by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The ideological fight for the soul and future direction of the Democratic Party is about to boil over. A commission created in the aftermath of Democrats’ 2016 presidential primary is meeting in December for the last time to make reform recommendations. This meeting is going to be a doozy.
Debate over how to reform the Democratic National Committee and the presidential primary process pits Hillary Clinton loyalists against the Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wing. How the DNC handles their contending views about how the party should be run promises to be a painful moment of truth.
The reforms being weighed by the commission may have little effect on the midterm elections a year from now, but they will be critical two years later, in 2020, and will determine whether the two main factions within the party continue to claw at each other when they should be uniting against Republicans.
Among the reforms being floated by members of the commission, four big ones stand out and are at the center of debate.
Reduce the power of superdelegates
Sanders and his camp were outraged by the weight of so-called “superdelegates” during the primary process and decried the fact that they gave Clinton a sizable, nearly insurmountable, lead. …
… Open up all primaries
Reformers are proposing allowing independents to vote in Democratic primaries, encouraging the participation of voters new to the party. …
… Open up all caucuses …
… Budget transparency
DNC members have no access to the budget and don’t know where the money flowing in and out of the party committee’s coffers is going. There’s discussion among commission members to make it so at least those on the DNC’s executive board have access to the party’s finances — especially on line items more than $100,000.