Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

LIVE from Spokane: Convention rules waiting for approval, delegates propose amendments

Having heard from our morning all star lineup of speakers, we're now at the point where it's time to adopt the proposed convention rules.

The credentials committee has made its report and about 1,200 delegates have been seated (including alternates).

Delegates at the 2008 Washington State Democratic Convention

Only about half of the delegates elected to the state convention have shown up.

I think there are several reasons for this. One, Spokane is a long drive or train ride from Western Washington, home to most of the state's population centers. Two, nominating season is over and we now have a presumptive nominee (Barack Obama). Three, we have already had precinct caucuses, legislative district caucuses, county conventions, and congressional district caucuses. Many Democrats repeatedly gave up their Saturdays to be involved.

Anyhow, adoption of the rules hasn't been a simple affair.

A number of amendments have been proposed, and so far, every change that has been proposed has been rejected.

The most recent amendment called for hearing a particular charter amendment before other charter amendments because said amendment would lower the bar for amending the charter. A number of delegates, including former party chair Paul Berendt, seemed to think we were considering adoption of that amendment, when in fact we were hearing a motion to change the order of the agenda.

Convention Chair Greg Nickels had to gently correct Paul Berendt and explain the actual motion, whereupon Berendt abruptly stopped speaking, sighed, "Never mind" and left the microphone to general laughter.

Nickels has been doing a really good job as Temporary Chair. He sounds patient and understanding, consults David McDonald (our parliamentarian) when he needs advice, and that's exactly the qualities we need as a Chair.

UPDATE: We have adopted the convention rules and selected a permanent convention chair - Lt. Governor Brad Owen, whose nomination was uncontested. He was unanimously elected as Permanent Convention Chair.

Who says Democrats can't come together quickly and move forward?


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