The updated Delegate Selection Plan (DSP) for Michigan’s delegates and alternates to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee is online here. The DSP also covers the selection process for Michigan’s 15 temporary and 15 permanent convention committee members – 5 seats on each of the credentials, platform, and rules committees. There are several defects and rules violations.
First, the at-large delegates and alternates. The DSP specifies that Michigan’s 27 at-large delegates and 10 alternates will be elected by the members of the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) State Central Committee (SCC). The DSP claims that “in accordance with [DNC Delegate Selection] Rule 10.b … Members of the State Central Committee were elected … in a fair and open process … Each congressional district is allocated a number of [state central] delegates based upon turnout for the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State or President, whichever election occurred last” (DSP p17).
This is flatly false. 172 members were elected like that, using a system of proportional voting. Then, the MDP establishment packed the State Central Committee with an additional 87 members, appointed to the SCC by a simple majority. The selection of the appointees was not transparent in any measure. Only MDP leadership knew what criteria were used for selection, who was being considered, or who would be on the list – until the day of the appointments. Later, several more members were added, also by simple majority, bringing total appointments to about 90. Not only was this process not transparent, it also violated two MDP rules. Rule 7.1.1, which requires they be elected, not appointed, and rule 2.16, which requires election by proportional voting, not appointment by simple majority.
DNC Delegate Selection Rule 10.b (DSR p11) requires that “Membership on the State Party Committee is apportioned on the basis of population and/or some measure of Democratic strength.” The Michigan Democratic Party SCC does not meet this requirement. Approximately 90 members were added who were not apportioned on that basis. Adding 90 members increases SCC membership by 52%. Put another way, a full third (34%) of current SCC members do not meet the requirements of DNC Delegate Selection Rule 10.b.
Second, the Declaration of Candidacy form is a mess. There are three places where it says to “check” options, but no checkboxes are provided. The form linked to the “become a delegate” button on the MDP website says to “check” the candidate you are pledging to support, but doesn’t list any candidates. The form included at the end of the revised DSP (p47) does list the candidates, but again, no checkboxes. Neither form has a place to declare your candidacy for the temporary national convention committee position – credentials, platform, and rules. The DSP instructs everyone to use this form to declare candidacy for the temporary committee members to be elected at the March 21st State Party Convention (DSP p22). Oddly, the DSP does not require a declaration of candidacy for the permanent committee members.
Third, the official Call to the March 21st State Convention does not mention the election of temporary national convention committee members, nor that declarations of candidacy for these positions must be filed with the MDP by February 21st.
The MDP has been informed of these problems with the Delegate Selection Plan. They intend to correct the declaration of candidacy form by this Monday (10 February). They should update the call to convention, and publicize the temporary national convention committee positions through appropriate channels, with an explanation of how and by when to apply. The DNC rules violation is still to be address.
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