Tell the Democratic Change Commission to Prohibit the Texas Two-Step

August 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, News & Commentary

The Democratic National Committee’s Democratic Change Commission is accepting input on how to improve the delegate selection process for the 2012 election. Please click here to go to their website and fill out the feedback form to tell the DNC not to allow Texas to use its hybrid primary/caucus process to allocate delegates. Currently, Texas is the only state that uses a combined primary and caucus system to allocate delegates. In order to use its unfair system, the TDP has had to get a waiver from the DNC because DNC rules normally prohibit the kind of hybrid system that Texas uses.

If you send your comments by Friday, August 21, the comments may be presented to the members of the Commission at their next meeting on August 29.

Here is the press release announcing the Change Commission:

Washington, D.C. — Today, Governor Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, announced the 37 member Democratic Change Commission, which will recommend changes to the Democratic Party’s rules for the 2012 presidential nominating and delegate selection process. Governor Kaine also announced that he has named Congressman James E. Clyburn of South Carolina and Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri as Co-Chairs of the Change Commission.

“This Commission will focus on reform that improves the presidential nominating process to put voters first and ensure that as many people as possible can participate,” said Kaine. “I want to thank all the members of the Commission who have agreed to serve, including Congressman Clyburn and Senator McCaskill who have graciously agreed to serve as co-chairs.”

Governor Kaine went on to say that he hopes to work with the Republican National Committee on a common approach that puts voters first.

President Obama first announced his intention to form the Democratic Change Commission in August 2008, during his presidential campaign. Delegates to the Democratic National Convention adopted President Obama’s proposal on Monday, August 25, 2008.

The Democratic Change Commission will address three issues: 1) changing the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held 2) reducing the number of superdelegates and 3) improving the caucus system. A copy of the convention resolution establishing the Commission is below. The Commission must issue its report and recommendations to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee no later than January 1, 2010.

The Commission is made up of 35 members and two co-chairs and represents a diverse mix of DNC members, elected officials, representatives of State Parties, academics, labor, business, grassroots activists and other Party leaders.

The Texas Two-Step 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, 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”. Almost 2.9 million people voted in the Democratic primary, but only about one-third of the people who voted in the primary returned for the caucuses. So around 2,000,000 people voted in the primary but did not return for the caucuses. Those people who did not return lost a full third of their voting power.

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