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Published On: Mon, Feb 27th, 2017

Tom Perez to chair DNC, progressives call for more socialism, Bernie Sanders wants ‘total transformation’ of Democratic Party

The battle for the chair of the Democratic National Committee came to an end in Atlanta when former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was elected to the position, beating out Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison in a race between the Obama-era establishment and the progressive/socialist wing of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Ellison, who was backed by Sanders, pleaded with his supporters to “give everything you’ve got to support Chairman Perez.” Some Ellison backers in the room, wearing the candidate’s green T-shirts and upset by the vote, chanted in protest.

“After nearly a decade as a powerful federal bureaucrat, Tom Perez will finally be able to be out in the open about using the law to help Democrats,” Christian Adams, a former career Department of Justice lawyer who worked for Perez and now runs the conservative Public Interest Legal Foundation, told National Review. “At Justice, he used the law to help Democrats win elections. Now he can finally be honest about his agenda.”

photo donkeyhotey

Sanders urged Democrats on Sunday to undertake an overhaul of the party’s message: “We need a total transformation.”

“We need to open up the party to working people, to young people and make it crystal clear that the Democratic Party is going to take on Wall Street, it’s going to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, it’s going to take on corporate America that is shutting down plants in this country and moving our jobs abroad,” he added during his appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.

Nina Turner, a prominent Sanders-turned-Ellison surrogate, told The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel that if Ellison lost, “the future of the Democratic Party will walk away.”

“…the Democratic Party issued a stunning rebuke of its base by picking establishment-enthusiast Tom Perez to lead the DNC over a progressive candidate endorsed by Bernie Sanders,” the Draft Bernie for a People’s Party said in a statement. “The Democratic Party has now made it perfectly clear that it will not be the vehicle for the political revolution that Sanders ignited last year.”

“There is no future for progressives in the Democratic Party,” the statement read, calling for a revolt.

“It’s time for progressives to declare that our commitment to the political revolution and the struggling people across this country is greater than our commitment to the Democratic Party. We call on progressives nationwide to join with Draft Bernie and recruit Sanders to launch a new people’s party, where we can finish what we started on his presidential campaign.”

“The DNC is out of touch with the American public and their needs. Democratic leaders were at a crossroads and today they chose to continue the failed Clinton strategy of prioritizing wealthy donors over the activist base,” said Friends of the Earth Action President Erich Pica in a similar statement.

Pica added: “Friends of the Earth Action will continue to advance a strong progressive agenda and hold both parties accountable to it. In the meantime, those of us committed to resisting Trump and his extreme agenda will continue to look outside the Democratic Party for leadership.”

Perez, the first Latino to hold the position, has vowed to reunite the party and bolster Democratic campaigns for both local and national races across the country.

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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