Democrats Who Oppose the “Texas Two Step” to Hold Press Conference Friday, November 14, at 9:15 AM in Austin
For immediate release: November 14, 2008
Contact: Sue Berkel 512-689-8733
Democrats Who Oppose the “Texas Two Step” to Hold Press Conference Friday, November 14 at 9:15 AM in Austin
Group Members to Testify to Texas Democratic Party Advisory Committee for an End to the Texas Two Step Used by Texas Democrats to Allocate Delegates
A group of Democrats who are seeking an end to the “Texas Two Step” process of allocating delegates among the candidates for president will hold a press conference in Austin Friday, November 14, at 9:15 AM in front of the AFL-CIO building at 1106 Lavaca Street.
The press conference is being held immediately before the final meeting of a committee set up by the Texas Democratic Party and chaired by Senator Royce West that, according to TDP Chair Boyd Richie, “has been charged with studying the current convention/caucus system. Furthermore, based on the testimony taken at these meetings, the committee will then consider this feedback and possibly make recommendations for changes.”
The group, whose website is ChangeTheCaucus.org, wants the Texas Democratic Party to change its rules, so that all national Texas pledged delegates are awarded to presidential candidates based only on the results of the popular vote in the Primary. In 2008, pledged delegates were chosen through a complicated “Texas Two-Step” process that allocated 126 delegates based on the primary vote and 67 through the caucus system.
At the Texas Democratic State Convention in June, the group collected signatures from more than 30 percent of the number of delegates to the convention on a resolution calling for an end to the “Texas Two-Step”. When the resolution was brought to the floor of the convention, it was tabled without discussion on a motion by State Senator Royce West on the grounds that his committee will be looking into the caucus system.
Critics of the Texas Two-Step include former Texas Supreme Court Justice Bob Gammage, who wrote a letter saying he wants the TDP to “abolish the Texas Two-Step process and restore the democratic integrity of our ballot and our delegate selection process”.
Gammage’s letter says, “Texas Democrats have taken a giant step back from the fight for ballot equality by adopting the so-called “Texas Two-Step” system, which enables undemocratic caucuses to determine a third of the delegates who attend our presidential nominating conventions, regardless of the democratically expressed will of the voters who participated in the election itself. This system ignores the very purpose of all the preceding ballot expansion and democratization efforts, by giving an unfair weighted numerical advantage to a small percentage of voters who find it convenient to show up on a single night, after the polls have closed, for a limited number of hours to determine fully one-third of the delegates who will move to the next step of the presidential delegate selection process”.
“We believe ALL voters should count equally”, said Scott Cobb, one of the organizers of ChangeTheCaucus.org, who has attended hearings held by the Advisory Committee in Harlingen, El Paso, Arlington and Nacogdoches.
The meeting of the TDP advisory committee will begin shortly after the press conference at the AFL-CIO Building in Austin on November 14, 2008 at 10:00am. The address is 1106 Lavaca Street, Austin, Texas 78701.