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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Report from Today’s 43rd Legislative District Caucus

posted by on April 5 at 17:10 PM

Lines and speeches and rules and questions (the explanation of next weekend’s KC Convention and the ability to still get planks added to the platform did not jibe with what the platform committee told me yesterday) … and a giant turnout at the 43rd Legislative District caucus I was at all day.

Quote of the day: “There’s a line for the men’s room?”

Obama locked up 53 delegates to Clinton’s 14.

Embarrassment of the Day: While State Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) gave the Obama speech, the Clinton campaign sent Sean Astin (Samwise Gangee from the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies…he was also Mikey Walsh in the Goonies.) He came up from L.A. to represent.

Really? Who the fuck is running the HRC campaign these days? Astin joked about “Obama Country,” told us he could “run through the bullet points” of why Hillary’s the better candidate (but didn’t) and meandered his way through a non sequitur speech that ended by congratulating us on democracy and explaining that he’ll be the biggest Obama fan if Obama gets the nomination.

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Astin: Huh?

“That was weird,” several Hillary supporters sitting near me in the packed Lincoln H.S. auditorium in Wallingford said in disbelief and disappointment.

I’ll say. Where was a local HRC supporter like KC Exec Ron Sims? (Or perhaps just one of the 100 enthusiastic 43rd District precinct delegates, like the young UW student who was running to be a Hillary delegate, who said, “We all know why we’re here”? Cuz Hillary’s freaking awesome.”)

When Hillary’s surrogate didn’t show up for 20 minutes or so—another uncomfortable embarrassment for the Clinton supporters— I was thinking it was Ron (he’s been a bit off lately). But then they introduced the Lord of the Rings guy.

I guess no local politician wanted to show up in the 43rd chiming in for Clinton.

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I was surprised at the number of young people who were running to be Hillary delegates, although I was bummed about the number of people whose top reason for supporting Hillary (at least in their speeches) seemed to be that they wanted a woman president.

Personal side note: Rivaling the Lord of the Rings for Hillary movement for totally embarrassing was Democratic State House Speaker Frank Choop (D-43) boasting to the hoodwinked crowd about the accomplishments of “the most progressive legislature in the country…that’s leading on global warming.”

This from the guy who tried to upend the climate change bill by weakening the regulatory power of the Dept. of Ecology; who snuffed the homeowners’ consumer rights bill; who promised to bring the payday loan issue back this session after killing it last session, but didn’t; who helped kill a bill to put global warming standards into the Growth Management Act; and who, along with the rest of the “most progressive legislature in the country,” dropped the ball on property tax reform by enacting Tim Eyman’s pseudo fix without real systemic reform.

Don’t have time to provide all the links, but just google “Oly Inaction” or “Chopp Misled” and you’ll get the idea.

RSS icon Comments

1

Of course the pols aren't coming out for her. You think they wanna piss off the people who are most likely to be the organizers for their future campaigns? Also, you think they don't wanna maybe start getting on the good side of the winner so that after he takes office, they might get a cabinet position?

Posted by Gitai | April 5, 2008 5:24 PM
2

Why did Terry McAuliffe appear at the 30th Legislative District Caucus?

Side note - if the party insiders want younger people and others to get involved they need to get their act together and organize these events better. It was a sloppy clusterfuck of an event. I was going to run to be an Obama State delegate but after 4.5 hours I was zapped and couldn't pretend to care anymore.

Posted by Shawn Fassett | April 5, 2008 5:31 PM
3

I didn't get the "surrogate" part at all. I thought they were just people from the district speaking on behalf of. That's why Astin seemed so out of place. The engineer dude who spoke for Obama was local, and I think the refugee from the Nazis (who was great) was too.

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2008 6:10 PM
4

Sean Astin for Hillary - that's nice. I heard him speak afterwards to the 43rd alternates who were waiting in the gym nearby and I was glad he was there for Hillary. At my precinct's caucus in Feb, the jackass who jumped to speak for Obama was so terrible and flustered he ended after a few seconds of raising his fist, shaking his sequins, and mumbling "... and that's why I'm for Obama..." and left us all speechless with dismay. So today's Samwise for Clinton kind of cancels out that guy in February.
Caucuses are stoopid but apparently make people feel good.

Posted by hairyson | April 5, 2008 6:11 PM
5

Ron Sims was at the dedication of Steve Cox Park in White Center, an important event that unfortunately was scheduled for the same day as the caucuses.

Seriously though, Sean Astin, that's bizarre.

Posted by lorax | April 5, 2008 6:14 PM
6

Terry McAuliffe was at the 37th, too (opening speaker). He must be making the rounds. I thought he did a good job firing up the crowd.

Posted by Gidge | April 5, 2008 6:16 PM
7

"Why did Terry McAuliffe appear at the 30th Legislative District Caucus?"

McAuliffe is a superdelegate, and appearing/disappearing is his superpower.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | April 5, 2008 6:22 PM
8

My favorite part was when someone (by deduction, I would guess an Obama delegate) made a motion to SKIP Hillary's surrogate speech. That is a closer runner up to the O-BA-MA chanting in the freaking middle of the Goonies guy's speech. For the record, I like Obama, but his vocal supporters at the 43rd were scared douches.

Posted by crapwreck | April 5, 2008 6:32 PM
9

The fascinating thing about Terry McAuliffe at the 37th caucus was that he didn't say a word about Hillary. His speech was all about party unity after the July 1. Also, no credential challenges. It's like Hillary has given up and is just riding it out until Puerto Rico on June 1, when she'll officially drop out and get behind Obama. That's fine by me.

Posted by Bill LaBorde | April 5, 2008 6:49 PM
10

POINT OF ORDER! POINT OF ORDER!
that's all.

Posted by chops | April 5, 2008 7:14 PM
11

The Obama speaker for the 30th could have have been chosen much better. I feel sorry for the well-meaning guy who went to give it. 'Course, his inexperience at public speaking was no excuse for the Hillarites to boo and heckle him.

Posted by K | April 5, 2008 7:19 PM
12

clusterfuck is right -- wortheless waste of time -- having thousands of activists all over Seattle edit platform planks (gee the minimum wage should be $9 -- no $9.50!) and spend all fucking day to do what? pick more activists to go waste more time at more stupid meetings.

We need to beat the GOP and we just spent about 5000 person hours not doing anything to beat the GOP.

Sending the same activists to NM and CO in late October for one weekend -- now that would be smart.

Oh and that Ron Sims non event what a lame excuse. Of course he's ducking the caucuses, he could have toured all 7 Legislative districts in Seattle and shown his face to about 5-6000 activists.

Posted by unPC | April 5, 2008 7:25 PM
13

The Clinton surrogate thanked the Obama supporters for not booing her during her speech. We were on our best behavior.

The Clinton supporters did tell one man to "sit down and shut up." THAT went over real well. The Clinton supporter trying to get me to switch sides got more and more shrill as I continued to shoot down every reason she had for me to switch.

Posted by thehawke | April 5, 2008 9:05 PM
14

Our quote of the day concerned the plank for a cabinet-level position on the environment, with Al Gore being the first secretary of said department.

"Al Gore should be removed from this plank because AL GORE IS A RACIST!"

It was a Lyndon Larouche supporter.

Posted by thehawke | April 5, 2008 9:12 PM
15

Really? Who the fuck is running the HRC campaign these days? Astin joked about “Obama Country,” told us he could “run through the bullet points” of why Hillary’s the better candidate (but didn’t) and meandered his way through a non sequitur speech that ended by congratulating us on democracy and explaining that he’ll be the biggest Obama fan if Obama gets the nomination.

I thought the same thing about HRC's campaign management at that moment, and I think that Astin's apparent discomfort and poor speechifying may have derived from the fact that by the time he hit the 43rd, he'd realized that this was exactly the wrong mission for him. In this case, Astin was (a) an outsider in a process that seems to favor localism, and (b) his "star power" was much less likely to persuade the activist voters who would bother with a multi-stage caucus process. He might be a more useful advocate at larger rallies for first-round caucus-goers and primary voters, but this was the wrong Hobbit in the wrong kingdom at the wrong time.

Posted by Apocalypse Tom | April 5, 2008 9:22 PM
16

Ah, I was wondering when we'd get our bitter as fuck missive from UnPC.

Posted by ru shur | April 5, 2008 9:23 PM
17

Sean Astin appeared for Hillary at the Thundering 36th caucus in Ballard today, too. He used Senator Obama's middle name when referring to him. I was embarrassed for the Clintonistas and it was nice when they left the gymnasium for the much smaller auditorium.

Posted by Lloyd Cooney | April 5, 2008 10:22 PM
18

PLEASE BRING BACK THE PRIMARY!!

Hate to agree with ECB, but after today I am thoroughly convinced that caucus' are a waste of everyone's time.

100+ candidates running for

Posted by Block Party | April 5, 2008 10:23 PM
19

100+ candidates running for 31 spots...each was given 30 seconds to speak. Can barley hear their names when they introduce themselves, very few of them have any public speaking skills. If they even managed to have it even remotely organized it would take forever to get through them all.

Please Wa. State Dem party, end the caucus and only count the primary...save all us democrats a world of hurt.

Posted by Block Party | April 5, 2008 10:30 PM
20

sean astin was a really odd choice, but i thought it was lame how he was kind of heckled. nonetheless, his speech did nothing to make the couple hundred of us supporting hillary look any better.

one thing i thought was odd was that people weren't recycling. i wound up having to get a bag and work with two other people to separate the trash. i know it's kind of petty, but really? in 2008? throwing aluminum cans in the trash? at a political event where people are talking about things like the environment? when there are recycling bins RIGHT THERE?

i was also impressed by the number of young people running to be delegates for hillary--especially the 17-year-old kid. i hope he got elected!

Posted by kim | April 5, 2008 10:54 PM
21

Rudy!! Rudy!! Rudy!!

That would have been funny to see.

Posted by SeMe | April 5, 2008 11:20 PM
22

Obama raised 40 Million. Clinton raised 20 Million. This thing is so over that even the Clinton campaign reps are starting to acknowledge it.

Posted by Clint | April 5, 2008 11:20 PM
23

They should rename the motion "point of order" to "point of ego" cuz that's all it ever is.

Posted by calvin | April 5, 2008 11:45 PM
24

It was interesting seeing how Clinton managed to lose 1 delegate at the LD Caucus - most people expected her to pick up 2 or 3, but more Obama people showed up, and Kucinich and Uncommitted (Edwards etc) seemed to switch to Obama.

It was sad how the school locked down the stage lights making it so dark, though.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 6, 2008 12:34 AM
25

Yeah, we had Astin in the 36th too (Fnarf was there, sounds like). Blew my mind. The Obama people's choice to try and have 3 people talk in 3 minutes was kinda boneheaded, but they were all actual residents of the 36th - one an escapee of Nazi Germany - who had good things to say. The fact that they were asking different districts to bend their schedules to accommodate their star speaker is ludicrous, not to mention the carbon imprint of flying the guy up here from L.A. just to talk for 3 minutes about HRC, when a local activist would have been much more convincing. Sheesh.

Posted by Levislade | April 6, 2008 3:06 PM
26

I liked the "HOBBITS FOR OBAMA" and "GANDALF FOR OBAMA" signs that popped up when Sean Astin started speaking.

Posted by at the 36th LD | April 6, 2008 4:03 PM
27

@20 no shit....it's 2008, ironically the same year the county implemented their auto garbage/recycle sorting machines. miss the memo?? huh?? wake up....2008...heston is dead and recycling cans are irrelevant.

Posted by cochise. | April 6, 2008 8:20 PM
28

If you people think that any surrogate of any flavor was there to "change minds", your crazy. If you want to hear local people drone on about why they support Hillary, go to the delegate nomination part of the day.

Posted by watcher | April 7, 2008 8:59 AM
29

At the 34th we had regular people stump for the candidates, which was way better. But the best part was how KC Councilmember Dow Constantine (our Caucus Chair) introduced the 5 minute speeches.

"So now representatives for both candidates are going to come up and spend 5 minutes each trying to persuade all of you people who made your minds up months ago and are completely entrenched in your candidate’s campaigns to suddenly change your minds, after a 5 minute speech".

Laughter by most of the audience.

My second favorite part of the day was when Tim Nuse (speaking for the Obama Camp) started talking about Clinton being 'divisive' and getting the loudest and strongest 'boo' of the day. Two big old bubba gay boys stood up with their backs to Tim for the rest of his speech. That was awesome!

Another woman was loudly booed during the time in the agenda where they let any random idiot stand up to say whatever they wanted (Good of the order or something. We were still waiting for all of the delegates to be sat and certified (this process lasted until 2 pm!) Anyway, this numbskull stood up to complain that they were going to put parking meters in on California Ave. There were some boos and someone else yelled 'NO FREE PARKING!" That gave me some hope for urban planning!

In a day that began at 9 am and ended at 4 pm (I left without hearing the speeches from all of the delegate candidates) I probably spent about 7 actual minutes doing anything. It took my about 30 seconds to signed in, 2 minutes to get my badge tied on properly, 4 minutes to fill out my 10 votes cards for CD level delegates, and 30 seconds to fill out the ballot of top vote getters.

If I am ever stupid enough to do this again, I will give someone my cell number and ask them to call me when we convene in the sub-caucus. Then I will go out to a nice mimosa brunch at Jaks, or go home and mow the lawn. Really, between 9 am sign in and 2 pm sub caucus there was really nothing to do.

Posted by 34th District Represents | April 7, 2008 12:06 PM

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