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Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, gavels the start of the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte


Bernie Sanders supporters sue Debbie Wasserman Schultz and DNC over ‘rigged’ primary system

For nearly a year, supporters of Bernie Sanders‘ presidential campaign have claimed the fix has been in by Democratic party leaders to anoint Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee in 2016. Now they’re going to court to try to prove that’s the case.

A class action lawsuit was filed earlier this week in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida by the Miami law firm of Beck & Lee against the Democratic National Committee and its chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The suit makes six legal claims on behalf of its 121 claimants, beginning with fraud, asserts attorney Jared Beck.

Beck appears in a YouTube video , where he goes over all six claims. He says the fraud claim is based on revelations from the Guccifer 2.0 leaks of documents purportedly from the DNC’s own computer network that allegedly shows how the party strategized to make Clinton the nominee.

The second claim filed is for negligent misrepresentation. The third claim alleges the DNC and Wasserman Schultz participated in “deceptive conduct” by falsely claiming the DNC was being neutral and evenhanded during the Democratic primaries. The fourth claim of the lawsuit seeks a return of all donations made to the DNC by members of the proposed class, with the allegation that those donations were obtained through false representations and omissions related to the Democratic primaries. The fifth claim alleges the DNC broke its fiduciary duties during the Democratic primaries to members of the Democratic Party by failing to run the primaries in fair way. And the sixth claim is for negligence against the DNC for failing to protect the personal information of the donors that was leaked out by Russian hackers in April.

“This lawsuit is our effort as attorneys to give a voice in the political system to all those who have been defrauded by the conduct of the DNC in supporting and promoting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, in violation of its own charter, that requires it to be neutral,” says Beck in the video. He emphasized the lawsuit isn’t about money, saying “I don’t think you can put a dollar figure on American democracy.”

Critics (not all of them Sanders supporters) have been complaining since last summer about the paucity of originally scheduled debates between the Democratic candidates set up by the DNC last year, and the times and dates they initially took place. Those critics said it showed Wasserman Schultz was determined to tamp down viewership and to make it easier for Clinton to glide through the nomination process.

Wasserman Schultz is now facing a challenger in her race for re-election to her seat in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District in professor Tim Canova, who has raised more than $2 million nationwide to help in his uphill battle to knock off the DNC Chair, who has served in Congress since 2004.

“DWS is being sued,” was the title of a Canova fundraising e-mail he issued out late Thursday afternoon to his supporters. It included this passage.

Now, we want to be very clear — we do not know the specifics of this case at the moment (this was breaking news last night), but it is very clear from where we sit that our opponent was biased in her opposition to the Sanders campaign and our political movement.

Whether it was the unseemly coordination with Hillary Clinton’s campaign or her decision to bury the presidential debates during prime time sporting events, it was clear that she was standing in direct opposition to nearly half of the Democratic Party.

The lawsuit requests class action status and a jury trial.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at

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