Dem Superdelegates Stage ‘Revolt’ Against Plans to Limit Their Influence | NTK Network Dem Superdelegates Stage ‘Revolt’ Against Plans to Limit Their Influence

Dem Superdelegates Stage ‘Revolt’ Against Plans to Limit Their Influence

A plan to eliminate superdelegates’ DNC voting rights, endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, is facing strong opposition from the superdelegates themselves.

By NTK Staff | 07.11.2018 @4:15pm
Dem Superdelegates Stage ‘Revolt’ Against Plans to Limit Their Influence

Democrat superdelegates, the unelected party officials whose votes count toward a Democratic presidential candidate’s total needed to win the party’s nomination, are fighting back against a plan designed to limit their influence in the nominating process.

According to Politico, a band of DNC superdelegates are “staging a revolt” against the plan, which has the stamp of approval from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders famously criticized the Democrats’ superdelegate system during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Superdelegates made up about 15 percent of the total delegates at the 2016 Democratic convention. The plan under consideration would eliminate superdelegates’ ability to vote “on the first presidential nominating ballot at a contested national convention.”

A vote is expected on this contentious issue at the DNC’s August meeting in Chicago. But superdelegates are organizing in opposition to this rule ahead of time.

“If we don’t have a vote, then what good are we?” said William Owen, a superdelegate and DNC member from Tennessee who has been contacting fellow DNC members ahead of the Chicago gathering, especially in the South. “In Chicago, this will not be rubber stamped.”

Bob Mulholland, a superdelegate and DNC member from California who has been in talks with superdelegates in the West, said, “The more DNC members realize that this so-called reform is to throw them off the floor … I think there will be a lot of complaints in Chicago.”

Politico’s David Siders notes that the superdelegates face an uphill battle. The new rule has the backing of DNC Chair Tom Perez and two former chairs, former Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).

“Unfortunately, while the Republicans are winning elections and taking over the Supreme Court, we’ll be in Chicago looking like 1968,” Mulholland said, referencing the contentious 1968 Chicago convention.

But at least one former DNC chairman is not pleased. During a committee meeting Wednesday, Don Fowler asked why superdelegates would bother voting if their votes wouldn’t be counted. Plus, he said, eliminating superdelegates on the first ballot might only increase the necessity for them on the second, a scenario he described as a “great horror” that “this party would have a hard time surviving.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) meanwhile, called next month’s vote “craven capitulation” and “political malpractice.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who accused Perez of flinching in the face of criticism of the superdelegate process, called the proposal a “craven capitulation to what [Perez] describes as a perception of elitism.”

Connolly, like other opponents of the plan, argued that “disenfranchising the elected leadership of the party” would disconnect elected leaders from the party’s presidential ticket, ultimately weakening its prospects in 2020.

“I also believe the timing is wretched,” Connolly said. “We’re in the midst of the battle of our lives to win back the majority of our House, and to schedule this vote with this recommendation that came out of nowhere … is to me just wretched timing and political malpractice.”

No matter the outcome of the vote in Chicago next month, it’s clear the tension within the Democratic Party is not going away any time soon.

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