Here's an e-mail from the Travis County Democrats to all the delegates. This is the first time anyone from the Democratic party, not counting the individual campaigns, contacted the delegates, and it's two days before the convention. The convention is all day on a Saturday, starting at 7:00am:You are receiving this email because you are probably a delegate to the upcoming Travis County Democratic Party Convention, this Saturday, March 29.It goes on to say when and where the convention is, and that they will send out more information, like where to get our delegate credentials, later.
First of all, thank you so much for participating in you March 4th Primary Precinct Convention! The Travis County Democratic Party (TCDP) welcomes those of you who are new to this process. And we also thank you for your patience for seeing it through that evening as we know some of you experienced difficulties due mostly to just the sheer number of Democrats that turned out to caucus.
One frustrated delegate sends out this e-mail to the entire mailing list:I do not understand your suggestion that I am "probably" a delegate. I believe that I was elected to be a delegate and since I have not been notified otherwise, presumably I am a delegate. My guess is that is why you sent me this e-mail. If there is a possibility that my status may change due to some circumstance that you are not publishing please let me know immediately so I can decide whether I want to waste twelve hours on Saturday for no reason.Here's part of an e-mail that I wrote to that delegate:
Do you seriously think that people will be pleased at the notion of spending up to three hours to register for an event that will then take at least another nine hours? A commitment of twelve plus hours is ludicrous in and of itself, as is your notion that you can notify people only two days in advance of an event of this magnitude and that your notification should be devoid of significant information that you will "soon" be sending. When are you going to send it, Friday night?
The caucus that I attended was poorly planned and then, to add insult to injury, the results are not yet known almost a month later. It looks like the county convention will be as bad or worse. Registration at the caucus took over an hour. Knowing that, and since you now have a data base of delegates, why not have us register and be credentialed on-line?Hi,
My name is Chris, and I'm a delegate in another precinct. I got your e-mail to the Travis County Delegates because I'm on their list as a delegate. I just thought I'd talk to you about the convention. First of all, I think they used the word "probably" because they are using a big mailing list of over 10,000 people and they're trying to allow for errors. There is a list online of ALL the delegates and alternates in all the precincts, and I did a quick search for your name and found that you are.
I'm sorry they haven't done a better job making sure all the delegates have all the information they need. Part of the problem is that it's the job of the Delegation Chair in your precinct to let every delegate in that precinct know when and where the convention is. Looking at your precinct, I notice that you are a delegate for Clinton and the Delegation Chair in your precinct supports Obama. The same thing is true in my precinct--I'm for Clinton, and my Delegation Chair, who has never contacted me, is for Obama. It was actually the Obama Precinct Captain who told me, when I asked her a series of questions about the rules a few weeks ago, that it's the Delegation Chair's responsibility. To make up for this, I have made a point of personally calling and e-mailing all the Clinton delegates in my precinct (235), who would be out of the loop if it were left to the Delegation Chair.
Here's the problem: if the Clinton delegates who are in precincts with Delegation Chairs who support Obama (in other words, any precinct with an Obama majority, since those Chairs were voted on at the caucus) don't show up because those Delegation Chairs only contacted the Obama supporters, Obama will get delegates he didn't earn. The race is all about delegates, and those delegates will be determined by those who show up at the county convention, then determined by those who are sent on to the state convention. We can't let them win more delegates just by not telling us when the convention is!
March 27, 2008
"We can't let them win more delegates just by not telling us when the convention is!" — more Texas county convention maneuvering.
My son Christopher Althouse Cohen has been keeping me updated about how things look from the perspective of a county convention delegate in Texas. (See here, here, and here.) Now, he sends this rather alarming message: