A letter to Hillary's superdelegates
As promised last week, I'm sending letters to Hillary Clinton's endorsers in Iowa, Maine, Nevada and Washington, urging them to insist that their candidate stop effectively disenfranchising their states' voters by making a "popular vote" argument that depends on pretending Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington never voted.
After the jump, I've copy & pasted one of the letters -- to DNC member, state senator, and congressional candidate Dina Titus of Nevada.
P.S. Also after the jump, a list of the people I've contacted, along with the e-mail address or URL I've used to contact them. If you have better contact info for any of these folks, or if you know of other Clinton endorsers in IA, NV, ME or WA that I should send my letter to, please let me know!
Rep. Leonard Boswell (IA) - Campaign@boswellforcongress.com
DNC Sandy Opstvedt (IA) - firstname.lastname@example.org
DNC Mike Gronstal (IA) - email@example.com
Gov. John Baldacci (ME) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV) - email@example.com
DNC Dina Titus (NV) - firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Sen. Patty Murray (WA) - http://murray.senate.gov/email/
Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) - http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/
Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) - http://www.house.gov/inslee/contact/email.html, http://www.jayinslee.com/index.php?page=contact
Former Speaker Tom Foley (WA) - firstname.lastname@example.org
DNC Ron Sims (WA) - email@example.com
Rep. Norm Dicks (WA) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Senator Titus,
I am writing to ask your help in ensuring that the citizens of your state, the great state of Nevada, are not disenfranchised in the Democratic presidential nominating process.
In the wake of last Tuesday's West Virginia primary, Senator Clinton, whom you endorsed, has declared herself the "popular vote" leader in the national cumulutive tally. There's only one problem: her tally completely excludes the states of Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington.
As you may be aware, these states' caucuses did not officially report popular vote counts. This is because, of course, the nominee is not elected by "popular vote"; he or she is elected by delegates. Thus, there is no particular reason for caucuses to report popular votes, and your state is among those that have chosen not to do so.
if one wishes to construct a national "popular vote" tally, as Senator
Clinton is doing, it is possible to estimate the Iowa, Nevada, Maine
and Washington tallies, using the candidates' delegate percentages and
the caucuses' reported turnouts. The website Real Clear Politics, for
instance, estimates that Senator Obama bested Senator Clinton by a
combined margin of 110,224 votes in these four states. (http://www.realclearpolitics
Yet Senator Clinton is not including any such estimate in her cumulative national tally. Instead, she is effectively pretending that the people of Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington never voted.
It is easy to see why Senator Clinton has chosen this course of action: Senator Obama's estimated margin in the four caucus states dwarfs Senator Clinton's purported "lead" of approximately 27,000 votes. If these states' tallies were counted, Senator Clinton would not be able to claim that she is ahead. She would instead trail by more than 80,000 votes.
Yet, although politically understandable, the senator's action is logically and ethically indefensible. The citizens of these states -- of your state -- did vote, and a tally that deliberately disenfranchises them is dishonest and fraudulent. And this is no mere technicality. With just four states and Puerto Rico still to vote, it is entirely possible that these four states could ultimately make the difference between "victory" and "defeat" for Senator Clinton in the national popular vote tally.
I understand that you support Senator Clinton, and I am not asking you to change your allegiance. However, as a representative of the state of Nevada, I urge you to insist that Senator Clinton refrain from disenfranchising your state's voters. If she is going to claim "victory" in the popular vote, she must do it in a way that respects the voters of ALL states that held indisputably legitimate, binding primaries and caucuses. She must include a reasonable estimate of the popular vote tallies from the Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington caucuses.
As an aside, I note a particular irony of this situation. As you might remember, Senator Clinton, along with all the other major candidates, signed a pledge to the citizens of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. She, along with Senator Obama and the others, pledged to respect those "early states" by refraining from any campaign activity in the unauthorized Michigan and Florida primaries. "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process," Senator Clinton's campaign manager said in a statement at the time.
Yet now, Senator Clinton is arguing that Iowa and Nevada do not count -- while Michigan and Florida do. This is perverse, indefensible, and must not stand. I urge you to use your influence with the Clinton campaign to insist that they count the votes of Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington in any "popular vote" tally that their campaign uses.