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Letter from John Delaney to DNC Chair on New Debate Rules

May 30, 2019

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – Yesterday, presidential candidate John Delaney wrote to DNC Chairman Tom Perez regarding new debate qualification standards. In the letter, Delaney urged Chairman Perez to disclose the process through which the new debate qualification standards were set. The full letter is copied below.

Dear Chairman Perez,

Let me start by thanking you for your longstanding commitment to the Democratic Party and the values we stand for. I deeply admire your service to our nation.

In the last 24 hours, the DNC announced qualifying criteria for the fall debates (the "Criteria"). While I have personal views as to the merits of the Criteria, this letter is not about my personal views.

I write to encourage complete transparency as to how the Criteria were determined. The Criteria are incredibly important in determining our nominee and we can all agree that putting forth the best nominee in 2020 is mission critical for the Democratic party, particularly considering the risk to our democracy and the American people posed by a potential second Trump term. In that regard, I formally request the following:

1. Please disclose the process you engaged in to determine the Criteria;

2. Please disclose which individuals were involved in making the determination of the Criteria and if the determination was made by one individual or a group of individuals and if the process was unanimous or by a majority;

3. Please disclose what advisers, if any, you consulted with in determining the Criteria;

4. Please disclose if you spoke to any presidential candidates or their staff about the Criteria, or any early formulations of the Criteria, and if so which candidates;

5. Are you prioritizing certain candidates – or attributes of certain candidates - in formulation of the Criteria; and

6. Please disclose your rationale as to why the number of donors is a better standard than polling or other standards.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter. We can all agree that the American people deserve a full and inclusive debate. We can also all agree that democracy is best served with full transparency.

With respect and appreciation,

John Delaney

John Delaney, Letter from John Delaney to DNC Chair on New Debate Rules Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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