There is one more variable that the DNC should consider as an automatic disqualification: having tried to beat Democrats in important and recent races. In 2014, Williamson ran for Congress. In California’s open primary, she ran as an independent, hoping to knock off two credible Democrats and take on the Republican in a runoff. Thankfully, she failed (coming in fourth), and Rep. Ted Lieu now holds that seat. And Mike Gravel, a former Democratic senator from Alaska, ran for president as a Libertarian in 2008. Gravel has admitted he isn’t running a campaign to win but rather just to make the debate stage to advocate his pet issues.
The Gravel case shows how ridiculous the DNC’s rules are: a fake candidate almost beat out a real candidate like Bullock for a spot on the July debate stage. This cannot be allowed to happen. Someone at the DNC has to exercise some judgment.