Campaign’s Attorneys Send Formal Letter Threatening Convention Disruption
Rachel Maddow Friday night broke news that attorneys for the Bernie Sanders for President Campaign have just sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee formally demanding the disqualification of two Democratic Party platform committee chairs: former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Maddow (video above, starting at the 5:30 mark) notes that DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave Bernie Sanders a “big concession” by allowing him to choose one-third of the members of the Democratic Platform Committee when the rules state the DNC Chair gets to choose them.
She then shows the letter from Sanders’ lawyers, and says, “the Sanders campaign is lodging a formal credentials challenge against the chair of the platform committee and the chair of the rules committee.”
The letter calls Rep. Frank and Gov. Malloy “self-proclaimed partisans intent on marginalizing” Sanders Campaign supporters.
She adds, “the Sanders Campaign then ends this letter with a threat. If the Committee doesn’t kick Gov. Malloy and Barney Frank out of those leadership positions the Sanders campaign will essentially grind the process of the convention to a halt.”
“They will gum up the works so nothing happens.”
What Maddow doesn’t clearly state is the reason the Sanders Campaign is requesting Frank and Malloy be disqualified is that they have been critical of Bernie Sanders. She also does not note that Sanders appointed Cornel West to the committee, and he has repeatedly been highly critical of Hillary Clinton.
Daily Kos excerpted these sections of the letter:
Mr. Frankâ€™s animosity toward Senator Sanders dates back decades. In 1991, while serving alongside Senator Sanders on the House Financial Service Committee, Mr. Frank accused Senator Sanders of â€œunduly denigrat[ing] the institution and a lot of the membersâ€ of Congress. After Senator Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primaries [sic] in February, Mr. Frank wrote an opinion piece in which he professed his â€œresentmentâ€ toward the Senator. And Mr. Frankâ€™s invective against Senator Sanders has only intensified as Senator Sanders has notched additional primary victories.Â
Governor Malloy has unfairly ascribed blame for national gun control laws single-handedly to Senator Sanders, referring to the three-day wait provision of the Brady Bill as the â€œCharleston-Sanders loophole.â€ Malloy has even ventured that Senator Sanders should be â€œheld accountableâ€ for the â€œdeath and destructionâ€ cause [sic] by his â€œmistakes.â€
On Twitter, many were displeased with the Sanders Campaign action:
So Sanders is using lawyers to try to oust progressive Democrats Dan Molloy and Barney Frank from their convention roles. Good times
â€” Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) May 28, 2016
Sanders backstabs the gay community again. https://t.co/xusSGadgw1
â€” John Aravosis (@aravosis) May 28, 2016
â€” Bonnie Engelstein (@mercurygirl7) May 28, 2016
We put Cornel freaking West on the platform committee, and Bernie Sanders has a problem with gay hero Barney Frank?
â€” John Aravosis (@aravosis) May 28, 2016
sanders camp is dragging malloy and frank for partisanship but nominated cornel west to the committee?? please https://t.co/ZLpqq97wiR
â€” geeta (@kinkshamebatman) May 28, 2016
My response to Sanders’ campaign trying to remove Barney Frank and Gov. Dan Malloy. You’re all talk and no action! pic.twitter.com/Knj1W7Gt1Q
â€” Nick Crosbyâ„¢ (@nick2crosby) May 28, 2016
It’s the DEMOCRATIC National Convention, not the Sanders Convention. Are you suggesting Malloy & Frank aren’t good Dems, @BernieSanders? ðŸ™„
â€” LyndaIBelieveWoolard (@LyndaWoolard) May 28, 2016
Wow, this letter from the Sanders campaign seeking to remove Frank & Malloy is Trump-level thin-skinned. https://t.co/4anNxVg8iT
â€” TC (@tchop__StL) May 28, 2016
Â Maddow posted the letter to MSNBC’s website, we’re posting it below, with a few added highlights in red:
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‘I Dare You to Deny Me Communion’: 60 Democrats Blast Bishops for Move to Punish Biden by ‘Weaponizing’ Eucharist
They were warned.
Before their three-day meeting that culminated Friday with a vote to move toward denying America’s second Catholic President, Joe Biden, communion over his stance of supporting a woman’s right to choose an abortion, the Vatican told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to not politicize communion or other sacraments.
They did it anyway, and now powerful Democrats – and many others – are furious.
“Next time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion,” U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat of California, and a Catholic, with a massive 1.6 million followers on Twitter, threatened the Bishops.
His comments were in response to Friday’s news of the USCCB’s politically-motivated decision, and in response to SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile, who asked if other Catholics will be denied communion over their “sins.” Signorile pointed to Newt Gingrich, whose history includes adultery, divorce, and re-marriage. Gingrich’s wife was President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the Vatican.
Dear @USCCB: I’m Catholic and I support:
-A woman’s right to choose
-Treatments for infertility
-The right for people to get a divorce
-The right of same sex marriage
Next time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion. https://t.co/bUmiyJ8TtH
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 18, 2021
Another California Democrat, Rep. Jared Huffman, suggested the church should lose its tax-exempt status.
If they're going to politically weaponize religion by "rebuking" Democrats who support women's reproductive choice, then a "rebuke" of their tax-exempt status may be in order. https://t.co/P6TGVCOMYp
— Rep. Jared Huffman (@JaredHuffman) June 18, 2021
Lieu and Huffman were far from the only Democratic lawmakers to speak out against the USCCB’s move toward denying communion to politicians who support abortion rights.
“We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties and best serve our constituents,” 60 House Democrats said in a three-page “Statement of Principles” letter released Friday afternoon.
“The Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of abortion is contradictory.”
And they carefully noted the hypocrisy of the Bishops, who have never even suggested denying communion to Republican lawmakers who support the death penalty or engage if the separation of families at the border and caging of children.
“No elected officials have been threatened with being denied the Eucharist as they support and have supported policies contrary to the Church teachings, including supporting the death penalty, separating migrant children from their parents, denying asylum to those seeking safety in the United States, and denying rights and dignity to immigrants.”
Some other prominent House Democrats who signed on to the letter include Cheri Bustos, Joaquin Castro, Gerry Connolly, Rosa DeLauro, Debbie Dingell, Ruben Gallego, Marie Newman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jackie Speier.
US Catholic Bishops Move Toward Denying Biden Communion in Political Decision Violating Vatican Direction
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly voted on Friday to move toward chastising President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, for his policies supporting and defending a woman’s right to choose an abortion. It is the first official step toward denying the U.S. President communion. Biden personally opposes abortion but believes it should be a safe, protected, and legal right, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.
The Bishops voted 168-55 to create a “teaching document,” as NBC News reports, to serve as a “rebuke” of Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion. The Roman Catholic Church opposes the move.
“The Vatican has warned conservative American bishops to hit the brakes on their push to deny communion to politicians supportive of abortion rights — including President Biden, a faithful churchgoer and the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office in 60 years,” The New York Times reported Monday, suggesting the U.S. Bishops’ move is just as much a political gesture as a religious rebuke.
“Some leading bishops, whose priorities clearly aligned with former President Donald J. Trump, now want to reassert the centrality of opposition to abortion in the Catholic faith and lay down a hard line — especially with a liberal Catholic in the Oval Office.”
The Times reports the push to go after President Biden is being led by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles (photo), the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“The focus of this proposed teaching document,” Archbishop Gomez wrote in a memo, “is on how best to help people to understand the beauty and the mystery of the Eucharist as the center of their Christian lives.”
But the Times noted the Vatican does not want “to use access to the Eucharist as a political weapon,” Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit priest and close ally of Francis, said.
Conservative American bishops were demanding “a strong rebuke of Biden,” NBC notes, “because of his recent actions protecting and expanding abortion access, while opponents warned that such action would portray the bishops as a partisan force during a time of bitter political divisions across the country.”
Watch: ‘Traitor’ Pence Heckled and Booed by Pro-Trump Christian ‘Faith & Freedom’ Conference Attendees
The conservative Christian Faith & Freedom “Road to Majority” conference erupted early Friday afternoon as pro-Trump attendees heckled and booed likely 2024 presidential hopeful Mike Pence, calling the former vice president a “traitor” for refusing to overturn a free and fair election on January 6.
Pence tried to ignore the verbal assaults, speaking over protestors. Some were escorted out of the room, according to a Tampa Bay Times editor:
He’s now being shouted down with boos and yells of “traitor” as he speaks. People are being escorted out. https://t.co/PXWsfskgCv
— Steve Contorno (@scontorno) June 18, 2021
Watch as Pence gets heckled. Video via Forbes‘ Andrew Solender:
Pence gets drowned out by hecklers at the Faith & Freedom Coalition summit, some of whom appear to be chanting “traitor!” pic.twitter.com/pAQxavsK3O
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 18, 2021
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