Sanders' anti-superdelegate push gains steam in Senate
A growing number of senators back changes to a system critics say gives party bosses undue sway to decide the nominee.
A growing number of Democratic senators support reforming the partys superdelegate system a move that would dilute their own power in the presidential nominating process but satisfy Bernie Sanders and his millions of supporters as Democrats move to unify for the general election.
Politico interviewed nearly 20 of Sanders colleagues over the past week and found a surprisingly strong appetite for change, including among influential members of the party establishment such as Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a top prospect for vice president. More than half the senators surveyed support at least lowering the number of superdelegates, and all but two said the party should take up the matter at next months convention in Philadelphia, despite the potential for a high-profile intraparty feud at a critical moment in the campaign.
The findings point to growing momentum among Democrats for changing a system thats been criticized for giving party bigwigs undue sway over the nominee at the expense of the grass roots. But powerful Democratic Party constituencies, including the Congressional Black Caucus, are firmly opposed. And lawmakers who are open to reform disagree over how far-reaching it should be.
and hopefully caucuses than there will be on open primaries, I would expect.
I understand changing the system but do not understand why this is one of the first things to spend political capital on: fixing something that has never been broken.
It just seems to me that the minutia of party politics is hardly something most of us think about, especially those whose lives are personally affected by income inequality and discrimination.
And if the push to do away with superdelegates loses, the perception will be that other changes are not necessary. That wouldn't be fair, of course, but that's often how these things work.
The "problem" is that they are too large a block. It lends itself to the "establishment" perception that both parties are fighting right now. SOME super delegates are probably a good idea, mostly to break ties. You actually don't want that group to be TOO small, so if they actually become necessary, it won't appear that a certain block, or region is "calling all the shots". Alternately, you don't want it so large that the "race is over after Super Tuesday" or some such expression. Being "the anointed one" isn't helping anyone in this current environment and the party is "lucky" that Trump is on the opposing side.
Which is why I think the movement risks getting bogged down by something that currently affects no one.
It won't happen at or before the convention. After that, it's out of sight, out of mind.
Including this one. They've always gone with the nominee who has the majority of pledged delegates. Now if you want to eliminate superdelegates all together, and just go for the nominee with the majority of pledged delegates, I am all for that.
They're there as a safety net against the popular vote doing something the establishment doesn't like. It hasn't come to that yet. It'll be bedlam if it ever does. Get rid of them.
Getting party leaders to the convention and involving them in process.
There are other ways to accomplish that rather than give them a vote as a delegate that is equal to that of 10,000 voters. I think getting rid of the Supers would go a long way towards restoring many of our faith in the system.
The ones that choose to participate can significantly affect the ability to change rules. This is why they exist far more than choosing the candidate. That part is for extraordinary purposes, and as the last two elections have demonstrated, they'd be hard pressed to NOT choose the "popular" candidate. However, rules squabbles are a different story. It will take a "super majority" to take away their ability to exist, unless they cooperate. They can also serve to "protect" the party "elite", especially since many of them are counted among that group.
PAID FOR BY BERNIE 2016 (not the billionaires)
This speech covers what is needed to achieve campaign reform.
The Republicans wish they had Super Delegates right now.
Most of the time, SDs simply follow the majority pledged delegates, so their role is redundant and moot. BUT when we need them, we really need them. Why eliminate them?
They will never be used, which in some way is an argument against throwing them out. But really, getting rid of them to prevent even the possibility might help. And the perception that SDs will all vote for one candidate tends to be a rhetorical bludgeon against come from behind candidates.
and open primaries. Otherwise, with the ability for non-Democrats to vote in a caucus and in open primaries, SDs are necessary.
VOX - POLICY & POLITICS
Corporations now spend more lobbying Congress than taxpayers spend funding Congress
Updated by Ezra Klein on July 15, 2015, 10:11 a.m. ET @ezraklein
Well, this isn't good:
Corporations now spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.16 billion) and Senate ($820 million).
Those numbers come from political scientist Lee Drutman, author of the book The Business of America Is Lobbying, who notes, over email, that they've fallen slightly out of date. In 2014 the House's operating budget was $1.18 billion, and the Senate's operating budget was $860 million. That pays for, among other things, all congressional staff. Add in the funds for the Congressional Budget Office and the Congressional Research Service the two most important agencies meant to inform members of Congress about the issues corporate America is lobbying them on and you've added another $150 million to the tab.
Which is to say, Drutman's point stands: businesses* are spending more money lobbying the House and Senate than taxpayers are spending running the House and Senate and informing its members.
Make that decision, and it's strictly due to budgeting. It's very expensive to run polling stations for people to vote in primaries. Caucasus are much cheaper.
addressed first before we talk about doing away with SDs if trying to make elections more democratic is the ultimate goal.
Luckily, Hillary Clinton didn't need the SDs, but they helped Senator Obama in 2008 to clinch the Democratic Party nomination. Caucuses, however, have hurt her numbers. Washington and Nebraska can be used as examples why winning caucuses doesn't mean you've won the vote of the people of a State.
You can complain about them all you want, but states hold that right. The only thing the DNC can do is strip them of their delegates and use it as ransom. But that would be pretty stupid.
I am sorely disappointed in that particular priority and this moment in time.
I'm not particularly a huge fan of the Super Delegate process (although I'd bet the Republicans wished they had kept their Supers right now lol), but it seems there are more immediate issues than one that isn't going to affect the current Primary and not seen again for 4 years.
If the People are dumb enough to vote in an idiot, so be it. There's a fine line between your idiot and my idiot. The whole notion that some people have more judgement, intelligence, or power in voting is nothing more than self-interest. And while I agree some people are smarter than other people or more informed, voting is the one place where it should be really democratic with one person one vote. Otherwise, we are living a lie to call ourselves a democracy.
caucus or primary is up to the state. IOW, any change in the method must be a federal law and must be applied uniformly across the states.
Please note the "federal law" part. It will be far from an easy task.
The open/closed primary gets into the same sticky mess. That decision is also made by the state. A federal law would override it.
OTOH the decision to reduce the influence of super delegates is strictly a decision made by the party.
So if the SD is tied to the other issues, we aren't likely to see any changes for -- oh, ever.
I'd suggest that they be taken up separately. Very separately.
Maine voted to eliminate Superdelegates--also Alaska, Missouri. Good news is that Bernie's policies are being promoted at Democratic State Conventions.
So the democratic party can provide for the use of SDs but whether they are implemented is up to the states.
Good to know.
Then there's the basic contradiction between the different motives. Eg, SDs take away the power of the people to choose their candidate and so do caucuses. So how can anyone argue to keep SDs and at the same time get rid of caucuses?
It seems like we need a serious relook at the Voting Rights act. That it needs to start getting into the implementations, eg, voting systems, timing, etc, so that no one event can skew the results.
It's pretty crazy to believe that the announcement of a winner before all the races have ended doesn't affect later ones.
The federal govt has the power, thru law, to determine how federal elections will be conducted but that power has not been exercised to this point
and it's become very obvious that changes are needed. Like changing the representation to be more like a parliamentary system, ie, all at large reps in the HOR and proportional to the general voting in the state. If the greenies get 10% of the vote in a state with 10 reps, they get one of them. And the number strictly by population. If we need to put a 2000 seat annex on the capitol, so be it.
Wouldn't that minimize the districting problem? It would definitely give representation to people who don't have it today (like me).
All state contests done the same way, same day, results released same time. No peeking by the media.
Just my 2 cents. IOW, big changes needed to fix big problems.
Get rid of superdelegates but increase the number of pledged delegates, guaranteeing slots for important party people if they want them, but they can't go against who their constituents voted for. The GOP does something like this in some states I think.
Get rid of caucuses and go to semi-closed primaries everywhere. We want Independents to vote but not Republicans.
The main thing is we have to push to make it easier to register to vote, or change affiliations. Put same day registration in the platform and work for it in every state.
I'm all in favor of conventions at the state and national level but it seems a bit too late.
Particularly the platform part. Shouldn't that be ironed out as part of the vetting process?
BTW, I already posted above that any changes in methods have to be a federal law and applied to the states as a mandate.
The SD is a party decision.
Or any other aspect of the nomination process of any political parties.
Party rules vary greatly and Presidential Primary's in delegate selection are only part of the process. Add to that every State has their own spin on the process. Very confusing.
Last week in the old days various candidate supporters were under the impression back room deals at conventions were a thing of the past.
As more ranking members in the democratic party.
given that the shape of a primary is determined by state legislatures, this is something the the DNC can SUGGEST but not implement, for one.
For another, we need the SDs. They are a fail safe. I also agree with the CBC that eliminating the SD pool dilutes the influence of the minority caucuses represented by SDs that are elected officials.
As to type of contest, IMO, they all need to be closed. Living in the state that I do, I guarantee you there is raftucking from the other side. There always has been. It's somewhat of a game, as described to me by the hubs who is a Republican. They look at the state internals, if the candidate they want is going to do well, then they cross over party lines and vote against the one they don't want to be in a contest with. No thank you. I'd rather not have Repubbies picking my nominee.
Caucuses are undemocratic, period. They have small participation, as the nature and setup of the thing doesn't allow for things like, oh, having to work and support your family as an example. Most people I know cannot afford to take the time off to participate in such a thing, so were my state to ever go to it, I know that most people I know wouldn't be able to participate because of that.
I don't necessarily agree with same day registration, either. A vote isn't just a choice, it's your civic duty. So, it should be approached with a fair bit of thought. I think 30 days prior is long enough to allow for that process to play out in a person's head.
Something else that comes to mind, is that we need to teach Civics in school again. That hasn't happened for a number of years. So, you have young, first time voters who have no idea what the process is, on the most basic of levels.
All of this is my opinion, of course.
That business about crossover in the primaries works both ways.
Until my state went to a non-declared political preference, I was a registered republican. Just so I could crossover. My state is batshit crazy republican and has been since the great flood.
I figured on the democratic side I'd get a candidate way more liberal than anyone on the repub ticket (comparatively) so I figured the only shot I had to minimize the extremely batshit crazy repub in any way was before he got on the general ballot.
The only downside was getting all the literature. Which wasn't really that much of a downside. They were spending money with zero chance of return.
Now there's no identity problem. I just tell them at voting time which party I want. As an aside I voted in the repub primary in 2012. The woman running for gop state senator in my district was super batshit.
(for pity's sake -- nobody jump on me for being registered that way -- I was taking one for the team)
it shouldn't happen at all. Which is why I do believe contests need to be closed.
Whatever happens with SDs will NOT happen during this election cycle. Period.
This is OT, IMO.