Weeks after his February election to lead the troubled Democratic National Committee (DNC), newly-minted chairman Tom Perez has requested all staffers submit resignations by Saturday, April 15.
Rocked by widespread scandal during the 2016 election cycle, the move is perceived to be a signal of Perez’s intent to rebuild the political organization from the ground up.
According to sources inside the DNC, Perez issued a directive asking for the resignations shortly after assuming the committee’s chairmanship.
“This is longstanding precedent at the DNC and has happened during multiple Chair transitions,” said DNC spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa. “The process was started before the election of the new Chair.”
Immediately following the request for resignations, Perez formed a 30-person transition committee to guide him on staff hires and prioritizing issues which the DNC would concentrate on as he attempts to orchestrate a turnaround from its disastrous 2016 election showing.
Perez’s committee consists of former Alaska Senator Mark Begich, Black Lives Matter organizer Deray McKesson, former DNC Chairman Don Fowler and undocumented Mexican immigrant and DREAMerm, Astrid Silva.
Beset by scandal over the July 2016 WikiLeaks’ disclosures in which over 20,000 DNC emails were released to the public on the eve of the Democratic National Convention hosted in Philadelphia, Perez takes over for interim chair Donna Brazile, who succeeded former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
A staunch ally of Hillary Clinton and chair of the DNC from 2011–2016, Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign after internal emails revealed she had used her position to tilt the field in favor of Clinton over primary challenger Bernie Sanders.
In addition to the disgraced Wasserman Schultz’s departure, the scandal consumed Chief Executive Amy Dacey, Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall and Communications Director Luis Miranda, all of whom were made to leave for abusing their positions to aid Clinton’s Democratic nomination for president.
[The Hill] [NBC News] [Photo courtesy Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images via The Intercept]