Nearly two dozen prominent supporters of would-be Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) took aim at Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a private letter Wednesday for her repeated assertions that superdelegates should side with the candidate leading in the pledged delegate count and urged her to publicly reverse course.
According to a copy of the letter posted by the Web site Talking Points Memo, the donors also pointedly noted their own contributions to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“We have been strong supporters of the DCCC. We therefore urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the National Convention in August,” the letter states. “We appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the Party and hope you will be responsive to some of your major enthusiastic supporters.”
DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) was vacationing Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.
One Pelosi aide seemed unruffled by the threat to Democratic funding. "She is neutral and she has always held that opinion regarding superdelegates, even when Clinton was ahead," the aide said.
Pelosi's support is crucial because she is the chairwoman of the convention and is a key to support from lawmakers, who comprise a big portion of the prized superdelegates.
DCCC spokeswoman Jennifer Crider said the committee did not receive a copy of the letter directly, and declined to discuss the missive, other than to state: “We appreciate all of our supporters.”
She later added via e-mail: “The DCCC has more opportunities than we can currently afford and we appreciate all of our supporters efforts to help us strengthen and expand the Democratic majority.”
The letter urged Pelosi to tell superdelegates not to commit to any particular candidate until the primaries season has run its course.
“As Democrats, we have been heartened by the overwhelming response that our fellow Democrats have shown for our party’s candidates during this primary season. Each caucus and each primary has seen a record turnout of voters. But this dynamic primary season is not at an end. Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had a chance to cast their votes.”
The letter continued: “We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard. None of us should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices and their votes. We are writing to say we believe your remarks on ABC News This Week on March 16th did just that.”
The letter was signed by 20 prominent Democratic donors: Marc Aronchick, Clarence Avant, Susie Tompkins Buell, Sim Farar, Robert L. Johnson, Chris Korge, Marc and Cathy Lasry, Hassan Nemazee, Alan and Susan Patricof, JB Pritzker, Amy Rao, Lynn de Rothschild, Haim Saban, Bernard Schwartz, Stanley S. Shuman, Jay Snyder, Maureen White and Steven Rattner.