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In-Depth Interview: Norman Solomon Reports on Democrats’ Unity Reform Commission

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Can the Democratic Party be saved?  Progressive activist Norman Solomon delivers eyewitness report on final meeting of Unity Reform Commission, and expectations for reform are limited.Solomon is a co-founder of RootsAction.org, was a Sanders delegate to the 2016 convention, and is a co-author of Autopsy: the Democratic Party in Crisis, which you can read here. His report on the URC meeting is here, and the op-ed we reference about "too much democracy" in the Democratic Party is here.

Solomon attended the commission meetings at a Washington hotel on December 8-9, but the organizers kept the location under wraps in an apparent effort to keep the rabble out.  He describes his dance with 2 rentacops who almost ejected him from the room for hoisting a sign that read "Democratic Party or undemocratic party?" and was able to plead his case to avoid removal.  PBC gave him the Medea Benjamin award for ad-lib protest commentary under threat of arrest.

We discuss the role of superdelegates in preventing Sanders from fairly competing in the 2016 primaries and the origins of the commission, including the battle for DNC chair between Tom Perez and Keith Ellison and how that has limited Ellison's role since he lost and was appointed Deputy Chair.  PBC also asks, "Where's Bernie?" in this struggle, and Solomon offers some of the comments from the Autopsy he helped produce.

We also talk about the finances of the DNC, and questionable use of the big-ticket contributions that were diverted to support Clinton during the primary.  We listen to Nomiki Konst, a commissioner appointed by Sanders, as she opens with "this stinks" in a rant about the opaque finances of the DNC.

Solomon is not too optimistic about real reform.  The commission voted to cut the number of superdelegates by about 60% but that's only a proposal, to be reviewed by the Rules Committee recently stacked by Perez, then a vote of the full membership of the DNC.