Democratic Party denies Vermont man’s appeal to restore delegate status

The Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee denied a challenge to restore the delegate status of two men who were dropped from Vermont’s delegation.

Ken Dean of Montpelier and Sen. Tim Ashe, D-Chittenden, were dropped from the delegation to satisfy the DNC’s charter, which requires that delegate votes be allotted to men and women equally. The two men, previously pledged delegates for Sanders, were replaced by two women, also pledged for Sanders.

Ashe did not challenge the decision, but Dean appealed to the DNC’s Credentials Committee. According to process outlined in the 2016 Delegate Selection Rules, complaints relating to gender balance are handled by the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee first. Applicants can appeal decisions by the committee to the Credentials Committee.

At Sunday’s DNC Credentials Committee meeting, officials announced that Dean’s challenge was dismissed by the Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Dean’s lawyer, Tom Sommers, said the Rules and Bylaws Committee did not respond to the complaint. “We were told it was dismissed and the dismissal had been emailed to me on Friday and it hadn’t. We had received no notice of any decision,” he said.

“We just heard that in the Credentials Committee they read an email that supposedly has been sent to me,” Sommers said. “I’ve been through all my junk mail (and) everything else, (and I) didn’t get anything.”

Dean said he was denied “due process — a right to be heard by the committee.”

“The Democratic Party is not very democratic inside the DNC and their committee,” he said. “They talk about equality and fairness and due process but they do not live it.”

The DNC’s press officers did not immediately respond to interview requests.

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Liora Engel-Smith

About Liora

Liora Engel-Smith covers health care for VTDigger. She previously covered rural health at NC Health News in North Carolina and the Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire. She also had been at the Muscatine Journal in rural Iowa. Engel-Smith has master's degrees in public health from Drexel University and journalism from Temple University. Before moving to journalism, she was a scientist who briefly worked in the pharmaceutical industry.

Email: [email protected]

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