Several released emails show Democratic National Committee officials giving top seats to the highest bidder, and at least one time to the detriment of a cancer patient who was given a place next to Obama in a roundtable discussion.
The cancer patient was also a donor, and specifically asked for the spot next to Obama. When an even more “prolific donor” asked for the same honor, the cancer patient was shown the door.
“A lot of people unfortunately get sick,” DNC Finance Director Jordan Kaplan wrote about the switch in an internal email. “It was conversation we were having amongst our team, and again, I’m sorry people have read them, and I’m embarrassed it’s out there,” Kaplan later said when the emails came to light.
Shuffling seating arrangements based on who would pay more was a consistent practice in the DNC, according to the emails and recordings. There was a voicemail recording from a former US ambassador’s staffer asking to confirm tickets to a “small dinner” with the president. The staffer later called back to confirm receipt of the tickets.
Kaplan also arranged golf outings with Obama. Long vilified in conservative-based media, the golf trips were a great way for the DNC to raise funds. Also released amid the emails were the full list of donors who participated in those golf trips.
Some donors were not considered good enough to be close to Obama, despite donating funds to the DNC. Democratic donor from Chicago Niranjan Shah didn’t make the cut due to concerns about his “ties to Blagojevich.” Shah wanted to pose for a photo with Obama. Obama staffers refused the donor by saying, “he still fails on our end.”
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