Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) asks questions during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Feb. 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

'In Law School They Called This Conflict of Interest': Tlaib Objects to Paid Bloomberg Staffers on DNC Committees

"Out of tens of millions of qualified people, Tom Perez's DNC is seating two Bloomberg campaign surrogates on bodies that can propose changes."

Julia Conley

Rep. Rashida Tlaib accused two members of the Democratic National Committee's rules committees of having a conflict of interest following reports that they are paid staffers of the presidential campaign billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City.

The Michigan Democrat tweeted a link late Wednesday to a report by Sludge regarding the recent appointments of Alexandra Rooker, vice chair of the California Democratic Party, to the DNC's Rules Committee, and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to the Standing Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Both panels can propose rule changes to the Democratic nominating process, and both Rooker and Nutter began working on Bloomberg's campaign in recent weeks, advising him on policy and other campaign issues.

"Out of tens of millions of qualified people, Tom Perez's DNC is seating two Bloomberg campaign surrogates" on the committees, tweeted David Moore, who wrote for Sludge Wednesday about the appointments.

"In law school, they called this a conflict of interest," wrote Tlaib, a surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic race.

The Sludge report came a week after the DNC announced it was amending debate rules to eliminate a requirement for a minimum number of individual donors—a change that could allow Bloomberg to participate in the debate coming up on February 19.

That rule change came directly from Perez, members of the Standing Rules and Bylaws Committee told Sludge—but that panel and the committee Rooker is serving on could make more changes as the primary continues.

The elimination of the fundraising requirement was also announced after Bloomberg donated $320,000 to the DNC in November, as well as $800,000 to a joint PAC that raises funds for the DNC and state Democratic parties.

The change favoring Bloomberg angered some DNC members including Arab American Institute president James Zogby, who told Sludge, "I've been telling people: do not say the DNC decided this, because we did not."

"If I were Cory Booker or Julián Castro, I'd be really pissed right now," Zogby added, referring to the candidates who dropped out of the race in the weeks before the rules change was announced.

In addition to the debate rule that has already been changed, Politico reported last weekend that some DNC members were privately plotting to change other rules, including the manner in which delegates are counted at the party's national convention.

Nomiki Konst, a surrogate for Sanders, applauded Tlaib for calling attention to Bloomberg's paid advisers' membership on the committees—two years after the DNC objected to reforms banning conflicts of interest.

"Let's be clear: all corruption leads to conflicts of interests and lack of oversight," tweeted Konst. "Good on Rashida Tlaib for calling it out!"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Sanders Demands End to Medicare Premium Hike From Alzheimer's Drug

Biogen's original price for the controversial drug, he argues, "is the perfect example of why Medicare should be negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Monumental Victory' as Biden Cancels Boundary Waters Mining Leases

Rep. Betty McCollum called the administration's decision "a rejection of the deeply flawed and politically motivated process under the Trump administration."

Brett Wilkins ·


Rights Groups Demand Hearings on the 'Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act'

"The longer Congress waits," warned one advocate, "the stronger and more dangerous this industry will become."

Kenny Stancil ·


Democrats Urge Biden to Abandon Dangerous Trump Policies on Nuclear Weapons

With the Nuclear Posture Review, say congressional lawmakers, the president can ensure "future generations can finally be free from the nuclear sword of Damocles that hangs over all our heads."

Andrea Germanos ·


'There Is No Military Solution': Jayapal, Lee Demand Diplomacy on Ukraine

"We call upon our colleagues to allow the administration to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis," said the progressive Democrats.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo