Showing posts with label public comment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public comment. Show all posts

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nevermind: Democratic Change Commission Meeting Postponed

I don't know how I missed this on Thursday (I suppose there are only so many times you can search "Democratic Change Commission" in Google News. At least the news broke after I wrote that all was quiet.), but in the wake of the Kennedy death and funeral, the DNC postponed the Change Commission's meeting "until further notice."

Here's the write-up from the Boston Globe's Political Intelligence blog:

Here comes word of the latest cancellation out of respect for the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

A Democratic Party panel that is taking another look at the presidential nominating process -- likely including the timing of the early contests in Iowa and New Hampshire -- was scheduled to meet Saturday in St. Louis.

That will be the day of Kennedy's funeral in Boston, expected to draw many Democratic leaders.

The Democratic National Committee said the meeting of the Democratic Change Commission has been postponed until further notice. The panel, created last year, is to address "1) changing the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held 2) reducing the number of superdelegates and 3) improving the caucus system."

The commission must issue its report and recommendations to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee no later than Jan. 1.
There's really nothing new in there other than the delay of the meeting (That January 1, 2010 deadline looms, too though, I suppose). And with the third meeting scheduled for October 24, the panel has a bit of time during September for another meeting. But I wouldn't be surprised if they rolled the second and third meetings into one in October. And I'm going to throw this out there too: It would be nice if they would hold this meeting in the home state of the other commission co-chair, Jim Clyburn (This second meeting was in co-chair Claire McCaskill's home in the Show-Me state.). And yes, I say that for completely selfish reasons. It is far easier to go from North Carolina to South Carolina than it is to go from the Tarheel state to DC or Missouri.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Reminder: Democratic Change Commission Meets Tomorrow in St. Louis

The Democratic Change Commission kicks off its second meeting tomorrow morning at 9:30am in St. Louis. A quick glance at C-SPAN's schedules for tomorrow shows that the network and all its various channels will be focused on the Kennedy funeral* instead (That's probably as it should be.), which means that interested parties will be without live (or even taped) coverage of the event. Considering that the event is billed as being open to public comment, that's too bad. But under the circumstances, it is understandable.

But never fear, FHQ will be scouring the web for updates and news and posting them here. Here are a few links I'll be keeping an eye on:

DCC Member Twitter feeds:
Claire McCaskill
Suzi LeVine (Oh, and here is her blog where she posted some great material following the first meeting.)
Rebecca Prozan
Joan Garry

DemRulz (Frank Leone had a great live blog from the first meeting in Washington. I don't know that he'll reprise his role tomorrow. Here, too, is his Twitter feed.)

DemConWatch (I'm sure Matt will be actively covering this as well and I'll likely be pulling double duty and cross-posting over there too.)

I'll add others when and if I come across them. And if there's any interest, I'll open up a thread for comment-in-real-time in the morning. Just let me know in the comments section if you're interested.

*Speaking of the Kennedy funeral, I wonder what effect that event will have on attendance at tomorrow's meeting. It seems like several members of the 37 member group examining the reform of the presidential nomination process would be inclined to attend. Chairs Claire McCaskill and Jim Clyburn would be particularly conflicted to some degree I'd imagine, having served on the Hill with Kennedy (Rep. Clyburn, from his position in the House, didn't serve directly with Kennedy, but Sen. McCaskill did.). I suppose they could appear "via satellite" from Boston/Washington if they had to.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All Quiet on the Democratic Change Commission Front

Understandably Ted Kennedy's passing has Democrats thinking about other things today, but even before that, there was and continues to be an almost total absence of the Democratic Change Commission in the news this week ahead of the group's weekend meeting in St. Louis. Normally, I wouldn't make that big a deal of this, especially considering that real news of the DCC's first meeting didn't start filtering out until the Wednesday before. Even then, that scant news was able to cut through a week that involved Mark Sanford's adultery admission new conference and Michael Jackson's death. [What a week!] To me, though, this is troubling because this is the meeting that is supposed to be open for public comment. Yet, we've heard nothing from the party since the August 7 press release announced the online suggestions form.

There are however a couple of suggestions that are floating around out there that may see the light of day this weekend in Missouri.

1) End the Texas Two Step: Caucuses are definitely on the Commission's to-do list, but this is a tricky one. The problem some see in the primary-caucus set up in the Lone Star state is that primary voters' votes are discounted because not all primary voters return for the night cap caucus. That's all well and good, but this is still an issue that pits the national party against the state party; specifically a longstanding state party preference. And yes, the Democrats are more willing to strike down these types of structural anomalies than to yield to the states as the Republican Party typically does.

There's also the issue of Obama's preference. The system in Texas did allow him to best Hillary Clinton in the Texas delegate count once the caucus portion was tabulated in June. This still seems like a Clinton/Obama holdover to me; one that will be left to Texas Democrats to decide. And yes, the Texas Democratic Party has already been looking into the issue. I should also note that each state has to submit a delegate selection plan to the Democratic Party for approval (or will in 2011). The party does have the power to strike that down if they wish. But Texas can pull a Florida/Michigan move and hold a primary-caucus anyway. Both Florida and Michigan submitted plans that called for their 2008 primaries to be during the party-sanctioned period; not outside the window where they were ultimately held.

2) Be more youth friendly: The DNC Youth Council also penned a letter to the DCC and asked that the group attempt to insure that contests don't occur too early. The argument there is that contests like Iowa's January 3 caucuses occurred at a time when students were still at home on winter break. That is a legitimate concern, but seems to be moot given that the DCC seems committed to pulling back the opening of the window in which contests can take place into March again.

The Youth Council's other issue is with Saturday caucuses. Again, the concern is that weekend working youth would be disadvantaged. Some in the Jewish community may be willing to go along with the Youth Council on this one. Of course, now I really want to go and check out both the youth and Jewish proportion of the population in Saturday caucus states. In 2008 that list included Nebraska, Nevada, Washington and Wyoming. [Louisiana and South Carolina held Saturday primaries and Maine Democrats had a Sunday caucus.] This one will be talked about, because the effects aren't understood very well. There are pros and cons to having and not having weekend contests.

These and other public comments will be interesting to track throughout the Democratic Change Commission's meeting on Saturday. [No word yet on whether the DNC Youth Council has a problem with the day of this particular meeting and how that bodes for their argument. Oh, but the irony.]

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