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I'm Brendan Loy, a 26-year-old graduate of USC and Notre Dame now living and working in Knoxville, Tennessee. My wife Becky and I are brand-new parents of a beautiful baby girl, born on New Year's Eve.

I'm a big-time sports fan, a politics, media & law junkie, an astronomy buff, a weather nerd, an Apple aficionado, a Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fanatic, and an all-around dork. My blog is best-known for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, but I blog about anything and everything that interests me.

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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) -
DNC Sandy Opstvedt (IA) -
DNC Mike Gronstal (IA) -
Gov. John Baldacci (ME) -
Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV) -
DNC Dina Titus (NV) -,
Sen. Patty Murray (WA) -
Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) -
Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) -,
Former Speaker Tom Foley (WA) -
DNC Ron Sims (WA) -
Rep. Norm Dicks (WA) -

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.

However, 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.  (  Other news sources have similar estimates.

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.



      Brendan Loy


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Did you see that Hillary ended up losing in the delegate count in Nevada as apportioned by the state convention, despite winning the popular vote here by 6 points? 14 for Obama to 11 for Hillary. This is not really in reference to your post above, it just reminded me of this fun little election tidbit.

Is Senator Titus from Nevada or Iowa?

Well done.

Er, Nevada. Fixed. I don't think I made that mistake in the actual letter... :)

How do you have a say in how they vote? I thought you lived in the state Tennessee. Are Iowa, Maine, Nevada and Washington part of state Tennessee for presidetial elections?

I have only the power of persuasion. :)

I may write to Hillary's endorsers from Tennessee, too, but the affected states seemed like a good place to start. Presumably nobody wants to disenfranchise their own constituents. And if, through my efforts, one or two of those constituents start paying attention to what's happening here, and write letters of their own, all the better.

By the way, I'm not seeking to "have a say in how they vote." I'm attempting to persuade/pressure them to demand that Hillary Clinton take a particular course of action. I said nothing in my letter about how anyone should vote.

An excellent letter. Brilliant. :} Not Altogether unTricksy; but brilliantly Not so. :>

"Former Speaker Tom Foley (WA) -"


"If you have better contact info for any of these folks...please let me know!"

Why sure. 41@skull& :}

"Rep. Norm Dicks (WA) -"

Hm. / (Naaah, nevermind :)

"Dear Senator Titus," indeed. Et tu, Brute. ;>

Good work. / Seriously.

Bravo Brendan! And also her so called "popular votes" counted ZERO votes to Senator Obama in Michigan!

Yeah, leighg1, I've railed against that one repeatedly, too. I like to refer to it as her "Saddam Hussein-style 328,309 to zero 'victory'." But I'm trying to focus on one outrage at a time. :)

I loved your letter, so sent similar email messages to four Iowa superdelegates (3 Clinton supporters/1 not committed). I participated in the Iowa caucus and don't like the idea of my vote being ignored in favor of Florida and Michigan voters. I have faith that the superdelegates see through her fabrications.

I loved your letter, so sent similar email messages to four Iowa superdelegates (3 Clinton supporters/1 not committed). I participated in the Iowa caucus and don't like the idea of my vote being ignored in favor of Florida and Michigan voters. I have faith that the superdelegates see through her fabrications.

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