Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and former congressman Barney Frank will retain their high-ranking positions on the Democratic National Committee, the Party confirmed Saturday, according to The Hill.
The decision comes just one day after attorneys for the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders issued a scathing letter to DNC officials launching a formal credentials challenge against Frank (who co-chairs the party’s Standing Rules Committee), also demanding that Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy be removed from his position on the DNC’s Standing Platform Committee.
As out MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow reported Friday, the Sanders campaign sent its letter to DNC officials that evening, warning that Frank and Malloy were "self-proclaimed partisans intent on marginalizing [Sanders] supporters.
“The lawyers for the Sanders campaign said… They’re demanding that both Governor Malloy and Mr. Frank be disqualified from their respective positions with the Standing Platform and Rules Committees,” Maddow explained.
“The Sanders Campaign then ends this letter with a threat,” noted Maddow. “If the Committee doesn't kick Gov. Malloy and Barney Frank out of those leadership positions the Sanders campaign will essentially grind the process of the convention to a halt. … They will gum up the works so nothing happens.”
Maddow noted that she initially thought the Sanders campaign was threatening to sue the Democratic Party, but then clarifies that “what they’re threatening to do is to bring the Democratic convention to a halt unless Barney Frank and Dannel Malloy get replaced.”
While the MSNBC anchor explained the potential consequences if the demands made by the Sanders campaign are met, she neglected to dig into the justifications Sanders's attorneys provided for making such demands.
Western Massachussetts paper The Republican reports that the Sanders campaign is “looking to force a contested convention,” and blasting Frank and Malloy as “aggressive attack surrogates” for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Former Rep. Frank, the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out as gay, has made no secret of his “animosity towards Senator Sanders,” alleges the letter. It points to a 1991 spat between the two congressmen, where Frank accused Sanders of “unduly [denigrating] the institution [of Congress] and a lot of the members.”
“After Senator Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primaries in February, Mr. Frank wrote an opinion piece in which he professed his ‘resentment’ toward the Senator,” the letter continues. “And Mr. Frank’s invective against Senator Sanders has only intensified as Senator Sanders has notched additional primary victories.”
The Connecticut governor, on the other hand, has lambasted Sanders for his opposition to a federal gun control bill, and has a long history of openly supporting Clinton’s campaign, argues the letter. It dismisses Malloy, the co-chair of the DNC Standing Platform committee, as an “incendiary critic” of Sanders.
"The appointment of two individuals so outspokenly critical of Sen. Sanders, and so closely affiliated with Secretary Clinton's campaign, raises concerns that two of the three Convention Standing Committees are being constituted in an overtly partisan way designed to exclude meaningful input from supporters of Sen. Sanders' candidacy," the letter concludes.
At press time, the Sanders campaign had not responded to the DNC's dismissal of its request.
Watch Maddow break the news of the Sanders campaign letter on her eponymous MSNBC show below, with the relevant discussion beginning at the 5:30 mark.