Monday, August 4, 2008

The Official Rules of the 2008 Call for the Democratic Convention

--

THE OFFICIAL RULES OF THE 2008 CALL FOR THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION REGARDING THE NOMINATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT:

Nomination of the Democratic Candidate for President: The Permanent Chair shall receive nominations from the floor for the Democratic candidate for the Office of President of the United States in the following manner:

a. Requests to nominate a presidential candidate shall be in writing and shall have affixed thereto the written approval of the proposed nominee and the name of the individuals who shall be recognized to make the nominating and seconding speeches on behalf of a presidential candidate and shall be delivered to the Convention Secretary at a location as specified by the Secretary no later than 6:00 p.m. of the day preceding the day designated for the commencement of presidential nominations.

b. Each such request must be accompanied by a petition indicating support for the proposed nominee signed by delegates representing not less than 300 or more than 600 delegate votes, not more than 50 of which may come from one (1) delegation. A delegate may not sign more than one (1) nominating petition for president and for vice president.

c. The order for nominating presidential candidates shall be determined by the National Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, the Permanent Chair of the Convention and each presidential candidate, or his or her authorized representative, who qualifies to be nominated pursuant to this section.

d. Each presidential candidate shall be allowed a total of twenty (20) minutes for the presentation of his or her name in nomination by nominating and seconding speeches, the time to run without interruption from the recognition of the nominator.

e. Delegates and alternates shall maintain order during and following nominations for the Office of President and demonstrations shall not be permitted.
_____

I. UNITY BEFORE AND AFTER THE CONVENTION DEPENDS ON HAVING A TWO-NAME BALLOT
Whether the Democratic Party emerges from its Convention unified, or broken beyond repair, depends, more than anything else, on whether the name “Hillary Clinton” appears on the presidential nominating election ballot. This technical issue has emerged as one of the most

important keys to bringing a significant number of Clinton delegates behind Barack Obama, should he, as most expect, win the nominating election that is to be held in Denver on August 27th. There are a small number of Clinton delegates who, perhaps, will never fall in line behind Obama, regardless of how the nominating election is structured. Hopes of bringing these supporters home to the party are fading fast. Other Clinton delegates have already thrown their lot in with Obama, and seem resolved to support him no matter what. But in the vast middle ground lie the rest, the men and women pledged to Clinton, who could, if given their say and given their vote, be persuaded to back Barack Obama after the Convention.
So these supporters are the key to unity. If only Obama’s name appears on the ballot, it appears to reflect the old Soviet formula (one person, one vote, one candidate). These middle-ground Clinton delegates will not be encouraged to come on board. Many may feel the election was rigged, their right to vote was denied, their own electorate was disenfranchised, and that they will not be able, in good conscience, to support a sham election result.

If, on the other hand, the Convention offers two genuine choices, and even if the favorite wins, though these delegates will not be pleased, they will be satisfied. They will have lost. They will accept it. They will fall in line and can be expected to cheer, maybe not so loudly as others, but cheer nonetheless, when Obama strides into history in Invesco Field the following day.

So for those who want the Democratic Party to confront McCain in unity and in strength, all these delegates ask is this: hold an open election, give both halves of the party their votes, put two names on the ballot, and there will be unity.
II. HOW DO WE GET A TWO-NAME BALLOT? WHAT ROLE DOES A PETITION PLAY?
For Hillary Clinton’s name to appear on the ballot, Democratic Party rules (see, Call for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Article VIII) require that two things must happen. First, there must be presented to the Secretary of the Convention a petition supporting the placement of Senator Clinton’s name in nomination, and this petition must be signed by not less than 300 nor more than 600 accredited delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The petitioners can be Clinton-pledged, Obama-pledged or Uncommitted. It does not matter for whom they intend to vote. But they must support the notion that the ballot should present to the voters a genuine choice, and if more than 300 say through their signatures that they favor a two-name ballot, the first of only two requirements for a legitimate election will have been fulfilled.

The second legal prerequisite to Senator Clinton’s name appearing on the ballot is that she must make a written request, before 6pm on the 26th, that her name should so appear. Without a petition, her request must be ignored; with it, her request cannot be denied. So both are necessary, but the final choice is Senator Clinton’s to make. Her choice is available and her decision is binding, only if there is a supporting petition.

III. IS THE PETITION DRIVE UNDERWAY? IF SO, WHO IS DRIVING THE EFFORT?
The drive to gather 300+ signatures on the petition is well underway. It is entirely a grass roots effort by delegates and volunteers. Neither the Senator herself, nor any of her staff, have played even the smallest role in the gathering of the signatures. On the contrary, the effort is driven entirely by people in the trenches, most of whom are Clinton supporters, some of whom are Obama supporters, but all of whom believe that it is essential to democracy, unity and legitimacy of the election, that Clinton’s name appear on the ballot, should she so desire. Those behind the petition insist that Senator Clinton should have the choice, and that she should not be kept off the Convention ballot by a technicality.

IV. DO CLINTON’S PRIMARY AND CAUCUS VOTERS CARE ABOUT TWO-NAME VERSUS ONE-NAME BALLOT?

Indeed they do. Clinton voters across the country are telling their delegates they are under a solemn obligation to carry the electorate’s eighteen million voices to Denver. Many are saying that if the delegates fail to register their votes for Clinton simply because her name does not appear on the ballot, the voters will feel that the system has failed them, the delegates have failed them, and that the party’s nominating process has completely ignored them, treating them as if they did not exist. They are very concerned that their preferences be fairly reflected in an open, two-names-on-the-ballot election.

V. WHAT BECOMES OF THE PETITION IF SENATOR CLINTON DECIDES NOT TO HAVE HER NAME PUT ON THE BALLOT?

It will live on as one of the most important documents in this most historic of elections. It will show that Senator Hillary Clinton had broad and passionate support. The petition will be copied, bound, and studied by future historians, so signers can be assured that their commitment to the democratic process will be documented.

VI. HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PETITION AND THE TWO-NAME BALLOT?
Those interested can learn more about the petition and the rules governing nominating election ballots by contacting one of the many delegates and volunteers who are closely involved in the petition drive. Some suggested contacts are as follows:

Daniel Kagan Michele Thomas Sue Castner
HRC Delegate HRC Volunteer HRC Delegate
CO, CD1 LA, CA OR, CD1
1-720-519-1379 1-323-665-1219 1-503-203-1027
300 Delegate Petition is not affiliated with any campaign.

Want Hillary In the White House? Sign Our Petition
Click To Sign The Petition
Not Voting For Obama? Click To Subscribe To Our Updates
Join Us On: Myspace - Facebook
Support This Blog

1 comment:

bluelyon said...

What efforts are being made to be sure that Senator Clinton will go along with the wishes of the petition signers?

You may contact me at the email addy at my blog if you do not wish to answer this publicly.