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

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  • Ken Dean

    For clarity—the Vermont Credentials Challenge was filed and offered by 21 people, including five duly elected Bernie Sanders National Delegates from Vermont, as formal petitioners, I was only one petitioner–there were 20 others. Did not see that in the article. Second, all of us, constantly form beginning to end,—- support 100% gender balance in the delegation, and all solutions offered, and all remedies submitted, in the Credentials Challenge, create and maintain 100% gender balance in the delegation. We all support gender balance 100%. Did not see that in the article. There are many ways to create 100% gender balance in a delegation, without eliminating any duly ‘elected’ delegates. The remedies submitted in the Credentials Challenge discuss how this is done. Did not see that in the article. Fourth. The Credentials Challenge was brought forth, in large part, due to excessive serious due process violations, that many of the Vermont Bernie Sanders elected National Delegates experienced repeatedly surrounding June 11th and July 7th meetings. These repeated due process violations, May 23rd to June 11th, to July 7th, resulted in the needless disruption of the delegation. Five of the elected Vermont Bernie Sanders National Delegates were fully part of this challenge stating those serious due process claims and concerns. Did not see much of that in the article. Lastly—the key event of Sunday July 24th in Credentials Committee Room– Fair adequate due process (also in the DNC rules) was also denied and clearly subverted over the week end –The lawyer on the Vermont Credentials Challenge case was waiting all day Thurs, Fri, and Sat for a ruling from DNC Rules and By Laws—heard not one word from them. Not one word. No emails, no phone calls, zero communication to any of the 21 challengers (including 5 elected Vermont Bernie Sanders National Delegates and myself)— and especially– the Lawyer representing the case. By not hearing from them directly (which everyone now believes was intentional)—took away the logistical step process, needed to go before the Credentials Committee for a hearing, a debate, and a vote. The ‘moment’ an elected Vermont Bernie Sanders National Delegate heard this (no one was told this before, no one, electronically, in writing , or in person) this elected Vermont Bernie Sanders National Delegate, physically in the Credentials Committee room , submitted in writing, directly in person, face to face, to the Chair of the Credentials Committee –the required procedural response (it is in the DNC rules)— to grant a hearing. The Chair of Credentials refused to take it. That is what happened. The Debbie Wasserman Schultz mentality is thorough and through this process. And her Committee Chairs sometimes act just like she does. No due process, no fairness, no justice. That is what happened. Is that a Democratic Party you can believe in.

  • Richard M Roderick

    The DNC has no interest in being Democratic. That is why I have written them off.