More DNC leaders quit: What NC should know about the email leaks

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
(left to right)Former Governor Jim Hunt

RALEIGH — Three more top level employees of the Democratic National Convention have stepped down in the wake of the 20,000 leaked emails. Party CEO Amy Dacey, CFO Brad Marshall and communications director Luis Miranda have all resigned after private emails from the DNC hit WikiLeaks last month. The resignations follow that of the party’s executive director, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. According to the leaked emails, Miranda was heavily involved in approving N.C. Democratic Party messaging on House Bill 2. The email leak revealed the political gamesmanship that is driving away so many voters on both sides of the aisle. The emails’ biggest scandal was news that the DNC was actively stamping out the Bernie Sanders campaign in favor of Clinton, leading to protests in Philadelphia where the Democrats held their convention in July and the rise of the #demexit as supporters switch their voter registrations to “independent.” As the convention wore on through the week, the frustration turned to cheers for Hillary Clinton as Sanders supporters either left, were escorted out, or decided to join team Clinton. This latest round of resignations are believed to be the Clinton campaign’s effort to redirect the party, put the Sanders scandal behind them and bring party faithful in line behind Clinton’s candidacy. Beyond Bernie Sanders, among the 20,000 emails, miles of coding and thousands of lunch plans, there were some tidbits for North Carolinians.A peek behind the Cooper curtainIn addition to regularly giving the New York-based party approval on statements regarding the House Bill 2 saga, among the interesting trends was the focus of a DNC effort on the campaign of Attorney General Roy Cooper as he tries to unseat N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican. According to the emails, DNC staffers coordinated and communicated about Cooper fundraisers and donors. They also discussed his visit with employees at financial giant Goldman Sachs in New York. Mention of the firm is a trigger word for Clinton opponents, who point to hundreds of thousands of dollars she received for speeches there. To some, Cooper’s Goldman Sachs visit indicates that he is quickly sliding into the DNC’s nationwide fundraising machine. Details of a Cooper fundraiser organized by Zach Allen, the New York, Tri-State Finance Director for the DNC, also surfaced in the leaks. The event was held at the home of Stephen Henderson and James LaForce in New York City, a couple known for their involvement in political causes. Allen has become something of a pseudo-celebrity since the emails were leaked because his name appears so often in connection with high-profile events and donors. According to Politico, Allen is involved with Josh Barro, senior editor at Business Insider and an MSNBC contributor. The couple reportedly met at a Human Rights Campaign gala. HRC is the group helping to coordinate the business boycotts of North Carolina over H.B. 2. Word of the fundraisers has added fuel to Republican attacks that accuse Cooper of spending too much time raising money outside the state for his gubernatorial campaign while rejecting calls to defend N.C. in lawsuits over H.B. 2 and voter ID as the state’s attorney general.Another N.C. fundraiser featured now embattled Wasserman Schultz, referred to in emails as “DWS.” Based on the emails, Wasserman Schultz spoke at a private fundraiser for Deborah Ross in May of this year. Ross is the former N.C. ACLU executive director and current Democratic Senate candidate challenging Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican.N.C. GOP says this is hardly “awesome”The seedier side of the DNC emails shows name-calling as Pablo Manriquez, DNC’s director of Hispanic media, referred to McCrory as a “moronic little bigot of a tarheel governor” during the height of the H.B. 2 controversy. According to the emails the DNC also targeted high-yield donors to LGBTQ causes with fundraisers during this time. Andy Crystal, of the DNC press office, approved the press releases on H.B. 2 from the state party’s communications director, Dave Miranda. Crystal responded to one message on Pearl Jam’s decision to cancel an N.C. concert with simply “awesome.” The N.C. GOP and McCrory blasted the exchange, saying that the emails demonstrate that the Democratic party was celebrating and capitalizing on H.B. 2 for their political coffers.”I wonder, do the transgender folks know how they were intended to be a cash cow for the Democrats?” said Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the state’s Republican party in a press conference last week. “These emails have clearly shown that something we suspected all along — and that is that the state of North Carolina and the city of Charlotte and especially small businesses were being used as a pawn by Roy Cooper, by the mayor of Charlotte, and by the Democratic Party on an issue that was made up purely for political purposes and to raise money,” he said. “And big money, at that, at the expense of hard-working men and women in North Carolina.” Since the leaked emails became public, some private Democratic party donors in N.C. whose names showed up in the emails aren’t taking media calls, and accusations of using economic loss for political gain have permeated the statewide political conversation. While the DNC tries to regain footing, party Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile is serving as interim chairwoman.