“It was not only unsettling, but disrespectful,” said Nina Turner, a former president of the Sanders campaign who was part of the committee. “Annoying, disturbing, unacceptable. And there is no way to restore the faith of people who already suspect that the Democratic Party is unfair. “
Another person at the meeting described that it was full of conversations between a small number of people at the Biden and Sanders camps, which made it difficult to hear the process and said some people did not know how to use the mute button.
The Democratic National Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Biden official disputed the account of Sanders nominees.
“It̵7;s a bad characterization. There was a small group that drowned out speakers and that continued with a tribute to the late Rep. John Lewis,” said the person, who declined to speak on the record. He asked them to leave the Sanders and Biden delegates. And the overwhelming review of this meeting was the five resolutions that were passed unanimously, the result of the hard work of the Sanders and Biden teams. “
The scuffle began when Brent Welder, a Sanders appointed to the convention’s rules committee, proposed a resolution to change the party’s letter to reject all corporate CAP dollars and limit corporate lobbies from serving the DNC for several years.
A Biden nominee asked to be introduced, which some Sanders nominees said caught them. “Compress until when?” Welder asked.
“Generally, until someone makes a successful motion to get him off the table,” former chairman Barney Frank, co-chair of the meeting, responded. “After the expiration of the committee, if no one has moved to get him off the table successfully, he dies with the committee.”
“Wow, that doesn’t make any sense,” Welder said.
Sanders nominee Jillian Johnson to the committee said other Sanders supporters called for the vote to be presented in the closed-door exit room by changing the background images on their screens to reflect their support. He said some Biden nominees punished progressives in this regard.
“You behave like children,” someone said, and “Anyway, you’ll lose it, so get over it,” he said. “And then the host just closed the meeting because we don’t see each other anymore.”
Welder and another Sanders nominee who asked for anonymity also said Biden nominees made those comments. Turner said he heard them too, and said they came from Biden nominees or “party deceased.”
Minutes before the meeting ended, the committee held a vote to consider Welder’s proposal, which was supported. Its original modification was then defeated.
While the frustration of Sanders ’candidates was taken away on social media, the real arguments in the private halls were not broadcast live, a good advantage for the party. If the meeting had been held in a personalized manner, as the rules committee usually functions, these divisions could have been taped.
In a separate issue Thursday, the rules committee agreed on an agreement between the Sanders and Biden teams to extend the agreed party reforms following the contentious 2016 election.
The rules committee voted unanimously to approve a proposal to maintain “the progress that has been made” in the presidential candidacy process, such as not allowing superdelegates to vote the first ballot and make caucuses more accessible.
Sanders and Biden’s camps hoped the resolution would underscore the party’s harmony. The reforms, which will now go to the vote of convention delegates, would be cemented for the 2024 presidential primaries.
In an effort to maintain unity, Sanders 2020 campaign officials called on Sanders candidates to withdraw and vote against some amendments as they conflicted with the agreement reached with the Biden team.
The committee defeated a plan to make the limited role of superdelegates permanent.
“The rules passed today, which maintain the important changes we pushed for four years ago, ensure that our party’s presidential candidate is selected by rank and file Democrats, not by party elites,” Sanders said in a statement. “I want to thank the Biden campaign, the delegates and the committee members who have forged this agreement. What it says, quite simply, is that the will of the people must come first.”