Representative Derek Kilmer on the Caucus system, delegates and Super delegates

From Representative Kilmer, posted on Facebook.

I’ve appreciate folks taking the time to reach out and share their thoughts on the Democratic Party’s nomination process. I’d like to take the opportunity to respond to everyone in this post.
Let me first say that I appreciate everyone’s engagement in this critical election and in the promotion of the shared values of the Democratic Party. I also appreciate the enthusiasm that Senator Sanders has created among folks here in Washington State and across the country. Regardless of who is elected as the Democratic nominee, I think he has raised a number of key issues — including the corrosive role of dark money in politics and the importance of having an economy that works for everyone — that will help move our party and our country in the right direction. For that I am grateful.
As you may know, I endorsed Secretary Clinton on day one of her candidacy. I fact, I was one of the people encouraging her to run because I think she has an unmatched breadth of experience to navigate these challenging times. Furthermore, as the dad of two little girls, Sophie and Tess, I love the notion of them being able to grow up understanding they can be anything they set their minds to — including President of the United States. When I called my grandmother Oma to wish her a happy 106th birthday yesterday, she shared her dream of living long enough to cast a vote for the first woman President in our nation’s history.

By way of context, in our party’s nomination process there are two kinds of delegates — pledged delegates (earned through performance in primaries and caucuses) and superdelegates. There’s been a lot of conversation about the superdelegates but I can tell you, I am not aware of any secret backroom where folks are discussing thwarting the will of Democratic voters. The reality is that Secretary Clinton currently has a sizable lead among pledged delegates…it’s a larger lead than Barack Obama had at this point in the process eight years ago.

Now here’s the important point that I think has been lost over the past few weeks: I don’t cast my superdelegate vote untilJuly 27 — roughly four months from now. There are plenty of votes still to be cast, in fact millions of Democrats will be voting over the next two and a half months. While many experts project that Secretary Clinton will maintain that lead among pledged delegates, a lot can happen in politics, especially this year. My guess is that, if you see a change in the status among pledged delegates, you’ll see a lot of superdelegates revisit the issue.
My general take is that the Democrats should move to a system that ditches the superdelegates role altogether and that moves away from caucuses (since they hurt the ability of working people and parents to participate). I’ll certainly advocate that change going forward.
I appreciate you reaching out and for the opportunity to represent you. I will keep your comments in mind as this process moves forward over the coming months and when I have the chance to cast a vote at the convention in July.
No matter what — I want us all to focus on ensuring that neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz becomes President of the United States.
I do not want my daughters to grow up in a nation in which the President suggests discriminating against people based on their religion.
I don’t want a President that would deny working people the right to organize and — at a time when more and more people are working harder and longer for less and less — would oppose raising the minimum wage.
I don’t want a President that rejects a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
I don’t want a President that denies the existence of climate change.
I don’t want a President that fails to support marriage equality nor one that accepts discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
I don’t want a President that supports the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and that fails to acknowledge how broken our campaign finance system is.
And I sure as heck don’t want a President that will nominate future Supreme Court justices that will make bad decisions on all of these issues.
As a lifelong Democrat, I’m focused on the work we have ahead of us and am committed to moving our country forward. Let’s keep at it.

One Response

  1. Good to hear Derik. I have been concerned seeing that your supper-delegate support for Hillary is not written in stone.

    These are different times and demand different solutions.
    “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”
    —Albert Einstein
    Albert again: “I do not know the weapons of WW III but WW IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

    I believe it is fair to say that humanity is currently embroiled in a life and death world wide battle with an evil beyond the current comprehension of most Americans. An adversary that feeds many but in the end can kill all higher carbon bases life forms. That evil is CAPITALISM unrestrained by functioning Planetary life support systems! A construct of the very people now threatened with extinction within a hand full of generations. This is unprecedented in human history. If there was ever a time, NOW “We must learn to see the world anew.”

    Hillary, for all her assets does not see that horizon. Bernie clearly does and will act upon it. Not with guns, drones, and bombs but with equality, justice, compassion, humility. (Bernie refers to the White House as “public housing.”)

    I too vote for WW III to be fought with equality, justice, and LOVE. WW IV with sonnets.

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