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DNC RBC Approves VA & Other State Plans

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The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee met today to consider 23 state 2102 National Convention Delegate Selection Plans. The RBC gave Virginia’s plan “conditional approval” and approved our request for a waiver of the 10,000 Presidential candidate signature requirement (conditioned on the DPVA collecting 5,000 signatures). The DNC staff raised some minor issues, which were addressed by a revised plan we submitted on Monday.   I presented the plan and answered questions about the affirmative action goals of the plan.   The DNC had previously accepted our methodology and staff raised no questions, but the DPVA is fully committed to diversity and we will examine this issue carefully and propose any appropriate changes.

The RBC considered the plans of 22 other states and either gave conditional approval or sent them back to the state parties with requests for revisions.  The RBC will next meet July 22-23 in Washington to consider additional state plans and give final approvals.   The RBC (including Virginians Alexis Herman and Mame Reilly) and its excellent staff, headed by (Virginian) Patrice Taylor, did a thorough and admirable job.  All of the plans considered today had their primaries or caucuses scheduled within the approved March 6-June 10 window, or were approved pre-window states.  Issues included:

  • Affirmative Action Goals – states must set representation goals for African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and must also set inclusion goals for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Americans, youth, and people with disabilities.   Most states had some problem, including failure to submit a methodology, omission of one or more groups, grouping of the categories under one “minority representation” number, having numbers that appeared too low, and/or actually having numbers lower than four years ago.   States will have to correct these issues and resubmit their plans.  At the next meeting, staff will provide a comparison between the 2008 goals and the actual delegations.
  • Bonus delegates – states may obtain a 10% or 20% bonus for moving (or staying) back to April or later and a number of states have done so.  They can also get an additional 15% bonus for forming clusters – one such cluster (“prairie” – Wyoming, Idaho, and Nebraska) was approved today.  States which obtain bonus delegates, must also adjust their affirmative action numbers.  DNC will issue a revised Call with the adjusted numbers and report at the next meeting the revised number of delegates.
  • Alternate election – the rules this year cut the number of alternates allowed to states by half (and increased the number of delegates by 700).  A number of states requested and were granted a waiver from Rule 4.30 so they could elect all of the alternates at large, instead of 75% at the congressional district level.  If because of the reduced numbers, a candidate who otherwise would be entitled to an alternate receives none, the RBC can award one to that candidate.
  • Other waivers – there were some other state-specific waivers and minor clarifications.  At the next meeting, staff will provide a list of waivers requested and granted.
  • The most interesting variations are the very cool Democrats Abroad (with their super ED Lindsey Reynolds) unique 5 day global primary and Oregon’s mail-in only primary.

The states considered were Arkansas, Alabama, Democrats Abroad, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

Off to the Arlington County Democratic Committee JJ Dinner, continuing a Dem-tacular day.