Change Commission #3: Superdelegates

Berman talking about reducing the role of the unpledged delegates, but want to retain value and role of the elected officials and party leaders

Could explore “pledged” delegate role for these

The method for the reduction – should we nail down a %?  Or simply state that there will be a significant reduction.  Subsequent to today – we should be mindful that party leaders & elected officials are properly considered. 

Clyburn bringing up the issue of diversity and how do we make sure that we retain diversity around the unpledged delegates – how did they contribute to/detract from the diversity of our total delegate.  Diversity in terms of agenda, ethnicity and race.  Need to be careful to not get that out of kilter.

Tom Miller recommending that we get rid of the unpledged delegates altogether.  Whatever we do – we take away the possibility and perception that unpledged delegates can overturn the will of the people. However, we need to make sure that the PLEOS be at the event – especially to make sure that the convention is a time to heal the party.  Proposal to be non-voting (or non-voting for all but the President).  How do the governors, Senators and DNC people make sure to still be there but not have disproportionate power. 

Idea from Rep. Clyburn – keep title of unpledged, but change the definition.

Carrick pointing out the Slippery slope if we have some, but not all elected as unpledged (we’ve been there before)

Question Could there be/should there be “PLEO” expansion?  Clyburn pointed out that it could still whack the diversity balance – need to subject PLEOs to diversity requirements.

Suzi Analysis: impressed that the current thinking is to increase diversity capability and/or preserve

Question around affect that removal of unpledged delegate vote as a recruiting technique?  People who ran for those DNC positions – can’t afford to go to all of those meetings.

Steve Horsford: Could have diversity requirement applied to the PLEO criteria

Meredith clarifying that diversity goals are applied per state and then the states then decide whether to have diversity on the different categories

Question: clarifying whether the non-voting status applies to the DNC members or not.

Idea: is get the elected officials/DNC members – better position at the inauguration

Idea brought up to retain some % of congresspeople still retaining unpledged – but then to run among themselves.  Idea shot down because then folks will then lobby those members of the house/senate and you get into a situation

Idea to include diversity requirement applied

Majority leader’s opinion on this – was that she is okay with it going to 0, but retain presence – and have diversity only apply to voting candidates.

I took the “slippery slope term and emphasized that, by retaining some % of unpledged delegates

Recommendation from Jim Roosevelt to apply/recommend states have diversity apply to PLEO categories (some states do/some don’t – note that WA state doesn’t , OR does)

Roosevelt emphasizing that he is hearing 2 options:

  1. Convert unpledged to non-voting for all (goes to 0%)
  2. Convert unpledged to non-voting for some (goes to x%)

Clyburn thinks that safest & best path is non-voting delegates.  Pledged category can be add-on to the regular process and diversity needs to apply across the board.  They have to run within their state based

Plouffe – we don’t want our Presidential candidates to have to go hat in hand to the unpledged delegates. 

Joan Garry pointing out that we have the opportunity to really emphasize that we are listening and can make a solid recommendation that people out there will appreciate this step to make the process more fair and put the voice of the people at the front.

Concern raised about the DNC folks to opt out of being voting members.  Idea of perhaps creating “pledged” category for the DNC members.

Roll of DNC members – they were extremely involved.

Comment from one of the commission members If Barack had not won definitively in South Dakota Montana – it would have been catastrophic for him to leave the result up to the unpledged delegates

An idea from another commission member:  designate pushed for DNC members to be pushed into a “pledged” category. 

Reward for their work.  Get elected as DNC members

Plouffe bringing up the valid point that with that 3rd option that they either get to run as a pleo, but what that then still strips them of their autonomy

Rules of the party are to vote our conscience – thus, by designating % breakdown among pledged voters – forcing people to vote against their conscience.  I gave a case study example of WA state.  80% of elected DNC members supported Clinton.  67% of state supported Barack. (*UPDATE ON THIS – WAS DISCUSSING WITH A FRIEND WHO POINTED OUT THAT IT WASN’T 80% OF THE ELECTED DNC MEMBERS WHO SUPPORTED CLINTON.  I NEED TO DO MORE RESEARCH ON THIS – BUT AT LEAST WANTED TO GET THIS IN HERE.  THE KEY HERE IS THAT, HYPOTHETICALLY, YOU COULD CREATE A SCENARIO WHERE PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO VOTE AGAINST THEIR CONSCIENCE.)

Berman:  Wanting to respect (elected) DNC member’s leadership doesn’t mean that having a vote is their reward.  Not a great message that vote is a “perk” – Clyburn subsequently reinforced this comment (SUZI Comment: this is one of my favorite comments.  Shortly before, I had written a note to myself asking what the DNC could establish as a recruitment tool and benefit other than a convention vote)

Suzi Big question & analysis is – what’s the value of “required pledged” v. “non-voting” and what signal do we send to the masses. 

Alexis Herman clarifying options :

  1. Non-voting option – expand pledged delegates? 
  2. Maintain voting status, reduce % in categories
  3. Maintain status quo in numbers, but convert the DNC members to become pledged – post primary – still gets rid of status for the elected officials

And was concerned about leaving too many questions for the RBC to resolve

Oregon state chair raising the point of state chairs & vice chairs  – critical that they stay neutral and that they respect the primary process.  Also need to be respectful to the candidates.  She disagrees with the idea of allocating DNC members to pledge by %.

Minyon Moore comment: the will of the people is critical that we discuss – no matter who is on and who is off.  The American people need to understand that they are being heard.  Need to respect the elected officials and understand that they play critical roles.


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