On Saturday, November 5th, the MDP State Central Committee voted to adopt the 30-day rule. A detailed report will be presented at the next Shiawassee County Democratic Party monthly meeting. The Shiawassee County Democratic Party meets the 4th Tuesday of every month at the Corunna City Hall. You can get more information at http://www.shiawasseedems.com.
Mark Brewer, Chair of the MDP, put out the following (somewhat insulting) memo about the rule:
TO: Party Leadership, DSCC Members and Others
FROM: Mark Brewer, Chair
DATE: October 20, 2005
RE: MDP Rules Change
There has been a lot of misinformation creating confusion about the MDP Rules change which will be on the November 5th State Central agenda.
This Rules change will increase participation by precinct delegates and others at State Conventions which is what the MDP needs to continue to grow.
This memo is to address this misinformation and confusion.
1. The Rules Change Takes A State Convention Delegate Selection System Successfully Used For Many Years In 11 Congressional Districts And Applies It Statewide.
The Rules change is not a radical new system as it has been claimed, but only the statewide application of a proven system for selecting State Convention delegates.
The Rules change simply takes a State Convention delegate selection system – that all precinct delegates and Party members can be delegates to a State Convention – which has been used successfully for many years in 11 of 15 Congressional Districts and applies that system statewide.
The system has been used without any problems whatsoever for decades in these Congressional Districts. There has been no elimination of precinct delegates or hostile takeover of the Party in those Districts. The system works and is fair to everyone in the Party.
2. The Rules Change Does Not Eliminate The Precinct Delegate Role At State Conventions.
The Rules change will actually increase the precinct delegate role at State Conventions, not eliminate it as has been claimed.
Under the current MDP Rules, precinct delegates are not automatic delegates to the State Convention. Congressional districts and county parties vote before each State Convention on who their delegates to the State Convention will be.
Unfortunately, large numbers of precinct delegates are being denied the right to be a State Convention delegate:
*At the 2005 State Convention, 564 precinct delegates were not State Convention delegates based on the votes held in their Congressional District or county conventions.
*At the 2004 State Convention, 660 precinct delegates were not State Convention delegates based on the votes held in the local conventions. This is wrong and unfair to our hardworking precinct delegates that hundreds of them currently are denied the right to be State Convention delegates.
The Rules change will mean that at future State Conventions, all precinct delegates will automatically be State Convention delegates. They will not be excluded as hundreds of them are currently.
3. Outside Groups Will Not Pack or Take Control of State Conventions.
There has also been the claim that the Rules change will somehow permit outside groups to pack or take control of State Conventions. This is simply untrue for several reasons.
First, many congressional districts and counties have for many years sent all of their precinct delegates and Party members as delegates to State Conventions. There has never been even an attempt to take over these delegations.
Second, the 30-day membership rule was adopted to prevent ?takeovers? of the State Convention and it has worked. We monitor the number of memberships at the State Party and if we noticed any suspicious activity, there are several ways to prevent a ?takeover?:
*The MDP Chair can call an emergency meeting of either the Executive Committee or the entire State Central Committee before the State Convention, and take whatever actions are necessary, including emergency changes to the Rules.
*The Convention Rules Committee can also consider rules which address potential problems.
*The Convention Credentials Committee can decide whether to credential suspicious delegates.
*The State Central Committee must meet immediately after the State Convention to ratify the results of a State Convention. Even if a ?takeover? occurred, the State Central Committee can refuse to recognize the results.
The Rules change will not lead to the packing or takeover of the State Convention.
4. The Rules Change Will Allow New People to Participate in the MDP.
We have had a tremendous increase in Party members, precinct delegates, volunteers and activists in the last 3 years which has been great for our Party.
Unfortunately, thousands of those new activists, Party members and precinct delegates are being denied the right to be a State Convention delegate.
That is unfair, undemocratic, discourages people from being active in the Party and hurts our efforts to grow as a Party. These new activists should be welcomed to the Party, not excluded.
The Rules change eliminates this unfair treatment by allowing all people who are precinct delegates, Party members, candidates and elected officials to be State Convention delegates.
I?ll have more on this rule change later.