If you think this election season has been out of control, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Are you ready for today’s civics lesson? Good! Today we’ll examine California’s system of electing delegates to attend the Democratic Convention this summer. You probably thought California voters already did that, right? No, silly, it has to be much more complicated than that, because if you really understood how our election process worked, you’d be storming the Bastille! From The RawStory:
Party caucuses scheduled for Sunday will elect a slate of delegates for each candidate — 134 for Clinton and 107 for Obama, for a total of 241. More than 2,000 candidates are running statewide.
So in the California primary, voters gave Clinton 134 seats at the convention, and Obama 107. Who will be sitting in those seats will be decided in yet another vote this Sunday. And here’s where the fun begins. Yesterday, it turned out that the Obama camp had purged almost a thousand names from the list of potential delegates. And most of those names were “progressives,” the kind of people who work for causes and issues rather than for candidates. The kind of people who could potentially be swayed on the convention floor.
Earlier this week, Obama’s and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign took advantage of party rules to purge scores of potential delegates in a bid to ensure that only their loyalists travel to the August convention in Denver where the party will anoint a presidential nominee.
Most of the cuts, about 900 names, were dropped by Obama, leading supporters to complain that they had been unfairly excluded. Clinton’s campaign dropped about 50 names from its list of prospective delegates.
There was much unhappiness in the land of Obama! Supporters blogged with stories like Obama Slashes and Burns Through the Delegate List, and even the Obama lovin’ Huffington Post ran this story: Obama’s “Big Tent” Campaign Cuts Out the Little People in California.
That’s pretty bad when Huffington Post gets on the bandwagon. But Obama’s team has seemingly realized how dangerous it just might be to piss off the hardworking campaign staffers in the field, and so we have this:
Facing a backlash from supporters, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign reversed course Thursday and reinstated hundreds of people to lists that will be used to choose California’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
Campaign manager David Plouffe said in a letter to potential delegates that all names would be restored to ballots that will be used Sunday to elect the delegates, overturning the earlier decision. The letter did not refer to the complaints.
Driven by fears that some prospective delegates might be concealing their true allegiances, the campaigns searched campaign finance data, scoured the Internet and made telephone calls to weed out people they believed to be dubious candidates.
Excuse me, but my Cynic-o-meter just short-circuited. The candidate of change looks like he’s bringing old-style Chicago politics to the national stage ….