Welcome to Oregon: An Open Letter to Our Presidential Campaigns

By Meredith Wood Smith of Portland, Oregon. Meredith is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon.

Senators Clinton and Obama, thank you for visiting Oregon and sending your campaigns to our DPO Platform Convention in Eugene.

We are thrilled to greet Chelsea on Saturday at the convention and excited to find out who will visit from the Obama campaign.

Oregonians have waited 40 years to have a voice in the primary, and thanks to your historic candidacies, we finally have our chance.

In Eugene you will meet progressive Democrats from Pendleton to Portland. They will gather to shape our party’s platform, hear your visions for leading America and train on the latest techniques for Getting Out The Vote and working with the media. And they will hear from other candidates up and down the ballot.

But most of all, I know our Democrats are coming to hear your visions for America and support your cause in Oregon.

Presidential history will pivot on our primary and we Oregonians are taking our newfound responsibility very seriously.

We are clicking into your websites, watching the news and reading up on your campaigns.

I know our Oregon Democrats will mail in their ballots in record numbers to support your candidacies.

And no matter who wins the nomination, we will unite behind our nominee to make sure John McCain’s promise of a third Bush term goes unfulfilled.

America needs your vision, not 100 more years in Iraq.

America needs your values, not another Republican who cares more about Wall Street than Main Street.

America needs you, and I’m looking forward to hosting your campaigns in Eugene this weekend.

I wish you both the best of luck in the coming weeks and I will see you at the convention.

Sincerely,

Meredith Wood Smith
Chair
Democratic Party of Oregon

P.S. - Spots for the Platform Convention are limited. Register today!

Comments

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Democrats will unite if the SDs like Meredith honor the primary results across the country and in Oregon.

    I am hoping that both candidates will address the McCain actions in depriving thousands of NW workers of their jobs by sending the contract for a new generation of military air tankers away from Boeing and into a European, government subsidized and owned company, Airbus. All paid for by American taxpayers.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Bill R I will assure you that the DPO officials were elected to their offices by virtue of their good judgement.

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    As one of the many folks organizing locally for Obama before campaign staff set up shop, I very much appreciate the DPO's role in getting new volunteers plugged into local Obama groups and referring media calls to us as they came in. The DPO folks were great. And they did the same for the Clinton campaign. Totally helpful, totally even-handed. They are really kind of a model of how a state party should operate in a hotly contested primary.

    Here's to bringing new people into the process and building a grassroots network that last long after November! Good luck this weekend.

  • Tom Cox (unverified)
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    Meredith - thanks for a balanced and gracious post. It was good seeing you the other day at Gavin's birthday party. (I was the guy wearing the name tag that read "Tom Cox, Republican".) I'll admit I'm deeply tempted to re-register as a Democrat specifically to vote for Obama in our primary. Hopefully someone here on BO will remind me to re-register back to Republican afterwards. -Tom

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    Or maybe, Tom, you could just go back to being a Libertarian.

    Will we see you at Candidates Gone Wild this year?

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Today on NPR Hillary Clinton took the position that primary elected pledged delegates are under no obligation to support the candidate chosen by voters. What position does the DPO have on this? Do primaries matter? Do votes matter? Are pledged delegates honor bound to support their candidate and the will of the voter, or not? If they are, please notify the Clinton campaign, as they seem not know this.

  • iwmpb (unverified)
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    It said to think that you have so little faith in your candidates in the general that you feel you have to fall back on the laughable premise that McCain would be a third term of Bush.

    Honestly, with all the $$ spent and the incredible energy created in this primary, no one can come up with something more creative?

  • LT (unverified)
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    Nice open letter, Meredith, except............

    My friends who worked on the Frank Church campaign 32 years ago (he won that primary, and I think it was his campaign manager who later became an elected official) and those of us who worked on the Hart campaign (an unexpected 59% upset for Gary Hart) really did think we had "a voice in the primary", even if it wasn't as exciting a primary as when Eugene McCarthy defeated Bobby Kennedy in 1968. So please, everyone who uses the 40 years ago statement, please quit saying "Oregonians have waited 40 years to have a voice in the primary,"

    Among the rather unknown Hart delegates that year were our current members of Congress Earl Blumenauer and David Wu. Had we not had such an upset in that primary, folks like me would never have had the chance to go to that wonderful SF convention. We were definitely the underdog campaign, but when our candidate arrived in Oregon and chose Salem as one of his stops (Marion County Courthouse steps) that was a thrilling experience.

    All those first time pct. people who ran in 1984 as part of the Hart campaign then showed up at reorganization meetings. As a result, there were Hart people who ran for, were in some cases elected to, were appointed everything from state party offices to county chairs to cong. district chairs to members of state and district central comm. and standing committees. The chair of Rules in the 1984-88 period when we were re-writing delegate selection rules had been a Hart delegate. So was the Platform Comm. member in 1984 and 1988.

    So welcome to Oregon, candidates. It is a thrill to have a contested presidential primary. The folks who worked on the 1976 campaign, and those of us who worked on the 1984 campaign learned that it can be the experience of a lifetime.

  • iwmpb (unverified)
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    <before the="" grammar="" police="" get="" me,="" yes,="" i="" see="" the="" typo!="">
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    Are pledged delegates honor bound to support their candidate and the will of the voter, or not?

    Technically, the Clinton people are right. But it's a distinction without a difference. If the Obama campaign is picking the Obama delegates, then the Obama delegates are going to be the most loyal Obama supporters around.

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    Will we see you at Candidates Gone Wild this year?

    Sometimes a gubernatorial debate entrance transcends partisanship.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Bill R, I heard that interview on NPR--thanks for reminding me that I intended to look up and see if she was a 1984 delegate. Bill Clinton was delegation chair as Gov. Hillary isn't listed (perhaps Chelsea was a toddler or preschooler back then).

    In 1984, the Virgin Islands delegation was right behind Oregon. They'd chosen delegates in January when the only choice was Mondale. One delegate was so impressed by Jesse Jackson that she wanted to change her vote. She was subjected to intense arm twisting (reportedly including a threat that they could take away her credential and prevent her from returning to the convention floor) which made some of us wonder how solid Mondale's "having the nomination locked up" really was.

    Votes for presidential nomination are very public. (Oregon, the land of clean air, clean water, and clean politics casts....). Delegates have to go back home and live near the folks in their delegation--maybe not a big deal in big states like NY and Calif, but a very big deal in smaller states where everyone in politics knows everyone else.

    So while delegates may not be legally bound, the peer pressure is something else--would they want to be known for what might be decades as the delegate who switched a vote?

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    It's hard to figure what inducements the Clinton campaign might offer to "poach" pledged delegates, but apparently it's started. Some reports of Hillary are already out about attempts to "assimilate" some Obama pledged delegates in ND. And taking Clinton's statement on NPR it must be the policy now of the Clinton campaign to attempt this across the Dem. party, presumably with Oregon delegates as well. No doubt this policy will enhance Dem. unity.

    So I still want to know if the DPO has a position about such practices. I think that Oregon voters in the Dem. primary have a right to know if their vote means anything. And I would appreciate an answer from a DPO official.

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    Bill R:

    That is a good thing to take into consideration when voting on delegates to the national convention. And I encourage anyone who wants to vote in that process to do so. You have until just after the primary to file to do so.

    I know that if I am a delegate, there's nothing the Clinton campaign can do to change my mind - am pledging myself as an Obama person and I plan on sticking with that.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Jennie Simonis: "That is a good thing to take into consideration when voting on delegates to the national convention. And I encourage anyone who wants to vote in that process to do so. You have until just after the primary to file to do so."

    <hr/>

    Please explain further. How does voting on delegates differ from voting in the primary for a candidate?

  • DVNL (unverified)
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    Meredith, as a Democrat, it is posts like this that strike me why you need to resign as Chair of the DPO. If this is what you feel is a fair representation of your views, you are shallow, unthoughtful, and frankly a poor leader.

    America needs your values, not another Republican who cares more about Wall Street than Main Street.

    Shame on you for not speaking up to our two candidates for their failures of values.

    The Clintons and the DLC, with the help of the DCCC and DSCC, are responsible for one of the most shameful chapters in our Party's history. Their total whoring out to Wall Street, in the context of a whole era of self-indulgence, has destroyed what we stood for as a Party and driven away key segments of our electoral coalition. You are equally culpable in that continuing sellout when you don't call both of our nominees down for their votes and record in continuing that shameful behavior. That starts with Clinton's plan to force working people to buy private health insurance from one of the wealthiest and most powerful sectors of Wall Street evens as she deceitfully presents herself as advocating universal health care. Private health insurance is not health care, just ask anybody who has had to fight with their insurance company to get health care. Indeed it is the insurance industry that comprises a large portion of the investment community on Wall Street.

    Clinton's impoverished value system has also allowed her to play on racial anonymous in her own campaign. As others have pointed out on this very blog, she has engaged in our Party's own malignant version of Nixon's southern strategy. Your really immature sentiments in this letter indicate you lack the integrity to stand and tell her campaign and supporters that those views have no place in our Party, and that they have no place in our Party if they don't condemn and abandon her campaign for doing that.

    Obama may represent one type of needed change --- succession of the next generation to power --- but the fact is that his record to date has hardly been that of a progressive Democrat concerned with working people. He may have taken subtle nuanced positions, but in these times political leadership sometimes demands less mealy-mouthed subtlety and more public advocacy for core values. Until he started hunting for votes to be the nominee, he was not exactly making himself a face in the news fighting to defend what used to make us Democrats.

    All three candidates are members of one of the most elite clubs in America. We read story after story about how McGain is not a movement Republican and almost left his party. When they are pandering for votes, Clinton and Obama are cast votes and talk like Senators who would have been moderate Republicans less than 20 years ago and not Democrats. Anybody who thinks these people are driven by anything else before a lust for power, and would behave too much differently in office than each other (Obama being the only one we can hope for something slightly better), including the judges they will appoint, is ignorant. The only check on their power will be a Democratic Congress with an infusion of non-DCCC/non-DSCC insurgent candidates.

    And by the way, despite the pandering by Clinton and Obama, it remains to be proven that they will bring the troops home any sooner than McCain because of the power interests they all serve. This despite the demands by Democrats like myself that they bring them home immediately since that is the only path to de-escalating conflict in the mideast, not our ego-centric belief we can impose anything by force except more conflict.

    Your failure to speak out about how we need to hold these two candidates accountable as Democrats if they want our votes, rather than pretend they are good candidates we will support just because we are Democrats, is why you are a miserable failure as the leader of our Party. Furthermore, if you did it because the membership you are speaking too demands it, than you are even more of a failure as a leader for not telling them they are miserable excuses for Democrats.

    If you, your husband, and your glad-handing son think people like me are not needed in the DPO, just speak up. Maybe it's time for all of us to hear the wake-up call that people who actually care that Democrats stand smartly and effectively for working people as Democrats used to do, no longer have anything in common with those with those who are now the DPO.

  • Katy (unverified)
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    DVNL, whatever you may think of Meredith and her leadership of the DPO, I would really like to ask that commenters here on BO stop with the personal attacks. Of course I could go into a defense of Joe & Meredith but I have a feeling it wouldn't matter much to you. It's hard to understand where you're coming from when you post anonymously, you say "people like me" but nobody knows who you are. Personal attacks just don't seem to serve anyone, that's one thing I would hope we could all agree on?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I am hoping that both candidates will address the McCain actions in depriving thousands of NW workers of their jobs by sending the contract for a new generation of military air tankers away from Boeing and into a European, government subsidized and owned company, Airbus. All paid for by American taxpayers.

    There is an interesting article at voltaire.org on this contract (French and Spanish versions only) that suggests awarding this contract to EADS, parent of Airbus, is part of program to go beyond Boeing to boost an "Atlantic Bridge" concept which may prove to be a Euro-American military-industrial complex. According to the article Northrop-Graumann is involved with this European consortium. All very complex.

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    DVNL's assumptions about the leadership of the DPO are just that, unproven opinion laden assumptions. DVNL asks readers to believe his/her opinion is factual or truthful. Frankly, using DVNL's own words, the post is "shallow and unthoughtful."

    The DPO leadership remains nuetral on all Democratic candidates. The role and function of the DPO is to encourage voter turn out for Democratic candidates. A visit to the DPO website reflects the even handedness of the DPO.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Except for the slightly personal notes in DVNL's comments, I agree mostly with what he has to say about the Democratic Party, the DLC, and the party's current presidential candidates; although, I will be voting for Steve Novick and Barack Obama in the primary and, hopefully, in the general election. DVNL's comments also help to explain why so many of us have switched to NAV status or another party.

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    "DVNL, whatever you may think of Meredith and her leadership of the DPO, I would really like to ask that commenters here on BO stop with the personal attacks."

    Although I don't at all agree with the characterizations, I think it's fair to find fault with such glowing and specific support about the credentials of the two candidates--and it would be a shame to stifle that.

    Again, I really like Meredith, Joe AND their glad handing son(!), so I'm sorry to see the axe ground in this particular way--but the somewhat weak progressive credentials of Obama and Clinton are very much worth talking about.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    I don't like the tone or content of DVNL's post and don't think it is deserving of great attention. However, I do think the jury is out on the Democratic Party of Oregon and the Dem. party througout the US, whether it is really a vehicle of progressive values or not. We have a former Dem. president, the titular head of the U.S. Dem. party, on the payroll of the Columbian Govt. advocating for a trade agreement that is horrific to American worker interests, while his wife, who pockets the money with him, makes claim to be against it, yet keeping on her payroll, Mark Penn, another agent of that govt. The govt. and president of Columbia have made common cause with right wing death squads and the murder of over 20,000 union leaders and organizers in the past decade. Pres. Uribe, Bill Clinton's business partner, is one of the worst human rights abusers on the planet.

    The policies of the DLC from NAFTA, to the Salvage Logging Act, to the support of the Iraq war, have been a tragedy for the U.S. and the progressive movement in this country. So I think that the Dem. Party in Oregon and elsewhere should be on notice that it cannot lay claim to the support of progressive voters and activists without conducting itself in a way that earns that support. That should begin with a clear break with the trade, anti-union policies of the past 16 years, and the resort to military invasions as a first choice in foreign policy. The failure to earn progressive support may result in the failure of the Dem. party to any claim to national leadership and a new alignment around a real progressive party.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    We have a former Dem. president, the titular head of the U.S. Dem. party, on the payroll of the Columbian (sic) Govt.

    The typo "Columbia(n)" is easy for Oregonians to make. If we are talking about "Colombia," the country, there is something to be said for checking that the spelling is right.

  • sandra Longley (unverified)
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    DVNL: You need to go back to bed and get some more sleep, the world will look brighter when you wake up-or not...and Bill R: You are extremely nervous about the delegates,Hmmmmm, I think both candidates are wooing the super delegates to be able to gain the nomination in Denver. This is the process when both candidates are extremely popular, If your candidate was running away with this, we wouldn't be in this situation, would we? I suggest Mr. Obama take his name off the ballot in Oregon as he did in Michigan, and then when the voting is over with--He could ask for 50% of Hillarys votes, as is his suggestion for Michigan and Florida,LOL,and who is trying to steal the election from the voter? And by the way Bill, since we have not voted in Oregon-how is it you would cast a vote for Obama if you were a Delegate from Oregon? Don't think we want you as a delegate...

  • sandra longley (unverified)
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    I'm sorry Bill that was Jenni who wants to be a delegate and vote for Obama, not that you wouldn't too..but i have no proof....

  • Sharon DePasquale (unverified)
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    Hillary is right. The Super Delegates, & all delegates, are NOT under obligation to vote in any particular way. For Super delegates the general "suggestion" is to vote according to HOW the majority of people in their state voted BUT this is often not the case, as in Sen Kennedy, who endorsed Obama even though Hillary WOMPED Obama in Massechusetts.AND they all can switch their support anytime they want. None of it really matters UNTIL the National election. Kind of like all of us. Except it can help pick our candidate & if they go against the people, as Kennedy did, then it becomes a heated political scene. Also DVNL, Hillary's Health Care plan is Universal & it DOES cover every single one of us. It is not socialized medicine. The congressional HC plans will be open to all of us. If you like the one you already have you can keep it. We will be able to go to any Doctor we want. Sen. Clinton puts a mandate on the Insurance co's that will take their power away from them, they will no longer be in charge, which you seem to have totally misrepresented. Our premiuns will be on a sliding scale according to our incomes. We will NEVER be gauged again! And there will be no discriminating against Pre-exsisting conditions. She will put a cap on the premiuns so that even the very wealthy are not over charged. This mandate,which puts them under government perusal,is very needed. Insurance co's have been telling our doctors what to do & what test they can & can not run on us for decades, it is time to mandate. For the first time EVER The ANA, American Nurses Association endorsed a politition Hillary. Now Sen. Obamas HC plan does not cover ONE adult! It only covers SOME children, not all, plus he does NOT put a mandate on the insurance Co's so they are STILL in charge & can still rob us blind! However, Obama does put a mandate on the PARENTS so if they do not buy insurance for their kids (even if they cannot afford the Insurance co's premiums) they are FINED.How he will ever carry that out we do not know but that IS what his plan states. Also Sen. Obama has been "claiming" for over a year now that his HC plan IS Universal BUT he has finally been confronted by pundits, one of them Tim Russert, and has had to finally admit that his HC plan is NOT universal. Sen. Kerry , after endorsing Obama told the truth about this. I guess he has ethics. Obama only tells the truth after he is cornered. If you missed that FACT then you have not been paying attention. Pres. Clinton is not in Cahoots with any Columbian's as you inferred.GEEEEZ you sound like a Republican spewing propaganda.
    I agree you need to stop & post facts only. Thats what we do here. Sharon, retired RN

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Sandra Longley: "Bill R: You are extremely nervous about the delegates,Hmmmmm, I think both candidates are wooing the super delegates to be able to gain the nomination in Denver....And by the way Bill, since we have not voted in Oregon-how is it you would cast a vote for Obama if you were a Delegate from Oregon? Don't think we want you as a delegate..."

    <hr/>

    Your sarcasm and diagnostics are ineffective. And your mischaracterization of my comments is equally off course. I was not referring to "wooing super delegates" if you read my post. I was referring to Hillary Clinton's assertion on NPR that she has not intention of respecting the commitments or obligations of pledged delegates and that pledged delegates are not obligated to vote as they have been elected to vote. And the Clinton campaign's apparent attempts to "poach" pledged delegates seem to indicate this is their strategy.

    With regard to becoming a delegate I have no interest. I do have an interest in my vote having integrity. But apparently in the Democratic primary that isn't necessarily the case. If pledged delegates are to be "poached" by the other side, then Dem. primary voters have no assurance that the party or a vote stands for anything, nor that campaigns like the Clinton's stand for anything, except to do or say anything to gain power. It's great for party unity in the fall.

    I asked the question for a response from the DPO, if they have a position about the obligations of elected delegates to actually support the candidate they purport to support. Since there is no answer, I guess we have our answer. Either that, or this note from the DPO chair was just a drive-by for PR purposes.

    To Bill Bodden: Sorry for the spelling error on Colombia. You're right of course.

  • Sharon DePasquale (unverified)
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    Hillary is right. The Super Delegates, & all delegates, are NOT under obligation to vote in any particular way. For Super delegates the general "suggestion" is to vote according to HOW the majority of people in their state voted BUT this is often not the case, as in Sen Kennedy, who endorsed Obama even though Hillary WOMPED Obama in Massechusetts.AND they all can switch their support anytime they want. None of it really matters UNTIL the National election. Kind of like all of us. Except it can help pick our candidate & if they go against the people, as Kennedy did, then it becomes a heated political scene. Also DVNL, Hillary's Health Care plan is Universal & it DOES cover every single one of us. It is not socialized medicine. The congressional HC plans will be open to all of us. If you like the one you already have you can keep it. We will be able to go to any Doctor we want. Sen. Clinton puts a mandate on the Insurance co's that will take their power away from them, they will no longer be in charge, which you seem to have totally misrepresented. Our premiuns will be on a sliding scale according to our incomes. We will NEVER be gauged again! And there will be no discriminating against Pre-exsisting conditions. She will put a cap on the premiuns so that even the very wealthy are not over charged. This mandate,which puts them under government perusal,is very needed. Insurance co's have been telling our doctors what to do & what test they can & can not run on us for decades, it is time to mandate. For the first time EVER The ANA, American Nurses Association endorsed a politition Hillary. Now Sen. Obamas HC plan does not cover ONE adult! It only covers SOME children, not all, plus he does NOT put a mandate on the insurance Co's so they are STILL in charge & can still rob us blind! However, Obama does put a mandate on the PARENTS so if they do not buy insurance for their kids (even if they cannot afford the Insurance co's premiums) they are FINED.How he will ever carry that out we do not know but that IS what his plan states. Also Sen. Obama has been "claiming" for over a year now that his HC plan IS Universal BUT he has finally been confronted by pundits, one of them Tim Russert, and has had to finally admit that his HC plan is NOT universal. Sen. Kerry , after endorsing Obama told the truth about this. I guess he has ethics. Obama only tells the truth after he is cornered. If you missed that FACT then you have not been paying attention. Pres. Clinton is not in Cahoots with any Columbian's as you inferred.GEEEEZ you sound like a Republican spewing propaganda.
    I agree you need to stop & post facts only. Thats what we do here. Sharon, retired RN

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Sharon DePasquale:" The Super Delegates, & all delegates, are NOT under obligation to vote in any particular way. For Super delegates the general "suggestion" is to vote according to HOW the majority of people in their state voted BUT this is often not the case"

    <hr/>

    Sharon, since you are retired nurse, I presume you know how to read. The issue was not "Super-Delegates" but "Pledged Delegates." there is a difference. So next time you want to head off on a rant, please read first!! And there is no need to post the same rant twice!

    If there is no obligation for pledged delegates to vote as they have been elected to do, as they are pledged to do, why in the name of heaven are we having a primary election? Let's just do the rigging in the back rooms and forget the pretense.

    Party unity?? Pledged delegates don't matter,most states don't matter, primary elections and caucuses don't matter, there isn't any integrity at all to the process. The Democratic party needs to change its name, it looks like false advertising to me.

  • sandra Longley (unverified)
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    Bill R: I guess you just breezed by my apology in a huff...Can we just try to be the party that discusses and argues our posistions and still maintain our sense of humor? There is already a party of stuffy, name calling, back stabbing, wing nuts called republicans and I would unleash my invectives on them. Lets talk about Obamas history on Nucleor plants.....and his posistion on taking 200,000 in campaign funds from one that had a leak....gives a whole new meaning to--going green-

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Sandra Longley: "Bill R: I guess you just breezed by my apology in a huff...Can we just try to be the party that discusses and argues our posistions and still maintain our sense of humor?"

    <hr/>

    Attributions like yours display not a sense of humor but a sarcasm intended to marginalize the other. And the attempt to distract from the original point does not serve the conversation well either. The original point is that we cannot be a party if there isn't integrity to the nominating process. If anything goes, and the rules of nomination don't matter, if the voters intent doesn't even matter, then, to use a little play on words, "the party is over." I was around in 1968, and the Dem. party self destructed on top of the tragic losses of great leaders like MLK and RFK.

    And today it seems to matter little if a vote for a candidate actually translates into a nominating vote. Or so the Clinton campaign states publicly. I can imagine the outcry if the positions were reversed. If we don't have agreement on that, how can we possibly unite around anything else? With those and the other tactics employed, and the profound differences in values, I see little party unity down the road. To the great benefit of the GOP, and the great detriment of the USA.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Bill is right--pledged delegates are different from what are technically unpledged delegates who earn spots at the convention due to their title: DNC members, Democratic elected officials, former presidents, etc.

    It may well be time to revisit the action of the early 1980s which created Superdelegates, but please don't confuse them with ordinary pledged delegates.

    One of the concerns of the people in the room at district and state delegate selection conventions is who will be the strongest delegate if it comes to a fight. This is why there has been a fight over the years about a provision in the delegate selection rules called "presidential candidate right of approval". Not sure if it is in the rules this year, but it sets out a procedure where the national campaign opts in or out of that system. If they opt in, then under certain restrictions they are able to choose who has the right to run for delegate.

    Whether or not that provision is used, the people in the caucus room (Clinton caucus, Obama caucus in this year's scenario) have the right to argue that Tom and Sue would be better people to have on the floor of the convention than Rose or Jeff. The people in the room hear speeches from the delegate candidates, and in many cases know who worked hardest on the campaign and who just showed up to run.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    My compliments to DVNL, and to the support for his/her rant by Bill Bodden, Bill R., and torridjoe. I know nothing about Meredith, but I've been posting here for some time about the difference between being a progressive and being a Democrat.

    You right-wing Democrats think that you don't need your base (the one that believes in impeachment of war criminals, for example, by a 3 to one margin). The truth is that you would rather elect a Bush or a McCain than a Kucinich or a Nader. You should join with the McCain Republicans and form a party that represents your values. And then maybe we can at least nominate a progressive in a national election.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    If there is no obligation for pledged delegates to vote as they have been elected to do, as they are pledged to do, why in the name of heaven are we having a primary election? Let's just do the rigging in the back rooms and forget the pretense.

    For Hillary and most politicians and their supporters pledges are just words without meaning. Hillary and 76 fellow senators reneged on their oaths to uphold the Constitution when they voted for Bush's war on Iraq, so why would she or others with similar ethical standards be concerned about a relatively piddling issue like pledged delegates doing what they are supposed to do. Of course, Hillary thinks pledged delegates should not be obliged to cast their votes for Obama but her own pledged delegates should follow the rules.

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    Bill R said: Please explain further. How does voting on delegates differ from voting in the primary for a candidate?

    Sorry, I've been away from the computer until now.

    Voting in the primary for a candidate will decide how many delegates each candidate gets from Oregon. In June we will hold Congressional Dist Conventions and then a State Convention that will elect those delegates. You can read the basics of the selection plan here (PDF).

    The delegates are elected by people who have filed to be voting members at the CD Conventions. At the CD Conventions we also elect those who will be the voting members at the State Convention. At the State Convention we'll elect the remaining delegates for Oregon.

  • k.s.hasselaer (unverified)
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    My open letter to the presidential candidates.

    Senators Obama and Clinton.

    I am not a supporter or even a democrat. At this time I will support any candidate who can guarantee a swift and complete withdrawal of soldiers and contractors from Iraq and an end to the occupation there. This is the will of the majority of Iraqi and American citizens. So Ralph Nader will get my vote again. Unless at least one of you is willing to move toward the center from the rightwing position you are both holding at this time re the Iraq occupation.

    Let's make the bloated new embassy into homes for Iraqis who have lost theirs. Then you would not have an excuse to leave thousands of soldiers there to protect it!

  • BloodDAnna (unverified)
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    I've heard Senator Clinton state on several occasions her plane is within the forst 60 days she will start pulling troops out.

    Senator Obama I'm not so clear on, I remember he stated in a debate he would have them all out within something like 18 months but then one of his strategists said there was no definate time frame.

    Senator McCain had his "100 year" statement taken out of context and regurgitated by the media.

    Would you like them all airlifted at once? What is your ideal time frame?

  • (Show?)

    Obama very clearly states - out of Iraq by 2009. That doesn't mean that we don't start removing troops right away, but instead that pulling out of Iraq begins at the beginning of his term and we're completely out by 2009.

  • ann (unverified)
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    to LT. If I am not mistaken. Eugene McCarthy didn't win the primary in 1968 over Bobbie Kennedy. Bobbie had just won California and was looking to take the nomination,on the night he was assassinated. Even though I wasn't even old enough to vote I was a walking "get out the vote" stint in San Francisco, that very night.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I've heard Senator Clinton state on several occasions her plane is within the forst 60 days she will start pulling troops out.

    If she says it, it must be true. If she said she was under sniper fire in Tuzla, she was under sniper fire no matter what the videos show or eyewitnesses say.

    Obama very clearly states - out of Iraq by 2009. That doesn't mean that we don't start removing troops right away, but instead that pulling out of Iraq begins at the beginning of his term and we're completely out by 2009.

    Obama's word may be more reliable, but I wouldn't bet my pension on him either; although, he does offer possibilities of doing some good. Most likely he'll get my vote, but that in great part will be due to the antipathy that Hillary and McCain inspire.

    It's tough being a progressive in these United States with real progressives like Russ Feingold, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader and others ignored by almost all people claiming to be progressives but who mostly automatically vote for corporate front persons.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I remember the night McCarthy won the Oregon primary, although I was in college in California. A friend of mine whose family were from Mass. and had never been fans of the Kennedy family (going back to the old days of Dad Joseph Kennnedy) said "Look, a Kennedy actually lost an election and had to give a concession speech!". Day or so later, both of us were in a carload which went to the local airport to see McCarthy's first stop in California after winning the Oregon primary.

    Ann, McCarthy won Oregon, Bobby Kennedy won California. Then was shot leaving his victory party. Just had an argument with a friend today about the "most exciting primary in 40 years". Friend said that 1984 doesn't count because Mondale didn't come, while both McCarthy and Kennedy campaigned in Oregon in 1968. Of the 2 people I know who worked on the Frank Church campaign, one died and the other no longer lives in Oregon---maybe someone else knows if Frank Church (who won the Oregon Primary) and any other candidate came to Oregon.

  • Curtis (unverified)
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    Hillary has supported the rights of local communities to locate liquefied natural gas facilities. Obama supported the Bush-Cheney energy policy that removed that right.

  • Iris (unverified)
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    "Unless at least one of you is willing to move toward the center from the rightwing position you are both holding at this time re the Iraq occupation."

    Witholding your vote and letting them know the reason(s) why is a good strategy. If enough folks would do this, instead of blindly worshipping their candidate, they would have no choice but change their position towards the middle where most Americans hang.Especially since they are competing with each other.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Thanks to Jenni and others for helping to ward off the attempts by some to muddy the waters about the status of pledged delegates and how they are selected, and their commitments to back the candidate they claim to represent. Apparently to the Clinton campaign such commitments mean nothing. The Obama campaign has taken seriously the Clinton threats to "poach" pledged delegates so in California and elsewhere those who are running to be delegates are being screened closely. I guess such things are necessary in this environment where integrity and commitments no longer matter in this party. Anything and everything get thrown under the bus for one couple's ambition. It's always been about them.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Jenni Simonis said: "Obama very clearly states - out of Iraq by 2009. That doesn't mean that we don't start removing troops right away, but instead that pulling out of Iraq begins at the beginning of his term and we're completely out by 2009."

    Don't believe it. Read this:

    Amy Goodman Questions Sen. Obama on Heeding Iraqis’ Call for Full US Withdrawal.

    "Following his speech on the economy at New York’s Cooper Union, Amy Goodman asks Sen. Barack Obama why he is not calling for a total withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in accordance with the 70 percent of Iraqis who say they want the US out."

    Weasel words like "combat troops", "redeployment", or "residual force" are meant to hide the fact that your candidates intend to maintain the occupation while ending the "war".

    Here's what Obama said to Amy: "What I said is that we do need to have a strike force in the region. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in Iraq; it could be in Kuwait or other places." Read this statement carefully and you'll understand what Obama intends to do.

  • Mike_in_OR (unverified)
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    Democratic Address

    <h2>"Not long ago our Democratic National Committee brought forth new rules for the primary elections, conceived in stupidity and dedicated to the proposition that all voters are not equal. Now we are engaged in a great debate, testing whether those rules or any rules so conceived and so stupid can long endure. We are met on a great primary battlefield. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their votes believing they should count. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The voters of Michigan and Florida, our brothers and sisters who struggle to be heard have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will forever note and long remember the Democratic National Committee's stupidity, and it will never forget what the Democratic National Committee did here. It is for us the remaining voting public rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who voted and were disenfranchised here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these disenfranchised we take increased devotion to the cause for which they they believed in with a full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these voters shall not have voted in vain, that the Democratic National Committee shall seat our brother and sister delegates from Florida and Michigan, and demand the votes of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not be disenfranchised by the party."</h2>
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