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Michael Kapp, Member, Democratic National Committee

I am extremely hurt and disappointed by the facts revealed by Donna Brazile’s article earlier today in Politico.

Democratic voters, Democratic candidates, and indeed all Americans deserve a fair and transparent presidential primary process. After what we’ve learned today, it’s no longer possible to argue that we had one in 2016.

The DNC has historically been a very top-down organization. This is especially true when Democrats control the White House. But we have seen the results of this strategy. With the DNC leadership only accountable to the President and their staff, instead of the Membership and our state and local parties, we have seen the DNC’s organizing and fundraising prowess wither on the vine, with the concerns of our activists on the ground unheeded.

Given this background, Donna Brazile’s revelation that the Joint Fundraising Agreement signed by the DNC CEO and the Hillary Clinton campaign back in 2015 was done without even consulting the other officers is, sadly, predictable. This is how business has been done in the past—but I ran to serve as a DNC Member to try to change it.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. The structure of the DNC is to blame. The previous DNC leadership that signed this agreement in secret is to blame. And even the Democratic White House that left the DNC in such a ruinous financial position shares some of the blame.

But that was the old DNC. It doesn’t exist anymore. We have new leadership and new values.

I have spent every DNC meeting, every meeting of the DNC Transition and Advisory Committee, and countless nights and weekends speaking with our DNC leadership, staff, and other Members from throughout the country. We talk about the need for reform, for increased transparency, for the acceptance of new voices, for better fundraising that doesn’t compromise our values, for organizing that builds meaningful relationships with voters rather than one door knock every four years and an email about being doomed every three hours.

Without reform, there can’t be unity. And to properly reform, we have to acknowledge the failures of the past.

I only have one small voice, a voice that is no more important than any of yours. But tonight I want to use that voice to tell all Democrats, but especially those who supported Bernie Sanders, that I am sorry that the then-DNC leadership violated your trust in 2015-16.

I know that there is a deep hunger for change at our Party. And I know that hunger is shared by Chair Tom Perez and Deputy Chair Keith Ellison. Under our new leadership, regular DNC Members—and therefore, all of you—have far more opportunities to be heard and effect positive change.

Just as importantly, there is a strong contingent of DNC Members — Hillary and Bernie supporters alike, from our leadership to our membership — throughout the country who are as deeply shocked and saddened as you are today. But we are all as committed as ever to right the wrongs of the 2016 primary. It is from them, and from each other, that we get the strength and energy to fight for the change we need.

This Democratic Party is bigger than any of us, but it needs all of us to be successful. I look forward to continuing on this journey with all of you.

Your ally in activism,

Michael Kapp
Member, Democratic National Committee

PS: Here is Chair Tom Perez’ statement on Donna Brazile’s article.

Michael Kapp for DNC · 3731 Wilshire Blvd, Suite #514, Los Angeles, CA 90010, United States
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