Kennedy Campaign Questions DNC on Voter Rights
WASHINGTON, DC—SEPT. 8, 2023—The presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has contacted the DNC in advance of its Sept. 14 meeting in Washington, DC. The campaign is asking the DNC to clarify its position on ensuring that every voter registered in a Democratic Primary has their vote counted in the 2024 Primary Election. The campaign also requests a clear statement on whether the candidate chosen by a majority of Democratic primary voters will be the Party’s nominee for President of the United States.
In two letters sent this week to DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, Kennedy Campaign Manager Dennis J. Kucinich, former eight-term Democratic Congressman and presidential candidate, requested a meeting between Kennedy and Harrison to discuss voter rights and protection of the people’s voice.
“The DNC consults closely with Julie Chávez-Rodríguez, Manager of Joe Biden's campaign. Given that, and the DNC’s commitment to neutrality in the primary process, we anticipate that Mr. Harrison will agree to the meeting," Kucinich said.
Kucinich noted that Article V Section 4 of the DNC Charter states: “In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the presidential nomination process, the chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the presidential candidates and campaigns.”
The DNC's proposed reordering of state primaries to penalize states that did not vote for Joe Biden in 2020 would discount the votes of millions of Americans and limit the ballot access of millions more to mail-in voting only.
States at risk of such disenfranchisement include New Hampshire, where Biden came in last in 2020, receiving zero delegates; Iowa, where Biden came in 4th in 2020; and Georgia, one of the most diverse states in the country.
Beyond the direct discounting of votes from some states, Kennedy plans to question the DNC’s creation of a new class of superdelegates empowered to overturn the vote of the people and hand the nomination to the favored candidate of the party elites.
The DNC’s Charter observes that “a party which asks for the people's trust must prove that it trusts the people.”
In accordance with this principle, the Presidential Primary process was reformed in 2016 to remove superdelegates from the first round of voting and ensure that party elites did not change the outcome of the people's vote.
“Unfortunately, it appears that the DNC has created a class of pledged delegates, called Party Leaders and Elected Officials (PLEOs), who are essentially the same as superdelegates, due to the amount of control the party exercises over elected officials,” Kucinich said.
“This puts the DNC, once again, in the position of overturning the will of voters across the United States. It is unclear how overturning the nation’s majority vote could be interpreted as trusting the people.”
Beyond these issues of voting equality, access, and integrity, Kennedy has also voiced concern about the DNC's refusal to host debates between the Democratic candidates, depriving voters of the ability to make an informed choice about the nation’s future.
Here’s Kucinich's full letter to DNC Chair Jaime Harrison:
Dear Mr. Harrison,
I noted with great interest the appearance of President Biden's campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez at the Rules and By-Laws Committee meeting of July 28, 2023.
I am respectfully requesting the same privilege to address the committee and answer any questions or concerns that they may have related to the candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
This campaign is requesting full transparency in all matters relating to the nomination process and delegate selection operations.
Additionally, Mr. Kennedy and I are requesting a private conference at your earliest convenience in-person to ensure that we have a good working relationship with the leadership of the party in a fair transparent process which promotes our shared values as Democrats.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. We would like to participate in the September 14, 2023 meeting of the committee and make ourselves available to meet in conference before that time.
Campaign Manager, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for President
# # #