TO: MEMBERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

FROM: RAY BUCKLEY

DATE: DECEMBER 20, 2016


Reforming the Democratic Party


I, like you, have been frustrated by the lack of inclusion and transparency of the DNC. Using my experience of the past seventeen years on the DNC, 15 years on the Executive Committee and eight years as a DNC officer I offer the following bold reforms to our party. 

Earlier I sent you my 15-point plan to strengthen state parties, build our grassroots and reconnect with our voters in every corner of every state. I created the plan utilizing my experience during five terms as a state chair and four terms as president of the state chairs and vice chairs association. 

Please take a look and let me know your ideas or suggestions. 


Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
— President Barack Obama

Reforming Our Presidential Nominating Process & National Convention:

Millions of Democratic voters were turned off by the 2016 Presidential nomination process.

We need those voters to be successful as we look to 2018 and beyond.

Before we get to the issues of building a better ground game or improving our message we must first clean our own house and take a fresh look at our national convention and nominating process.

  • Remove the scheduling and criteria for the DNC sponsored presidential debates and forums from the Chair’s sole prerogative.

    • The debate process should be decided by the diverse and representative DNC Executive Committee.

  • Remove the fundraising policy of the DNC from the Chair’s sole prerogative.

    • The policy should be decided by the diverse and representative DNC Executive Committee. I would push to ban any Joint Fundraising Agreement (JFA) between the DNC and a Presidential candidate in a contested Primary.

  • Strict neutrality for the staff and officers of the DNC must be enforced.

    • In both 2008 and 2016 the NH Democratic Party staff followed my lead and remained neutral and fair to all presidential primary candidates.

  • Work with the Unity Commission and encourage them to reform the superdelegate process so each state’s delegation reflects the vote in their Primary or Caucus.

  • Work with the Unity Commission and encourage them to create a model presidential caucus system.

    • The model system should allow for greater voter participation and easier understanding of the process.

  • Host a national mid-term Democratic conversation featuring a diversity of elected officials and party leaders to showcase their leadership and provide for activists an opportunity to network, share their talents and learn new skills.

  • Task the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee to include trainings, discussion groups and networking opportunities.


Reforming the Governance of the DNC:

Members of the DNC should be included and their contribution of time and talent respected.

To be a more effective national committee, responsibilities and information must be shared and interaction valued.

Here are my suggestions for a more inclusive, transparent and accountable DNC operation.

DNC Officers

  • Any decision by DNC chair can be overruled by unanimous vote by the officers

  • Officers will receive a monthly financial, operational and political report.

  •  Officers will approve any bank loans.

  • Officers will approve all transfers of over $1,000,000.

  • Officers will approve all DNC staff hires of salary over $100,000.

  • Officers will approve all DNC contracts of over $100,000.

  • Officers will stay through the conclusion of every DNC meeting for the DNC membership’s “soap box” open forum giving any DNC member up to 5 mins to talk on any subject.

DNC Executive Committee

  • DNC Executive Committee will receive a quarterly financial, operational and political report.

  • DNC Executive Committee will receive a quarterly updated staff list, contact info and job description.

  • DNC Senior staff will appear before Executive Committee quarterly providing in-depth report on their programs and department.

  • DNC fundraising policy adopted by DNC Executive Committee.

  • Democratic Presidential debate schedule and criteria must be approved by DNC Executive Committee.

Democratic National Committee Meetings, Committees and Caucuses

  • DNC Members presented annual financial, operational and political report.

  • DNC Meetings and Caucuses should be recreated to be more interactive allowing the diverse members of our party the opportunity to fully participate.

  • DNC Constituency and Regional Caucus should have a permanent DNC staff member.

  • DNC Constituency and Regional Caucuses should create biannual action plan including interaction with state parties and national organizations if applicable.

  • DNC Standing Committees must reflect diversity of Democratic Party.

DNC Policies

  • DNC staff must always reflect the full diversity of the Democratic Party.

  • DNC HR policies must be enforced to fully protect our employees.

  • DNC must have conflict of interest clause for contracts and hiring.

  • DNC should participate in an open bidding process for contracts whenever practical.

  • DNC Contractors must reflect diversity of Democratic Party.


We have the power to make these changes and rebuild our Democratic Party, I look forward to discussing it with you over the coming weeks.