Monday, April 28, 2008

Rules and Bylaws Committee membership

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

With the news that the challenges to the DNC decisions on Florida and Michigan will be heard by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) on May 31st, the next question, of course, is, who is on the committee and who do they support?

Here is the list:

Co-Chairs - no endorsement
Alexis Herman (co-chair, Washington , D.C. )
James Roosevelt, Jr. (co-chair, Massachusetts )

Members - Clinton supporters (13)
Hartina Flournay (DC)
Donald Fowler (SC)
Harold Ickes, Jr. (DC)
Jaime Gonzalez, Jr. (TX)
Alice Huffman (CA)
Ben Johnson (DC)
Elaine Kamarck (MA)
Eric Kleinfeld (DC)
Mona Pasquil (CA)
Mame Reiley (VA)
Garry Shay (CA)
Elizabeth Smith (DC)
Michael Steed (MD)

Members - Obama supporters (8)
Martha Fuller Clark (NH)
Carol Khare Fowler (SC)
Janice Griffin (MD)
Thomas Hynes (IL)
Allan Katz (FL)
Sharon Stroschein (SD)
Sarah Swisher (IA)
Everett Ward (NC)

Members - no known endorsement (7)
Donna Brazille (DC)
Mark Brewer (MI)
Ralph Dawson (NY)
Yvonne Gates ( NV)
Alice Germond (DC) - DNC Secretary
David McDonald (WA)
Jerome Wiley Segovia (VA)


  • Allan Katz of Florida is a member of Obama's national finance committee. It will be interesting what he does, or even if he is allowed to vote on the Florida challenge. The same question would hold for Mark Brewer of Michigan for the Michigan challenge.
  • Update:
    Section 3.4 (P): Voting: A member of the RBC shall not vote on a challenge arising in his or her own state.
But note that Katz can vote on Michigan's challenge, and Brewer can vote on Florida's challenge.
  • Ralph Dawson is one of the very few New York superdelegates that have not endorsed Clinton.
Update: Here are the Regulations of the Rules and Bylaws Committee


Barry Scott said...

Harold Ickes? 11 Clinton supporters vs 8 for Obama. Should we be concerned?

Unknown said...

By what process did the candidate who won fewer states aqnd fewer delegates get more seats on the committee?

Oreo said...

The RBC has had the same members since at least June of 2007.

Barry Scott said...

Thanks oreo,
I'm less worried, and given the date of it's make-up I should be grateful that it's not 90% Clinton supporters.

KCinDC said...

Peter and Barry, don't confuse the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee with the Rules Committee for the Democratic National Convention (which may have to rule on this later). This committee isn't specific to the convention.

Unknown said...

Thanks kcindc, I was confusing the two. So the credentials committee at the convention can disregard whatever the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee decides?

Andre Walker said...


The gist of it is this:

If the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee (RBC)decides to restore the voting rights of some or all of the delegates from Florida and Michigan, then its decision is the "supreme law of the Party" unless a challenge is filed with the Convention Credentials Committee seeking to overturn the ruling of the RBC.

The same goes if the RBC decides to dismiss the challenges from Florida and Michigan. An appeal could be filed with the Convention Credentials Committee.

Unknown said...

Thank you Andre. It's great that there are lots of smart people here.

KCinDC said...

There are three different standing committees at the convention: rules, platform, and credentials. Andre is correct that the credentials committee is the important one for delegate seating, though it's possible the rules committee might have to make some relevant ruling.

Xyxox said...


Your own site shows Michael Steed of Maryland as a Clinton super Delegate.

That makes 12 for Clinton.

Also, Alexis Herman, one of the co-chairs, served in the Clinton administration.

Oreo said...

Steed added under Clinton

Dan Werner said...

Interesting factoid: Dawson was the one who originally introduced the motion to strip FL & MI of their delegates...

Derek said...

If Clinton wins Indiana and/or Oregon and/or NC, this will be a very newsworthy meeting.

Anybody know if it's possible they will permit a video camera in? Seems they should. CSPAN ought to carry it.

Wolle said...

There's only a note that it's unclear if Allan Katz is allowed to vote but i think it is the same with Mark Brewer (MI).

Reed said...

do they vote based on a simple majority?

Matt said...

Reed - Good question. I think we need the rules and bylaws for the Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Matt said...

I just added a link to the Regulations of the Rules and Bylaws Committee. It's majority vote.

Rusel DeMaria said...

The very fact that Clinton wants to count the bogus votes of disallowed primaries in which nobody campaigned and in one case Obama was not even on the ballot reveals a profound lack of integrity and regard for fair practices. What does that say about her as a candidate?

Unknown said...

That's not the current list of members of the RBC. Brazile isn't a member of the committee since earlier this year.

Matt said...

Step - The DNC confirmed to us today that Brazile is still on the RBC, and, in fact, there have been no changes in membership since last summer. If you still believe Brazile is not on the RBC, please provide a source.

Unknown said...

Hi all, another point that I hope was considered by the above folks is that the 12 to 8 number does not take into account the 10 other people who were not declared at the time this post was made.

Searching... said...

Donna Brazile confirmed on CNN just Tuesday that she is on the RBC committee. She also made a point of inviting CNN to cover the event.

sdempster said...

Both states have elections in August. It would take pennies to add these candidates to the ballots to elect a candidate that the entire country voted for. I think Obama supporters are scared of that outcome, thus the rhetoric. said...

It is interesting to read all those comments--AND NOT ONE mentioned that the "punishment" disenfranchised the voters in the state. To me that is,or should be, unconstitutional--and totalitarianism.

asicit said...

The rules and bylaws committee should vote to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates. It is not a question of whether it is better for Clinton or Obama. They should not disenfranchise these voters. One other note, if my facts are correct, Obama made the decision to not be on the Florida and Michigan ballots...that is why he did not campaign in those states. If I am incorrect, someone please advise. The main thing is the committee needs to do the "right thing" and seat these delegates.

Anonymous said...

Please see for the rationale behind the timing of the state primaries. All Democratic candidates agreed to abide by the DNC sanctioning of Michigan and Florida, and all agreed to withdraw their names from the Michigan ballot (too late for Florida) but Hillary reneged on the agreement and left her name on the Michigan ballot. She also split hairs on the agreement not to campaign in either state by attending "private" fundraisers in Florida just before the primary. She also defied the agreement, and still is, by trying to get the delegates of those states seated. In fact, she continues to take action that could harm the Democratic party in Michigan and Florida in the general election.

I suspect that the Rules Committee will seat the Florida and Michigan delegates in the interest of party unity, but will give them one-half votes as a sanction for defying DNC rules. To be fair to the candidates, Obama and Clinton should each be awarded 50% of the delegates, but to assure Michigan and Florida's support in November there will likely be some preference given to Clinton. For example, Clinton will get 55% in Michigan and 49% in Florida per the voting percentages she received. Obama will get the 40% "uncommitted" vote for Michigan and 47% (his and Edwards' combined) for Florida.

wurman said...

Here's a link to the current member lists of all DNC Standing Committees.

As near as I can tell, your list is not accurate.

wurman said...

Here's a link to the January description of the new standing committees with short bios on the 3 co-chairs of each.

Alexis Herman & James Roosevelt are 2 of the Credentials Committee chairs & the 3rd is Eliseo Roques-Arroyo.

Matt said...

Wurman - This list you give is for the DNCC Credentials Committee. The list in the post is for the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee. The RBC is NOT a Convention Standing Committee. It is an permanent DNC committee. The list we show is correct to the best of our knowledge.

Also note that the list you show is very incomplete. It only shows Dean's nominations. There are another 150 or so members of each committee selected by the states. That's an ongoing process.

carmigarbeau said...

can we get contact information on these people? i'm a floridian and would love to let the members of this committee know that it is not ok by me to seat our delegation based on our primary non-election. i know that many people did not vote because IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO COUNT. hrc had an indisputable advantage as it was early in the primary process and she has name recognition; obama never campaigned, AS THEY ALL AGREED.

dsmyre said...

They can't just seat all the delegates as though nothing ever happened. They must punish Michigan and Florida for breaking the rules, otherwise in 2012 more states will try to move up their primary dates. I think seating half the delegates is a good compromise. Forget the popular vote count since all the candidate's names were not on the ballot.

Kenbomc said...

No matter if they seat them all or not, Obama is still ahead. The popular vote total doesn't mean a thing -especially since the caucus states are not fully accounted for. The popular vote theory is all made up by HRC since she doesn't have anything else to cling on too. Hillary is going down in flames. She keeps changing the rules because it is in her best interest to do so. Now Hillary's trying to blame sexism? I'm glad she lost. For the first time in 28 years there will not be a Bush nor a Clinton in the white house.

Unknown said...

You'll be hearing this a lot in coming days. The true delegate number and the one Barack Obama must surpass is 2209, not 2025. Litigator Mom over at The Confluence explains, beginning with the correct calculation:

50% + 1 of all the delegates, pledged and SDs, alloted to the 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Not 48 states, but 50 states. She explains: [More...]

The DNC and the talking heads all say that “MI and FLA will be seated in some fashion.” That’s doublespeak for “MI and FLA will be seated in a manner which makes permanent the disenfranchisement of MI and FLA voters.” If, for example, the DNC awards Obama the nomination at 2025 delegates, then the MI and FLA delegates will have been rendered meaningless, whether they are “seated” before or after the DNC hands the trophy to Obama. You can’t say you’re seating MI and FLA, and then permit Obama to claim victory based on a magic number that doesn’t count MI and FLA’s delegates.

You can't expect an air of legitimacy to surround a nominee when 2.3 million voters are excluded from making the determination. These delegates not only must be seated, they must be seated when their votes count in determining the nominee. Seating them after that, so they have a chance to rah-rah for the candidate they had no say in selecting, won't cut it. And they certainly won't be satisfied with going to Denver just to weigh in on the party platform.

One person, one vote. 2.3 million votes have yet to be calculated in either the popular vote totals, the pledged delegate totals or the total number of delegates required to win the nomination.

Anyone have a button? "2209 or fight!"

Donn said...

Nathan, you are ridiculous. FL and MI broke the rules. Do you honestly think that seating them full force will not encourage other states to break the rules in 2012? There were many, many people who did not vote because they knew their vote wouldn't count. It has been proven over and over again that when Senator Obama is able to campaign in states he either closes the gap greatly or wins, so having not done that in FL and MI (his name wasn't even on the ballot in MI as agreed by ALL candidates) it makes it hard to claim that they were "fair" elections. I GUARANTEE that Senator Clinton would not be fighting for the "disenfranchised" voters of FL and MI if she Obama was ahead in the percentages. She would be saying that he was not "following the rules". There is no logic to Senator Clinton's arguments or yours.

Jim said...

Virtually every member of the committee including both "uncommitted" co-chairmen were appointed by Terry McCauliffe. Its reasonable to assume both of those votes will be to seat the MI. & Fla. Delegations per whatever the Clinton campaign wants. That brings it to 15 supporters for Clinton. Of the "uncommtitted" group listed one is from NY, one is from MI. Score 2 more points for seating Florida. That brings us to 17. Katz can't vote on Florida. So the final score - Clinton plan 17 Obama Plan 12. Not even close. Brewer can't vote on MI. So the Clinton group drops to 16. It won't matter if Katz (Fl) returns the favor to Brewer or not. But since it won't matter if the final Michigan vote is 16-13, or 17-12, Katz will probably go with the majority and protect his image at home as a person who enfranchises votes. Its even possible that once a decision has been made, the committee will decide to announce its decision as "unanimous" in order to enhance its credibility.

The spin out of the committee is totally predictable. There were NO rules changes. The different campaigns simply had different interpretations of the rules. The committee simply acted like a referee to clarify the rules.

How likely is this scenario? In the words of Terry McCauliffe to Carl Levin, you can bank on it.

The predictable fall out from this: The MSM will accept the rules committee decision without question. Anyone who criticizes the decision will be derided as a right wing operative trying to divide the democratic party. A significant number of Obama Super delegates will move back to the neutral column in fear of ending up on the wrong side of this political railroad. An even larger number of uncommitted delegates will move to the Clinton column admist a drumbeat from the MSM that Clinton is winning the popular vote and the delegate count is "essentially tied"

Any attempt at criticism from the Obama camp directly will be described as poor sportsmanship now that the MI & Fl issue is "resolved" and no longer up for discussion. The press will marvel at the Clinton camps brilliant political skill. On June 3, Puerto Rico will solidly vote for Clinton. By June 5, the MSM will pour out its admiration for Clinton's "tenacity" and "political brilliance" to have grasped apparent victory from the jaws of defeat. Calls for party unification around Hillary with Obama as VP will reach what are now unimaginable levels.

"Now that all the votes have been counted, its time for the SD's to pull together to unify the party and nominate the most electable ticket" will be the theme.

What can you do as a citizen if you are not happy with this potential outcome. Not much unless you are on the group of 30 making this decision. But the Democratic party does have a place on its website to comment about the rules committee's proposed rules. It might be helpful to express your opinions directly to the DNC via this form

Good luck all.

Unknown said...

It's clear that Florida and Michigan democratic leaders should suffer some public rebuke for defying the rules. They are the party 'leaders'-the superdelegates, who made the selfish decision to push their states voting to the front. I believe that the superdelegates from those states should be stripped of their vote if there is a compromise to split votes between the campaigns.

Reed said...

One of the nice things about demconwatch.blogspot is that it didn't have a partisan split between Clinton and Obama supporters. It was just pro-dem and generally an information hub, not a spin zone. There are plenty of sites available for bickering, why not leave this purity intact here?

edwa8224 said...

the news is not telling the whole truth about the fla vote it was a democratic senator in tallhasse fl that propose to move the vote up, and then say your votes would not be counted and now we are faced with another pie in the face, thanks to the the leaders in the satae capitol.

interested observer said...


Fair enough. No more posts on the subject after this. Full disclosure, I have no intention of ever voting for Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama. I am just a person frustrated by what appears to me to be a scary attempt to subvert an important electoral process.

jmarie23 said...

What many people don't know is that Hillary Clinton was very much for stripping Florida and Michigan of their votes when they proposed jumping ahead of Iowa, N. H. and S. C.

Harold M. Ickes is a member of the DNC rules and bylaws committee. He was Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff, Hillary Clinton's Chief campaign strategist during her Senatorial bid and currently is one of her chief strategists for her presidential bid. He, too, was an outspoken proponent of stripping Florida and Michigan early on in the process and voted for same. However, he now demands that all of the delegates be seated according to the votes cast because it will be in Hillary's favor. He is essentially reversing the very committee vote he championed. He is a very powerful member of the DNC and was at one time expected to assume the Chairmanship.

The deck is stacked! All of these people should recuse themselves and only uncommitted DNC people should be allowed to serve for this particular vote even if it means recruiting them.

Unknown said...

You talk about disenfranchised
what about the people that did not
get to vote and were told their vote would not be counted
because Hillary,Obama
Edwards sign agreement to take their names off the ballet !
Obama should not be punish or the
voters that did not get to vote be disenfranchised because
Hillary broke the rules !

lily31 said...

I don't think any member of the committee who is employed by either campaign should be allowed to participate in the discussion of or vote on this matter.

The one that comes to mind is Ickes, there may be others. They should be excused from the proceedings and not in the room. That is the only way we can be assured of any degree of fairness. The decision is too important for it to be swayed by a paid employee of a campaign, particularly one as single minded and crafty as Ickes is alleged to be.

frankoanderson said...

The people of FL and MI did not break the rules, it was the party officials. As punishment, the superDs who broke the rules should have their votes taken away.

That being said: since voters were told their vote wouldn't count, there's no way to calculate their actual intent.

Dean promised that the delegates would be seated, and I believe they will. I also predict that if they are not seated in a way that would make Hillary win (as in 0 for Obama in MI), then she will appeal the decision to the Cred. Committee which meets Aug. 29.

Unfortunately that means we would lose no matter who the nominee is, because thanks to Hillary's wrangling, we will have had only eight weeks to campaign in the general, while McCain has been the nominee since February.

The Resistance said...

Seating the full Florida and Michigan delegations would be a slap on the face to those people who played by the rules setup by the DNC in 2007.

Hillary will do or say anything to get back to picking what china is used at state dinners in the White House.

The voters have rejected her in the primaries and caucuses. She could end of destroying the party.

Seat only half of Florida and Michigan delegates and split them 50-50 among the two remaining contenders.

Grandma Linda said...

I repeatedly hear that the candidates all agreed and signed a pledge about not campaigning or allowing the votes to count in Florida and Michigan. Does anyone know where we can view a copy of what they signed?

Perhaps the media should be reviewing this over the next couple of days before the Rules Committee meets on Saturday and then again on Saturday - just so the truth comes out!

Jim said...

The following is a copy of the four state pledge. my favorite part is the part about finality and common sense.

WHEREAS, Over a year ago, the Democratic National Committee established a 2008 nominating calendar;

WHEREAS, this calendar honors the racial, ethnic, economic and geographic diversity of our party and our country;

WHEREAS, the DNC also honored the traditional role of retail politics early in the nominating process, to insure that money alone will not determine our presidential nominee;

WHEREAS, it is the desire of Presidential campaigns, the DNC, the states and the American people to bring finality, predictability and common sense to the nominating calendar.

THEREFORE, I _______________, Democratic Candidate for President, pledge I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as “campaigning” is defined by rules and regulations of the DNC.

___________________________ __________

John/Jane Doe, Doe for President DATE

David Wainwright said...

I read an AP article listing Yvonne Gates, a bylaws committee member from Nevada, as an Obama supporter. This site lists her as uncommitted. Does anyone know if she has endorsed Obama? I included the link, and an exerpt from the article below.

"It has to be a fair process for both candidates," said member Yvonne Gates, an Obama supporter from Nevada who said she wasn't sure what position she would support at the meeting. "My definition is a 50-50 split is something that is fair. It cannot be a situation where you give one candidate more votes than the other. In my opinion that wasn't an election when they didn't have a chance to get out and talk to the people of that community."

Anonymous said...

Well I'm frustrated at all these comments because I live in Florida. I'm just a simple, hardworking individual and I followed the rules that our Republican legislature enacted into law and the Democratic Party of Florida proceeded with. That was the first strike. Whey did this state spend the money and waste our time on a charade? Secondly, I happily got up that morning, as I always have and trotted to the polls and voted. I guess that was strike two. And, just as they promised, strike three - none of the millions of votes count. You people need to stop the us versus them crap and realize that it's the blood sport we call politics that needs fixing. It's trust in the government or A government that messes with us on our most precious right - voting. Stop acting like high school kids in a personality contest and focus your energies on WE THE PEOPLE things.

Jim said...

The form of government in the USA is a Constitutional Federal Republic. It is not a "democracy". This is how it was set up in the constitution. The voters elect representatives. The representatives make decisions for the citizens. If the citizens don't like a decision their redress is to vote in new representatives at the next available opportunity.

In the Florida case the elected representatives made a decision that having their opinion heard regarding the presidential nominees early in the process was more important than having actual delegates voting at the convention later on This was a totally rational decision because it had been decades since the delegate vote at the convention mattered towards selecting the nominee.

In the case of the 2008 democratic presidential nominating contests it turned out that maybe having delegates would give the state more influence. But as the saying goes you can't unring a bell. Florida announced early on to the world it preferred Hillary Clinton . This may or may not have had any important effect on subsequent primaries or caucuses. We will never know what influence it really had. But the Florida representative achieved their early voice in the process. The suggestion now is that since the representatives didn't follow the rules, they should have had the early voice, plus the delegates the would get if they followed the rules. This is unfair to the hard working voters in every other state.

The redress of the Florida voters is to get new representatives next time, if this decision was so important. Thats the system. Has been since the constitution was adopted.

Unknown said...

I received this auto reply from Mame Reiley, so this one is a definite for HRC
This message is in response to the hundreds of emails I am getting
daily about the upcoming DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting of
which I am a member. If you are contacting me on another matter, you
will get an additional response from me.

I too believe every vote should be counted. President Truman once
said, "the challenge is not doing the right thing, rather knowing what
the right thing is to do." I believe that the members of the Rules
and Bylaws committee will go into the meeting not as pledged Obama or
Clinton delegates but as Democrats who want to resolve this issue in a
fair manner.

Andy said...

I'm sitting in Jamaica following this and it is so exciting. I spent many years in your country. I don't think the question is whether the RBC will reach a compromise or not. I think they will. The question is whether HRC will accept it and in the interest of unity gracefully exit and support the nominee. Or, she and Bill could decide to 'go beyond the pale' of the Party and threaten to disrupt convention and Party, giving Republicans the election changing the direction of the USA and the world if they don't get what they want. McCarthy went outside the parameters. Govts. have been wrecked by wild cards before. Kind of a Bonnie & Clyde of Politics.Or will Pelosi say ...bitch you pull that destroying the party and I'll destroy you politically forever!!
Or does that make sense?

Unknown said...

It is disheartening that Clinton supposedly friends betrayed her on the RBL committee.

Many of those that claim to be supposedly uncommitted like Ralph Dawson, Donna Brazille and others were never uncommitted but deciteful and deliberate liers in their posture to confuse the public when infact they have already chosen sides and their actions betrays them.

Worst yet== are those that claimed to be committed to Mrs Clinton like confused Mamem and Elaine, chose to succum to Obama threats and bully machines.

In conclusion, this committee is filled with men and women withiut spines, will power and concience. Let them pray hard that Obama does not loose in fall, because if he does, they wll be hanged publicly for not choosing the strongest candidate when the DNC charter allowed them to do so without fear nor favor.