Tom Perez Named DNC Chair After Billionaire Donor Haim Saban Labels Ellison An 'Anti-Semite'

Chris Menahan
Feb. 25, 2017

The Democratic party once again screwed over their base at the behest of their billionaire owners, er, "donors."

While the base of the party and Bernie Sanders coalition backed Keith Ellison, Obama, Clinton and top billionaire donor Haim Saban were backing Tom Perez, therefor he won.

Here's how the Guardian reported it:
His victory in Atlanta on Saturday saw him make history as the first Latino to lead the party but left progressives who backed his main opponent, US representative Keith Ellison, disappointed.

Perez won the chairmanship on a second ballot, after missing out by just one vote in the first round of voting.

The threshold for victory in the second round was 218 votes, out of 435 voters. Perez gained 235 to 200 for Ellison. After announcing the result, acting chair Donna Brazile presented the gavel to Perez. He presented a motion to name Ellison as deputy chair, which passed unopposed.
Both men used their remarks after the vote to appeal for party unity, the race for DNC chair having become a symbol of divisions that opened during the 2016 presidential primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Progressive activists said the outcome would be indicative of their standing within the party.

Perez, who served in the Obama administration and was considered as running mate for Clinton, was viewed with suspicion by activists and groups who believe he represented the so-called establishment. Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, is a longtime activist for grassroots causes.
Now here's the truth from Glenn Greenwald:
...Perez, despite his progressive credentials, is viewed — with good reason — as a reliable functionary and trustworthy loyalist by those who have controlled the party and run it into the ground, whereas Ellison is viewed as an outsider who may not be as controllable and, worse, may lead the Sanders contingent to perceive that they have been integrated into and empowered within the party.

But there's an uglier and tawdrier aspect to this. Just over two weeks after Ellison announced, the largest single funder of both the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign — the Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban — launched an incredibly toxic attack on Ellison, designed to signal his veto. "He is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual," pronounced Saban about the African-American Muslim congressman, adding: "Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party."

Saban has a long history not only of fanatical support for Israel — "I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel," he told the New York Times in 2004 about himself — but also an ugly track record of animus toward Muslims. As The Forward gently put it, he is prone to "a bit of anti-Muslim bigotry," including when he said Muslims deserve "more scrutiny" and "also called for profiling and broader surveillance." In 2014, he teamed up with right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson to push a pro-Israel agenda. In that notorious NYT profile, he attacked the ACLU for opposing Bush/Cheney civil liberties assaults and said: "On the issues of security and terrorism I am a total hawk."

There's no evidence that Saban's attack on Ellison is what motivated the White House to recruit an opponent. But one would have to be indescribably naive about the ways of Washington to believe that such a vicious denunciation by one of the party's most influential billionaire funders had no effect at all.

The DNC headquarters was built with Saban's largesse: He donated $7 million to build that building, and he previously served as chairman of the party's capital-expenditure campaign.
Saban also owns Univision, where his top anchor Jorge Ramos is currently trying to trigger a Latino insurrection.

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