Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 Presidential Primary/Caucus

I attended the presidential primary precinct caucus last month, 9 February 2008, and supported Barack Obama. I tried to point out to the Hillary supporters the reality of the Republican response to her as the actual Democratic candidate. All but one of them changed their minds. The single hold out stated that she would drop her support if it actually mattered. Basically because it was only her supporting Hillary, Hillary received no actual delegates from our table, which represented the Centennial Precinct. After that we chose who would be actual delegates for the next step in the drawn out process. There were a couple people that wanted to be delegates but most seemed to look at it as a duty to ensure that Obama got the delegates.

I was elected as a delegate for the next stage, which was the "Legislative District Caucus" on 5 April 2008. This caucus was very crowded and a little confusing. At this caucus we signed in after figuring out where to do so. Of course having the luxury of hindsight it's very obvious that this process was sorely lacking in communications. Everyone was funneled into one really long line in the gym. There were many separate tables for people to sign up by precinct, I think. In any event the really long line did not apply to everyone. It would have been much more efficient to have set up the tables that were in the small, crowded hall in the actual gym and inform people as they were entering the school that they needed to go to specific tables and where they were. The table and lines probably ate easily an hour or so into the scheduled start time. After seeing the long line in the gym when I walked in I went and sat down in the bleachers to let the line wind down a bit. I figured out that people were actually supposed to be going to different tables and went in search of mine. It was located in a smaller gym nearby with a line of only 10 or people instead of several hundred.
Next we were separated into the two districts using the Lake Stevens High School that day. They were labeled one and two. I know I was in two but was also in the 44th legislative district. I'm not sure what one and two were referring too but in any event from this point the process for selecting or winnowing down the number of delegates started. The people that wanted to be chosen as a delegate for the state and national convention noted as such when they signed in. So these people were asked to come down in the order read and stand before everyone else that chose not to participate in this beauty contest. We were then given 30 seconds to make our case for why we should be chosen to go on.
I don't recall everything I said but tried to put forth the argument that the Republicans were intentionally boosting Hillary's numbers because they know they can drag all kinds of people to fight against her. People hate Hillary for many reasons, many irrational. But in this nation rationality isn't needed to run for office or to select who you want elected. In any event I think I failed to properly express my thoughts on this. Or it may have been that I was preaching to the choir as we had also been separated by Obama and Hillary delegates. And all the Hillary people were safely sequestered in the smaller side gym. Or it could be that some people saw me as being negative towards Hillary. I had written a message stating Rush Limbaugh supports Hillary??? I showed it to the Hillary supporters before we were separated.
People voted and then it took several hours to complete the counting of the ballots. It might not have been so bad if they had been more realistic concerning how long it would take. They originally stated that it would take them 20 or 30 minutes. It was hours. People could have gone out for lunch and returned. As it was many people abandoned the process that seemed endless.
I was selected as a primary delegate and so participated in the contest to be selected as an alternate but failed to be elected for that either.
The following week was the County Convention. I wasn't able to attend this as I normally work on Sundays and also needed to go requalify as a Gun Officer for work. I really would have liked to go to this convention. I know they discussed and voted on a new county "platform" which will probably be very similar to the last platform.

On the 8th of May I attended a 44th LD General Meeting. I would like to be more involved. I suck at politics but am also very fascinated by them. I'd like to help with things like the caucusing we just did. Make it more efficient and enjoyable. Helping make things work better, behind the scenes. But I'm not sure if that is feasible. I looked into the Precinct committee officer (PCO) thing but I’m not sure if I can do that. After reading the party’s platform I’m not sure I can qualify to be an actual Democrat. Besides there is no way I’m going to go “door to door” bothering people about politics at their home. Which seems to be one of the central duties of the PCO.

I’m going to see if I can set up a “forum” and send it to the guy that does the 44th’s website. It would be nice to have a way to regularly communicate with others about political issues. The website guy mentioned setting up a forum but I get the feeling he may be way to busy doing other things to get on that one thing.

The one last thing I want to mention is that the 44th’s meetings are conducted using “Robert’s Rules”. I despise Robert’s Rules. They are really good for moving things along I guess but they also limit and exclude people from participating. Of course I don’t expect this organization to change how they do business to accommodate me :p

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