Friday, June 27, 2008

Friends, the time HAS come for UNITY

A surprising number of people sent questions to me today asking whether the Democratic Party is required to hold a roll call vote at its convention this August. Rather than answer individually, I thought I would use this space to express my view on the point.

My view: I do not know. The main reason I do not know is that I do not know what the current Party rules and bylaws require. But there would be little point in researching what the current rules or bylaws require because the Party can modify its rules and bylaws via any number of mechanisms, so regardless of what the rules or bylaws say, whether there will be a roll call vote remains an open question.

At the fundraiser summit held at the Mayflower last night, Senator Obama was asked whether he supported or expected a roll call vote at the convention. He did not answer the question directly. When he was pressed by the questioner for a direct answer, he replied that he was not going to "negotiate" the convention at the Mayflower event last night.

Apparently, then, Senator Obama does not know or did not know last night - or chose not to tell us of his knowledge - whether there will be a roll call vote at the convention in Denver.

So, I don't know and Senator Obama did not enlighten the questioner last night. Dr. Dean has not spoken on the point. Senator Obama told us he was proud to be the leader of the Democratic Party. Dr. Dean has not resigned as chair of the Party. They would seem to be the ones who could answer the roll call question clearly. I will write to each of them for an answer.

Meanwhile, though, I want to say that the time has indeed come for unity. Unity among Democrats.

All Democrats should unify in expecting the Democratic Party to abide by democratic principles and procedures at its convention this summer. I believe that those principles require the highest standards of transparency and meticulously fair procedures. Indeed, I believe this so strongly that I am working hard to help Democrats unite in the name of democracy - a cause that has little or nothing do with which particular candidate any particular Democrat voted for during this primary season.

In the name of keeping the Democratic Party democratic, I have helped to organized The Denver Group. Click here to learn all about The Denver Group: a cause we can all get behind!


Blogger kcowley said...

Great posts Heidi! Thank you for filling us in on the subtle nuances as if we were in the room.

June 27, 2008 at 9:43 PM  
Anonymous LadyBoomerNYC said...

Heidi -- Great definition of Unity! And thank you for your eyewitness reports of last night's Clinton Donors meeting with her and Obama. That feeling of sadness and confusion washed over me today, off and on, during the Unity event, which I watched on TV.

If transparency is a window, Obama and Dean are more like brick walls. Their non-answers are as telling as the hiring of Patty Solis Doyle.

I've added the Denver Group to my blogroll.

Best to you, and onward!

June 27, 2008 at 10:19 PM  
Anonymous kavala007 said...

You are keeping us all sane. Thank you for being such an astute observer. You are like Benjamin Franklin so if it is alright I think I'll nickname you Silence Dogood.

June 27, 2008 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger sassysenora said...

Heidi, Unless the set of rules I have is incorrect, the Democratic Party Rules require a roll call vote. See p 17, Section VIII C 7. Section VIII F describes how the roll call vote should be conducted. (p 18) In addition to the roll call votes for president and VP (as described in section C7 for president and C10 for VP) 20% of the convention's delegates can call for a roll call vote on other matters. (p 18, Section VIII F)

I haven't looked at how ppl could amend the convention rules. I'm sure there must be a way to do so. Maybe someone could post about that here.

June 27, 2008 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous gyrfalcon said...

First time commenter here.

I honestly don't think the DP honchos can get away with abolishing the roll call vote, since it's a very much cherished platform for local pride, the only thing resembling drama for the TV networks to amuse themselves with, and Illinois will absolutely insist on being the delegation to bring Obama's total over the top. (Cue the balloon drop, the confetti, the band and the sign-waving parade around the aisles.)

What I do expect to happen is that the Dean and Obama forces will work very hard to pressure Clinton delegates to switch to Obama before the convention, so that there's no more than a token Hillary vote in a tsunami of Obama adoration. All in the name of Unity, of course!

I'm so depressed. How did we get here? Himself doesn't want to "negotiate" convention rules with a bunch of Clinton fundraisers. Couldn't he just have answered the question honestly and directly?

Hillary has a much stronger stomach than I do.

June 28, 2008 at 1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping the fire alive. I marked this site to donate from over the weekend, and did, but the video there is heartbreaking.

Hillary's incomparable suspension speech. We stand to lose so much.

June 28, 2008 at 1:17 AM  
Anonymous tvlcrazy said...

Heidi - you scared the beejeezus out of me!!! Until I read the post, I thought you took a sip of that crazy potion out there, LOL!

Thanks again for all you do. You are a light in this dark season of elections.

June 28, 2008 at 2:20 AM  
Anonymous DWPforHILL said...

In case you haven't heard -

One of Hillary's national delegates has asked people to spread the word that her delegates will walk out of the Convention if she doesn't get a roll call vote.

They want to put pressure on the DNC to ensure that Hillary does get the roll call vote she deserves, hence the request to spread the word about a walk out if she does not.

June 28, 2008 at 4:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning Heidi and all,

Here is my promised donation to The Denver Group-I like many others appreciate the efforts to make sure the rules are followed although it shouldn't be necessary.

If they could screw w the Florida and Michigan delegates they can change things at the convention. I believe they will try.

Donation Details

Donation amount: $10.00 USD
Total: $10.00 USD
Purpose: The Denver Group
Contributor: Laura

June 28, 2008 at 6:46 AM  
Blogger Double Jointed Fingers said...

Heidi, that Unity title sent a chill down my spine. Thankfully, your definition is one I agree with. I note that I rec'd a Hillary email this as also titled Unity. However, and more importantly, although she linked the video, she did not seek contributions to BO's campaign.

June 28, 2008 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Marc said...

Heidi, I couldn't have said it better.

I'm a pledged delegate for Hillary Clinton and the roll call is the primary purpose for which I was elected to represent Hillary's supporters in my district. I've read the rules and it specifically states that no delegate may be forced to vote for a candidate other than the one they were pledged to.

Regarding changing of the rules, it would require a vote of the convention to suspend the rules which takes a 2/3 vote. They may try it, but we won't make it easy for them.

June 28, 2008 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before there is a roll call vote, Hillary's name must be put into nomination and seconded. So, it is not just the vote, it's making sure her name is there to vote on.

June 28, 2008 at 5:54 PM  

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