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General News    H2'ed 12/29/18

The DNC's New Rules For Grassroots Campaign Finance

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This was originally published in Liberal America and Liberal Nation Rising.

While it's true the "Third-Way" wing of the Democratic party is up to some of its old tricks trying to discredit progressives possibly flirting with 2020 White House runs, it is also true that in less than one week the new Democratic majority will take its seat in the House of Representatives.

Its first order of business is House Resolution (HR) 1, a collection of proposals intending to advance voting rights, reform campaign finance, and address corruption.

This is an indication the Democratic party is serious about confronting the assaults on democracy Republicans have made their stock and trade.

Even though progressive candidates like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Beto O'Rourke frighten the pro-corporate establishment, it is because of their progressive agendas responsible for firing up millions in the base that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is willing to make any changes at all.

Many thought Sen. Bernie Sanders' candidacy was a joke.

Many believed that without a super political action committee (PAC) raising countless amounts of dollars in questionable donations, he would never make it past the Iowa caucus.

He proved them wrong.

According to Open Secrets, Sanders raised $134,669,942 in just small, individual contributions.

He proved what other candidates are now realizing can be done.

The 2018 mid-term election cycle set records, including those for grassroots contributions, something practically unheard of three years ago.

In response, DNC Chair Tom Perez announced recently that, in addition to standard polling rubrics required to join presidential primary debate, candidates will additionally be required to meet a "grassroots fundraising" criteria.

This will incentivize candidates to invest in the expanding small-donor base as well as compel potential billionaire candidates, like Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, and Howard Schultz, who boast about being rich enough to fund their own campaigns, to generate popular enthusiasm among the base.

According to of The Intercept:

"This is a remarkable decision for any political party, and it reflects a growing shift in how campaigns are run and won. It also previews what will be an important way to measure the success of candidates in the Democratic primary: not just looking at how much money candidates raise, but how much of their money comes from small-dollar donors."

The DNC has not decided yet, though, how much constitutes a "small-dollar" amount.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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