Thursday, April 03, 2008

DC Add-ons named

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

The District of Columbia named its two add-ons tonight. They are:

DC City Council members Yvette Alexander and Harry Thomas Jr . We've been told both are Obama supporters, and we'll add them to the list as soon as we get appropriate sources. Alexander is an Obama supporter, while Thomas is a former Clinton supporter who is now on the fence, given his ward voted 83% for Obama. We're still looking for a quote from Alexander before we can add her.

4 more add-ons to come this weekend.

Update: While Mike Panetta did not get one of the add-on spots, he writes:

"I should get my ticket punched in May..I bowed out for bigger fish and horse traders tonight"
May 1 is when the 3 at-large delegates (2 Obama, 1 Clinton) get selected.

Friday AM update: from Mike Panetta in the comments:
I know you want something in writing for Alexander, but 100% sure she is for Obama. I'll see if I can get something to you later.

One of Harry's staffers told me that the councilmember "heard from his constituents" and now supports Obama...but we'll need to make sure that remains the case in Denver.
4/16 Update: Thomas has announced his endorsement of Obama, and he has been added to the endorsement list.

40 comments:

KCinDC said...

Actually I think I spoke too soon in calling Thomas an Obama supporter. I thought I had heard he was telling people that now, but I'm now hearing that's not necessarily the case. We'll be working on him, though. He may have an uprising in his ward (which went 83% for Obama) if he doesn't come out on the right side.

KCinDC said...

No, the two pledged PLEOs were elected tonight also. They're Vincent Gray (city council chair) and Kwame Brown (city council member, at large). Both are Obama supporters, as they have to be given the primary results.

You're correct about the pledged at-large delegates.

Matt said...

KC - fixed. Thanks for all the info.

Brad said...

I'm confused. So, are the two add-on supers for Obama?

KCinDC said...

Alexander and Thomas are the add-ons, Brad. You probably don't care about the identities of the pledged PLEOs (Gray and Brown), since they're already counted as Obama supporters in the pledged delegate total, like the pledged PLEOs from all the states that have had their contests.

KCinDC said...

Sorry, I see where the confusion comes in. My "No" above was responding to a statement in the post that the pledged PLEOs would be elected May 1. That's since been removed.

The pledged PLEOs were elected tonight along with the unpledged add-ons, and the pledged at-large delegates will be elected May 1. None of that will affect the Obama or Clinton totals, so you probably don't care unless you want to follow whether Mike Panetta gets to go to Denver as an at-large delegate (or an alternate).

Brad said...

hey thanks! Sorry to keep pestering!

MKSinSA said...

KCinDC,

Were you involved in the selection process or did this come from news reports? You are so informed.

JillK said...

"We're still looking for a quote from Alexander before we can add her."

It's not a quote from her, but there is confirmation, here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/16/AR2007071601372.html

"Fenty's support of Obama looked more probable recently when a Fenty adviser, Jim Hudson, organized a fundraiser for Obama that collected $600,000 and endorsements from three D.C. Council members: Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6)."

Galois said...

Does this mean that someone could now challenge the DC delegation for failing to heed the call to convention?

DocJess said...

Dear DemConWatch --

I KNOW y'all are non-partisan, and I have the deepest respect for your numbers, professionalism, and commitment to accuracy.

But there are not only the add-ons, but the winks from all sorts of people, like Jimmy Carter yesterday, of movement to Obama. Not to mention Jon Corzine and John Murtha who are ostensibly Clinton supporters but who both announced yesterday that IF on June 4th Obama was winning the popular vote, they'd switch.

Therefore, would you consider adding the "zero" and "negative ten" lines to the "Clinton Delegate Lead" table?

Thanks for your consideration in this matter....

Amot said...

Doc, winner of the popular vote? There are at least 3 ways to count that and if Obama wins all the three Clintonites will invent a forth one saying she is winning it! I think this is more like attempt to make "Murtha club" opposite to the "Pelosi club". More of the same tricks! Believe me, no Obama supporter will join that club and no neutral either...

Matt said...

Galois- It certainly presents grounds for a challenge - whether it would get to that point and whether it would have any success of succeeding, I have no idea. The fact that the DNC approved the plan gives DC a good procedural leg to stand on.

Mike Panetta said...

I know you want something in writing for Alexander, but 100% sure she is for Obama. I'll see if I can get something to you later.

One of Harry's staffers told me that the councilmember "heard from his constituents" and now supports Obama...but we'll need to make sure that remains the case in Denver.

DocJess said...

Amot --

While there are many ways to count "outcome", the "popular vote" can only be counted (unless you cheat) as the winner of the total number of American voters who, nationwide, voted more for one candidate over another.

Honest -- this is the party of Jefferson.

I don't doubt the Clintons will find some way to cheat, malign, disenfranchise, and otherwise create havoc using lies, but the "popular vote" is an incredibly simple concept.

Wolle said...

DocJess --

And what about the 2.3 million voters in Florida and Michigan? Would u count them for the popular vote? Or why not?


The Washington Post has Harry Thomas Jr. in a list of Clinton endorsements.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/
metro/elections/2008/endorsements/index.html

ClaudeB said...

Here's what I found in the Washington City Paper blog this morning. According to the blog entry, Thomas ran as a Clinton delegate...

Hellmut said...

Thanks for sharing that, Matt. Next door in Maryland, we are determining add-ons on May 3. I am planning to be there.

I was wondering if it would make sense to have a monthly or bi-weekly analysis of everything that has happened in the interim. I would love to learn what trends and tendencies you are discerning. May be, other readers would be interested in your analysis as well.

Anyways, I appreciate everything that you are doing and realize that I may be asking for too much.

Mike Panetta said...

I heard from Harry Thomas's director of constituent services, who is also the president of the DC Young Dems on Tuesday night that Harry is now supporting Obama.

That's what I know. Haven't heard the words from Harry or seen a press release so take it for what it's worth.

Those of us in DC will need make sure Harry is and remains in the Obama column.

Adrian said...

I do know dor a fact that Alexander is an Obama supporter and the Washington City Paper (very good with dc local politics) is citing her as one. I have personally worked with Council Woman Alexander and know that she is an Obama supporter. It was metnioned during her campaign kick-off event in March (including an Obama t-shirt fundraiser at the event). Unfortunately Local politics are not covered very well except in the City Paper (not a daily) and possibly the Examiner.

Oreo said...

Thanks for keeping us updated Mike

Andy said...
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Amot said...

Doc, check the 3 major and 3 secondary ways to count the vote:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html

The only way to deny Clinton any possibility to claim popular vote win is Obama losing less than 94 005 votes in the coming contests. It would be easy job if PR had not switched from caucus to open primary :(

KCinDC said...
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alimum said...
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KCinDC said...

Mksinsa, I'm not on the Democratic State Committee and wasn't a candidate, but I know people who are and I've been following the process closely. I also helped make sure Obama got the two PLEO slots he was entitled to.

(Apologies for continuing the off-topic discussion above. I'll delete that comment now that I've preserved the relevant bit in this one.)

Amot said...

KCinDC, I don't think anyone will buy this "Murtha club". After all you can't buy something if you dont know what it is. I totally agree Clinton will find a way to prove herself and her surrogates she won the popular vote, no matter what the numbers say!

About the selection process in DC:
HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? WHY NOONE READ THE RULES? 100+ OBAMA SUPPORTERS AND LESS THAN 30 CLINTONITES IN DCDC AND THEY LET CLINTON WIN AN ADD-ON? WHY THEY HAD 7 OBAMA SUPPORTERS RUNNING FOR THE TWO SPOTS WHEN THEY KNEW IT WILL BE DECIDED IN SINGLE ROUND VOTE PROCEDURE (CLINTON HAD ONLY 2 CANDIDATES)? IF THEY HAD OBAMA PRIMARY AND ONLY TWO CANDIDATES WITH AGREEMENT TO SPLIT THEIR VOTES BETWEEN THE BOTH, CLINTON WOULD NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO SCORE A DOUBTFUL ADD-ON! SHAME ON DCDC! GRASSROOT ORGANISATIONS WORK BETTER!!!

KCinDC said...

Amot, I don't think this is an appropriate place to discuss the popular vote issue. I've deleted my comment on that.

In the selection of pledged delegates, the campaigns are allowed to vet the candidates and limit the number of people running. That's not true for the unpledged delegates, so things like this are more likely to happen. There's no way to force people to yield to other candidates.

Candidates and DSC members have motivations other than simple desire to choose some random person to support Obama or Clinton. There are all sorts of internal political considerations. Some people may want to vote for their friends or may not want to vote for people they don't get along with. People want to curry favor with council members by voting for them. Some candidates aren't straightforward about whether they support Obama or Clinton.

That's why I'm skeptical of the projections of how add-on delegates will break down. It depends on what body is making the decision, and I'm afraid that in many states the situation may be a lot more complicated and unpredictable than some of the analysis assumes.

KCinDC said...

Also, Amot, I don't think the Obama supporters on the DSC outnumbered the Clinton supporters by as much as you say. Note that each DSC member got two votes, so there were only about 66 people voting (probably a few more, since some may have used only one of their votes).

Amot said...

KCinDC, we move the other topic elsewhere!
About the selection - I don't mind if they had all 40 candidates running for the position at the same time. Was it multi round selection!!! In this case I can blame the committee members for being stupid! And I am sure Obama fans are not pleased with their choice. Of course they should vote for unlimited persons, but in a small room before the election. They had to elect the two persons with biggest support and let only them running. Do you imagine Dems coming with both Obama and Clinton against McCain?!? No! Because he will win 50 out of 50! That is why we have primaries! That is why we elect as many candiates as the free positions are! A fast Obama fans primary would do it the proper way! Plus the candidates would have a lot of time to talk about their platforms not just few minutes close to midnight! I have ran many elections and we never lost election we were supposed to win! Sorry to say that but if those DCDC guys worked for me I would fire them the very next day! When you work for a cause as big as changing USA and world's future you are not allowed to make mistakes like this one! You are not allowed to be selfish! You are not allowed to be stupid! At a point when Obama needs just 100 supers to reach 2025 such a mistake is unforgivable!

Amot said...

About the votes numbers - you must know better, I made estimates with the results of the vote - 100 for 7 Obama candidates, 30 for 2 Clinton candidates, 8 for 1 neutral guy - total 138, so they were probably 69 persons. I guess Thomas was able to draw some true Obama fans toward him, and if he is really playing with his support the way it looks, those guys were misled! And that is because they didn't chose the best candidates before the real election! No excuse for that mess! I really hope Thomas goes Obama way at the end, but first of all he shouldn't be chosen at all in such a important moment. We see a 7 000 delegates convention repeated in Nevada when they are fighting for single delegate! Such a great effort, so much passion! And now - carelessness in DC!!!

KCinDC said...

Amot, I share your frustration, but I'm not sure you understand what the DSC is. It's not a group of people all of whom have sworn loyalty to either Obama or Clinton. It's not like the state convention in a caucus state, where the main purpose of the body is to select delegates. The DSC runs the DC Democratic Party, and this vote was only one tiny slice of what they do.

The DSC is a collection of people who all have their own motivations, some of whom may not have electing an Obama delegate (or a Clinton delegate) as their top priority. Note for example that 8 of them voted for someone who remained undeclared on Obama versus Clinton. The DC grassroots Obama people did the best they could, but ultimately there was only so much they could do.

Rudi Riet said...

Amot, it was not a multi-round election: one round, those with the most votes win. There is no clause in the DCDSC bylaws that stipulates any kind of runoff vote, unless there is a tie.

Amot said...

Rudi, that is what I said - the selection in the way it happened would be no problem to get two Obama spots if it was multi round.

KCinDC, I believe DSC is just like every other organisation with its internal affairs. I have been member of many organisations like that. But I dare to say that if there were a single smart man or woman to predict the possible outcome and to organize the people for that vote only thing would be different! It is an organizational mistake and a lot of selfishness - nothing less! Actually they could lose both spots! Would you still not blame them?

Mike in Maryland said...

From the Washington City Paper April 4 edition (http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/category/politics/yvette-alexander , TinyURL = http://tinyurl.com/5y59wc), it would appear that the add-ons are split, one each for Obama and Clinton, as it appears that Thomas is not changing his support.

From the article:

'Clinton’s name never came up in Thomas’ brief remarks before the vote; he instead chose to talk up his own qualifications and big-picture issues. “The issue is what are we going to do when we get to Denver that best represents the District of Columbia,” he said. (Rumors had swirled that Thomas planned to switch to Obama, but Thomas knocked those down after the vote: “I haven’t changed,” he says. “I’m consistent.”)'

Amot said...

I really hope Thomas makes a clear statement as soon as possible! And that Alexander will give us the necessary quote to add her Obama...
I hate waiting :(

KCinDC said...

I think you've made the right decision to add Alexander as Obama and Thomas as Clinton. The City Paper blog quote from Thomas is pretty definitive, and all I have to make me doubt it is a couple of people who say he told them he'd switched. I still think he'll end up going whichever way the wind is blowing, which will almost certainly be Obama.

Amot said...

KCinDC, a month ago I found something strange about Idaho and Ada county. Something that makes me think Clinton won't be viable at the state convention. I know you have a small team of smart friends (yourself including). Can you guys help me with that? It looks like I am the only man at the world to spot she will not be viable due to Ada county...
BTW I read about your personal efforts to secure the 2 DC PLEO's for Obama. Big thanks!!!

Carmen said...
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Carmen said...

Harry Thomas Backs Obama

Washington Post - Breaking News