Any donor to Sanders campaign may join the suit. Email here to do it: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Served With Class Action Lawsuit
On June 28, the Miami-based law firm Beck & Lee filed a class action lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“There are essentially six legal claims we are asserting in this lawsuit on behalf of the composed class members,” said attorney Jared Beck in a YouTube video announcing the lawsuit. “The first is a claim for fraud—against the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz—based on the revelations from the recent Guccifer 2.0 documents purportedly taken from the DNC’s own computer network.” The Guccifer 2.0 documents include internal memos in which the DNC broke legally binding neutrality agreements in the Democratic primaries by strategizing to make Hillary Clinton the nominee before a single vote was cast.
The second claim filed is for negligent misrepresentation, a legal theory based on the first claim of fraud. The third claim alleges the DNC and Wasserman Schultz participated in deceptive conduct in claiming the DNC was neutral during the Democratic primaries, when there is overwhelming evidence suggesting favoritism of Clinton from the beginning. The fourth claim of the lawsuit seeks retribution of any monetary donations the DNC to Bernie Sanders‘ campaign. The fifth claim alleges the DNC broke its fiduciary duties during the Democratic primaries to members of the Democratic Party by not holding a fair election process. The sixth claim is for negligence on behalf of the DNC—for not protecting donor information—as hackers broke into the DNC networks, potentially compromising their personal information.
“This lawsuit is our effort as attorneys to give a voice, in the political system, to all those who have been defrauded by the conduct of the DNC in supporting and promoting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in violation of its own charter which requires it to be neutral,” added attorney Jeff Beck. The class of representatives in the class action lawsuit is currently in the thousands and continuing to grow, as any donor to Bernie Sanders’ campaign eligible to join. The Beck & Lee Law Firm has set up a Facebook Page with updates on the progress of the lawsuit.
Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Primaries in large part due to the manufactured public consent within the Democratic Party that she would be the presidential nominee before the primaries even started. Prior to the first state to hold an election in the primaries, over 400 super delegates formally supported Clinton. Clinton’s 2008 Campaign co-chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, did everything she could behind closed doors to ensure the 2016 primaries were not democratic, but rather a coronation for Clinton.
“It is clearly the case that, when given truth serum, Debbie Wasserman Schultz vastly prefers Hillary Clinton to be the nominee—obviously—and to the extent that there are things that can be done institutionally and marginally to facilitate that outcome, they are being done,” said MSNBC host Chris Hayes this past May.
Such favoritism for Clinton has extended throughout the Democratic Establishment. DNC vice chair Donna Brazile even foreshadowed the rigging in 2013, revealing in an interview with ABC News, “if Hillary Clinton gets in the race, there will be a coronation of her.”
The DNC’s overtly fraudulent conduct and disregard for democracy has incited calls for Wasserman Schultz to resign, but the reforms and consequences for their transgressions don’t start and stop there. Had the DNC not colluded with theClinton Campaign to shield her from exposure, Clinton’s fate would have likely been similar to that of Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who fell from grace in a broad pool after once being presumed to come out on top as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.
Beyond Bernie Sanders, who was initially viewed as a non-threatening fringe candidate, the field was cleared to ensureClinton could coast through the primaries. The DNC also rescinded a ban on donations from lobbyists and super-PACS—first enacted by Barack Obama in 2008—by organizing a joint fundraising committee with the Clinton campaign called theHillary Victory Fund. According to a report by Politico in April 2016, the Hillary Victory Fund laundered money to the Clinton campaign under the pretense of funding down-ticket Democrats.
Hillary Clinton was never elected the Democratic presidential nominee, but was touted by the Democratic Party, who said it was her turn for the presidency—rather than leaving the decision to voters. Beck & Lee’s lawsuit the first of many consequences the Democratic Party will face for manipulating millions of voters.
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My neighbor K lost his job at age 62, and, with it, his family’s health insurance. Between his wife’s freelancing, his severance and savings, K’s family has kept up with the mortgage, and a scholarship helps their older daughter stay in college. But losing health insurance proved devastating. Like many older Americans, K faces significant medical expenses: he has diabetes, and his wife and one of their two children have other chronic conditions. These facts make it even harder for K to find a new job: companies hesitate to hire older workers whose health status may burden employer-provided health-insurance plans.
Our social insurance system offers surprisingly little to K and to millions like him (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 1.132 million people over 55 are currently unemployed). Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) statute, he can buy his current health insurance coverage, but, without the contribution from his former employer, this is prohibitively expensive. Medicaid is available for the poor but his assets and his
spouse’s income make them ineligible. K can buy insurance through the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange, but this, too, is exorbitantly expensive, since the ACA allows insurers to charge premiums nearly three times as high for people of his age than for younger enrollees.
K’s unfortunate situation is increasingly common. Thanks to the ACA, the proportion of Americans without health insurance has fallen sharply since 2010, but there has been a smaller decline for those over age 55; the share without insurance remains higher for that demographic than in 1984. Declining health insurance reflects declining employment among older Americans—and the rising cost of paying for health insurance for older workers contributes to their declining employment.
The irony is that there is a simple solution to K’s problem, one that would not only help my neighbor but would lower health care costs throughout our economy: Medicare. While currently available only as a public insurance program for those over 65 and the disabled, we could easily open Medicare up for general enrollment by allowing K and others older than 50 to buy into the program.
Medicare is already America’s most efficient and cost-effective health insurance.
President Obama campaigned in 2008 to allow the general public to buy insurance through Medicare and such a proposal passed the House and was supported by a majority of the Senate in 2009. The so-called “Public Option,” was dropped from the Affordable Care Act to win the vote of one crucial senator, Joseph Lieberman (nominally of Connecticut but also known as the “senator from Aetna”). But for Lieberman, K and his family, and millions like him, would now have affordable insurance.
While currently available only as a public insurance program for people over 65 and the disabled, we could easily open Medicare up for general enrollment. Medicare is already America’s most efficient and cost-effective health insurance. It has a lower administrative burden, it processes bills at a fraction of the cost of private insurance and it incurs many fewer other administrative expenses. And Medicare can reimburse providers at lower rates because it imposes fewer billing and insurance-related expenses on them; it is cheaper for providers to bill Medicare than private insurance because the program is a larger system with a single billing system and it imposes fewer cumbersome utilization reviews. Finally, Medicare also uses its bargaining power to drive down monopoly prices for hospital and other services. Shifting people from private insurance to Medicare lowers overall health care spending because it increases the efficiency of our entire economy; we are better off as a country when more people join Medicare.
Because Medicare is already much more efficient than private insurance, it could charge my neighbor a premium at which Medicare would neither make a profit nor lose money, that would allow K to buy into the program for less than any private insurer would charge. Not only would K benefit, but so would others on Medicare, and so would those on private insurance. Medicare will become even more efficient because increasing enrollment will lower average costs for those in the program already by giving the program even greater scale economies and bargaining power. For those buying private insurance, removing older subscribers from the insurance pool will actually lower average costs, allowing lower premiums for those who remain. And everyone benefits from a program that makes skilled older workers like my neighbor more employable. We would all gain if he could return to the workforce and contribute to our economy—and pay taxes.
Gerald Friedman is a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.