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Live blog of the Washington State Dem Party Convention and a further summary

by on June 18, 2016

Below this live blog you will find a summary of this caucus, the caucus and election process in general, and the election chaos of this year.


Senator Merkley of Oregon was the keynote speaker.  As one of the few – very few – Senators that has endorsed Bernie Sanders there was some excitement when he spoke, specifically when he called for “free” -that is, publicly funded – college.  Then oil independence.  And other progressive issues.

Moving on to the rules, there was a lengthy challenge to the motion to adjourn, regarding the time it would take to consider resolutions.  A motion to extend the time for resolutions was rejected, based on an issue for time.  The argument is that we will always have ability to reject a motion to adjourn.

We are now stuck on an amendment to allow an endorsement of a presidential candidate.  With a state that went 73% for Bernie in the precinct caucuses, and has continued to do that, the Hillary Clinton camp is a little upset.

The motion to allow an endorsement of a presidential candidate passed.   To be endorsed a candidate would take a 2/3 vote.

Voting on accepting the rules as amended.  Several questions from the floor regarding the 2/3 vote to allow endorsement of presidential candidate, or a simple majority to do that (701 people)

Noel Frame as temporary chair…

Motion to change endorsement of president to delegates “present and voting” be sufficient is being considered.

..And passed after challenge to vote count.

and a lunch break …

We resume with a motion to amend Rule 24, Endorsements of Presidential candidates, again, by a Hillary supporter.  Entire portion to be stricken not yet clarified.

Now a continued discussion of limiting time of speakers.  This issue is already in the Rules and is being followed … but people are confused and/or dragging out the time

We have now ended debate on the rules.  And accepted the rules

Final Credential Report: Sanders 690 delegates; Clinton 270 delegates; 960 total seated delegates.

Permanent Chair: Noel Frame by acclamation

Coming up, selection of Presidential Electors

Almost two hours later, the votes for Presidential Elector is being collected.

Moving on to charter and bylaw amendments, while Elector vote is tally.

At about 5:30 a run-off vote happened for Elector.  Results not in.  But the second place finisher will be the alternate.

Still several by-laws and charter amendments to cover, at 5:30. ..

Considering suspending the debate of by-laws, an move on to platform.

Now debating rule  regarding the endorsement of a presidential candidate.  Mentioned above, and now being debated.

The vote needs only a majority vote to pass.

Theoretically, Washington State just endorsed Bernie Sanders.  But a Hillary supporter called for division, so that the motion requires a count, if the motion get 50 votes to second the motion. … The motion to endorse Sanders still needs only a majority.

Final Announcement: Washington State Democratic Party just Endorsed Bernie Sanders   564 vote yes.  Two hundred and something against

Now an motion introduced to endorsed both Sanders and Clinton.

People are both intentionally and unintentionally wasting time in this Convention.

This motion failed.  528 no votes.  Another couple hundred yes votes.

We haven’t finished charter and by-laws amendments, but are jumping around, hearing from the platform committee.  While all very interesting, we’re supposed to be out of the room in 20 minutes.

At 6:50 we have adopted the platform as written.  It is possible to come back and amend them.

A motion to strike a part of Military plank regarding the draft.  The motion to strike a motion in favor of the draft was approved … by a lot.

Adjournment for the night impending …


I am aware this blog didn’t update well.  That was a result of hundreds of people trying to be on the same wifi at the same time.  I hope it is now updated.  More thoughts will come.
_____

The second day of the convention was all about selecting delegates.



Here follows a synopsis of caucus process in Washington State and other States. …

I wrote, referring to Congressional District level caucuses, last month “[t]he process is like a combination of a popularity contest and an exercise in extroversion. There are some, I know, who dreaded even the precinct caucuses because they are introverts, but felt like completing their civic duty and showed up nonetheless”  (I am not ‘admin’).  This statement holds true through all levels of the process, including the nomination of a party candidate.

People are elected to elect other people to be elected.  The State Committeemen (and -women) elect the PLEO and at-large delegates (description to follow). … The Committeemen are selected every two years in each county, by the Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) in each County.  At precinct caucuses – every presidential year – the PCOs run their precinct caucuses to elect people to go to the County Convention, which elects people to go to the Congressional Caucuses and (the same people) to go to the State Convention, to try to be elected to the National Convention.

Sound simple.

The Committeemen are used to elect the delegates because asking the 1400 expected voting delegates (the final count of those signed in was 960) would add several hours to counting votes.  Okay.

The PLEO delegates, referred  to above, are Party Leaders and Elected Officials.  It was up to those people running to declare that they wanted to run in advance, and to have a speech ready that was under one minute and would tell us all – especially the voting Committeemen – why they should be sent to Philadelphia.  I was listed to run as a PLEO – in theory I am a Party Leader and Elected official, as a PCO and a member of county executive board – but several people were removed from the list.  Because of the unexpectedly large number of people running (really, the party didn’t expect this (not sure if here I put a ‘?’ or a note of sarcasm) ), the state party asked the Clinton and Sanders campaigns to narrow down the list of people who would run.

The night before people ran for PLEO or at-large delegates the Sanders campaign emailed the people who would run for a position.  I’ve heard the Clinton campaign sent an email several hours earlier.  I got an email saying I could run as an at-large delegate.  The next day, Sunday, I arrived, ready, with a speech I’d prepared a week in advance.  A friend and advisor pointed out to me that I was also on the list to run for PLEO.  … I prepared a second speech – I had several hours to do this.  When they got to the list of men running for PLEO, which was after the Clinton PLEO speeches, they removed some names from the list that, which, according to the state party, were accidentally put there.  Mine was among the names stricken from the list.

At the Congressional District Caucus, a month earlier, “[a]s alternate #1 I had some expectation I might be seated. Indeed, I was. But the credential committee made a mistake, and sat me as a delegate, then called me over and told me ‘whoops, you’re not a delegate.’ So I was unseated.”  I don’t think it was about me, and I don’t think it’s anything intentional.  I think we have a deeply flawed system which was designed, at best, for minimal turnout and formality of the process.  (A conversation today concluded that we have system designed, at best, for off-year elections with minimal turnout).

Anyway, no big deal.  I could still run as an at-large delegate.  It would just be a few hours of speeches for PLEO and then Clinton at-large delegates.

An at-large delegate is just a regular delegate that may or may not be a Party Leader or Elected Official.

So 60+ men and almost 50 women ran for 10 male and 6 female Sanders at-large positions.  Each person got a minute to speak.  Pretty much everyone talked about how they were the best person since Noah and his Ark, and how each of them had a sad story.  “So send me!”

Let me back up a little.  As I said above, in the summary, 960 people were voting, and 1400 were expected.  So a majority vote, in some cases, like amending the charter, required 701 votes (1400 / 2 + 1), while other votes were simply a majority of the voting body.  So, to amend the charter, which came second on the agenda of actual procedure – just after amending and passing rules – required 701 or more votes, for each of the ten charter amendments.  The tally committee had to count the votes, which meant about ten minutes per amendment, once the voting started – plus the time it took to debate the pros and cons of the amendments.

Not mentioned in this brief overview of the votes is the time added in with points of inquiry, points of privilege, or any other Roberts Rules of Order points, plus the time it might take to consult with the parliamentarian.

At the rate just mentioned, it would take more than an hour and a half to get through charter amendments.

Mentioned above, in the live blog, several times, was Rule 24, which involved the endorsement of a presidential candidate.  The Rule originally said “Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the Convention shall not endorse candidates.  Positions on initiatives may be taken only through properly submitted resolutions.”

It was amended significantly to allow the endorsement of a presidential candidate.  I don’t have the exact words….
As mentioned in the live blog, Washington State Democrats endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.  There was also a motion to endorse Sanders and Clinton, which failed at the same ratio as the motion to endorse Sanders passed – approximately 2 to 1.

The motion to endorse Sanders also called for a press release, which has been issued and isn’t at all what the Sanders camp intended (we should have been specific  with the wording).  It reads:

TACOMA – Delegates to the Washington State Democratic Party’s State Convention endorsed Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders for President this evening. The symbolic endorsement does not change the number of Sanders delegates from Washington State to the Democratic National Convention.

“It’s not surprising, due to the support and enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders at our caucuses,” said Jaxon Ravens, Washington State Democrats Chair. “I’m glad they could make their voices heard. However, Hillary Clinton will be our nominee, and we will do all that we can to ensure Donald Trump never becomes President.”

Perhaps we should have required that someone besides Jaxon Ravens, a super-delegate pledged to Clinton,  be the main character in the release.  But wait!  All of the super-delegates in Washington are pledged to Clinton, even though the State voted 73% in favor of Sanders at the caucuses, which assign delegates.

Also, the terse release reads a lot like an article in the Seattle Times, which notes that Sanders gets most of the delegates, but the super-delegates are pledged to Clinton, who is the “presumptive nominee” – a title that is like being the presumptive winner of a baseball game that hasn’t been played yet.

In fact, the press release and the Seattle Times article read a lot like most of the mainstream media, which propounds the talking points the associated press, and the few corporations that own more than 90% of the media.

This is the same media that colluded to call the election in California before it happened, although they instead went for calling the whole Democratic election instead, the night before the California election.

They did this based on a survey of those aforementioned super-delegates.  Super-delegates are unpledged delegates not committed to a candidate until the National Convention.  Even at the National Convention, super-delegates don’t vote until it’s clear that the pledged delegates are split and cannot pick a nominee.

Super-delegates are Senators, Representatives, Governors, and members of State Central Committees (chair of the state party, for instance).

Let me repeat, they don’t vote until July at the National Convention, but Hillary Clinton was declared “presumptive nominee” based a survey of people who don’t vote until July, and are unpledged.

It’s not just broadcast media that has an agenda.  Google has been accused of burying articles that are negative to Clinton.  This was in the Washington Post, no less, among several other sources.

Also, as I mentioned, California had a primary election recently – just after the race was called in Clinton’s favor, based on a survey of super-delegates.  They are still several hundred thousand votes to count in California.  The CA Secretary of State frequently updates the vote count; the vote count itself shows Sanders about 500,000 votes down, fluctuating from about 510,00 to 480,00 vote differential, while the Sanders generally increases .1% point, and Clinton maintains or loses .1% point – mathematically it makes sense.

What does not make sense is that Google is has never updated the election resultsSurely they’d want to keep people informed of the changes – that’s what they do, and on any other election night up to now this year Google has been good at updating results.

Neither, to my knowledge, has any other source.  I checked The Guardian for ten days – surely a British paper, who happily produced the election results, would update them.  Apparently not!

It has been apparent this election year, even more than most years, that the media is not only biased, but actually disinterested in informing its audience of any significant news.

Last week it was revealed that Russia had hacked into the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and has been reading their files for more than a year, undetected.  Now, you could take away from that the Russia is really really interested in Trump, and they hacked the DNC to read about Trump because how else could they find out about a billionaire with holdings all over the world.

What the DNC, and the media, barely mentioned, was that the hacked files also show that the DNC has also been working with and colluding with the Clinton campaign.  According to one article, “[an] email also suggested collusion with media networks to push Hillary Clinton as the party’s eventual nominee, and anchors for national cable news networks may have broadcasted DNC talking points spoon-fed to them by Democratic Party operatives.”

Speaking of Trump, even the Washington Post reported that Bill Clinton and Trump talked before Trump entered the race to become president.  Trump is, of course, the “presumptive nominee,” after driving even the most conservative Republican mad with his conservatism and blasphemy.

It has long been suspected – and not just by me – that the Clintons encouraged Trump to run so that Hillary would have an easier race.  Indeed, Trump didn’t expect it to make it this far – he expected to get some delegates and attention, but nobody thought it would be this easy to obliterate the Party of Lincoln.

Washington is not the only state that had a convention this weekend.  In Idaho they had a convention, and a friend described it thus, talking also about the political process in general:

Sometimes systems need to break down entirely before they can be rebuilt. I’ve learned this is a frequent occurrence.

I think it’s time for me to more properly speak to the experience I’ve had over the last few days.

For the last few days I was a Delegate on behalf of Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Idaho. I’m not sure I’ve completely thrown in my hat for the party but I saw and felt a great many things and I do maintain that I am and always have been a progressive liberal.

Democracy is messy and is in essence a cycle of build ups and breaks downs. Someone moves for a resolution (a party concession), usually the resolution isn’t perfect, we have to break it down, fix the language by way of word-smithing and have to re-tailor the ideas presented in the resolution. Are we demanding or requesting? Do we want to legalize, ban, decriminalize? There’s such a large degree of arguing and shouting that one can feel is just steps away from kicking and screaming at times, but you realize at the end of it that we all want one thing. We want quality of life in whatever capacity it is that we view quality to be the highest. Even the conservatives across the isle from me want that……and the libertarians, and the anarchists……even fringe presidential candidates like Vermin Supreme. We all want we perceive will improve quality of life. Some of it just want it for ourselves some of it want good will for everyone.

In democracy there are two main ways to deal with and approach an issue. One is to work with an issue and continually tweak and modify your approach to it as a governing body or a team until an agreement or compromise is reached. The other way, which unfortunately I am seeing more in the efforts of the senate, or lack thereof, by the ruling majority and their leadership, is to simply gridlock, filibuster, and block efforts. I will return to this point.

In my 3 days among the Idaho Democrats I saw spats. We spent hours at first debating, protesting, suggesting, and amending language in ideas in resolutions to the point that we pass one half of one resolution within the first 3 hours. But we learned from our mistakes and corrected our future resolutions in advance, used more sophisticated language, made our points better, and improved grammar, saving ourselves hours on the next few. As time went on and we were able to make decisions in a more concise. All of this, the constant input, and checks and balances, build ups and breakdowns, followed by more buildups, while seeming a little harsh and divisive at first made us a more united front as we came to understand each others needs for great quality of life, at times even incorporating them into our own values.

In the end after many hours of listening to each other we met with the platform committee, and in a very civil manner we simply offered amendments to the previous platform. The platform committee then word-smithed all of our ideas together. For those of you who don’t know what a platform is, that is the party’s official mission statement until the next time they convene again to change it, years into the future. It’s a big deal.

When it was released it was PERFECT. I felt like Bernie would have been proud of us. I don’t feel that in every meeting in every party, people are moved to tears by a platform. This platform was filled with the spirit of democracy and good will towards others and their quality of life. It has been deemed the most progressive platform in the state of Idaho to date. Tears were shed in joy, cheers filled the hall. There was a accumulative feeling between delegates of all candidates of bliss.

A true mural of the voices can only be achieve with a push and pull of the values of all. By bumping values up against each other, discarding some, placing some next others, and combining a few. This is how progress is made, when all voice are heard. We were all elected officials by the state of Idaho, and we did our job.

This is better than one can ever hope for from the current congress who won’t vote on judges, who won’t pass laws, who’s last major act of “duty” was to extend their own vacation, all on the taxpayer’s dollar.

My long time friend, Jeremy, an independent as far I can tell, once told me that it is a good liberal’s’ job to step on the gas pedal and move change, while it is the job of a good conservative to put on the break. I believe these are both important functions when driving a car or a nation. It is the essence of a system of checks and balances. However one must keep in mind when driving a car or a nation that if they wish to move either forward both are needed and using the brake.

The car/nation is moving too slow to meet the needs of the many. We are not making it to work on time in this car. We are too late and if we continue at the slow speed were are in danger of being crushed by a faster object, vehicle, or simply because, as I often find, people who move slowly, don’t look where they are going.

In the spirit of democracy I must insist to you, and to all my friends that you help me vote responsible progressive legislators into the 88% of seats that are up for grabs, the breaks will still be there, but we need to step on the gas again.

As to our presidential candidates. I am unapologetically for Bernie or bust. I consider the presumptive nominees to be bust. I can not stand behind a democratic candidate that wins by way of a rigged system, voter suppression, dark money, media suppression and manipulation, and the merits of her husband. It also really doesn’t help that I don’t know what her platform agenda is because she repeatedly flip flops and fails to make clear what her true platform is.

As for Trump I don’t think I need to explain to anybody why we can’t have that bigoted fascist in office.

I originally stood for Bernie because my number one priority is the environment. As I told the people of Canyon County Idaho as I ran to be one of their delegates on behalf of Sen. Sanders; your social issues all need to be addressed, but first we need a planet to live on. When we and our children all suffer and/or die due to a completely preventable environmentally cataclysmic event. I’m pretty sure our social issues will be put on the wayside. But I also stand for Sanders because he puts ethics first and does his best to insert others in government who will champion income equality, racial equality, equality for gender and sexual orientation, nationality, etc. “Ethics first”, as my new friend A.j. Konda, likes to say.

But all in all, no matter what happens at the National Democratic convention, one of these three candidates is going to win and a change will come about. We will either build it up through Bernie Sanders, we will break it down through the destructive actions of Donald Trump, or we will woman up or stay pretty much the same with Hillary Clinton. If it falls apart we will take the opportunity to build again like never before, so take heart, THIS IS NOT OVER AND AS LONG AS WE FIGHT TOGETHER IT NEVER WILL BE! I firmly believe this no matter who wins though I would strongly prefer to just build.

I feel that at the convention we elected strong candidates to go in the spirit of building and progress. National delegates who will fight for our Idaho platform of equality for all through the convention and beyond, intelligently, eloquently, and most of all passionately. I am proud to have been a delegate for the Democratic party, despite the slight dichotomy in our beliefs it seems to me that the party might be headed in a good direct due in no small part to the influence of Senator Sanders. It was my pleasure to vote for him in 2008 for senate and I will vote for him until the end of time.

I feel like my eyes are more open and apparently so is my throat as I spill these utterances into the air and onto the page. I am now willing to ride the waves, get involved systems buildups and system breakdowns, work with others, and make my voice heard so it with the utmost gratitude that think of these people.

The woman who came up to me and told me I was intelligent, and asked me to please run for delegate. Mel who stayed with me all night while I ran for delegate and even counted ballots. The delegates who came with me and had my back from Canyon county and the hundreds of other wonderful delegates I met along the way. Kris and Bob from the Clinton camp who always encouraged my critical thinking and continually asked hard questions. The people running for local office who had time to take an interest in my opinions. Traeger and Stephanie who hosted me in their apartment for a night when I wasn’t able to go home. Sally Boynton Brown and Chairman Burt Marley who put together an extraordinary convention, as well as all of the staff under them, and the platform committee. I am truly humbled by this experience and will use it to help foster the next chapter in my life.

Thank you for your time.*

(I corrected some spelling, and removed a few words.  I did not change the essence of what my friend wrote.)

I must join him in saying I too join hundreds of thousands of people in being unabashedly Bernie-or-bust.  Watching voters being stricken from the roles, by the party I grew up to believe in, and change those voters to registered in the other party – a significant number, if not all, of the people who had their voter ID changed happened to be Sanders supporters.  This happened to occur not long after NGP VAN, which runs the database voterbuilder, discovered a data breach that just happened to have given the info of the Sanders supporters to the Clinton campaign.

Okay, so that’s one error, and it could be a mistake.  However, I’ve already talked about the complicity of the media, and people caught screenshots of votes disappearing during primaries.  As I’ve already shown, the DNC (read: Clinton) has worked with the media to promote Clinton’s campaign

Then there’s the issue of policy.  Clinton is under an  FBI “criminal investigation” into her used a private server while being the Secretary of State, which actually worrying, because all evidence, such as the depositions of those who worked with her show a blatant disregard for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, or just plain retaining a record of what they did.  That makes me wonder what she would do. …

Clinton also flip-flops on every issue, and I can’t tell whether she’s for or against fracking, bombing, social security, single-payer healthcare, and dozens of other issues … but I am sure that she is beholden to Wall Street and big money, even if she won’t release the transcripts showing exactly why she was payed $600,000 for a three hour conversation with big banks.

The only reason she might not be releasing the transcripts is that it might end her campaign.  We might never know; she’s as reluctant to tell us what she stands for as Trump is to release his tax returns (i.e. it’s not going to happen, which should make us wonder)

This started out as a summary of two days at a convention where the goal was to pass a platform of what we stand for, and elect delegates to promote those values at a national convention.  Unintentionally, this became a long discourse on the state of affairs in our political system.

I will end my thoughts from the same writing of mine that began this summary.  I concluded thus:

This is a confusing, tiring process. But look at what happened with too many primaries across the country: voters stricken from rolls, party ID’s changed, waiting hours to vote – indeed, all the things we make fun of “second” and “third” world countries for doing in their elections – and I conclude that I prefer our Caucus system. It’s hard to rig. But if you can think of a more convoluted process to select delegates, suggest it! People will love it.

 

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2 Comments
  1. tammy permalink

    Any progress?

    • Perhaps. We never got through platform or resolutions. A lot of feet-dragging. At least on Sunday we made it through the selection of delegates.

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