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The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the Democratic Convention

by: Brian Leubitz

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:13:52 AM PST

Democratic convention went mostly to script

by Brian Leubitz

Election year Democratic conventions are traditionally all about the cheerleading.  And so there was a lot of praise for President Obama, and Dem. Leader Nancy Pelosi.  That was all rousing, but to be expected.

There was much to do about the endorsement battle in two districts: CD-30 and AD-50.  The Valley Congressional Battle of the "-ermans", Brad Sherman and Howard Berman, finished at a draw, but not without allegations of cheating back and forth, patheticness, and even a handwriting expert. (Yes, really.) You can check out John Myers reportage on the event.  It really was that crazy.

In AD-50, the Assembly pushing delegates into the district was successful, as Betsy Butler secured the endorsement. But many were still upset about the situation:

Here is where State Party rules are not only stacked in favor of incumbents - but give politicians like John Perez an unsavory role in manipulating the outcome. On Saturday, delegates from the 50th Assembly District gathered to make the Party endorsement. Assembly members can appoint up to five delegates, but only three must live in the legislator's district. Therefore, Perez asked all Democratic Assembly members to set aside their two "non-resident" slots - so he can appoint delegates who live in the 50th District, and will vote for Betsy Butler over Torie Osborn.

As I walked in to observe the 50th Assembly District caucus on Saturday (as a San Francisco delegate, I could not vote - but I attended to observe), aides for Perez were in full force with clipboards - keeping track of who had shown up to vote for Butler. Aides for other Democratic Assembly members like Fiona Ma had already been working the Convention for the past day, promoting Betsy Butler. This was a well coordinated effort to rig the endorsement, for the Speaker to deliver for one of his members. The Osborn campaign knew they didn't have much of a shot.(BeyondChron)

Chairman Burton later told a relevant committee that he wanted the situation to end.  A reasonable compromise would be to allow the appointment of delegates from anywhere, but simply eliminate the voting rights for local endorsement issues. Seems to me that would eliminate the entire mess.

At any rate, despite the disagreements, the Party seemed excited to take on the greater challenges facing us this year: the reelection of President Obama and the rejection of "Paycheck Deception."

Brian Leubitz :: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the Democratic Convention
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I'm with you and chairman Burton (5.00 / 2)
It's dumb to have appointed delegates from outside the district be able to vote on endoresments. The CDP should end this practice--which, frankly, smacks way too much of old-fashioned, smoke-filled-back-room politics.

Out-of-district appointed delegates should be limited! (6.00 / 3)
I've been saying (to members of the CDP Rules committee and others) for years that, while appointed delegates serve at the pleasure of their elected legislators, all legislators should be required to make all their appointments from within their district.  

I might allow for a one slot exception if the legislator wants to appoint one of their staffers who doesn't live in the district. But, as Burton is suggesting, that staffer should not be able to vote on endorsements outside the district where the legislator is elected.  

I support this proposed restriction to increase the integrity of the CDP endorsement process, and as someone who also supports Betsy Butler for re-election.

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