An extraordinary thing happened during Connecticut’s 2006 race for the states House of Representatives. In Connecticut’s primarily white second distract, which had been represented by Republicans for almost a decade; voters overwhelmingly decided to elect an openly gay black Democrat to represent them. Jason Bartlett was no stranger to the district. He was a well known entrepreneur in the community who held a degree in political science; and who had run his own mortgage company for more than ten years. By most metrics, Jason Bartlett was an outstanding member of his community. But he had also run for the office twice before, and he had come within a hundred votes of winning the seat two years prior. While his loss at the time might have been disheartening, the diminishing gaps between himself and his incumbent opponents were an indication of things to come.
In 2006, Jason Bartlett not only won Connecticut’s second district, but did so by a near ten percent margin to defeat his Republican opponent Phil Gallagher. At the time, Bartlett’s appointment made him the both the highest ranking openly gay black legislator in American politics, a distinction he held until the election of Simone Bell to the Georgia House of Representatives state legislature in 2009. Bartlett’s election to office in Connecticut was nothing short of truly historic, and it was made even more so when he was reelected for a second term in 2008. However, even after his extraordinary and historic election, Jason Bartlett wasn’t done defying expectations.
Behind closed doors, and away from the public spotlight; Representative Jason Bartlett was raising two sons whom he adopted after the death of his aunt and uncle. In a country that hadn’t even yet decided if homosexuals should be entitled the equal right to marry, and which still hasn’t affirmed their right to adopt; Jason Bartlett was busy being a good father to his two adopted nephews aged 9 and 11. As if being the first openly gay black Representative in American history wasn’t enough, here was the very same man demonstrating by example, that a parents sexuality has nothing to do with their capacity to love and raise children.
By any appreciable standard, the election and the example set by that of Rep. Jason Bartlett demonstrated how to live and lead by example. His tenure in the spotlight of American politics showed that however far progress is from where it should be in the United States; progress may nonetheless be on a slow, inexorable, and invisible march.
In the case of the DNC leaks people aren’t talking about vote manipulation. They’re talking about the Democratic National Committee, the governing body of the Democratic Party, and a supposedly neutral organization deliberately working to sabotage Sanders campaign.
• DNC Curtailing Sanders Campaign Access to Registered Voters (a glitch allowed them accidentally access Clinton’s information) Source
• DNC National Press Secretary suggesting that the accidental access (above) could be used to push “narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.” Source
• DNC Chair Instructing RealClearPolitics to change a headline blaming Sanders supporters for lack of party unity. Source
• DNC being instructed on how to respond to allegations of improperly using joint fundraising by a Clinton campaign lawyer. Source
• DNC working to hide the inappropriate use of joint fund raising that Sanders alleged. (DNC was funneling funds out of state level races to bolster Clinton) Source
• DNC Communications Director instructing the Clinton campaign to tell journalists the above story was “all wrong” and providing sources that might help make it look less inappropriate. Source
• DNC compiling a list of donors to be selected for federal appointments. Source
It’s just one of only two political party governing bodies in the United States, actively working with the media to cast the Sanders campaign in a negative light, participating in the editorial process, restricting the Sanders campaign to voter information over a software glitch, deliberately not scheduling debates or scheduling them at odd times, taking advice from Clinton’s lawyers, rewarding financial donations with federal appointments, and inappropriately funneling money gathered into the Clinton campaign.
Here’s Section 4 of their charter… “Establish standards and rules of procedure to afford all members of the Democratic Party full, timely and equal opportunities to participate in decisions concerning the selection of candidates, the formulation of policy, and the conduct of other Party affairs, without prejudice…”
But yeah… you’re right. There was nothing rigged about.