DNC Chair Tom Perez Responds

Dear Fellow DNC Member,
I have heard from several of you about the recent political coverage in the news about the 2016 joint fundraising agreement.

First of all, as DNC Chair, I stand by the Charter of the DNC requiring neutrality in the presidential primary process. Even a perception of impropriety – whether real or not – is detrimental to the DNC as an institution. I care about culture change. I talk about it a lot, and I mean it. You have my commitment that 2020 will be a transparent process. That is why I want to make sure that the primary debate schedule is decided well ahead of the presidential primary process and why I stand by the essential work of the Unity Reform Commission – created by both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns – to strengthen the process moving forward.

I have heard from several of you about the recent political coverage in the news about the 2016 joint fundraising agreement.

First of all, as DNC Chair, I stand by the Charter of the DNC requiring neutrality in the presidential primary process. Even a perception of impropriety – whether real or not – is detrimental to the DNC as an institution. I care about culture change. I talk about it a lot, and I mean it. You have my commitment that 2020 will be a transparent process. That is why I want to make sure that the primary debate schedule is decided well ahead of the presidential primary process and why I stand by the essential work of the Unity Reform Commission – created by both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns – to strengthen the process moving forward.

As you know, the 2016 joint fundraising committees were created between the DNC and both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to help the party raise funds for the 2016 general election. And while Clinton was the only candidate who raised money for the party through her joint fundraising committee with the DNC, the money would have benefitted any candidate coming out of the presidential primary process. The joint fundraising agreements were the same for each campaign except for the treasurer, and our understanding was that the DNC offered all of the presidential campaigns the opportunity to set up a JFA and work with the DNC to coordinate on how those funds were used to best prepare for the general election. Since then, both of those joint fundraising committees have been shut down.

Under my leadership, I want to ensure that we have real reforms that strengthen the work of not only the DNC but also our partnership with state parties. That is why I was excited to collaborate with state parties on reforms that represent a new joint fundraising agreement, called the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, that helps fund our Every ZIP Code Counts program, an unprecedented investment in grassroots organizing and infrastructure development with state parties. This is the first time the DNC has signed a joint fundraising agreement like this so early and before the mid-term elections.

This critical reform ensures that joint fundraising programs are benefiting both the National and State Parties and building the capacity we need to win in 2018 and beyond. This new joint fundraising agreement creates transparency, fairness, and a historic partnership with state parties that is unprecedented in the history of the DNC. We did this, together, because we all recognize we can’t go back to the same old playbook; we can’t just focus on presidential races, we must organize every single year.

Our goal is to win. Right now I’m focused on Tuesday and the slates in Virginia of Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, Mark Herring, and New Jersey of Phil Murphy, Sheila Oliver and countless Democrats down the ballot. Thank you for all of the work you do daily to move our country forward and elect Democrats.

Best,

Tom
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

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