THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WE DESERVE
May 25, 2016
Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz:
We, the undersigned average voters of the Democratic Party, are committed to ensuring that our Party renew its historical position of being the "Party of the people." The "About" section of the Democratic National Committee states:
"For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers' rights, and women's rights. We are the party of Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, FDR, and the countless everyday Americans who work each day to build a more perfect union. Take a look at some of our accomplishments, and you'll see why we're proud to be Democrats."
We, the undersigned average voters of the Democratic Party, are registered to vote with the Democratic Party because we are deeply committed to ensuring that our Party continue to follow in that tradition and to serve the people as a vehicle for bringing people together to solve the vast array of issues which confront our nation. We the undersigned average voters DEMAND THAT OUR PARTY CONSIDER THE 2016 PRIMARY AND CAUCUS ELECTIONS BE CONSIDERED VOID AS THE PARTY LEADERSHIP HAS BEEN SHOWN TO NOT HAVE REMAINED NEUTRAL AS A RESULT OF DOCUMENTS UNCOVERED BY WIKILEAKS AND THE FACT THAT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ANNOUNCED THE RACE WAS OVER THE EVENING PRIOR TO IMPORTANT VOTES BEING CAST IN CALIFORNIA, NEW JERSEY AND OTHER STATES. THESE COMBINED FACTS REQUIRE A SECOND BALLOT THROUGH WHICH DELEGATES MAY CHOOSE THEIR CANDIDATE UNENCUMBERED BY THE RECENTLY RIGGED PRIMARY AND CAUCUS ELECTION CYCLE.
As a result of recent news items, there is a deep feeling throughout our nation that the "Party of the people" has lost its way. The fact that our political process has devolved into an oligarchy has been proven through the work of two Princeton University researchers. Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page analyzed over 1,800 different policy initiatives and concluded that rich and well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, against the will of the majority of voters.
As one illustration, Gilens and Page compare the political preferences of Americans at the 50th percentile to preferences of those at the 90th percentile. They also include major lobbying or business groups. They find that the bottom ninety-percent of Americans have "only a minuscule, near zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy," whereas the wealthiest Americans have total veto power over undesirable legislation, and more than double the influence to get desired legislation passed by Congress--regardless if Democrat or Republican.
This inequality has resulted in a government that is non-responsive. It is a problem that has been met by a tremendous new democratic spirit which is being galvanized amongst the people, in an atmosphere of excitement and commitment never experienced before in our lifetimes. Record numbers of new voters are participating in our democratic process – legions of young people are voting, canvassing, phone-banking, participating in rallies and demonstrations, and lending their support in new ways facilitated by the internet and social media. A vast increase in internet communications and social media traffic demonstrates that Americans are recognizing that politics is not a spectator sport and they are taking real action to participate in the nomination and election process.
The bad news is that average voters have been forced to struggle to have the "Party of the people" bend to its will. From issues concerning super delegates to issues concerning voters being purged from voter registration rolls en masse to delegates being denied their rightful position as such, the Party has issues which must be confronted. We, the undersigned average voters, feel strongly that a Party is only as vital as its foundation and ours sorely needs re-building.
We, the undersigned average voters, are dedicated to working with you through constructive means in order to address these vital issues which confront the people of this great nation. However, we do know that the best opportunity would be for our Party leaders to accept this petition. If accepted, this will serve to open the door to the masses of people who are galvanized and ready to energize our Party to solve the myriad of problems which confront our nation.
First, you, Chairwoman Schultz, must resign from your position as Chair. All successors shall by determined by popular vote.
Second, the time is now to ensure that each state shall be awarded super delegates in the same proportion as the popular vote. The specifics can be found in our detailed analysis of this issue included with this petition. In short, we have been advised that the section which establishes this rule is in violation of the rest of the Democratic National Committee Charter.
Third, elected representatives, whether a member of the House or the Senate, shall be prohibited from participating in, or exercising their vote on, any issue for which they have received a campaign contribution of $1,000.00 or more.
Fourth, we the undersigned are committed to dealing with the issue of the right to vote and ensuring that the process of registering is not onerous. Further, we wish to ensure that once these rules are established, the process is protected and average voters are no longer disenfranchised. Specifically, the Party shall endorse the "Voters' Rights Amendment Act" of 2015. This legislation would provide for:
- same-day registration,
- automatic voter registration at the age of eighteen,
- equitable and sufficient polling stations and staff, and
- elimination of all requirements which interfere with the right to vote.
- abolish all voter identification laws
Pertaining to this issue,there shall be, in all federal elections, a national standard determining:
- the number, placement, and ADA accessibility of polling locations;
- the required number of poll workers, and the required training;
- and the type of voting machines allowed, based on an independent analysis of security, transparency, and auditing capabilities.
As to the issue of protecting and enhancing the right to vote, there shall be:
- a national standard for all elections regarding exit polling, including the creation of an independent commission that verifies all results which substantially deviate from their exit polling. This verification must be completed before those results may be certified.
- Further, voting results would be prohibited to be certified unless and until, all incidents of irregularities and disenfranchisement were fully resolved to the approval of the established independent commission.
We, the undersigned average voters, appreciate all that you have done for our democratic process and look forward to your good-faith negotiations. However, failure of the DNC to accommodate these demands does risk consequences, such as a large decline in the number of registered Democrats.
I. MARCH ON THE DNC DEMAND: CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
We, the undersigned average voters, request that the Democratic National Committee incorporate into its Platform for the Democratic National Convention support of the “Conflict of Interest Recusal Act” drafted by Rob Hager. Rob Hager, a Harvard Law graduate, is a public interest litigator [Agent Orange, Bhopal Disaster, Three Mile Island, Silkwood, Joe Harding, Parks Twp., Avirgan v. Hull. (am'd. compl. & mot. to dis. only), etc.] who filed amicus briefs in the Montana sequel to Citizens United and has worked as an international consultant on anti-corruption policy and legislation with the United Nations' and other development agencies. It is obvious to us that there is a current battle between money and people. The Supreme Court of the United States has equated campaign contributions with political speech. We, the undersigned average voters, have come to understand that our Congress has the power itself to implement a solution that favors the people instead of the money which is currently in control. We hereby urge the leaders of the Democratic National Committee to incorporate the following language of the “Conflict of Interest Recusal Act” into its platform:
Conflict of Interest Recusal Act
(April 28, 2015; October 19, 2015, rev. Feb. 24, 2016)
CHAPTER A. DISCLOSURE
1. Since the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that "money is speech," each elected public official is required to maintain a record of all such "constitutional communications" or "speech" made to them in the form of money or other material benefit.
2. An elected official shall designate specifically in their report of contributions made to the Secretary of State under [state law, or to the FEC under federal law] and continuously update, what that money or other received or promised benefit specifically communicated to the official with respect to the officials' public duties. Any contribution in excess of $1,000.00 or any contribution that is bundled must be returned unless the "constitutional speech" it communicates in the form of policy demands can be and is clearly and specifically reported by the official, mentioning each specific legislation or other official action which the "constitutional communication" requests in the view of the official and official's staff, as that "speech" may be inferred from direct or indirect communications from the contributor, the contributor's publicists or affiliated lobbyists or any other intermediary whatsoever with the official, official's staff, campaign or any other associate or contact whatsoever.
3. Contributions known to have been made in the form of an independent expenditure for the official or against an opponent shall be recorded in a similar manner.
4. Any such "constitutional communications" or "speech" made in the form of money for which the content of the speech is not reported in accordance with this law shall be considered to not be "constitutional speech," and therefore is unprotected by the First Amendment. Any such payment will be presumed to be an unlawful payment in the nature of bribery for public services, or unlawful acquisition of undue influence over public policy, and shall be prosecuted as such.
5. Lobbyists shall enter in a directory any official action for which they have been hired to, or do make, official contacts in accordance with [state or federal law]. They shall record with respect to each specific official act shown in directory entries pursuant to chapter [ xxx of state or federal law] every direct or indirect contact with a legislator and both the ultimate and all intermediary sources of payment to the lobbyist for making such contact.
6. Any person employing any lobbyist shall record in the directory all contributions and independent expenditures made to or for officials with respect to any item recorded by such lobbyist in the directory.
7. The Secretary of State [or Commission on Ethics established under Chapter C hereof[ shall maintain a public integrated "conflict of interest" relational database compiled from the lobbyist directory, campaign contribution reports by donors and recipients that links all information reported to it or derived from its own investigations, which shall connect specific legislative acts to all "constitutional communications" made to or for officials as well as any related contacts made by lobbyists hired by the source of those "constitutional communications." The database shall clearly and prominently identify any official's conflicts of interest with respect to any pending legislative action based on payments made by privately interested parties.
CHAPTER B. CONFLICT OF INTEREST RECUSAL
1. No elected official may vote upon, advocate for or against the enactment of any law or policy, or the taking of any official action of any kind on any matter with respect to which the official has reported under Chapter A, or the lobbyist directory or relational database shows, that the said policy demand or communication corresponds to the receipt by the official of a "constitutional communication" in the form of a contribution or expenditure. A violation of this conflict of interest recusal rule shall be grounds for both action by the [legislative or other official body, Chapter C] under this Chapter, and referral for prosecution for the crime of statutory bribery under penalties according to law. Failure to maintain records and reports in accordance with this law shall be prosecuted as a violation of [ state or federal law] for failure to perform an official duty and to provide honest services.
2. At any time that sufficient evidence shows that an official has violated this rule or been convicted of multiple failures to perform an official duty under this law, the [official ethics body] may punish such official by withdrawing rights of participation in committees and debates, voting rights on any class of, or all, legislation or other official acts, or expel such official permanently from public service.
CHAPTER C. [establishing state or federal "Commission on Ethics" enforcement agency, with independent source of budget from tax or "assessment" on contributions (possibly limited to those originating from out-of state ), and with plenary investigatory, and prosecutorial powers].
CHAPTER D. PUBLIC INTEREST EXCEPTION
1. The corporation code shall be amended to prohibit any for-profit corporation from making electioneering ependitures for or against any elected public official for generalized public interest purposes. For-profit corporations are incorporated or otherwise allowed to do business in this state solely for economic purposes, not political purposes. They are conclusively presumed at all times to make expenditures solely for the purpose of enhancing profits and for related economic interests and not for any other purpose. All corporate electioneering expenditures must comply with the provisions of this law by reporting the precise relationship between any "constitutional speech" payment and the specific economic interests for which the corporation is chartered.
2. Not-for-profit entities or persons which may make a contribution or expenditure for a public interest must disclose the ultimate source of the money contributed, specifically reporting the same information about the "constitutional speech" interests described in Chapter A. If the contribution or expenditure is ultimately found to be made by or to serve the profit or other benefit of private or special interests as decided by the Ethics Commission it will be subject to this law.
3. Contributions or expenditures by any person, association, or non-profit entity organized to serve the public interest by advocating policies and official actions that affect the public at large, or primarily the non-economic interests of any sizable portion of the public and not discernible private or special economic interests of their members or donors shall be exempt from the conflict of interest recusal obligation, provided that each specific "constitutional communication" is made for purposes of supporting a generalized public interest as defined in this law as distinguished from an immediate narrow private or special economic interest. In case of doubt, determinations about whether a constitutional communication serves a public interest will be made by the Ethics Commission based on evidence about,
a) the ultimate source of the funds, whether traceable to special economic interests,
b) the capacity of the policy action to advantage special economic interests,
c) the extent to which the policy action legitimately can or will serve broad public interests that considerably outweigh any private interests involved,
d) organizations that serve the interests of groups of persons in preserving their democratic rights of participation and related liberties are presumed to serve the public interest in protecting the equal participation of all persons in public life and the equal protection of the law for such persons,
e) "astroturf" front organizations designed to give an apparent public interest image to private interests will be identified by the Ethics Commission and labeled as serving those private interests.
CHAPTER E. PROHIBITED DEFENSES
1. An official's defense to a conflict of interest charge that that his or her vote was consistent with previous votes or pre-existing views held about the matter is irrelevant for purposes of recusal. Receipt of money from a privately or specially interested party is conclusive proof of the appearance of a conflict of interest and the official is required to recuse himself or herself from the related matter irrespective of allegedly comparable personal views on the subject, if a reasonable person would conclude that the payment would cause a conflict of interest for an ordinary person.
2. That the official allegedly voted or acted against the interest of the donor or spender on the policy action is not a defense. The official must recuse him or herself from any action in the matter whatsoever to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest arising from an interested "constitutional communication."
CHAPTER F. CAMPAIGN FINANCE EXTORTION
1. If the "constitutional speech" is made in the form of extortion, conditioned by a threat to support an opponent, and the incumbent has been made aware of its content as potential negative "constitutional speech," recusal applies only to any yielding to the extortion and taking official action as demanded. The electioneering expenditure for the opponent would be evidence that the incumbent did not change position as a result of the extortion. The incumbent may vote against the "constitutional speech" extortionist as originally intended. If the threat is delivered to the incumbent, but not the "constitutional speech" for the opponent, any action as demanded by the "speech" extortionist would have the appearance of conflict and therefore is prohibited, provided it was not for deceptively tactical purposes, which provide mitigating circumstances warranting an exception to the rule of recusal.
2. Such an extortionate communication involving a negative threat to oppose the incumbent must be reported in accordance with this law in the same manner as if it were positive "constitutional speech" for the incumbent.
II. MARCH ON DNC DEMAND: SUPER DELEGATE PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
We, the undersigned average voters, request that the powers of the super delegates be limited to a proportional vote which reflects the choice of the average voters in all specific states for the following reasons:
The good news is that a tremendous new democratic spirit is being galvanized amongst the people, in an atmosphere of excitement and commitment never experienced before in our lifetimes. Record numbers of new voters are participating in our democratic process – legions of young people are voting, canvassing, phone-banking, participating in rallies and demonstrations, and lending their support in new ways facilitated by the internet and social media. A vast increase in internet communications and social media traffic demonstrates that Americans are recognizing that politics is not a spectator sport and they are taking real action to participate in the nomination and election process.
The bad news is that the media have focused on an aspect of the Democratic Party rules that are not democratic. Thus, these same galvanized voters have keyed in upon the super-delegate rule to the detriment of the Democratic Party. The future of the Democratic Party may be significantly harmed when these new Democratic voters (many of them young) find out that the one-person-one-vote historic principle of our nation has been violated by the Democratic Party. All of the difficult work the Democratic Party has completed over several decades may be undermined when these voters find out that their fears about “politics as usual” have been realized. In fact, every day in this election seasoned and established, national-level, lifetime members of the Democratic Party must apologize to the press for their involuntary assumption of a “House of Lords”-like power that repeatedly disenfranchises rank-and-file voters state-by-state. The unfairness of the power of Super-delegates is apparent to the crudest understanding.
That has indeed already happened in States where voters have learned that even though the popular vote was earned by one candidate, the other candidate walked away with more delegates. For example, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program reported on April 11, 2016 that Bernie Sanders, while receiving 56% of the vote in Wyoming, received only 7 of the available 18 delegates; in the same primary. Hillary Clinton received 44% of the vote yet walked away with 11 delegates, four more than Bernie Sanders, who won the Wyoming caucus by 12% of the vote. Joe Scarborough repeatedly described the Wyoming caucus as “rigged” and no thinking, objective person would disagree.
Another example: In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly swept the state, receiving over 60% of the vote and coming away with 15 delegates; Hillary Clinton received only 38% of the vote yet was also awarded 15 delegates – the same number of delegates as the candidate who had won a landslide 22% victory in the primary! In state after state, Super-delegates, having no obligation to respect the wishes of the voters, have overloaded the scales regardless of the wishes of the voters, as shown in every single Democratic primary/caucus vote to date, unfairly skewing the nomination in favor of Hillary Clinton.
In American elections, the popular vote is sovereign and should not be violated. The (insert your State here) delegation to the national convention, as currently formed, violates this sovereign American principle. This is not democratic, and outside of an internal Democratic Party matter, this would be a tremendous violation of State and federal law. The super-delegate rule of the Democratic Party is in serious contradiction with the essence of American electoral principles. Average people, and average voters, understand this.
The core principle of proportional representation and the sovereign principle of the popular vote must be honored if the Democratic Party is to be able to continue to claim that the Democratic Party is truly the “Party of the people.” We need to protect that core trait of the Democratic Party, by fully permitting the public’s challenge to this undemocratic rule to be heard. If we do not grant this due process and allow the challenge to go forward we will suffer the consequences (rather than reaping the rewards) of alienating the new lifeblood which is poised to rush into the Democratic Party voting column.
Immediate and effective repair and redress of this grievance, and this imbalance, is fully in reach within the Charter, Rules and Bylaws of the National Committee, the Call to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and the respective States’ Committees. The Credentials Committee of the 2016 Democratic National Convention is empowered by the Charter and Rules to right this wrong. This is a crisis that must be met immediately in order to restore credibility to the Democratic Party, to assure average primary voters of all stripes that the Democratic Party conducts its business with fairness and that it recognizes the vital importance to every American of the principle of one-person-one-vote. Securing such votes is essential at this time for success in the 2016 Presidential election.
CHIEF JUSTICE EARL WARREN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ONE MAN-ONE VOTE PRINCIPLE
The Preamble to the Charter reads in pertinent part as follows: “We, the Democrats of the United States of America, united in common purpose, hereby rededicate ourselves to the principles which have historically sustained our Party. Recognizing that the vitality of the Nation’s political institutions has been the foundation of its enduring strength, we acknowledge that a political party which wishes to lead must listen to those it would lead, a party which asks for the people’s trust must prove that it trusts the people and a party which hopes to call forth the best the Nation can achieve must embody the best of the Nation’s heritage and traditions.”
The challengers herein to the Super-delegate rule strongly believe that the rule is in conflict with these principles set forth in the Preamble. Most importantly, we strongly believe that the rule does not “embody the best of the Nation’s heritage and traditions.” In fact, we believe that the rule obliterates the very spirit of what our Party stands for. Further, as we have recently witnessed a significant revival of the democratic spirit, we believe that our Party must make every effort to signal to the people (particularly our youth and first-time voters) that we are ready, willing and able to do the difficult work of ensuring that the principles we hold sacrosanct are honored. The continued growth of our Party is at stake.
Where can we find direction concerning the principles which “embody the best of the Nation’s heritage and traditions” as they pertain to the issues of self-governance? Please allow us to summon the reason of the late Chief Justice Earl Warren. In Reynolds v. Sims (1964) the Chief Justice wrote, “The right to vote freely for the candidate of one's choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government. And the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen's vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise.” (emphasis added)
Chief Justice Earl Warren favorably recited the following language from Gray v. Sanders:
“How, then, can one person be given twice or ten times the voting power of another person in a statewide election merely because he lives in a rural area or because he lives in the smallest rural county? Once the geographical unit for which a representative is to be chosen is designated, all who participate in the election are to have an equal vote -- whatever their race, whatever their sex, whatever their occupation...
whatever their income and wherever their home may be in that geographical unit. This is required by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The concept of 'we the people' under the Constitution visualizes no preferred class of voters, but equality among those who meet the basic qualifications. The idea that every voter is equal to every other voter in his State, when he casts his ballot in favor of one of several competing candidates, underlies many of our decisions…
there is no indication in the Constitution that homesite or occupation affords a permissible basis for distinguishing between qualified voters within the State…
The conception of political equality from the Declaration of Independence, to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, to the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Amendments can mean only one thing -- one person, one vote.” (emphasis added)
Chief Justice Earl Warren highlighted his vigorous support of the one man-one vote principle by reciting the following language from Wesberry v. Sanders:
“No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined. Our Constitution leaves no room for classification of people in a way that unnecessarily abridges this right.”
It is the contention of the challengers that we should heed these directives of Chief Justice Warren. We must ensure that every vote of every average voter in the Democratic primary is made equal to that of every other. It is the most basic principle belonging to, and is the inexorable right of, each and every citizen; if violated, the loss undermines every other democratic right.
We also understand that this Committee may plan to distinguish these principles by invoking the right to freely associate. This Committee may seek to respond by arguing that it has the obligation to ensure the success of the Party in its efforts to have its own members seated as President of the United States. That the average primary voter does not always have the political savvy to understand which candidate has the best opportunity to realize that important goal.
The challengers to the super-delegate rule respond by first acknowledging that this reasoning is indeed sound. The courts have held that political parties are free to establish their own rules even if they violate the Constitutional principle of one man-one vote. However, as will be shown through our “Memorandum of Law,” our Charter (which is equivalent to the United States Constitution in its power to regulate our rules) does not permit the utilization of the super-delegates as currently drafted.
Practically speaking, in terms of the posture of the current election season, regardless of the ultimate fate of the Super-delegate system, the Party may wish to temper the Super-delegate rule, using it sparingly if we are to maintain our position as being the “Party of the people.” Governor Jim Hunt (Chairman of the 1982 DNC Commission) stated that:
“In fact, Governor Jim Hunt (Chairman of the 1982 DNC Commission) stated that, “We must also give our convention more flexibility to respond to changing circumstances and, in cases where the voters’ mandate is less than clear, to make a reasoned choice. One step in this direction would be to loosen the much-disputed ‘binding’ Rule 11 (H) as it applies to all delegates. An equally important step would be to permit a substantial number of party leader and elected official delegates to be selected without requiring a prior declaration of preference. We would then return a measure of decision-making power and discretion to the organized party and increase the incentive it has to offer elected officials for serious involvement.” (emphasis added)
Thus, Party leaders must initially seek to understand the intentions of the average primary voters prior to utilizing the super-delegate vote. The super-delegate powers should not be a means to evading the will of the average voters. Any rule which quashes the clear intention of those average voters, when that intention is clear, must not be permitted to stand. The Party membership have various avenues of opportunity to steer the selection of its nominees. The super-delegate powers are a hammer against the average voters. A hammer is a blunt instrument which should only be taken out when the intent of the average voters is in doubt. At that point, Party members may be given the opportunity to weigh in and support the success of the Party by ensuring that we have a candidate who can deliver success. But only at that point.
III. SUPER-DELEGATE RULE AT ISSUE WITH DNC CHARTER
In establishing the super-delegate rule, the “Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Party of the United States” (hereinafter “Charter”) provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
“SECTION 4. The National Convention shall be composed of delegates equally divided between men and women. The delegates shall be chosen through processes which:
g. prohibit unpledged and uncommitted delegates, except delegates or alternates expressing an uncommitted preference shall be permitted to be elected at the district level, in which event, if such preference meets the applicable threshold and qualifies for at-large or similar delegates or alternates, such at-large or similar delegates or alternates shall be allocated to that uncommitted preference as if it were a presidential candidate.
h. notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Section: i. provide for all of the members of the Democratic National Committee to serve as unpledged delegates, ii. permit unpledged delegates consisting of: 1) the President and Vice President of the United States, if Democrats, 2) the Democratic members of the United States Senate and the Democratic members of the House of Representatives, 3) the Democratic Governors, 4) former Democratic Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States, 5) former Democratic Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, 6) former Democratic Speakers and Minority Leaders of the United States House of Representatives, 7) former Chairs of the Democratic National Committee, 8) such delegates shall not be permitted to have alternates and such delegates shall constitute an exception to Subsection (b) of this Section 4.
SECTION 5. The delegate vote allocable to each state shall be determined as provided in the Bylaws, consistent with the formula: a. giving equal weight to population, which may be measured by electoral vote, and to the Democratic vote in elections for office of the President; and b. giving such additional delegate votes as may be specifically designated by the Democratic National Committee in the Call to the Convention, subject to such conditions as may be set forth by the Democratic National Committee in said Call, for the purpose of providing incentives for scheduling the event constituting the first determining stage in the presidential nominating process in each state later in the year of the Convention than such event would otherwise be scheduled in the absence of such incentive;”
Thus, by granting such "additional delegate votes" to unpledged delegates who "may be elected at the district level" and also include other select individuals, the Charter establishes a rule which provides for a diminishment of the average voters’ choice. This rule is patently in opposition to the rest of the Charter which instills a spirit which is guided by the following language:
“Recognizing that the vitality of the Nation’s political institutions has been the foundation of its enduring strength, we acknowledge that a political party which wishes to lead must listen to those it would lead, a party which asks for the people’s trust must prove that it trusts the people and a party which hopes to call forth the best the Nation can achieve must embody the best of the Nation’s heritage and traditions” and
“Section 4. Establish standards and rules of procedure to afford all members of the Democratic Party full, timely and equal opportunities to participate in decisions concerning the selection of candidates.”
The drafters of the super-delegate rule were aware of the fact that it is in opposition to the spirit and language of the rest of the Charter and thus included the language “notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Section.” Such drafting protects the language of the super-delegate rule from the rest of the Section but not from the larger body of the Charter.
Thus, the seating of super-delegates must be seen as a violation of the rest of the Charter and should be dealt with. However, the true essence of why seating super-delegates, with their associated powers of being able to exercise weighted votes, must be addressed is that it violates the sovereign vote of average primary voters and the standard of proportional voting that the Charter is meant to embody. It thereby disenfranchises the heart of the Party that is the average voter. At a time in which we have experienced record numbers of people voting, record crowds at political rallies, and the renewal of a democratic spirit from our youth, allowing the super-delegate rule to remain unchanged might cause the new vibrancy of our Party to be lost. Thus, we urge the Committee to negotiate a solution that respects the will of the average primary voter.
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