Saturday, May 31, 2008

Better make that call to 1-800-Red-Lion

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

January 7th, 2008:

Michigan Democrats no longer can count on getting hotel rooms at their national convention in Denver.

The Democratic National Committee's Rules Committee last month stripped Michigan of its 156 national convention delegates as punishment for scheduling an early presidential primary in violation of party rules. State party officials had until Saturday to come up with an alternative to the Jan. 15 contest, but declined to do so.

That decision caused the DNC to informally tell state Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer that the party no longer has reservations at the Red Lion Hotel Denver Central during the Aug. 25-28 convention, state party spokesman Jason Moon said Monday.

Tonight:
"Excuse me, I'd like to reserve 200 rooms for the week of August 25th?"

(Hotel receptionist falls on the floor and starts laughing uncontrollably....)
Update 6/2: Of course, the DNCC was prepared for this all along:
DNCC planners said they are prepared for the additional 368 people who were once counted out after their states held their primaries ahead of the mandated date.
...
DNC officials said they had a contigency in place to provide the delegates with space on the Pepsi Center floor, transportation, as well as housing in Denver. - Denver 7News

It's 2117.0 to win

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

With Al Wynn's resignation tomorrow, there will be 823.5 superdelegate votes. There are 3409.5 pledged delegate votes. That's a total of 4233 delegate votes. A majority of those votes is 2,117. If you include Al Wynn, it would be 2,117.5, and the media organizations are rounding up to 2,118.
But the number Obama will be trying to reach on Tuesday is 2,117.

Also, the status of the previously named pledged delegates in Florida is in doubt due to today's decisions. Therefore, Green Papers and DCW are, for now, removing the 2 Edwards delegates (1 total vote) previously placed in Obama's column and returning them to Edwards.

Welcome back

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

The RBC has just ruled that Florida's pledged delegates and superdelegates will be seated at 1/2 vote each.

The RBC has ruled the Michigan's pledged delegates be split 34.5-29.5 (69-59 at 1/2 delegate each), and superdelegates will be seated at 1/2 vote each.

Clinton campaign response

Today’s results are a victory for the people of Florida who will have a voice in selecting our Party’s nominee and will see its delegates seated at our party’s convention. The decision by the Rules and Bylaws Committee honors the votes that were cast by the people of Florida and allocates the delegates accordingly.

We strongly object to the Committee’s decision to undercut its own rules in seating Michigan’s delegates without reflecting the votes of the people of Michigan.

The Committee awarded to Senator Obama not only the delegates won by Uncommitted, but four of the delegates won by Senator Clinton. This decision violates the bedrock principles of our democracy and our Party.

We reserve the right to challenge this decision before the Credentials Committee and appeal for a fair allocation of Michigan’s delegates that actually reflect the votes as they were cast.

Obama campaign response
“We're extremely gratified that the commission agreed on a fair solution that will allow Michigan and Florida to participate in the Convention. We appreciate their efforts, and those of the party leadership of both states, to bring this resolution about,” said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.

Obama to speak Tuesday at GOP convention site

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

In a great symbolic move, Obama will be speaking after the last primaries on Tuesday at the site of the GOP convention:

Barack Obama selected St. Paul, Minn., where Republicans will hold their convention, as the site for a rally Tuesday night marking the end of primary season in the drawn-out Democratic presidential contest. The decision to hold the rally on symbolic GOP turf telegraphed his confidence that the Democratic nomination was already his.
...
Obama's campaign announced Saturday that the Minnesota rally with Obama and his wife, Michelle, is set for the Xcel Energy Center, site of the GOP convention beginning Sept. 1. - AP

Superdelegate endorsements for Saturday 5/31

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

While we're waiting for the RBC to rule, Clinton has picked up the first superdelegate of the weekend: Former Louisiana Rep. Buddy Leach has endorsed Clinton.

RBC Meeting Live-Blog

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


We were originally planning on live-blogging the meeting with a few people that were able to get in. Since it appears that there will be massive TV coverage we will leave the live-blogging to you.

If anything interesting comes up from our friends on-site we will pass it along here.



You can read all of our previous RBC coverage here
Previous Michigan coverage here
Previous Florida coverage here
Delegate Tables are laid out for 5 different scenarios here

Agenda
May 31, 2008 - 9:30 AM
* Morning Session: Oral Arguments
* Afternoon Session: Consideration and Debate
You can watch CSPAN's coverage here starting at 9:30.
ABC News' Teddy Davis and Gregory Wallace Report: Democrats went behind closed doors until 1:30 am ET on Saturday but they did not reach their goal of developing a unified proposal regarding Michigan and Florida.

28 of the 30 members of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee were joined by DNC Chairman Howard Dean for the marathon dinner meeting which took place in a hotel ballroom at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. - ABC
Update: Lots of talk that a Florida resolution of seating all delegates at 1/2 vote is a done deal. Michigan is more difficult.

MI State Chairman Mark Brewer did say that Obama has 30 of the 36 Uncommitted delegates in his column. That's not out of line with our research that 31 of the 36 are Obama supporters, (although we could only confirm 22 of them). Brewer also said that there was an active effort by the Michigan Democratic Party to make sure the Uncommitted delegates supported Obama.

Al Wynn finally resigning

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

Just a reminder that Rep. Al Wynn is finally official resigning this weekend. While we took Wynn off of our superdelegate lists in March when he announced his resignation, lets keep an eye on whether the media numbers, and even the Obama campaign numbers, go down by one after he quits. The non FL/MI number of delegates is 4,049, and the number of delegates for a majority is 2,025. No more rounding up to 2,026 allowed. The numbers will likely change after the RBC meeting tomorrow, so lets see who gets the numbers right.

Note: The Special Election for Wynn's seat is on June 17th, and when Donna Edwards wins the numbers will go back up by 1.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We're going to Denver

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

2008 Democratic Convention Watch is very proud to announce we have been approved to receive credentials to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. But we're not alone:

As part of its continuing commitment to engage a broad spectrum of audiences in new and creative ways, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) today announced that a record number of blogs have been credentialed as members of the media for the 2008 Democratic National Convention at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. These blogs will help ensure that communities across the country are connected to the Convention through the eyes and ears of a growing, diverse group of online voices.

Organizers also announced that blogs credentialed by the DNCC will have access to a dedicated "Blogger Lounge" inside the Pepsi Center, equipped with televisions, technology resources and workspace to facilitate their reporting. All bloggers will have access to the Convention floor, press briefing areas, caucus meetings, filing centers and other auxiliary events open to members of the media.
...
In 2004, the DNCC credentialed about 30 blogs to cover the Convention in Boston - the first Convention to credential bloggers. Recently, the DNCC announced that 55 blogs focused on state and local politics were selected to be members of the DemConvention State Blogger Corps. Altogether, the DNCC will credential more than 120 blogs for the Convention and many more individuals will blog the Convention via credentials issued through the U.S. Congressional Press Galleries. - DNCC

Here's the full list of blogs approved today. Want to know the secret to being first on the list? Have you blog name start with a low number.....

2008 Democratic Convention Watch http://demconwatch.blogspot.com
43rdStateBlues.com http://43rdstateblues.com
AFL-CIO NOW Blog http://blog.aflcio.org
African American Political Pundit http://aapoliticalpundit.blogspot.com
AMERICAblog.com http://americablog.com
Asian American Action Fund Blog http://aaa-fund.com
Badlands Blue http://badlandsblue.com
Bagnews Notes http://bagnewsnotes.com
Beliefnet http://beliefnet.com
Bitch Ph.D. http://bitchphd.blogspot.com
Blogger News Network http://bloggernews.net
Blogging For Michigan http://bloggingformichigan.com
BlogHer http://blogher.com
Blue Hampshire http://bluehampshire.com
Blue Indiana http://blueindiana.net
Blue Jersey http://bluejersey.com
Blue Mass. Group http://bluemassgroup.com
BlueGrassRoots http://bluegrassroots.org
BlueNC.com http://bluenc.com
BlueOregon http://blueoregon.com
Buckeye State Blog http://buckeyestateblog.com
Burnt Orange Report http://BurntOrangeReport.com
Calitics http://Calitics.com
Campus Progress http://campusprogress.org
Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis http://divasblueoasis.blogspot.com
Change to Win http://changetowin.org
Colorado Confidential http://coloradoconfidential.com
Cotton Mouth Blog http://cottonmouthblog.blogspot.com
CracktheBell.com http://crackthebell.com
Crooks and Liars http://crooksandliars.com
culturekitchen http://culturekitchen.com
Daily Kingfish http://dailykingfish.com
Daily Kos http://dailykos.com
Dallas South Blog http://dallassouthblog.com
DCist.com http://dcist.com
Democracy Arsenal http://democracyarsenal.org
Democracy for New Mexico http://DemocracyForNewMexico.com
Democratic Party of the U.S. Virgin Islands http://groups.yahoo.com/group/democratvi
Democratic Underground http://democraticunderground.com
Democrats Abroad Argentina http://yanquimike.com.ar
DemoOkie http://DemoOkie.com
Digby's Hullabaloo http://digbysblog.blogspot.com
Disaboom.com http://disaboom.com
Doc's Political Parlor http://politicalparlor.net
DoubleSpeak http://doublespeakshow.com
Eschaton http://atrios.blogspot.com
EverydayCitizen.com http://everydaycitizen.com
Fired Up! http://firedupmissouri.com
Firedoglake http://firedoglake.com
Florida Progressive Coalition http://flaprogressives.org
Future Majority http://futuremajority.com
Georgia Politics Unfiltered http://georgiaunfiltered.blogspot.com
Green Mountain Daily http://greenmountaindaily.com
Grist Magazine http://grist.org/
Group News Blog http://groupnewsblog.net
HispanicTips.com http://hispanictips.com
HorsesAss.org http://horsesass.org
HummingbirdMinds Blog http://hummingbirdminds.blogspot.com
iLind.net http://ilind.net
Indianz.com http://indianz.com
Jack and Jill Politicshttp://jackandjillpolitics.com
Jusiper http://jusiper.blogspot.com
Keystone Politics http://keystonepolitics.com
KnoxViews http://knoxviews.com
Las Vegas Gleaner http://lasvegasgleaner.com
Left In Alabama http://leftinalabama.com
Left in the West http://leftinthewest.com
Michigan Liberal http://michiganliberal.com
Minnesota Monitor http://minnesotamonitor.com
MOMocrats http://momocrats.typepad.com
My Left Nutmeg http://myleftnutmeg.com
MyDD http://mydd.com
New Nebraska Network http://NewNebraska.net
NewsOne.com http://newsone.com
No Rest for the Awake http://minagahet.blogspot.com
NorthDecoder.com http://northdecoder.com
Obsidian Wings http://obsidianwings.blogs.com
Ohio Daily Blog http://ohiodailyblog.com
OliverWillis.com http://oliverwillis.com
Open Lefthttp://openleft.com
Pam's House Blend http://pamshouseblend.com
Political Base http://politicalbase.com
Political Wire http://politicalwire.com
PoliticalLunch.com http://PoliticalLunch.com
PolitickerNJ.com http://politickernj.com
PoliticsOnline http://politicsonline.com
Pop and Politics http://popandpolitics.com
Prairie State Blue http://PrairieStateBlue.com
RaceWire http://racewire.org
Raising Kaine http://raisingkaine.com
Raw Story http://rawstory.com
Rhode Island's Future http://rifuture.org
Room 8 http://r8ny.com
Rum, Romanism and Rebellion http://rumromanismrebellion.net
RuralVotes http://ruralvotes.com/thefield
Scholars & Rogues http://scholarsandrogues.com
Seeing the Forest http://seeingtheforest.com
Sepia Mutiny http://sepiamutiny.com
SquareState.net http://squarestate.net
Talking Points Memo http://talkingpointsmemo.com
TalkLeft http://talkleft.com
Taylor Marsh http://taylormarsh.com
The Albany Project http://thealbanyproject.com
The Center for Emerging Media http://centerforemergingmedia.com
The Iowa Independent http://iowaindependent.com
The Natchez Blog http://natchezms.blogspot.com
The Seminal http://theseminal.com
The UpTake http://theuptake.org
The Utah Amicus http://utahamicus.com
The Washington Independent http://washingtonindependent.com
Think Youth http://thinkyouth.org
Thought Theater http://thoughttheater.com
TommyWonk http://tommywonk.blogspot.com/
Tondee's Tavern http://tondeestavern.com
Towleroad http://towleroad.com
Turn Maine Blue http://turnmaineblue.com
Under The Dome.com http://underthedome.com
Uppity Wisconsin http://uppitywis.org
USAmerica Vota '08 http://usamericavota08.blogspot.com
VivirLatino.com http://vivirlatino.com
West Virginia Blue http://wvablue.com
What About Our Daughters? Blog http://whataboutourdaughters.com
Working Life http://workinglife.org
Zennie's Zeitgeist http://zennie2005.blogspot.com

Congratulations to all the blogs on the list.

Superdelegate endorsements for Thursday 5/29

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

Obama leads the day with 4 superdelegates to Clinton's 1.

Oregon DNC member Gail Rasmussen has endorsed Obama.

Obama beat Hillary Rodham Clinton by 18 percentage points in last week's Oregon primary, and the Democratic National Committee member cited that win in explaining why she will vote for the Illinois senator at the party's national convention in Denver this summer.
...
Rasmussen, the vice president of the Oregon Education Association, said she will cast her vote for Obama "in honor of the support" he won from the state's voters. - AP

Washington Democratic Party vice-chair Eileen Macoll has endorsed Clinton
"I’m taking this step today because I have been inspired by Hillary’s bold commitment to solving our nation’s toughest challenges," Macoll said. "On the issues that matter most-from establishing universal health care to improving our schools to ending the war in Iraq-she has never backed down and never wavered. Hillary has what it takes to beat John McCain this Fall and win back the White House.

"Hillary has a plan to bring an honorable end to the war in Iraq, and I know that Senator she and Senator Murray will ensure that our troops receive the care we should be proud to provide as they return home."
West Virginia Representative Alan Mollohan has endorsed Obama
Congressman Mollohan said, “I believe Senator Obama will bring America a new era of trust, principled leadership and positive results. He has the intelligence, capacity and values that assure me he will confront the real issues that Americans face every day - health care, pension reform, energy prices, the struggling economy, and, of course, the issue of Iraq. “
And finally, Obama pulls off a Texas Two-Step:

Texas Democratic Chairman Boyd Richie endorses Obama:
"Today, I am proud to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States. I believe Senator Obama is the candidate who can best provide the leadership and change Texans desire. Too many Texas families find themselves unable to make ends meet, much less save and invest in the future, due to Republican policies that burden the middle class and divide Americans. Senator Obama has the skill and ability to unite Americans from all walks of life and put our country back on the right track."
And his wife, DNC member Betty Richie, also endorses Obama:
"Today, I am proud to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States. As a member of the DNC representing the Non-Urban/Ag Caucus, I strongly believe Senator Obama can provide the leadership rural Texas needs and deserves.
...
"Because I have such great respect for Senator Clinton and her historic campaign, this endorsement was not easy to make. But I believe in my heart it is the right decision for rural Texas and the Texas Democratic Party. It is time for our Party to unite and move forward to victory in November. Only by working together can we accomplish this goal."

Betty Richie was a member of the Pelosi Club.

Michigan Democratic leaders ask for full seating of their delegates with 69/59 split

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

Several Michigan Democratic leaders sent a letter to the chairs of the RBC last week requesting that the Michigan delegation be fully seated in August.
Here's the key section:

As a result, we recommended to the Michigan Democratic Party that the pledged delegates be apportioned 69 to Senator Clinton and 59 to Senator Obama. That approach splits the difference between the 73/55 position of the Clinton campaign and the 64/64 position of the Obama campaign. Our recommendation was based on our belief that both candidates have legitimate arguments about the Michigan primary.

This 69/59 approach was overwhelmingly adopted by the Executive Committee of the Michigan Democratic Party – which like the Rules and Bylaws Committee has members who are strong advocates for both candidates – as a position that can unify our party and put this issue behind us.

To that end, both of our presidential candidates have made clear that they want Michigan’s delegates to be seated without penalty.

You can see what the results would be in our Florida & Michigan by the numbers post.
And the letter in it's entirety:

May 22, 2008

Honorable Alexis Herman
Mr. James Roosevelt, Jr.
Co-Chairs, Rules and Bylaws Committee
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Co-Chairs Herman and Roosevelt:

We are writing to urge the Rules and Bylaws Committee to support the request of the Michigan Democratic Party that the entire 157-member Michigan delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention be seated with full voting strength.

The members of the Rules and Bylaws Committee are familiar with the sequence of events that have brought us to the present situation.

As a result of the hard-fought deliberations and recommendations of the Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling, in August of 2006 the Democratic National Committee adopted a new rule on sequencing presidential primaries and caucuses. Under this rule, the so-called pre-window states could each hold their presidential primary or caucus in January 2008, with the rest of the states following in February or later. The rule dictated that the pre-window states hold their primaries in a specific order — with New Hampshire coming third — and no earlier than designated dates between January 14 and 29.

While Michigan Democrats were disappointed that our state was not selected for one of the pre-window contests, we appreciated the new rule for adding a bit of much-needed diversity to the early nominating process, and as a first step toward breaking the Iowa-New Hampshire lock on the process. We notified the DNC that we would abide by the new calendar and its sequence provided that other states did the same. To be clear – the key issue which the new rule resolved was the sequence of the pre-window states, not just the number of pre-window states.

But at a press conference in Dover, New Hampshire last August 9, the New Hampshire Secretary of State indicated he was going to schedule his state’s primary before the date specified in the DNC rule, clearly defying the sequence and timing the Rules and Bylaws Committee had set. Michigan Democratic leaders wrote to Governor Dean asking if the DNC intended to enforce the rule against New Hampshire, but the DNC refused to act or even to answer our letters for months.

The Democratic National Committee then proceeded to selectively enforce its calendar rule. On December 3, the Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to give New Hampshire a waiver to move from third to second place in the sequence. Michigan requested a waiver and was denied. When the Rules and Bylaws Committee itself decided not to follow its own newly adopted, hard-fought for rules and granted a waiver to New Hampshire, it set the stage for the present situation.

How do we move forward and put all of our energy into winning the White House in November? We all agree that winning Michigan is crucial to that goal.

At the request of the Governor of Michigan, the four of us have worked to find a solution for many months. We looked at a number of options to “redo” Michigan’s primary vote, including a privately-funded state-run primary; a party-run primary; and even a vote-by-mail primary. We had extensive discussions with the Clinton and Obama campaign organizations and with the DNC staff in the course of considering these options. Unfortunately, for differing reasons, none of the “redo” options came to pass.

So we developed the following settlement recommendation to the Michigan Democratic Party.

The Clinton campaign has taken the position that the results of Michigan’s January 15 primary should be honored and that Senator Clinton should receive 73 pledged delegates in accordance with the vote she received. The Obama campaign has taken the position that the January 15 primary results should be ignored and that Michigan’s 128 pledged delegates should be seated but evenly divided 64/64 between the two candidates.

Both candidates have a basis for their argument. The January 15 primary result was flawed because Senator Obama took his name off the ballot. He interpreted the DNC injunction and his pledge to New Hampshire that he would not campaign in Michigan to require him to take that affirmative step. As a result, we did not totally agree with the Clinton campaign’s position that the pledged delegates should be apportioned 73/55 (Clinton/Obama) in strict accordance with the outcome of the primary.

At the same time, we also did not accept the position of the Obama campaign that the primary should be totally ignored and the pledged delegates should be evenly apportioned 64/64 between the two candidates, given the fact that almost 600,000 Democrats voted in the January 15 primary, 55% of whom voted for Senator Clinton and 45% of whom voted for Uncommitted or other candidates.

As a result, we recommended to the Michigan Democratic Party that the pledged delegates be apportioned 69 to Senator Clinton and 59 to Senator Obama. That approach splits the difference between the 73/55 position of the Clinton campaign and the 64/64 position of the Obama campaign. Our recommendation was based on our belief that both candidates have legitimate arguments about the Michigan primary.

This 69/59 approach was overwhelmingly adopted by the Executive Committee of the Michigan Democratic Party – which like the Rules and Bylaws Committee has members who are strong advocates for both candidates – as a position that can unify our party and put this issue behind us.

To that end, both of our presidential candidates have made clear that they want Michigan’s delegates to be seated without penalty.

Senator Obama recently said, “If I am fortunate enough to be the Democratic nominee, I can guarantee you that the Michigan delegation will be seated and they’ll have a full voice at the convention.” Senator Clinton said just this week, “If we care about winning [Michigan and Florida] in November, we need to count your votes now. If Democrats send the message that we don’t fully value your votes, we know that Senator McCain and the Republicans will be more than happy to have them.”

Senator Clinton and Senator Obama understand that penalizing Michigan would needlessly and pointlessly wound their candidacy. If you vote to penalize Michigan, you will keep this issue alive, distracting from the real issues in the campaign. You would also be penalizing our candidates and our party, and ultimately our nation, because you would be weakening our nominee’s chances of winning Michigan, a state that is critical to our winning the White House in November.

We believe that the Michigan Democratic Party’s consensus proposal can unify our party and allow us to move forward. We urge the Rules and Bylaws Committee to adopt it. To penalize Michigan would legitimize the selective enforcement of our party rules, would fly in the face of the statements of both candidates, and would jeopardize our chances of carrying Michigan and winning the Presidency. For all of these reasons, we must insist on Michigan’s full delegation being seated at the Democratic National Convention with full voting rights.

Sincerely,

Senator Carl Levin Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger DNC Member Debbie Dingell

cc: Members of the Rules and ByLaws Committee
Governor Howard Dean
Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator Barack Obama

The big question is will the RBC be willing to fully seat Michigan? DNC lawyers told the RBC that they can't seat more than half of each delegation?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Superdelegate endorsements for Wednesday 5/28

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

Obama picks up two superdelegates overnight and leads today 3 to 0:

Oregon Democratic Chair Meredith Wood Smith has endorsed Obama

I have decided to support Sen. Barack Obama.

Why Obama? Because he received the majority of the votes in the Oregon primary, and he demonstrates the leadership needed to get us out of Iraq, restore our economy, begin the tough job of providing health care for all Americans and, most of all, heal the divisions in our nation. His commitment to grass-roots organizing, similar to Howard Dean's "Fifty State Strategy," will help Democrats win our down-ticket races. His deep understanding of our Constitution ensures that he will appoint judges, to both the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, who will truly defend our constitutional rights and freedoms.

In 1960, I was too young to vote, but I was so inspired by John F. Kennedy that I worked on his campaign and continue to be motivated by his legacy of social and civic responsibility. He is one of the reasons I became chairwoman of Oregon's Democratic Party. I believe that Obama is providing that same inspiration for our next generation of leaders.

Finally, the contrast between Obama and Sen. John McCain could not be clearer. On bringing troops home from Iraq. On commitment to our Constitution. On telling the American people the truth. Obama has the ability to build -- not just talk about -- a governing majority to actually solve the major challenges facing America.
Colorado Democratic Chair Pat Waak has endorsed Obama
“Today I am proud to announce my endorsement of Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. I have maintained my neutrality throughout Colorado’s selection process but feel compelled today to announce my support for several important reasons:

First, as Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, I am influenced by the voters of Colorado who have turned out in historic numbers over the past four months. Senator Obama won the precinct caucuses, county conventions, Congressional District conventions and the Colorado State Democratic Convention with over 60% of the vote and has brought thousands of new voters into the process.

Second, I believe that Sen. Obama and his message of change is what Colorado wants and that he will defeat John McCain in November. In fact, the most recent Rasmussen poll on May 19, 2008 shows a Sen. Obama with a 6-point lead in a head-to-head race and I think that margin will only increase as voters see the clear difference.

Finally, I believe that our country needs the type of visionary, uplifting leadership that Senator Obama has shown during this long campaign. In the state of Colorado his message of hope has attracted young people, new Democrats and Independent voters who will make up a winning coalition this fall.
Oregon DNC Member Wayne Kinney has endorsed Obama
Senator Obama wasn’t supposed to be able to get this far. One member of Congress from Illinois said that for Sen. Obama to win the nomination, he’d have to be perfect. He’s been pretty damned good. The fact that this nomination is still inches from being decided is a testament to the abilities of both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton.

While there are a few primaries left to go, it’s now over for Oregon. Sen. Obama won our state by almost 18 points. He is very close to winning a majority of the delegates he needs to be our nominee for President.

But there should be more to my decision than that. After all, we automatic, “super” delegates are not automatons. We are not here to ratify. We’re expected to use our judgment. Here’s mine: After watching Sen. Obama for more than a year, it’s clear that he offers an ability to lead and inspire that’s been sorely lacking in this country.

Senator Obama will win our nomination, and will be our President. It felt good to write that sentence.

DNC Lawyers: Can't fully seat FL and MI

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

DNC lawyers have weighed in on the FL & MI debacle:

A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to restore delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully seat the two states at the convention as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to a party analysis.

Party rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, Democratic National Committee lawyers wrote in a 38-page memo.

The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday to consider the fate of convention delegates from the two states. The party is considering plans to restore at least some of the delegates to make sure the two important general election battlegrounds will be included at the nominating convention in August.

The analysis lays out merits on all sides of the argument of how many delegates should be seated and how they should be divided. And it underscores a prickly problem — if the Rules and Bylaws Committee decides to restore any of the states' delegates, there is not a simple way to divide them between Clinton and Barack Obama. - AP
A couple of things. First, there are lots of simple ways to divide the delegates.

Second, I haven't seen the analysis, but I thought the RBC was free to come up with any solution they wanted. And I'm curious - if the RBC comes up with a solution that the DNC lawyers don't like - what is the DNC going to do? Sue its own RBC committee?

Update: TPM has the memo.

Al Giordano at The Field has the analysis.

Update: Here's a full PDF of the memo.

Update: A judge has ruled that the Democratic National Committee has the right to determine whether to seat Florida delegates. This is the case that Vincent DiMaio filed in 2007 and then filed for a Motion for Summary Judgment after the case was dismissed.


Previous posts on the RBC and MI/FL:
The Michigan 36
RBC Meeting is open to the public
Florida and Michigan Delegate Status
FL & MI By The Numbers
Florida and Michigan superdelegates
RBC Member predicts Florida will be seated at 50%
Rules and Bylaws Committee membership
DNC to hear MI and FL challenges on May 31st

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Michigan 36 - Obama gets 18 22

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

Update 5/31: Given today's RBC decision to give Obama 59 delegates and 29.5 delegates votes out of Michigan, this post is no longer relevant, as the Obama campaign will be vetting all of its delegates, and any of the delegates below not approved by the Obama campaign will be taken off the list.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michigan selected 36 Uncommitted delegates at their District Conventions in April. The state of these 36 delegates, specifically whether they have officially endorsed Obama, has become important in advance of this weekend's RBC meeting. Knowing how many of the 36 are committed to Obama could make the difference in what type of deal the Obama campaign is willing to accept. We asked our readers to help us out, and they did.

Information was hard to come by - We weren't even able to find the names of 3 of the 36 delegates. We have all 36 names now.

31 of them have been reported to support Obama, but there aren't good sources for 9 of the 30. We will continue to look for verifiable sources for the rest of these delegates.

But we do have good sources for 22 delegates, and therefore we are moving 22 Uncommitted delegates into the Obama column in our Michigan/Florida sidebar counter, as well as in Scenario 5 in FL & MI By The Numbers. (This is up from 18 delegates as of the evening of 5/27).

We fully understand that a deal may be struck at the RBC meeting which makes this analysis all meaningless. But some have proposed that the Obama campaign offer to seat the Michigan delegation "as is", in order to take it off the table as an issue that could be taken to the convention. This analysis gives a baseline of what the Obama campaign is looking as they decide how to play things this week.

The delegates we have moved to the Obama column have Obama in bold.

District Level Delegates (Source in parens)
CD 1: Miles Baker - Obama (2)
CD 1: Abby Dart - Obama (2)
CD 2: Rillastine Wilkins - Obama (1)
CD 2: Joseph Zainea - Obama (1)
CD 3: Armand Robinson - Obama (2)
CD 3: Alice Corey - Obama (2)
CD 4: Mary Bacon - Obama (2)
CD 4: Robert Ciaffone - Obama (2)
CD 5: Floyd Clack - Obama (2)
CD 5: Geraldean Hall - Obama (2)
CD 6: Mark Miller - Obama (2)
CD 6: Marletta Seats - Obama (2)
CD 7: Leonard Smigielski - Uncommitted (1)
CD 7: Fran Sibley - Obama? (1)
CD 8: Irene McDonnell-Cahill - Teamster - Obama (1)(6)
CD 8: Griffin Rivers - Obama (1)(6)
CD 9: Catherine Martin - UAW (3)
CD 9: Doris Toney - Obama (2)
CD 9: Aldo Vagnozzi - Obama (1)(4)
CD 10: Rose Marie Fessler - Obama (2)
CD 10: Ken Pechette - Uncommitted (7)
CD 11: Marian Novak - Obama (1)(5)
CD 11: Michael Siegrist - Obama (2)
CD 12: Rory Gamble - UAW - Obama? (1)(10)
CD 12: Jennifer Miller - Obama (1)(11)
CD 12: Nancy Quarles - Obama? (1)
CD 13: Tim Killeen - Obama (1)
CD 13: Cecilia Walker - Obama (1)
CD 13: John Henry Davis - Obama (1)
CD 14: Dan Geb - Teamsters for Obama - Obama (8)(9)
CD 14: Elizabeth Jackson
CD 14: Frank Woods - UAW (10)
CD 14: Martha Scott - Obama?
CD 15: Derrick Jackson - Obama (2)
CD 15: Christina Montague - Obama (2)
CD 15: Lynne Schwartz - Obama (2)

Sources:
(1) - West Michigan Rising
(2) - Michiganders for Obama
(3) - Michigan Liberal
(4) - Susan J. Demas
(5) - Obama Community Blog
(6) - USA Today
(7) - Huron County Press News
(8) - Detroit News
(9) - Michigan Messenger
(10) - UAW
(11) - Macomb Daily

The 19 Statewide Uncommitted delegates will not be chosen until June 14.

Update: From the DNC Rules lawyers, comes a possible solution:

"Therefore, following the principle of fair reflection of presidential preference, it can at least be said that the “Uncommitted” delegate positions should be considered as being allocated collectively to the candidates whose names did not appear on the ballot: Senator Barack Obama, former Senator John Edwards, Senator Joseph Biden and Governor Bill Richardson."

Happy Florida-Michigan week!

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

Hello friends and neighbors,

This kind of feels a little bit like Homecoming week, right? A week's worth of hoopla leading up to the big game on Saturday. Two national powerhouses fighting for electoral supremacy.

The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) will meet this weekend to consider what to do with the issue of Florida and Michigan and their willing decision to bust Party rules in the presidential nominating process.

Leading up to all of this - there are so many lingering questions: What will the outcome be? Who will be the biggest cheerleaders for each side? Will there be any entertaining means of deciding this such as a pie eating contest or a round of H.O.R.S.E.?

To add some insight into how we got here, I've pieced together a calendar dating back to 2002. This offers details on the history of the showdown, how we got here, and of the decisions that were made along the way. I hope you find this to be helpful reading.

To see the full Michigan-Florida Timeline dating back to 2002, visit www.MrSuper.org and see for yerself.

Happy reading,

-Ed.

UPDATE: May 28, 11:00 AM Eastern - the MrSuper.org Florida-Michigan Comprehensive Timeline has been updated. Quite a few updates today, all of which are highlighted in blue. Click here to view the entire timeline.

Superdelegate endorsements for Tuesday 5/27

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

Final count for the day, Obama +1, Clinton +1

Wyoming Democratic Party Vice Chair Nancy Drummond has endorsed Obama

After much thought and prayer, I feel the time has come for me to endorse a presidential candidate. This isn't a decision I have taken lightly but after listening, watching and reading about both candidates, I feel that Senator Obama is the candidate that can lead this Country in the direction I would like to see us go.

His position on education, his work with senior citizens and his advocacy for union members and veterans make me proud to support Senator Obama.

My husband was a Marine during Vietnam -- he was one of many vets that has VA Benefits. The men and women in the military and their families are giving the ultimate sacrifice now and I support Senator Obama's plan to honor their service by improving their healthcare, taking care of issues related to combat duty and caring for our homeless vets.
DNC member Kevin Rodriquez of the Virgin Islands has switched back to Clinton after he switched to Obama on 5/10. The Clinton campaign has confirmed this switch. We are hoping to get more info from Rodriguez.
Virgin Islands automatic delegate Kevin Rodriquez announced his support for Hillary Clinton today. Rodriquez is a member of the Democratic National Committee.
And we have finally heard from Rodriquez himself:
This week, he announced his support for Clinton again.

"I decided to switch because that's my right," he told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I don't want to say why I decided. It's not about me ... It's about America and what's best for America." - AP
Ben Pangelinan (GU) has endorsed Obama.
“I am honored to cast this most crucial and valuable vote to determine the next President of the United States. It is because of the nature of this vote, that I have taken such deliberate and measured consideration before making my decision,” Pangelinan said in a press release.

Register to Attend the RBC Meeting

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


The hottest ticket this year (besides the convention) will be the one that gets you into the May 31st RBC Meeting in DC. You can register to attend the meeting starting at 10am today.

Click here at 10am to register. You will need to have a party builder account already setup. Registration is closed and tickets went VERY fast

Online registration will open at 10:00AM on Tuesday, May 27.

A meeting of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee will take place at 9:30AM on May 31, 2008 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. This meeting is open to the public, however due to space constraints, guests are being asked to pre-register their attendance.

Meeting Registration

Guest credentials are limited to one (1) per person. In order to reserve a seat, please fill out the registration form at the bottom of the page. A confirmation message will be sent to the e-mail address indicated on the registration form. You must bring this confirmation e-mail, along with a photo ID, in order to pick up your guest credential.

Credentials must be picked up at registration tables located outside the meeting room between 8:00-9:30AM on May 31st in order to guarantee a seat. If reserved credentials are not picked up by 9:30 AM, they will be released and given out to other members of the public. Those with reserved guest credentials will be allowed to leave the meeting room, and return to their reserved seat.

Same Day Registration

If you are unable to pre-register, limited same day registration will be available. Same-day guest credentials will be distributed on a first-come first-serve basis and are limited to one (1) per person. Individuals with a same day credential will be permitted into the meeting room as space permits.

Additional Information

In order to maintain the decorum of the meeting, banners, posters, signs, handouts, and noisemakers of any kind are strictly prohibited. Also, please be advised that the agenda for the meeting does not include time for questions from the general public.

And the schedule for the meeting...
What: DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee Meeting
When: May 31, 2008 - 9:30 AM
* Morning Session: Oral Arguments * Afternoon Session: Consideration and Debate

Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel - Salon I
2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC

DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee to Meet Saturday, May 31st

WASHINGTON - The Democratic National Committee's Rules & Bylaws Committee will meet on Saturday May 31, 2008 in Washington, DC. The Rules and Bylaws Committee will consider the two challenges that have been filed pursuant to Rule 20.B of the 2008 Delegate Selection Rules and Regulation 3 of the Regulations of the Rules and Bylaws Committee concerning the seating of delegations from Florida and Michigan.

Pursuant to Section 3.4(N) of the Committee's Regulations, each challenger will be entitled to present an Oral Argument before the RBC prior to Committee consideration for a period of 15 minutes each. A representative from each state party and from each presidential campaign will also have an opportunity to address the committee regarding each of the challenges. Oral arguments from the parties will be heard during the committee's morning session. Following a lunch break, committee members will consider and debate the challenges.
Update: A large number of people have complained that the website listed them as having successfully registered but never got an email to confirm it. According to the DNC you will need the email confirmation in order to get into the meeting

The meeting is supposed to be held in Salon I which according to the hotel website can hold as many as 800 people. The room can be combined with Salon II and Salon III for a total capacity of up to 3500. You can view the floorplan here.

If you did not get an email confirming your registration you can fill out a form on the DNC website.

Update 2: All indications are that the meeting will be televised - the DNC will be streaming, C-SPAN will be there, and reports are that CNN and MSNBC will be covering also. (They should only give the convention itself this much coverage),

This should all become clearer as we get closer to Saturday.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Convention fundraising still lagging

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

With the nomination battle still going on, fundraising for the Democratic Convention in Denver is going slower than planned:

The Denver host committee for the Democratic National Convention is behind on raising the money it needs to transform the Mile High City into the focal point of American politics for four days in late August, just three months away.

The host committee needs to raise $40.6 million by June 16. It fell $5 million short on its most recent deadline, March 17, by which point the host committee promised to raise $28 million, according to its contract with the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC).
...
Members of the Denver host committee concede the lack of clarity in the Democratic field has been a factor in their fundraising struggles, but only one of many.

“You’ve also got to look at the economy, you’ve got to look at [the fact that] Denver’s got seven Fortune 500 companies. That’s one-third the number Minneapolis has,” Denver Mayor John W. Hickenlooper told CQ Politics.
...
“Other host cities had a candidate to work with to rally around. We don’t. But I can’t say that that’s hurt us or not, it’s just a fact of the cycle that we’re in,” said Chris Lopez, a spokesman for the Denver host committee.
...
Lopez said the Denver host committee was ahead of where the Boston host committee was at the same point for the 2004 convention and that they felt confident they would meet their fundraising obligations.

“There’s not panic. It’ll come. We’re moving the needle, we’re trending ahead of where Boston was and we feel really good about that. . . . We expect here at the finish line that we definitely will hit the numbers,” he said. - CQPolitics

See here for past DCW stories on convention money issues.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend Superdelegate Updates

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

So far it's Obama 6, Clinton 1 for superdelegates
and Obama +1, Clinton -1 for pledged delegates

Georgia has picked its add-on superdelegates:



Georgia party officials on Saturday selected two add-on delegates and awarded one to each candidate. State Party Secretary Stephen Leeds supports Obama. Verna Cleveland was Clinton's Georgia state director. - Columbus Ledger-Enquirer


From a Clinton Press Release:

"More than 17 million Americans have voted for Hillary Clinton in this primary election season and I am proud to continue to support Hillary with my delegate vote at the national convention in August in Denver," Cleveland said.


And in Wyoming:
Also Saturday, Democrats selected the state's sixth superdelegate, state Rep. W. Patrick Goggles of Ethete. Goggles was the only person nominated to be the "unpledged add-on" delegate by party chairman and Obama supporter John Millin. - AP



And Alaska finishes off Saturday with its add-on:
Former Gov. Tony Knowles said he would support Obama for president.

"He has a message of hope and change," Knowles said. "He has inspired incredible members of new people to believe in politics again." - Anchorage Daily News

And also in Alaska, a caucus state, Obama picked up a few more delegates to the state convention, putting him over the 75% threshold, and therefore splitting the state-wide PLEO pledged delegates 2-0 instead of 1-1. Green Papers has confirmed the change, and the sidebar tables have already been updated.

And finally...
Hawai'i Democrats selected three Obama supporters to fill its remaining superdelegate slots at their state convention Sunday, including the new chair and vice chair of the party.

Chairman Brian Schatz and vice chairwoman Kari Luna say they will support Obama at the national convention. State Democrats chose retired Judge James Burns, also an Obama supporter, as the final superdelegate. - Honolulu Advertiser
And that's a wrap for new superdelgates this weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Michigan 36

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

Michigan selected 36 Uncommitted delegates at their District Conventions in April. The state of these 36 delegates, specifically whether they have officially endorsed Obama, is becoming important in advance of next weekend's RBC meeting. Knowing how many of the 36 are committed to Obama could make the difference in what type of deal the Obama campaign is willing to accept.

So we're asking our readers to help us out. Go search the internets and give us the information we need - Name, CD, affiliation (union, etc) if any, endorsement status, and, of course, a link.

We'll gather the information in this post, and give everyone a better idea of the status of the Michigan 36. To get you started, there are some links in the our April post, and links in this Kos diary.

The 19 Statewide Uncommitted delegates will not be chosen until June 14.

CD 1: 2 delegates
CD 2: 2
CD 3: 2
CD 4: 2
CD 5: 2
CD 6: 2
CD 7: 2
CD 8: 2
CD 9: 3
CD 10: 2
CD 11: 2
CD 12: 3
CD 13: 3
CD 14: 4
CD 15: 3

Open Thread - VP Edition

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

Who should get the Democratic VP Slot? Have at it.

And please be excellent to one another. We do not accept name calling or any attacks on our commenters. Any objectionable comments will be deleted. Try to be civil.

Thanks!

Friday, May 23, 2008

McCain Ready For The "Old Soldiers Home"

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

Thanks to Crooks & Liars for this 2000 McCain interview with Jim Lehrer

video

Lehrer: Finally for the record, you have not lost your desire to be President of the United States have you?

McCain: Certainly it’s been put in deep cold storage. haha..

Lehrer: You haven’t lost it?

McCain: Well, in 2004, I expect to be campaigning for the reelection of President George W. Bush, and by 2008, I think I might be ready to go down to the old soldiers home and await the cavalry charge there.

Superdelegate endorsements for Friday 5/23

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

Obama leads in superdelegates today with 3 superdelegates to Clinton's -1.
He has also added 2 Edwards pledged delegates from New Hampshire.

California Representative Dennis Cardoza has switched his endorsement from Clinton to Obama

Congressman Cardoza said, “This is the most important election of my lifetime. While I continue to greatly respect and admire Senator Clinton and feel she has made history with her campaign, I believe that Senator Obama will inevitably be our party’s nominee for President. He has proven himself to be a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and inspirational leader and will take America in a new direction, which we desperately need.

“I am deeply concerned about the contentious primary campaign and controversy surrounding the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan – two states Democrats need to win in November. I will not support changing the rules in the fourth quarter of this contest through some convoluted DNC rules committee process. Yet, we must find a resolution to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates so these states’ voters are represented at the Convention. I believe we need to avoid this potentially divisive situation by uniting behind one nominee and bringing the party together immediately. Therefore, I have made the decision to support Senator Obama at the Democratic Convention in my role as a super delegate.”

California Representative Jim Costa has endorsed Obama
Congressman Costa said, “It’s been a long presidential primary season, and now is time to bring it to a close. I have tremendous respect for Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton, and all the candidates who ran for the nomination. In my opinion, it is clear that Senator Obama will be the strongest presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.

“I did not come to this decision without careful consideration. Our nation is faced with serious challenges here at home and abroad. Because the next Administration and 111th Congress will face such difficult and divisive issues involving our energy needs, greater fiscal responsibility and international security, it is imperative that we have someone who truly has the skill to bring out nation together and close the partisan divide. I believe Senator Obama has the leadership skills to bridge the differences that exist today.

“In my conversations with Senator Obama, I explained to him that our San Joaquin Valley is the number one agricultural region in the country and in the world. Before the election in November, he needs to come to our Valley and understand the water challenges we face, the diversity of our farm crops, and the combination of the wonderful ethnic communities that make up Valley families, which is truly a reflection of our nation.”
Oregon DNC member Jenny Greenleaf has endorsed Barack Obama.
Jenny was the first superdelegate we spoke to after starting our lists. I know she'll be happy that we won't bug her anymore to find out who she's going to endorse. She told us all along that she was going to wait until after Oregon's primary and she kept her word.
The voters of Oregon have spoken, and I have listened.

I will be supporting Senator Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in August. Senator Obama has the vision and leadership ability to move this country forward and to undo the damage done by the Bush administration. I am proud to support him in this endeavor and will do whatever I can to make sure Oregon's electoral votes are Democratic this fall.


2 additional Edwards delegates have endorsed Obama this morning. We have updated the numbers in the sidebar.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Preview: 7 new superdelegates

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

As we head into the first big weekend of the summer, the contest for the Democratic nomination continues in all corners of the country. Obama will be in Florida, Puerto Rico, Connecticut and New Mexico. Clinton will be in South Dakota and Puerto Rico. And we have new superdelegates being named in 4 states, Alaska, Georgia, Wyoming and Hawaii:

  • Saturday, May 24, Alaska names its add-on, Georgia names two add-ons and Wyoming names one add-on. Obama won all three states.
  • Sunday. May 25, Hawaii Democrats hold their State Convention, followed by a meeting of the State Central Committee, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikiki, and name their add-on, and also select a new state party chair and vice-chair, both of whom immediately become superdelegates. Obama won the Hawaii Caucuses. Candidates for the Chair position are Annelle Amaral and Brian Schatz. Schatz is a former member of Obama's campaign in Hawaii, and has been endorsed by Obama. Amaral is a Clinton supporter but has committed to voting for Obama at the convention. In addition, Obama has endorsed James Burns, former chief judge of the state Intermediate Court of Appeals, for the add-on position. Update: Obama supporters are also backing Maui teacher Kari Luna for vice chair.
We'll have the add-on information here at DCW as soon as it's available.