More than 40,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to remove embattled chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has faced increasing criticism over her leadership of the party in the 2016 election cycle.
The petition, organized by the grassroots group RootsAction.org, castigates Wasserman Schultz for what the group describes as an attempt to "minimize competition for her candidate Hillary Clinton" and for her actions in U.S. Congress as "a pro-militarist and corporatist tool of the high bidders."
"The head of one of the two big political parties in the United States is trying to choose its nominee by reducing input from voters," the petition states, charging that Wasserman Schultz blocked the Bernie Sanders campaign from accessing its own voter files.
RootsAction.org co-founder Norman Solomon said Sunday, "Wasserman Schultz has become a key operative and symbol of aversion to democracy at the top of the Democratic Party. Her removal as chair of the national party is necessary—though certainly insufficient—to shift the momentum in a positive direction."
Co-founder Jeff Cohen added, "The results, thus far, have been bad from the perspective of Wasserman Schultz's own party, including domination of the media's extensive election coverage by the other big party."
Cohen also noted that as polls continue to show that Sanders is the most formidable candidate against the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, the DNC may only be hurting itself by tamping down the Vermont senator's campaign.
"Another result has been reduced exposure for the Democratic candidate polling strongest against Republican rivals, Bernie Sanders," Cohen said.
The petition circulates as top Democratic Party insiders reportedly continue to discuss whether Wasserman Schultz has become "too toxic" to remain as DNC chair—and whether she should be removed before this summer's nominating convention in Philadelphia.
"There's a strong sentiment that the current situation is untenable and can only be fixed by her leaving," a senior Democratic aide told The Hill last week. "There's too much water under the bridge for her to be a neutral arbiter."