The Democratic National Committee is struggling to recover following the unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton and the embarrassing hacking scandal that forced Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down from her position as DNC Chair.
The woman they chose as interim DNC Chair – Donna Brazile – was then caught giving Hillary Clinton early access to debate questions.
In February, the DNC elected Tom Perez in hopes that he could steer the party in a new direction. Shortly after his election, all DNC staff members were asked to submit resignation letters dated April 15th.
Such overhaul is not uncommon when the DNC gets a new boss, and obtaining the letters will make it easier to decide which employees to keep and which to let go.
“The mass resignation letters will give Perez a chance to completely remake the DNC’s headquarters from scratch,” reports NBC News.
“A committee advising Perez on his transition is now interviewing staff and others as part of a top-to-bottom review process to decide not only who will stay and who will go, but how the party should be structured in the future.”
Perez has a long road ahead of him. In the years that follow, Democrats will depend on him to rebuild the party, lead them in the fight against Donald Trump, and take advantage the nation’s growing progressive activism – all while replenishing the party’s depleted coffers.
“I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” said California Governor Jerry Brown. “I was the Democratic Party chairman in California – it’s a miserable job.”
The DNC “needs a top-down overhaul,” insists Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. “Instead of becoming dependent and being dependent on big money interests for campaign contributions, it has got to become a grassroots party,” he said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Sanders says that in terms of “how it does business,” the Democratic Party has failed. “The evidence is obvious. It’s not just that we’ve lost the White House and the US Senate and the US House. We’ve lost 900 legislative seats in the last eight or nine years.”
Perez says he’s in “active listening mode,” taking advice from Washington Democrats and holding meetings with others across the country before he starts making decisions. “What we’re trying to do is culture change,” he said. “We’re repairing a plane at 20,000 feet. You can’t land the plane, shut it down, and close it until further notice.”
Also to be determined is the role Keith Ellison will play. Ellison, with support from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, ran against Perez for the position of DNC Chair.
Perez named Ellison “deputy chair” minutes after winning the election and has involved him in many public events thus far.