n a rare move, both remaining contenders for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination will pick some of the party's platform drafting committee members, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, will choose the rest.
Bernie Sanders' five picks are racial justice intellectual and Obama critic Cornell West, Native American rights activist Deborah Parker, climate activist Bill McKibben, pro-Palestine activist James Zogby, and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress -- a radical shift from the party stalwarts that typically serve on the committee. But most of Hillary Clinton's six selections and Wasserman Schultz's four picks are party insiders with corporate ties.
A glaring pay-to-play pick came from Wasserman Schultz, who selected former Claire's Stores CEO and North Carolina resort and spa owner Bonnie Schaefer of Florida. Along with her wife, Jamie, Schaefer has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates, party organizations and super PACs in recent years....
In addition, Schaefer and her wife have given directly to Wasserman Schultz's U.S. House campaigns -- at least $15,000 since 2010. And both Schaefers have given the maximum $2,700 to Clinton's presidential general election campaign.
Other platform committee choices from Clinton and Wasserman Schultz are also close allies of the Democratic establishment, some with corporate ties.
Clinton's picks include Wendy Sherman, a former State Department employee, andCarol Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator and Obama energy and climate adviser; they now work for the Albright Stonebridge Group, a "global strategy" consulting firm chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The firm "touts its ability to win favors and influence with government officials throughout the world on behalf of corporate clients," the Intercept reports. Among its clients are Elliot Management, the hedge fund run by leading Republican donor Paul Singer.
Clinton also selected Paul Booth, executive assistant to the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the DNC since 1998, hundreds of thousands more to the Hillary Victory Fund and to Clinton-affiliated American Bridge 21st Century, and which has already spent over $100,000 on independent expenditures supporting Clinton's current presidential bid. The union endorsed Clinton for president in October 2015 through an executive board vote, as opposed to a full member vote.
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