Iowa and New Hampshire shouldn’t vote first anymore, says former DNC chair Tom Perez: ‘The status quo is clearly unacceptable.’

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), (R), greets DNC Chairman Tom Perez, (L) on stage as he gets ready to speak to a crowd of supporters at a Democratic unity rally at the Rail Event Center on April 21, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • Former DNC chair Tom Perez said his party should change how it votes for a presidential nominee.
  • “The status quo is clearly unacceptable,” Perez said in an interview with The New York Times.
  • Perez said a more diverse state or set of states should vote before either Iowa or New Hampshire.
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Democrats cannot keep voting like it’s 1972, according to former party chairman Tom Perez, who said it’s time to let others go first when it comes time to select a presidential nominee.

“The status quo is clearly unacceptable,” Perez, who headed the Democratic National Committee during the 2020 nomination process, said in an interview published Sunday by The New York Times.

For nearly 50 years, Iowa has been the first state to weigh in on who should lead the Democrats into the general election, followed soon after by New Hampshire. In 1972, that was a progressive reform: Previously, party elites made the choice with little direct input from their party’s voters.

But both states are overwhelmingly white, far more so than the general public and the Democratic electorate in particular.

“A diverse state or states need to be first,” Perez said. “The difference between going first and going third is really important. We know the importance of momentum in Democratic primaries.”

In 2020, the Iowa caucuses were narrowly won by now-Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders taking New Hampshire. Sanders also won the next state, Nevada, the first with a significant population of color.

However, it wasn’t until the fourth contest, in South Carolina, that a state with a large Black population voted. That state was won by President Joe Biden.

“This is the Democratic Party of 2020,” Perez said. “It’s different from the Democratic Party in how we were in 1972. And we need to reflect that change. And so I am confident that the status quo is not going to survive.”

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The feds offer $100,000 reward for info about who left pipe bombs near the DNC and RNC the night before the riots

Pipe bomb suspect
The FBI released an image of a suspect in their investigation into explosive devices found near the RNC and DNC on January 6.

  • The pipe bombs that were found near the RNC and DNC on January 6 were placed there the night before, the FBI says. 
  • They’re offering a $100,000 reward for info that leads them to the suspect. 
  • Investigators told CNN they believe the bombs were placed as a distraction to decrease law enforcement at the Capitol, so rioters could storm in. 
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The Federal Bureau of Investigations has raised the reward to $100,000 for information that leads them to person or people responsible for placing pipe bombs close to the Republican and Democratic party offices

On Friday, the agency said they believe an individual planted the bombs between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. local time on January 5, the night before the Capitol riots. 

The individual they said wore Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes in yellow, black, and gray, as well as a grey hoodie and a face mask. 

The Washington Post reported that agents have interviewed over 1,000 residents and business owners in the areas surrounding where the bombs were found. 

Security videos obtained by The Post show the suspect in an alley, known as Rumsey Court near the RNC between 8:13 p.m. and 8:17 p.m. on January 5.

CNN reported that the devices which were both found at around 1 p.m. local time on January 6 were eight inches long and made of galvanized steel. They were rigged with an egg timer and filled with explosive powder. 

Around that same time, supporters of then-President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol and clashed with law enforcement, halting a joint session of Congress as lawmakers were set to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory. The attack left five people dead.

Read more: Inside Democrats’ plans to make sure there’s no Trump 2.0

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the devices, which were placed out in the open were meant to be a distraction to get law enforcement resources away from the Capitol, CNN reported. 

ABC News reported that FBI agents, Capitol police, and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were called to the RNC office at around 12:45 p.m. on January 6. There was a call that a similar bomb was found at the DNC about 30 minutes later. 

The devices did not explode, and one official told CNN that it could be because the timers were set incorrectly or batteries were not connected properly. 

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A pipe bomb was reportedly found at RNC headquarters and destroyed by authorities, and a suspicious package arrived at DNC headquarters

noose washington dc capitol pro trump protest election
A noose is seen while supporters of President Donald Trump gather on the West side of the Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.

  • Amid DC rioting on Wednesday, a pipe bomb was found at the Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters were evacuated over a suspicious package, The New York Times reported.
  • The RNC and DNC are blocks away from the US Capitol, where pro-Trump rioters attempted a coup. 
  • Another pipe bomb was found and safely detonated in the Capitol complex, CNN reported. 
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A pipe bomb was found at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee (RNC) in Washington, DC, as pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, The New York Times reported. Also on Wednesday afternoon, a suspicious package was found at the nearby headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), The Times said. 

The explosive device at the RNC was destroyed by a bomb squad, according to The Times, citing an RNC official. A Democrat told The Times anonymously that the contents of the package had not yet been identified. 

Authorities also found a pickup truck parked outside the RNC headquarters that reportedly held rifles, ammunition, and shotguns, The Washington Post reported, citing two sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Agents were investigating whether the truck was linked to the pipe bombs, the sources said, according to The Post. 

The RNC and DNC are both only blocks away from the Capitol. 

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto reported that another suspected pipe bomb was found within the Capitol complex, citing an unnamed federal law enforcement official. 

Representatives for the RNC and DNC’s press offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Capitol protest
Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol Rotunda on January 6, 2021.

At the same time, rioters were attempting a coup, as Trump supporters entered congressional chambers in the Capitol. Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump had angrily tweeted about earlier on Wednesday, and members of Congress were evacuated from the building as they had been meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.

As members of Congress urged the mobs to leave the Capitol, many pleaded with Trump to tell his supporters to leave. The FBI and National Guard have been deployed to Washington, and Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew beginning at 6 pm on Wednesday. 

Update: This story has been updated to note The Washington Post’s reporting regarding a truck parked outside the RNC’s headquarters.

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