Make Your Voice Count: A Fundraiser

At the end of the Democratic Primary season, this was the situation:

Popular Vote
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: 17,857,446, (48.04%)
Senator Barack Obama: 17,584,649 (47.31%)

Pledged delegates

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: 1,730.5 (39.17%)
Senator Barack Obama: 1,747.5 (39.55%)

(source)

Then, for no apparent good reason, in June Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi decided THEY, not the delegates chosen by the electorate and not the superdelegates appointed via proper party procedure, were going to decide who would represent the top of the ticket for the general election. Now that same leadership wants YOU to legitimize their undemocratic and unprincipled methods by putting their selected candidate into the White House on November 4.

But WE can say no to the subversion of democratic principles within the Democratic Party. We can say no with our votes and by urging our fellow Democrats to pay attention to the particulars of the candidate Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi selected to represent the Democratic Party.

Over the next 24 hours and across the internet, we as a community will urgently be raising money to run edgy and persuasive ads made by Democrats in key battleground states. Generous contributors have pledged $500 in matching funds. Your voice counts. Please contribute now.

CLICK ON ROSIE TO DONATE

Or go to Democrats For Principle Before Party – The Denver Group’s general election website, where you can view other ads the group is running:

Our PUMA Anti-Convention

Lady Boomer NYC as Miss Piggy Puma, courtesy of Gary and Mawm

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Our PUMA Anti-Convention

“So, how’d it go at the Democratic Convention?”

I get that a lot from my family and friends. They know I had been working the entire year to get Hillary Clinton elected President while “raging against the machine,” and that I was going to Denver to protest. I replied,

“Ummm . . . good. . . . I, I wasn’t really at The Convention.

We were like . . . the Anti-Convention!”

Post-Denver, although still mourning for what could have been, most hardcore, grassroots Hillary supporters have moved on — in one way or another. They know, or are deciding, what they will do with their votes and/or their efforts. Will they work for one campaign or other at the top, or just support down-ticket candidates? They are mulling over whether to: vote nothing on top, vote third party, write in Hillary’s name, stay home, or cast a protest vote for John McCain. For most, that would be their first Republican vote ever, and they do not take it lightly. The only reason they would do it is to protest Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders who subverted the democratic process and 18 million voters.

But I can’t fully move on yet. This story is roiling around inside me, unwilling to be forgotten. One week plus is old news, past prime, but I keep getting these “little messages.” Last week I ran into my neighborhood Brazilian Café and struck up a conversation with husband and wife owners, Marcello and Juliet. I’d been socked away in my “Puma Den” for the last six months, making rich stove top espressos at home on the cheap.

Marcello asked, “I heaven’t seen you for a while. Where have you bean? What have you been doing?”

I hesitated protectively, having lived undercover using my handle for so long that I had to consciously produce my real name in my head before saying it. “Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of writing most of the year, political writing. Do you know what blogs are? I have a blog and contribute to other sites and efforts.”

They continued the conversation as they scurried about their business, “Oh really, and who were you supporting for President?”

My personal self gulped inside my political self having been so underground and divided, “Actually, I was supporting Hillary Clinton, working to get her elected. I still support her and believe she would make the best President.”

They both jumped to attention and gravitated back to the counter to face me, “Really? We’re for her too!”

(See why I can’t stop?) “That’s great,” I cooed, as I came clean, telling them about my blog and links to others, our efforts prior to and during Denver, and our work to ensure a roll call, a floor vote, and a record of the truth about this election.

They pointed out to me, “It’s just like 2000, Gore and Bush!”

“Right!” I answered, “and now from our own. It seems so much worse that way. Did you know that Democrats have a weird gene that makes them eat their own?”

They laughed. We talked about the delegates. They had seen the same things that Puma and Just Say No Deal Coalition members have been uncovering, observing, highlighting, and shouting about all year long: the subversion, bullying, and undemocratic processes. They could not believe when they saw the vote halted and delegates switched. “We voted. We went in and pulled the lever. Why should we even bother?”

“I KNOW. How do they do it in Brazil?”

“We vote. It gets recorded. Somebody gets elected. That’s it.”

Continue reading

Null and Void: Democrats’ Roll Call in Retrospect

Suspending Rules and Winning “By Acclamation”

I am proud to call on the Senator from New York to make the following presentation, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Madam Secretary, on behalf of the great state of New York, with appreciation for the spirit and dedication of all who are gathered here, with eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity, with a goal of victory, with faith in our party and our county, let’s declare together in one voice, right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate, and he will be our President. (yays and boos)

Madam Secretary, I move that the Convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the roll call vote. All votes cast by the delegates will be counted, and that I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this Convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. (yays and boos — Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, chanting)

“Wuh Roo?” said Scooby Doo, “What Did I See On TV?”

This was bothering me. Many of you have moved on to whatever’s next in your PUMA/Just Say No Deal/Democrat or anti-establishment lives. But I’m not that way. I can’t move forward until I understand and sort out what I have witnessed.

What exactly did we see on the “Democratic” Convention floor last Wednesday, August 27, 2008? Why was the roll call halted halfway through? Why did state after state in which Hillary won the primary election and a majority of delegates declare their votes for Obama? Who and what do all those delegates’ votes represent? As each “Great State of” our Union called out its numbers, I wondered, what was the actual delegate count? I felt compelled to compare the roll call vote with the delegate count that we were supposed to get. After all, why pull the lever if it doesn’t even matter? Wow, now that’s deja vu all over again, ain’t it?

What About My Vote?

I will recap three points that we’ve been saying for months. I’m restating, because many citizens do not realize what happened right before their eyes: The delegate count in this election was not a fair reflection of the Democratic Party electorate. 1) Hillary Clinton WON the popular vote. (Resources and numbers nearly impossible to reconcile, based on FL, MI, and caucus votes) 2) There exists growing documentation, compiled by Lynette Long and ordinary poll and election worker reporting, that caucus fraud was rampant. This occurred in the form of systematic, deliberate suppression, misinformation, pressure, and bullying, mishandling of voter and caucus rolls, and ignoring basic caucus rules. 3) Each delegate elected from a district or region in a primary state represents approximately 12,225 primary voters, but only 2,110 voters in a caucus state. Accordingly, a caucus delegate represents about 5.8 times fewer voters than one elected in a primary. So, when Obama “won” a caucus, each of those delegates stood for far fewer voters. This is especially important in the general election in the red and swing states. Pat Buchanan called Wednesday’s spectacle a phony roll call vote in his op-ed, “And If Obama Loses.”

Why Is This Year Different Than Any Other Year?

Laying that aside for now, let’s talk about how the Democratic Party screwed Hillary Clinton and everyone who was connected to her around that roll call vote. At least that was my impression leading up to and viewing it on TV. Even the scheduled time was in flux. In my recollection, in every other election year, it had been held at night for everyone to view. But this year, Hillary Clinton, the person who won the most primary votes in history, had to negotiate for her right to be on the ballot and have a roll call vote on the convention floor. Her supporters wrote thousands and thousands of letters, emails, and blogs. They raised money, ran political ads, and spoke out in the media to help the delegates stick with the one that brung ’em. All this, because the DNC leadership and Obama’s campaign were so afraid of Hillary’s success after saying they could win the general election without all of us old and new dedicated party regulars. All year they tried to strong-arm us in to Unity and make her quit.

Our dedicated coalition members worked tirelessly to have a full roll call vote and a nominating speech for Hillary on the floor during prime time. We appealed to delegates and Superdelegates with petitions, and petitions on top of petitions. We didn’t know what would happen until the last minute, although we suspected. The same with Bill Clinton’s speech: off on, off on, but not during prime time, after they edited him.

And Then It Happened . . .

All of a sudden the roll call was on, but many of us were unable to get the live-streaming on our computers, so we ran several blocks away to a “Hillary-friendly” Denver bar. We saw states yield to other states on their votes, then the Convention floor was all abuzz, as our candidate was introduced as a simple Senator, with no mention of her historic win — just one of the guys delegation. She was on the floor with her fellow NY legislators. Then they made her eat sh*t, while they had her turn around and f*cked her up the a**, while reading a “stop the vote, we’re all onboard” speech. (Oh, I should have warned you: XXX, not my usual sedate lady self, is it? I feel a little strongly about this.) Everything was orchestrated, as CA, IL, and NM yielded so that Hillary, in a great show of U-N-I-T-Y, could cast all votes of her own NY State for Obama, throwing the delegate totals over the top. Oh, right, she likes it like that, because she’s a politician. But I’m not.

Yes, we’re all good soldiers and must move on to the next front. Many already have and are considering both individually and as a group what to do leading to November and beyond. However, many people aren’t clear about what happened, and are incensed that the vote was stopped mid-stream. Below, I’ve compiled the number of delegates won by state and candidate, how the numbers changed during the roll call vote, total number of delegates, and total number of votes cast. This list is variable, depending on the source and date and because it contains Superdelegates. On the morning of the roll call vote, 10 delegates flipped back to Hillary, and the petition effort was contacted by several Superdelegates who wanted to switch to her as well, some under the lights of the press.

Fair Reflection? Arkansas, Florida, and Michigan

Just a few words about fair reflection: Arkansas flipped. The Chairman of their delegation and DNC party head, Bill Gwatney, had been murdered two weeks prior. Heard anything in the news about it? Word is that his entire delegation had signed the 300 petition to ensure that Hillary’s name be placed on the ballot. In a twist of irony, his wife delivered their state’s votes to the Convention: Unanimous for Obama, after Hillary had won their state of origin by the largest margin of the primary: 70%. Arkansas.

Florida and Michigan votes were denied and blocked by Obama, until the May 31, 2008 DNC RBC meeting when he became a charity case. The committee donated four of Senator Clinton’s Michigan delegates and all the uncommitted vote delegates, which had included votes for other candidates. Obama had removed his name from that state’s ballot, fearing a loss would taint his chances in Iowa. However, Clinton kept hers on, stating that although the votes wouldn’t count, the voters should have a say. She was smart and right.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee refused to tackle their problem of fully seating delegates representing 2.3 million voters in both states. Instead they made each delegate into half-votes, and referred an incensed Harold Ickes, attorney for Senator Clinton, to the more appropriate Credentials Committee to contest their ruling in Denver on August 24, 2008. On August 5, Obama wrote a letter to that committee, requesting that those delegations be seated and counted in full. On August 20, when they no longer had any effect on Hillary’s campaign, as they would have had they been counted when she won them, those delegations were seated in-full. I learned on August 24 that the Credentials Committee and the Rules and Bylaws Committee were comprised of the exact same people. So I guess they really meant: talk to the hand.

How Am I Driving? Pass and Yield

Lastly, how about that orchestrated roll call, pass/yield deal? It began like any other roll call. Hillary would have her due. It had been rumored for over a week that she might release her delegates before a roll call vote on the floor. This prompted a new 20% or 826 delegate petition requiring a vote. Then came word of a secret hotel vote, then a Wednesday meeting with Clinton and all her delegates in which she released them and advised they vote their conscience. She’d cast hers for Obama.

Back to the roll call: First, California passes on casting their 441 votes, of which Hillary won over half. As Barbara Boxer yields to Hillary supporter Art Torres to make the announcement, she gleefully turns to her delegation and giggles. It’s as if Boxer was saying, “Ooo, what a coup! Aren’t we clever!” Come their turn, Illinois passes. New Mexico yields back to Illinois, who yields to New York. Then a hustle bustle on the floor, so Clinton could deliver the perfect Unity blow, right into her own back. Gee, it just doesn’t get better than this, does it?

Is It Safe To Vote?

Exactly, why do we vote if “delegates” can just switch their votes, and on the first ballot no less? Why should Superdelegates be able to have a more influential vote than any ordinary citizen, enough to sway their state and an election, as perpetrated by a biased and corrupt political party? I am committed to reforming the system to one person one vote. If we don’t have that, what do we have as citizens? It’s our most basic democratic right.

The chart below shows by state the combined delegate/Superdelegate count awarded to each candidate, the first ballot floor vote, total number of delegates per state, and total votes each cast during the convention. I completed the chart for the rest of the states. By directing Superdelegates to declare their endorsements before the convention in a DNCC and DSCC letter, in press conferences and public appearances, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid nullified their original intent. The numbers, which include SDs, seem less close than they actually were.

Democratic Delegate Count vs. Roll Call Count, Democratic Convention, August 27, 2008

STATE       HRC DELS     BO DELS      HRC ROLL    BO ROLL    TTL DELS      TTL CAST
AL           28           29            5          48         60            53
AK            4           14            3          15         18            18
AM SAMOA      6            3            0           9          9             9
AZ           35           31           27          40         67            67
AR           38            8            0          47         47            47
CA          232          200           PASSES                441             0
CO           23           45           15          55         70            70
CT           36           24           21          38         60            59
DEL           8           14            0          23         23            23
DEMS ABRD     4            7            2.5         8.5       11            11
DC           13           25            7          33         40            40
FL          104           78           51         136        211           188
GA           29           70           18          82        102           100
GUAM          4            5            3           4          9             7
HI            8           21            1          26         27            27
ID            3           19            3          20         23            23
IL            0            0           PASSES                  0             0
IN           42           41            6          75         85            81
IA           17           35            9          48         57            57
KS           10           30            6          34         41            40
KY           40           16           24          36         60            60
LA           26           39            7          43         67            50
ME           10           21            8          24         32            32
MD           39           55            6          94        100           100
MA           66           51           52          65        121           117
MI           76           72           27         125        157           152
MN           27           58            8          78         88            86
MS           13           25            8          33         41            41
MO           41           46            6          82         88            88
MT            7           17            7          18         25            25
NE            8           22            3          28         31            31
NV           13           20            8          25         34            33
NH           12           15            0          30         30            30
NJ           71           55            0         127        127           127
NM           20           17           YIELDS TO IL           38             0
IL           49          133           YIELDS TO NY          185             0
NY          159          121            0         282        282           282
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           1321         1482          341.5      1831.5      2907         2174

NC           51           78
ND            5           15
OH           82           74
OK           25           21
OR           23           41
PA          101           80
PR           42           19
RI           21           10
SC           14           39
SD            9           12
TN           46           35
TX CAUC      29           38
TX           79           75
UT           11           17
VT            7           14
VI            3            6
VA           33           63
WA CAUC      31           61
WV           23           12
WI           34           53
WY            6           12
--------------------------------
            675          775
          +1321        +1482
--------------------------------
           1996         2257

Source, delegate count: CNN Primary Results Scorecard
Source, roll call vote: CSPAN live tape up top

Total number of delegates: 4234
Number of delegates needed for nomination, including FL and MI: 2211
Numbers in chart include Superdelegates: Obama 438, Clinton 236

Et tu, Brute?

So why did so many states flip? Sources say that on the morning of the floor vote, everything was complete. Many opinions say it was finished on or before the May 31, 2008 DNC RBC meeting. But not believing our eyes and ears, in service of democracy, we kept on to preserve our and the rights of our candidate. We’ve since learned that as late as August 27, during the convention, swing-state delegations were being threatened with loss of Party funding for their states and candidate campaigns if they didn’t vote for Obama. Evidently, Obama needed Hillary more than she needed him. Otherwise, they would not have had a sham roll call or a Mile High speech to prop him up.

Oh, and as far as going Repug, it ain’t me, babe, although I will never cast a vote for Obama. In my life, the means are absolutely as important as the end, and I cannot support a candidate who derives power “by any means necessary.” If I have to cast a protest vote, I will. However, remember who brung Brazile? Her info emails with Karl Rove beginning in 2003 helped him help her promote the most unelectable Democratic candidate. So, let’s not forget who’s still trying to pull the strings and who’s still laughing all the way to the bank. Criminal, ain’t it? Too bad, Dems still ain’t got a clue.

In conclusion, Hillary and Bill Clinton were in an impossible, lose-lose situation. Some supporters got disgusted and thought they caved. I don’t think so. In order to come out of this, being seen as having done everything possible to nominate and elect Barack Obama — a far more generous and political act than exists in his little finger — The Clintons did everything possible, Bill while holding his nose, and came out smelling sweet as a rose. Party people all the way, and on to the next challenge. Yes, I’m getting there.

[“Evita,” music Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics Tim Rice]

[cross-posted from The Confluence]

Delegates Mad as Hell: Scramble for Floor Vote

Clinton Delegates are pissed. The Clinton National Delegate Network, a grassroots movement of delegates is on the streets of Denver collecting signatures from Hillary delegates. This eleventh hour effort is being organized to ensure that delegates who were elected to represent the voters of each state can and will vote for the candidate they were pledged to.

The DNC and Nancy Pelosi, the Chairman of the Democratic Convention, are doing everything in their power to make sure that does not happen. With Obama’s flagging support, according to the polls, running neck and neck with McCain, they are very worried that Hillary will get the nomination if a roll call vote takes place on the convention floor. That is why they are making the delegates have a secret hotel vote, instead of the floor vote that’s been done since forever. The hotel vote will purportedly take place on Wednesday morning, August 27, 2008.

However, there is a DNC rule that says if 20% of a candidate’s delegates sign a petition for a roll call vote, it must happen. This means that Hillary needs 826 of her delegates to sign this petition. I visited their headquarters along with BettyJean, Pagan, Hill08, and BrendaLynn. As we set out on our mission, we got three signatures in less than one block. They headed for the Pepsi Center to collect more, and got about 40 in an hour, and I came back to Puma Headquarters to blog. Last word I got was there were over 400 signatures gathered.

Pagan reports that he talked to a delegate who originally supported Hillary. The delegate declined to sign or divulge the delegation he was from. He said he would vote the way his state party told him to vote and that Terry McAuliffe had instructed them in how to vote. When Pagan asked if he’d mind sharing what that way of voting would be, he also declined, and then just turned his head and refused to engage in the conversation anymore.

Delegates have reported to us that Obama supporters are stationed outside of each delegation’s room with clipboards, ready to make sure that once again, despite their best efforts to represent their constituents (approximately 12,000 voters per delegate in the case of primaries, and 585 in the case of caucuses), that Hillary delegates and voters are ROBBED of their democratic rights.

As recently as this afternoon, we knew that the hotel vote would take place in each delegation on Wednesday morning, and that Hillary would have a special luncheon with her delegates at 1pm. Rumor had it that she might release her delegates then.

However, we have an unconfirmed report coming from someone inside the Pepsi Center that Hillary Clinton will make a special announcement tonight during her speech. Although I’m ever the optimist, call me paranoid: Will she try to pre-empt this grassroots effort by releasing her delegates tonight?

I can’t even imagine the pressure she is under by party leadership. We even heard that President Clinton’s speech would not be televised live in prime time.

Oh my, is the DNC running scared or what? We need divine intervention. If you’re a praying person, give it your all.

[cross posted from The Confluence.]

Normalizing Hillary: Connect the Vote Dots

Besides PUMAs, Just Say No Deal Coalition members, and those who have been paying close attention to the 2008 primary process, everyone in the US and some people abroad think that: Obama won the Democratic Primary; therefore, he secured the nomination; and he is being gracious by allowing Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination at the Democratic Convention.

In fact, the Obama and Clinton campaigns issued a joint statement on August 14, 2008 about it, and we have achieved a small victory. Or as Heidi Li Feldman puts it, we’re where we were in the first place. (Oh, forgive me: as Barbra WaWa might say: Were where we whah in the furst pwace.) The MSM is all over the story, asking if we disgruntled old ladies, gays, and republicrats are satisfied now? They claim that we’re just sore losers, and that we want Clinton’s name on the ballot because of her historic win as a woman. They’re touting it as symbolic. It’s not symbolic; it’s normal!

In fact, we are sore winners! Neither candidate won the requisite number of pledged delegates. Instead (rolling eyes, PUMAs repeating themselves, ad infinitum), Nancy Nine Percent Pelosi and Harry Reticent Reed pressured the Democratic Superdelegates to endorse a candidate prior to Denver. This act in turn defies their true purpose: to nominate the candidate who can win POTUS in November. In 2008, there are 855 Superdelegates with FL and MI according to Connect-the-Dots. CNN says it’s 825. Over 200 are uncommitted. Any SD can change their vote through the first ballot in Denver, no matter who they or their state or district endorsed.

Didn’t Hillary run on the assertion that she was the only Democratic candidate who could win the Electoral College in November? The virtual Nobama/McCain dead heat in the polls proves that she wasn’t lyin’, despite Obamamoneys-raised, European jaunts, and a vacay away from the barely investigative, mostly fawning MSM spotlight.

The Obama/DNC presumption is that it’s all a done deal. To dispel any doubts, Invesco Field/Mile High Stadium was booked as the site for what our movement, (and back in the day, Jesse Jackson) calls a coronation. Let’s be clear:

From CNN’s count, we see that neither candidate had the requisite 2,118 pledged delegates as of June 3 to clinch the nomination. Obama had 1763, Clinton had 1640, a 123 delegate lead for BO. It is difficult to find an accurate vote count that shows Hillary Clinton won the most popular votes of any primary candidate in history. Why? Real Clear Politics has Clinton at 18,046,007, Obama at 17,869,542, including MI and FL, with estimates for IA, NV, ME, and WA. There, Clinton nets +176,465 votes.

1. Why does popular vote matter when everyone keeps hammering on the delegate totals? Delegate counts are inconsistent, uneven reflections of the will of the voters, because they include caucuses. Caucuses represent far fewer voters than primaries, yet delegates selected in that process carry more weight.

Worse yet is the impact on the delegate count. While [as of 5/31/08] 2549 delegates earned in the primaries represent an average of 12,225 voters, in the caucuses each of the 515 delegates elected represents a mere 2,110 votes. Each caucus vote, then, is weighted 5.8 times greater than each primary vote when it comes to allocating delegates.

2. Why don’t PUMAs admit that Obama won more caucuses, which is why he won and Hillary lost, and stop changing the rules? In 2008, there are substantiated reports of caucus fraud. Please read Dr. Lynette Long’s research who concludes: “the Obama campaign willfully and intentionally defrauded the American public by systematically undermining the caucus process.”

3. If Obama now has enough delegates when SDs are included, why isn’t he simply the nominee? Superdelegates are party officials — both elected and un-elected. They can vote for whomever they wish at their Convention, regardless of their states’ vote, to make sure the most-electable Democrat becomes the nominee.

4. Why am I still writing about this, when Obama and Clinton agreed on 8/14/08 that Hillary’s name will be placed on the Convention ballot and up for a roll call vote? Because, it should have been automatic, as in every election since 1884. None of the other candidates came anywhere near Clinton, yet it’s a “negotiation”? Look at all these guys who were nominated, without even coming close to their opponents in delegate count. Courtesy of EdgeOfForever:

1972: Ted Kennedy – 12 votes on first ballot
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1976: Ted Kennedy – 1 vote on first ballot
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1980: Jimmy Carter – 1981 delegates
Ted Kennedy – 1225 delegates
Uncommitted – 122
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1984: Jesse Jackson – 465 votes
Jackson had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1988: Jesse Jackson – 1218 votes
Jackson had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

2004: John Kerry: 2192.5 Pledged delegates
Howard Dean: 114.5 Pledged delegates
Dean had already dropped out, with no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

2008: Barack Obama: 1766.5 Pledged delegates
Hillary Clinton: 1639.5 Pledged delegates

5. Who are the delegates, and why shouldn’t they just go along with the DNC’s choice, Barack Obama? Delegates are elected by their grassroots supporters to go to the Democratic convention as representatives of the total votes cast in their state’s districts. Although they each may represent thousands of HRC voters, they can just change their votes as if we, the US voters, are not even in the picture! According to CNN,

Pledged delegates are not actually bound to vote for the candidate. Consequently, candidates are allowed on a state-by-state basis to review lists of delegates who have pledged their support and can delete anyone whose support they consider unreliable.

Surprise you? This could account for the DNC’s treatment of Clinton delegate, Sacha Millstone, or even what happened in Florida right after June 3, when Obama’s campaign began replacing his elected delegates with their own. I’m still not getting how someone who represents your, or my, or anyone’s vote could be intimidated into changing it and have that be part of the deal. Our deal. You know, the one we get as citizens. The deal, the one true thing we’ve got in this country that our guys and all those Iraqis are supposedly dying for and about. That democracy one person one vote representative thing.

6. How can the DNC represent the will of the people, if the delegates are pressured to support Obama as if he is the nominee, and they are afraid to publicly declare otherwise? How can there be “unity” if Hillary Clinton is allowed to be booed unchecked at even one of his events? DNC chairs and party officials, and delegates are being intimidated and threatened to not cast THEIR votes for Hillary Clinton. These are not THEIR votes. These votes are OURS. The delegates are merely our proxies. If not us, who DO they represent? How is this representative government?

Whether you agree or disagree, please learn about the process. Watch this three-part series, Democrats ’08: CONNECT-THE-DOTS, with Host Leslie Stevens. The program is sponsored by The Educational Foundation for the Integrity of the Democratic Process, Asheville, North Carolina. Bloggers, please post it! Readers, email it to friends and family.

[Connect-the-Dots Part 1]

[Connect-the-Dots Part 2]

[Connect-the-Dots Part 3]

Have you connected the dots? That’s why we’re not satisfied. It’s about the process being fair and reflecting the will of the voters. And, you can help!!! Call or email your delegates or any that you know. Ask them to sign the 300 delegate petition to ensure that Hillary’s name is placed in nomination. This petition was created by and for delegates. Email: hrc300delegates@yahoo.com.

Still, we’re not ready to make nice. . . .

[160 Years and Still Waiting — Rise Hillary Rise by DemocracyDame]

h/t to DemocracyDame for “Connect-the-Dots” lead and her video above.

Breaking: Hillary on Ballot at Convention!

The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reported this morning, and now officially, that Hillary Clinton’s name will be placed in nomination, meaning on the ballot, at the Democratic Convention.

Of course, Obama decided it best to welcome her participation for the sake of the team — unity and all that, you know. Do ya think? How about: with the most sophisticated bulldog machine and millions of campaign bucks raised, his paltry self is statistically tied with John McCain.

From Ambinder and now from Hillary’s website: A joint statement from the Clinton and Obama campaigns:

Since June, Senators Obama and Clinton have been working together to ensure a Democratic victory this November. They are both committed to winning back the White House and to to ensuring that the voices of all 35 million people who participated in this historic primary election are respected and heard in Denver. To honor and celebrate these voices and votes, both Senator Obama’s and Senator Clinton’s names will be placed in nomination.

“I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton’s historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion,” said Senator Barack Obama.

Senator Obama’s campaign encouraged Senator Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination as a show of unity and in recognition of the historic race she ran and the fact that she was the first woman to compete in all of our nation’s primary contests.

“With every voice heard and the Party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama President of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again,” said Senator Hillary Clinton.

Senator Obama and Senator Clinton are looking forward to a convention unified behind Barack Obama as the Party’s nominee and to victory this fall for America.

Well, madamab, The Confluence‘s playwright-in-residence couldn’t have written this scenario better. Speculation’s a-flyin’ that Hillary will use the occasion to release her delegates to Obama. Hmm. It could happen, but naturally we PUMAs will do all in our power to keep her ROAR fierce and encourage the delegates, who are being systematically threatened, coerced, and pressured to go over to the O-side, to remain strong and committed to the candidate we elected them to support.

And of course after six months, now that Obama has just jumped on the seat-our-delegates train, he needs even more delegates than accounted for in order to clinch the nomination. Now that he’s recognized, well that’s too generous, now that it’s dawned on him that he cannot win in his current incarnation, he’s morphed once again into the candidate whose claim to a vision of change trumps the reality he’s actually produced.

8/5/2008

Senator Clinton Urges Credential Committee to Restore Full Votes for Michigan and Florida Convention Delegates

Senator Hillary Clinton issued the following statement in response to the letter Senator Barack Obama sent to the Credentials Committee urging that it allow the Michigan and Florida delegates to have a full vote at the 2008 Democratic Convention.

“During the campaign, I strongly advocated for the Democratic Party to seat the Florida and Michigan delegation with their full votes. The Democratic Party has always stood up for the principle of counting every person’s vote. Today, Senator Obama has requested that the Credentials Committee give Florida and Michigan delegates their full votes. This is the right position for the Democratic Party and for the country and I urge the Credentials Committee to restore full votes to Florida and Michigan delegates.”

So, now the “magic number” of delegates necessary to clinch the Dem Nom for POTUS is now 2118, according to RealClearPolitics. If you go there, of course, keep in mind that the Superdelegates can change their minds up through first vote on the convention floor.

Great job, PUMAs!!! Just Say No Deal! Keep up the pressure. Buyers’ remorse abounds. The Russia-Georgia conflict is an August surprise that is testing the Dems untested candidate. Call Now: How’s he drivin’?

Oops, Didn’t Realize I Was So Late: Dean’s DFA

What and Who Is Democracy For America?

Talk about a bamboozlement. What a strategy. It appears that attempts to organize now, after the Hillary fact, are, well, several years too late, to put it mildly. This one bowled me over, like I’d been hit in the gut. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up; I’m just saying.

Howard Dean, it seems, has been busy training Democratic operatives and bloggers in a highly organized manner for a while now. Where have I been? I hadn’t heard of DFA until this week. This from fellow blogger, Claudiabl*:

DFA (Democracy For America) along with Netroots Nation are organizations founded by Howard Dean for the purpose of “training” campaign workers and promoting progressive candidates

That makes sense, right? It makes sense to have launched such an operation, considering the ass-whooping Dean and company got in 2000 and 2004. At the time, there were rampant “what hit us?” conversations about how Republicans had organized at the grassroots level, situating themselves in local government and on school boards. And what with the “swift-boating,” we were patsies and pansies and weren’t going to take it anymore. (I can’t help it, even though Democracy For America was on my side and ostensibly formed for good progressively strategic reasons, my mind keeps wandering over to the Hitler youth movement as a comparable. I should be ashamed.)

Why Was DFA Founded?

DFA was founded to reform the Democratic Party:

DFA members are working everyday to build a stronger more progressive Democratic Party. We believe the Democratic Party must be driven by people-power and responsive to the needs of everyday Americans.

Why sure, “people-power.” Me too, I’m for that!

Too often, once leaders from any party get elected, they get tied to a culture of incumbency and insular thinking that is dominated by special interests. DFA members fight for a culture of activism and rebuild policies and platforms for grassroots empowerment. It is our mission to constantly revitalize the party with new members, progressive ideas, and effective actions.

Huh. I guess that the Clintons were among those cultural incumbents. Bill had been so wildly popular as to be elected twice (first time for Dems in 40 years), and accomplish so much for our country, that Dean couldn’t wait to take ’em down.

How Are DFA and The DNC Connected?

Evidently, DFA elected Howard to the DNC Chairmanship — Who knew? I had no idea how screamin’ Dean had gotten that position:

In 2005, DFA members elected our founder Howard Dean to the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. With the 50 State Strategy, Governor Dean has successfully delivered on our campaign commitment to stand up for Democrats and our principles in every district in every state.

Our work hasn’t ended with electing a new chairman to head the party, DFA members have run for all levels of party office from precinct captains to county and statewide party chairs. We don’t just talk the talk. DFA members do the work it takes to make change happen. Join us in our mission to reform the Democratic Party.

DFA, The DNC, and Obama

Dean had run a hallmark campaign in 2004. Indeed, it was the first Presidential primary campaign to make effective use of online technology to mobilize and raise contributions from small individual donors. Dean’s training of campaign workers and bloggers would seem like a dovetail fit with Obama’s so-called grassroots community organizing background, combined with the forces of the progressive grassroots moveon.org. Moveon caught the attention of Congress and the DNC with their effective online protest and voter campaigns beginning in 2003. I was an active member, from their Berkeley inception as they grew into a national movement, until their early endorsement of Obama which I protested.

A Florida progressive blog, Florida Politics carries along the DFA message in their state, and notes that their blogging software is similar the Daily Kos, apparently a bragging right. Lately, they’ve reported on the huge Obama operation being set up there, and the takeover by his campaign of a portion of FL’s previous delegate selection. Just as with Michigan, I wonder if the Sunshine State will Remember in November or warm to the candidate who blocked fair reflection and counting all their votes.

Integrating Activists With Grassroots Media

If you fish around on the DFA website under their trainers and training agenda, you will find that we PUMAs and Just Say No Deal Coailtion Members, and likely Hillary herself, ladies and gentleman, are very late to this table.

Last summer we did a session of Night School live from the YearlyKos convention in Chicago. We featured Chris Bowers from OpenLeft.com and Katrina Baker from Living Liberally to discuss building open progressive communities.

Of course it now stands to reason how the DNC could so “quickly mobilize” to announce their move to Chicago last week, and accomplish it over the weekend.

Early Involvement In Presidential Endorsement

Question: How did all the progressive causes that we — I and other Democratic Party members, now-refugees — fought for over our entire lives get absconded by people who seem ready and able to disregard us and our efforts? Hey, over here, I’m a progressive too. How did they choose to throw Hillary away? Or did she or her old-school campaign staff not see DFA as a force?

It appears that DFA had weight in making their early assessments of the Presidential candidates in terms of progressiveness. I don’t see any mention of Hillary Clinton being engaged with them. Perhaps they were deterred by Mark Penn’s purported initial barriers to her easy access, or perhaps Dean didn’t include her? Obama even used their training manuals for his trainings!

All throughout 2007, DFA members were engaged in the Presidential race. DFA kicked off the year with messages to the candidates demanding to hear their plans for ending the Iraq War and combating global warming – and Senators Edwards and Obama, Gov. Richardson, and Rep. Kucinich responded with special videos to DFA members. Gov. Richardson sent campaign staff to a DFA Training Academy and Sen. Obama’s campaign used the Training Academy manual for their trainings. (emphasis mine) This engagement culminated in November of 2007, with the largest online poll of the election season. Over 154,000 DFA members voted in response to “Vote for Me Messages” from the candidates in the race. As a response to the overwhelming support for progressive leaders, DFA launched the Unite for a Progressive President campaign.

Big Tent No More

DFA appears to send out strident press releases, endorsing their progressive candidates and slamming others within the Democratic Party who don’t go along. Evidently, they deemed Obama and Edwards the most progressive, crediting their organization with Iowa’s win, and challenging an unnamed candidate with: what’s all this inevitability talk, huh? Bwa ha ha ha ha.

So, it’s clear that the DNC Chair, under the auspices of Democracy For America, preferentially campaigned, and built an organization, to defeat Hillary Clinton from within, and from the git go — way before Iowa and months, if not years, before the DNC RBC Committee Meeting on May 31, 2008. Pardon me. I am now officially more than naive. I thought I kept up, but maybe I was just a “holiday Democrat” after all. Until this campaign season, I always thought that the DNC was a neutral body that contained all Democrats in “the big tent.” Oops, my bad.

From DFA, originally dated January 3, 2008:

Progressives Win! Obama Wins. Edwards Second.

Democracy for America Lead the Way in Iowa
Des Moines, IA – Democracy for America, our nation’s largest progressive political action organization with over 9,000 members in Iowa, has shown their power tonight in Iowa. With the one-two finish of Senator Barack Obama/Senator John Edwards in the Iowa caucus, it is clear that progressive voters are the key constituency in this election. DFA’s Unite for a Progressive President Campaign made the difference here in Iowa. Democracy for America’s Unite for a Progressive President Campaign brought together the strengths of the Iowa caucus process and the commitment of DFA members throughout the country. The 675,000 members of DFA gathered tens of thousands signatures on a national call to action, wrote over 6,124 letters to Iowa DFA members, and plastered the Des Moines Register with an ad asking Iowa Democrats to not leave their caucus until a progressive wins their location.“If you listened to people last year, it was as if there was no need to vote. There was all this talk about inevitability, but, tonight, Democracy for America’s members here in Iowa proved that primaries matter, progressive values are what make the Democratic Party strong,” said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. (* bold format mine, itals theirs)

In sharp contrast to 2004, issues of concern to progressive voters have been front and center in this presidential race. The activism and involvement of progressive Democrats have transformed the Party and fundamentally altered the primary landscape. From universal health care to ending the War in Iraq to global warming, every Democrat in the race has seen the need to take a strong stance. Those Democrats who have taken a stance have seen their support increase among voters.

“Tonight’s caucus results are further proof that progressive voters make up the core of the Democratic Party – they are the key constituency in this election. DFA members and progressive Democrats support candidates who fight for progressive values: bringing our troops home from Iraq, expanding universal health care for all Americans, and fighting to end global warming,” said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of DFA.

Dean’s Mission Remains The Same

Now I’m wondering exactly when did my candidate and I get voted out of the Party? It would appear as if the strong-arm tone and tactics that characterize many people’s encounters with the Obama campaign have roots in the mission of an organization that has been at play since Dean’s piercing scream. The fratboy doc never gave up. In fact, he has been very hard at work getting back at anyone who ever laughed at him, and is still intent on going all the way to the White House. Memory lane, y’all.

—————————————————————————–

* Hat tip to Claudiabl for the lead.

Give Me One Reason — New Beginning

“Give Me One Reason to stay here, and I’ll turn right back around.”

Tracy Chapman

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

New Beginning

“The whole world’s broke, and ain’t worth fixing.

It’s time to start all over, make a new beginning.

There’s too much pain, too much suffering.

Let’s resolve to start all over, make a new beginning.

Don’t get me wrong, I love life and living,

But when you wake up and look around

At everything that’s going down all wrong,

You see we need to change it now,

This world of too few happy endings.

We can resolve to start over and make a new beginning.

Start all over.

The world is broken into fragments and pieces.

That once were joined together in a unified whole.

But now too many stand alone, there’s too much separation.

We can resolve to come together in the new beginning.

Start all over.”

1993 Tracy Chapman

Hillary Delegates Being Switched To Obama

The video above was published on YouTube on April 3, 2008 by a Texas Hillary Clinton delegate who decided to document the harassment she was receiving from the Obama campaign. The one below was published on May 18, 2008 by the same delegate, as she continued to be pressured. She was placed on their delegate roster, after repeatedly informing them that she is a Clinton delegate.

Ok…so I called the Obama campaign. Sure enough they had me in there as an Obama delegate. . . . He was acting like it was just all a big mistake, but once I stopped acting like a confused person and started laying into him, his excuse was, “I’ve heard you guys are doing the same thing. I’m not listening to you anymore. Click.”

So he knows what he’s doing and it’s deliberate and it’s on tape.

As I mentioned in “Raise Your Hand If You Think Florida’s Over”, a member of Obama’s staff is hammering Hillary’s Florida supporters, including Sen. Bill Nelson, who filed suit against the DNC to count all of his state’s votes cast, and Jon Ausman, Member FLorida DNC. It seems the Obama campaign is threatening to unseat Hillary delegates and replace them with their own. Can they just do that?

The nature of Obama’s campaign strong arm tactics, as seen in these two examples, is consistent with this “incident-report-summary-redacted” from El Paso, TX, which seems to document similar shenanigans. And remember the reprehensible treatment Obama supporters dealt to anti-war, progressive maverick, popular Houston U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), a loyal Clinton supporter.

From No Quarter on voter intimidation —

Comment by Evelyn | 2008-05-30 08:37:54:

. . . I was at the Texas Caucus and the Obama supporter’s took the Packets as early as 6:30 AM which they were told not to do, They never let go and then when time came to vote they took over the precinct by some of them pushing the people that were supposed to run it across the room to chairs. They called in incorrect totals for Obama instead of correct ones. He actually had 4 delegates and they called in 19 delegates.

Some of them ended up spending not only the night but a couple of days in jail, when my 88 year old Mother showed up, who can hardly walk on her walker, and they took her walker away from her when she said she was there to vote for Hillary. They said you are in the wrong place old woman; this is an Obama precinct, and you need to go across town. When I saw what was happening I called the police. . . .