March 15, 2016

Corrupt Felon Sheldon Silver Is Still A Democrat Superdelegate

The Democratic National Committee’s superdelegate process has come under relentless scrutiny for favoring political insiders – and giving Hillary Clinton an institutional advantage over Bernie Sanders.

The New York Daily News’ Shaun King called the process “rigged,” writing:

Literally, Clinton has received 95.3% of the superdelegates and these individual voters have nothing to do with the actual will of the people in their states.

It’s fundamentally ridiculous and goes against the most basic principles of a democratic election in which one person receives one vote.

America Rising PAC Chairman Matt Rhoades recently penned a Medium column unpacking the “UnDemocratic” superdelegate process:

The DNC doesn’t allocate delegates by simply heeding the will of the voters. Instead they calculate their tallies from a combination of “pledged delegates,” which are earned from the actual votes of real people, and “unpledged delegates,” better known as “superdelegates.”

Superdelegates consist of Democratic officeholders, as well as 21 “distinguished members,” a group made up of former presidents, vice presidents, DNC chairs, etc.

In non-political speak, “distinguished members” are really Democrat political insiders and D.C. powerbrokers, not the everyday voters Democrats claim to represent.

And, during Monday’s MSNBC town hall with Bernie Sanders, a young voter prefaced a question on the topic by saying “superdelegates do the opposite of empowering Democratic voters.”

Now it’s revealed that former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, convicted of a slew of federal corruption charges in November, is STILL a superdelegate, and the DNC has “no process” to remove him, according to a Newsday report:

Once one of the most powerful Democrats in the state, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has long been a member of the Democratic National Committee. Despite his conviction on federal corruption charges, he’s still a DNC member and is entitled to his superdelegate slot.

The Point has learned that Silver has not resigned from the prestigious DNC post, so the party, which doesn’t have an official process for removing members who are felons, is trying to figure out how to oust him.

To hazard a guess as to how Silver would vote, it’s notable that he’s a longtime Hillary Clinton ally and endorsed her presidential bid in 2008.

That certainly won’t help the DNC defend itself to disgruntled grassroots Democrats.