I was the chair of the Rules Committee for yesterday’s caucus in the 48th.
John Elsbree
23

John, I don’t feel you have anything to apoligize for. You had a situation and a process and even though, probably through my own missteps at my precinct caucus, I wasn’t properly listed as an alternate everyone was very kind and transparent and in the end I was seated. While things were a bit confusing in general I thought the caucus was well run but under volunteered.

I’d suggest that you have a mechanism to train volunteers on the spot from people in line early. Some of us tried to do this uninvited: I saw one woman alternate who helped process the slips of early leaving delegates. I tried to answer questions about signing up for CD candidacy so as to offload the official volunteers, and I showed a couple of people where their tables were. To avoid campaign bias issues you could deploy teams of 2 or 3 volunteers (one from each campaign) so that they could keep tabs on each other and their answers to be sure that everything was done even handedly.

I think part of the difficulty that Jeff and others have in understanding that your motivation to expedite accepting the final credentials report was not the desire to disenfranchise the alternates but simply to finalize the numbers of delegates to be selected for the CDs. If you had been able to announce this as the goal of this step and stated that alternates will still be allowed to substitute after the final report is accepted then I honestly think enough of the Bernie people would have been happy to vote to call the question earlier. For future I’d suggest that you suggest to the State Party a change to the rules such that once the numbers to be selected are finalized all alternates will be seated as delegates. They went to the trouble to show up, after all, and you could position things as, we go with the next level delegate counts as determined by the original caucus tally but anyone who shows up will get to vote.

As it was the move by the Bernie campaign rep to pack in as many Bernie alternates as possible with the result that the Hillary caucus(es) lost a delegate (or 2?) left a permanent bad taste in the mouths of many Hillary supporters and if it comes to that it will likely cost Bernie $ in the fall. I’d suggest that next time you put that point to the whole caucus. Certainly I have decided that while I may vote for him in November I personally won’t give Bernie a dime ever. If that was the goal in the attempt to pick up a few extra CD delegates here and there so that Bernie can pick up 5 or 6 extra national delegates in a few weeks, I question whether it was worth it in view of the number of reliable rock solid always vote Democratic voters in the state who are now utterly pissed at Bernie and his campaign.

Lastly, regarding audibility, I was in the back on the Hillary side and honestly we could hear just fine and were looking over befuddled at the people shouting from the Bernie side. So I went over there and discovered that so many of them were talking among themselves that it was hard to hear. Later they got more quiet and seemed to hear better.

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