Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

Those Emails

If you hadn't heard: A group that was almost certainly Russian military intelligence stole almost 20,000 emails from the DNC and Wikileaks published them on Saturday. Personally, I doubt that there's anything in them, but---

---what's that?---

---they're literally the smoking gun of a plot to steal the nomination for Hillary Cl---

---no, no, I'm certain that they're not---


---okay, okay, I'll take a look and see what's there. Here we go.

attention conservation notice: This post is long. Like, 7000 words long. If you just want to skip to the executive summary at the end, I won't blame you. There, I go over the material that I cover below with convenient links back to the relevant section, if at any point you want to go back and check against source.


Before we do this, I want you to ask yourself what you expect to find in the emails. Obviously you clicked this link because you expected to say something bad. I expected them to show bad things happening. Some of the bad things that I expected were there, some weren't, and there were some bad things that I hadn't expected.

But, just as an exercise, write down a list of things that you expect to find in the very worst of those 20,000 emails. Hard evidence of primary-rigging? Wink-wink references to "Plan H"? Gleeful gloating at Bernie's downfall? PG-13 language? Plots about new ways to insult Donald Trump?

We'll check back in at the end to compare your predictions to reality.


I don't have time to read all 20,000 emails, so I asked the Facebook hivemind for a summary, the more partisan the better, that cited its sources. One friend delivered with an post from ZeroHedge titled "Leaked DNC Emails Confirm Democrats Rigged Primary, Reveal Extensive Media Collusion". Conveniently, it links each claim to an email that puts it in context. The author claims:

There are three key findings to emerge from yesterday's dump of leaked DNC emails released by Wikileaks:

  • There had been a plot designed to smear Bernie Sanders and to hand the Democratic nomination to Hillary on a silver platter
  • There has been repeated collusion between the DNC and the media
  • There has been questionable fundraising for both Hillary Clinton and the DNC

Whether these allegations are true or not, it's apparent that they're not fans of Secretary Clinton. If there's good dirt in these emails, I expect they'll have dug it up. Maybe there's stuff that they haven't found, but for now, I'll focus on what ZeroHedge decides is most damning, and trust that they're not pulling their punches out of a secret, deep-seated fondness for Hillary.

Before I dig into any of these, I commit to reviewing the twelve allegations which they link to specific emails. I won't chase down every stray quotation they cherry-pick or broad claim they make, but the things which can be easily checked, I'll check. If you think that this method is irredeemably biased, I suggest you get off this train right now, because there's a lot of emails ahead of us.


After reading every email linked from that ZeroHedge post, I feel that they mostly fall into four categories:

  • Inappropriate tone.
  • Flippant replies.
  • Non-issues.
  • Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad stuff.

Instead of explaining what I mean, I'll just let the emails do the talking. But those are the categories that we're going to go through.


Inappropriate tone

From: Nevada Dems Press

Subject: Reid & Sanders Statements on NV Dems State Convention

Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement after Senator Bernie Sanders called for a respectful and constructive Nevada State Democratic Party Convention on Saturday. Senator Sanders’ statement is below Senator Reid’s:

I talked to my friend Senator Sanders today. I so admire him for what he has done during his campaign to move our country forward. We share the goal of ensuring Donald Trump never steps foot in the Oval Office and Democrats make gains up and down the ballot in November. I hope Senator Sanders’ supporters heed his call for an orderly and respectful Nevada State Democratic Party Convention. The success of Nevada Democrats up and down the ballot in November depends on it.

Senator Sanders’ statement:

I want to thank my supporters in Nevada. Together, we are creating transformational change in America through honest and dignified discussion of the issues facing our citizens. We share a commitment to electing progressive Democrats up-and-down the ballot in Nevada and across the country and are committed to soundly defeating Donald Trump and the right-wing Republican agenda. Working together respectfully and constructively on Saturday at the Nevada Democratic convention will move us closer to those essential goals.

From: Walter Garcia

FYI, asked the NV Dems Comms Director for a read-out of how the Convention is going, and he passed this message along:

The passing of the rules and initial credentials report was extremely contentious this morning as expected, but things have chilled out now. We have the Sanders folks admitting that they lost fair and square, not because we "rigged" anything. Clinton likely to win the state convention with a slim margin and we'll send a release with final delegate numbers.

ZeroHedge, how do you want to spin this one?

Another email shows similar 'us and them' language being directed at Sanders supporters. “We have the Sanders folks admitting that they lost fair and square, not because we 'rigged' anything,” the email said. “Clinton likely to win the state convention with a slim margin and we'll send a release with final delegate numbers.”

Well, (1) the relevant text comes from the Nevada Dem Communication Director and (2) I just don't see the 'us an them' here. How was the Nevada Comms Director supposed to inform the national party office that allegations of rigging (which were loud, and of serious concern to the party on the national level) have died down?

From: Eric Walker

Subject: Problem brewing in Rhode Island

New report shows RI gov’t opening only a fraction of polling locations:

Bernie leads Hillary by 4 in the latest poll:

If she outperforms this polling, the Bernie camp will go nuts and allege misconduct. They’ll probably complain regardless, actually. We might want to get out in front of this one with an inquiry to the RI Gov, even though she’s one of ours.

From: Shu-Yen Wei

Yeah, Spicer was tweeting on this, equating it with AZ

From: Shu-Yen Wei

Tim Robbins tweeted this out earlier (his twitter feed is pretty anti-HRC) https://twitter.com/TimRobbins1/status/724618825824608258

[rry: above tweet has been deleted]

From: Patrice Taylor

The other thing to flag on this is that the Sec of State Nellie Gorbea one was of the Chair's appointments to the Platform Committee. She serves in a leadership role as a Vice Chair.

From: Erin Wilson

We've got a pretty close relationship with Nellie. Eric, what are you suggesting by way of an inquiry?

From: P. Wiley

Adding Lindsay

The issue? "[O]ne staffer took a contemptuous tone of Sanders’ supporters... 'If she outperforms this polling, the Bernie camp will go nuts and allege misconduct,' the staffer writes, 'They’ll probably complain regardless, actually.'"

Pardon me for just not getting worked up about it.


Flippant replies

In another email, [DNC Press Secretary Mark] Paustenbach informed her that Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said the candidate should continue to the convention, Wasserman Shultz said: “He is an ASS,” referring to Weaver.

Context, please?

From: Mark Paustenbach

Subject: Weaver: "I think we should go to the convention"


[rry: From the subject line, I suspect that the image was a screenshot of the following.]

RealClearPolitics | Sanders Campaign's Weaver: "We're Going To The Convention," Superdelegates Will Determine Nomination

On MSNBC tonight, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver shows MSNBC's Steve Kornacki where he sees Bernie Sander's path to victory in the Democratic primary. Weaver said even if Hillary Clinton secures the nomination through pledged and superdelegates the campaign would still challenge her at the convention.

"We're going to go to the convention. It is extremely unlikely either candidate will have the requisite number of pledged delegates to get [the nomination]. So it's going to be an election determined by the superdelegates," Weaver told MSNBC's Steve Kornacki during election night coverage.

Asked if instead of rallying the party he would spend the remaining months trying to flip superdelegates, Weaver said, "at this point, yes."

From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

He is an ASS.

To be honest, the moment when the Bernie campaign flipped from "superdelegates should be shamed into voting in line with the primary results" to "at this point, we're going to spend the remaining months trying to flip superdelegates away from the primary results" was the moment that I decided that their campaign manager was an ass, too.

From: Mark Paustenbach

Subject: Politico - Sanders: Democratic Party hasn't been fair to me

We're in this race to California, and we're proud of the campaign we ran.


From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.

On the one hand, who spit in her Wheaties? On the other hand: Bernie Sanders has been for months.

And on the other hand, is it too soon to bring up the point that Bernie left the Democratic Party literally the day after he was not nominated for the presidential race? Yeah, Debbie's being a bit snarky here, but it's not entirely unwarranted.

From: Steve Paikowsky

Subject: CNN: Sanders: If I'm elected, DNC leader would be out

Bernie Sanders tells CNN's Jake Tapper that if he is elected president, Debbie Wasserman Schultz would not be reappointed as DNC chairwoman. Read the full story

Shared from Apple News

From: Luis Miranda

Do you all think it's worth highlighting for CNN that her term ends the day after the inauguration when a new DNC Chair is elected anyway?

From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

This is a silly story. He isn't going to be president.

"This is a silly story," sneered DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, "He isn't going to be president." Rising from her sapphire throne, she began to chant in an ancient, eldritch language which seemed to scorch the air with the scent of unrestricted campaign funds...

Um. I mean. Yes, Wasserman Schultz seemed dismissive of Senator Sanders's chances of securing the nomination in that email. Meanwhile, also on May 21:

...a number of major news outlets were being far more dismissive than the DNC chairman.

From: Mark Paustenbach

Subject: Bernie Sanders’s Defiance Strains Ties With Top Democrats

Bernie Sanders’s Defiance Strains Ties With Top Democrats

New York Times


MAY 18, 2016

WASHINGTON — Senator Bernie Sanders’s relationship with the leadership of the Democratic Party and his colleagues on Capitol Hill was strained further on Wednesday as he and his campaign remained defiant over the way they say his success is being belittled and undermined by people in the party who are loyal to Hillary Clinton.

Whatever tolerance Democrats have for Mr. Sanders’s continuing his increasingly long-shot presidential bid was quickly evaporating, with some of his closest allies in the party suggesting his efforts to rein in his most unruly supporters was half-hearted.

“Bernie and I have known each other for a long time,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader and one of Mr. Sanders’ best friends in the Senate. “And I believe he is better than this.”

Vice President Joe Biden also weighed in, saying that while Mr. Sanders is “a good guy,” he needed “to be more aggressive in speaking out.”

The dispute centered around the Democratic state convention in Nevada over the weekend in which Mr. Sanders was denied the delegates he thought he had earned, a development that infuriated his supporters there and led some to throw chairs and later threaten the state party chairwoman.

The Democratic Party of Nevada pushed back against the Sanders campaign’s criticism that the process wrongly deprived him of delegates, saying that “simple math” dictated the outcome and that Mr. Sanders was simply outnumbered. “Bernie Sanders’s campaign was not organized,” the party said in a statement, noting that nearly 500 of his seats at the convention were vacant because his supporters had failed to show up.

National party leaders, such as the Democratic National Committee chairwoman,Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have also criticized how Mr. Sanders has handled the unrest in Nevada, adding to the frustration within his campaign.

Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager took to cable news on Wednesday to assail the party and Ms. Schultz.

“The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, it is clear almost from the get-go she has been working against Bernie Sanders — there’s no doubt about it, for personal reasons,” Jeff Weaver, Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager, said of Ms. Wasserman Schultz on MSNBC. “She has been the divider and not really provided leadership that the Democratic Party needs,” Mr. Weaver added.

Nowhere has the strain in the Democratic Party been more evident lately than in Mr. Sanders’s relationship with Mr. Reid. Few members of the Senate are closer to Mr. Sanders than Mr. Reid, who had tried to head off any confrontation by speaking personally with Mr. Sanders on Friday to stress the importance of not letting the state convention devolve into a messy fight over a handful of delegates.

“If you want the two damn delegates, you can have them,” Mr. Reid told Mr. Sanders, according to someone with firsthand knowledge of the discussions between the two senators. Though Mr. Reid has endorsed Mrs. Clinton, he has said that he believes Mr. Sanders has earned a right to remain in the race.

After the convention went awry, Mr. Reid and Mr. Sanders spoke again on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Reid expressed dismay that Mr. Sanders’s supporters had acted so belligerently. A member of his own staff was at the convention and feared for her own safety, Mr. Reid said. He also said that the way Sanders supporters had been harassing Roberta Lange, the state party chairwoman — filling her voice mail with threatening, obscene messages and showing up at her Las Vegas restaurant in protest — was over the line.

Mr. Sanders said he agreed and believed that the violence should be condemned. But when he released his statement on Tuesday night, which made only a passing reference to the violence at the convention, a perplexed Mr. Reid told his staff that he thought the gesture was “silly” and beneath Mr. Sanders, according to the person who spoke with Mr. Reid.

The two senators have not spoken since.

Mr. Sanders appeared to be taken somewhat by surprise at the way the Nevada melee was being portrayed, and how negatively it was reflecting on his campaign...

From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Every time they get caught doing something wrong, they use the tactic of blaming me. Not working this time.

"Every time they get caught doing something wrong, they use the tactic of blaming me," she cackled, blue lightning dancing around her fingertips, "Not working this time."

What? That wasn't funny the first time? Well, it's clear that the DNC chair, rather predictably, felt that the Sanders campaign had often tried to blame her when things in the primary went wrong. She's obviously glad that in this case, the DNC was very clearly not at fault for the shitshow Nevada turned into for the Sanders campaign, and that the media narrative reflected that fact.




Another email released in the Friday leak indicates that the DNC was in close contact with news websites on articles related to the Democratic Party. A Real Clear Politics article said that Sanders supporters were causing a lack of unity at the Nevada Democratic Convention.

“This headline needs to be changed,” [DNC Chair Debbie] Wasserman Schultz wrote to [DNC Communications Director Luis] Miranda.

Email, please:

From: Kate Houghton

Subject: Chaos At Nevada Democratic Convention | RealClearPolitics

Chaos At Nevada Democratic Convention; DNC Leaders Flee Building As Sanders Supporters Demand Recount

From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

See below. Didn't we hear yesterday that the Sanders campaign had accepted the result?

This headline needs to be changed. This convention was not run by the DNC or DNC leaders. It was run by the Nevada Democratic Party.

From: Luis Miranda

We need to push back... Patrice, what happened, DNC had nothing to do with this, right?

From: Patrice Taylor

Yes, these events are indicted by the state parties. This sounds like internal issues amount sanders supporters.

From: Luis Miranda

Walter, please connect with Stewart and get him to push back. You should also push back that DNC had no involvement.

From: Walter Garcia

Done. Article has been updated.

Okay, in context "This headline needs to be changed." is actually an entirely reasonable thing for Wasserman Schultz to say about an article that claims "DNC Leaders Flee Building" about an event that the DNC leadership was not at.

ZeroHedge has it right that "[t]he DNC was in close contact with news websites on articles related to the Democratic Party", but really, wouldn't they be failing at their jobs if they weren't proactive about correcting false news stories?


A communication from late May laid out the pros and cons of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz accepting an invitation to CBS’s 'Face the Nation', and indicated that the DNC was plotting its moves based on what would be amenable to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign...

Sounds bad. Let's see:

From: Ryan Banfill


When: Around 10:40am EST, Sunday, May 22 (show starts at 10:30am EST)
Where: TCL in Davie (or can be remote from anywhere)
Format: Live
Who: YOU, Anchor/John Dickerson
Topic: State of the Race and NV Dem Convention
Staff: TBD
Contact: Jill Jackson, jacksonjk@cbsnews.com<javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','jacksonjk@cbsnews.com');>, (o) 202-997-4213<tel:202-997-4213>
Note: With the Egyptian Air plane crash, bookings are still very much up in the air.
DWS Approval:

From: Kate Houghton

They want you at 1030am which works for your flight schedule but may make you late to the Weston Dem Club. No a big deal but a flag.

From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Is Luis recommending I do this?

From: Ryan Banfill

+Tracie & Luis

Luis thinks it’s a good idea but wants to make sure Tracie is comfortable.

From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Sending again with Paikowsky. It's been about two years since I've been asked to be on FTN. What are the topics? Is the primary purpose to have me on to continue the back and forth over the NV convention? Or to get me to respond to Weaver's allegations? I'm happy to go on but only if it is a general discussion on the election, not primarily this controversy. Please let me know. Thanks. I would need to do this remotely from home.

From: Steven Paikowsky

My inclination is that the issue will be discussed with or without us...having Weaver without our side is far from advantageous. Let our team discuss and get back to you in a timely manner.

From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

That is my instinct as well. They will be out there. If I hide, their narrative will go unchallenged. I will pivot quickly but we have to be there.

From: Luis Miranda

Points to consider:

  • Reince did a full Ginsburg at his lowest point. That’s what draws attention.
  • We cancel on them now and things get all nice they, may not want us back till convention if at all.
  • We can’t be offended about any topic or question, it’s our job to be accountable, and it looks better if we answer and pivot, than just not show up at all.
  • The coverage has shifted significantly, it’s much better today (see NYT story and WaPo editorial). It’s clear that Bernie messed up and we were on the right side of history. We’re going to take hits, but Bernie defending the actions the way he’s done I think makes him look bad more than us.
  • Clinton campaign is a mess, they’re afraid of their own shadow and didn’t like that we engaged. I happen to think they’re wrong and it explains why they’re hobbling along unable to close it out. But they’ll be unhappy regardless, so better to get out there and do some strong pivots and land good punches on Trump. They can’t tell us NOT to do TV right now, we shouldn’t pull ourselves out until they actually do.
  • We just have to stress this isn’t DNC vs Bernie/Weaver, this is about the principle of non violence and we’re glad the Sanders camp finally separated that out. Now we need to go back to focus on …. X, y, z.
  • Florida considerations…defer to you.

From: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Let's take this offline. I basically agree with you. When you say "cancel", have you confirmed this?

From: Luis Miranda

No, we haven’t confirmed it. I meant decline.


  • The DNC laid out the pros and cons of Wasserman Schultz appearing on a Face the Nation interview.
  • The DNC communications director noted that "The coverage has shifted significantly... [i]t’s clear that Bernie messed up and we were on the right side of history.", which is true.
  • Again speaking about the Nevada controversy, the comms director speculates about how it's the DNC's job to turn this into an anti-Trump moment: "Clinton campaign is a mess, they’re afraid of their own shadow and didn’t like that we engaged... But they’ll be unhappy regardless, so better to get out there and do some strong pivots and land good punches on Trump. They can’t tell us NOT to do TV right now, we shouldn’t pull ourselves out until they actually do."
  • To this, Wasserman Schultz responds "Let’s take this offline. I basically agree with you."

Now, ZeroHedge, would you like to take the mic and say what I just said, except angrier?

A communication from late May laid out the pros and cons of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz accepting an invitation to CBS’s 'Face the Nation', and indicated that the DNC was plotting its moves based on what would be amenable to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“Clinton campaign is a mess, they’re afraid of their own shadow and didn’t like that we engaged,” DNC communications director Luis Miranda wrote. “But they’ll be unhappy regardless, so better to get out there and do some strong pivots and land good punches on Trump. They can’t tell us NOT to do TV right now, we shouldn’t pull ourselves out until they actually do.”

“It’s clear that Bernie messed up and that we’re on the right side of history,” Miranda wrote in another bullet point, referring to the Nevada convention.

“Let's take this offline,” Wasserman Schultz said in response. “I basically agree with you."

Great. How many more of these do we have?

An email from late April with the subject line "per agreement... any thoughts appreciated" shows that [Politico journalist Ken] Vogel sent an advanced copy of a story about Hillary Clinton’s fundraising to the DNC even before his editor even saw it.

Sounds bad, I guess? Let's see the email.

From: Ken Vogel (@ Politico)

Subject: per agreement ... any thoughts appreciated

In the days before Hillary Clinton launched an unprecedented big-money fundraising vehicle with state parties last summer, she vowed “to rebuild our party from the ground up,” because she proclaimed “when state parties are strong, we win.”

But less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by that effort has stayed in the state parties’ coffers, according to a POLITICO analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

The venture, the Hillary Victory Fund, is a so-called joint fundraising committee... [rry: Vogel's draft continues. It's not kind to Clinton.]

From: Mark Paustenbach

To: Luis Miranda

Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn't share it. Let me know if you see anything that's missing and I'll push back.

Oh? I'm certain that the DNC took this opportunity to pressure Politico into spinning the story in a favorable light. Back me up here, ZeroHedge...

The published version of the story did not appear to have any significant edits from and was not favorable to the Clinton campaign, though the sending of a full, advanced copy to the subject of a story is considered to be a violation of journalistic ethics.

Hm. Okay. Is there any particular reason why Vogel might have shared the story, in violation of journalistic ethics?

A source with familiar with the interaction between Politico and the DNC told RT America that the message was sent to officials to ensure accuracy in the story, and that it would have been difficult to ask for piecemeal clarifications due to its complexity. The “agreement,” in fact, referred to the DNC promising not to pass the story to a more favorable news outlet who might publish before Politco.

Why, again, am I bothering to write this post? ZeroHedge wrote it themselves.


Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad stuff

Yes, there is some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad stuff.

From: Brad Marshall

Subject: No shit

It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

Eesh. This, right here, is disgraceful. This is the sort of thing that Bernie supporters are right to be furious about.

Is there more of it? One incident is bad, and Marshall should resign. Evidence that this sort of thing came from other DNC officials as well would actually vindicate the outrage I'm seeing. What else is there?

I'm glad you asked, rhetorical self. Because here's the big one everyone is talking about:

From: Bridgette Gomez

Subject: Follow Up

Hey Luis and Marilyn, I wanted to flag this your way. Steve Lucero is building an m[obile]App that will have a storytelling component. You can see the attached document that has more details of his proposal. Clearly it’s something they want to do with the DNC and Campaigns/Nominee, but are beginning to do it on their own. They too are reaching out to Soros, Buffet, Steyer, and other funders.

Let me know if you want more information and around this. It’s their solution to reaching millennials.



From: Bridgette Gomez

Sorry forgot to attached the document. Attached now.

[rry: download link available under the "attachments" tab here]

The attached document, "Latino Vote 2016 + Beyond", from Steve Lucero, partner at San Diego Attorneys for Justice, excerpt:

Getting out the Latino Vote in 2016 and Beyond


The US Hispanic population and its influence have reached the tipping point. Specifically Hispanic Millennials are now larger than the current Baby Boomer demographic and growing. There is one shot to capture this demographic or lose the window of opportunity for generations:

  1. Hispanics are the most brand loyal consumers in the World: Known fact.
  • Hispanic brand loyalty is generational: Entire families.
  • Once a brand loses this loyalty, Hispanics never re-engage: Unforgiving.
  • If a brand earns this loyalty, Hispanics will always be loyal and influence family and extended family to be loyal: Long term relationship.
  • Hispanics are the most responsive to “story telling”: Brands need to “speak with us”.

Without a comprehensive brand strategy and plan, The DNC will lose the opportunity to acquire the Hispanic consumer.


  • To empower and inspire US Hispanics 18+ yrs of age to register & vote in the 2016 Presidential and Congressional elections
  • To develop a relationship with Hispanics based on trust and inclusion.
  • To increase the turnout of Hispanic voters from 48 % to 75% or more
  • To extend the success in 2016, own the Hispanic loyalty, and convert states like Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas to become reliably blue



In order for a dramatic and impactful GOTV and branding effort targeting the US Hispanic eligible voters, the solution must be focused on the US Hispanic Millennial. This effort will be successful if the brand marketing is based on issues and conversations versus direct politicking, polling, advertising and robo-calling. P2P now replaces Door-to-door, which obligates the 2016 effort to have a strong digital and interative/experiential execution.

To register Hispanic/Latino Millennial voters and motivate them to vote via an Omni-channel platform to include:

  1. Web
  • Mobile Messaging Platforms
  • Mobile Video Vehicles (automobile or other)
  • In person experiential events + voter registration


The language and sentiment is reprehensible. Whoever drafted this document should be fired before they have the chance to resign.

Unfortunately, it was written by Steve Lucero, who is not a DNC staffer, and, to quote Bridgette Gomez: "Clearly it’s something they want to do with the DNC and Campaigns/Nominee, but are beginning to do it on their own."

Actually, that should be 'fortunately', because it means the language didn't come from the DNC at all, but was mailed in from an outside party. Bridgette Gomez (the DNC's "Hispanic Outreach Lead") forwarded it to the Communications Director and Director of Community Engagement with an "I wanted to flag this your way."

She conspicuously failed to include in her email the sentence "Oh, and this language about 'brand loyalty' is really gross, natch." But is that a thing that she needed to do in a private conversation with two close co-workers when passing along a strategy document drawn up by an outside party for an independent advertising campaign? I don't see any way of reading this email that indicates that Gomez even approves of the plan, or indicates that she thinks it's anything but a word salad of marketing jargon. Maybe she should have explicitly denounced it as she forwarded it to her boss, but is it evidence of deeply systemic racism in the DNC that she did not?

I don't think so.

In any case, this is pro-Democrat stuff (see: building loyalty for generations), not anti-Bernie campaigning.

From: Karina Marquez

Subject: Host for POTUS in Miami

Hi there,

Can we vet the following folks to host POTUS in Miami please.

Robert Rubenstein - 100621684 (no spouse)

Hala Mnaymneh - 55343632

Sami Mnaymneh - 99673956

Jane Toll - 100762168

Robert Toll - 99817408

Thank you!

From: Karina Marquez

One more addition:

Lea Black - 95398880

Roy Black - 72082869

From: Laura Lopez


Roy Black has been submitted to potentially attend meetings with Messina - there isn't an event code yet. He and his wife co-hosted a fundraiser for POTUS in 2007, all the stories are new since then.


From: Brad Marshall

I am ok

From: Teal Baker

I say no, but think it's a question for Vet2.

From: Alan Reed

Hello everyone,

Teal asked that I send this to VC2 for your input. Let us know what you think. Thanks.

From: Rufus Gifford

The second two issues aren't a concern and the first one seems to be largely hearsay and unsubstantiated. I would say ok.

From: Julianna Smoot

I'm fine for just meetings with Messina.

From: Alan Reed


Finance would like approval for Roy Black to attend/photo/donate for one of the POTUS events in Miami. His wife Leah passes vet. I'm ok with him but defer to Bobby and others if there are objections.

From: Bobby Schmuck

Seems fine.

From: Kevin Snowden

Hello everyone,

We were also asked to vet the following for POTUS hosting. The only issue is Roy Black. New issues have come up since his last vet in February 2016.

Thanks, Kevin

Roy Black- NEW 2016: Black defended Jeffrey Epstein, who was prosecuted this year for multiple charges of sexual abuse against at least 34 underage girls between 1999 and 2007.

2015: Represent Justin Bieber after his 2014 DUI charge; Wild reputation, has defended unsavory characters (Rush Limbaugh, Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis), parties with flagged celebrities, accused of ethical violations by former US Attorney; Represented Alex Rodriguez in 2013 steroid case; unable to locate why he was let go by A-Rod

832 S Greenway Drive

Coral Gables, FL 33134

DOB: 2/1945


NOTES: Co-hosted a February 2007 Obama fundraiser at his home with wife Lea Black.

  • See Below


  • 2/12/2016; Passed 6OK; POTUS host
  • 5/14/2015; Passed 6OK; Revisiting for POTUS
  • 5/14/2015; Issue 6OK; ok per WH
  • 1/15/2014 - Issue 6OK; revisit for POTUS
  • 2/13/2012 - Issue 6OK; OK per VC for FL045, revisit for POTUS
  • 2/13/2012 - Issue 6OK; Bad News
  • 10/20/2008 - Pass 3OK


[rry: Omitted a long, itemized list of donations.]









NEW 2016:

  • Fred Grimm: Billionaire sex offender from Palm Beach enjoys a special kind of justice. Prosecutors meted out a special kind of justice for Jeffrey Epstein, larded with fawning obsequiousness, secret dealings and an astoundingly lenient sentence... The federal prosecutors -- who seemed cowed by Epstein's high powered attorneys, including Roy Black, Kenneth Starr and Alan Dershowitz -- worked out the secret plea deal without bothering to inform victims that their abuser would be spared federal charges... [full article text continues]


  • Justin Bieber Hires High-Powered Lawyer Roy Black in DUI Case: Justin Bieber is bringing in the big guns in a bid to beat his DUI charge. The singer, who was arrested in Miami early Thursday morning for DUI and drag-racing, has hired high-powered lawyer Roy Black to represent him... [full article text continues]
  • JEFFREY EPSTEIN ATTORNEY ROY BLACK DENIES ALLEGATIONS IN LETTER BY EX-U.S. ATTORNEY ALEXANDER ACOSTA Attorney Roy Black is disputing claims that he, and other attorneys representing Jeffrey Epstein, pried into federal prosecutors' personal lives in attempting to disqualify them from investigating the billionaire sex offender... [full article text continues]
  • A-Rod escalates war with Yankees; team responds with a challenge: "Embattled Yankee Alex Rodriguez escalated his war with team higher-ups via comments from his new New York lawyer suggesting the team purposely mistreated him medically... [full article text continues]


  • RUSH LIMBAUGH'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY, ROY BLACK, HOSTS FUNDRAISER FOR PATRICK MURPHY "Memo to Patrick Murphy: If you want to win street cred with the 99 percent, don't have Rush Limbaugh's lawyer host your fundraiser... [full article text continues]


From: Alan Reed

I lean no to hosting but could be ok with attending. He was vetted and passed to host an event on Feb. but I think that was for the event that were cancelled. Coincidentally, it was the same day the article came out. Bobby, Brad?

From: Bobby Schmuck

Agree - no hosting, fine to attend

This is not a good look for the DNC, sure. But let's be clear about what it is, and what it isn't.

Roy Black is a criminal defense lawyer whose clients include Alexander Rodriguez, Justin Bieber, and Jeffery Epstein. The lattermost is a convicted sex offender, and his legal team (three high-powered lawyers, including Black) got him an offensively light sentence for crimes including sexual abuse of children.

But Black is neither a sex offender nor an abuser of children. He is a lawyer, and getting bad people offensively light sentences is a thing that lawyers do in any nation beholden to the rule of law. He may have taken advantage of a corrupt legal system to secure favorable treatment for a reprehensible man to avoid punishment for reprehensible crimes. But those crimes are not his crimes, and that is a thing we have to believe if we're going to live in a legal system where the accused have a right to a full-throated criminal offense.

(I say this not to defend either Epstein or Black -- they've both done things wrong, the former immeasurably more so, but merely to make precise the extent and limit of Black's malfeasance.)

The matter put before the DNC vetting committee is, should such a man be allowed to attend fundraising events and donate money to a Democratic presidential campaign.

Should he?

Is it the DNC's place to refuse such people's money?

Maybe, sure. They decided that he wouldn't be allowed to host events, but maybe they should have gone further and decided that he wouldn't be allowed to donate, either.

And if so, then the DNC vetting committee messed up. Not in any partisan way (again, pro-Dem, not anti-Bernie), just in a bad-looking letting-dirty-money-into-politics way.

Oh, and this thing:

From: Christina Freundlich

Subject: Subject: Re: need comms approval - craigslist job post

Mark and Luis - digital created a fake craigslist jobs post for women who want to apply to jobs one of Trump's organizations. This will be a microsite and we still need to send it to Perkins. Since we will be pitching this, need your approval please.



Multiple Positions (NYC area) Seeking staff members for multiple positions in a large, New York-based corporation known for its real estate investments, fake universities, steaks, and wine. The boss has very strict standards for female employees, ranging from the women who take lunch orders (must be hot) to the women who oversee multi-million dollar construction projects (must maintain hotness demonstrated at time of hiring).

Title: Honey Bunch (that's what the boss will call you)

Job requirements:

  • No gaining weight on the job (we'll take some "before" pictures when you start to use later as evidence)
  • Must be open to public humiliation and open-press workouts if you do gain weight on the job
  • A willingness to evaluate other women's hotness for the boss' satisfaction is a plus
  • Should be proficient in lying about age if the boss thinks you're too old

Working mothers not preferred (the boss finds pumping breast milk disgusting, and worries they're too focused on their children).

About us:

We're proud to maintain a "fun" and "friendly work environment, where the boss is always available to meet with his employees. Like it or not, he may greet you with a kiss on the lips or grope you under the meeting table.

Interested applicants should send resume, cover letter, and headshot to jobs@trump.com.

From: Christina Freundlich

Bumping this for comms approval please

From: Luis Miranda

As long as all the offensive shit is verbatim I'm fine with it.

This is petty and beneath the dignity of the DNC. This election must be so much more than a name-calling context, and this kind of satire plays right into the lowering of the level of public discourse in this country. And calling Donald Trump a misogynist and a bully in new and creative ways won't win over the American electorate.

On the other hand, we've all been guilty of things like this. The National Committee should be better than this, true, and sunlight is a good disinfectant for this kind of crass, negative campaigning. But revelation this is not. I'm just disappointed in the DNC, mostly.


...and that's it. (I'm certain that there are more emails; I hear that Reddit is having a grand old time with this, but I said at the beginning that I was going to go through ZeroHedge's article, and that's all I found there.)

To review:

  • Some emails revealed DNC officials taking an inappropriate tone towards the Sanders campaign. I don't see it in any of the examples provided, but people claim it's there.
  • Others exhibit flippant replies from Wasserman Schultz towards the Sanders campaign in response to infuriating moves by a campaign that has been hostile towards the DNC from early in the race. One is dismissive of Sanders's chances the day before the Times ran a story speculating about whether or not he has "left his mark on the political moment."
  • A few examples of the DNC in collusion with the media, which look to me more like the DNC communicating with the news media to correct factual errors, and a bit of strategizing about how to create media spin out of negative events in order to benefit the Democrats in the general election.
  • One instance of inexcusable, partisan religious intolerance by DNC CFO Brad Marshall.
  • A racially-stereotyping campaign strategy emailed in by an outside party planning independent action, which a staffer forwarded to her boss with an "I wanted to flag this your way."
  • A thread which reveals that a lawyer known for defending a bad man with dirty methods was barred from hosting fundraising events, but okaying him to attend and donate money during the general campaign.
  • A satirical Craigslist ad lampooning Trump for being a misogynist.

To summarize the summary: some Sanders-unfriendly snark. Some gross sausage-making. One bad strategy memo that got emailed in. Brad Marshall's thing. And the Craigslist thing.

Now, at the beginning of this post, I asked you to write down your predictions about what you expected to find in the worst of the emails. If you haven't lost that piece of paper already, get it back out, and see how it compares. Is real life more, or less bad than reality? Was there more, or less evidence of primary-rigging than you expected? Compared to your opinion going into this post, should you now be more, or less convinced that there was a DNC plot to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders in order to coronate their Chosen One?

Now, back to your regularly scheduled outrage. But please, cite your sources.