| 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."