Richie Rejects Clinton Request
Party already has a verification process, chairman says
By Lee Nichols,
9:04PM, Mon. Mar. 17, 2008
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, trying to hang on to her slender delegate lead in Texas, made a request on Friday to the Texas Democratic Party that the county and senatorial district conventions be postponed until the million or so signatures from all of the March 4 caucus sheets could be verified. Today, TDP chairman Boyd Richie rejected that request. See press statement from Richie after the jump.
RICHIE: EXISTING TDP CREDENTIALS PROCESS ALREADY PROVIDES FOR “VERIFICATION”
Party Will Not Alter Rules to Effectively Disqualify Delegates
Below is a statement by Texas Democratic Chairman Boyd Richie regarding the Delegate Selection Process:
The Texas Democratic Party and local Democratic Party organizations around our state are working to turn the enormous opportunity created by the record Democratic turnout experienced on March 4th into a positive outcome for Texas Democrats this fall and in 2010. We are proud of both our Presidential candidates who helped create that turnout. We ask now that the campaigns work with us rather than become an impediment to this extraordinary opportunity to build our party.
On March 4th, our Democratic precinct conventions experienced record turnout of roughly one million precinct convention attendees, a ten-fold increase from the previous high attendance mark. As expected in any record turnout involving hundreds of thousands of people, there were reports of problems caused by long lines and crowded facilities. These problems are not unique to Texas. Similar problems, in proportionately similar numbers, occurred in pure caucus states like Iowa and Nevada.
The overwhelming majority of problems reported in Texas do not affect the legitimacy of delegate allocation. It is important to remember that the precinct conventions are just the first of three steps where delegates and alternates are selected. “Final results” will not be determined until June 6-7 at the Texas Democratic State convention. And at each convention step, Texas Democratic Party rules provide a credentials process to address problems and provide an avenue to register complaints and make formal challenges.
For that reason, the Texas Democratic Party will not do as suggested by one campaign and circumvent Party rules to set up an unnecessary, ad hoc “verification” process that could effectively disqualify delegates selected at their precinct conventions after the fact. The Party has never stated any intention to set up a verification process of this nature because Party rules already provide for “verification” through our credentials process. Candidates who wish to disqualify delegates must pursue formal challenges based on evidence filed appropriately in accordance with our party’s rules.
The Texas Democratic Party plans to conduct our district and county conventions on March 29 and our June State Convention in accordance with procedures set forth in Texas law and party rules. Both campaigns have the opportunity and responsibility to do their jobs by documenting evidence, filing challenges if warranted, and turning out their delegates in a system that rewards such an effort when final delegate results are determined at the State Convention in June.