley. (photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley. (photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Martin O'Malley: DNC Debate Schedule Is Rigged

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

30 August 15


here were no protesters in the streets. The crowd had no hecklers. There was, however, a forceful protest at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting. It wasn’t Bernie Sanders, who did tell the DNC that establishment politics won’t work this time around. It was Martin O’Malley who delivered a scathing rebuke of the DNC debate schedule.

O’Malley called the debate schedule a “cynical move to limit our own party debate.” He called it a rigged process and asked whom it benefited. The main theme of the former Maryland Governor’s critique was that while the Republican debates distort the record, the Democrats’ silence is allowing the GOP to dominate the debate.

O’Malley’s remarks brought the crowd to its feet several times. The afternoon session was also the time slot that Senator Bernie Sanders was speaking, and the guest section was full of Sanders supporters. There was also regular applause from the DNC members sitting in the first 15 rows.

Sitting on both sides of O’Malley as he criticized their plan were the officers of the Democratic National Committee who approved the plan to allow only six debates during the process of choosing the Democratic nominee for president. Just to O’Malley’s right was the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who defended the debate plan last week at the Iowa State Fair.

Wasserman Schultz on Calls for More Debates

On the last day of the soap box at the Iowa State Fair, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz faced protesters demanding more than the 6 sanctioned Democratic Party debates.

Posted by Reader Supported News on Monday, August 24, 2015

On the day of the Republicans’ first debate, the DNC announced that they would be sanctioning six debates, starting in October. The schedule includes four debates before the Iowa Caucus, one in each early state, starting with Las Vegas. The Sanders and O’Malley campaigns immediately came out against the plan, calling for more debates. “Four debates? Four debates? Four debates before voters cast their ballots in the early states? One debate in Iowa? One debate in New Hampshire?” O’Malley asked.

Wasserman Schultz is correct that the number of debates that the DNC is sanctioning is consistent with the past. What is new this time is a clause in the rules stating that any candidate who participates in a debate outside of the sanctioned six will be barred from participating in the six DNC debates.

O’Malley’s attorney, Joe Sandler, says the DNC’s debate plan is “entirely unprecedented” and “legally problematic” and that the exclusivity clause is “legally unenforceable.” According to Sandler, “Under Federal Election Commission rules, the format and structure of each debate must be controlled exclusively by the debate sponsor, not by any party or candidate committee.”

“Legally the DNC cannot dictate the format or structure of any debate sponsored by a media outlet or 501(c)(3) organization – including the criteria for participation,” Sandler added. “It would be legally problematic if any of the sponsors of the sanctioned debates has actually agreed to the ‘exclusivity’ requirement. And in any event, it is highly unlikely that any of those sponsors of the sanctioned debates would ultimately be willing to enforce that ‘exclusivity’ requirement,” Sandler told MSNBC, according to News Busters.

During a Q&A after the speech, I asked O’Malley if he would legally challenge the exclusivity clause and he said he would, and he has already served notice to the DNC that he thinks the clause is illegal.

Senator Sanders was also critical of the lack of debates. He thinks the lack of participation in the midterm elections shows the need for more debates, debates all over the country, with the goal of involving more people in the process of choosing a nominee. Sanders also told the establishment organization that establishment politics won’t win in 2016. He believes the large crowds and excitement for his campaign are the result of people being fed up with politics as usual.

Both Sanders and O’Malley were not afraid to take on the party establishment on Friday. Will they organize their own debates? What would the DNC do if candidates challenged them and participated in unsanctioned debates? Would they have Hillary debate James Webb and Lincoln Chaffee and explain why O’Malley and Bernie are off holding their own debates? Things might finally be heating up on the Democratic side. I am looking forward to more debates, and if Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have anything to say about it, we will get them.

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 will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

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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+86 # wrknight 2015-08-30 09:38
The DNC has already decided Hillary will be our next President. It's time to dump the DNC.
+24 # Old4Poor 2015-08-30 11:58
And, yet,they keep sending me demands via snail mail and email for my membership dues, even though I am not a member.
+19 # indian weaver 2015-08-30 12:33
I wrote the DNC after Obama turned out to be a lying coward and told them I'd never again vote Demo (within months after he was elected), and have never voted Republican. I meant it. But, I'd vote for Bernie, and O'Malley turns out to be an honest person too. I'm fairly disenfranchised , like the entire Middle Class, from our fascist regime and can no longer support anymore oligarchs, including Shillary and White Fang Biden. McCarthy during Viet Nam was the good guy. Howard Dean was a good guy. The good guys are destroyed by the oligarchical fascist regime, have been for decades.
+8 # reiverpacific 2015-08-31 10:36
Quoting Old4Poor:
And, yet,they keep sending me demands via snail mail and email for my membership dues, even though I am not a member.

I had to cut them AND Nancy Pelosi's begging emails off in no uncertain manner. She's allegedly worth >$100,000,000 already.
And the laugh is that I'm not even a Citizen, so don't get to vote but my wife is American and we're supporting Sanders with small donations of $50.00 -and that's IT!
+1 # jcdav 2015-09-03 09:10
I get appeals. I write "I will vote for Bernie, even as a write in" in magic marker on their form, put it in their self addressed stamped envelope and mail it back to them. Perhaps if sufficient folks do this the DNC will get the message.
+60 # Old Uncle Dave 2015-08-30 10:01
Wasserman is trying to rig the primaries for Clinton. It's time for her to go.
Here's a petition:
+18 # Farafalla 2015-08-30 13:07
I noticed this article didn't even mention Hillary until the last paragraph. But everyone knows the DNC and DLC are in Clinton's claws. The whole purpose of limited debate is to make sure Hillary comes out ahead.
+6 # Street Level 2015-08-30 17:35
I just went to sign it and the petitions been taken down. Hmmm...
+1 # ritawalpoleague 2015-09-01 11:20
Thanks, Old Uncle Dave. Pull up and sign that petition I will. And, so sad but true, here's some info. on what has gone on (and most likely will go on again), in primary/general elections, and at county assemblies in caucus states:

1. Pull up: Colorado Independent, Grandmothers for Peace Rita Ague.

2. Head of local (El Paso County) Dem. Party, kept Obama delegates and alternates outside, in the bitter cold, for no reason, while Hillary Clinton supporters sat comfortably inside, having been allowed in early to hang Hillary signs/photos/banners.

2. At above cited assembly, NSA agent, then head of the ACLU on whose board I was then serving, banned entry of Obama delegates/alter nates, even threateningly turning some away.

3. Once assembly was in session, assembly elected seventeen persons to the county platform committee (many of whom, myself included, were progressive Obama supporters). This platform committee was to gather with state platform committee in Denver, prior to national Dem. convention. And, almost immediately thereafter, local Dem. chair dissolved our elected platform committee.

MY POINT TO BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTERS - we WIN BERNIE WIN folks (myself included)must get filled with courage and determination, because Hillary is, again, the choice of the 1%ers. And, unlike Hillary.....

+30 # jpmarat 2015-08-30 10:10
Debates counteract Citizens United, Koch Bros, etc. Debates vet your candidates. Debates increase interest. A limited, rigid debate schedule doesn't allow for adequate responses to changing circumstances, nor does it do much to educate voters. Debates do, however, detract from the aura of a coronation. And, most importantly, they would legitimize Bernie & others, so that the Establishment couldn't brand them as extremists. Would DNC ban all/most opponents from their debates, other than Hillary, if they participate in a debate tomorrow? Ridiculous clause, arrogant, CONTROLLING, treats US like shit. A flexible, adequate framework should be required of DNC. Hillary, et al, should demand it. Hillary needs to get more voter friendly, asap; she's not the Empress in Waiting. Did she learn nothing from 2008? Bill, help her. Now there was a voter "friendly" guy, confident enough to debate every day. Not that he was that great a Prez, but a smart candidate.
+13 # Inspired Citizen 2015-08-30 10:10
We link to a petition on our home page that has nearly 20,000 signatures.

While you're there, take the #BernieOrBust pledge.
+31 # johninnv 2015-08-30 10:15
The DNC needs to consult with Howard Dean, the most successful leader they have had. The DNC is out-of-touch. Hillary supporters need to also call for more debates. Getting air time and exposure for the policies of the Dems will benefit ALL candidates and the party in general. Hillary needs to "wise-up" if she is going to be successful. Democrats need to embrace openness and exposure instead of trying to emulate the GOP policy of complete control - or they are asking for their own "Trump-like" renegade candidates. WORK TOGETHER people!
+34 # jimmyjames 2015-08-30 10:21
I believe all the candidates who prefer more debates (meaning not Clinton) should forego the DNC debates and form their own debate schedule. Let Hillary debate herself! She would be laughed off the stage. Meanwhile, meaningful debates could be held among Sanders, O'Malley, Chafee, and all others who may want to jump in.
+13 # nice2bgreat 2015-08-30 11:35
Quoting jimmyjames:
I believe all the candidates who prefer more debates (meaning not Clinton) should forego the DNC debates and form their own debate schedule. Let Hillary debate herself! ... meaningful debates could be held among Sanders, O'Malley, Chafee, and all others who may want to jump in.

Debbie Wasserman should be confronted with O'Malley's reasonable criticisms, especially the one about why more debates benefit all Democrats.

Why not have as many debates as as their are major topics to get into? Why not let the candidates show their depth, explain their ideas, new ideas, big ideas, and even lessons of the heart?

Last I saw Wasserman, she looked dreadfully tired or with irritations.

Sanders is outspoken about having many more debates than Wasserman/the DNC/the DLC/Hillary are working to limit; even ones that include Republicans.

The strong-arm tactics of forcing candidates from even accepting other debates is fraternity politics -- a sad introduction from the New-Order Democrats.

There are real advantages -- in terms of viewership -- of Party sanctioned, nationally televised debates.

There are other forums available to utilize, town-hall discussions, etc., yet none have the audiences of Party events.

As O'Malley said, the debates all are set to happen early...

So do the debates; and afterwards, have more debates with or without the "blessing" of the corporatist D-Party.
+19 # 2wmcg2 2015-08-30 10:24
There was, in fact, a sign-carrying protester on the sidewalk, if not the street, in front of the Hilton hotel where the DNC meeting was held: me. There was also someone protesting the limited number of debates. But all the action took place on the third floor and the public was barred from this. The candidate's hospitality suites were mostly deserted when I walked in. There was little or no interaction with attendees.
+20 # reiverpacific 2015-08-30 10:51
"Democratic", my kilted toosh!
+5 # jwb110 2015-08-30 16:17
Quoting reiverpacific:
"Democratic", my kilted toosh!

Yeh, for kilts!!!!
+6 # Robbee 2015-08-30 12:03
zomblican troll alert! # Inspired Citizen 2015-08-30 10:10 We link to a petition on our home page that has nearly 20,000 signatures.http ://citizensagai nstplutocracy. org/ While you're there, take the #BernieOrBust pledge.

- anybody who takes this pledge to write-in bernie, and so, vote for a zomblicsn, does not listen to bernie or what he told the dnc above

bernie is in it to win it as a dem - bernie has called for a "political revolution", not a zomblican counter-revolut ion! begone zomblican troll! go and hide under some zomblican bridge, where you belong! if you like zomblicans so much, pledge to write-in your own effing name, it's all the same, leave bernie out of your zomblican a-hole inspired pledge!

go bernie! down with all zomblican trolls!
+10 # Vardoz 2015-08-30 12:05
We are going to vote for Bernie even if we have to write him in!!!! This is enraging! This has to be a real fight for our lives.
+6 # Robbee 2015-08-30 12:06
re : # GreenBee 2015-08-12 07:31
"I am so glad that there is so much enthusiasm for Bernie. But why do so many here assume that his attempts at change will not be obstructed in the same way as Obama's were by the same forces that obstructed them?

"I would love to see Bernie elected but he cannot change much unless Progressives, liberals and Dems start taking back the House and keep the Senate too. That means getting excited in the midterms and getting the base to the polls between presidential races something we do not seem to be motivated enough to do.

"We can get public funding of federal elections if we do this. That is the only thing will bring big change short of violent revolution."

- thank you, thank you, thank you, bee, for listening to bernie, and his demand for public funding, only of all federal, state and local elections (if you followed his comments after rahm emanuel bought the chicago election, outspending his opponent 4 to 1, i believe you will understand why public funding, only, should extend to state and local elections, too!)

most folks here support bernie but don't bother to pay attention to what he says -

it's like citizen, above, who doesn't get why bernie caucuses with dems, votes with dems, runs as a dem, and so, citizen wants us to pledge to write-in bernie, to help elect a zomblican - begone zomblican troll!

too many here listen to bernie until he demands public funding or hates pointless gestures that get zombies elected!
+5 # lfeuille 2015-08-30 16:56
Well, for one thing, Obama never really tried. He would go in with a pre-compromised position and the repubs would force more concessions. Also, he never made the public case for a policy and linked it to electing the right people to enact it going into the midterms. And, the people he appointed were in many cases, ones that opposed the very positions he was elected on. I'm of the opinion that he never meant most of what he said in the campaign, but in any case, he did not do what was needed to be able to carry-out his promises. Bernie is not guaranteed success, but he does mean what he says so the chances are much higher.
+5 # JJS 2015-08-30 19:17
I think Bernie's experience and seniority will help him be an effective President of the US.
+11 # Vardoz 2015-08-30 12:28
As Warren said we have to fight for what we want.
+3 # Robbee 2015-08-30 13:48
don't you dare! zomblican troll 2: # Vardoz 2015-08-30 12:28 As Warren said we have to fight for what we want.

- warren never told us to fight for what zomblicans want! warren hates pointless gestures too, just as bad as bernie does! warren never told us to vote 3rd party or write-in anyone! she detests you! go bernie!

you zomblican trolls are HIDING BEHIND WARREN AND BERNIE, WHILE REFUSING TO LISTEN TO THEM, begone zomblican trolls!
+6 # angelfish 2015-08-30 14:05
Are the DNC really DINOS in sheep's clothing? WHAT is the MATTER with a having a decent Debate Schedule? The ReTHUGlicans have NOTHING to say and we should make that fact glaringly apparent by having as many Debates as we can to reveal their NON-Agenda, as well as their subservience to the 1%ers!
+7 # jwb110 2015-08-30 16:32
Looks more and more like a one party system to me. I am old enough to remember stumping in its 50s and 60s form. Media has only put another wall between the candidates and the people who might elect them. We have seen the media lie and sand bag candidates like Dean. He would have made a great president! But the media did everything they could to make him look bad.
I also remember Brokered Conventions. Anyone else here remember? That went the way of everything democratic in our system when the GOP did a Leni Reifenstahl convention for Ronald Reagan. A Brokered Convention gave the public a chance to see who the real power brokers were. You didn't have to call for transparency because there was no need to. The nation watched both conventions to see where the power shifts might be or not be. The NATION was involved. BOTH conventions were watched. Informed choices could be made no matter your political stripe. There was also a sense that there would always be a LOYAL opposition. Not so now.
The GOP also took all debates our of the hands of the League of Women Voters and took the smarts and civility out of the process. They turned debates into pep rallies. All the questions had to be vetted by the candidates and their handlers before they could be asked in the debate. That is and if itself lets us know that none of the candidates in either party are smart enough to do the job. Except Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.
+7 # isafakir 2015-08-30 16:48
ms schulz has presided over the worst debacles in
democratic party history turning both obama landslides into republican majorities all over the country: rahm
emmanuel and the DNC are the icons of DINOs as opposed to democrats like dean sen warren even the best speaker of the house in usa history ms pelosi.

the 0.1% are literally eating us alive. and the DNC is feeding us to them.
0 # nice2bgreat 2015-08-30 21:51
What's with four debates, anyway?

At least have an odd number; which competition has even-numbered contests?

It appears that the DNC's generous compromise will be to five, rather than to seven.
+2 # FDRva 2015-08-31 11:37
Hillary's time has come --and gone. By trying to rig the Dem process for HRC the DNC is in effect throwing the election to the Bush/Walker/Rub io axis. If the DNC persists they ought to be required to register as pro-GOP superPAC, just like Koch operations.
0 # heiko12 2015-08-31 16:30
It occurred to me that any Republican that appeared onstage with Trump lost prestige and looked like a fool in the process. Loss of dignity by association?
What would have happened if they ALL refused to appear onstage with him? I don't know but it is interesting to consider.
And now… what if no one wants to share a stage with Hillary? Does she "win" the debate by default, or instead look like a fool that no one wants to share a stage with?
0 # chinaski 2015-09-01 08:18
In a Perfect DNC World, Hillary would debate Hillary. I wonder who would win? I already know who is going to lose.

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