Washblog

Washington needs to hold a Presidential Primary

The voters should have a chance to express their preferences. I personally would like to avoid the melee on February 5th and make a separate stand on the 12th or the 19th. But, realistically, February 5th is shaping up to be a "winner take all" national primary and we should be part of it.

But, Washington's primary law does not provide a mechanism for determining the individual delegates to the National Conventions. The caucus process, Precinct, Legislative District/County and Congressional District and finally the State Party Convention(s) are still needed to determine who we send to Denver.

The parties could or may chose to apportion national delegates according to the results of the Presidential Primary. I don't think that we (Democrats) should for the 2008 cycle. I think we  should use the primary to increase and leverage grassroots participation.

The Presidential Primary law Chapter 29A.56 RCW   requires the Secretary of State (SoS) to provide the major parties (yes, the opposition can do this also) data on which voters selected which party or independent ballot (Note, this is different from the normal fall primary).

This data, combined with caucus locations, would allow a directed mailing to the already interested voters [2]. This mailing would be a specific invitation to attend and participate in the caucus for their precinct and give the time and location.

These are the people needed to expand and increase participation. They are also the people who should be considered for delegates to the convention in Denver.

I propose:
The Presidential Primary be moved from May 27th to February 5th;
The precinct caucuses be held on April 5th [1]; [2]
The LD caucuses occur on April 19
The County Conventions on April 26 (of course King County is special and can pick a different date)
This allows plenty of time to hold CD caucuses on May 17
And culminate with the State Convention in Spokane on June 7th

[1] An appealing side effect of this date is that Washington would be allocated an additional 8 delegates under DNC rules.
[2] The deadline for the SoS to provide the data would be March 16 which allows three weeks to produce and mail the targeted invitations

Disclamers: One, I currently am just a PCO and no longer a member of the State Committee.
Two, there are other aspects of the Delegate Selection Plan (DSAAP) that I find lacking and hope to address via other venues and/or potential public postings or resolutions to the rules committee.

< Law & Order, South Bend, Mexico, Patience and Extradition | WSDCC Delegate Selection Plan - public comment #2 - killing the precinct 15% rule >

Poll

Presidential Primary for Washington
Absolutely
No point
Should be considered
Should stay at May 27 as the RCW says
Should be on Feb 5, 2008
Should be on the 12th or 19th
Caucuses ROCK

Votes: 35
Results | Other Polls
Display: Sort:
I agree with Dave that we should move the Caucus back. Moving the Primary forward has some benefits and it seems worthwhile from Dave's arguments.

I'm hoping we get an amendment to move the caucus dates back and get those changes made at the April meeting.

by Nathan Horter on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 09:20:04 PM PST

* 1 none 0 *


I'd make virtually all primaries and caucuses much later in the year.

Let Iowa and New Hampshire do their thing, then take a significant break before getting down to the real business of choosing the candidates.  Without the pressure from the rest of the states, IA and NH could do their work in a reasonable timeframe, say, late February or early March.  In 1968, when Gene McCarthy scared LBJ into dropping his re-election bid, the New Hampshire primary was on March 12.

Then we could start the actual primary season.  Divide the country into four regions, with all states in that region eligible to hold primaries on a specified date.  Randomly order the sequence of regional primaries, then hold them every three weeks, starting in April and running through June.

It's utterly absurd, and deeply injurious to civic involvement and appreciation for the value of government, to determine the candidates in the first week of February and then wait nine f##king months before choosing between them.  That's nine f##king months of swiftboating and attack ads and mealy-mouthed repetition of pablum and pointless "punditry".  

No wonder our populace finds politics boring and dirty and unseemly.

You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen
Blogging at Peace Tree Farm

by N in Seattle on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 11:30:17 AM PST

* 5 none 0 *


I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Actually, it will probably turn into a blog post at some point, but the point of both suing to remove the top two primary and trying to get a closed and listed primary and ignoring the presidential primary in favor of caucuses seems obvious to me. Its not about Party building or being inclusive. If we were really interested in party building, we would do more community type events and be way more engaged locally. If we were interested in being inclusive we'd have a primary.

But, holding caucuses allows you to data colllect, have people write down their names and contact information, and so you build your mailing list. Caucuses are party building in that a list of names and data points are a political party.
 



________________
I blog here.

by emmettoconnell on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 01:58:53 PM PST

* 8 none 0 *


Section III.A.2.a-d lines 13-30
2. District-level delegates and alternates shall be elected by the following Precinct Caucus System:
  a. The first tier precinct caucuses will be held on ((Saturday, February 9, 2008)) Saturday, April 5, 2008. Delegates are elected to the legislative district (LD) caucuses and county conventions. The size of each LD delegation is determined by a formula giving equal weight to the number of active registered voters in each LD and an average of the Democratic presidential and gubernatorial vote in the 2004 general election. Resolutions on issues are forwarded for consideration at the appropriate County Convention.
  b. The second tier LD caucuses are on ((Saturday, April 5, 2008)) Saturday, April 19, 2008. Delegates to the congressional district (CD) caucuses are elected.
  c. County conventions will be held on ((Saturday, April 19, 2008)) Saturday, April 26, 2008. County platforms are adopted and resolutions are passed on issues of concern to the body.
  d. The third tier CD caucuses are held on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - ((51)) 59 district level delegates and 9 alternates are elected at t