Thursday, August 21, 2008

The difference between state law and party rules

Some confusion appears to have arisen over the law in some states that requires party delegates to vote as their constituents elected them. These laws override the party procedural rules that permit delegates to use their own consciences with regard to how best to serve their constituents. Kudos to the Georgia State Attorney General for making it clear that Georgia is one of the states where, by law, delegates must vote as they were elected.


Blogger Lynn E said...

I hope this will clarify the law in other states as well. It's shocking how the Democratic Party works on limiting free speech and democracy. What are we to expect if they win the White House and a large majority in Congress?

August 21, 2008 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger jbjd said...

Maybe the GA AG wrote his letter after he received ours.

August 15, 2008

Thurbert E. Baker, Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
VIA FAX: 404. 657.8733

SUBJECT: Solicitation to Violate O.C.G.A. § 21-2-196 (2008)

Dear Attorney General Baker:

Here in Georgia, pledged delegates selected as the result of votes cast for Senator Clinton in the Presidential primary election are legally required to vote for her during first-round balloting at the party’s nominating convention. OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL appended to the above-cited law explains, “This section reflects the legitimate interest of the state in insuring orderliness in the electoral process, and it provides a means of presenting the political preferences of the people of this state to a political party.” But in what can at best be interpreted as an overzealous advocacy on behalf of Senator Obama, in states throughout the country, including Georgia, proponents for his nomination have bombarded her delegates with subtle and not-so-subtle pressures to commit to switching support to him, before the convention. Or, failing that, they replace the Clinton-pledged delegate with one loyal to Obama. (See examples below. Note that while the first link shows the copy of a letter Senator Obama’s campaign sent to pledged delegates in Georgia, they distributed this same letter to delegates in all states, including states which, like Georgia,mandate pledged delegates to follow their candidates into the convention.) In Georgia, encouraging delegates entrusted with representing the political preference of Clinton voters, to pledge their support before the convention to Obama, solicits these delegates to break the law.

As a concerned citizen of Georgia, I am bringing this matter to your immediate attention anticipating that you will take appropriate action to ensure from now on, campaigning in this state related to the upcoming Democratic National Convention is consistent with Georgia laws.


References: “Bearing Witness” (posting of letter from Khalil Thompson, Obama for America, Chicago)
Clinton supporters protesting removal of delegate at Democratic National Convention
“Explain, Dems tell Clinton delegate” (article on state party efforts to discipline Colorado delegate for Clinton for refusing to switch to Obama)

Copy: Karen C. Handel, Secretary of State
VIA FAX: 404.651.9531
Jane V. Kidd, Chairwoman, Georgia Democratic Party

August 22, 2008 at 4:57 AM  

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