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  • The New York Times interviewed 93 Democratic superdelegates, 84 of which said Sen. Bernie Sanders shouldn’t become the nominee based solely on winning most, but not over 50%, of primary and caucus delegates.
  • “If 60% is not with Bernie Sanders, I think that says something, I really do,” Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas told The Times.
  • The odds of a contested convention are at 48%, according to FiveThirtyEight’s forecasting model Thursday.

Dozens of Democratic superdelegates say they’re willing to sacrifice party cohesion to prevent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from becoming their party’s nominee at the Democratic National Convention in July.

The New York Times spoke with 93 superdelegates following Sanders’s victory in the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22, the vast majority of which said they believe the Democratic Party is headed toward a contested convention. Of the superdelegates interviewed, 84 said Sanders does not deserve to become the party’s nominee based solely on having secured the most, but not over 50%, of the delegates during the primaries and caucuses.

“If 60% is not with Bernie Sanders, I think that says something, I really do,” Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas told The Times.

Current forecasting models back up the superdelegates’ prediction of a contested convention — FiveThirtyEight’s model showed Thursday a 48% chance that no candidate comes out of the primaries and caucuses with a simple majority of delegates, despite Sanders’s current standing as the undisputed frontrunner with victories in New Hampshire and Nevada.

The FiveThirtyEight model showed Thursday that Sanders has a 37% of clinching the nomination before the convention and former Vice President Joe Biden in a distant third with 13% odds.

For a candidate to win the nomination before the convention in July, they’d have to win at least 1,991 of the 3,979 “pledged” delegates up for grabs during the primaries and caucuses.

The floodgates would open at the convention if no candidate breaches that threshold. All 3,979 “pledged” delegates would then be free to vote for anyone of their choosing, and the 771 superdelegates, comprised of elected Democrats and high-ranking members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), would be able to cast votes for whomever they wish as well.

The candidates themselves also appear to be bracing for a contested convention as it appears increasingly likely that Sanders has the only realistic pathway to secure the nomination during the primaries and caucuses. Sanders was the only candidate during a Feb. 19 debate to say the person that enters the convention with the most, but not over 50%, of the “pledged” delegates should be the Democratic nominee.

Ways to stop Sanders from becoming the nominee has become a “dominant topic in many Democratic circles,” The Times reported. The DNC will brief House Democrats on Thursday about their role as superdelegates in a contested convention.

“Bernie seems to have declared war on the Democratic Party — and it’s caused panic in the House ranks,” New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who endorsed former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg on Feb. 20, told The Times.

Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jim Himes told The Times: “We’re way, way, way past the day where party leaders can determine an outcome here, but I think there’s a vibrant conversation about whether there is anything that can be done.”

New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs told The Times that in the event of a contested convention, superdelegates such as himself should nominate the candidate with the best chance of beating President Donald Trump in November, regardless of who won the most delegates in the primaries and caucuses.

“Bernie wants to redefine the rules and just say he just needs a plurality. I don’t think we buy that. I don’t think the mainstream of the Democratic Party buys that,” Jacobs said, adding:

“If he doesn’t have a majority, it stands to reason that he may not become the nominee.”

Author: Andrew Kerr

Source: Daily Caller: Democratic Superdelegates Say They’re Willing To Prevent Sanders From Becoming The Nominee

Democratic Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez and her top aide are no longer board members of the outside PAC credited with orchestrating her political rise, according to a corporate document filed Friday to a Washington, D.C., agency.

The New York Democrat and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, joined the board of Justice Democrats in December 2017, according to the political action committee’s website. It also said the two held “legal control over the entity” at the same time it was playing a key role in supporting Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign prior to her shock victory over incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in June 2018.

Attorneys for Ocasio-Cortez said she was removed from Justice Democrats’ board in June 2018, but she was listed an “entity governor” of the PAC as recently as March 14, according to corporate filings, The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.

Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were officially removed from Justice Democrats’ board on March 15, according to a corporate document filed that day to the Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

It’s unclear why it took Justice Democrats more than eight months to formally remove Ocasio-Cortez from its board. The PAC did not respond to a request for comment.

Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that she and Chakrabarti controlled Justice Democrats while it simultaneously supported her primary campaign.

If the FEC finds that her campaign and the PAC were operating in affiliation, it could result in “massive reporting violations” or potentially even jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, former FEC Commissioner Brad Smith previously told TheDCNF. Another former FEC commissioner, Hans von Spakovsky, wrote in a March 10 Fox News op-ed that he believes there’s sufficient evidence to “justify opening a criminal investigation” into Ocasio-Cortez.

Alexandra Rojas and Demond Drummer replaced Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti on Justice Democrats’ board. Both have close ties to the congresswoman.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti no longer listed as governors of Justice Democrats, the Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs shows on March 18, 2019, at 3:16 pm. (Screenshot/Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs)

Rojas, Justice Democrats’ executive director, was a field organizer for the Ocasio-Cortez campaign in 2018 while she was also serving as campaign director for the PAC. Chakrabarti preceded Rojas as executive director.

Drummer is the executive director of New Consensus, a nonprofit group that played a key role in developing the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal was written in a single weekend in December by New Consensus, Justice Democrats and Ocasio-Cortez staffers, along with the Sunrise Movement, a climate advocacy organization.

“We spent the weekend learning how to put laws together,” Chakrabarti told The New Yorker in January. “We looked up how to write resolutions.”

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Author: Andrew Kerr

Source: Dailycaller: OCASIO-CORTEZ QUIETLY REMOVED FROM BOARD OF PAC SHE AND TOP AIDE CONTROLLED

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