In the battle over ideas in the Democratic party, it’s clear the moderates aren’t getting much quarter. This was on display at the “Ideas Conference” held Tuesday by the Center for American Progress, the central policy and personnel clearinghouse for Democratic administrations. Many of these speakers, particularly the ones gifted a “keynote” speaking slot, are widely rumored to be seeking the White House, and the mainstream media portrayed the event as a cattle call for 2020 candidates. But there was an awkward absence: Senator Bernie Sanders. He was not invited to the “Ideas Conference,” and his exclusion makes clear that while Democrats are converging around a general set of ideological principles, the party still faces some serious coalition-building problems.
As soon as Congress scrapped the public funding for conventions in 2014, both the Democratic and Republican parties asked the FEC to dramatically increase the contribution limits for people who wanted to help fund conventions. The FEC granted their request, and instead of an annual limit of $33,000, individuals can now give up to $133,600 each year to fund the conventions.