Resolution Passes SD 25 in Bexar County!

March 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, News & Commentary

The following resolution was passed by the Senatorial District 25 convention held on March 20, 2010 in Bexar County. The vote was 29-24.

If you know of any other Senatorial District or County Conventions passed the resolution, let us know in the comments or by using the contact form.

Resolution to Select All National Delegates Based on Presidential Primary Results

Whereas, it is a Democratic Party principle that each Democratic voter’s vote should have equal weight;

And the presidential selection caucus system makes some Democratic voters’ votes more important than others;

Whereas, it is a Democratic Party principle that all Democrats should have easy access to the ballot;

And the presidential caucus is unavailable to many Democratic voters because of the weekday evening hour if they work, have small children, are disabled, are homebound, in the military or out of county;

Whereas, Democratic voters are allowed to cast their primary vote by mail or during the two weeks of early voting to accommodate varied working and travel schedules as well as the needs of those over the age of 65 and the disabled;

And the caucus vote is at only one hour on one day;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Democratic Party shall institute true democracy in the presidential primary process by abolishing the hybrid system of allocating presidential delegates by a combination of primary and caucus results and instituting a delegate allocation system based solely on the presidential primary results.

Attend County Conventions Today, March 20, to Vote on Resolutions to Reform Texas Primary/Caucus System

March 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, News & Commentary

The Texas Democratic Party is holding county and senatorial district conventions today, March 20, around the state. Many resolutions to reform or end the Texas Two Step were passed at precinct conventions on March 2. These resolutions will be considered today in the Resolutions Committees at the County and Senatorial District conventions. If they pass the resolution committees, then the resolutions will be considered on the floor of the conventions by all the delegates. It may be late in the afternoon until the resolutions reach the floors of the conventions, so if you want to be able to vote on the resolutions, you will need to stay until they come up for a vote, which could be late in the afternoon.

Please try to get elected a delegate to the State Convention in Corpus Christi in June. We will need you at the State Convention to support the resolutions.

Resolution to Reform the Texas Two Step System Passes Precinct 231 in SD 14 in Travis County

March 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, News & Commentary

Scott Cobb took the resolution below to his precinct 231 convention in Senatorial District 14 in Travis County and it was approved unanimously with one person, the chair, not voting. If you took a resolution to your precinct, let us know if it passed.

Resolution to Reform the Texas Two Step System of Allocating Delegates in Presidential Election Years

Whereas the current Texas Two-Step system used to apportion delegates among candidates for the Democratic nomination for president is unfair because it violates the principles of “one person, one vote” and “equal opportunity to vote”, and

Whereas under the Texas Two-Step system 65 percent of the pledged delegates are apportioned based on the primary results and 35 percent of the pledged delegates are apportioned based on the results of the caucus/convention system, and

Whereas the Texas Two-Step decreases the voting strength of people who cast a ballot in the primary but who do not or cannot return to participate in the caucuses, and
Whereas all eligible voters have an opportunity to vote in the primary by mail or during the early voting period, but many people are unable to spend hours on election night attending caucuses to fully support their candidate. People who cannot attend precinct conventions to caucus include members of the U.S. armed forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere around the world; many people over the age of 65; many parents with young children; many people with disabilities; people who are ill on the day of the precinct convention; anyone traveling away from home on election day, and anyone who must be at work or school at the time of the convention, especially if they are employed in low-wage, jobs without the flexibility to reschedule or unable to afford the missed wages. Other people may just be unaware that to fully support their chosen candidate they have to come back for the caucuses.

Whereas Texas is the only state where the Democratic Party uses a combined primary and caucus system to apportion delegates and in order to use its unfair system, the Texas Democratic Party has had to get a waiver from the DNC because DNC rules normally do not allow the kind of hybrid system that Texas uses, and

Whereas a system with all the pledged delegates allocated based on the results of the primary would be fairer and more inclusive.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Democratic Party shall change its rules to require adoption of a Texas National Delegate Selection Plan for future presidential election years under which all pledged national delegates shall be allocated based on the results of the popular vote in the Texas presidential primary.

Passed by the precinct convention held in Precinct 231 Senatorial District 14 on March 2, 2010.

Media Advisory: Democrats Seeking to Reform Party Rules Will Push Resolutions at Precinct Conventions March 2 to End the “Texas Two-Step”

March 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, News & Commentary, Press Releases

Media Advisory

For immediate release: March 2, 2010

From: ChangetheCaucus.org

Contact: Scott Cobb 512-552-4743

Democrats Seeking to Reform Party Rules Will Push Resolutions at Precinct Conventions March 2 to End the “Texas Two-Step”

Group Supporters to Present Resolutions at Precinct Conventions Proposing an End to the “Texas Two Step” Used by Texas Democrats to Allocate Delegates in Presidential Election Years

A group of Texas Democrats who are seeking an end to the “Texas Two Step” process of allocating delegates among candidates for the Democratic nomination for president will present resolutions at precinct conventions tonight urging the Texas Democratic Party to end the so-called “Texas Two-Step” delegate selection process. Resolutions are submitted at precinct conventions, then on March 20 resolutions passed by precincts are considered at senatorial district or county conventions, and finally the issue will be taken up at the TDP State Convention in Corpus Christi June 25-26.

The group, whose website is ChangeTheCaucus.org, wants the Texas Democratic Party to change its rules, so that in the future 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.

Scott Cobb, a longtime Texas Democrat, said, “the current system is unfair because it violates the principles of ‘one person, one vote’ and ‘equal opportunity to vote’. All eligible voters have an opportunity to vote in the primary by mail or during the early voting period, but many people are unable to spend hours on election night attending caucuses to fully support their candidate. People who cannot attend precinct conventions to caucus include members of the U.S. armed forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere around the world; many people over the age of 65; many parents with young children; many people with disabilities; people who are ill on the day of the precinct convention; anyone traveling away from home on election day, and anyone who must be at work or school at the time of the convention, especially if they are employed in low-wage, jobs without the flexibility to reschedule or unable to afford the missed wages. Other people may just be unaware that to fully support their chosen candidate they have to come back for the caucuses”.

At the Texas Democratic Party State Convention in June 2008, 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 the grounds that TDP Chair Boyd Richie had appointed State Senator Royce West to chair a committee that would be looking into the caucus system and that would hold hearings to take testimony. The committee, according to Richie’s letter to West, “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.” Senator West’s Committee held 10 meetings in various cities across Texas in the Fall of 2008, but it has still not issued a report.

Critics of the Texas Two-Step include former Texas Supreme Court Justice Bob Gammage, who wrote a letter to the State Democratic Executive Committee 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 said, “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”.

Five days before his death in November 2008 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.” Watch video of Mattox testifying.

“We believe ALL voters should count equally”, said Scott Cobb, one of the organizers of ChangeTheCaucus.org, who attended the hearings held by the Advisory Committee in Harlingen, El Paso, Arlington, Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Nacogdoches.

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Another Version of a Resolution to End the Texas Two-Step

March 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, News & Commentary

Resolution to End the Texas Two Step System of Allocating Delegates in Presidential Election Years

Whereas the current Texas Two-Step system used to apportion delegates among candidates for the Democratic nomination for president is unfair because it violates the principles of “one person, one vote” and “equal opportunity to vote”, and

Whereas under the Texas Two-Step system 65 percent of the pledged delegates are apportioned based on the primary results and 35 percent of the pledged delegates are apportioned based on the results of the caucus/convention system, and

Whereas the Texas Two-Step decreases the voting strength of people who cast a ballot in the primary but who do not or cannot return to participate in the caucuses, and

Whereas all eligible voters have an opportunity to vote in the primary by mail or during the early voting period, but many people are unable to spend hours on election night attending caucuses to fully support their candidate. People who cannot attend precinct conventions to caucus include members of the U.S. armed forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere around the world; many people over the age of 65; many parents with young children; many people with disabilities; people who are ill on the day of the precinct convention; anyone traveling away from home on election day, and anyone who must be at work or school at the time of the convention, especially if they are employed in low-wage, jobs without the flexibility to reschedule or unable to afford the missed wages. Other people may just be unaware that to fully support their chosen candidate they have to come back for the caucuses.

Whereas Texas is the only state where the Democratic Party uses a combined primary and caucus system to apportion delegates and in order to use its unfair system, the Texas Democratic Party has had to get a waiver from the DNC because DNC rules normally do not allow the kind of hybrid system that Texas uses, and

Whereas a system with all the pledged delegates allocated based on the results of the primary would be fairer and more inclusive.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Democratic Party shall change its rules to require adoption of a Texas National Delegate Selection Plan for future presidential election years under which all pledged national delegates shall be allocated based on the results of the popular vote in the Texas presidential primary.

Passed by the precinct convention held in Precinct ____________ Senatorial District ___________ on March 2, 2010.