TDP State Convention June 16-18, 2016 in San Antonio

final720The first Texas Democratic Party State Convention since the end of the Texas Two Step will be held in San Antonio June 16-18, 2016. This is the first year that all of the pledged delegates to the national Democratic convention are allocated from Texas based solely on the results of the primary instead of the old primary/caucus hybrid system that we successfully worked to end. The Texas two-step system was first tried in 1976 and was used continuously every four years from 1988-2012.

The Texas Democratic Party has a website that gives all the information, including how to file to run for national delegate or for a position on a committee or for the SDEC.

Good luck to everyone who decides to run for a position.

Attend the meeting “Reform the TDP Caucus/Primary Process” from 9-11 AM on Friday at the TDP state convention

June 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, News & Commentary, TDP State Convention

Are you interested in reforming the Texas Democratic Party’s primary/caucus system? Would you prefer that in future presidential election years all delegates to the national convention are allocated solely based on the results of the popular vote in the primary?

The 2010 Texas Democratic Party State Convention is your chance to change the party rules.

Attend the meeting “Reform the TDP Caucus/Primary Process” from 9-11 AM on Friday at the state convention in Room 225 D-E, American Bank Center.

Under the current Texas Democratic Party primary/caucus 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.

The current system decreases the voting strength of people who cast a ballot in the primary but who do not or cannot return to caucus at the precinct conventions.

While all eligible voters have an opportunity to vote in the primary by mail or during the early voting period, 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.

A new system with all the pledged delegates allocated based solely on the results of the primary would be fairer and more inclusive.

This proposal for change is coming up from the grassroots of the party because Democrats across the state brought resolutions to their precinct conventions last March proposing changes to the party rules. Many of those resolutions passed precinct conventions and then were approved at multiple senatorial district or county conventions, so they will now be considered by the Rules Committee at the State Convention.

If you are interested in learning more about our proposal to change the primary/caucus system and how you can help us persuade the Party to change the rules, you can attend our issue caucus meeting at the State Convention on Friday, June 25, from 9 -11 AM.

“Reform the TDP Caucus/Primary Process”, Room 225 D-E, American Bank Center, 9-11 AM on Friday at the state convention.

We need volunteers to help us at the State Convention to collect signatures on a petition to change the party rules.

If you can volunteer to help us collect petition signatures, please go to the exhibition hall at the convention center and look for the booth for “Reform the TDP Caucus/Primary Process”. We will have stickers and lots of clipboards, all we need are volunteers to help us collect the signatures.

If you are interested in changing the party rules, we encourage you to run for election to the Rules Committee from your senatorial district. Many reform resolutions were approved at senatorial district or county conventions, so reforming the primary/caucus issue will be considered by the Rules Committee.

If you have questions or you can help us collect signatures on Friday or Saturday, please contact Scott Cobb by email at scottcobb99@gmail.com. You can also call Scott at 512 552 4743 or Linda Burgess at 512 529 7235. You can reach them at those cell phone numbers during the convention.

For background information visit our website www.changethecaucus.org.

See you in Corpus Christi!

TDP Does Not Need the Approval of the Texas Legislature to End the Texas Two-Step

November 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Analysis & Research, Blog, TDP State Convention

The Texas Democratic Party could stop using the Texas Two-Step system without seeking a change in the Texas Election Code through the Texas Legislature. TDP could adopt a system of allocating all pledged delegates based on the results of the popular vote just by changing its own rules and adopting an appropriate National Delegate Selection Plan for 2012. It is not necessary to go through the Texas Legislature to end the Texas Two-Step.

The relevant section of the Texas Election Code says

§ 191.007. ALLOCATION OF DELEGATES. Each political party holding a presidential primary election shall adopt a rule for allocating delegates based on the results of the presidential primary election. At least 75 percent of the total number of delegates who are to represent this state at the party’s national presidential nominating convention, excluding delegates allocated among party and elected officials, shall be allocated in accordance with the rule among one or more of the candidates whose names appear on the presidential primary election ballot and, if applicable, the uncommitted status.

There are a total of 228 delegates from Texas to the National Democratic Convention. 35 are superdelegates and 25 are pledged party and elected leaders. 228 minus 60 leaves 168 delegates who are not allocated among party and elected officials. 75 percent of 168 is 126, which is exactly the number of delegates currently elected at the senatorial district level based on the popular vote in the senatorial district.

The key phrase in the Election Code is “at least 75 percent.” The TDP could simply change its rules if it decided to raise the number of delegates that are allocated based on the results of the presidential primary election to 100 percent of the total number of delegates who are to represent Texas at the party’s national presidential nominating convention.

Article VII of the TDP Rules state:

8. (a) At least 75% of the base number of Delegates, not including designated Party and Elected Official Delegates, shall be elected by Senatorial District Caucuses at the State Convention. The exact number (between 75% and 100%) to be so elected shall be determined by majority vote of the SDEC at its meeting in January of presidential years and shall be included in the official Call to the State Convention of that year.

TDP Survey Results from State Convention on Primacaucus

July 7, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, TDP State Convention

It looks like if a discussion and a vote had been allowed on the Resolution at the State Convention on Ending the Two-Step Resolution, it could very well have passed, based on the results of the survey that people were asked to fill out at the convention. At the least, it would have been close.

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Read this document on Scribd: TDP Caucus Survey Results

Text of the Resolution Presented to the 2008 TDP State Convention

July 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, TDP State Convention

This is the resolution that was brought to the floor of the state convention after more than 30 percent of the number of delegates signed it.

The Texas One-Step Resolution

Whereas the TDP rules state that the “State Democratic Executive Committee shall carry on the activities of the Party between State Conventions in compliance with the law and with the directives of the Convention”;

Be it resolved that, effective January 1, 2009, the Texas Democratic Party eliminate the allocation of presidential delegates by caucus, in favor of all pledged presidential delegates being selected by the voice of the people as expressed by the voters in the Democratic Primary;

Be it also resolved that, upon adoption of this resolution by the Texas Democratic Party State Convention, which is the highest governing authority of the Texas Democratic Party, the State Democratic Executive Committee is directed and bound by this resolution to adopt a Texas National Delegate Selection Plan for the 2012 presidential year under which all pledged national delegates shall be allocated based on the results of the popular vote in the 2012 Texas presidential primary.

Signatures on Petition at TDP State Convention

July 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, TDP State Convention

These are signatures on the petition for the One-Step Resolution that was signed by more than 30 percent of the number of delegates to the 2008 Texas Democratic Party State Convention held June 6-7, 2008 in Austin. Most of the signatures are in the below document. There are some signatures that are not in this PDF.

Petition Signatures for Resolution to End the Texas Two-StepUpload a Document to Scribd
Read this document on Scribd: Petition Signatures for Resolution to End the Texas Two-Step

The resolution was brought to the floor of the convention, but a motion to table it was made by Senator Royce West before anyone was allowed to discuss the proposal.

The Texas One-Step Resolution

Whereas the TDP rules state that the “State Democratic Executive Committee shall carry on the activities of the Party between State Conventions in compliance with the law and with the directives of the Convention”;

Be it resolved that, effective January 1, 2009, the Texas Democratic Party eliminate the allocation of presidential delegates by caucus, in favor of all pledged presidential delegates being selected by the voice of the people as expressed by the voters in the Democratic Primary;

Be it also resolved that, upon adoption of this resolution by the Texas Democratic Party State Convention, which is the highest governing authority of the Texas Democratic Party, the State Democratic Executive Committee is directed and bound by this resolution to adopt a Texas National Delegate Selection Plan for the 2012 presidential year under which all pledged national delegates shall be allocated based on the results of the popular vote in the 2012 Texas presidential primary.

Letter from Boyd Richie to Senator West

July 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, TDP State Convention, West Committee

The below letter was sent to Senator West by TDP Chair Boyd Richie on April 22, 2008. Richie asks West to study the issue in the window of opportunity before the state convention convenes on June 6. He asks West to “provide a formal written recommendation to the Permanent Rules Committee of the State Democratic Convention”.

Of course, West failed to provide a report or to hold any hearings before the State Convention. Now that the convention is over, West has decided he has time to do what he was asked to do before the convention.

Charge on Convention Caucus SystemUpload a Document to Scribd
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Waco Tribune-Herald: Texas Two-Step needs reform

The popular Texas two-step is usually danced to country music in 4/4 time.

Texas Democrats have their own version of the Texas two-step that is unpopular and undemocratic.

This version of the two-step needs fixin’ before the next big dance is called in 2012.

Unfortunately, the Texas Democrats failed to make any reforms to their dysfunctional primary process when they gathered at their state convention earlier this month.

It had been so long since the outcome of a Texas Democratic primary had any impact on the outcome of a presidential race that the flaws with the party’s two-step primary process went unnoticed.

The early state primary competition has generally settled on a nominee before Texas Democrats had an opportunity to cast ballots for their favorite candidates.

This year, however, contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama was still neck and neck when Texans turned out to the polls for the March 4 primaries.

Unlike Republican voters, or Democratic primary voters in other states, Texas Democrats were required to cast ballots for the candidate of their choice when the polls were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then turn around and convene in precinct conventions, or caucuses, later that evening if they wanted to take full advantage of their opportunity to support their candidate.

This process, which actually is a lot more complicated than it sounds, generated a great deal of confusion and hard feelings on primary night. It also resulted in Clinton winning the popular vote and Obama picking up more Texas delegates once the final tally was determined long after the primary election.

Texas Democrats who voted for their favorite candidate during the day but could not return later that evening to attend their precinct conventions ran the risk of seeing their vote diluted through the extra step of the caucus system.

The purpose behind the caucus system was to increase party participation among Democrats. This year it increased turmoil and feelings of being disenfranchised.

Democratic leaders need to pick one system or the other — just not both.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Waco Tribue-Herald Editorial

Delegates table proposal to change primary-caucus system

From the Statesman.

It looked like there would be a vote on the convention floor on a proposal to change the Democratic Party’s two-step primary and caucus system for allocating delegates in a presidential election.

Scott Cobb, an Austin delegate who initiated the proposal, collected enough signatures — 30 percent of the delegates — to force a floor vote on the matter.

Before that could actually happen, though, Dallas state Sen. Royce West moved to table the proposal. West chairs a task force appointed by the state party to study the state’s “primacaucus” approach and report recommendations to the party after hearings around the state.

“We plan on making certain nothing is off the table,” West told delegates.

By a roll-call vote, delegates agreed to table Cobb’s proposal. Seventy-nine percent of the delegates voted to table, 21 percent voted against that.

Party officials had said before the convention they planned to wait to act on the primary-caucus system until they had gathered more information from delegates and held public hearings across the state on the issue.

Cobb’s proposal called for allocating the state’s pledged delegates by the results of the primary vote, though the caucus would continue to elect delegates to the local conventions.

Cobb said before the table turn that regardless of the results in the convention, the successful petition effort showed strong support for a change.