Democrats Who Oppose the “Texas Two Step” to Attend Hearing on Primary/Caucus System in San Antonio Dec 20

December 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Press Releases

Media Advisory

For immediate release: December 20, 2008

Contact: Scott Cobb 512-xxx-xxxx, www.changethecaucus.org

Democrats Who Oppose the “Texas Two Step” to Attend Hearing on Primary/Caucus System at San Antonio Area Progressive Action Coalition in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday December 20

Group Members to Testify to Texas Democratic Party Advisory Committee for an End to the Texas Two Step Used by Texas Democrats to Allocate National 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 attend a hearing sponsored by the Texas Democratic Party in San Antonio on Saturday, December 20. Members of the group will be available for media interviews starting at 10:00am on December 20 before the hearing starts as well as while the hearing is in progress.

The hearing is being held by the Advisory Committee on the Texas Democratic Party Convention/Caucus System. The Committee is conducting a series of meetings open to the public to allow for Democrats from all across the state to share their Primary/caucus experience. This is the 9th and final meeting for public testimony before the committee begins deliberation on any changes they decide to recommend based on input from the public.

The meeting of the Advisory committee will be at the San Antonio Area Progressive Action Coalition in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, Dec 20, 2008 at 10:30am. The SAAPAC is located at 7122 San Pedro, Ste 114 (rear of the building next to Ocean Dental).

The “End the Texas Two Step” group wants the Texas Democratic Party to change its rules for future elections, so that all national delegates are awarded to presidential candidates based only on the results of the popular vote in the primary. In 2008, delegates were chosen through a complicated “Texas Two-Step” process that allocated 126 delegates based on the primary 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 Senator Royce West on the grounds that his committee will be looking into the caucus system.

“The current system is unfair because it dilutes the voting strength of people who vote in the primary but do not return for the caucuses. Many people can not attend caucuses because of reasons beyond their control, such as their age or their health, or they may have young children, or they may work or attend school in the evenings, or they may be in the military and stationed overseas. Others may just be unaware that to fully support their chosen candidate they have to “vote twice”. Less than one-third of the 2.8 million people who voted in the Democratic primary on March 4 returned for the caucuses. Around 2,000,000 people voted in the primary but did not return for the caucuses”, said Scott Cobb.

“We believe ALL voters should count equally”, said Amy Esdorn, who voted for Barack Obama in the primary, but was unable to attend the caucus because she is a graduate student who had class the evening of March 4.

Five days before his death on November 19, former Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox testified at an Austin hearing of the TDP Advisory Committee on the Convention/Caucus. He testified, “Now let me tell you, folks. This system we’ve got is an expensive system. It’s an unintelligible system. It is an acrimonious system across the board. It is subject to misconduct, it is subject to fraud, it is subject to manipulation. It’s unfair, it’s uncertain, it’s inaccurate, and it’s an embarrassment to our party.”

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