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March 10, 2005

More on the state party's rule changes

In Googling around for more information on the Massachusetts Democratic Party's rule changes, I happened upon this Phoenix article from almost exactly a year ago.  Very interesting.  The rule changes that the party adopted yesterday are all designed to restrict access both to the convention and to the ballot: they reduce the number of delegates, and they make it harder to clear the 15% rule.  And it's been reported that these are recommendations of a commission chaired by Mike Dukakis and Jim McGovern.

But according to last year's Phoenix article, the Dukakis-McGovern Commission originally recommended several changes that would expand access to the convention and the ballot: they recommended reinstating a rule that allowed would-be caucus voters to register as Democrats one day before the caucus was to take place (the party replaced the one-day rule with a 40-day preregistration rule after the 2002 convention, in part in response to Robert Reich's candidacy), and they recommended decreasing the number of delegates needed to get on the statewide ballot from 15% to 12%.  But the Democratic State Committee (the same outfit that took last night's vote) rejected these proposals in 2004. 

I haven't been able to find a copy of the full Dukakis-McGovern report, so I can't tell whether the proposals to expand access were originally coupled with the restrictive rule changes adopted last night, or whether the recommendations were modified in response to the State Committee's rejections of the one-day rule and the 12% rule.  If anyone has access to the report, I'd like to know about it.  But it does appear that while the Dukakis-McGovern Commission wanted both to expand access (with the one-day rule and 12% rule) and streamline the process (by allowing only one ballot for statewide access and by reducing the number of delegates), the party has rejected the access-expanding proposals and has adopted only the "streamlining" proposals.  Result: less access, less outside participation, more power to the hacks.  How depressing.

Posted by David at 11:40 AM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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Tracked on Mar 12, 2005 6:41:15 PM


You are so the man. I really was starting to get over this (unanimous votes and elder statesmen kind of took the wind out of my sails). Thanks for bringing outrage back into my life.

Posted by: Noho-missives | Mar 11, 2005 5:21:24 PM

So, whom do we tell about this, aside from our inside group of inside baseball insular people who rarely go outside? Seems like not much discussion aside from here.

Globe? Herald? Dan Kennedy?


Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Mar 11, 2005 5:46:35 PM

I actually just asked them. I was not particularly encouraged by the answer, however.

Posted by: sco | Mar 12, 2005 6:38:52 PM

I am WAY late to this discussion, but I thought I'd try to get this question in.

I am a delegate to the convention this May. How does this rule change affect me (and my fellow delegates) specifically?

I'm sorry for such a Noob question. I've been trying to find this information out myself, but I've been stumped.

Posted by: Susan | Apr 3, 2005 9:03:23 PM

I think this is a very good question, and I don't have a good answer. Anyone?

Posted by: David | Apr 3, 2005 9:12:17 PM

The March vote of the DSC has no impact on thsi year's convention and people's status as delegates at the 2005 convention.

Posted by: Kate | Apr 10, 2005 12:21:09 PM

i what to learn about group party's

Posted by: joan alexander | Jun 1, 2005 12:30:49 AM

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