(Note to Readers: The “COUP” Series is now complete. See, A COUP, THROUGH and THROUGH, (3 of 4), and EPILOGUE.)
© 2010 jbjd
A COUP, THROUGH and THROUGH (2 of 4) is the second installment in the 4-part series describing the fraud pulled off at the 2008 DNC Services Corporation Presidential Nominating Convention in order to ensure Obama would receive the nomination so that his name would appear next to the D on the general election ballot . (For the first installment, go to A COUP, THROUGH and THROUGH (1 of 4))
Much of this article consists of comments I posted on blogs in August 2008, which provide historical and retrospective context for the conclusions at which I presently arrive. PLEASE READ THESE COMMENTS, in order, while imagining you are a part of the Obama campaign’s team of dirty tricksters. This will help you to understand the way in which events leading up to the convention unfolded, and how and why in the end, they had to pull off a coup in order to secure the nomination.
Part 2: Lead-up to the Coup
Recall that the motive of the movers and shakers behind candidate Obama, was to get his name on the general election ballot by making him the nominee of the Democratic Party as far as possible in advance of the 2008 DNC Services Corporation Presidential Nominating Convention. But notwithstanding the nefarious means they had employed throughout the primary and caucus contests, they had nonetheless failed to secure the nomination. No matter what they tried, they could not undermine Clinton into relinquishing her bid for the nomination. Why, even now that the primary season was over, the candidate only suspended but did not end her campaign. So, over the summer Obama’s minions, having failed to secure the nomination based on the number of delegates pledged to him, now set out to corral the hundreds of delegates pledged to her, determined to steal his nomination before the convention.
I only created the “jbjd” blog in late August, 2008, after the convention. So, in June, after Clinton suspended her bid for the nomination, I continued commenting on other people’s blogs. For the most part, my focus was fixed on ridding the blogosphere of its misconceptions about specific facts related to the Obama and Clinton narratives, and not on improving people’s understanding of the electoral process. Because back then, I was as ignorant as to the nuts and bolts of our Constitutional republic as the average citizen 2 (two) years later, remains. Especially with respect to the role played by our 2 (two) major political parties.
By the first week in August, any knowledge deficit I had suffered regarding the electoral process was rapidly melting away. (Although as you will see, looking back, some of my comments sound so naive.)
Responding to rumors she might not be formally entered into nomination, Clinton supporters began pushing to ensure her name would appear on the ballot at the convention. According to DNC rules – by August, I was studying those rules – this would require the signatures of at least 300 pledged delegates, as well as the candidate. Her pledged delegates from all over the country had been demanding the opportunity to ‘represent’ the candidate the voters elected them to vote for at the convention. And, like the rest of us who had watched that May 31 meeting of the RBC, they were still smarting from the treatment their candidate had received at the hands of other members of her party. As a result, gathering the 300 signatures would be easy. But here was another problem. The Chair could refuse to enter into nomination anyone who failed to demonstrate loyalty to the Democratic Party. In light of the meme from party officials that Obama’s nomination was already a fait accompli, putting her signature on such a petition could be construed as evidence she was being disloyal to the party, which perceived disloyalty could become a bar to her formal nomination.
Yet, if her name was not formally entered and accepted into nomination then, any votes cast for her from the floor call of the roll would only be recorded as “Present.”
(Please note, from here on in, I will no longer cite to any rules of the DNC. Because another epiphany that came to me in August was this: the DNC is a private club. Thus, it can make and break its own rules. And it set up volumes of rules and by-laws that govern operations, with auspicious sounding titles like “Charter,” “Constitution,” “Model Rules to Delegate Selection Process,” and “Call to the Convention.” But here’s the thing about all these club rules: they can be changed at any time. According to club rules. Plus, “discretion” is written into everything. In other words, even if officials of the party engage in conduct that looks like it violates the corporation charter, this might only result from the fact, one objects to the particular way this discretion was used.)
With strong grassroots efforts underway to secure her nomination, on August 10, AP’s Nedra Pickler offered up “Clinton to headline second night of convention,” subsequently published by both MSNBC and RealClearPolitics, portraying the Clinton and Obama ‘camps’ were negotiating to determine whether her name would formally be entered into nomination.
Clinton told supporters she is seeking a way for her delegates to be heard at the convention and be united after the hard-fought nominating contest.
“Because I know from just what I’m hearing, that there’s incredible pent up desire. And I think that people want to feel like, ‘OK, it’s a catharsis, we’re here, we did it, and then everybody get behind Sen. Obama.’ That is what most people believe is the best way to go,” she said, according to video of the remarks taken by an attendee and posted on YouTube last week.
Obama told reporters Thursday he thought the negotiations with Clinton aides had gone “seamlessly,” but he also rejected the notion that there might be a need for emotional release on the part of some Democrats.
“I don’t think we’re looking for catharsis,” said Obama. “I think what we’re looking for is energy and excitement.” Id.
Ms. Pickler’s account of the Obama and Clinton negotiations contained these lines:
Delegates are not formally pledged to any candidate so Clinton does not need to “release” them to Obama. The rules also say delegates may vote for the candidate of their choice whether or not the name of such candidate was placed in nomination. Id.
As my readers can attest, discussing these issues I struggle to view the glass as half full rather than half empty. With this optimistic life view in mind, I refuse to characterize that AP, MSNBC, and RCP reporters and editors intentionally withheld from millions of their readers the material fact, laws in 13 states do bind pledged delegates to the candidate of the voters’ choice. Instead, I will grant, they just didn’t know.
Because on August 10, I still didn’t know. But by August 13, hearing bits and pieces from here and there, I was beginning to put it together.
I heard news reports that a Clinton delegate in CO was being pressured by the state chair of the party to change her support to Obama and had hired a lawyer to deal with the situation! Now, I looked up DNC model delegate selection rules to determine whether this Clinton pledged delegate could change her mind. DNC rules tell pledged delegates to use their “good conscience” to represent the will of the voters who elected them. Viewed in this light, the state chair who was pressuring her to change her mind to Obama could be construed to be merely encouraging her to exercise her discretion in a manner consistent with how the voters feel now, and not when she was elected.
Then, I heard something about a Clinton pledged delegate from OR being pressured to change her mind notwithstanding the law in her state required her to stick to her candidate. The law? You mean, the citizens of some states have enacted laws requiring pledged delegates they elect to follow the party’s candidate into the convention?
And that’s when the stark nature of the politics hit me: since Clinton for whatever reason had suspended her campaign, her delegates were now unprotected. Obama’s people swooped into the void and were picking them off, like sheep, one by one, on their way to the convention. I knew if she was to have any chance at the nomination; those of us who supported her candidacy would have to shepherd her pledged delegates through to the nomination.
I posted my thoughts throughout the blogosphere, especially on the PUMA PAC blog, which received hundreds of thousands of hits in the days leading up to the convention.
jbjd on 08.13.08 at 3:05 am
DELEGATE VOTES AT CONVENTION
This is fabulous! Nice work. I know of another state – either WA or OR – because I heard this last night on riverdaughter’s radio show. (I went to riverdaughter’s site to pull up the show but was unable to access her site, while she is away.) Anyway, PUMAs from GA can contact HRC delegates from that state, to make sure they know the law in their state and ask whether the state party has pressured them to switch to BO. If GA HRC delegates have been pressured, PUMAs can propose they could write a “Cease and Desist” letter to the head of the state party, copied to the S of S, advising them to stop extorting HRC pledged delegates to violate state law by committing to switching to BO before the convention or risk being replaced at the convention.
We need to have everyone’s back, not just HRC; because everyone’s back we cover, covers her.
And this, later that day, closer to realizing the full implication of delegate poaching and thinking out loud, what to do. (You will notice that even way back then, I was eschewing the practice of turning to ‘saviors’ to rescue our cause, in this case, Clinton’s nomination. Rather, I urged us, instead, to rely on ourselves.)
jbjd on 08.13.08 at 6:03 pm
GRIEVE; THEN RESUME THE MISSION
We need to have the backs of the state delegates so they can back HRC. These are ordinary people, like us. Many of them probably are here for the first time, and have been blindsided by all of this. All I want to do is empower them to stay the course. Otherwise, they will be replaced (in states where this is possible).
Unless we protect our delegates, both pledged and unpledged, that is, super, they cannot protect HRC. And if the national party wasn’t afraid she could still be the nominee, they wouldn’t be advising the state parties – I am certain this is coming from the top – to reign in HRC’s pledged delegates in their states.
The information I am providing for you is actually a step-by-step self-help manual. These are incidents of first impression. That is, nothing like this has ever happened before. So, I figured out a way to address the issue.
First, check to see whether you live in a state where state laws require pledged delegates to follow their candidates, at least through the first round of voting at the convention. (So far, we know that both GA and OR law require this.)
Then, call your state delegates pledged to HRC. These are ordinary people, just like us. Some of them are first-time office holders. They probably feel as blindsided as we do. After all, they are party members, too. The woman in CO hired a lawyer; but no one should have to hire a lawyer to protect herself from attacks by her own party.
Explain you are concerned as a Democrat, as a puma (generic), or as a citizen of the U.S.A. about what is happening to the Democratic party. If they have been pressured, take notes. Tell them you’ll get back to them. Then, come back here, and I will guide you where to go next.
(Please, keep your eyes on the prize.We don’t need a savior. Somebody mentioned Gloria Allred or Alan Dershowitz. These headline grabbers would do more to attract attention to themselves than they could ever provide help to us. Anyway, they cannot do anything for us that we cannot do for ourselves.)
“Clinton supporters debate merits of roll call vote,” a USA Today report (published on abcnews.com) on August 13 tells of a continuing divergence of views on both whether Clinton’s name will be called on the roll; and the reasons as to why.
One of those supporters is Allida Black, a George Washington University historian who said she cashed in her retirement savings to finance travel to 14 states for Clinton. Black, a Clinton delegate from Virginia, is helping circulate the nominating petition.
“This is not a spite Obama effort,” she said. “This is for Hillary to get the respect her campaign merits.” Id.
(Within days, I would confirm Virginia was one of 13 states I identified and dubbed the “vote binding states.”)
Professor Heidi Li Feldman, Georgetown Law, maintained a blog called Heidi Li’s Potpouri, a must-read on the days leading up to the convention. On August 13, she posted the copy of a nasty letter Obama’s agents had sent to Clinton pledged delegates in GA. But there was no mention that GA was a vote binding state. Now, for the first time, I looked up GA law. And there it was. In fact, the GA law not only requires pledged delegates to support their candidates at the convention but also contains an advisory opinion from the GA AG, supporting the law and explaining its intent.
I posted this information on Heidi Li where, like all other comments, it went into Moderation. Then, I began wondering just how many other states had these vote binding laws. And whether this same nasty letter that had gone out to Clinton pledged delegates in GA had gone out to her delegates in those other states, too. Later, I went back to see whether Heidi Li had posted my comment; and whether anyone from GA had responded with a comment containing references to the vote binding law in that state. By now, several comments had come through Moderation. Mine was the only comment about the binding law in GA; but in the comment posted just above me, someone identifying as a Clinton pledged delegate from NC claimed, that mean-spirited letter that had been sent to Clinton delegates in GA had also been sent to her!
I checked; party delegates are not bound by the results of the NC primary. But now, I knew Obama was ‘pressuring’ Clinton pledged delegates to switch their votes to him in states throughout the country; and that in some of these states, delegates were bound to the candidate through the laws of their state.
In my mind, agents for Obama enticing Clinton pledged delegates in vote binding states to switch their votes to him before the convention, were breaking the law!
I decided to turn them all in.
On August 14, CNN reported, “Clinton’s name to be put in nomination.” Pointing to the obvious, they let us know, “Many die-hard Clinton fans have been hoping that her name would appear on the ballot.” Id.
That same day, ABC News’ Kate Snow also reported, “Deal: Clinton’s Name Will Be Placed in Nomination at Dems Convention.” “Some details are still being worked out, but Clinton’s name will be put into nomination at the Denver convention on Wednesday.” Id. “What also hasn’t been settled yet is who will nominate Clinton and whether she will stand up with the New York delegation when they are called on.” Id. “What has been settled, however, is that after both Clinton and Obama names are placed into nomination there will be a roll call vote.” Id. “What has also been hashed out is that at some point during the convention, Clinton will release her delegates officialy (sic) to Obama and that she will make it very clear that she is voting for Obama, the source said.” Id.
Jeff Zeleny, writing for the NYTimes on August 14, announced “Clinton’s Name Will be Put in Nomination.”
(In June 2005, Mr. Zeleny, then working for the Chicago Tribune, interviewed then newly-elected U.S. Senator Barack Obama.
Obama acknowledges, with no small irony, that he benefits from his race.
If he were white, he once bluntly noted, he would simply be one of nine freshmen senators, almost certainly without a multimillion-dollar book deal and a shred of celebrity. Or would he have been elected at all?
When it comes to race, Obama makes his point–with subtlety (emphasis added by jbjd)
Obama liked the 2005 article so much, he posted this on his now-defunct U.S. Senate web site. http://obama.senate.gov/news/050626-when_it_comes_to_race_obama_ma/ )
Anyway, on August 14, Mr. Zeleny reported, “Clinton’s name will be placed into nomination at the Democratic National Convention, a symbolic move approved by the Obama campaign in an effort to soothe a lingering rift with Clinton supporters.” Id. “After the state-by-state roll is tallied, Mrs. Clinton is expected to turn over her cache of delegates to Senator Barack Obama.” Id.
Summing up all of these reports from ABC, CNN, and the NYTimes on August 14, the great news was, everyone has agreed, Clinton’s name will formally appear on the ballot for the nomination; there will be an open roll call vote of all state delegations from the floor of the convention; and then she will release her cache of delegates making (most of) them free to vote for Obama and endorse his nomination.
Okay. Now, I could focus entirely on maintaining her delegates up to this ‘open roll call vote of all states’ for the nomination.
That same day, I began to formulate an action plan to turn in Obama’s gang to the A’sG of the vote binding states. This became the basic set-up of the project. 1) Find all of those states where the law required pledged delegates to stick to their candidates on the floor of the convention. 2) Obtain the names and contact numbers for A’sG, S’s of S, and state party Chairs in each state. 3) Identify, if applicable, any examples of delegate harassment specific to the state. 4) Compose a letter to the state AG citing the law and the harassment, requesting intervention to stop the illegal conduct. 5) Find names and contact information for Clinton pledged delegates in the state. 6) Identify local and national media outlets. 7) Recruit citizens in the state to carry out the project.
Here’s how it eventually worked. Citizens in the state printed and signed the letters to the AG with their names and addresses. These were faxed out to state officials, and copied (with or without identifying information) to party Chairs. Then, we sent blind copies to Clinton pledged delegates – often the only contact information we could obtain was street addresses, so these copies were sent via snail mail – along with this handwritten note near the signature line: “We have your back. PUMA.” Copies were then distributed to the press.
I launched the project on the PUMA PAC blog. These are just a sample of the comments I posted on that well-read blog on one day, August 14, beginning in the wee small hours of the morning.
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 1:56 am
BO’S BC ISSUE
The bc issue isn’t ripe until after the convention, in some states, 24 hours after the convention, if he is nominated, and files nomination papers with the individual S’s of S. Blogging on other sites, I explained all this, and directed people to look for filing deadlines in their states, because the challenge window is based on these filing deadlines. Anyway, since no one can do anything about this bc situation until after the convention, please, focus on what needs to be done to secure support for HRC at the convention. And this means supporting the delegates, pledged and unpledged, to support her. This is what I am trying to do right now.
And more explanation in the ongoing formulation of my plan.
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 3:56 am
HARASSING STATE DELEGATES – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE,
read this and then, help me do something about it! Fellow PUMAs, BO’s emissaries from Chicago are now pressuring state delegates, too; and Chairman Dean is doing nothing to stop them. Here is an example of what they are doing in GA.
Remember, GA is one of those states that requires their pledged delegates to stick by their candidates through the 2nd ballot at the convention. We have to help these pledged delegates from this not-too-subtle extortion! Who is from GA? I will check in before noon. Please, we need to contact GA pledged delegates. You can get their names from the GA S of S. Once we help delegates in one state, all of this harassment will stop. But that state has to have a state law requiring pledged delegates to stick by their candidate; and evidence of harassment.
I stressed the importance of carrying out this project (as opposed to other ‘PROWLs,’ the name for the ‘action projects’ posted daily at the top of the blog).
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 10:28 am
Nothing sent to the head of the state party will accomplish the goal of protecting the pledged delegates inasmuch as 1) you are asking the oppressor to stop oppressing; and 2) the pledge delegate in jeopardy does not know you have her back. We have to get to the actual delegate; and she has to be willing to report the illegal conduct either through a “Cease and Desist” letter to the state party; or notice to the S of S. And everything needs to be copied to the press.
Coercing pledged delegates to violate state law is really big. (This is different from the scenario described in Heidi Li’s link, wherein Chicago is pressuring these delegates to disclose their votes in advance.) Like, if this is a DNC directed campaign to get the state parties to exert this pressure to switch allegiances, on pledged delegates who are required by law to support their candidates, we’re talking RICO-type conspiracy. This is FBI territory.
CALLING ALL GEORGIANS! (U.S.A., not former Soviet Union)
Throughout the day, I posted pointers, like this.
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 10:50 am
HOW TO IDENTIFY PLEDGED DELEGATES IN YOUR STATE
The state party is required to provide the identities of party delegates to the S of S. Call their office; these people work for you. Do not bother calling the state party; this is not worth the runaround you might get, and your resulting frustration.
Note: Pledged delegates are not super delegates.
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 12:18 pm
That’s why I want people in their states to contact their pledged delegates. We do not want HRC’s pledged delegates to feel they are hanging in the wind; and we have no idea how much support HRC is able to provide to them, given this present repressive situation.
If GA is getting these conference call calls then, other states must be, too. But what makes this worse in GA is that, by law, pledged delegates must support their candidates through at least the first round at the convention. That’s why I am so desperately looking for GA pumas.
I posted information on other potential vote binding states, including CA.
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 1:18 pm
STOPPING DELEGATE HARASSMENT
(e) The California primary election is a “binding” primary.
Accordingly, delegate and alternate positions shall be allocated so
as to fairly reflect the expressed presidential or uncommitted status
of the primary voters in each district. Therefore, the national
convention delegates elected at the district level shall be allocated
in proportion to the percentage of the primary vote won in that
district by each preference…
Before I can tell you what to do in CA, I need to know what that word “binding” means here. Call the S of S elections division (916) 657-2166.
I sought favors; can someone please contact Jeff Zeleny?
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 1:52 pm
CAN SOMEONE DO THIS FOR ME? I AM SO BUSY ON THIS BLOG TODAY I HAVEN’T EVEN … YET!
Re-visit the DNC Call to Convention and find the page about the difference between “nomination” and roll call. Then, contact Jeff Zeleny – I find him to be pretty fair – and make sure he understands the difference between being officially placed into nomination and having your name ‘nominated’ from the floor, through which process any votes cast for you would only be recorded as “present.”
And posted more pointers on the project.
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 3:50 pm
STATE DELEGATE HARASSMENT,
Implications of Letters from BO Representatives to State Pledged Delegates
As most of you already know, the principle that state pledged delegates should support their candidates at the convention is embodied in a document called
DNC Delegate Selection Rules. http://www.coloradodems.org/docs/2008DSPFinal.pdf
However, in certain states, including OR and GA, pledged delegates must, as a matter of state law, follow their candidates into the convention. So, for example, urging a pledged delegate to change her support, before the convention, is not only encouraging her to violate the spirit of the DNC Rules but also to break state law.
As I continued my research, I alerted readers to other vote binding states.
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 5:24 pm
PLEASE CALIFORNIA PUMAS I admire your spirit but after I looked up your laws for you, I came up with this question, which no one is answering for me: what does that word “binding” mean here? You can call the S of S elections division (916) 657-2166. This will determine how best to proceed in your state. (Each state is different, which is why I have been asking you to identify your state. ) Also, I need people in each state to SPEAK to a pledged delegate to confirm HRC pledged delegates in each state are being contacted by BO’s people in Chicago and asked – under various ploys – to identify their candidates.
I cannot help you with the letter from your state until I have the information I asked for, from your state. As they say in the movies, “Help me help you.”
Still trying to confirm CA.
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 5:44 pm
STOPPING STATE PLEDGED DELEGATE HARASSMENT
CA PUMAS and others
I need you to do these 2 things. (I cannot tell you what to do next until I have these answers. Remember, I am trying to help out in all 50 states. I am swamped.)
1. Find out from the S of S – I gave you her # – what the word “pledged” means in the law I cited. Of course we would assume that, pledged means pledged. But I want to make sure what this means; ask specifically whether pledged delegates must vote for their candidate on the first vote at the convention. And take notes. (I have been asking for this since yesterday.)
2. Call some pledged delegates and find out whether they received a letter from BO’s people in Chicago, like the one on Heidi Li’s site.
Then come back here and tell me what you found out.
And at the end of that very long day, a plea for HELP!
jbjd on 08.14.08 at 11:54 pm
HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP
Turns out, there are states out there that require pledged delegates to support their candidates through the first vote at the convention. So far, there’s OR; and GA; and IN. I need PUMAs organized by state. Now. But I cannot organize you – I am too busy researching your laws and writing state-specific letter. GA will go out, first. Tomorrow. Because the AG of GA has already written an advisory opinion explaining the intent of the law; and supporting the law. I anticipate the AG will not take too kindly to people from Chicago encouraging pledged delegates in his state to break the law.
Citizens of GA pouring through thousands of comments posted on the blog each day, eventually found my comments and responded with their emails. In this way, we assembled a team I began referring to as ‘my Georgians’ to carry out the project in just that one state. At the same time I was researching the laws, obtaining the contact information, and writing the letter to the AG for the next state. And communicating the state vote binding project to readers of other people’s blogs, and recruiting citizens of each state to get out the letters I had written, state by state.
The next day, August 15, Ann Kornblut reported in the Washington Post these variations on the plans for the open roll call of all states on the floor of the convention that had been reported just the previous day.
“Clinton to Get Roll-Call Vote at Nominating Convention”
How, exactly, the roll call will work remains an open question, advisers on both sides said. After having her name entered into nomination, Clinton could then ask her delegates to support Obama, bypassing the long process of reading names aloud. But several advisers said they think there will be some kind of roll call, which could begin as early as Tuesday night of the convention. (emphasis added by jbjd)
My letter to the AG of GA went out that same day. Copies were distributed to the SoS, the Chair of the state D party, and hundreds of state and national media outlets.
August 15, 2008
Thurbert E. Baker, Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
VIA FAX: 404. 657.8733
SUBJECT: Solicitation to Violate O.C.G.A. § 21-2-196 (2008)
Dear Attorney General Baker:
Here in Georgia, pledged delegates selected as the result of votes cast for Senator Clinton in the Presidential primary election are legally required to vote for her during first-round balloting at the party’s nominating convention. OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL appended to the above-cited law explains, “This section reflects the legitimate interest of the state in insuring orderliness in the electoral process, and it provides a means of presenting the political preferences of the people of this state to a political party.” But in what can at best be interpreted as an overzealous advocacy on behalf of Senator Obama, in states throughout the country, including Georgia, proponents for his nomination have bombarded her delegates with subtle and not-so-subtle pressures to commit to switching support to him, before the convention. Or, failing that, they replace the Clinton-pledged delegate with one loyal to Obama. (See examples below. Note that while the first link shows the copy of a letter Senator Obama’s campaign sent to pledged delegates in Georgia, they distributed this same letter to delegates in all states, including states which, like Georgia,mandate pledged delegates to follow their candidates into the convention.) In Georgia, encouraging delegates entrusted with representing the political preference of Clinton voters, to pledge their support before the convention to Obama, solicits these delegates to break the law.
As a concerned citizen of Georgia, I am bringing this matter to your immediate attention anticipating that you will take appropriate action to ensure from now on, campaigning in this state related to the upcoming Democratic National Convention is consistent with Georgia laws.
References: “Bearing Witness” (posting of letter from Khalil Thompson, Obama for America, Chicago) http://heidilipotpourri.blogspot.com/2008/08/bearing-witness.html
Clinton supporters protesting removal of delegate at Democratic National Convention http://www.whas11.com/news/local/stories/WHAS11_POLITICS_080814_CLINTONOBAMA.486a4d97.html
“Explain, Dems tell Clinton delegate” (article on state party efforts to discipline Colorado delegate for Clinton for refusing to switch to Obama)
Copy: Karen C. Handel, Secretary of State
VIA FAX: 404.651.9531
Jane V. Kidd, Chairwoman, Georgia Democratic Party firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers began posting states in which stories of irregularities regarding Clinton pledged delegates had been in the news.
KENDALBLUE on 08.15.08 at 12:23 am
a link about Kentucky delegate..clintonrules posted it.
On the 15th, PA Governor Ed Rendell (D) appeared with Neil Cavuto on FOX and misinformed the viewing audience, there is no such thing as a “pledged” delegate.
jbjd 08.15.08 at 7:07 pm
(PA IS AN UNBOUND COMMONWEALTH)
You are going to have to reach PA delegates who might not know Ed Rendell does not know what he is talking about. He’s saying there’s no such thing as pledged delegates within the Democratic Party. And, since PA delegates are unbound, they don’t know that in other states, including CA (we think), delegates are bound. So they might believe all delegates will switch their votes to BO, meaning even if they wanted to vote for HRC, their votes won’t matter.
Another state confirmed.
jbjd 08.15.08 at 7:08 pm
OREGON OREGON OREGON OREGON OREGON OREGON
Anyone from Oregon – Do a shoutout to other Oregonians. Have them email you and put their addresses into a group marked OR. I am going to have you send this to me. I am writing your state letter now!
Oregon is next!
jbjd 08.15.08 at 9:29 pm
HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP
Does anyone have any information on the OR HRC delegate being pressed to switch to BO? I can’t find this; but I heard this on the radio. Anyway, I really want to include a link in the OR letter which, otherwise, is ready to go. WHERE ARE MY OREGONIANS? I am dancing as fast as I can.
IN is next.
Here is a wonderful wrap-up from one of my Georgians of the maiden effort in the vote binding project.
antifish 08.15.08 at 10:04 pm
OK Pumas, let’s all cheer up.
Just to let you know, in concert with our fellow Puma, jbjd, we GA pumas fought back against delegate intimidation today. Jbjd wrote a wonderful letter in legalese which was faxed to our Att Gen and Sec of State. We sent copies through snail mail to all pledged delegates letting them know we have their back. I know jbjd is eager to help each of you in your states, but please realize that she must carefully research the laws of each state in order to craft the letter properly. Let’s all be patient as we fight the strong-arming and intimidation of delegates.
A reminder we are on the side of the law.
jbjd 08.15.08 at 11:02 pm
ABSOLUTELY SOMEONE SHOULD BE SETTING UP A GENERIC PROWL TO ALL STATE DELEGATES, UNPLEDGED OR PLEDGED
I am only working on pledged delegates because they are being harassed to change their minds. And I wanted to start in states whose laws require pledged delegates to follow their candidates into convention because anyone who coerces a person to break the law needs to be stopped.
CA, Nancy Pelosi’s home state is confirmed, and gearing up to go!
jbjd 08.15.08 at 11:25 pm
Yes; send emails to me so I can set up a folder for CA. I will have the letter ready to go out as soon as I get your email addresses. And does anyone in CA know of any additional stories of delegate harassment? I only have one example. (I also use examples from other states, though; it would be shortsighted to assume the types of harassment out there occur in only one state.)
Still trying to reach the delegates before they head out for Denver.
jbjd 08.16.08 at 12:52 am
COPIES OF THE AG LETTERS NEED TO GO TO ALL STATE DELEGATES WHO AT THIS POINT MIGHT HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON AND WHO NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON BEFORE THEY LEAVE FOR DENVER
Re-read my earlier comments today about Ed Rendell’s statement on t.v. The interviewer asked whether HRC winning was now possible. ‘Delegates can vote for anyone they want. The last time they were pledged was back in 1980 at the Carter Kennedy convention.’
State delegates can be reached by snail mail. It would be great if we could get these letters out tomorrow.
On the 16th, I posted the epiphany that Obama and the DNC are rigging the nomination.
jbjd 08.16.08 at 1:16 pm
I THINK I FIGURED OUT HOW BO AND THE DNC ARE RIGGING THE NOMINATION
I posted yesterday that I saw Ed Rendell on Neil Cavuto, rejecting NC’s proposition that HRC could still win if enough delegates changed their minds, with this statement: ‘That’s not going to happen; delegates can vote for anyone they want and they will vote for BO. We haven’t had a robot rule since the 1980 Kennedy Carter convention.’ After seeing this on t.v., I began posting here to remind you PUMAs that some states require, by law, that “pledged” delegates must vote for their candidate at least through the first round of voting at the convention. I warned you the DNC was engaging in a campaign of misinformation aimed at state delegates, who may or may not know what is the law in their states, to get them to think voting for HRC would be useless. I urged you to get word to state delegates, hold your vote.
Today, I started thinking, what if “robot rule” was actually a term of art? So, I looked it up. And, sure enough, it is.
And then it hit me. BO is spending this week spreading misinformation to get state delegates – not the supers – to change their votes. We have to try to stop him. Normally, this ’shepherding’ of delegates is done by the candidate; BO has been in touch with delegates in each state. But HRC cannot do this now. So we have to.
This needs to be a prowl.
On August 17, I ‘blew the whistle’ on the true nature of “pledged” delegates and the Democratic Party.
jbjd on 08.17.08 at 5:49 pm
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMENT I HAVE EVER WRITTEN OR WILL EVER WRITE ON THIS BLOG… PLEASE REFER OTHERS TO THIS COMMENT THROUGHOUT THE DAY, IN SUBSEQUENT COMMENTS… I AM BUSY WRITING YOUR STATE-SPECIFIC LETTERS TO THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL, TO BE COPIED TO OUR DEAR STATE DELEGATES PLEDGED TO HRC, TO LET THEM KNOW, WE HAVE THEIR BACKS…
DECONSTRUCTING DEMOCRACY AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
My Dear Fellow PUMAs,
If you are going crazy trying to figure out what’s happening with the Democratic Party, join the club. I’m not kidding. Join the club. Because it just hit me, the way to understand this Democratic nominating process is to think of The Democratic Party as what it is – a club. And the only thing that makes this club so special is that it was able to get permission from each of the 50 states to collect campaign contributions and put the names of the candidates it wants to hold office onto the state’s election ballot. That’s it. That’s all there is. Let me explain.
According to Party – or rather, club rules, presidential candidates are chosen at the club’s nominating convention. Afterward, the club submits the name of its candidate for POTUS to the appropriate state official in each state – usually the Secretary of State – as part of an application to get onto the state’s general election ballot, in compliance with that state’s laws. In fact, states only allow the candidate for POTUS chosen by a “major political party” to submit ballot papers so late in the game because club rules and by-laws require their candidates to be chosen at a “nominating convention.”
The club determines who will be its candidate for POTUS on the general election ballot through a vote at the convention by people it calls “delegates,” which delegates obtained that status through an allocation process set by the club. That is, the club places the names of its proposed candidates on state ballots in the primary and caucus elections and then, in exchange for receiving a specific number of votes in that process, the candidates are assigned a delegate to vote for them at the convention. Most state delegates are given a special status, called “pledged.” According to club rules, when these pledged delegates cast their votes at the convention, they should use their best judgment to represent the wishes of the voters based on whose votes they were elected. Historically, by counting these delegates pledged to each candidate, the club has usually been able to predict which of its candidates will end up with the nomination at the end of the primary and caucus process, since one candidate usually garners enough pledged delegates to surpass the number the club set as the requirement at the convention. But not this year. Neither club candidate – BO or HRC – was assigned enough delegates through the primary and caucus process to secure the nomination at the convention. Luckily, the club had in place rules whereby this deficit in delegates could be made up by special delegates commonly referred to as super delegates who get to cast their votes for either candidate at the convention.
The Democratic Party set up volumes of rules and by-laws that govern all these operations, with auspicious sounding titles like “Charter,” “Constitution,” “Model Rules to Delegate Selection Process,” and “Call to the Convention.” But here’s the thing about all these club rules: they can be changed at any time. According to club rules. So, if like me, you have read club rules and believe, as I do, that members of the club have not played fair throughout this presidential nominating process, am I saying there is nothing you can do about it? Hardly.
Remember what I said in the beginning: the state only lets the club get onto official state ballots as long as they follow state rules. And unlike club rules, when states make rules, they’re called laws. (TO BE CONTINUED…)
And my eventual reply to the alert about delegate harassment in KY.
jbjd on 08.18.08 at 10:22 pm
KENTUCKY IS A PLEDGED STATE! I AM ON IT… LOOK FOR IT…
And the follow-up.
jbjd on 08.19.08 at 12:55 am
I am all over KY – I have the law but this letter is unique since the club actually replaced a delegate pledged to HRC with one pledged to BO, ostensibly to satisfy an affirmative action requirement in either DNC or state rules – and NH. CA, GA, IN, and OR are done. When you wake up, look for the posting.
Now I was put in touch with Ricki Lieberman, in NY, a muckity-muck in the Democratic Party everyone else seemed to know about but me. Here is how she was described on Huffington Post a few weeks earlier, in July.
Also a former Clinton “Hillraiser” (meaning she raised more than $100,000 for the campaign), Lieberman is keeping her own private hope alive with a daily email blast to supporters, entitled “Electability Watch,” which features a cascade of negative articles and other items about Obama as a means to argue that superdelegates should change their minds in Denver and crown Clinton the nominee instead.
Ricki printed my work on vote binding states in her now-infamous newsletter, “Electability Watch.”
I was also put in touch with a reporter from the LATimes. I did my best to inspire him to write a story, describing the unlawful attempts made by agents acting for Obama to coerce delegates pledged to Clinton in vote binding states to switch their votes to him. He just wasn’t interested.
On the morning of August 21, 2008, this article on Georgia Politics Unfiltered proved, our campaign to stop pledged delegate harassment had worked in GA. (Perhaps not coincidentally, GA was the only state in which I had been able to recruit a team of volunteers to carry out all of the steps of the project, including sending a copy of the AG’s letter to the delegates along with a note saying, “We have your back.”)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Attorney General Tells GA Delegates They Can’t Switch Their Vote At The Convention
I’ve confirmed with two members of the state’s Democratic National Convention delegation that Attorney General Thurbert Baker sent them a letter informing them that they could not switch their vote to another presidential candidate if they are a pledged delegate to someone else.
Two delegates pledged to New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Shannon Marietta of Dougherty County and Cheryl Williams of Gwinnett County, both said they received a letter from the Attorney General stating that they could not switch their vote until Sen. Clinton released them or she received less than 35% of the vote during the roll call vote.
The Attorney General’s letter cites an relatively unknown section of Georgia’s presidential preference primary law that states Any person selected as a delegate or delegate alternate to such national convention shall file a qualification oath with the Secretary of State pledging support at the convention to the candidate of their political party or body for the office of President of the United States for whom they are selected to support. The oath shall state that the delegate or delegate alternate affirms to support such candidate until the candidate is either nominated by such convention or receives less than 35 percent of the votes for nomination by such convention during any balloting, or until the candidate releases the delegates from such pledge. No delegate shall be required to vote for such candidate after two convention nominating ballots have been completed. [Source: Official Code of Georgia Annotated 21-2-196]
Both Clinton delegates said they planned on voting for New York’s junior Senator on the first ballot anyway.
I’m currently working on getting a copy of the letter.
Ricki also contacted Alegre’s Corner, another PUMA blog, to post the work on her site, and recruit citizens from these states to download their state letters and send to the identified recipients. That night, Alegre’s Corner had joined the vote binding state campaign.
By August 23, everyone is listening.
jbjd on 08.23.08 at 11:37 am
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG
Howard Wolfson, staunch HRC supporter and formerly with her campaign, has been a pundit for FOX since some time after HRC suspended her campaign. He just announced (remote) to Cavuto, some states have laws that require delegates to vote for HRC.
Cavuto: ‘You mean even if HRC releases her delegates, they still have to vote for her?’
WOW! WOW! WOW! As most of you know, finding these laws and getting out the word is what I have been working on! Isn’t this great news?
The next day, August 24, the day before the opening day of the convention, CNN, HuffingtonPost, FOXNews, and NYDailyNews, among others, attributing different sources, announced for the first time that Clinton would release her delegates at a luncheon on Wednesday afternoon, and not after the first open call of the roll of all delegates from all states on the floor of the convention. They also announced the DNC had lifted all sanctions against FL and MI – Clinton won both states, neither one of which is a vote binding state – giving them full votes at the convention.
Still left intact since its announcement 10 days earlier, on August 14th, was the plan to hold an open roll call vote of all delegates from all states on the floor of the convention.
But would that plan still be in place at the start of the convention?
(Next: Part 3: The Coup at the Convention)