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DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee Meeting – July 9, 2010 #1 – Sanctions

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The DNC RBC commenced its meeting today at 2 pm to continue the process of adoption of  the draft 2012 Democratic National Convention Delegate Selection Plan and adopt a draft Call to Convention.  (The Call governs the conduct of the convention itself.)   These documents will be voted on by the DNC at its Fall meeting St. Louis Meeting on August 20.  The RBC also must adopt Delegate Selection regulations (which need not be approved in August).

Sanctions and Timing:  Del Selection Rule 20 provides for sanctions of violation of rules – it includes mandatory sanctions (e.g. 50% reduction in delegates for violating the timing rule) and additional possible sanctions (50% reduction, bad convention seating, lousy hotel).  

The timing issue, of course, was a huge controversy last year, when Florida and Michigan insisted on cutting in line, lost all their delegates, then half, then none.  Last meeting, the RBC voted to move the calender back so no state (except IA, NH, SC, and NV) can have a primary/caucus before the first tuesday in March, so a lot of states need to move back or risk sanctions.

Rule 21 – governs state legislative changes – if a state is out of compliance, and the party takes "provable positive steps" to bring the state laws into compliance, the RBC can give the party a waiver from the requirement.  (Steps include introduction and work for legislation.)   Rule 21 amended to add to provable positive steps provision (line 14) requirement of endorsement by relevant Democratic party leaders and elected officials, and state that actions are not limited to the list.

Co-Chair Roosavelt reported that the RNC’s Temporary Committee on Delegate Selection had adopted the same window (with the same 4 early states), contingent on the DNC’s adoption of same rule window.  This is the first time that the two parties have adopted the same calender.

Rule 20.C.1.b – prohibits candidates from campaigning in states which violate the rules – some argued that it was not clear and may cede publicity to Republicans who do campaign in those states.  (I agree.)  The committee did not accept the proposal.

So the rule remains the same – states who violate timing rules lose 1/2 their delegates, plus DNC members.