National groups call for DNC to can superdelegate system
Fourteen national organizations boasting more than 10 million members are calling on the Democratic National Committee to end the use of superdelegates to elect the presidential nominee.
The move to end the use of superdelegates was pushed vigorously during the campaign by Sen. Bernie Sanders but many of those supporting the effort include backers of Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
DNC Rules Committee member and Rhode Island State Representative Aaron Regunberg has pledged to introduce language to end superdelegates, and several other Rules Committee members have agreed to support the effort at the Democratic National Convention at the end of July.
The organizations said in a joint letter that the superdelegates, who are typically party officials, are not elected by voters and can skew the nominating process. They say the superdelegates carry as much as the combined weight as pledged delegates from 24 states, the District of Columbia and four territories.
Organizations signing on to the letter include: Courage Campaign, Credo, Daily Kos, Demand Progress/Rootstrikers, Democracy for America, Center for Popular Democracy, MoveOn, National Nurses United, NDN, The Other 98%, Presente.org, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, and Social Security Works.
Simon Rosenberg, the president of NDN and a former DNC staffer, who supported Hillary Clinton during the primary, said the use of superdelegates is "discordant with broader and vital efforts by Democrats to modernize and improve our democracy. If we want the voice of everyday people to be louder and more consequential in our nation's politics, it must also be so in our Party."
Another Clinton supporter, Joe Trippi, who ran Howard Dean's unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2004, said a key party goal is to "empower voices from the bottom up. The top down idea of superdelegates is obsolete and is a good place to start."
Sanders' supporter Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a superdelegate and former DNC official, also condemned the practice.
"The nominee of our party should be decided by who earns the most votes —not party insiders, unelected officials, or the federal lobbyists that have been given a vote in our nominating process. The current system stands against grassroots activists and the will of the voters," she said. "We've seen a historic number of new voters and activists join our political process in the past year, many of whom are rightly upset at how rigged the political system can seem at times. If we want to strengthen our democracy and our party, we must end the superdelegate process."
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