By Marc Campos

Chron Editorial, H-Town DebateLESS, Precinct Conventions, Por Favor

This is today’s Chron Editorial – “Lone Star followers of the two Democratic presidential contenders will have to work twice as hard to make sure their support fully counts on the evening of primary election day, March 4.

That's because the state party rules take the main selection procedures used in other states — primary elections and party caucuses — and fuse them into a demanding hybrid. While we'll know on election night whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama won more votes, it will likely take weeks to figure out who won more delegates.

Those who cast early vote ballots or go to the polls on election day will find their job is not finished. They will have to return to the precinct where they are registered after polls close to caucus at 7:15 p.m. and select representatives to a district convention on March 29. That body in turn will send representatives to the state party convention on June 7, where the final makeup of delegates will be chosen.

Here's the breakdown. Of the 228 Texans who will go to the Democratic National Convention in Denver this summer, only 126 will be chosen based on the popular vote. Using what the party delegate selection plan describes as "a variety of methodologies," an additional 67 will be chosen via the convention process that started in individual precincts.

Another 32 will be superdelegates, automatically anointed by their positions as party or elected officials. And an odd threesome of uncommitted delegates will be named at the state convention based on their well-established history of service to the party.

Harris County Democratic Party Chairman Gerald Birnberg says the complicated selection rules were drafted when no one expected a tight two-person race in Texas that could be decisive in the contest for the party's presidential nomination. "This is very, very close to the rules for the one we had four years ago, which worked just fine when it didn't matter," he said.

The plan aimed to make sure delegates to the national convention included a good balance between ethnic groups, ages, sexes and party experience. What it wasn't designed to do is produce what election night commentators and candidates crave: a clear-cut winner. It's possible Clinton could win the popular vote by capitalizing on her Hispanic support, while Obama uses his caucus-savvy campaign organization to grab the most delegates.

It's a situation that brings to mind the old election joke: "Vote early and often." For this primary, Democrats should amend it to "vote early and late."

Hmmm, why didn’t I think of that!

The Lone Star State Dem Party snatched the Dem Prez Debate away from H-Town and the Metroplex and gave it to Austin. Drats! Commentary had already figured out a way to sneak into the H-Town debate. Come on! There are more Dem voters in the H-Town and Metroplex area. Why Austin? Guv Dude lives there! When Dems want to raise $$$ they come to H-Town. H-Town is more diverse – Latinos, African Americans, Gays/Lesbians, Asian Americans, 'Stros fans, plus we have a shot at taking over Harris County government. We needed the love and attention. No se puede! We wuz robbed!

Stan-The-Man-The-Progressive called me yesterday and let me know that there weren’t any Dem Party Precinct Convention instructions out there in Spanish for folks of limited English speaking ability. Now let’s see, if the ballot is in Spanish, shouldn’t we have precinct convention instructions in the old espanol? We are after all looking at record turnouts at the precinct conventions including a lot of folks of the Latino persuasion. Commentary’s shop agreed to translate and produce instructions unless I’m told otherwise. Now I have to find somebody around here that speaks espanol.

Looks like I might be doing translation pro bono work for the Hillary/Obama campaigns. Hey, I guess it is worth it if we’re talking about electing the next leader of Earth. How do you say “call to order” in Spanish?

Expect Obama to run the table this evening. Not bad for a fella most of us never heard of until 2004.

H-Town Council Member James Rodriguez has a "heart to heart" fundraiser tomorow (Feb. 13) after work at Picazo - a cool new place by the Harris County Courthouse - be there!

Texas Super Dem Delegates (endorsements):

1. DNC Boyd Richie - TX Chair
2. DNC Roy LaVerne Brooks - TX Vice Chair
3. DNC Hon. Yvonne Davis
4. DNC Hon. Al Edwards
5. DNC Norma Fisher Flores (Clinton)
6. DNC Jaime Gonzalez Jr.
7. DNC David Holmes
8. DNC John Patrick
9. DNC Betty Richie
10. DNC Bob Slagle
11. At Large DNC Sue Lovell (Clinton)
12. At Large DNC Senfronia Thompson (Obama – according to a Friday press release)
13. At Large DNC Robert Martinez
14. At Large DNC Denise Johnson (Clinton)
15. At Large DNC Bob Strauss
16. At Large DNC David Hardt
17. Al Green (Obama)
18. Charlie Gonzalez
19. Chet Edwards
20. Ciro Rodriguez
21. Eddie Bernice Johnson
22. Former Speaker Jim Wright (Clinton)
23. Gene Green (Clinton)
24. Henry Cuellar (Clinton)
25. Lloyd Doggett
26. Nick Lampson
27. Ruben Hinojosa (Clinton)
28. Sheila Jackson Lee (Clinton)
29. Solomon Ortiz (Clinton)
30. Silvestre Reyes (Clinton)
31. Moses Mercado (Obama)
32. Linda Chavez-Thompson

Speaking of, Ed Martin a great Dem from Debatetown, errr Austin, let me know yesterday that his boy who is getting smarter up in Beantown snagged a chance to see a Red Sox/Yankee game at Fenway this season – cool. Ed and I agreed that the Lone Star State Dem Party did the right thing by not scheduling the State Convention the weekend the Yankees visit The Yard in June – whew! Ed is a huge ‘Stros fan.

It looks like I’ll miss out on the Detroit Tigers visiting The Yard for the last exhibition game of the pre-season on March 29. I gotta go to my SD Convention that day. Maybe I’ll get The Dean and Rep Sly to speed things up so I can catch the 7th inning stretch! Or maybe I’ll ask Pam-In-Charge to delay the start of the first pitch, after all, we are electing us a new Prez.

Future Hall of Famer B-G-O is officially staying with the ‘Stros! Now that is a real good thing! Hope he doesn’t get Pam-In-Charge’s cool office that looks out over The Yard.

February 12, 2008 9:00AM

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