The People versus Party Elites: DNC Soon Votes on Super Delegate Reform
Reprinted from the LA Progressive.
Chicago’s hot summer may reach a boiling point, August 23-25th, when the Democratic Party’s Democratic National Committee (DNC) packs the Hyatt Regency to decide whether party elites should continue to exercise so much influence over the party’s presidential nominee.
If it were up to the California Democratic Party, the choice would be obvious: reduce the influence of the unpledged or super delegates
If it were up to the California Democratic Party, the choice would be obvious: reduce the influence of the unpledged or super delegates – those party leaders, donors and lawmakers, who vote at the Democratic National Convention but are not bound to vote the way their congressional district or state votes in the primary or caucus. After all, the Republican Party doesn’t have unpledged super delegates – and their candidate, Donald Trump, became President, so why should the Democratic Party continue to give unpledged delegates so much power? It’s not democratic and it’s not a winning strategy.
Recently, the California Democratic Party Executive Board overwhelming passed a resolution (co-authored by me, Marcy Winograd, Sec., Progressive Caucus; Karen Bernal, Chair, Progressive Caucus; Michael Kapp, DNC member) to support barring unpledged delegates – about 15% of the convention’s eligible voters– from essentially voting in the first round of the presidential nominating process.
The issue of unpledged or super delegates hit a nerve during the 2016 presidential primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, when hundreds of super delegates announced their support for Clinton long before the convention, long before all the primaries were held – thus sending the message that Clinton would be the nominee, that the fix was in, possibly skewing the primary vote, deflating the base and causing millions of Democratic Party voters to later sit out a monumental election that resulted in Trump’s victory.
DNC Chair Tom Perez and Vice-Chair Keith Ellison want to bridge the gap between the Clinton and Sanders’ camps, to unify the party to take back the White House in 2020, so rather than eliminating super delegates altogether and risk losing that fight at the DNC, they are backing a compromise that would still allow unpledged delegates to vote on a second round, should there be multiple candidates, none of whom receive the requisite 2,383 delegate votes needed to secure the 2020 presidential nomination at the Democratic Party convention.
California counts. Our DNC delegation – 32 members (20 elected, 12 appointed) – is is the largest delegation in the 433-member body to vote on super delegate reform when the DNC gathers in August. Below is the list of our state’s DNC members:
Steven Alari, Eric Bauman, Laphonza Butler, Becca Doten, Jess Durfee, Maria Elena Durazo, Maria Echaveste, Alex Rooker, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Alice Huffman, Aleita Huguenin, Lorna Johnson, Michael Kapp, Andrew Lachman, Rep. Barbara Lee, Otto Lee, Sandra Lowe, Kerman Maddox, Bob Mulholland, Alex Padilla, Christine Pelosi, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, John Perez, Greg Pettis, Melahat Rafiei, Susie Shannon, Garry Shay, Keith Umemoto, Amy Wakeland, Maxine Waters, Ros Wyman, Laurence Zakson
Those who favor reducing the influence of super delegates, who want to unite the Democratic Party behind a popular candidate, can contact the DNC members (listed above) through social media to urge them to vote YES on super delegate reform.
Take back the White House!