Polk County Democratic Convention

Polk County Democrats

This past weekend, I worked on the Rules Committee for the Polk County Democratic Convention (PCDC).  This year was the first time I have ever participated in the Iowa Caucuses.  I volunteered to be a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the county level.

The PCDC was an extremely grueling process that lasted 14 hours thanks to written objections by the Hillary campaign.  From what I was told, normally the PCDC lasts between 4 – 8 hours.  The first written complaint from the Hillary camp was,

We object to the seating of unlisted alternates who filled out yellow forms.  Alternates must have been on the lists, per established rules.

The Clinton and Sanders campaigns were instructed to submit comprehensive lists of each parties’ Delegates and Alternates to the Polk County Democrats by 12:00 noon on Friday March 11 which was done on both sides.  The objection was based on the allegation that the Polk County Democrats were prepared to credential “alternates” who showed up at the convention that were not on the list of Delegates or Alternates provided by each campaign by 12:00 noon on Friday.

The complaint was that had they known that they could included additional Alternates, they would have done so prior to 12:00 noon on Friday. The impression being that they were concerned that allowing Unlisted Alternates to be credentialed would be fundamentally unfair and could tip the balance of delegates in favor of the Sanders campaign.

The assessment at this point was if the campaigns had in fact been led to believe only those individuals identified on the lists submitted by 12 noon on Friday were the only Delegates and Alternates that would be recognized and credentialed at the Convention, and there was no rule addressing credentialing of Unlisted Alternates, then it was important to covey that information to the Polk County Democrats and the Credential Committee.

We were informed that it was a long-standing policy to allow individuals who showed
up to past conventions to be credentialed as delegates, assuming there were still delegate slots available. This would be in the best interests of the county and state parties.  It was assumed that since any such individuals would not already be on the Delegate/Alternate lists provided by the campaigns, the Yellow Forms would be a method of implementing that policy.


It was determined that since there was no provision for that policy in the published rules for this convention, the objection was valid, and that no Unlisted Alternates should or could be credentialed.  The County Party and Credential representative acknowledged the position of the Rules Committee on this point, and agreed not to credential any Unlisted Alternate.
After lunch at 12:00 noon, the Sanders campaign the Clinton campaign would conduct their business in the Cafeteria.conducted there business in the Auditorium, and the Clinton campaign conducted their business in the Cafeteria.
After lunch, we received another written complaint from the Hillary campaign stating,
“The Hillary Clinton Delegates and Alternates object to the “unlisted alternates” who were given packets and seated at the Polk County Democratic Convention.  The yellow sheets for “unlisted alternates” was initially thrown away, but retrieved from the trash. We were told they were removed from the convention, but they were not. Unless all of those voting in attendance are personally matched to those on the official lists, we object to the final results of the convention.

At this point, it was determined that we would have to re-credential all of the Delegates and Alternates off of the “Master List” on both the Sanders campaign and the Clinton campaign.  To do that, we assigned 2 Sanders Rules or Credentials Committee members and 2 Clinton Rules or Credentials Committee members to re-credential all Delegates and Alternates.  We also assigned a Sanders Rules or Credentials Committee member and Clinton Rules or Credentials Committee member  to re-count all of the Delegates and Alternates after the re-credentialing was completed.This process too around 3 1/2 hours to complete.  At the conclusion of this process, we weeded out 4 Clinton Alternates and 2 Sanders Alternates that did not have credentials.

It is my belief that this was a ploy by the Clinton Campaign to thin out the Delegates and Alternates with hopes that more Sanders Delegates and Alternates would leave than Clinton Delegates and Alternates.  Of course, I can’t prove this with anything other that the facts listed above.

As if this process wasn’t painful enough, I will also be a Delegate for Bernie Sanders at the District / State Convention.  And if asked, I will volunteer to be a Delegate for Bernie Sanders at the National Convention in Philadelphia.  I guess I am just a glutton for punishment.

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