A group of Democratic Party activists are on a mission to lobby for Rep. Keith Ellison as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. But their enthusiasm has become a thorn in the DNC side, as they are being pestered with excessive phone calls.
“It was over the top, and I contacted Keith, and Keith tried to stop it, to his credit. It took a while,” said Marcel L. Groen, chairman of the Pennsylvania Democrats. “I want their enthusiasm and energy, but I do want it harnessed. I am not interested in anarchy.”
Groen admitted that this has influenced him to show support for another in the running Tom Perez, Obama’s former labor secretary, instead.
“Let’s say you were completely uncommitted,” said Groen. “You don’t want 300 people calling you and telling you what to do.”
Perez claimed to have the support of 180 DNC members so far. He will need 224 to win.
It looks as though, Perez and Ellison are the two front runners. But, it has gotten heated between the two. Ellison suggested that Perez’s claim about the number of DNC supporters he has is bogus.
Some of Ellison’s following are made up of the same progressives who lobbied forcefully against Hillary Clinton’s campaign. This was after former chairwomen Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was exposed of attempting to diminish Bernie Sanders’ chance at the nomination.
“Now many of the same progressives are backing Mr. Ellison in the chairman’s race, including #Bernie2020, and they’ve circulated the names, email addresses and phone numbers of DNC members, and urged activists to tell them to elect Mr. Ellison,” writes The Washington Times.
It looks as though Ellison’s supporters have been dwelling on the past.
“I don’t think a person has approached me who was a super pro-Hillary person who said you would have to vote for Tom,” said David O’Brien, a DNC member. “On the flip side, a whole lot of people have approached me who said Bernie was wronged; Keith was abused in the press. Help us out here.”
O’Brien argues that just because Schultz has proven to be corrupt, this doesn’t mean the whole DNC is.
“Debbie was wrong, and Debbie deserved to go, but don’t get mad at anybody with a DNC title next to them,” said O’Brien. “I felt wronged too.”
Pro-Ellison’s activists are channeling their anger for the DNC with rowdy tactics. They even crashed the Woman’s National Democratic Club forum Wednesday, where Perez was interrupted with messages like “DEMS: #RESIST TRUMP OR BE REPLACED.”
Ellison, who has alleged ties to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, has other political leaders backing him, including Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer.
New Hampshire Democratic State Party Chairman Ray Buckley announced he would be pulling out of the race Saturday and then endorsed Ellison.
“From the moment I stepped into this race, I made it clear that the top two priorities of the next DNC chair must be to strengthen state parties and reform the DNC,” said Buckley in a statement. “Now, many candidates have spoken about these issues, but Keith’s commitment to the states and a transparent and accountable DNC has stood out.”
This means it’s really between Perez and Ellison. Perez also has the support of former Vice President Joe Biden and four other governors.
CNN will be a hosting a debate featuring several of the candidates Wednesday and the DNC leadership election is on February 25.