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Congressional Democrats could lose their status as DNC superdelegates

Democratic members of Congress are starting to accept that they may lose parts, if not all, of their status as superd...

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 5:20 AM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 5:20 AM

Democratic members of Congress are starting to accept that they may lose parts, if not all, of their status as superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention in 2020 when the party votes for its nominee for president.

Reps. David Price, Gregory Meeks, Rosa DeLauro and Grace Meng -- a Democratic National Committee vice chair -- met Wednesday with Chairman Tom Perez, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, to discuss the superdelegate proposals required to be passed by the end of the month.

Congressional Democrats -- all of whom are designated superdelegates, automatic unleashed delegates who can vote for any nominee -- have been meeting with Perez about proposals to strip away that status for the 2020 convention. Other superdelegates include former Democratic presidents, governors, senators and DNC members.

During a meeting with Perez last week, many members were angry about proposals to rid the party of superdelegates completely.

According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, members of Congress want to maintain their status but "understand the political dynamics at play."

Grass-roots activists have been working to get the DNC to eliminate superdelegates, claiming such delegates gave Hillary Clinton an advantage over her fellow candidates, like Sen. Bernie Sanders, during the 2016 primary process. A unity commission was formed to propose changes for the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee to pass by the end of this month.

At Wednesday's meeting, first reported by Politico, the members felt "heard" and seemed to be more pliable to the changes, according to the source.

"We had a good, open discussion in which we were able to voice our views and have them taken seriously," Rep. Rosa DeLauro said in a statement to CNN.

Relations between the DNC and members of Congress that had frayed over the plan to curb the influence of superdelegates in the presidential nomination process are getting better, a source with knowledge of the negotiations tells CNN, but disagreements persist.

"Yesterday's meeting was a constructive effort, and nobody wants a fight on this, but the idea that we're at or near consensus as some have suggested, is definitely a stretch," the source said.

They added that while this meeting was better than previous, more contentious, affairs, the issues "were not resolved."

Rep. David Price, in an interview with CNN on Thursday, said the disagreements between the DNC and members of Congress were "a work in progress," but that their latest meeting was "cordial" and "informative."

"The ball is in their court, not ours," said Price, who was brought in because he was the executive director of the Hunt Commission that re-evaluated the Democratic nomination process after the 1980 election that led to the creation of superdelegates.

Price said "several" proposals were floated at the Tuesday meeting, but that one of the key concerns from the members of Congress was the idea that they would have to run against their own constituents to be a delegate to the DNC if they lose their current status. He added that he believes it is possible to reduce the number of unpledged delegates but not deny them their vote in the process.

He declined to get into those specifics.

"This is not about one class of delegates versus another, it is about how do you have inclusive convention that includes everyone that needs to be there," he said. "I would say that is more for the party's benefit than anyone else.

And Meng, who also serves as a DNC Vice Chair, said in a statement that she feels she has a unique role "making sure that the DNC is listening to the concerns that House Democrats have with the current proposal" and ensuring that "the DNC is listening to the concerns of activists and organizations to ensure that their voices are heard as well."

She declined to comment on any of the plans "until the Rules and Bylaws Committee is finished" with its work.

Rules committee members met in Rhode Island last Friday to discuss new proposals. Weingarten, a member of the committee, proposed keeping some superdelegates with all rights except voting for the party's nominee on the first ballot at their convention. The "third way" plan (as it was called) was supported by Perez.

Some committee members, including many who represent minority communities, argued excluding superdelegates on the first ballot was tantamount to voter disenfranchisement. As a compromise, members seemed to agree in principle with Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin's proposal to find a way to keep superdelegates on the first ballot so long as they don't affect the outcome of the vote -- known as the "third way plus" plan.

Both plans were discussed at Wednesday's meeting. Only one plan was proposed by the members, according to the source, but it did not conform with the unity commission's requirements to reduce the number of superdelegates by two-thirds.

Rules committee members will vote on a final proposal by the end of the month, which will need a full DNC vote at its August meeting in Chicago.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 612001

Reported Deaths: 7756
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1269201801
Ramsey53281911
Dakota47414477
Anoka43426465
Washington27780296
Stearns22738227
St. Louis18329319
Scott17747139
Wright16603153
Olmsted13567103
Sherburne1217096
Carver1078349
Clay830492
Rice8283112
Blue Earth772444
Crow Wing691299
Kandiyohi672285
Chisago629355
Otter Tail591987
Benton587798
Goodhue487274
Douglas480381
Mower478634
Winona465452
Itasca463768
Isanti447267
McLeod435861
Morrison429262
Beltrami411563
Nobles410950
Steele401619
Polk391272
Becker389957
Lyon366154
Carlton357158
Freeborn353134
Pine338123
Nicollet335045
Mille Lacs315756
Brown309140
Le Sueur301028
Todd289233
Cass288933
Meeker267344
Waseca241723
Martin237433
Roseau212721
Wabasha20873
Hubbard198741
Dodge19133
Renville184246
Redwood178741
Houston176016
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165223
Fillmore160110
Faribault157420
Chippewa154238
Pennington154120
Kanabec148028
Sibley147410
Aitkin140037
Watonwan13629
Rock129719
Jackson123112
Pipestone117226
Yellow Medicine115620
Pope11416
Swift107718
Murray107610
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89517
Marshall89017
Lake85020
Wilkin84213
Lac qui Parle76222
Big Stone6114
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49222
Unassigned48393
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3504
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 376815

Reported Deaths: 6122
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk59215646
Linn21567342
Scott20530250
Black Hawk16850320
Woodbury15378230
Johnson1479586
Dubuque13627215
Dallas1150699
Pottawattamie11393177
Story1092548
Warren594392
Clinton565894
Cerro Gordo564898
Webster546397
Sioux520574
Muscatine4956106
Marshall493679
Des Moines481776
Jasper454273
Wapello4402124
Buena Vista432340
Plymouth405782
Lee396958
Marion372378
Henry301737
Jones301357
Bremer294663
Carroll287252
Boone273735
Crawford273541
Benton264255
Washington261051
Dickinson251145
Mahaska235151
Jackson225943
Kossuth222166
Clay217927
Tama213872
Delaware213343
Winneshiek201337
Buchanan197834
Page195722
Cedar194323
Hardin192544
Wright191240
Hamilton189251
Fayette188943
Harrison182873
Clayton173258
Butler169135
Madison168019
Floyd165242
Mills164724
Cherokee162238
Lyon161241
Poweshiek159836
Allamakee156452
Hancock154034
Iowa149124
Winnebago147031
Calhoun144813
Cass142155
Grundy139733
Emmet137341
Jefferson135535
Sac133320
Shelby132238
Louisa130749
Union129535
Franklin129223
Appanoose128749
Mitchell127343
Chickasaw126017
Humboldt126026
Guthrie125332
Palo Alto115224
Montgomery106938
Howard105522
Clarke102624
Monroe101533
Keokuk100432
Ida93735
Adair90132
Davis88525
Pocahontas87022
Monona86731
Greene80011
Osceola79517
Lucas78323
Worth7648
Taylor67112
Decatur6649
Fremont64910
Van Buren57318
Ringgold57124
Wayne56623
Audubon53613
Adams3504
Unassigned80
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