Thursday, May 11, 2017

Monitoring DNC Rules Making Process

Tiani Coleman, President of New Hampshire Independent Voters, represented Independents at the first Democratic National Committee (DNC) Unity Reform Commission (URC), May 5th, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

The URC was formed by a Resolution at the 2016 DNC Convention as a compromise between the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Campaigns, with the purpose of reviewing the Party's Nominating process, to try to ensure the process is accessible, transparent and inclusive.

Clinton appointed the Chair and Nine Members; Sanders appointed the Vice-Chair and Seven Members; and three additional Members were appointed by new DNC Chair Tom Perez.

A series of Meetings will be held throughout the year, with a Mandate to submit their recommendations to the Rules & Bylaws Committee of the DNC by January 1st, 2018.

This first meeting focused on the DNC's Legal Authority, the History, and the Party and Voter's interest in the Presidential Nominating process.

Coleman's Review of the Meeting:

On the positive side, it was good to see these process issues getting serious consideration, with Sanders' appointees who are calling for reform having a strong voice at the table. I was able to meet and talk to the various Commission members, including the Chair and Vice Chair. Everyone was respectful and seemed sincere in wanting to improve the process.

But each has a different perspective on what that looks like. Most Commission members had the primary goal of defeating Trump and re-building and re-empowering the Democratic Party. Thus, talk of independent voters was primarily for the purpose of bringing them into the Democratic Party, at least as loyal voters.

The general consensus at the meeting was that parties have broad discretion in the nominating process, and that they have the legal authority to close primaries, have superdelegates, have early registration deadlines, etc. That's not to say they're not serious about making some changes to open the process, but the history was laid out as though our country has already moved from a party-controlled process to a democratically controlled process. They might believe the process needs a few minor tweaks, but they don't seem to comprehend that the current process is still heavily party-controlled and still has a way to go before the voters can truly claim it as our own.

While the presenters at the meeting recognized that parties can't violate civil rights, they still fail to comprehend that the concerns of independent voters ARE civil rights concerns.

As this was just the first meeting of many, they just scratched the surface on how they will handle delegate selection rules and timelines, the superdelegate issue, the open/closed primary issue, caucus and primary irregularities, voter registration deadlines, and more.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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