** High Priority **
Dear DNC Members:
I wanted to make sure you see the Press Release I sent out this afternoon on the work of the Change Commission. The next steps are the work of the RBC in reviewing the recommendations and then your vote on the presentation of our delegate selection rules.
Let me take a moment to wish you a very happy new year, to thank you for all your hard work, and to share my hope for a wonderful — and democratic — 2010.
For Immediate Release
December 30, 2009
DNC Chairman Tim Kaine Issued the Following Statement on the Democratic Change Commission’s Recommendations to Improve the Presidential Nominating Process
Washington – DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement after the Democratic Change Commission this afternoon voted to approve its recommendations to the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee designed to improve the Presidential nominating process. The Commission was created as a result of a resolution passed unanimously by the delegates in attendance at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. The Commission made its recommendations to the Rules and Bylaws Committee by unanimous agreement.
The recommendations include pushing back the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held; converting unpledged delegates (DNC members, Democratic Members of the House and Senate, Democratic Governors and Distinguished Former Party Leaders) to a new category of pledged delegate called the National Pledged Party Leader and Elected Official (NPLEO) delegates, which will be allocated to Presidential candidates based on the state wide primary or caucus results; and establishing a ?best practices? program for caucus states to improve and strengthen their caucuses. Under the Commission’s recommendations – the pre-primary window could not begin until February 1st or thereafter, and the primary window could not begin until the second Tuesday in March or thereafter.
The recommendations come after nearly a year of discussion about how best to improve the system to make it as accessible and open as possible.
I want to congratulate Congressman Clyburn and Senator McCaskill and entire the Democratic Change Commission for issuing their recommendations today and for taking up this important work,? said Kaine.
Openness, fairness, and accessibility are central to our ideals as Democrats, and the Commission’s recommendations to reform the delegate selection process will ensure that voters’ voices and preferences are paramount to our process of nominating a Presidential candidate.
The Commission’s recommendations are consistent with the goals of the Democratic Party and President Obama and with the Commission’s mandate. And though this is the first step in a process that will later include a full examination by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee and the full membership of the DNC, it is an important statement about the direction our Party is going and our priorities as we look to 2012 and beyond.
As we work towards improving our Presidential nominating process and making it accessible to as many voters as possible, I am grateful to the Commission for its hard work in moving this process forward.
The Democratic Change Commission was tasked by a resolution passed during the 2008 Democratic Convention with recommending changes to the Democratic Party’s rules for the 2012 Presidential nominating and delegate selection process.
By appointing the Change Commission this spring, Gov. Kaine has followed through on President Obama’s promise made during the election to reexamine and improve the Democratic primary process.
Gov. Kaine, President Obama, and the Democratic Party believe that improving the primary system is an important priority, and that the process should be as inclusive and accessible as possible.
The Democratic Change Commission was tasked by the delegates to the 2008 Democratic Convention with doing three things:
1. Changing the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held
2. Reducing the number of super delegates
3. Improving the caucus system.
The Commission is made up of 34 members and two co-chairs (for 36 members total) and represents a diverse mix of DNC members, elected officials, representatives of State Parties, academics, organized labor officials, grassroots activists, and other Party leaders.
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn and Senator Claire McCaskill have served as the co-chairs.