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Monday, May 19, 2008

7th CD Caucus

posted by on May 19 at 12:49 PM

Saturday was the final Seattle-area caucus, charged with choosing pledged delegates for Obama and Clinton to send to the Democratic National Convention.

Notable things:

After The Stranger reported that the rowdy 43rd District Dems had voted to skip the pledge of allegiance in their legislative district caucus, the 7th CD organizers made sure to start the proceedings with the pledge—the possibility of voting for changes in the agenda was deemed impossible until that vital business had taken place.

A significant number of Obama delegates elected from their LD caucus (remember, these people had to show up and be elected at their precinct caucuses, then show up and get elected again at their legislative district caucuses two months later) failed to show up at this last and most vital round of elections. (It was, admittedly, a very sunny day; and the caucus lasted from about 9 am to 6 pm.) A few Clinton delegates ditched too, but all of their possible delegate slots were eventually filled by alternates. Obama, in contrast, was unable to seat a delegate in two available slots. But the margins weren’t big enough to cause a change in the final distribution of national delegates: seven for Obama (four women and three men) and two for Clinton (one woman and one man).

Despite the numbers being quite favorable for the Obama women (and the fact that lots more women than men who had submitted declarations of candidacy apparently decided at the last minute not to run), I failed to make it through to the second ballot. That’s what you get for putting together the most comprehensive guide to the Seattle International Film Festival when you’re supposed to be campaigning. Oh well.

Here are the 7th CD’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention (thanks, conscientious updater of the 36th District Dems page!):

Hillary Clinton Delegates
David Kunselman (43rd District)
Elizabeth Willmott (46th District)

Barack Obama Delegates
Majid Al-Bahadli (43rd District)
Nicolas Bordner (34th District)
Jayron Finan (46th District)
Jennifer Hauseman (43rd District)
Helen Howell (11th District)
Suzan Levine (36th District)
Chris Porter (34th District)

Barack Obama Alternate
David Valdez (43rd District)

I don’t know about the HRC delegates, but that Obama slate is pretty diverse. There are black people, gays, a 17-year-old high school senior, an Iraqi-American man, and an Iranian-American woman… no older people, though.

Also at the caucus, I had the chance to speak briefly with David McDonald, a member of that rapidly shrinking species of uncommitted superdelegates. He also sits on the DNC Rules and ByLaws Committee, which originally voted to deny Michigan and Florida their delegates, and which is meeting again at the end of this month. McDonald thinks that The New York Times has judged the situation correctly. Thirteen Rules Committee members have committed to supporting Clinton, and are likely to side with her in the dispute; only eight have committed to Obama. Seven more are officially uncommitted, though Donna Brazile’s public statements make her seem like a likely Obama vote, and three more may be inclined to support him. McDonald claims he’s one of the three really, truly uncommitted Rules Committee members. He may very well cast the deciding vote on whether to seat Florida and Michigan. Pretty fancy.

RSS icon Comments


Sorry about your loss, Annie. You have to admit, though, that your odds were mighty long with all those women vying for just four delegate positions. But, hey, Skip Berger isn't going to Denver as a delegate either (actually, I don't know whether he even ran, as I cut out early).

For the record, I'm the guy who checked in the delegates and alternates from the 43rd, and doled out your (and Skip's) credentials.

Posted by N in Seattle | May 19, 2008 1:23 PM

Oh, BTW, I meant to mention this in my other comment -- while it's really a shame that two of the 237 Obama delegate positions went unfilled, that came nowhere close to threatening the 7-2 delegate split in WA-07. With all 70 Clinton delegates on hand (good for them!), the distribution would have dropped to 6-3 only if there had been 56 Obama no-shows. Well, it would have been a coin flip for the last delegate if 55 had skipped out, but losing just two was completely inconsequential.

Posted by N in Seattle | May 19, 2008 1:31 PM

Exactly, if it wasn't for N in Seattle, who got the correct time for when to show up (8 am) we would have had a hard time credentialing everyone.

That said, while Clinton only had one female alternate seated (from a very small group), the Obama delegates had most people show up - initially there were seven delegates who didn't show (remember, Obama won something like 80:20) but with last minute arrivals it was down to five delegates missing due to late shows.

That said, since delegates are seated by Legislative District (and the 43rd had ALL our delegate spots filled), it's really the OTHER districts that forgot to show up, not the 43rd LD.

The sad thing about Clinton alternates being seated was the two top female Clinton alternates are both friends of mine, so Elva ended up taking the seated delegate spot from Tami.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 19, 2008 1:45 PM

@1: He didn't give a speech. Was he even on the ballot? I don't think he was running at all.

Posted by annie | May 19, 2008 2:05 PM

There are still people in the world named Elva? That was my grandmother's name.

Posted by Fnarf | May 19, 2008 2:16 PM

Annie, I don't know whether Skip was running. I didn't pay it much mind, since I was neither delegate nor alternate to the CD caucus.

However, with more people running for DNC delegate than there were CD delegates to choose among them, the odds were pretty good that he originally intended to.

Posted by N in Seattle | May 19, 2008 2:16 PM

Fnarf, as of 2005, Elva was apparently the 553rd most common female name in the country. Right behind Janelle, Lourdes, Laurel, Helene, and Fern; and comfortably ahead of Corinne, Kelsey, Ina, Bettie, and Elisabeth (note alternative spellings).

Posted by N in Seattle | May 19, 2008 2:27 PM

Just curious if anyone knows, what is the role of the newly elected 7th Congressional District Elector (Lesley Ahmed)? It's listed on the site.

Posted by Lloyd Cooney | May 19, 2008 2:36 PM

If the Democrat wins Washington, she'll go to Olympia and ceremonially cast one of our state's electoral college votes.

Posted by annie | May 19, 2008 2:45 PM

N, that's just weird. 36,000 of them! It's such an old-fashioned name; it's redolent of nineteenth-century immigrants on the Great Plains. I'd be shocked if I ever ran into another Elva.

I had another ancient auntie named Achsah; I note that's not on the list.

Posted by Fnarf | May 19, 2008 3:36 PM

no older people, though.

Helen Howell is not an older person? The youngest Helen I know is 80 years old.

Posted by Ralph Marvin | May 19, 2008 4:01 PM

@5 - I didn't know you were Hispanic, Fnarf.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 19, 2008 4:07 PM

@8 - they elect the President.

No, I'm not kidding. That's their job.

It's not like we live in a democracy ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 19, 2008 4:11 PM

Elva is not an Hispanic name, Will. Or not exclusively so. My grannie was German-Scots-American.

Posted by Fnarf | May 19, 2008 4:12 PM

If Helen Howell was 36 in 1999, that would make her about 45.

You guys are so obsessed with names today!

Posted by annie | May 19, 2008 4:18 PM

Maybe if we called pit bulls something nice like fluffy bunnykins dogs, we might not be so obsessed about them ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 19, 2008 5:39 PM

normally I lurk but since Will called me out....I have met many women with different ethnic backgrounds and there is currently a Taiwanese pop singer, Elva Hsiao. I may be mexican but it does turn out that I was named after a German woman in my small home town....

Posted by Elva | May 19, 2008 5:42 PM

Glad to meet you, Elva. My gramma was a wonderful, wonderful woman. She's buried in Chehalis. I'm glad her name is still around.

Posted by Fnarf | May 19, 2008 5:55 PM

Jesus Christ, will you stop with the Osama hype already ? Yes, he probably is the best out of all the three candidates but for the love of Mother Mary and Saint Pygmy. I bet if Obama ever visits your office, there's going to be a line to kneel in front and suck his cross.

Posted by Jesus | May 19, 2008 7:28 PM

Annie, I would have liked to see you go to Denver, but there were at least 16 women I would have like to vote for on the first ballot. An odd, painful but enjoyable dilemma. The men's field was less rich than the women's, but was still a tough choice.

@1, 6 Berger didn't even file for national delegate. Other things to do with his time, I suppose. Really, given the intense campaigns, sitting it out was not a bad choice.

Thanks for noticing that there were no older people selected. I don't know how old Majid is, but if Helen Howell is 45, we may not have any Obama delegates (from the 7th CD) older than the (relatively young) candidate.
And let me tell you, the first time voting for a president who is younger than you is freaky weird--especially if you are only in your 40s. Someday you whippersnappers will understand...

Posted by Fruitbat | May 20, 2008 9:28 AM

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