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While many feel he bought his way into the race he also gets special treatment via his staff.

As the Democrat party is picking through the rubble of the grain silo explosion that has become the Iowa Caucus results that fiasco has unearthed all fashion of conspiracy theory of party tampering. Many are of the mind that the DNC is orchestrating sabotage of the Bernie Sanders campaign and the actions of the party in Iowa only fuel those theories. But they only distract away from preexisting theories.

The other prevailing thought has been that the emergence of a Michael Bloomberg campaign effort is being helped along by a compliant national party. There is more than tinfoil hat speculation at play here; Bloomberg has personal help from the DNC brokers. The DNC sees Bloomberg as a potentially helpful wedge to cleave the Bernie Sanders campaign. And now with Joe Biden turning in a self-described gut-punch disappointment return in Iowa, Bloomberg may be regarded as a moderate to supplant the struggling VP.

Coming up is the Democrat Presidential debate in Nevada, and a new addition to the field of candidates will be on the stage — Mike Bloomberg. The late-arriving billionaire was not considered qualified for prior debates, based on the standards set by the party to have a requisite number of independent donors to his campaign, something he failed to reach since he was self-funding.

Then last Friday the DNC altered the rules to qualify, eliminating the donor standard and allowing a sufficient poll result threshold to be enough to earn an invite for that debate. Bloomberg, as a result of copious advertising spending, has become a fixture in the polls and will be in attendance in Las Veghas. There is more than enough reason to think this is due to his taking on DNC rules committee members on his staff.

Michael Nutter came on board the Bloomberg campaign in December, to become his national political chair. Nutter happens to be on the Standing Rules and Bylaws Committee for the DNC. Also hired by Bloomberg in January was Alexandra Rooker, serving as a senior adviser to his campaign. Rooker is also a Rules and Bylaws Committee member and she has been tabbed by DNC Chairman Tom Perez to be on the National Convention Rules Committee.

Sanders was vocally opposed to these rules changes, understandably upset that the standards were being massaged to allow for a newcomer into the field of growingly underwhelming challengers to Bernie’s position atop the polls. “I think it is an outrage,” Sanders said during a recent press conference. “Listen, rules are rules,’’ he said, before listing a number of former candidates. They ‘’played by the rules,’’ he said sternly.

Most of them will not be present in Vegas. But Bloomberg will.

Adding more speculation to the fix being in was a Politico piece that describes a number of people within the DNC stating clearly there is an intent to work at keeping Sanders from earning the nomination. According to Politico, ”A small group of Democratic National Committee members has privately begun gauging support for a plan to potentially weaken Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and head off a brokered convention.’’

While the piece describes hurdles and the unlikelihood of major rules changes — made tougher because Perez recently overhauled the entire rules system after the 2016 controversies — there are those inside party leadership looking at options. One concerns Sanders leading the delegate count going into the convention, but not having enough to win the nomination on the first vote, something that could put the superdelegates in play, once again.

One of the rules changes brought by Perez was to diminish the influence of the superdelegates, seen as possibly the most controversial of aspects of 2016 thought to have unfairly gamed the system for Hilary. However, if a second vote is needed at the convention that is when the superdelegates will come into play. Bloomberg can continue to thwart Sanders here; by one example, Alexandra Rooker also happens to be a superdelegate, from the state of California.

So by stacking his staff with DNC rules members — and by extension stacking the deck — Bloomberg is certainly seeming in possession of major party support. The Bernie Sanders crowd will only become more vocal about the subterfuge, and they very well should. All the evidence points to party chicanery taking place. The Iowa Caucus implosion is only the latest piece of evidence.

Brad Slager
Covering politics, as well as the business side of Show Business. Expert in fine bourbons, good cigars, competent hockey teams, and horrible movies.

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