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Null and Void: Democrats’ Roll Call in Retrospect

[Bumped] This fabulous post has been bumped for your sleepless pleasure.

Suspending Rules and Winning “By Acclamation”

I am proud to call on the Senator from New York to make the following presentation, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Madam Secretary, on behalf of the great state of New York, with appreciation for the spirit and dedication of all who are gathered here, with eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity, with a goal of victory, with faith in our party and our county, let’s declare together in one voice, right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate, and he will be our President. (yays and boos)

Madam Secretary, I move that the Convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the roll call vote. All votes cast by the delegates will be counted, and that I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this Convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. (yays and boos — Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, chanting)

“Wuh Roo?” said Scooby Doo, “What Did I See On TV?”

This was bothering me. Many of you have moved on to whatever’s next in your PUMA/Just Say No Deal/Democrat or anti-establishment lives. But I’m not that way. I can’t move forward until I understand and sort out what I have witnessed.

What exactly did we see on the “Democratic” Convention floor last Wednesday, August 27, 2008? Why was the roll call halted halfway through? Why did state after state in which Hillary won the primary election and a majority of delegates declare their votes for Obama? Who and what do all those delegates’ votes represent? As each “Great State of” our Union called out its numbers, I wondered, what was the actual delegate count? I felt compelled to compare the roll call vote with the delegate count that we were supposed to get. After all, why pull the lever if it doesn’t even matter? Wow, now that’s deja vu all over again, ain’t it?

What About My Vote?

I will recap three points that we’ve been saying for months. I’m restating, because many citizens do not realize what happened right before their eyes: The delegate count in this election was not a fair reflection of the Democratic Party electorate. 1) Hillary Clinton WON the popular vote. (Resources and numbers nearly impossible to reconcile, based on FL, MI, and caucus votes) 2) There exists growing documentation, compiled by Lynette Long and ordinary poll and election worker reporting, that caucus fraud was rampant. This occurred in the form of systematic, deliberate suppression, misinformation, pressure, and bullying, mishandling of voter and caucus rolls, and ignoring basic caucus rules. 3) Each delegate elected from a district or region in a primary state represents approximately 12,225 primary voters, but only 2,110 voters in a caucus state. Accordingly, a caucus delegate represents about 5.8 times fewer voters than one elected in a primary. So, when Obama “won” a caucus, each of those delegates stood for far fewer voters. This is especially important in the general election in the red and swing states. Pat Buchanan called Wednesday’s spectacle a phony roll call vote in his op-ed, “And If Obama Loses.”

Why Is This Year Different Than Any Other Year?

Laying that aside for now, let’s talk about how the Democratic Party screwed Hillary Clinton and everyone who was connected to her around that roll call vote. At least that was my impression leading up to and viewing it on TV. Even the scheduled time was in flux. In my recollection, in every other election year, it had been held at night for everyone to view. But this year, Hillary Clinton, the person who won the most primary votes in history, had to negotiate for her right to be on the ballot and have a roll call vote on the convention floor. Her supporters wrote thousands and thousands of letters, emails, and blogs. They raised money, ran political ads, and spoke out in the media to help the delegates stick with the one that brung ‘em. All this, because the DNC leadership and Obama’s campaign were so afraid of Hillary’s success after saying they could win the general election without all of us old and new dedicated party regulars. All year they tried to strong-arm us in to Unity and make her quit.

Our dedicated coalition members worked tirelessly to have a full roll call vote and a nominating speech for Hillary on the floor during prime time. We appealed to delegates and Superdelegates with petitions, and petitions on top of petitions. We didn’t know what would happen until the last minute, although we suspected. The same with Bill Clinton’s speech: off on, off on, but not during prime time, after they edited him.

And Then It Happened . . .

All of a sudden the roll call was on, but many of us were unable to get the live-streaming on our computers, so we ran several blocks away to a “Hillary-friendly” Denver bar. We saw states yield to other states on their votes, then the Convention floor was all abuzz, as our candidate was introduced as a simple Senator, with no mention of her historic win — just one of the guys delegation. She was on the floor with her fellow NY legislators. Then they made her eat sh*t, while they had her turn around and f*cked her up the a**, while reading a “stop the vote, we’re all onboard” speech. (Oh, I should have warned you: XXX, not my usual sedate lady self, is it? I feel a little strongly about this.) Everything was orchestrated, as CA, IL, and NM yielded so that Hillary, in a great show of U-N-I-T-Y, could cast all votes of her own NY State for Obama, throwing the delegate totals over the top. Oh, right, she likes it like that, because she’s a politician. But I’m not.

Yes, we’re all good soldiers and must move on to the next front. Many already have and are considering both individually and as a group what to do leading to November and beyond. However, many people aren’t clear about what happened, and are incensed that the vote was stopped mid-stream. Below, I’ve compiled the number of delegates won by state and candidate, how the numbers changed during the roll call vote, total number of delegates, and total number of votes cast. This list is variable, depending on the source and date and because it contains Superdelegates. On the morning of the roll call vote, 10 delegates flipped back to Hillary, and the petition effort was contacted by several Superdelegates who wanted to switch to her as well, some under the lights of the press.

Fair Reflection? Arkansas, Florida, and Michigan

Just a few words about fair reflection: Arkansas flipped. The Chairman of their delegation and DNC party head, Bill Gwatney, had been murdered two weeks prior. Heard anything in the news about it? Word is that his entire delegation had signed the 300 petition to ensure that Hillary’s name be placed on the ballot. In a twist of irony, his wife delivered their state’s votes to the Convention: Unanimous for Obama, after Hillary had won their state of origin by the largest margin of the primary: 70%. Arkansas.

Florida and Michigan votes were denied and blocked by Obama, until the May 31, 2008 DNC RBC meeting when he became a charity case. The committee donated four of Senator Clinton’s Michigan delegates and all the uncommitted vote delegates, which had included votes for other candidates. Obama had removed his name from that state’s ballot, fearing a loss would taint his chances in Iowa. However, Clinton kept hers on, stating that although the votes wouldn’t count, the voters should have a say. She was smart and right.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee refused to tackle their problem of fully seating delegates representing 2.3 million voters in both states. Instead they made each delegate into half-votes, and referred an incensed Harold Ickes, attorney for Senator Clinton, to the more appropriate Credentials Committee to contest their ruling in Denver on August 24, 2008. On August 5, Obama wrote a letter to that committee, requesting that those delegations be seated and counted in full. On August 20, when they no longer had any effect on Hillary’s campaign, as they would have had they been counted when she won them, those delegations were seated in-full. I learned on August 24 that the Credentials Committee and the Rules and Bylaws Committee were comprised of the exact same people. So I guess they really meant: talk to the hand.

How Am I Driving? Pass and Yield

Lastly, how about that orchestrated roll call, pass/yield deal? It began like any other roll call. Hillary would have her due. It had been rumored for over a week that she might release her delegates before a roll call vote on the floor. This prompted a new 20% or 826 delegate petition requiring a vote. Then came word of a secret hotel vote, then a Wednesday meeting with Clinton and all her delegates in which she released them and advised they vote their conscience. She’d cast hers for Obama.

Back to the roll call: First, California passes on casting their 441 votes, of which Hillary won over half. As Barbara Boxer yields to Hillary supporter Art Torres to make the announcement, she gleefully turns to her delegation and giggles. It’s as if Boxer was saying, “Ooo, what a coup! Aren’t we clever!” Come their turn, Illinois passes. New Mexico yields back to Illinois, who yields to New York. Then a hustle bustle on the floor, so Clinton could deliver the perfect Unity blow, right into her own back. Gee, it just doesn’t get better than this, does it?

Is It Safe To Vote?

Exactly, why do we vote if “delegates” can just switch their votes, and on the first ballot no less? Why should Superdelegates be able to have a more influential vote than any ordinary citizen, enough to sway their state and an election, as perpetrated by a biased and corrupt political party? I am committed to reforming the system to one person one vote. If we don’t have that, what do we have as citizens? It’s our most basic democratic right.

The chart below shows by state the combined delegate/Superdelegate count awarded to each candidate, the first ballot floor vote, total number of delegates per state, and total votes each cast during the convention. I completed the chart for the rest of the states. By directing Superdelegates to declare their endorsements before the convention in a DNCC and DSCC letter, in press conferences and public appearances, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid nullified their original intent. The numbers, which include SDs seem less close than they actually were.

Democratic Delegate Count vs. Roll Call Count

Democratic Convention, August 27, 2008

STATE      HRC DELS  BO DELS  HRC ROLL  BO ROLL  TTL DELS  TTL CAST
AL           28        29        5        48        60        53
AK            4        14        3        15        18        18
AM SAMOA      6         3        0         9         9         9
AZ           35        31       27        40        67        67
AR           38         8        0        47        47        47
CA          232       200       PASSES             441         0
CO           23        45       15        55        70        70
CT           36        24       21        38        60        59
DEL           8        14        0        23        23        23
DEMS ABRD     4         7        2.5       8.5      11        11
DC           13        25        7        33        40        40
FL          104        78       51       136       211       188
GA           29        70       18        82       102       100
GUAM          4         5        3         4         9         7
HI            8        21        1        26        27        27
ID            3        19        3        20        23        23
IL            0         0       PASSES               0         0
IN           42        41        6        75        85        81
IA           17        35        9        48        57        57
KS           10        30        6        34        41        40
KY           40        16       24        36        60        60
LA           26        39        7        43        67        50
ME           10        21        8        24        32        32
MD           39        55        6        94       100       100
MA           66        51       52        65       121       117
MI           76        72       27       125       157       152
MN           27        58        8        78        88        86
MS           13        25        8        33        41        41
MO           41        46        6        82        88        88
MT            7        17        7        18        25        25
NE            8        22        3        28        31        31
NV           13        20        8        25        34        33
NH           12        15        0        30        30        30
NJ           71        55        0       127       127       127
NM           20        17       YIELDS TO IL        38         0
IL           49       133       YIELDS TO NY       185         0
NY          159       121        0       282       282       282
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           1321      1482      341.5    1831.5    2907      2174

NC           51        78
ND            5        15
OH           82        74
OK           25        21
OR           23        41
PA          101        80
PR           42        19
RI           21        10
SC           14        39
SD            9        12
TN           46        35
TX CAUC      29        38
TX           79        75
UT           11        17
VT            7        14
VI            3         6
VA           33        63
WA CAUC      31        61
WV           23        12
WI           34        53
WY            6        12
--------------------------------
            675       775
          +1321     +1482
--------------------------------
           1996      2257

Source, delegate count: CNN Primary Results Scorecard
Source, roll call vote: CSPAN live tape up top

Total number of delegates: 4234
Number delegates for nomination, including FL, MI: 2211
Chart numbers include Superdelegates: Obama 438, Clinton 236

Et tu, Brute?

So why did so many states flip? Sources say that on the morning of the floor vote, everything was complete. Many opinions say it was finished on or before the May 31, 2008 DNC RBC meeting. But not believing our eyes and ears, in service of democracy, we kept on to preserve our and the rights of our candidate. We’ve since learned that as late as August 27, during the convention, swing-state delegations were being threatened with loss of Party funding for their states and candidate campaigns if they didn’t vote for Obama. Evidently, Obama needed Hillary more than she needed him. Otherwise, they would not have had a sham roll call or a Mile High speech to prop him up.

Oh, and as far as going Repug, it ain’t me, babe, although I will never cast a vote for Obama. In my life, the means are absolutely as important as the end, and I cannot support a candidate who derives power “by any means necessary.” If I have to cast a protest vote, I will. However, remember who brung Brazile? Her info emails with Karl Rove beginning in 2003 helped him help her promote the most unelectable Democratic candidate. So, let’s not forget who’s still trying to pull the strings and who’s still laughing all the way to the bank. Criminal, ain’t it? Too bad, Dems still ain’t got a clue.

In conclusion, Hillary and Bill Clinton were in an impossible, lose-lose situation. Some supporters got disgusted and thought they caved. I don’t think so. In order to come out of this, being seen as having done everything possible to nominate and elect Barack Obama — a far more generous and political act than exists in his little finger — The Clintons did everything possible, Bill while holding his nose, and came out smelling sweet as a rose. Party people all the way, and on to the next challenge. Yes, I’m getting there.

["Evita," music Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics Tim Rice]

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

addendum: Sorry, I had a columns formatting problemo, and while editing the post it went offline. Here ’tis again, hopefully all will stick. LBNYC

Pumas Are Slammin’ In Denver: Don’t Give Up!

Hello All!

[This post is from our Sunday activities, and, gosh, it's Monday already --- in the wee small hours of the morning. I didn't have a chance to post it before the party, so thought I would now. Think Sunday when you read it, and stay tuned for more updates from your dedicated Puma blogger crew.]

Pumas are slammin’ in Denver. I’m telling you, our presence is AMAZING! Puma Headquarters are a beehive of activity. At least 300 Pumas, including several delegates, have been here today. They’re making signs, attending events in protest. Riverdaughter, BettyJean, danceswithpumas, joanofart, and Pagan — are all live-blogging, so stay tuned.

The press dropped by. We were interviewed by CBS, ABC, the French press, Japanese press, and The National (an emerging newspaper from the Arab Emirates that acknowledges the existence of Israel, although their host country does not.)

I’ve met so many Pumas in the flesh whose names I’ve seen online all year. What a great group of dedicated and passionate Americans we are. People who have sacrificed money, opportunity, and many, many things to make sure that the ideals our of country are upheld. What a fantastic opportunity to solidify and build our relationships for now into the future.

There’s been so much activity that it’s taken me all day to write this update!

Tonight is the movie premiere of the “Audacity of Democracy,” by filmmakers Brad and Laurie Mays, which will be attended by Puma and Just Say No Deal members and covered by the press. This documentary shines a light on the caucus fraud perpetrated by the Obama campaign that has plagued this primary election process.

Tomorrow, Monday, is the Beautiful Protest/The Rise event in Cheesman Park 2-6 pm march, and 6-10 pm speakers, featuring Darragh Murphy, riverdaughter. I’ll even be taking a turn at the mic to say a bit about how and why I was motivated to hang in there for Hillary, why I’ve been compelled to keep going.

Sheri Tag will be broadcasting this week, Monday – Thursday at 7:00 pm MT, so be sure to listen and call in. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/no-we-wont. Call in number: 347-539-5420.

I’ll be posting some pics during the week and will be reporting on each day’s activities and goings on, so be sure to return for the latest.

Pumas, Just Say No Deal coalition members, know this: Our voice, our Democracy — live on through all of you. We have just begun to fight for our cause and our country. Know that you all are strong, our movement is strong.

“Don’t give up, cuz you have friends..

Don’t give up, you’re not beaten yet.

Don’t give up, I know you can make it good.

I know there’s a place where we belong.”

Don’t give up, you still have us.

Don’t give up, we don’t need much of anything.

’cause somewhere there’s a place we belong. . . .

When times get rough,

You can fall back on us.

Don’t give up, please don’t give up.

Don’t give up, ’cause you have friends.

Don’t give up, you’re not the only one.

Don’t give up, no reason to be ashamed.

Don’t give up, you still have us.

Dont give up, we’re proud of who you are.

Don’t give up, you know it’s never been easy.

Don’t give up, ’cause I believe there’s a place,

A place where we belong.”

“Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush

Normalizing Hillary: Connect the Vote Dots

Besides PUMAs, Just Say No Deal Coalition members, and those who have been paying close attention to the 2008 primary process, everyone in the US and some people abroad think that: Obama won the Democratic Primary; therefore, he secured the nomination; and he is being gracious by allowing Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination at the Democratic Convention.

In fact, the Obama and Clinton campaigns issued a joint statement on August 14, 2008 about it, and we have achieved a small victory. Or as Heidi Li Feldman puts it, we’re where we were in the first place. (Oh, forgive me: as Barbra WaWa might say: Were where we whah in the furst pwace.) The MSM is all over the story, asking if we disgruntled old ladies, gays, and republicrats are satisfied now? They claim that we’re just sore losers, and that we want Clinton’s name on the ballot because of her historic win as a woman. They’re touting it as symbolic. It’s not symbolic; it’s normal!

In fact, we are sore winners! Neither candidate won the requisite number of pledged delegates. Instead (rolling eyes, PUMAs repeating themselves, ad infinitum), Nancy Nine Percent Pelosi and Harry Reticent Reed pressured the Democratic Superdelegates to endorse a candidate prior to Denver. This act in turn defies their true purpose: to nominate the candidate who can win POTUS in November. In 2008, there are 855 Superdelegates with FL and MI according to Connect-the-Dots. CNN says it’s 825. Over 200 are uncommitted. Any SD can change their vote through the first ballot in Denver, no matter who they or their state or district endorsed.

Didn’t Hillary run on the assertion that she was the only Democratic candidate who could win the Electoral College in November? The virtual Nobama/McCain dead heat in the polls proves that she wasn’t lyin’, despite Obamamoneys-raised, European jaunts, and a vacay away from the barely investigative, mostly fawning MSM spotlight.

The Obama/DNC presumption is that it’s all a done deal. To dispel any doubts, Invesco Field/Mile High Stadium was booked as the site for what our movement, (and back in the day, Jesse Jackson) calls a coronation. Let’s be clear:

From CNN’s count, we see that neither candidate had the requisite 2,118 pledged delegates as of June 3 to clinch the nomination. Obama had 1763, Clinton had 1640, a 123 delegate lead for BO. It is difficult to find an accurate vote count that shows Hillary Clinton won the most popular votes of any primary candidate in history. Why? Real Clear Politics has Clinton at 18,046,007, Obama at 17,869,542, including MI and FL, with estimates for IA, NV, ME, and WA. There, Clinton nets +176,465 votes.

1. Why does popular vote matter when everyone keeps hammering on the delegate totals? Delegate counts are inconsistent, uneven reflections of the will of the voters, because they include caucuses. Caucuses represent far fewer voters than primaries, yet delegates selected in that process carry more weight.

Worse yet is the impact on the delegate count. While [as of 5/31/08] 2549 delegates earned in the primaries represent an average of 12,225 voters, in the caucuses each of the 515 delegates elected represents a mere 2,110 votes. Each caucus vote, then, is weighted 5.8 times greater than each primary vote when it comes to allocating delegates.

2. Why don’t PUMAs admit that Obama won more caucuses, which is why he won and Hillary lost, and stop changing the rules? In 2008, there are substantiated reports of caucus fraud. Please read Dr. Lynette Long’s research who concludes: “the Obama campaign willfully and intentionally defrauded the American public by systematically undermining the caucus process.”

3. If Obama now has enough delegates when SDs are included, why isn’t he simply the nominee? Superdelegates are party officials — both elected and un-elected. They can vote for whomever they wish at their Convention, regardless of their states’ vote, to make sure the most-electable Democrat becomes the nominee.

4. Why am I still writing about this, when Obama and Clinton agreed on 8/14/08 that Hillary’s name will be placed on the Convention ballot and up for a roll call vote? Because, it should have been automatic, as in every election since 1884. None of the other candidates came anywhere near Clinton, yet it’s a “negotiation”? Look at all these guys who were nominated, without even coming close to their opponents in delegate count. Courtesy of EdgeOfForever:

1972: Ted Kennedy – 12 votes on first ballot
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1976: Ted Kennedy – 1 vote on first ballot
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1980: Jimmy Carter – 1981 delegates
Ted Kennedy – 1225 delegates
Uncommitted – 122
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1984: Jesse Jackson – 465 votes
Jackson had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1988: Jesse Jackson – 1218 votes
Jackson had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

2004: John Kerry: 2192.5 Pledged delegates
Howard Dean: 114.5 Pledged delegates
Dean had already dropped out, with no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

2008: Barack Obama: 1766.5 Pledged delegates
Hillary Clinton: 1639.5 Pledged delegates

5. Who are the delegates, and why shouldn’t they just go along with the DNC’s choice, Barack Obama? Delegates are elected by their grassroots supporters to go to the Democratic convention as representatives of the total votes cast in their state’s districts. Although they each may represent thousands of HRC voters, they can just change their votes as if we, the US voters, are not even in the picture! According to CNN,

Pledged delegates are not actually bound to vote for the candidate. Consequently, candidates are allowed on a state-by-state basis to review lists of delegates who have pledged their support and can delete anyone whose support they consider unreliable.

Surprise you? This could account for the DNC’s treatment of Clinton delegate, Sacha Millstone, or even what happened in Florida right after June 3, when Obama’s campaign began replacing his elected delegates with their own. I’m still not getting how someone who represents your, or my, or anyone’s vote could be intimidated into changing it and have that be part of the deal. Our deal. You know, the one we get as citizens. The deal, the one true thing we’ve got in this country that our guys and all those Iraqis are supposedly dying for and about. That democracy one person one vote representative thing.

6. How can the DNC represent the will of the people, if the delegates are pressured to support Obama as if he is the nominee, and they are afraid to publicly declare otherwise? How can there be “unity” if Hillary Clinton is allowed to be booed unchecked at even one of his events? DNC chairs and party officials, and delegates are being intimidated and threatened to not cast THEIR votes for Hillary Clinton. These are not THEIR votes. These votes are OURS. The delegates are merely our proxies. If not us, who DO they represent? How is this representative government?

Whether you agree or disagree, please learn about the process. Watch this three-part series, Democrats ’08: CONNECT-THE-DOTS, with Host Leslie Stevens. The program is sponsored by The Educational Foundation for the Integrity of the Democratic Process, Asheville, North Carolina. Bloggers, please post it! Readers, email it to friends and family.

[Connect-the-Dots Part 1]

[Connect-the-Dots Part 2]

[Connect-the-Dots Part 3]

Have you connected the dots? That’s why we’re not satisfied. It’s about the process being fair and reflecting the will of the voters. And, you can help!!! Call or email your delegates or any that you know TODAY. Ask them to sign the 300 delegate petition to ensure that Hillary’s name is placed in nomination. This petition was created by and for delegates. Email: hrc300delegates@yahoo.com.

Still, we’re not ready to make nice. . . .

[160 Years and Still Waiting --- Rise Hillary Rise by DemocracyDame]

h/t to DemocracyDame for “Connect-the-Dots” lead and her video above.

(cross-posted at Lady Boomer NYC)

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